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Jazz Guitar Voicings - Vol. 1 [Kindle Edition]

Randy Vincent
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Have you ever wondered how guitarists like Joe Pass, Jim Hall and Wes Montgomery find such full, luscious voicings for their chord melody playing? Well, much of that sound is based on the "Drop 2" principle of chord voicings. In this book, veteran guitarist Randy Vincent explains exactly how you can get that same sound too. Endorsed by Julian Lage, John Stowell, Larry Koonse, etc. The audio portion of this book is available for free download at​shtml.

Editorial Reviews


I m so thrilled to see a book by my greatest teacher, Randy Vincent!! Randy s deep musical and theoretical understanding of the guitar have been invaluable to me. His book provides insight into the orchestral qualities of the guitar and how to apply this knowledge to any musical context.
JULIAN LAGE --Personal correspondence

Like many people, I didn t know what drop 2 meant until now! But Randy Vincent has done a wonderful job in putting together a very systematic and comprehensive book that will be of great value to all guitarists that want to develop and improve their chord melody playing. I might just use some of these tasty voicings myself!
BARRY FINNERTY --Personal correspondence

Randy Vincent presents the inner workings of the drop 2 voicing for guitar more
comprehensively than other publications I have encountered. All the examples are written out clearly and explained in great detail. This book is an invaluable aid to any guitarist that desires to look more deeply into the study of jazz harmony with an emphasis on the most practical and commonly used voicing, the drop 2. It s clear that Randy has put his heart and soul into this great work, as it reflects so much musical wisdom.
LARRY KOONSE --Personal correspondence

About the Author

Randy Vincent has had a long and illustrious career in jazz. He has performed, toured and/or recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Bebop And Beyond, The Turtle Island String Quartet, and many others.

Randy has taught jazz guitar at Sonoma State University since 1981 and has conducted clinics throughout the US and overseas. Some of his more well-known former students include Julian Lage, Dave MacNab, Chris Pimentel, and Liberty Ellmen. He currently teaches at Sonoma State University and privately.

He has performed at numerous jazz festivals including the Monterey Jazz Festival and Dizzy Gillespie s 75th birthday celebration at the Hollywood Bowl, as well as performing regularly with the Santa Rosa Symphony s Pops Concerts.

He has two well-received CDs out under his own name, Nisha s Dream and Mirror Image.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2766 KB
  • Print Length: 69 pages
  • Publisher: Sher Music; 1 edition (January 12, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004KA9VC4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,863 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! A profoundly insightful and useful book July 8, 2010
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
I'm a long time guitar player -- 41 years -- and a long time systems analyst -- almost as long.

I set out to end my guitar music illiteracy about 5 years ago. This was the result of trying to play jazz, feeling ashamed at how poor I was at dealing with the music and working with some very patient bandmates who are literate.

So, I began a journey through the myriad of guitar chord dictionaries and, especially, books that claim to have discovered THE secret to all guitar chord playing knowledge.

Unfortunately, because I'm a systems analyst, I get splinters in my mind when I read books that don't get to the essence of what they are trying to say. (Or worse, have an essence that is just bogus.) Most of the many books on chords for guitar suffer from these problems.

On the other hand Jazz Guitar Voicings is crystal clear about a profoundly fundamental idea: arrangers have standard ways of arranging the notes in a chord (i.e. voicings), low to high. One of them -- Drop 2 -- is the key to playing chord scales and melodies in a way that doesn't induce hand cramps. That is, people like me (Tal Farlow or Lenny Breau I am not) can can play these chords.

These skills are essential for playing jazz, soul, funk, bossa nova and even a surprising number of rock tunes. In fact the only styles of guitar music I can think of where you probably couldn't use these ideas are 3 or 4 chord folk music and metal. (If you are into those styles, this is probably not the book for you.)

