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  1. #101

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    Went through this a few months ago. I think the intention is just to kind of see how he's connecting his "licks" together. It seems to me, that in every sort of scale shape pattern, he has certain goto licks that he connects regardless of the chord underneath based on his minor substitutions. So that first shape warrants certain licks that fall nicely under his fingers, if he moves that shape around for every minor substituion he could use the same licks on every chord. However, the trick is he ties them together seamlessly and doesn't necessary just repeat the same licks.

    I think he has an enormous amount of lines worked out that he basically calls from. I'm not sure, after transcribing a bit of his stuff, and looking at this book and others that he never really "improvises" blindly, per se. But connects lines he knows sound good. He never sounds like he's searching, he has a very confident style, but he does have licks he plays in just about every solo.

    I think it begs the questions of how much stuff should one have worked out ahead of time? How much should you wing? If you want to define your own sound, then there seems to be a requirement to create your own lines that you grab from often. even guys like Crocco and Felder (from transcribing) have their pet licks they play in nearly every solo. There also the things that make them unique.

    I guess that's what I kind of got out of studying Martino.

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  3. #102

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    Thomas Owens, who wrote his dissertaion on Charlie Parker, called him a "formulaic" improviser because the lines he played rarely had anything to do with the melody. This wasn't a criticism but an observation. Charlie Parker had go-to licks for blues in Bb, others for blues in F, and ones for Rhythm Changes---those were the three most common progressions for him to play over---and others for certain changes that occurred less often but were distinctive enough to require individual treatment.

    You can't play as fast as Pat Martino does--or Charlie Parker did---and have to figure out how to play what you want to play. It has to be pretty much automatic, and that requires one to 'go for what you know.'

    Owens' book "Bebop: The Music and its Players" has a good chapter on Parker and lists the most common phrases in his playing. Pat has his too.

    I think there is insight to be gained from reflecting on this reality....
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  4. #103

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    Colin - that sounds interesting. Like Mark, I'll try it later. If it works for you, that's surely something?

    Mirth - interesting thoughts. I guess some of what Pat plays will be reducible to lines such as the ones we are looking at, while some of it will be thought out on the fly, as it were.

    I'm not doing this to sound like Pat, but I do love his playing and would like to get a glimpse of how he does it. Some of it might rub off on me, some of it won't.

    Great to see this discussion.

  5. #104

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    One would have to be an extraordinary human not to have phrases (in speech as well as music) one returns to, especially in the heat of the moment. I once briefly studied Turkish classical music in Istanbul, and an important feature of that music is improvise a prelude or interlude. The Sufi musicians I spoke to were keen to point out that one should at least try to make up something unique each time. My ears were not developed enough in this style to know if the always did, and I would be surprised if even they did not have favoured phrases.

  6. #105

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    Completely agree. I think it's enlightening as there is a big push to always be "spontaneous" in this style, but part of what makes some of these musicians great is the stuff they worked out ahead of time.

    I think it also takes a decent amount of pressure off of us by allowing us to not have to know everything at every second. Sometimes you can use your worked out vocabulary to make a point. That is as long as you constructed it with the right musical motivations (not just copping it from some great).

    I'm always playing games with the audience at gigs, as I'm curious how they respond to certain things. It's always enlightening what they gravitate towards and what they don't. Obscurity is a tough sell, but a line that goes somewhere that the listener can take for a ride that ends well can be very effective.

    As for the book, I think the intention was to shed light on how he interprets things and how he uses the minor backbone to play through tunes. Also, a fantastic technical exercise, and let's face it, some great licks to get under your fingers.

  7. #106

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    I've just looked ahead to Phase II, where the lines we have learned are mixed up and used chromatically through all twelve keys. However, I've noticed that the lines have some differences, so beware!

  8. #107

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    If you think about it, one thing that gives a particular player a style is a characteristic way of handling things. (Some remarkably gifted guitarists can play almost anything but have no style / sound of their own.)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  9. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    If you think about it, one thing that gives a particular player a style is a characteristic way of handling things. (Some remarkably gifted guitarists can play almost anything but have no style / sound of their own.)
    I think this is right on. There are some amazing players out there that can play anything, but they're missing something personal to them. Something that defines them. It's something to really consider when you're developing the music. Of course there are things you do inherently that make you different, but I think some foresight on what you're playing in a preconceived way becomes important to playing the music you want to hear.

