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sk3erkrou
01-23-2012, 04:34 AM
OK, so here is my situation. My MC plays jazz guitar but is going to start playing rock as well. Is a guitar set up differently for jazz than it is for rock? Are there any hardware changes that would need to occur? Also, I know that there is a difference between a jazz drum kit and a rock drum kit, but I can't remember what it is for the life of me. Can anyone help me fill in that blank?
Thanks in advance.

Xelebes
01-23-2012, 06:13 AM
The beauty about rock or jazz is that both can be played acoustic. So he might start there. A metal or punk guitarist will usually have some pedals in between their guitar and their amp. Jazz guitarist might too, depending on his style. A lot of jazz guitarists like playing clean (no pedals and no overdrive or distortion on the amp.) They might tweak the EQ knobs on the amp, but that will be according to song, environment or genre. The guitar's knobs may be tweaked for style, song, environment or genre. Jazz guitarists often like to sit down, where as rock guitarists like to stand. This is because of role - guitar is usually part of an ensemble in a jazz band while the guitar is often a lead in a rock band.

The Grift
01-23-2012, 08:58 PM
The kind of rock makes a big difference. So what is it? Classic blues-rock, metal, pop, thrash, emo, etc etc? There are TONS of subgenres, and every one of them is played in a specific style that requires specific equipment.

Everything I'm going to say comes with the caveat that these are generalizations and not every player adheres to them.

The first thing is the guitar itself. Where the vast majority of jazz guitarists use a hollow-body archtop electric guitar, most rock guitar players use (or start) on a solid body. The specific kind of solid-body often depends on the style of rock being played. A rock-blues guitarist will probably use a Fender Stratocaster or similar style, whereas a metal guitarist might use a an Ibanez guitar built for shredding, or a thrash guitarist might use one of the 7-string models to really get that bass crunch.

Depending on the kind of rock, he may use a lighter gauge string. Most jazz players use very heavy strings, many rock styles call for lighter strings to allow for big bends and fast runs. Along with lighter strings, he may decide to use lighter picks as well.

He will definitely be getting effects: distortion, overdrive, flange, chorus, wah pedals, and a variety of others depending on what specific style he is playing.

Give me a few bands in the genre he will be playing and I can provide you with a much better list of new equipment he will need, or how he can adapt his existing jazz equipment to both. But, whatever style of rock he plays, he will probably maintain a jazz base. For instance, instead of stringing with .009's, he might move down from .014 or .13 to .11 or .10. Instead of going from this

http://images.miretail.com/products/optionLarge/GibsonCustom/DV016_Jpg_Large_517483.015_sunburst_R.jpg

to this

http://imagethumbnails.milo.com/004/163/492/trimmed/4163516_2658492_trimmed.jpg

He might find a middle ground... like this...

http://www.prsguitars.com/22semihollowltd/img/front.jpg

Again, it all depends on the type of rock and the reason he's switching. Rockabilly guitarists often prefer big archtop style jazz guitars (think Brian Setzer). Trey Anastasio of Phish had his luthier custom design a semi-hollow guitar so he could play rock (and every other genre) while maintaining his jazz influence. What's the subgenre of rock, and what's his goal?

benbradley
01-23-2012, 10:32 PM
OK, so here is my situation. My MC plays jazz guitar but is going to start playing rock as well. Is a guitar set up differently for jazz than it is for rock? Are there any hardware changes that would need to occur? Also, I know that there is a difference between a jazz drum kit and a rock drum kit, but I can't remember what it is for the life of me. Can anyone help me fill in that blank?
Thanks in advance.
This article on the first guitar The Grift shows may be helpful:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibson_ES-335
That's the most popular jazz guitar made, but as the article says it can be used "as is" to play many styles of rock as well, though if someone changes guitars to play rock he'd likely move to a full solid body (the Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul being the two most popular).

The biggest difference is in the amplifier (and effects). Most rock guitar uses distortion, often from an effects box between the guitar and amp, but often from the amp itself being turned up to where it distorts the sound. Such amps almost always use old-fashioned" vacuum tubes instead of transistors, as they sound different, especially when they distort, and the "tube sound"is preferred.

