Joe Pass Guitar Chords (Anglais) Broché – 1 février 1987
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Ce cahier me semble un complément nécessaire à la méthode de Mickey Baker pour passer du Swing au Bebop.
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I was pretty happy with the purchase. The book is intended, explicitly, for ear training purposes. It lists major chord groups (maj, min, 7th, etc) and within each group, Joe offers the substitutions that he uses for them. The chords are listed in standard notation and a box diagram, and there are intentionally no chord names listed to associate with them. By getting the different chord sounds and associating them with a shape, one can develop a pretty good ear for commonplace chord substitutions. This is definitely an important skill to have for an aspiring guitarist of any style - and essential for anyone who wants to be a versatile guitarist.
The second section of the book goes through progressions of chords for each sound. These are generally used as turn-arounds, substitutions of multiple chords for a single one, or can be used as whole progressions. Again, there are no chord names listed here.
The last section of this book is an actual list of common jazz progressions, and one blues progression that is apparently common for Joe Pass (and not quite so common in the rest of the guitar community - a good thing in my book). These are only slash chord charts, meaning that all you have is a few measures of slashes and the chord(s) to go in each by name. There are no diagrams or standard notation. Then, Joe goes through substitutions he uses for these common progressions. This section is incredibly useful.
Unfortunately, the last part is also the only drawback of this book that I can see. Because the first two sections do not go over the chords associated with each chord name, this book does not stand alone unless the reader already has knowledge of varieties of chords available for stuff like Amaj7+5, D(b13), etc. That, coupled with the fact that the whole thing is only 24 pages long, is the reason for 4 stars instead of 5.
All in all, this book is highly recommended. It will improve your playing tremendously, and within a short period of time.
Two or the other reviewers say that this book was recommended by someone else (Joe Satriani and their teacher respectively) and seem to base part of their review on that recommendation. I've been playing guitar for 35 years and have had the book for 6 months and can't agree that this is a valuable resource.
The book has two section (not three as another person said): (1) Chord Forms and (2) Chord Passages. The former is 10 pages long and is filled with about 15 chord patterns per page. Those chord patterns are presented in six groups: Major, Seventh, Augmented, Minor, Diminished, Minor Seventh Flat Fifth. It is important to realise that these are only chord shapes (all in C), and are not labeled in any way. Other reviewers have mentioned this as an annoyance. I think this is a fatal flaw in the book. There are a number of shapes with absolutely no indication what kind of chords they are and absolutely no indication how to use them or put them together.
The second half, Chord Passages, has 5 pages of useful material showing how a few of the chord shapes from each category can be used in a passage. This gives some good examples of how to use the chord shapes and how they go together ... but again doesn't indicate what the chords are or what changes they might go over. This IS useful, but only marginally so. The last five pages of this section are filled with "Standard Pattern Chord Substitutions". The first example involves the pattern Dm7 .... Dm7 and gives 12 different chord substitutions. i.e. the first one says that you could instead play Dm7 ... Bb7... Eb9. That is ALL that is in this subsection - there are no chord shapes, no chords even written in standard notation - just the chord name. One reviewer called these slash chords. That is incorrect. A slash chord is a chord with a bass note other than the root on the bottom. What is here is only blank notation with a chord name written over top. Mildy interesting perhaps, but it has absolutely no connection with the first section. The first section had chord shapes without names. The second section has chord names without shapes.
There is a half page of introduction from Joe at the beginning of the book, and another half page before the second section. In the first section Joe says "The purpose of the book is not to identify each chord by name, but to portray their sound in context with the category of being played. These are the chords I commonly use and improvise on when confronted with one of the six categories." Those two sentence are just about the only instructions on how to use the book. If you are really interested in Joe Pass's approach to chords I would suggest giving this book a pass and instead buying his excellent DVD "Joe Pass Solo Jazz Guitar". That DVD presents Joe's approach to chordal playing in his own words and much much better than this underwhelming, thin book from Mel Bay. I think that that DVD really helps to explain Joe's chordal concepts in ways that this book does not. He says something like "some chord books are filled with 10,000 chords, but what they don't tell you is that 9,000 of those are worthless. When you watch Jazz guitarists most are playing the same chord grips." So it is important to know those 'grips' or chord shapes. But in the DVD he most certainly does explain that a chord is a 6th, or 13th, or 9th raised 5th or whatever (unlike this book). He doesn't say, as this book implies in the first section, that it is not necessary to know what kind of chord you are playing other than major or minor etc.
I am sure there are many ways that the information in this book could be useful, but Mel Bay couldn't be bothered to include a few more pages to make it so. I can't recommend this book as it is. Instead buy the DVD previously mentioned, or Ted Greene's chord book, either of Joe Beck's DVDs or even Jimmy Bruno's DVD (surprisingly the Paganini of Jazz guitar is OK at teaching about chords).
My teacher told me to take each chord and try different roots on it. One shape can have several distinct functions. Record each voicing in a modal vamp that ascends chromatically each measure and practice playing a coherent line over it. Use one voicing to play a whole progression, or practice voice leading with many different chords. If you're willing to experiment, everything you really need to know about jazz chords is in this book.
The Seventh chords are G7 (V7 in key of C), the Minor Seventh Flat Five chords are Dm7b5 (iim7b5 in key of C minor) and the Augmented chords are in G (Substitutes for G7) - some of the chords are "flat five" substitutes; only the Major and Minor chords are root C chords. The author assumes that the reader has this required knowledge.
Only chord grids, together with the notes on a treble clef, are provided, but the name of the chord is missing. The reader is expected to name (and label) the chords and use them in the last section of the book - not doing this renders the book's last section useless. The author makes
the point that the names of the chord are not important - its the sound and how they fit into a progression that really counts.
I found one error in the book on page 15 - the entire page is headed "Minor Seventh to Seventh Sounds". In fact the heading is only true for the first two rows (6 chord grids). The third row of chords starts the next section "Seventh Substitutions", which consists of the remaining seven chords (3 rows of grids) on page 15, together with 4 chords (2 rows of grids) at the start of page 16.
These are the chords that Joe Pass used - they are accurately transcribed - there are no extreme stretches and the grips are comfortable and very usable.
Joe Pass had a way at looking at chords-they were either Major, Minor, or Dominant 7ths. There are a few "in-betweens" but those are the main divisions. Learn this concept, then get this book. Study ALL the chords. TRY ALL OF THEM OUT. Listen to a lot of jazz. Practice the chord charts towards the back of this book and BINGO!
I like the approach of this book. Very straight ahead. No fluff AT ALL! Just, "Here's a bunch of jazz chords. Play them." That's how you learn-by playing jazz, not reading about it. Play jazz with friends. Accept constructive criticism and you will be well on your way to having an astounding chord vocabulary that will have only cost you $7...