Blues Studies from Joe Pass Guitar Styles

When I was younger my teacher Paul Contos turned me on to a book called Joe Pass Guitar Styles.
This book had a big influence on my linear concept and I played out of it a lot. Joe's lines are pretty close to something like the Platonic ideal of Be-Bop lines. I used them as a model in learning to create long connected lines. I would play through the exercises until they were under my fingers and then I would try things like altering notes, displacing notes, using just the general shapes to create novel lines, and then just using Joe's changes to create my own lines.

I recently bought myself another copy of this book and I've been using it with my students. There are a few parts of the book that are guitar specific, but most of it is perfect for horn players. When you limit yourself to only using connected 8th note lines it forces you to focus more on the overarching shapes of your lines and it also makes you think more about how your lines connect from change to change. If you practice this way it also prevents you from playing as many familiar licks.

I highly recommend this book for any serious students of Jazz.

Blues exercises excerpted from Joe Pass Guitar Styles


Adam B said...

I remember this book from Paul's lessons. Thanks David!

David Wells said...

Awesome stuff! These would be great with a metronome for having students work on their time, 8th note feel, jazz articulation, etc. Lots of possibilites ... thanks!

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