With an electric guitar (especially in rock) the amplifier is an integral part of the instrument and its sound.

rugcat
01-23-2012, 11:00 PM
This article on the first guitar The Grift shows may be helpful:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibson_ES-335
That's the most popular jazz guitar made, but as the article says it can be used "as is" to play many styles of rock as well, though if someone changes guitars to play rock he'd likely move to a full solid body (the Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul being the two most popular).
I play a vintage 335. One of the great things about the 335 is its versatility. You can play jazz, and blues, (think BB King) and rock on it (I play all three, and never switch guitars.)

Basically you can do most anything in your story. It's true that most jazz players use a hollow body and most rock players use a solid body, but there are exceptions. (Jazzman Mike Stern plays a stratocaster.)

If you have your MC go from a Gibson es-175 (http://www.justgreatguitars.com/images/ProductImages/R170/Gibson-ES-175-35.jpg)(maybe the most popular jazz guitar) to a Stratocaster, (http://www.google.com/imgres?q=stratocaster+sunburst&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&sa=X&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&gbv=2&biw=853&bih=518&tbm=isch&tbnid=t3aTO-BirwpqJM:&imgrefurl=http://vintagestratocaster.org/vintage-1976-fender-stratocaster-sunburst-strat-2/2131&docid=By4RtAIQKu0_ZM&imgurl=http://vintagestratocaster.org/files/2010/08/-21313704158194110.jpg&w=400&h=300&ei=kawdT_PqGvPXiAK40qjcCA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=451&vpy=157&dur=27&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=128&ty=142&sig=100961875446399497646&page=1&tbnh=149&tbnw=188&start=0&ndsp=8&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0) you can't go wrong.)

And yes, The Grift is correct -- most jazz players use heavier strings, rock players lighter. (I use 11s -- again, for versatility.

Drum kits really aren't set up any differently for jazz or rock. They may be tuned a bit differently, depending on the exact type of music and drummer's preference, but that's not a major thing.

Most jazz drummers use the traditional grip, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_grip) however, as do all my favorite drummers. Far superior, imo, but that's a long standing musician's argument.



.

sk3erkrou
01-24-2012, 03:48 AM
Wow, thanks so much for these replies. I probably should have specified a little more in my original post. I play rock guitar, so I understand the effects used for those genres, and the role of the guitarist in a band. I also know that rock guitarists tend to stand because when they are playing live, they put on a more (for lack of a better term) lively and visually interesting show. I know enough about drums to know the basics of how they are played for rock, and the two different grips for sticks, I was looking more for hardware differences, such as number of toms and cymbals. However, it seems like the only real difference in drum hardware is that jazz would have no need for ridiculous things such as gongs (thinking to some 80's hair bands live setups).
Now, one more question: is there anything essential that I should know about jazz so that I don't sound like a complete idiot?
Once again, thanks so much for the help.

sk3erkrou
01-24-2012, 03:52 AM
Sorry, forgot to include that the genre they are switching to could be considered hard rock/alternative metal based on your viewpoints. Think bands like Godsmack, early Seether (Disclaimer II mostly), Art of Dying, Egypt Central, Disturbed, and Hail the Villain.

The Grift
01-24-2012, 04:20 AM
Since you already know about rock guitar, we'll come at it from the other side.

If he uses a jazz guitar (hollow-body/archtop) and puts some distortion on it, he'll be dealing with A LOT more feedback than he's used to. Those big chambers are perfect breeding grounds for that. So he'll either have to get a different guitar or go solid-body.

Like we said, he should probably get some lighter strings and learn some bends. Likewise, techniques such as palm-muting, tapping, and other metal-ish things you may not find too much in jazz. He will undoubtedly be dropping his low E to a D. He might even have a low B, if he gets a 7 string guitar. Dropped tunings on a 7 string guitar are beyond my casual knowledge.

As a rock guitarist, you (the author) are probably used to playing solos using a scale over a chord progression. Pentatonic and minor pentatonic, primarily over fairly standard chord progressions (usually composed on fifth chords). Your jazz player is NOT used to that. Proper jazz solos are usually played with the complete scale/mode under each chord (and the chords are complicated), meaning that every time the chord changes under you, you change the scale in your solo... the full seven note scale. Tension is created and resolved with sharps and flats and off-beat notes. He will have to get used to playing one scale over a progression, even as the chords change under him.