    So I think it's important to say, "i don't like the kind of things I'm playing, so I'm going to write something i want to play". If you keep winging it, you may never find that thing. I guarantee Martino and the like spent time developing their lines to sound the way they wanted them to. It's what makes them, them.

    It's something I've really been thinking about lately. (If you can't tell).

  10. #109

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    Hey Guys,

    Good to see this thread still going on, and knowing Pat's history and work the way I do, I'd like to offer all of you some advice that will allow you to optimize what you're seeing in Linear Expressions.

    First of all, DO NOT use the activities for conventional II-V changes. You're just going to get in the weeds because the lines don't resolve properly and were never intended for that purpose. Understand that long before Martino was making these longer minor connections he had already paid his dues on the II-V front (like other jazz improvisers). If you're a language player who's done any transcribing whatsoever you can clearly hear that in his earlier recordings with Don Patterson and others.

    If your mission, among other things, is to blow effectively over II-V changes, here's a genuine gold mine:

    Linear Expressions by Pat Martino-davidbaker-jpg

    The shot on the left is the original book cover, while the one on the right is the current version. Both have the same contents. By the time I had stumbled upon this gem by David Baker, I had already transcribed powerful II-V's by a wide range of players including Martino, Benson, Bird, Garland, Farlow, Turrentine, Peterson and many others.

    The Baker book is magnificent because almost every example is based upon years of his transcribing efforts, so it's the real deal. On top of that, it's brilliantly organized by starting pitch related to the IIm7 chord in the key of C (e.g. D, E, F, G, A, B & C). In my opinion, this is one of the greatest books ever published for the aspiring jazz improviser, and in that sense it's a "must-have" and an absolute steal for the price. You'll be able to immediately plug the lines into your solos over classic standards, blues, latin, swing, bebop, etc, etc.

    Linear Expressions is an excellent book, but to get the most out of it you really need to do what Martino and others did as a means to that end, whether by your own transcribing efforts (ideal) or the works of educators who have done likewise. That doesn't mean that the activities aren't worth learning and that you can't benefit by getting them under your belt. A simple tip to experience Pat's minor conversion and get them into your playing would be to apply them initially to an extended dominant, like a C9, C11 or C13. That alone will give you a nice melodic option even if you're just playing blues. All for now..
    Mark Stefani
    http://www.visionmusic.com

    "Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple" - Mingus

  11. #110

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    Thanks, Mark. Your experience and considered responses are welcome here by all, I'm sure.

  12. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    Thanks, Mark. Your experience and considered responses are welcome here by all, I'm sure.
    My pleasure, Rob. When I read some of these posts it reminds me of how much time I'd wasted going around in circles earlier in my career, mainly trying to integrate what I was learning. If I can significantly shorten the journey for any of you guys by sharing what I know, well.. that's always been my mission as a coach.

    One thing I've observed over the past 40+ years is that if you can get on the right train/path to achieve your goals you can accomplish more in a fraction of the time that many spend in the woodshed each day. Conversely, if you're on the wrong train/path you can actually regress even if you have a great work ethic and are investing many hours of daily study time.
    Mark Stefani
    http://www.visionmusic.com

    "Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple" - Mingus

  13. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzOnSix View Post
    If your mission, among other things, is to blow effectively over II-V changes, here's a genuine gold mine:

    Linear Expressions by Pat Martino-davidbaker-jpg
    Yikes---I just checked at Amazon and the only used copy available is listed for $107.50. Man, that's steep!
    Volume 2, new, is only $9.95!
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  14. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Yikes---I just checked at Amazon and the only used copy available is listed for $107.50. Man, that's steep!
    Not that I wouldn't pay that much or more for it, but that's ridiculous and I did see that earlier today at Amazon. Pick up a brand new copy from JazzBooks.com for $16.50. Here you go:

    Jamey Aebersold Jazz: The Bebop Era Volume 1 - Treble Clef
    Mark Stefani
    http://www.visionmusic.com

    "Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple" - Mingus

  15. #114

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    Thanks a lot Mark. You probably saved me at least from a long detour. I still want to work through the book because I am enjoying it but will also try and get the David Baker book as well.

