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Swing and Big Band Guitar [With CD] Paperback – 1 Jan 1998

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Jan 1998
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  • Swing and Big Band Guitar [With CD]
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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation; 2nd edition (1 Jan. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0793573815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0793573813
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 0.7 x 30.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 334,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Jazz rhythm guitar for swing and big band styles. Teaches the essentials of swing and big band styles including chord voicings, inversions, substitutions, time and groove.


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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

When I first knew that I going to join a Big Band, I started practicing lots of those tricky jazz voicings with flatted this, sharpened that, augmented 7th add #11 whatever...

When I sat in with the band and I saw some of the charts with the changes racing along 2 to a bar at crotchet speed 120 I realised it wasn't going to work. After having spent a fortune on various books I came across this one.

Not only does it teach you in a clearly laid out way all the voicings (about 15) you need for 90% of your big band work, it teaches you how to manage those nasty extensions and says basically ignore them or replace them with a simpler chord. If that principle was good enough for Count Basie then it is good enough for your Big Band.

One possible criticism that could be made is that the book is pure swing big band. The voicings given aren't going to necessarily work for quartets, trios or when you need a bit of bossa nova. Ultimately though, the book delivers precisely what it sets out to. There's some good exercises throughout the book to ensure that the principles become instinctive.

From my experience with a number of similarly titled books - this is the best.
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Quite simply one of the best jazz guitar books ever produced and for jazz rhythm its the best by a country mile.
If you want to learn about jazz rhythm guitar a la Freddy Green there is magic in these pages

The layout is superb. Should be a model for all modern guitar books.
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To add my 10 pence worth - I fully agree with the other reviews here. If you are new to big band guitar, this book is absolutely THE required text. Other books will not get you half as far, and in some cases, just add confusion or misdirection to the learning jazz rhythm guitarist. How on earth did people pick up this style of guitar before 1998?!!

Charlton Johnson tells you everything you will really ever need to know to get performing big band jazz to a high standard, and it is all set out in a logical and inspiring framework, mixing the essential principles and practice routines to get them embedded, allowing you to get playing from the outset (enough to busk your way through most standards) and then taking the learner onto the next steps of creative chord reduction and expansion to reach a smooth and interesting comping style that has both consistency and variety. My own background was as an experienced (Grade 8) blues/rock/indie player, and yet even as such, my entry into the jazz rhythm style looked intimidating, and its very easy to head off down the wrong path in trying to interpret the complex looking charts of a big band. But its not as hard as it looks if you know and adopt the right basic principles. And being able to play this stuff can only increase all round musicianship - certainly my blues rhythm playing has come on in spades too as a result of an enhanced chord understanding and toolkit.

Buy it, woodshed it, never look back.
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This is a very comprehensive piece of work! Well laid out, practical theory is simply explained. I find some music books makes me feel like I am beating my head until it sinks in but the format of this is easily absorbed. Set up a loop of the tracks provided and hone your rhythmic skills! Well worth the asking price, highly recommended
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