Getting started with learning jazz fusion ?
Getting started with learning jazz fusion ?in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:39 pm
by student • 146 Posts
I asked around my area(midwest middle of nowhere haha) if any of the instructors would be able to teach me jazz fusion, a common response was it would take them decades to be able to teach that...ha..yeah I didn't even know of jazz fusion until I came to this forum. Now I can't listen to it enough
Well my question is, what books do you recommend to get started in this ? I am nowhere NOWHERE NOWHERE near being able to play like that, but I would like to start learning and understanding it more when I am not practicing. Even some sheet music with riffs that I can practice over and over.
I know I can google and find several links, but really I am looking for people who have experience with this.
RE: Getting started with learning jazz fusion ?in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:24 am
by notenjesus • 23 Posts
tbh whats so special about jazz fusion? i cant stand it. It doesnt make my head bang nor my feet stepping nor touching my soul. Where is the melody? Its so psychodelic alien like music that i get headaches whenever i hear it. My Brain can't follow it. Its like abstract painting.
Pink Panther Theme - thats fucking delicios Jazz compared to Jazz Fusion imo.
Pebber Brown's Soldier
RE: Getting started with learning jazz fusion ?in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:57 am
by dlraben • 278 Posts
I can't stand listening to it either. But, I have always thought that was because I couldn't understand it and therefore wasn't able to appreciate it. This doesn't explain why some people that know nothing about music still like it, but I'd gamble that those people are in the vast minority of those that do like the seemingly random world of jazz fusion.
As an aside, if I was able to play like John567 does in his posts, I bet I would feel very differently. Getting in that door though hasn't been possible for me because I haven't been able to analyze what he's done to begin to reproduce it. I just bet that if I could, I'd love it. But, would other people love listening to me? Really? No one that I know would. To be fair, no one I know likes Vai (just for one example of dozens) either and of course I think they are crazy; which is me being a hypocrite.
RE: Getting started with learning jazz fusion ?in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:45 am
by student • 146 Posts
"Its so psychodelic alien like music", awesome comment. I thought the same thing when I sat down and listened to Holdsworth, I felt like I arrived on another planet when I listened to one of his concerts on youtube.
Regarding liking or disliking the music, I thought about it a little. I just can't explain, I know absolute shit about jazz chords...hell jazz in general. I never listened to jazz seriously until I started coming to this forum and learning about Pebber's heroes. Even after I listened to Lane, McLaughlin I was still not into it...sure I respected the sound they made as I never heard anything like it....but I just shrugged it off for 8 months or so and went back to what I usually listen to( arcade fire, modest mouse, etc) ...stuff like that.
Then at work I listened to Jeff Beck's album "Blow by Blow", this hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn't necessarily fall in love with it at first, but I couldn't stop listening to it. I must have listened to it 4 times that day and the rest was history. Been primarly listening to jazz fusion for the past 4 months.
I really like your comment "Its so psychodelic alien like music" becaue I was describing to people the same idea "I didn't go to your party because I was on the planet Griquen in galaxy Mijuyth listening to Mr.Holdsworth". The cool thing about it is that we think the same about it, but feel different. The subjectiveness of music is pretty fricken sweet.
RE: Getting started with learning jazz fusion ?in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:09 am
by AceLuby • 63 Posts
You're at the right spot if you want to get into jazz fusion, gotta practice, practice, practice. Learn some jazz standards, learn how to solo over them, mix in your bluesy pentatonic stuff, use the chromatic scale, and practice to the point that you can easily flow between everything.
I'm a big fan of Scofield when I get a jazz fusion itch.
RE: Getting started with learning jazz fusion ?in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:28 pm
by John567 • 156 Posts
I'm sorry. But, I just have to drop a word on this topic. I'm feeling long winded, so, bear with me. I'm an old fuck.
Here's a little tale of how I fell into it:
I love music. That's it. I remember growing up listening to all sorts of stuff on the radio, because thats all I had. I remember some of my hero's were Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Pete Townsend, etc. I don't know how old everyone else is in this post, but let me tell you, if I had Youtube when I was 12 - 16 years old, things would've been a bit different…and yet the same. Let me explain:
I remember watching tv (note: there wasn't much to choose from - NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, CBC…) and noticing that I would be attracted to certain songs on the television. And every now and then I would come across snippets that I would like and as a result go to the store and buy the record. Same thing with radio. I would hear something, liked it, went out and bought it. Usually from a used record shop.
But, nothing really motivated me to actually practice the guitar in the way that Pebber has shown everybody. I mean, I liked Led Zeppelin. But, never enough to actually learn every note from every album.
Then I had a distinct reaction when I saw a live clip of a Pat Metheny performance from the Montreal Jazz Festival (I believe it was 1989). It was like "thats it eureka I found it!" kind of feeling. My gut was all tight with excitement. So, again I went out and bought the album (brand new) on tape and listened to it constantly.
There were moments before that too but not as powerful and overwhelming as seeing Metheny play. I just remember saying to myself "fuck, can he play… what mastery…" etc. Even now when I think of it, it makes me what to pick up the guitar and start to play.