    Cheers, Colin.
    Still working on it.

  16. #115

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzOnSix View Post
    Not that I wouldn't pay that much or more for it, but that's ridiculous and I did see that earlier today at Amazon. Pick up a brand new copy from JazzBooks.com for $16.50. Here you go:

    Jamey Aebersold Jazz: The Bebop Era Volume 1 - Treble Clef
    That's much better, Mark! Thanks. I like to do business with Jamey Aebersold too----I've learned a lot from material he's put out.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  17. #116

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    I've just looked ahead to Phase II, where the lines we have learned are mixed up and used chromatically through all twelve keys. However, I've noticed that the lines have some differences, so beware!
    Rob, thanks for pointing that out. I'm starting Phase II and noticing that now. I had this book years ago and when I started Phase II, I didn't check the lines---I just moved the five activities around. "O, I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now...." ;o)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  18. #117

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    Sorry for pointing it out

    I've got four weeks to learn 35 songs with a singer, gulp, so suddenly these lines are taking a back seat. Unless I can incorporate them somehow, though how exactly escapes me at the moment!

  19. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post

    I've got four weeks to learn 35 songs with a singer, gulp, so suddenly these lines are taking a back seat. Unless I can incorporate them somehow, though how exactly escapes me at the moment!
    Yikes, that's a lot of tunes to learn in a short time. Batten down the hatches and we'll see you on the other side! ;o)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  20. #119

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  21. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    Sorry for pointing it out

    I've got four weeks to learn 35 songs with a singer, gulp, so suddenly these lines are taking a back seat. Unless I can incorporate them somehow, though how exactly escapes me at the moment!
    This sounds like a high-quality problem! Good luck Rob!!!

  22. #121

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    That's much better, Mark! Thanks. I like to do business with Jamey Aebersold too----I've learned a lot from material he's put out.
    I started using the Aebersold play-a-long tracks way back in the 80's, and still have my original LP's somewhere in the garage. One of the hidden benefits lies in transcribing the bass and keyboard parts, because there are some great players on those recordings. I might have been the first to transcribe all of Ron Carter's bass lines from Vol 6 (All Bird), and about six months later I saw that someone had done likewise and published it. There have been several from the other editions released since.

    Ron is one of my main bottom line influences. So is Sam Jones, whose work was featured on the Cannonball Adderly release (Vol 13). What many don't know about me is that when I was teaching full time for 23 years in the SF Bay Area, over half of my students were bass players and most of my gigs/sessions were on bass, not guitar.

    Btw and back on topic, check out my take on Jeannine from the Cannonball edition. That tune was written by pianist Duke Pearson in 1960 and is a great vehicle for blending the Martino activity-type lines over the first 8 bars in Ab minor (Wes did it in A minor), but it also goes through changes that require a working knowledge of II-V clichés. Another one I recorded was Unit 7 that most guitarists are familiar with due to Montgomery's famous version on Smokin' At the Half Note.

    That blues with an 8-bar bridge was actually written by Jones, and the head is the epitome of minor superimposition (G minor over C7 and C minor over F7). Listen carefully to Sam's bass work on those tracks. Doesn't get much better in my book. All for now..
    Mark Stefani
    http://www.visionmusic.com

    "Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple" - Mingus

  23. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzOnSix View Post
    Btw and back on topic, check out my take on Jeannine from the Cannonball edition. That tune was written by pianist Duke Pearson in 1960 and is a great vehicle for blending the Martino activity-type lines over the first 8 bars in Ab minor (Wes did it in A minor), but it also goes through changes that require a working knowledge of II-V clichés. Another one I recorded was Unit 7 that most guitarists are familiar with due to Montgomery's famous version on Smokin' At the Half Note.