Any of you who are Wes Montgomery fans (and if you're into jazz guitar, you'd almost have to be a Wes Montgomery fan) know of his single note, octaves then chords solo structure. When he gets to the chords, much of what he's doing is in Drop 2.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent July 17, 2011
By daniel
great book. the rare, actual difference maker, if you put the work in.

one suggestion: once you've covered the intro, and gained a feel for where it's going, proceed to section 4. that's the "practicing" part. do a bunch of that. get to the point where the foundation is under your fingers -- all string sets, all keys, to the point where the harmonized scales feel like, well, scales -- and the actual music-making material (which comes before the practice section in the book) will flow a whole lot better.

that said, i'm real glad i picked this up. thanks to the author.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have January 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great book for guitarists desiring to go beyond stock voicings. Based on Mark Levines' drop2 book, it explains how to incorporate modal and chromatic (diminished) passing chords, approach chords to your voice leading efforts.
The book helps you bridge the gap between soloing and comping. In most textbooks the melodic approach to soloing is abandoned when talking about comping. This method emphasizes melody also in accompaniment and gently advizes you "not too overdo" this approach behind singers or soloists.
It brings chord soloing within your reach with deeper understanding of yhe theory and praxis behind it. Great kindle book. Let's have his threenote voicing book on kindle asap...:))
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At long last,.. July 8, 2012
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
After playing guitar for thirty years, I finally have a book that brings the logic of chord progressions and the logic of the fretboard together. Thank you Randy Vincent!

This is probably not a book for beginners. Indeed, I'm not sure that I would have been ready to absorb it early in my playing life. I think it takes some time, for most of us, to be able to define our musical directions, and a bit more to recognize that a particular batch of instructional materials is the right batch to move us toward our desired musical destination most quickly.

So if you have wanted insights into the abilities of some guitarists to chord almost seamlessly up and down the fretboard, and if you've also wondered why the chords they use almost always seem to be the perfect choices, and if you are ready to challenge yourself musically, this is the book for you.

The chord progressions are logically developed and presented as they relate explicitly to the scales from which they are drawn. If I could add one thing to the presentation, it would be naming the chords in the progressions. The musical staff notation is accompanied by the chord diagrams, but unless the reader takes the time to identify the chords by name, he or she will be building useful patterns that could be so much more so if their components were explicitly named. Maybe Mr. Vincent will add that to the next edition.

Despite this minor point, this is easily the best and most useful book I've found in twenty years.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
I've been playing guitar for +25 years and have dozen of books on different topics of jazz guitar. This book by Randy Vincent is definitely the best book I've seen on how to assimilate and put to practice all of these drop-2 voicings. Let me mention that even though I've known these drop-2 voicings for years now, this book showed me a very useful way of making them an organic part of my harmonic vocabulary. The way the material is presented is very clear and concise. Every page can give you something to work on for months, while at the same time teach you something that can be put to use immediately. I've been using it for my own practice, but also for my students. It has certainly saved me a lot of time of prep work. An advanced student can see the deeper ramifications of these studies, while a beginner will develop strong fundamental notions of guitar harmony, so it's perfect for both! Get this book, you won't regret it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Valuable resource
Interesting take on voicings. If you understand arranging for horns, this will really help. If you are a guitarist wanting to know some cool voicings and tricks for playing more... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jonny G
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very helpful method of jazz guitar!
Published 2 months ago by Francesca Bertazzo Hart
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth It!
Excellent work - and work you'll love doing - could have been a bit deeper, as in more content.
Published 2 months ago by M. Allan Validus
5.0 out of 5 stars Clarifying
I wrote the same thing about Rand Vincent's Line Games Book and it fits well for this one too. A very usefull and clarifying book with solid explanation and examples very well... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Gabriel
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Organized
This is the best Drop 2 book I've seen. Chords are in grids and standard notation - every single example is on the 2 CDs.. Read more
Published 7 months ago by M. D. Bell
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read
Very useful book. I'm very busy at work these days but I'm still using the remainig time to progress through it, slowly but surely.
Published 7 months ago by Julien
5.0 out of 5 stars Book is brilliant.
Randy Vincent is one of the best teachers I have every experienced. He is also one heck of a nice guy. I contacted him for a lesson after purchasing all of his books. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Trey Brewer
3.0 out of 5 stars Advanced players will enjoy
I was intrigued by the book's title, especially the "Drop 2" aspect. Frankly, I didn't know what that meant. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jimbo210
4.0 out of 5 stars Jazz guitar voicings drop 2 by Randy Vincent
This book needs some introducing exhaustive explainations on drop 2 system or a teacher to study with. The rest is really valuable and useful. Randy Vincent is a great teacher.
Published 13 months ago by CORRADO HUBER
5.0 out of 5 stars Expand your musical ear
This book has so much information,that it could make you a well rounded guitar player.
I am so glad that found it.
Published 15 months ago by ec montanez
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