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View Full Version : Any opinions on Abe Lagrimas's Jazz book?



mikhou
02-24-2019, 02:32 AM
I don't know if this is the right place for it, but do any of you have an opinion on this book? I'm an American living and working overseas and have some family visiting soon. I'm going to have them bring a couple of uke books and am considering this one. Any thoughts?

What is the tuning for that book (high G, low G, or DGBE)? I've read different things and now I'm getting confused about what I've read.

Finally, I'm new to jazz and was wondering if I should start with Glen Rose's online jazzy ukulele first. Thanks.

mikhou

UkingViking
02-24-2019, 02:58 AM
I have the book, not that I have been completely throgh it.

I am not an experienced musician in any ways, and I have not tried the Glen Rose materiale. I do remember some music theory from way back in high school though, and I had an Ukulele for a few years when I got it.
So that was my background when I got the book.

It is focused tenor or concert scale, with high or low G. It doesnt focus strictly on tabs, but alse rythms and strumming patterns. The tabs it does have are the authors own compositions, not jazz standards.

It has some music theory and exercises in strumming rythms, arpeggios, scales etc.

I have only looked into some of the chapters, I would say that it i neither useless nor the holy grail.
It is worth a try.

UkingViking
02-24-2019, 03:11 AM
I Will add that since the book has quite a bit of theory etc, I think that the less you know about the theory before reading it, the more you will benefit.

As I wrote, I remembered some theory before. And I had tried to play jazz standards on my ukulele before, just looking up all the chords I needed, treating it like every other song. I was hoping for some tricks that could miracoloysly make the chords sound more jazzy the way I strummed them. Apparently there is no easy bag of tricks.

I went straight to the "comping" (not lead) chapter to find inspiration in the strumming patterns. I went through most of the exercises. I am not sure how much I use technique I learned there, as I am not very conscious about what I do when I strum.
I might go back to practice some scales some day.

jelow1966
02-24-2019, 06:06 AM
Save your money. If you want to learn jazz you will be better off downloading a fakebook and taking advantage of the many free jazz tutorial sites geared to guitar. If you are trying to play jazz by yourself then you will need to learn chord melody versions of jazz standards. It's traditional to start with Autumn Leaves. There are guitar tutorials on youtube that can be made to work on the uke though you will have to figure out where the notes are on the uke fetboard. Autumn Leaves follows a very basic pattern so it's pretty easy to figure it out once you know the pattern and the starting point. The most important thing to know in jazz are the four shapes for each of the 3 types of 7th chords and that most standards follow the ii-V-I pattern. My advice for the best way to start if you really want to learn to play jazz is pick a key and learn to play the ii-V-I pattern everywhere on the fretboard. Once you know how to play the chords you can easily learn to play the notes of the chords which is the basis of all soloing. Obviously a jazz solo makes use of much more, chromatic approach notes, non chord tones, pentatonic scales etc, but the basis is still chord tone soloing. Stick with one key until you have mastered it. Once you have done that the others will come more easily. It's not exciting and if you are married your spouse may hate listening to you (thank god for my Teton uke, I can noodle away at ideas over and over an no one else has to hear) but it's the best way I have found to really learn jazz. As my last teacher said, he taught me all I need to know to learn jazz now it's up to me to put in the hours to learn it.

John

Kimosabe
02-24-2019, 06:30 AM
Spend your money on the Glen Rose material.

UkingViking
02-24-2019, 09:24 AM
I will agree with jelow1966 that just taking a shot at some songs will probably be a more rewarding approach.

Especially if you allready know some basic music theory.

Tabs for chord melody arrangements are great if you can find them.
If Glen Rose has some of those, probably more fun than practicing scales.

Fakebooks are also great, but usually only provides lead sheets. So if you want to include the melody line on ukulele you will need to tab it yourself.

jelow1966
02-24-2019, 10:51 AM
I will agree with jelow1966 that just taking a shot at some songs will probably be a more rewarding approach.

Especially if you allready know some basic music theory.

