Archive for the 'Instruction material' Category

“Early Jazz and Swing Songs for Guitar”

September 10, 2007

Nicolai Foss

David Hamburger has put together this nice and inexpensive little collection of highly playable classical songs (with lyrics), mostly written prior to the Swing Era. The book includes St. James Infirmary, T’Ain’t Nobody’s Business if I Do, St.Louis Blues, Royal Garden Blues, Ballin’ the Jack (unknown to me but a funny piece), I Ain’t Got Nobody, Hindustan (a very pretty simple melody), Avalon, Poor Butterfly, After You’ve Gone, Rose Room (the prettiest melody of them all), Look for the Silver Lining, Indiana (I realized I had gotten Indiana wrong — arrrrrghh!), Limehouse Blues, and the seldomly played Till the Clouds Roll By. The songs are in both notation and tabs.

If you are into the Hot Club repetoire, and early jazz in general, this collection is indispensable. However, more modernist players should also benefit (after all, Joe Pass and Herb Ellis did Look for the Silver Lining, Barney Kessel has done Indiana and Poor Butterfly, Kenny Burrell did St. Louis Blues, etc.).

More Listmania: Instruction Books

June 1, 2007

Nicolai Foss

I think the best general approach to guitar books is this: Buy anything that Wolf Marshall has written. But of course there are other worthy writers of instruction books. Trouble is there are simply so many good books out there. To help prospective buyers, here are some Amazon lists that may come handy:

Here is Jazz Guitar Adv Instruction.

So You’d Like to … Play Jazz Guitar.

And here is a list of Jazz Guitar DVDs (not strictly instruction material though).

Licks Books

April 15, 2007

Nicolai Foss

I am usually no great fan of licks books. Too often, the licks are presented without discussing how they fit harmonically, what is their proper role in a solo statement, etc. The licks are often tired, and seem to represent the author’s limited imagination rather than the real licks of the jazz greats. Licks books are seldom serious alternatives to transcriptions of solos. However, I just came across Wolf Marshall’s 101 Must Know Jazz Licks which is an exception to the rule. In general, Marshall does extremely solid work in the transcription department (I will later discuss his transcriptions of Christian, Benson, Green, etc.). Many of the licks are lifted from greats such as Christian and Parker (you will surely recognize a number of them). I found them all very useful. Moreover, what really adds to the value is that the collection is organized historically, so we begin with swing, progress to bebop, hardbop, etc. Very strongly recommended!