    That blues with an 8-bar bridge was actually written by Jones, and the head is the epitome of minor superimposition (G minor over C7 and C minor over F7). Listen carefully to Sam's bass work on those tracks. Doesn't get much better in my book. All for now..
    I love "Jeannine." That's a smokin' version. The first one I heard was by Kenny Burrell. And Wes's "Unit 7" just kills. One of my all-time favorite performances.

    Mark, you mentioned your early book "Four On Six" about playing walking bass lines on guitar. Is it currently in print? If not, is there any book on that subject you would recommend?
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  24. #123

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    Jeannine - wow. Great playing, Mark.

  25. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    Sorry for pointing it out

    I've got four weeks to learn 35 songs with a singer, gulp, so suddenly these lines are taking a back seat. Unless I can incorporate them somehow, though how exactly escapes me at the moment!
    Others will have a better idea, however it seems to me the Activities might fit well over the first four bars of Scrapple from the Apple.

    I've taken Mark's advice to heart and picked up David Baker's book and am thinking more about PM's method rather than learning all those line studies. I learned the first one and cant figure out what I am supposed to do with it. I like some of the licks in the activities but like Mark said there are a lot more to steal from Baker's book.
    Still working on it.

  26. #125

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinO View Post
    Others will have a better idea, however it seems to me the Activities might fit well over the first four bars of Scrapple from the Apple.

    I've taken Mark's advice to heart and picked up David Baker's book and am thinking more about PM's method rather than learning all those line studies. I learned the first one and cant figure out what I am supposed to do with it. I like some of the licks in the activities but like Mark said there are a lot more to steal from Baker's book.
    I agree with Mark Stefani that Martino's activities are not typical ii-V lines. That's just not what they are. But one thing you can do with them is use them for bridges (--two measures of D7? An Am7 activity would work, and if you can double time it, people will go, "whoa, this dude is smokin'!"). Also, there are times where one can "generalize." "All of Me" starts with two measures of C6---an Am7 activity works well there. And so on. A lot of swing-era soloing treats the A section of rhythm tunes as just the I chord. (Charlie Christian did that sometimes.)


    I don't have the Baker book yet. Could you say a bit more about it, Colin?
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  27. #126

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    I agree with Mark Stefani that Martino's activities are not typical ii-V lines. That's just not what they are. But one thing you can do with them is use them for bridges (--two measures of D7? An Am7 activity would work, and if you can double time it, people will go, "whoa, this dude is smokin'!"). Also, there are times where one can "generalize." "All of Me" starts with two measures of C6---an Am7 activity works well there. And so on. A lot of swing-era soloing treats the A section of rhythm tunes as just the I chord. (Charlie Christian did that sometimes.)


    I don't have the Baker book yet. Could you say a bit more about it, Colin?
    I agree on the PM stuff Mark. there is some good stuff there that will be useful. I'm still going to work through it slowly but I don't think I'm going to focus so much time on it now - I think I'll just take it slow.

    The Baker book looks great to me. The meat of it consists of page after page of ii V licks. The good part is that it takes a lick and then shows about ten or fifteen more that start with the same line in the first bar then changes what happens in the next bar. For me that's great. You can then just learn the first bar and do your own thing in the next bar but it still makes sense.

    The first part starts the lick on the 1 then later starts licks on the 3 then 5 then 7 then 9 and so on. Again it groups them in terms of licks that start the same way which I really think is about the most perfect way to learn licks. I mean, do ten of his licks starting with the same first bar and it really makes it easy to come up with another ten.

    You could spend a lot of time just playing licks out of this book and never run out.

    There are sooooo many licks.

    Did I mention that there are a lot of licks?
    Still working on it.

  28. #127

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinO View Post
    You could spend a lot of time just playing licks out of this book and never run out.

    There are sooooo many licks.

