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FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Lessons for an advanced player

Previous 20 Messages  
Tyrone Shuz


I'm all in!
Mar 8th, 2012 12:36 AM   Edit   Profile  

Glenn, your stuff is terrific, as always.

Gene O:

I have some really fine guitars, and I play through Fuchs amps, they are my tone mecca. No OD box, just the amp. On the clean rhythms there's a Carl Martin compressor, but it's subtle. Actually the comp is on the single coil OD tones as well, again very subtle. But the comp is off on the 'bucker tunes like Thrill Is Gone and Let The Good Times Roll.

Guitars are a '64 Strat, a CS Nocaster Relic, and a PRS HB II for the 'bucker tones, should be pretty obvious which is which.

Contributing Member

Suwanee, Ga

Mar 13th, 2012 07:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm doing exactly this- at 53 I got tired of the same 'ole rut & am taking lessons from a jazz monster, so I'll add my $.02.

First, I have nothing but respect for Tyrone & all of the "smart" guys who take, took & give lessons and studied theory. Wish I'd done it 40 years ago.

I can play, and I know how to pull the emotion out of my axes, but I always knew something was missing. Since Steely Dan is my all-time fav band I knew that jazz would get me there, albeit "over shooting" a little.

If Larry Carlton is your main influence you must learn jazz, just as if EC is your main guy you must learn the Blues. And while Blues is the foundation, Jazz takes it to the next level, IMO.

It's not easy at my age to "start over" but after three lessons I'm already seeing some benefits. One thing that really helps- he gives me written (notation & tab- I can't read notation yet, barely can read tab) stuff but also makes YT videos that I can download and practice at home.

After showing me some simple iii/VI/ii/V turnarounds in G he says "now lets use a more useful key, like Bb", I was totally floored!

No R&R/Blues jammer would ever want to play anything in Bb, & yet I'm now as comortable as I'd be in A or E.

To each his own, I'm not qualified to tell anyone what to do but this is working for me.

Gene O.
Contributing Member

Canton, Ohio, USA

Mar 14th, 2012 09:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

Flat keys are used for the benefit of horn players, not guitarists, imo.

Well, I answered an ad on CL for a guy looking to start a jazz duo (two guitars). He has been playing jazz for 25 years and has a degree in jazz studies. I expressed interest in his project, although I may not really be qualified enough for him. I guess I'll find out.

But I think I'll at least inquire about taking a lesson from him. If we click, then at least I will have found a teacher and I can work on some jazz chops. And who knows, once he hears me play, maybe he'll think I'm good enough to play in this duo as his side kick. Then I'd get some good practical application of my lessons.

(This message was last edited by Gene O. at 10:26 AM, Mar 14th, 2012)

Power Trio

West Virginia,

Mar 14th, 2012 10:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

you can play in the b keys but guiarist have the option to just retune a 1/2 step down or up to get there more so to get to open strings imo than anythng esle.

but i guess it c/b a comfort level as well playing in the 5th or 7th is more freindly as opossoed in the 4th or 6th etc.

then you have the so called inbetween keys.

like the Slow Hand record i Find is tuned 1/4 step up. who knows if EC did that intentionally or not

but the tone a 1/4 up gives just enough pop to get that flavor for the open strings
esp with The Core and lay down sally. it just has better pop.

same with a lot of SRV and Jimi tunes they just soudns better a 1/2 down

Gene O.
Contributing Member

Canton, Ohio, USA

Mar 14th, 2012 12:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

True, but mojodelic was referring to what his "monster jazz" teacher. I somehow doubt that he had EC, SRV, or Jimi in mind when talking about the key of Bb.

(This message was last edited by Gene O. at 01:05 PM, Mar 14th, 2012)

Contributing Member

Suwanee, Ga

Mar 14th, 2012 12:56 PM   Edit   Profile  


Funny you should mention SRV, at our first lesson he showed me the Lenny changes, because I was uncomfortable with a chord shape used in that song.

BTW, he can nail any Jimi, SRV, or EC tune he wants to, he just prefers Jazz to R&R.

I think what he meant by Bb being a "more useful key" is that (to your point Gene O), horn players use those keys a lot, and most Standards use horns.

Tyrone Shuz


I'm all in!
Mar 14th, 2012 02:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

"you can play in the b keys but guiarist have the option to just retune a 1/2 step down or up to get there more so to get to open strings imo than anythng esle."

That's fine for the studio, or if the whole set of music is to be played in flat keys. But often, even in jazz, you can go from a tune in Bb or Eb, to one in Am like Black Orpheus, or Em like Autumn Leaves.

People, don't be afraid of the "in-between" keys. Now, if it's a rock tune and the singer wants to play it in a different key, but the main riff is open-string-based, then you do have a problem. Either don't do the tune, or retune a spare guitar for that tune, or use a capo, etc.

But jazz tunes are rarely guitar-centric, and the ones that are, are often in guitar-friendly keys.

