What's Hot With Jazz Guitar: Sid Jacobs

by Doc Dosco

This week I am featuring a book by Sid Jacobs called Guide Tones for
Jazz Chords, Line & Comping for Guitar. Book Description is as
follows. "The Changes: Guide Tones for Jazz Chords, Lines, and Comping
is offered for beginning to advanced players as a way to visualize guide
tones on the fretboard. From these shapes lines can be created for
soloing and voicings can be built for comping and chord melody. Most
importantly, the changes of the progression being played can be heard
with only a few notes. The simple approach is always best; guide tones
are easy to play and are how the ear identifies a chord progression.
Embellishing guide tones is what improvising musicians from baroque to
bebop to beyond have been doing to make the changes. Companion CD
includes all exercises."

Sid de-mystifies playing over changes for the novice right at the
beginning of the book. He explains very simply how chord notes and
passing tones can be used to build phrases by just using the 7th/3rd of
the chords. He then elaborates on guide tones and lines. Great little

From Sid's online bio:

Sid Jacobs was born in Miami Beach, Florida. Sid spent his first few
years in Havana, Cuba prior to the revolution, after which, the Jacobs
family returned to Miami. It is there, at the age of seven, he began his
fascination with the guitar. When his family moved to Nevada, Sid
obtained a position as guitar instructor at the University of Nevada,
Las Vegas. This made him, at eighteen, the youngest faculty member in
the school's music department.

After moving to Los Angeles he developed the curriculum for the Advanced
Bebop and Jazz Guitar course at the Dick Grove School and the Jazz
Guitar class at the Musicians Institute (MI and GIT), where he continues
to teach.

In 1991, his CD It's Not Goodnight was released. It is a straight-ahead
blowing session featuring his original compositions. In 1998 Sid was the
first North American jazz guitarist invited to perform in Argentina's
"Guitars of the World" festival. In May of 2001 he was invited to
perform at the Ankara Music Festival in Turkey.

Some of the jazz artists with whom he has performed include Harold Land,
Eddie Harris, Buddy Montgomery, Joe Diorio, Brad Mehldau, Larry Goldings
and Javon Jackson.

Reviewing a live performance, Los Angeles Times jazz critic Don Heckman
described him as "...a highly articulate improviser, Never at a loss for
a new phrase, his improvisations seemed to unfold with the ever-changing
fascination of a set of Bach variations...". Dr. Joe Barth in Just Jazz
Guitar magazine says, "...Sid is one of the most sophisticated players
I've ever heard. He is a champion of musical textures that are complex,
engaging, and musically satisfying..."

He has been featured in Guitar Player magazine and is on the cover of
the August 2001 issue of Just Jazz Guitar magazine. His Complete Book of
Jazz Guitar Lines and Phrases, book and CD from MelBay Publications, is
considered ' a thorough exploration of modern jazz vocabulary.' Jazz
Guitar Improvisation, a book and CD from Hal Leonard Publications, is
based on his course for GIT (Musicians Institute). Guitar Player
magazine writes, "This package is deep" and a review in Just Jazz Guitar
says, "I cannot praise this work too highly".

In a recent LA Times review, Don Heckman said, "translating the work of
Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk into the language of the guitar is not
easy but Jacobs did it with an easy fluency." Jazz Guitar Improvisation,
the video, is being prepared for a November release from Hal Leonard
Publications, and The Bill Evans Guitar Book, a book and CD of fourteen
Evans compositions adapted for guitar, is in production with Hal Leonard

Along with writing and teaching, Sid continues to tour, performing and
conducting jazz guitar workshops.

Check out Sid's website and sound clips here:


Doc Dosco is a jazz guitarist, composer and audio consultant living in
Los Angeles, CA. His website is located at http://www.docdosco.com,
where you can find more information on the 'What's Hot with Jazz Guitar'
columns, audio clips of Doc's playing, and many additional features. Doc
endorses Heritage Guitars and is a featured artist on their website. He
also endorses the new Pignose Valve Tube Amps -- great for jazz (and anything else!)

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