    Did I mention that there are a lot of licks?
    Sounds good, provided they are good licks! Which I assume they are... I've got to get that book....
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  29. #128

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinO View Post
    You could spend a lot of time just playing licks out of this book and never run out.
    Great post, Colin! You described the essence of the book very well, especially regarding the IIm7 themes and variations. I had mentioned earlier a lesson I published in Jazz Improv magazine several years ago. In it I laid out a dozen themes for the IIm7 chord, followed by 36 mix 'n match options for the V7 chord, broken down into 12 inside, 12 outside, and 12 blues licks. All told and if you do the math, there are hundreds of powerful II-V's that can be created from that one lesson alone, and the purpose was to get improvisers to make these decisions on the fly during the course of a solo.

    With that in mind, take a look at this 8-bar bridge excerpt from my Unit 7 solo (1st chorus) that I just shared with you guys:

    Linear Expressions by Pat Martino-bridgelicks-jpg

    The first lick begins on the the 4th (G) of the Dm7 chord and is a very Martino-like inside move. Note how it resolves to the 1st (E) of the Em7 chord, starting another II-V that is outside due to the Bb (b9) over the A7 and has Bird written all over it. Next is a II-V right out of the Oscar Peterson playbook, beginning on the 3rd (F) of the Dm7 chord with a classic C major blues move over the G7 chord. Even though there are quick changes in the last two bars, check out the simple C minor blues lick that caps off the bridge.

    In closing, thanks to all of you for the kind words regarding my spin on Jeannine, and it's really gratifying to see you guys taking a step back in understanding the events that led up to Martino's eventual evolution in Linear Expressions. If you do what he and others did in learning the language, your success as a jazz improviser is a foregone conclusion.
    Mark Stefani
    http://www.visionmusic.com

    "Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple" - Mingus

  30. #129

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzOnSix View Post
    In closing, thanks to all of you for the kind words regarding my spin on Jeannine, and it's really gratifying to see you guys taking a step back in understanding the events that led up to Martino's eventual evolution in Linear Expressions. If you do what he and others did in learning the language, your success as a jazz improviser is a foregone conclusion.
    That's certainly an inspiring thought for a Monday morning! (Perhaps you posted it last night but I'm reading it Monday morning.)

    I realize I have spread myself too thin, practicing too many things rather than focusing on smaller number and REALLY getting them down, and finding a way to use them in tunes.

    It's not like I never heard that advice before, but somehow, I wasn't listening.... Doh!
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  31. #130

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    OK, I had a free half hour - here's my video of the five activities played slowly. I then played them a little more up tempo, and spliced them in, as you will see. Hopefully this might help someone here.

    Nice, good clean playing, I've been on holiday for a few weeks, but I'll be getting back to practicing "Activity 1" this week, Hopefully I'll have it memorised, so I can see/hear all the notes in my mind.
    “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

  32. #131

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    Wow, cool thread... I'm around for a while, looks fun.

    Just some thoughts on Martino's minor conversion and basically any other similar approach... which is very common harmonic concept. You have a reference and then create a relationship... then develop the relationship.

    There are different methods of creating guideline for creating the relationships, the simplest being diatonic functional subs.
    Example, Cmaj. is the basic reference, functioning as a I chord using maj/min functional harmony guidelines, keeping it very straight and simple.

    Conversion to Amin... or creating a relationship with the original Cmaj7 chord by using basic modal interchange or using Relative minor... conversion... and then developing that relationship with reference to the original reference, "Cmaj7".

    So the differences begin to show up when you create new relationships with the new tonal target, "A-7". The guidelines you use can reflect either the original reference "Cmaj" or the new reference, "A-7".

    That means... how you control the new relationships, what are the rest of the notes implied when using Subs, Chord patterns etc...do they have reference to Cma7 or has the the new tonal target become the new tonal center. Which generally stretches the relationships with the original Cmaj7. Not so much with the basic chord tones the only difference is the B and A, but with the new relationships. With actual chord progressions, this concept becomes a little more complicated, but only because of more choices, the basic principle remains the same, just more levels of application.

    I read Mark mention using the relationship of relevant II-7 chord, which is the same concept. Using the starting reference, again could be Cmaj7, and creating a relationship. There are choices, the II chord is generally just the upper extensions of the I chord in most tonal systems. So you can simply create relationships with, in this example, D-7, the II-7 chord, relationships are simply applying some form of organized additional note(s), chord(s), melodic applications etc..

