Has there ever been a good jazz musician who didn't know music theory?

Has there ever been a good jazz musician who didn't know music theory? I like the sound of jazz but the second I hear someone say "half-diminished" my eyes fucking glaze over

  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    No. But you don't need to start out as a good jazz musician. You'll pick things up over time.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I tried to sit in with some jazz guys and they didn't seem to think I could hang since I didn't know much theory. How do you pick stuff up, just find people who aren't as snotty to jam with?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        read book

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          do I look like a fucking egghead, hard pass

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            jazz is for fags. play the blues intsead. all you need is three chors and one scale

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              I have been but I heard alfa mist and thought it sounded cool. You're probably right though.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                yeah its pretty cool ngl

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              >three chords and le ebin truth
              I mean sure, if you don't care at all about creativity or doing something that's actually personal and unique, go ahead and drink the boomer kool-aid

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              i played with a dope ass blues guitar guy. could riff up a storm, he was always dropped d diminished this or that
              the distinction between being a dope ass motherfucker and being dope assed technician is a false dichotomy

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                I'd wager that you can't quite teach taste, but dope ass technician vs dope ass motherfucker as a dichotomy is wrong - you can be both; you can also be neither. They are essentially completely independent. There are a lot of people out there with zero taste but an overwhelming amount of technical expertise, but also people out there with insane taste and an overwhelming amount of technical expertise. Acting like they're mutually exclusive is the bigger issue here.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                yes, i am saying knowledge vs no knowledge is fake ass
                and i think you can teach taste - deliberately or by surrounding people with it - you just need receptive motherfuckers who can put their ego down and learn

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        there's shitloads of videos on kiketube about this
        start with the circle of fifths, its as basic as theory gets if you already understand what scales and chords and modes are

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >sit in with jazz guys
        Do you mean just to discuss music or actually play and jam? If the latter, it's kind of a waste of time to everyone involved if you don't know how to improvise

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I meant jam, I know how to improvise, I just do it by ear. I'm pretty good at it too, good enough for most other genres. Was wondering if any jazz musicians just have really good ears and play like that.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I'm guessing they didn't even give you a chance to jam with them? If so that sucks, but you gotta understand that it gets annoying when you autisitically study jazz vocabulary for years and constantly get asked to jam with people who don't know what they're doing, only to just end up rejecting the offers in a "snotty" fashion. There's a funny story of Wynton Marsalis joining a Miles Davis concert uninvited trying to improv a solo to steal the show and he got kicked off stage for sounding completely out of place. It's kinda like that.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Yeah I get that if you've studied it can be annoying if others haven't. We played some standards and I could play the melody by ear and jam a solo by ear, but couldn't do the chords because that's not something I can do by ear (and I didn't know the symbols well enough). So after that someone else played the chords and I thought "so I'll just chime in when they let me" but no one let me after a while. I actually thought my solos sounded pretty good. Another thing though was when I was playing the melody someone was like "we don't use vibrato like that in jazz" and I was like ok I guess jazz is fucking gay then

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                What songs were you playing, because using vibrato on guitar for a lot of jazz standards doesn't make sense to me. I don't recall Jim Hall, Grant Green or Herb Ellis using it much if ever

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Autumn Leaves, Blue Bossa, and one other one I don't remember I think I played the melody. I mean he was probably right to say a lot of people don't do it, but I do it super automatically on pretty much any melody because I just always think it sounds good, so it annoyed me

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Anon, I think you should hang with jazz fusion bros instead. If you're especially talking about when you play the melody at the very beginning of the song, that's actually extremely counter-productive. In bebop, the basic melody gets played a few times and then acts as the backbone for any solos and improv that comes after it. I personally wouldn't mind slight bends or vibrato but now I'm starting to think you were bending it like Beckham, Hendrix or Clapton style. That's not something you do when establishing the main melody, at least not in traditional boomer jazz. Even in bossa nova that shit is rare on guitar. And if we're talking about hard bop or cool jazz or basically any subgenre that was popular during the 50s and 60s, vibrato is very very rare, so yeah those guys weren't wrong. It makes about as much sense as jamming to Motorhead and then throwing in some polyrhythmic drum solo ala Elvin Jones or Ginger Baker. It's not gay, it's just out of place and autistic and tryhard, like falsetto rock vocals in a fucking Death Grips song or something

