How to approach reading a jazz chart?

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:14 pm
by Blayze • 32 Posts

So I have been playing a lot of jazz lately for the college I am attending. I have never had any jazz guitarists to teach me or learn from. I can read the charts and I know all my 7ths, m7ths, major 7ths, and ect. I do not know all the 11th and #11 shapes and ect. How would I approach finding those shapes? Also, I do not know how to find the 'best' way to play a chart, I just find the position of the chord I know, which often requires alot of fretboard jumping. I also find that in fast bebop charts, it is difficult if not impossible to get to all the chords. Some of them seem like they are just 'passing chords' so to speak...how do you approach those? Thanks guys!!!


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RE: How to approach reading a jazz chart?

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:23 pm
by jimiclaptoncarl • 117 Posts

I'm still learning the chords myself, one thing I like doing, is mapping out the chord tones and then just experiment with different voicings. I think that is a great way to learn chords, because if you do it yourself you don't forget it.

I cannot help you on the best way to play a chart though... I would think that you would play a voicing that is closest to the chord you just played though?.. but I dunno...

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RE: How to approach reading a jazz chart?

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:53 pm
by uderoche (deleted)

If you're on a gig and you have to sight read these charts, you might be screwed for now

But when I was in school, if I had to learn some fast bebop piece as you described, and this was pre-internet byt the way, I would sit down with Ted Greene's book Chord Chemistry which, if you don't have it, you should run out and buy tomorrow.

Anyway, I'd sit down with that book and try and learn different voicings so I didn't have to jump around all the time as you said. Having said that, each voicing has a different sound and it may not fit so, some experimentation on your part is necessary.

My objective, when faced with a fast bop tune like you said, was to find voicings that where close enough so I didn't have to jump around all the time. But, as I said, you may have to jump a little depending on the tune because each voicing sounds different and you want to stay true to the tune.

But, you may not want to stay true to the tune so then, sky's the limit. If you're in music school you should be having a weekly lesson and your teacher should be able to help you navigate these charts.


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