Archives
Search the archives
More about Az
Beats & Bytes

Sunday
Aug102014

What Bryan Baker taught me about transcribing jazz guitar

[The Background]

I attended Berklee College of Music from 2005-2007. During that time, my friends told me about a guitar player who was playing with a very unique approach. About 3 of my friends were taking private lessons with him. This person was Bryan Baker. The story was he attended Los Angeles Music Academy prior to Berklee and studied with Frank Gambale. At Berklee, he was a star guitar player and along with Nir Felder, Ricardo Vogt, Julian Lage and Jake Hertzog were the most influential guitar students I remember from my time there. 

Around this time, he released his first album Aphotic and later on another version of Aphotic (live versions of the same tracks). For an extended period of time, Bryan was constantly on my iPod in rotation and on a playlist on my iTunes. I learned a lot from the lessons with him. Here's one of them.

[The Lesson]

One of the best lessons I learned from Bryan Baker was the difference between normal transcribing and transcribing the essence.

Normal transcribing is transcribing the exact notes, rhythms, phrases, licks, tone, inflections etc and to play it back exactly as close as possible to what the original artist played.

Transcribing the essence is to actually play your own lines but in the style of the artist you're transcribing. This includes playing with the same tone, gear, touch, groove, feel, inflections but not the exact notes. What you're looking for is the general note choice patterns and the rational behind the melodies NOT the exact melodies. 

Being able to transcribe the essence will open up possibilities for you to create your own lines that are inspired by the artist you're transcribing.

This can go hand in hand with normal transcribing, i.e. transcribe the exact phrases but then derive the concepts behind it and play your own lines afterwards. The lines afterwards represent your work of transcribing the essence.

In my lesson with Bryan, he played a John Scofield inspired phrase with the bridge pickup of his Strat and wide intervals like what Sco would. This was his example for transcribing the essence. 

This concept is a huge part of how I learn and how I digest large chunks of musical information. Hope this helps you too.

Az Samad - July 29 2014 (Edited August 11 2014)

-----

If you like this blog post, please sign-up for my mailing list to be informed of future videos & more! You'll also receive a free EP! Thank you! =)

Saturday
May102014

Free Jazz Guitar Lesson Videos

Hi there jazzers!

I've been recording new video lessons featuring in-depth explanations of hip jazz guitar licks. Watch the first three videos here. Enjoy! 


[Download Free PDF: Hip Jazz Guitar Tip #1]


[Download Free PDF: Hip Jazz Guitar Tip #2]

[Download Free PDF: Hip Jazz Guitar Tip #3]

If you like these videos, please sign-up for my mailing list to be informed of future videos & more! You'll also receive a free EP! Thank you! =)

Thursday
May012014

G minor Study #1 (Jazz Guitar Study)

Here's a study based on a phrase I transcribed from Malaysian saxophonist Julian Chan. This is one of the ways I get maximum mileage from a transcribed phrase. I will take the original idea and transposed it to fit the chord starting from different notes.
If you're interested to study more in-depth, click here for the Jazz Guitar Masterclass.

 

Sunday
Feb092014

#azjazzlessons #9: Kurt Rosenwinkel Soloing, Comping and Ensemble Ideas


For jazz guitarists & jazz improvisors:

#azjazzlesson #9 #todayIlearned

So I'm trying to learn something new everyday by documenting what I learned from watching a YouTube video. Today I looked for something from Kurt Rosenwinkel.

Here's what I learned:

Kurt Rosenwinkel Group - Jacky's Place [2006]

Solo Development Ideas (from 2:06 onwards)
1) End long scalar or sequenced phrases with longer notes
2) Create drama by using double time or smaller subdivisions in the later part of a long phrase 
3) Have clear breaks/spaces between phrases
4) Use triplets on long phrases to build tension
5) Continue sequences longer than expected into higher registers
6) Use end fragment of a long phrase as the motive for the next line

Tone 
7) Keep a clear tone even in higher register
8) Use accents to highlight higher notes of phrases and longer note duration

Comping Ideas
9) In a piano & guitar dual comping situation, one should use a constant rhythmic patern and the other instrument play a countermelody or a complementary rhythmic phrase
10) Take turns during comping, cue for lead comping role when there is both piano and guitar 

Ensemble Ideas
11) Use clear breaks for a tight arrangement 
12) Unison tenor and electric guitar lines can be powerful
13) Guitar can play softer chord attacks in between melodic phrases

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD_RDZQowoM

#jazzsolo #improvisation #jazzguitar #guitar#kurtrosenwinkel

 

 

--

If you're interested to learn more in depth, lessons are available worldwide via Skype & in person in Kuala Lumpur.

Register for the 2-month jazz guitar masterclass here:http://www.azsamad.com/jazz


_________

❤ If you liked this post, please Like it or Tweet it! =)

Sunday
Feb092014

#azjazzlessons #8: How to Play Like Jim Hall and Bill Frisell

For jazz guitarists & jazz improvisors:

#azjazzlesson #8 #todayIlearned

So I'm trying to learn something new everyday by documenting what I learned from watching a YouTube video. Today I looked for something from Jim Hall & found this duo video with him and Bill Frisell.

Here's what I learned:

Jim Hall

Soloing Ideas
1) Play a small motive & alternate with chord stabs to give time to sequence the idea
2) Use space to create the opportunity to sequence and develop motivic ideas

Textural ideas
3) Use 4th voicings to make your line sound like it’s going through a harmonizer 

Bill Frisell

Textural Ideas 

4) Build rhythmic single note idea into octave and then double stops 
5) Play a single note line and then end in a dissonant double stop.
6) End phrases on a note and then play two more notes on different strings to sustain into a voicing. 

Phrasing Ideas
7) Use an open string to facilitate position shifts in a phrase

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2CflBl-CNE

#billfrisell #jimhall #jazzsolo #improvisation #jazzguitar#guitar 

--

If you're interested to learn more in depth, lessons are available worldwide via Skype & in person in Kuala Lumpur.

Register for the 2-month jazz guitar masterclass here:http://www.azsamad.com/jazz


_________

❤ If you liked this post, please Like it or Tweet it! =)