Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mel Bay's Complete Book of Jazz Guitar Lines & Phrases by Sid Jacobs

This is a deep treatise that explores the topic of creating modern jazz guitar lines.

The book starts out harmlessly enough with a discussion by Jacobs regarding chord tones, half-step approaches, surround notes and simple chromaticsm. He follows this up with several chapters on jazz idioms where he illustrates various lines over ii-V progressions and V-I resolutions. He then explores bebop style phrases and maj7th lines as well as common jazz phrases.

He is very thoughtful in illustrating everything in the key of C, so that approach notes and other chromatic devices are immediately apparent.

If Jacobs had concluded the book here, it would already have been worth several times the price of admission.

Diving headlong into deeper territory he explores chromatic lines built from 4th intervals, and pentatonic scales and their relationship to 4ths. He then delves into several chapters on combining pentatonics and superimposing them over various harmonies to create 'inside and outside' sounds. The augmented, diminished and whole-tone symmetrical scales and their lines and harmonies are also given an in-depth look.

Sid Jacobs is a particularly underrated player in my opinion, given his sheer genius on the guitar. As an educator at the Musician's Institute (MI) in Los Angeles, even his MI colleague, renowned fusion guitarist Scott Henderson has copped a few lessons from Sid. Given his body of work as author of several books, and his career as a live performer, educator and clinician, Sid Jacobs is worthy of far greater recognition.

The complete home study jazz guitar course

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