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                I didn't think I was going too hard with it but I do generally use aggressive vibrato so what seems mellow to me might not seem so to others. Also being nervous might have made my fingers wigglier. I agree I would fit in better with fusion guys if I could find some.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Just remembered Footprints was the other one. And the first version I just looked up he uses some vibrato https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wrcgrE-Mis

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                It sounds ok, but it would sound way better if he just did regular pull offs/ons and not be a tryhard, it just sounds like he's castrating the best part of that lick

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                every heard of a guy named django reinhardt? he uses a lot of vibrato

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                you're gonna need a lot more counter-examples than that to prove my point wrong. was never a huge fan of his anyway

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                wes montgomery
                grant green
                charlie christian
                do you want me to continue?

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                First of all, Wes and Grant would only use it sparingly, I would know because I've devoured their discographies over the years, which proves my point: vibrato is rare in jazz, not non-existent. And to answer your main question: absolutely, do your worst, because for every example you give there are 50-100 counterexamples. It's like arguing that improv is common in rock. Even if you named 200 bands, it's still weak ground to stand on.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                i fail to see how it can be rare while also being on every one of their songs
                >for every example you give there are 50-100 counterexamples
                ah yes, the "i have so many counter examples i can't name one" argument
                you even use grant green as a counter example despite the first result on youtube music having vibrato

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >doesnt know the difference between bends and vibrato
                jesus just jump off a bridge

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                yes they are different and grant green uses vibrato just like
                kenny burrell
                o'donel levy
                luiz bonfa
                hans zoller
                sal salvador
                still waiting on that vast list of guitarists that don't use vibrato

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                coltrane vibrato'd

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >we don't use vibrato like that in jazz
                lmao who the fuck says that
                sorry you had to go through that

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >lmao who the fuck says that
                they're right though, vibrato is very rare in jazz, especially wider vibrato ala Malmsteen and Zakk Wylde
                jazz is just gay like that

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    First of all, I don't know why the term "half-diminished" triggers you, if it's good then it's good, regardless of what theory is behind it, and I would never let something so shallow prevent me from improving my taste or scope in music. Second of all, that's hardly a complex concept in music theory in general, jazz or otherwise.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I was just making a humorous example of the fact that complex theory bores me. I know what half diminished means, and I like the way it sounds, but too much mumbo-jumbo and I get fucking bored really fast.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        wot if you came up with your musical system like holdsworth did?

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I fucking love this video, man just effortlessly invents scales on the go because he understands the fretboard better than most people know their own hands. Absolute chad

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        If all you wanna do is listen, ignore theory. It's a retarded pretentious meme on LULZ that you need to understand theory to appreciate the music from a passive perspective. But if you actually want to play it, then yes theory to some extent is necessary, especially if you want to play with other people, unless you just want to make free form wankery (not that all free jazz is bad mind you)

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    A good one? Yes, almost certainly. A great one or one whose name anyone remembers? Probably not, except maybe old school guys like Louis Armstrong. A lot of old jazzers didn't go to music school, they just made up their own theory after studying their idols by ear. Coltrane and Parker are classic examples.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      You are talking out of your ass

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        so what's he wrong about, he's the only one who answered what I asked directly so far and I'm interested

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        About what?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      You can try but I certainly wouldn't reccomend it. Put another way, music is a language, and music theory is a straight away shortcut to learning the language of music, because it allows you to name things and say "oh shit, this is what I'm playing", and allows you to break away from that. You can't have Kind of Blue without a deep knowledge of music theory to understand what they're doing with modes (which is very different from how modes are traditionally taught). The most common way of doing so is transcription; imagine trying to learn a language by writing down what people are talking and trying to assign meaning to that and steadily figuring out the language, then realizing that despite ages and ages and ages spent learning that, you cannot read text in that language.

      Put another way: if you practice hard enough and find out how to play enough solos and lines and whatever from anybody else, then you will eventually find out how to improvise jazz really well just out of sheer effort, and because under pattern recognition certain things will start showing up and you'll recognize things. You can also shorten that learning time by a mile and become a better player faster (so if you put in the same amount of time you will be even better) by learning music theory, which is its own form of study and practice.

      Why the fuck would you wanna take the first option? Read a goddamn book.

      Trane and Bird were absurdly studied musicians, don't be ridiculous. The sound of bebop is entirely studied out of Bird's experiments with nearby tones for instance. That's not "making music theory", because it's descriptive (it describes what you're playing), not "prescriptive" (it doesn't describe what is "right").