The flat keys do favor horns, but we have 12 keys mostly for singers! Ain't no frets on a voice! And singers don't have the same range, not even all tenors, or sopranos have the same range.

Musical shows will change the written key to fit the singer. Often a tune is written in, say, C, but they want a star to play the lead role, and she can't quite hit it in C, so it'll wind up in B (five sharps). Or, it's a real diva, and C might need to be bumped up to C# (seven sharps)!

Even though a lot of jazz tunes are in Bb, Charlie Parker learned all of Lester Young's recorded solos, and could play them in ALL TWELVE KEYS! You could tell him to play any of his jazz tunes, and he could do it in any key.

Obviously, rock tunes made for guitar will suffer if the riff isn't played where it is. I can play "Whole Lotta Love" in Eb, but I either lose the low E, or it's almost an octave higher. Neither is very satisfying, but I can do it.

The point is, don't be afraid of the sharp or flat keys. Unless you're doing an open-string rock or country tune, you should be able to play in any key. And if you ever go to a serious jam w/serious players, lots of times, bad-ass singers come in and say, "Give me (X) Chaka Khan tune in Db", or something. You don't wanna say "Gee, lemme have 2 minutes to retune the guitar--oh wait, it's got a trem, I need five".

Power Trio

West Virginia,

Mar 15th, 2012 07:17 AM   Edit   Profile  

agreed 100%, folks should know the songs fluently in other keys. it will only round you off as a beter player and give you a better rep in the field.



Workin on my chops
May 2nd, 2012 01:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'll add my $.02 since I'm pretty much in the same boat and just started taking lessons again. First off, every good player knows theory, even ones who never took a lesson. They just don't know how to talk about it so others can understand, but they have it internalized. So, you have two options and IMO you're limiting yourself as a musician if you can't talk about what you and the rest of the band is doing.

Second, if you're unwilling to learn new scales and practice different runs and different practice regimens you're better off saving your money and sticking to youtube. You aren't going to be satisfied w/ a teacher because either you won't have the basics down enough to do the advanced stuff and get frustrated, or he'll want to start w/ the beginning stuff and you'll get frustrated.

Lastly, you should never 'need' to retune unless there are specific open note licks. Use the opportunity to use new and different voicings.


Des Moines IA USA

Aug 24th, 2012 11:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

Tyrone: Is there a website where we could hear your playing?

Tyrone Shuz


I'm all in!
Aug 24th, 2012 12:14 PM   Edit   Profile  

It's in my profile, I don't want to get accused of spamming.

You can hear originals, there's a covers demo as well, and there's also a link to Sound Click where I'm just fooling around w/backing tracks supplied by the folks here. Those are really impromptu, no fixes, many are first or second takes.

Contributing Member

NorCal, yo

Watch Your Line
Nov 18th, 2012 05:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

"Anyone out there taking lessons as an advanced player, and what are you getting from them?"

Yeah, so in the first 2 minutes..."Here are a list of things you are doing wrong." and on it goes. So, if you can swallow your ego you realize you have some bad habits, or missing habits, and working on those problem areas is a positive.

On the other hand, my friend who is a 40 yr. jazz pianist says it well.." All these advanced student-players end up sounding the same, after a few minutes you can even name who there teacher is...".

My thinking is it's up to you to spell out what you're looking for and what you're not.

(This message was last edited by FrenchFit at 05:38 PM, Nov 18th, 2012)

Tyrone Shuz


I'm all in!
Nov 25th, 2012 12:45 AM   Edit   Profile  

"On the other hand, my friend who is a 40 yr. jazz pianist says it well.." All these advanced student-players end up sounding the same, after a few minutes you can even name who there teacher is...".

You know, if I got an opportunity to study with George Benson for a few years, and wound up sounding like him, I wouldn't complain.

I encourage my flock to find their own way, I don't teach many licks unless they're transcribing a solo. But if some wind up sounding like me, as opposed to sounding like someone who doesn't or barely know what they're doing, I'd say it's a GOOD thing.

davey f

san diego/ US

Oct 26th, 2014 10:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

I wanted to refresh this thread as I think it is one of the most interesting.
One of the things that I wanted to ask is this....I am confused as to what is the goal here... Is it to try and do endless covers and as a result of the 'advanced' lessons, enable us to do this ( play covers) easier; OR is it to to allow us to use the instrument as an extension of our voice and inner musical ideas. Personally, I am of the camp where I want to be able to do the latter...IOW...to "improvise". Something that seems to be either a) not particularly important to many people or b) it is important BUT more important to be able to re-create exact covers and therefore be 'assumed' to be a great player.
Question therefore becomes, how many teachers on this site ( or for that matter any other) have this philosophy as the ultimate goal...or better still, how many students have this philosophy.
Am I making myself understood here??? Sorry if this comes across in any way wrong...BUT I do feel that perhaps this needs to be clarified.

(This message was last edited by davey f at 12:51 AM, Oct 27th, 2014)

Contributing Member


Too Much GAS
Oct 27th, 2014 09:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

If all you want to do is play covers then disregard the rest of this post.

