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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #1 
Hey Everybody!

I really want to become a performing solo jazz guitarist, but I'm having my worries about becoming one..
So here are my questions:

What are some important things to practice and know? (Like walking bass lines, ted greene sheets etc)

How do you get gigs as a solo jazz guitarist? (I'm still going to attend jam sessions, and play "normal" gigs)

and how do you built up courage to make the complete switch to solo guitarist?

Regards, Frederik Max

Posts: 38
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Frederik

I'm on the same track as you are. So I'm really excited what the others will answer to your questions.

Here is what I do now:
There is a great video by Steve Herberman explaining his approach to Solo-Guitar. Check it out now, there is a 20% discount

I watched the video, learned the arrangement and then put together my own arrangement stealing lots of his ideas. Afterwards I transposed it through the cycle of 5ths. Because of "fretboard-limitations" you have to come up with different solutions for the same phrases and so you collect some "chord-melody-licks".
Joe Pass said in one of his videos, that he plays everything from the top of his head, because if he's in the middle of a song and just forgot the next chord... he would be in trouble. So I think it is the best idea to put an arrangement together and then work out at least one other possible solution for each phrase/bar. And then try to "improvise" by putting your solutions together randomly. This and the twelve key work takes a f***ing (sorry) long time (at least in my case), but I think it really needs to be done and the fruits of this work are well worth the effort. Or what do the more experienced guys think?

Another great thing to do is playing duo-gigs with singers or melody-instruments (like sax or trumpet). There you really learn what it takes to hold everything together. And of course you can throw in some solo-guitar pieces to check out if you are able to play them in front of an audience.

I like to add one other question:
Do you need some (or even a lot of) pop-songs in your repertoire, to get more gigs? Like Jake Reichbart does, for instance.

Greets Christoph

Posts: 197
Reply with quote  #3 
Originally Posted by FrederikMax
...and how do you built up courage to make the complete switch to solo guitarist?

Regards, Frederik Max
Lots of practice, probably. [wink] I'd also say you have to have enough solo guitar pieces under your fingers to fill up a couple hours of playing time, so you don't worry about running out of stuff to play!

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