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Why the fuck would you wanna take the first option?
        Because I have ADHD and fucking suck at focusing and organizing things in my head. It's more difficult because I lose motivation and I lose motivation because it's more difficult. It feels like math class which is fucking torture for me. But I can sit and listen and play along with things all day long and not get bored or frustrated.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          You don't need to learn it all in one go, and it helps if you have the instrument there so you begin understanding what is happening. It'll also reveal things like why certain players play certain melodies certain ways (trumpet and guitar are two very different instruments, for instance), why certain things sound the way they do. Baby steps. You will get good at something if you put in enough time and effort; this is a given. In a sense, it's like practicing an instrument. For instance, take a melody or solo, transcribe it, and study it inside and out, and try seeing music theory concepts in there. Hell, learning to transcribe is extremely useful.

          The road to becoming a great musician is by no means easy, but I'd much rather have a map to help my intuition.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          https://i.imgur.com/aSms7M4.jpg

          Has there ever been a good jazz musician who didn't know music theory? I like the sound of jazz but the second I hear someone say "half-diminished" my eyes fucking glaze over

          this isn't jazz in a traditional way but maybe look into omar rodriguez lopez whose guitar playing is through basically sheer intuition and working out what sounds cool over things without understanding the logic behind it in a direct sense. this emphasises alot that vibrato isn't necessarily the main means of changing a part of music without formal training and quite literally evidences the ability to get really good by just surrounding yourself in music and such

          though obviously you have to get really good before this works fully and I'd also learn some theory because it is genuinely really helpful

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >A lot of old jazzers didn't go to music school, they just made up their own theory after studying their idols by ear. Coltrane and Parker are classic examples.
      >In a 2018 interview, Quincy Jones said that the work was based on an example in Nicolas Slonimsky's Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns. Jones stated, "Everyone thinks Coltrane wrote that, he didn’t. It’s Slonimsky. That book started all the jazz guys improvising in 12-tone. Coltrane carried that book around till the pages fell off".

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        no on thinks coltrane wrote it
        but we all know he read it and carried it around
        suck me quincy

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    art pepper

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Among the many anecdotes shared from his life, Pepper boasts of raping a woman while stationed in London during the Second World War (deserved, in his view, because he had shared whiskey and walked several miles with her).[7]
      Uh, based?
      Can't find anything about theory knowledge. It says he took lessons as a kid.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        if you read his biography, he talks about how his teacher was useless and he just used him as someone to talk to because his home life was so messed up
        probably just very basic theory and scales, nothing academic level

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I really think I might qualify

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    if you can do it by ear you don't have to know what half-diminished is, especially not if you grew up playing in the church where people have been playing diminished chords of the 7th for a long time

  7. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Jazz is gay, Blues still live. End of conversation.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      lol

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        yeah, blues still exists in music festivals, which is the only real surviving live context of music anymore, and even if you discount black musicians blues is still strong in trad country

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Right because massive jazz festivals with massive audiences totally don't exist in New Orleans, Montreal, Tokyo or Denmark or Switzerland or several other countries. Big brained totally non-retarded take

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            i don't understand what you arguing, i think we are agreeing that the music still exists, and i am talking about the large venue festivals in the u.s. nola doesn't count because it is a cultural outlier

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            i see now, you are meaning jazz when i was talking about blues in popular music. jazz has a hard life in the us right now, and i say that as a sax player. you need to be active in the largest scenes or be in a regional touring act or you are not getting many gigs.

  8. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Deepest sleep milleniums away
    A dream i've discovered in my conscience
    Foot soldiers recruit my body for war
    White sprites become targets for assault

    Abducted, i'm invalid and unable to breathe
    I am gurgling, there is peace in my nightmare
    Such tranquil ambience in total darkness
    Life is left behind, I pursue a red light, end

    A sinful man is kneeling in the garden
    Begging for redemption and forgiveness

    Civilizations subjected to gruesome disasters
    For not accepting the valiant tale of god
    A trembling sky and a symbolic sky
    Formed the habitat where the innocent disappear

    There they said he cried blood
    And the son of man was betrayed

    The brothers engage in the final aberration
    Carrying the pitiful cross unto the sons of sons
    Where the father masturbates on their doctrine
    And in the crystal ocean they forever perish

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