Tabs for chord melody arrangements are great if you can find them.
If Glen Rose has some of those, probably more fun than practicing scales.

Fakebooks are also great, but usually only provides lead sheets. So if you want to include the melody line on ukulele you will need to tab it yourself.

This is why Autumn Leaves is such a good song to start with. The A section is easy to create a chord melody from the lead sheet, it's basically 3 notes then a chord til the end of the section. I think it sounds better if you use two chords instead of one for the whole notes but you don't have to. To get an idea of how it sounds search "Autumn Leaves guitar chord melody tutorial" on youtube and you'll find a few to watch. They tend to be pretty basic tutorials so it's easy to follow along. Before you do that just play through the chords until you have that down and then play through the melody line (very simple in this case) before you try to put it all together. Key point to remember is that the melody line should ideally be played on the top two strings so you need to find a key that fits, Gm does nicely.

If you really want to learn jazz find a teacher, it's so much easier to get a grasp on things when someone can demonstrate it to you in person.

John

jelow1966
02-24-2019, 10:53 AM
To get a fakebook search for PDF fakebook. I have a couple I have found that way. It's good to have more then one because sometimes they use different keys or even slightly different variations on the standards.

John

Kimosabe
02-24-2019, 01:54 PM
When you say you’re interested in jazz do you mean that you want to play standards and accompany yourself playing jazz chords or do you wNt to solo over jazz chords, knowing what scales are possible with what chords @nd chord progressions?

Glen Rose teaches you how to recognize and play very common patterns in jazz songs. He shows you how you can simplify jazz charts and still sound good. Fly Me to the Moon is one of the songs in his first book.

I started with his first three books and learned a lot and really got a lot out of his Advanced chords book and video. Very inexpensive. A good thing to do is to also teach yourself to read melody line. Get Curt Sheller’s Reading primer to learn to read and then with what you learn from Glen Rose and from a good chord book you should be able to accompany yourself on jazz standards. Glen Rose’s first three books give you about 20 jazz standards to work with.

What I have learned from him has helped both my singing and song writing. Jazz cansound good with a simple four beats per bar, especially when you’re moving through two jazz chords in a bar.

I had high hopes for the Abe Lagrimas book but learned much more from Glen Rose’s material. Abe is a great player.

mikhou
02-24-2019, 02:36 PM
When you say you’re interested in jazz do you mean that you want to play standards and accompany yourself playing jazz chords or do you wNt to solo over jazz chords, knowing what scales are possible with what chords @nd chord progressions?

Glen Rose teaches you how to recognize and play very common patterns in jazz songs. He shows you how you can simplify jazz charts and still sound good. Fly Me to the Moon is one of the songs in his first book.

I started with his first three books and learned a lot and really got a lot out of his Advanced chords book and video. Very inexpensive. A good thing to do is to also teach yourself to read melody line. Get Curt Sheller’s Reading primer to learn to read and then with what you learn from Glen Rose and from a good chord book you should be able to accompany yourself on jazz standards. Glen Rose’s first three books give you about 20 jazz standards to work with.

What I have learned from him has helped both my singing and song writing. Jazz cansound good with a simple four beats per bar, especially when you’re moving through two jazz chords in a bar.

I had high hopes for the Abe Lagrimas book but learned much more from Glen Rose’s material. Abe is a great player.

Thanks for the detailed response. I would say that I would wanto to start with playing jazz standards and eventually learn to solo improv over jazz chords.

EDW
02-24-2019, 03:19 PM
To be honest, I would say that both approaches (Glen and Abe) are good. They are two different approaches covering different topics and areas. Different people learn in different ways. Both have benefits. The approach of using a fake book is also of benefit, BUT at the same time, depending on your knowledge and skill, it may be easier to have a more methodical guide.

There are also video resources online from https://www.cheemaisel.com and Marcy Marxer https://truefire.com/search/?q=ukulele that could be very helpful.