    Adding or changing the basic reference, in this example the Cmaj7 chord.

    Relationships in jazz generally don't always stay straight tonally or functionally. (Function is just the motor that makes music move). Generally we also use different modal concepts within those new relationships, the modal part is which note(s) control the functional aspects.

    And we tend to pull or open Melodic minor and use Blue notes and extensive use of modal interchange, Modal interchange is somewhat like dropping different melodic or scale patterns on the same Root note. Modal Interchange from Cmaj7 to C-7, Go from C Ionian to C aeolian or C dorian. There are guideline for usage, which just means reasons or rules which control the change from C ionian to C dorian. The organization of the application.

    Another simple application... Mark posted a great example of Unit 7... anyway, when playing over the "A" section, which is basically just a 12 bar blues, You could use either C7 or G-7 as your basic reference to create relationships and then develop. So you could improve with reference to C7 and take it or develop etc.. or you could improve with reference to G-7 and develop from that reference. The differences begin to show up after new relationships. I'll try and post an example of how using different reference develop differently down the line etc..

    Anyway cool thread... Reg
    Last edited by Reg; 09-24-2014 at 09:16 AM.

  33. #132

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    Good one, Reg. Looking forward to more from you.

  34. #133

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    Hello guys,

    How is it going ? As the thread seems to be in standby, I suppose/hope everyone is working hard.

    I passed through Phase I and II for a quite while and can play the activities comfortably without looking at the book.

    But Phase III cooled me off. I am feeling like I have to start all over again. The phrases are quite different to the previous ones (again) and it is like I have to memorize all the line studies as if I did not work through the previous activities.

    What about you ? Is it worthy to continue ? (In any case, I will use it as a sight reading exercise)


  35. #134

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    I've stopped doing them as I have a few gigs with a singer, and I have a mountain of songs to learn. But I was also beginning to question how to use these lines. I'm still not sure how we might use them, so was hoping some of you would keep going and maybe upload some sound files or videos for contextual purposes.

  36. #135

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    (...) so was hoping some of you would keep going and maybe upload some sound files or videos for contextual purposes.
    Waiting for it too

  37. #136

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    I'm just starting Phase II soon.

  38. #137

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    I'm still playing\hearing "Activity 1", I'm trying to assimilate the lines, so they naturally occur in my playing style, until that happens, I'm not moving onto "Activity 2".
    “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

  39. #138

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    I never got much past Phase II, I enjoyed playing the activities but none of it emerged in my playing.

    The "activities" are 4-5 bars long, strings of bebop phrases based on minor chord shapes and scale fragments. In the book these are related to the inversions of the m7 chord. Phase 1 shows five activities in Gm and before moving to Phase II you should practise the activities in all 12 keys by moving the shape up and down. Phase II shows the five activities (slightly altered) but this time stay in the same position and move through the 12 keys chromatically.

    So that's all hopefully a neat way of learning the fretboard and getting some bebop lines under your fingers.

    Phase III uses the activities to create "line studies" over chord progressions i.e. for a chromatic chord progression use 2 bars of a Gm activity then switch to two bars of the Abm activity etc. Again the activities are altered from how they first appeared. The lines are notated in full for each activity over two different progressions - one chromatic, one that ascends in minor thirds. I think it would be a good exercise to do the same on any progression e.g. circle of fifths. In fact at the end of Phase III there is an exercise, to complete the two line studies based on the fifth activity. It will be interesting, when we get there, to see how different people complete the line study - I suspect there may be more than one answer!

    Phase IV discusses some of the possibilities for substituting different chords with a minor chord, in order to then use the activities learned in the previous phases to improvise over any chord progression. Any song can be reduced to a series of minor chords. There is a worked example, a tune called Nadine by Pat Martino. I haven't studied this at all - I think though that I would have preferred to see a worked example of a jazz standard.

