Homework 1: First Jazz effort

If Wes Montgomery were a Chinese boy just starting out on the guitar and told to play something over GM7 | Em7 | Am7 | D7 when someone said ‘on your marks, get set GO!‘ then it would have sounded something like this.

Commentary:

  1. This is intentionally one single take with no correcting and overdubbing so I can home in on the horror of my playing under the harsh light that a live audience might – there will be no room for error when I finally get on stage. So, yes, I know it sucks, but that’s part of the point.
  2. Backing track created with my Yamaha QY70 sequencer (God, I love that thing).
  3. Recorded with my Boss Micro BR (God, I love that thing also).
  4. Timing sucks very badly at the beginning (God). Rhythm is a major weak point for me.
  5. I’ve deliberately tried to ‘make it swing’. Not sure how successful I’ve been…
  6. Progression is I vi ii V in G major, so GM7 | Em7 | Am7 | D7
  7. Didn’t do too badly at landing on the right chord tones for the most part.
  8. Playing is almost entirely diatonic with only a couple of Jazzy chromatic grace notes.
  9. Only a couple of truly horrendous fuckups. See if you can spot them.
  10. No distortion pedals were harmed in the making of this track.
  11. If you can bear it, I loosen up towards the end (2 mins+) and ‘just play’ and I think there are better results here than at the beginning when I’m thinking too academically about chords and scales and stuff rather than just letting the music come out.

Ok – so overall it’s not *too* nasty. No doubt in 5 years I’ll be thinking ‘Jesus H. Christ that was appalling’ but for now, I’m reasonably happy that my efforts in my bedroom with my magazines (guitar magazines) have at least given me a grasp of the rudiments of playing over changes. 

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2 Responses to “Homework 1: First Jazz effort”

  1. It def opened up near the 2 min mark…you’re right.

    But it DOES NOT sound like a Chinese boy starting out on guitar.

    It sounds like a UK born Chinese boy starting out on guitar.

    Kidding.

    It was really pretty good. I wldn’t be able to conjure up something like that in 1 lesson…

  2. Didn’t Eric Clapton say something like, “If you commit a truly horrendous fuckup, repeat it a couple of times so your audience thinks it’s part of the act”? Anyway in my humble opinion, it sounds like the only thing missing is a few thousand hours of practice. You don’t seem to be short of good ideas, and you DO make it swing, so keep it up.

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