Try a few things and see what works for you.

jelow1966
02-24-2019, 04:42 PM
I probably should have asked this earlier but can you read music, at least well enough to be able to figure out the notes? You need to be able to do that to use a fakebook. If you can't then stick with the uke based stuff mentioned above. For solo work guitar books can be very useful since they will have examples to practice. You can us the tabs for the top 4 strings, just subtract 5 and you'll have the right fret on the uke. eg: 8-7-8 on guitar is 3-2-3 on the uke. I'll say this though, be warned that jazz soloing is a very deep rabbit hole.

John

merlin666
02-24-2019, 05:47 PM
I have a lot of Google play credit and have tried to use fakebooks for some time. The problem with them is that they use non standard notation and are often in silly keys. The fakebook pro app helps with this as it allows easy transposing. So I also got the lagrimas book and the content looks helpful to get a better appreciation of fakebooks and learning the basics of jazz. Though I haven't had a chance yet to dig into it. It was a good way to burn Google play credits before they expired.

jelow1966
02-24-2019, 06:52 PM
I have a lot of Google play credit and have tried to use fakebooks for some time. The problem with them is that they use non standard notation and are often in silly keys. The fakebook pro app helps with this as it allows easy transposing. So I also got the lagrimas book and the content looks helpful to get a better appreciation of fakebooks and learning the basics of jazz. Though I haven't had a chance yet to dig into it. It was a good way to burn Google play credits before they expired.

I haven't really seen any non standard notation in either of the fakebooks I downloaded. As to the keys, some of the issues relate to who wrote the standard. For example most everything by Benny Goodman will be in Bb because that's the clarinet's key. Still, not sure why Autumn Leaves is in a different key in each of the books I have, that must be down to whoever compiled them. A fakebook for uke would be a very handy thing.

John

UkingViking
02-24-2019, 07:43 PM
I haven't really seen any non standard notation in either of the fakebooks I downloaded. As to the keys, some of the issues relate to who wrote the standard. For example most everything by Benny Goodman will be in Bb because that's the clarinet's key. Still, not sure why Autumn Leaves is in a different key in each of the books I have, that must be down to whoever compiled them. A fakebook for uke would be a very handy thing.

John

A Fakebook for uke, wonder how that would work.

When I use a Fakebook with ukulele, the steps I need to go through are typically:
1)
Check is the available key works. Usually it doesnt if I want to sing along, I have a low register.
2)
Try to determine the best key to play. Often I find that there is no key that works for both instrumental and vocal for me, perhaps I decide that I need low G to play it. Perhaps I need to pick only part of it to play instrumental, in between singing. Perhaps I give up singing and make do with instrumental.
3)
Type it all into MuseScore to transpose it.
4)
Add an Ukulele tab in MuseScore and copy the melody line into it.
Try to look up suitable ways to play the chords, so you include the melody note, and fill this in between the notes on the tab.

It is all very time consuming. You could make a Fakebook that always uses a key that is easy on ukulele, that doesnt use chords with more than 4 notes etc. But you can't make it fit every ones vocal range, so there might still be a lot of work.

merlin666
02-25-2019, 04:33 AM
I haven't really seen any non standard notation in either of the fakebooks I downloaded.

For me the jazz notation is not standard and I still have a hard time figuring out what little triangles and circles with lines mean. Here is an example of a randomly picked page from a fakebook where I am still clueless what some of the chords mean:
115755115756

jelow1966
02-25-2019, 04:54 AM
For me the jazz notation is not standard and I still have a hard time figuring out what little triangles and circles with lines mean. Here is an example of a randomly picked page from a fakebook where I am still clueless what some of the chords mean:
115755115756

Triangle indicates it's a major 7th. Circle with a slash indicates in a minor 7 flat 5. Those are the two I know by heart, the others I still have to look up. Search for jazz chord notation and you will find a list of what they all mean.

John

jelow1966
02-25-2019, 05:02 AM
A Fakebook for uke, wonder how that would work.

