Frequently asked questions

What to do to work on Chord/Melody?

Hi.. I'm glad receiving your email & thanks for your suggestion.
There's no Jazz Club in Bandung, so it's hard to go to Jam sessions with other player. I just practice myself with 'minus-one' & sometimes with my friend, but now my friend is very busy and we seldom meet. There's some people who interested in Jazz here in Bandung but not many jazz players here. Jazz club is only in Jakarta, named 'Jamz Club' and only great players who play there.
So far I learn some licks/lines, II-V-I patterns, turnaround, and practice it in 12 keys, & substitute in songs like All The Things You Are & Autumn Leaves.
Now I learn to play 'Chord-Melody' style and bass moving too. It feels so hard and so far I just play it with my limited skill and hope get progress everyday. Can you tell me what standard jazz song I should learn first that's quite easy to play solo/chord-melody? And any tips in playing chord-melody style?
Besides trying to play what I hear inside, I also use some licks/lines from great players or books because from that I get some ideas/concept in improvising. Would you mind telling me some jazz licks/lines to practice on? I hope someday you have your online guitar lesson in your website.
I'm having said that a jazz guitarist should listen to saxophone players like Charlie Parker, is it important and useful? That's it for now. Thanks for your attention.

Dear ....
Seems like you know what to work on. What is your goal? Do you want to become a professional jazz guitar player? I wonder if it is so hard to find them as Bandung is quite a large city, there must be more musicians around. If so maybe you might consider moving to a place where more players can be found if they are really not around in Bandung. Nothing beats live playing.
Get solo's and chord/melody from cd's. Copy them/transcribe them and learn them note by note by heart. If I would wake you up one day in the middle of the night you should be able to play that solo you worked on straight away by heart exactly as it was on the record. That will eventually be one of the best lessons you can learn.
Nice standards to work on for chord/bass/melody are most simple "song" like standards; My Romance, There will never be another you, I've grown accustomed to your face, My one and only love, Beautiful love etc. etc. But you can also take a pop tune and work on that. Create new chord changes to the mostly simple chord changes of the pop tune. Blackbird or And I love her from the Beatles; or take Eternal flame from the Bangles. Many more to be found everywhere.
Learning licks is a matter of learning to play a copied solo from the record. A good one to start with is Billie's Bounce by George Benson. Not too hard and very nice too!!!.
Parker solo's are always good to work on!!!!!
Remember one thing: it is more about working hard than about talent. Talent helps but you just have to do a lot of work. But hey!!!! als long it is about guitar playing it is great to work hard.
Keep practicing!!!!!
Best whishes,

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