Which Jazz theory practice book to start with?

When Looking for jazz improvisation literature people will walk into a sheet music department and sometimes be astounded at the prices of the theory and practice books. A concise quality book that contains all of the essential information and is well written and easy to follow can start anywhere from $30 to $150 plus for the Lydian Chromatic Concept!

So I have whittled it down to 3 books. [I am sure there are some other very well written books out there that is not on my list] but any of these three books will hold you in good stead when you are starting out.

The first 2 books are “Inexpensive” and contain a mountain of material.

 

BOOK 1: JAZZ SOLOS BY LES WISE. THIS BOOK IS IDEAL FOR GUITARISTS BECAUSE IT HAS TABLATURE

JAZZ SOLOS BY LES WISE

BOOK 2: JAZZOLOGY BY ROBERT RAWLINGS AND NOR EDDINE BAHHA

JAZZOLOGY BY ROBERT RAWLINGS AND NOR EDDINE BAHHA

BOOK3: A BIT MORE EXPENSIVE BUT IT IS A COMPLETE ENCYCLOPEDIA BY MARK LEVINE CALLED “THE JAZZ THEORY BOOK”

MARK LEVINE  "THE JAZZ THEORY BOOK"

As I state in the video you can get these books secondhand on Amazon [CLICK LOGO/LINK BELOW] even cheaper or you can try your local library. But, I would suggest owning a copy of one of them in order to pencil in your own thoughts, directions and favourite exercises etc.

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John Mclaughlin Paco de Lucia Al Di Meola GUITAR TRIO CONCEPT

FAST ALTERNATE PICKING PLECTRUM GUITAR LINES LESSON:

Performing in the style of the Guitar Trio with the plectrum requires strict ALTERNATE PICKING for the solo lines that are picked at a very high velocity. You need to be able to “Jump” straight into the rhythmic flow.

BELOW ARE SOME CONCEPTS/IDEAS TO BE WORKING ON:

Line 1-“16ths” Alternate Picking starting on a “Down” stroke

Guitar Trio Paco de lucia John Mclaughlin Al di Meola

Line 2- Extended version of the previous line above, again starting on a “Down” stroke

Guitar Trio Paco de lucia John Mclaughlin Al di Meola alternate picking lesson

More Alternate Picking guitar video lessons:

The key to all of this is to "Count Time/Groupings"and "Tap your foot" as you do so. If you count time you will play what you hear. It is the key to performing this guitar trio music.

TRIPLETS:

Line 3-Groups of “4” with strict Alternate Picking but this time starting with an “Upstroke” creating a “Rolling” effect as the plectrum glides across the strings.

Guitar Trio Paco de lucia John Mclaughlin Al di Meola alternate picking guitar lesson

Groups of 6 VARIATIONS:

Line 4-This is a “Variation” of our very first pattern but this time played in “Sextuplets” starting on a “Down” stroke.

6s 1

Line 5-This line can be heard as Triplets or Sextuplets. This time though we are starting on an “Upstroke”. Again, because we are starting our alternate picking on an up stroke there is a fluid rolling effect as we cross the strings.

Guitar Trio Paco de lucia John Mclaughlin Al di Meola

Line 6-This is a key signature line of Pace de Lucia and Al di Meola. It is an ascending G major scale in double timed triplets [or Sextuplets]. We are starting our picking on an “Upstroke”and ascending passionately up the scale, The better the rhythm of the alternate picking the more clean and powerful this little lick becomes.

Guitar Trio Paco de lucia John Mclaughlin Al di Meola alternate picking

Line 7-Here is another variation of the 16th note line. This time we start “Upstroke and roll the line along with tight rhythmical alternate picking. The key as always is to count good time when picking and tap your foot for precision.

Guitar Trio Paco de lucia John Mclaughlin Al di Meola alternate picking guitar lesson

Line 8-“Spanish” descending 2 string line. Really it is an ascending “Down” stroke alternate picking pattern followed by an ascending “Up” stroke rolling alternate picking pattern. If you treat it like that then it is easy to play and learn.

Spanish

For a closer look there is a complete transcription of “Friday Night in San Franscisco” Book available AMAZON

Guitar Trio Paco de lucia John Mclaughlin Al di Meola alternate picking guitar lesson with tab, video and music notation

Alternate Picking John Mclaughlin style guitar lesson in 4/4

QUICK ALTERNATE PICKING LICK LESSON.

Simple pattern and repeated fingering in the style of “Belo Herozonte” and “Music spoken here” by John Mclaughlin. Like the 3/4 pattern in our last alternate picking lesson this borrows the same fingering but it is in 4/4.

 

TAB/MUSIC

alternate picking guitar exercise john mclaughlin secret fingering

Click below for free alternate picking ebook

Alternate picking but up

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John Mclaughlin Jazz Fusion Line Breakdown

There are two parts to this. The second lesson is a variation. The dominant chord in this 2 5 1 is altered.

This creates a nice way to create flow with the fingering when alternate picking in the style of John Mclaughlin. As you play through the Notation/Tab [below] this will become apparent very quickly.