Lots of fifth chords. Lots of them. He's used to chords with names like Emaj7sus4/A (and the same scale during his solo!). He will be asked to play a power chord consisting of the root, the 5th, and the octave. He'll be dying to throw in color notes. He will not be allowed.

He's used to playing behind the beat, on the beat, or in front, depending on his specific jazz style. I'm not sure how that sort of metal would be classified, but I imagine it's a relearning of where he puts his emphasis in a bar. Maybe someone else can chime in there.

Improvisation: he's used to listening to the band and following it off in strange directions. Now he will have to do as he's told, with improvisation generally limited to solos etc.

Lots of differences, but at the end of the day it's the same instrument. It's just how you play it.

rugcat
01-24-2012, 05:20 AM
Proper jazz solos are usually played with the complete scale/mode under each chord (and the chords are complicated), meaning that every time the chord changes under you, you change the scale in your solo... the full seven note scale. Tension is created and resolved with sharps and flats and off-beat notes. He will have to get used to playing one scale over a progression, even as the chords change under him.Well, I'd have to differ somewhat with that characterization. Many jazz tunes are basically in one key, or involve ii v progressions where you do switch keys, but you're still playing one scale over the progressions, just moving down the fretboard.

I just wrote a swing tune where part of the bridge goes F#-7b5, B7b9, E-7, Eb7, D7sus4, D7, D-7, G

For my solo I play broken, reversed arpeggiated notes for the first two chords, then just straight G major over the rest. Sounds fine, and then the tune goes back into C major.

Jazz soloing can be extremely esoteric, but it doesn't have to be. (Although I still can't solo over Giant Steps with anything that sounds even vaguely coherent)

But yeah, if you can play, you can play. All the jazz players I know are perfectly fine rock players -- some better than others, true. It's a matter of feel and approach more than technique.


is there anything essential that I should know about jazz so that I don't sound like a complete idiot?Certainly. Jazz is thankless music.

I once heard Branford Marsalis answer this question:
(paraphrased)

"What was it like playing with Sting, knowing that everyone is basically putting up with you, waiting for him to take center stage?"

"Hey, I'm a jazz musician. I'm used to playing shit no one wants to hear."

I think the one biggest misconception about jazz is that it's laid back music. That's like judging rock on the basis of a power ballad. A good jazz band smokes the bandstand.

If you have any specific passages about jazz you need vetted, feel free to PM me.

The Grift
01-24-2012, 07:40 PM
Well, I'd have to differ somewhat with that characterization. Many jazz tunes are basically in one key, or involve ii v progressions where you do switch keys, but you're still playing one scale over the progressions, just moving down the fretboard.

I just wrote a swing tune where part of the bridge goes F#-7b5, B7b9, E-7, Eb7, D7sus4, D7, D-7, G

For my solo I play broken, reversed arpeggiated notes for the first two chords, then just straight G major over the rest. Sounds fine, and then the tune goes back into C major.


I'll defer to Rugcat on this. It's been a long time since I've played jazz guitar, and it was never my main thing. I mainly learned "on the street," as it were, and I was always told you solo WITH the changes, as opposed to rock where you solo OVER the changes. Obviously the point of a pentatonic scale, or any scale missing notes, is that it sounds good over multiple chords and even "avoid" notes can be used to create tension. But I will maintain that jazz soloing often involves more complex scales, and multiple scales within a solo.

But, as said, I will leave the more esoteric musical theory to those that are currently playing jazz guitar.

rugcat
01-24-2012, 09:29 PM
But I will maintain that jazz soloing often involves more complex scales, and multiple scales within a solo.
No argument there.

And the real trick is to blend all the notes in the different scales together into meaningful and coherent musical ideas, instead of just playing a series of scale notes that "fit."

Jazz is hard music -- which is why I mostly play pop and rock these days. Not that playing good rock is easy -- but at least I don't get lost in the middle of a solo.

sk3erkrou
01-29-2012, 09:16 PM
Thanks for the help so far. I've been watching some videos on Youtube to try to get the feel right for a scene. Would anyone say that this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iU96V4Bw2tY) is an accurate representation of an average jazz trio?