Swing and Big Band Guitar [With CD] Paperback – 1 Jan 1998
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent guide to 4-in-the-bar rhythm guitar, this book explains this noble craft from the fundamentals of time and groove through 3-note and 4-note voicings to their... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Charles Alexander