If your gravitating toward "jazz fusion" because its appeals to you in that gut reaction way, then I say pursue it because that is what will make you happy. If your sorta stuck in that I kinda like it - appreciated it mode… then it doesn't speak to you. It doesn't beckoned to your soul like it did to me (man that sounds cheesy kinda like harvati or swiss without the holes). Then stick to what you like. Whether its country or blues, rock, whatever. If you don't love it, you won't put in the time it takes to play like Pebber or FRaKh. You really gotta love it. Its a cliche but its true.
Now, thats not to say that it won't ever be like that. Tastes change over time. I never really liked country music until I heard Jerry Reed play. I thought he was just a character actor in the movies with Burt Reynolds. I wasn't a big fan of Bebop (Charlie Parker) until much later. But he's still on the shelf for me at the moment. Sorta like Holdsworth for some people - too many notes at one time. I can only take Parker in by little chunks for the time being. For some reason, I like Stan Getz, Chet Baker, or Coltrane more. I couldn't tell you why right this minute.
So, I guess what I'm trying to say is to follow your gut. Pay no heed to anything else. Find what you love and play it. Fake it till you got it, eh?
Anyway, the bottom line: here's my sample list of "jazz fusion" players that beat the fuck out of me (they're not all guitarist by the way). I would have included more but I would be typing for ever:
Wired (Jeff Beck)
- I love Beck on this album. But the compositions are mostly, if not all, are by the bassist. Interesting eh? I love the songs on this album. Jan Hammer keys.. fuckn great stuff. Very accessible when I first started getting into it.
Light As A Feather (Chick Corea)
- if you don't like this album in any way you are definitely on the wrong path.
Birds Of Fire (John McLaughlin)
- Highlights for me are "Birds of Fire" and "Open Country Joy". Also, check out Mahavishnu Orchestra's "Inner Mountain Flame" album. These albums give me the shakes. Its powerful. So powerful I can see people starting a religion based upon McLaughlin's solos. Really… Im not kidding. You are forewarned!!!
Timeless (John Abercrombie)
- this one might not be as accessible as the others before it. But, give it a listen to. Abercrombie is one of the most original guitarist I've ever heard. You can't mistake him for no one else. Very linear playing up and down the neck. Mr. Melodic, he is. His album "Night" has some good tracks too. I really like Mike Brecker here. Very tasty lines. Still can't get enough. But, again not for everyone. Again Jan Hammer is here too. He keeps popping up.
Also, don't forget the big two:
Allan Holdsworth & Frank Gambale.
Frank's the more accessible one for some. They both knock me out every time I listen to them. Here's a not so typical snippet of Frank Gambale's playing live. I've included this here because of his rhythm playing. Sometimes I forget how funky this motherfucka is. Frank Gambale… down from the mountain:
This video features Victor Wooten. Wholy Jesus... funks the funk out of the funk, eh? If anybody knows the set list that they're doing let me know. I think one of the tunes is a Coltrane tune... Speaking of Coltrane check this out as well:
Those two examples are quite different, eh? But, they both appeal to me in the same way. They give me that gut reaction.
I hope this helps
RE: Getting started with learning jazz fusion ?in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:01 am
by Cliff • 344 Posts
Awesome post (again)!
I listened to the Gambale vid, and I lost interest pretty quickly. My foot was tapping and I agree it's funky, but it just didn't do it for me. I found the Coltrane more appealing (but is that really jazz fusion?) If I'm not mistaken, that's a version of A Few Of My Favourite Things? A friend of mine more educated than myself played me a version of that many years ago, and I think that's why hearing this one resonated with me more.
It sort of reminds me of modern art (painting), or at least some aspects of it. Some of it I like, some of it I've tried to like, and tried to understand to help me like it, but much of it doesn't get me on that gut level you describe. Literature, for me, is a different matter, though. I've expanded my literary tastes over time, and now appreciate things I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have done a few years ago. I firmly believe that some things require a refining of the palette before they can be appreciated. Does this apply to music too, or is it always 'from the gut'? I dunno.
RE: Getting started with learning jazz fusion ?in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:26 am
by dlraben • 278 Posts
John, thanks, great post. To give you perspective to what follows, I'm 35 years old and was introduced to guitar at the age of 14 by my older brother who was trying to learn but quite after 6 months. I got his acoustic, and two of his tab books: Eric Clapton's unplugged and Metallica's Unjustice for All/Metallica combo. So naturally I started there. I've probably played Signe and Fade to Black over 1,000 times each. The two sounds that I really grabbed on my own though were SRV's Rude Mood & Little Wing and the live jams of Phish (Reba 12/30/95 and Harry Hood 12/31/95 are RIDICULOUS!). Quite a range of genres there.
Over time, I've found that there isn't one genre that really gives me the reaction you describe. In fact, I think it was only recently that it occurred to me that the genre is not important to me at all, but rather it's the tone of the electric guitar itself. So the list of guys in the second part of your post includes guys I've LOVE and guys I never really gravitated towards. I mean I agree that Beck and McLaughlin are SICK (not every song, but no one likes EVERY song by an artist)! I really dig some of Gambale's stuff too (even bought an FG1 specifically for that neck pick-up of his). Holdsworth has been tough for me and I think it's because he (self-admittedly) tries so hard to change the tone of his guitar to sound non-guitar like. (Recommend an album where he doesn't do that and I'm all in.)