I have played with some really good players who can kill playing cover tunes. Even complicated ones but, when you put them in a situation where they must come up with a part for an original song, they sound awful. There is a lot more to being a good player than just knowing what the notes are and where the fingers go. Some of that ability is acquired by training, some by experience, some by having talent and a good musical ear, and many times by all of those together. That being said, there is no substitute for technical musical training and by that I mean theory and harmony. If you are blessed with a decent set of musical ears then that training will take you places you most people cannot go without it.

One of the most important things an instructor
can help you with is teaching you how to practice so that you can grow effectively and by giving you the theoretical and technical tools to be able to realize what your problem areas are and then construct methods to correct them on your own.

A lot of guitarists view music theory as a dirty word or being overwhelmed by the thought of going through the process of learning it. Having a good grasp on basic music theory is not that complicated. Children can do it so how hard can it be? It does require some study and THAT is what a lot of guitarists don't want to tackle. To me, theory and harmony are something that needs to be taught. Learning it by yourself is going to discourage most people because it will take you longer and you will, very likely, lose interest.

I am from the camp where I like to write and record original music. I'm not really interested in playing covers anymore like I once was. I consider my little recording studio my musical laboratory. I like mixing different ingredients together to see what comes out at the end.

davey f

san diego/ US

Oct 27th, 2014 09:59 AM   Edit   Profile  

ninworks, while I would agree with you that a 'basic' understanding of theory is "somewhat" important, I also suspect that to be "immersed" in theory is NOT that useful.
IMHO, the question becomes, perhaps more so for the advanced player, as to where the "technical" training needs to end.
I was talking to a local high school sax player recently, this kid had taken formal lessons for more than seven(7) years....the result...the kid was so burned out that as soon as he was able, he was quitting the band and never playing again!
Something to think about with the way music is currently taught...or maybe not!

(This message was last edited by davey f at 12:00 PM, Oct 27th, 2014)

Contributing Member


Too Much GAS
Oct 27th, 2014 07:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

"ninworks, while I would agree with you that a 'basic' understanding of theory is "somewhat" important, I also suspect that to be "immersed" in theory is NOT that useful."

Being "immersed" in theory, in and of itself, is NOT useful. I don't really do theoretical studies anymore but, occasionally, I'll see a reference to something that I'm not familiar with and I will investigate it because I'm curious. If I didn't have enough training to be able to understand what is going on then I would never know about anything new, like that, which could broaden my horizons.

The paramount issue in all music boils down to having it sound good. PERIOD! Whatever it takes for one to accomplish that is what has to be done. I myself play, probably, 98% by ear and the training handles the rest. A very fortunate attribute to knowing theory is being able to communicate with other musicians so they can help bring the music to life.

"the kid was so burned out that as soon as he was able, he was quitting the band and never playing again! Something to think about with the way music is currently taught...or maybe not!"

That all comes down to the individual student. If the kid wanted to do it badly enough he would still be playing. Agreed that his instructor may have been a drill sergeant and he may not have responded to whatever method the teacher used. Sounds like there was parental intervention involved to me. There are as many ways to teach music as there are people to do it. The trick is to find a teacher who keeps you interested in learning. If a particular one can't do it for you then find another that will.

davey f

san diego/ US

Oct 28th, 2014 12:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

ninworks, you have some very good points there. I think that the teacher that the kid had was not good. Unfortunately, I have seen many of the teachers in high school and junior high schools being far more interested in the ' competition' aspect of the "battle of the bands' scenario, than having the kids learn and appreciate music. As I know the history of this kid, I am saddened to say that the situation boils down to how this teacher and his prior teacher forced the 'competition' aspect onto the students and this kid. I have unfortunately seen this scenario in many school bands....IMO a shameful situation! As you so eloquently stated.." The paramount issue in all music boils down to having it sound good.PERIOD!" I couldn't agree more.

(This message was last edited by davey f at 02:35 AM, Oct 28th, 2014)


Willoughby, OH , USA

I'm arrogant and a moron
Oct 29th, 2014 02:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

As a former teacher, I found that many students only want the "fish." The reward comes when one of them says, 'hey! How did you catch this fish?" my first teacher only taught me songs out of the instruction book. I took a few years off and when I went back to him, he started teaching me chords and scales and arpeggios, but not how to use them. A later teacher was also big on learning to play scales all over the finger board. Then I found a guy who showed me how to use the stuff. We basically "jammed" during my lesson with him stopping to show me what scale to use and why. I think today I mostly use what the last guy taught me combined with letting my hands go where they will, as by now they seem to know better than I do.
One last thing is that we all develop sloppy habits that hinder our playing. A good teacher will spot these and help you to correct them.

Contributing Member

Seattle, Wa

Nov 2nd, 2014 12:23 AM   Edit   Profile  

Hang out with musicians that are better than you and ask a bunch of questions.

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FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Lessons for an advanced player

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