 

John Mclaughlin guitar lesson finishing with a D flat Triad for G7 alt

 

John Mclaughlin Jazz Improvisation guitar lesson jazzimproviser

LINE BREAKDOWN: Breaking down the line into 4 note cells [Tetrachords]

TETRACHORD 1

jazzimproviser

TETRACHORD 2

this is the way I do it

TETRACHORD 3

this is the way I do it

TETRACHORD 4

This is the way I do it

TETRACHORD 5

Mclaughlin this is the way I do it

TETRACHORD 6

This is the way I do it

TETRACHORD 7

This is the way I do it John Mclaughlin

TETRACHORD 8

This is the way I do it

VARIATION of the John Mclaughlin jazz fusion improvisation guitar lesson finishing with an E flat Triad for the G7 alt

John Mclaughlin Jazz Improvisation guitar lesson. Altered scales

For more info John Mclaughlin has a DVD:

John Mclaughlin This is the way I do it

Alternate Picking right hand guitar technique lessons

In this Lesson we will look at alternate picking right hand guitar technique and the fingering needed for jazz fusion improvisation.

John Mclaughlin Alternate Picking Belo Herozonte/ Music Spoken Here Guitar lick:

alternate picking john mclaughlin lesson belo herozonte

Al di Meola Alternate Picking “Guitar Trio style” Lick

al di meola alternate picking guitar lesson

 

John Mclaughlin 3 string alternate picking guitar right hand wrist exercise.

Jazz improvisation John Mclaughlin guitar lick lesson how to

“Shakti” John Mclaughlin alternate picking “2 finger” fingering scalic ascending lick

Shakti Jazz fusion john mclaughlin alternate picking guitar lick

GUITAR TRIO CONCEPTS: ALTERNATE PICKING LINES

TRIO EXERCISES:

Performing in the style of the Guitar Trio with the plectrum requires strict ALTERNATE PICKING for the solo lines that are picked at a very high velocity. You need to be able to “Jump” straight into the rhythmic flow. The patterns below detail the best key alternate picking patterns to gain mastery for this.

The key to all of this is to “Count Time/Groupings”and “Tap your foot” as you do so. If you count time you will play what you hear. It is the key to performing this guitar trio music.

Line 1-“16ths” Alternate Picking starting on a “Down” stroke

Guitar Trio Paco de lucia John Mclaughlin Al di Meola

Line 2- Extended version of the previous line above, again starting on a “Down” stroke

Guitar Trio Paco de lucia John Mclaughlin Al di Meola alternate picking lesson

Line 3-Groups of “4” with strict Alternate Picking but this time starting with an “Upstroke” creating a “Rolling” effect as the plectrum glides across the strings.

Guitar Trio Paco de lucia John Mclaughlin Al di Meola alternate picking guitar lesson

Groups of 6 VARIATIONS:

Line 4-This is a “Variation” of our very first pattern but this time played in “Sextuplets” starting on a “Down” stroke.

6s 1

Line 5-This line can be heard as Triplets or Sextuplets. This time though we are starting on an “Upstroke”. Again, because we are starting our alternate picking on an up stroke there is a fluid rolling effect as we cross the strings.

Guitar Trio Paco de lucia John Mclaughlin Al di Meola

Line 6-This is a key signature line of Pace de Lucia and Al di Meola. It is an ascending G major scale in double timed triplets [or Sextuplets]. We are starting our picking on an “Upstroke”and ascending passionately up the scale, The better the rhythm of the alternate picking the more clean and powerful this little lick becomes.

Guitar Trio Paco de lucia John Mclaughlin Al di Meola alternate picking

Line 7-Here is another variation of the 16th note line. This time we start “Upstroke and roll the line along with tight rhythmical alternate picking. The key as always is to count good time when picking and tap your foot for precision.

Guitar Trio Paco de lucia John Mclaughlin Al di Meola alternate picking guitar lesson

Line 8-“Spanish” descending 2 string line. Really it is an ascending “Down” stroke alternate picking pattern followed by an ascending “Up” stroke rolling alternate picking pattern. If you treat it like that then it is easy to play and learn.

Spanish

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For a closer look there is a complete transcription of “Friday Night in San Franscisco” Book available AMAZON

Guitar Trio Paco de lucia John Mclaughlin Al di Meola alternate picking guitar lesson with tab, video and music notation

John Mclaughlin Acoustic Jazz Alt Dom Lick

John Mclaughlin Altered Dominant Line. Break each group into 4 note cells [Tetrachords] and learn 1 group of 4 notes at a time with the fingering and then join it all together.

6 2 “5- ALTERED” 1 

Jazz improvising altered scale alt dom lick lesson How to

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Don Mock/Brecker “Outside” Chromatics for Jazz/Fusion Guitar lines

Outside playing using approach notes/target tones.

Below is a Jazzy Bebop sounding line from Don Mock. It also has that Brecker chromatic feel to it where it can easily be pushed in to a more fusion-esque line. Here we are targeting  arpeggio and scale tones

Don Mock Jazz Improvisation guitar lesson

If we look a little closer we can see all of the Target tones/Approach notes setting the line up

Don Mock Jazz Improvisation guitar lesson target tones

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