When I use a Fakebook with ukulele, the steps I need to go through are typically:
1)
Check is the available key works. Usually it doesnt if I want to sing along, I have a low register.
2)
Try to determine the best key to play. Often I find that there is no key that works for both instrumental and vocal for me, perhaps I decide that I need low G to play it. Perhaps I need to pick only part of it to play instrumental, in between singing. Perhaps I give up singing and make do with instrumental.
3)
Type it all into MuseScore to transpose it.
4)
Add an Ukulele tab in MuseScore and copy the melody line into it.
Try to look up suitable ways to play the chords, so you include the melody note, and fill this in between the notes on the tab.

It is all very time consuming. You could make a Fakebook that always uses a key that is easy on ukulele, that doesnt use chords with more than 4 notes etc. But you can't make it fit every ones vocal range, so there might still be a lot of work.

Since I'm a strictly instrumental player a uke fakebook for me would just include the last bit you mentioned, keys that work with the uke especially for chord melody arraignments and suggestions for 4 note substitute chords where the original had something like a minor 7th flat 9. I'd like the original chord listed as well so people could create their own voicings. Something like that would save a lot of work.

John

seesar
02-25-2019, 12:40 PM
Save your money. If you want to learn jazz you will be better off downloading a fakebook and taking advantage of the many free jazz tutorial sites geared to guitar. If you are trying to play jazz by yourself then you will need to learn chord melody versions of jazz standards. It's traditional to start with Autumn Leaves. There are guitar tutorials on youtube that can be made to work on the uke though you will have to figure out where the notes are on the uke fetboard. Autumn Leaves follows a very basic pattern so it's pretty easy to figure it out once you know the pattern and the starting point. The most important thing to know in jazz are the four shapes for each of the 3 types of 7th chords and that most standards follow the ii-V-I pattern. My advice for the best way to start if you really want to learn to play jazz is pick a key and learn to play the ii-V-I pattern everywhere on the fretboard. Once you know how to play the chords you can easily learn to play the notes of the chords which is the basis of all soloing. Obviously a jazz solo makes use of much more, chromatic approach notes, non chord tones, pentatonic scales etc, but the basis is still chord tone soloing. Stick with one key until you have mastered it. Once you have done that the others will come more easily. It's not exciting and if you are married your spouse may hate listening to you (thank god for my Teton uke, I can noodle away at ideas over and over an no one else has to hear) but it's the best way I have found to really learn jazz. As my last teacher said, he taught me all I need to know to learn jazz now it's up to me to put in the hours to learn it.

John
This is great advice for getting into jazz. Glen Rose is good for understanding ii-V-I's and different options for voicing them. For improvisation, you have to know scales.

Youtube has many tutorials and backing tracks for jazz standards, just not specifically for uke. Armed with a basic understanding of jazz chord voicings (Glen Rose) and scales, you can learn plenty from guitar or piano tutorials.

I've also been happy with the iReal Pro app. It has chord progressions and backing tracks for a multitude of songs. Instruments, tempo, rhythm and key are customizable. I'm sure there are other apps that are similar.

mikhou
02-25-2019, 03:10 PM
Wow! Thanks for all of the input. Yes, I can read music and have a background in music from playing wind instruments for 10 years in high school and college. That being said, I'm more of a progressive learner than organic. I wish that I had the chops just to hear something and begin to play along, but unfortunately, I haven't been blessed with that gift. I'll likely start with Glen Rose's stuff and then go from there. Thanks again for the input!

jelow1966
02-25-2019, 07:09 PM
Wow! Thanks for all of the input. Yes, I can read music and have a background in music from playing wind instruments for 10 years in high school and college. That being said, I'm more of a progressive learner than organic. I wish that I had the chops just to hear something and begin to play along, but unfortunately, I haven't been blessed with that gift. I'll likely start with Glen Rose's stuff and then go from there. Thanks again for the input!

I wish I was blessed with the gift of a great ear as well! It would make learning jazz so much easier. But if I can learn it without that gift anyone can :)

Have fun, that's the key. Oh, and buy iReal Pro. It's worth it. When you do be sure to go to the forum and download the 1300 song jazz pack.

John