I think that's why this website stuck with me for more than a few reads. I watched some of Pebber's live sets and was like, finally, a sick jazz player that DOESN'T totally hide the tone I love about the electric guitar. So I kept watching, and then I hit his lesson videos and got hooked by the work ethic he promotes. I've been following his daily syllabus for about 20 months now and have subscribed for the last 8. Have I learned much jazz? No, not really, though I really dig playing Scatterbrain. So yeah, maybe you're advice is the way to go ... don't force it and just follow your ears as they change over time.
RE: Getting started with learning jazz fusion ?in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:48 pm
by John567 • 156 Posts
"... even bought an FG1 specifically for that neck pick-up of his"
Dude, I'm envious. I've been looking at that model and the HH2 for the last little while. Do you think you could post a vid or two showing us the FG1? Maybe a little review... :D ? I'd like to hear what it's like clean. The Carvin stuff is looking better and better.
On another note, I've been quite obsessive about what I listen to. I think that may be a side effect for practicing stuff for a long time. The more I practice the more I can't listen to certain things. I find the radio unbearable. I keep gravitating towards improvisational stuff. So, this means mostly jazz or jazz-like music. So, again... I think that there are consequences that may arise when you start putting more and more time into it.
If not a video at least a pic! :D
RE: Getting started with learning jazz fusion ?in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:30 am
by dlraben • 278 Posts
"Dude, I'm envious. I've been looking at that model and the HH2 for the last little while. Do you think you could post a vid or two showing us the FG1? Maybe a little review... :D ? I'd like to hear what it's like clean. The Carvin stuff is looking better and better."
Not sure the audio quality is going to be picked up all that well, but sure. I'll focus on cleans. Give me a bit of time though as it's spring break here in Florida and my kids aren't as keen on Dad's music as Dad is. In the meantime, here are a couple pictures I posted on the Carvin boards.
PS, I found a used HH2 and played with it for like 6 months. It had sick cleans but I couldn't get it to do much more than that. I ultimately sold it and a strat to get the FG1.
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9880_g2_1.jpg - Bild entfernt (keine Rechte)
RE: Getting started with learning jazz fusion ?in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu May 30, 2013 12:10 pm
by pebberbrown • 901 Posts
So many genres and shades of different colors of jazz fusion - and yet people look at black and white and solidly make up their minds that those 2 colors are not to their liking. A lot of people dont like jazz fusion because they have only very basic listening skills and can only handle simple major and minor tonalities even if that and they then base their entire opinion which they share with the world on their kindergarten level of understanding.
Myself I found Jazz Fusion back in the 70's and it became the catalyst for my entire career. There was a lot more to it than rock music and it wasnt old sounding like straight ahead jazz - some of the best guitar playing I have ever heard comes from jazz fusion music and those players were all light years beyond the scope of any rock guitarists or jazz guitarists.
Jeff Beck was a bridge and even he now plays Mahavishnu tunes in his live show. But Jazz Fusion music is only a shade away from Progressive Rock music - the distinction is often a blurred line.... So from blues to rock to progressive rock to jazz fusion and then to explore even more with classical and jazz music. That was my progression.
RE: Getting started with learning jazz fusion ?in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:14 pm
by student • 146 Posts
One thing that I have been trying to understand more is when/if the drummer and the guitarist are synched up.
Sometimes it seems they both are doing their own thing and at other times it sounds like they are playing off each other.
Take this video of Lane for example, at 2:05 Felix Sabal Lecco speeds up quite a bit. They to me sound more "synched" than earlier on. There are also plenty of other examples(not in this vid) when I will see a slow/steady beat on the drums and just a fast guitar going on, I ask is the guitarist paying attention to the drums at all or just doing their own thing ? I would never know without asking the musicians themselves. For all I know the guitarist is thinking "every snare beat, gets 17 notes from me".
RE: Getting started with learning jazz fusion ?in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:21 pm
by uderoche (deleted)
They are feeding off of each other. Listening and reacting to what everyone is doing. They are not just off in space playing whatever they want with complete disregard for what the other guys are playing.
RE: Getting started with learning jazz fusion ?in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:38 pm
by Cliff • 344 Posts
On a related note, and also in relation to Pebber's remark about Kindergarten listening skills (which I freely admit applies to me):
A couple of nights ago I caught a segment of Clint Eastwood's Bird movie. I hope you folks have seen it. Anyway, the bit I saw was the same bit that stuck in my mind from when I first saw it: Charlie Parker is stood in line with a bunch of horn players, waiting to jam (with, I think Dizzie Gillespie). He takes his turn, does alright, then all the other musicians stop playing until the drummer throws his high hat on to the floor and everyone laughs.
The thing is, I can't tell if this is because Charlie is playing badly, or the others aren't quite ready for the modern genius that is Charlie's style. Anyone care to enlighten me?