    I'm not playing much jazz at the moment but will definitely return to this book when I do, it requires a lot of effort but seems to be promising some shortcuts to being able to improvise over any chord changes. Look forward to seeing how others get on with this thread!

  40. #139

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    Nice summary Mike. Thx very much. I had looked ahead only briefly, but it sounds like it might have some interesting results. At very least it should improve the ear and add to harmonic knowledge. I'm still hanging in with this, though I started taking Skype lessons. But every time I practice I try to address this book. I don't think I have ever fully worked through a book, and that in itself is motivation for me to continue. I hope that when I look at this thread in a few months that I've stuck with it and progressed further through the material.

  41. #140

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    Quote Originally Posted by srlank View Post
    Nice summary Mike. Thx very much. I had looked ahead only briefly, but it sounds like it might have some interesting results. At very least it should improve the ear and add to harmonic knowledge. I'm still hanging in with this, though I started taking Skype lessons. But every time I practice I try to address this book. I don't think I have ever fully worked through a book, and that in itself is motivation for me to continue. I hope that when I look at this thread in a few months that I've stuck with it and progressed further through the material.
    That could be a great topic for a MarkRhodes poll how many books have people actually worked thru cover to cover. I know new book syndrome kicks in for me and I've probably only completed 2 or 3 over the years.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  42. #141

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    Quote Originally Posted by docbop View Post
    That could be a great topic for a MarkRhodes poll how many books have people actually worked thru cover to cover. I know new book syndrome kicks in for me and I've probably only completed 2 or 3 over the years.
    Great idea docbop. �� Ratio of how many bought to completed. LOL. Or percentage of each book, etc.

    And if I ever make it through this one, I definitely have a couple in mind to try and tackle next. Would be very cool indeed!

  43. #142

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    One day [er.... book] at a time people.

    "My name is Moonray and I'm a guitar bookaholic."

    But this one is something special I reckon.

    When you get to Phase III you get the biggest pay off.
    .....and that is, an insight on how Pat changes [pivots, I think he would refer to it]
    from one chord to another while maintaining a long unbroken line of 8ths.

    For instance, take a look at Line Study 1A where he exits from Gm7 [bars 1&2] via an arpeggio based
    figure on the last 2 beats ...Bb C D F and lands on Eb to continue on his way on the Abm7. [There's an enclosure
    right there ....but I bet he just played it naturally]
    Do that with each change throughout the Line studies and observe how he make each transition seamlessly ....
    .....record the changes on a looper or whatever play the Line Studies over them and marvel.

    I realized that aside from the wonderful lines twisting and turning under the fingers, that it was
    possible to hear the changes as each one arose.
    I set myself to work on being able to be able to move/pivot from any one chord to any other chord
    while keeping in motion.

    A work still in progress I might add.
    But I've only been working on it for around 10 years....I'm not kidding.

    The first thing I did [after learning the first two Phases, was to write out each of the 5 forms as they appeared in
    the studies of Phase III and group them by form and transpose them all to Gm7 and then on to all keys.
    Then I got a handle on how each line was basically like in Phase I but with little variants.

    To this day I play the Phase III Line Studies [A & B progressions] every day as a warm up.
    Beats scale and arpeggios any day.

    ....And another thing I did that was a great help was, I took a deep breath and transposed Phase III to all 12 keys.
    On the guitar, not writing them out, calling out the chord names as I went....just like learning the changes to a song.
    The A form is easy ....root movement is ascending chromatically.
    The B form is a bit gnarly...up a minor third- down a half step etc but with a rogue up a whole step-down a half step
    that crops up twice and you have to be on your game to catch them.
    Specially when you're in a transposed version.

    So there's much to be gleaned from this great piece of jazz guitar literature.
    And you won't become a Pat clone [even if wanted to] because the same principles of
    voice leading changes on the fly frees the mind and fingers and over time you do your own thing.
    I don't even listen to Pat much these days, but I do have all his available records and am eternally
    grateful for his inspiration, and this book.

    And back on the unfinished book syndrome mentioned further up the thread, I remember
    a saying that Kenny Burrell came up with in an extensive interview in Guitar Player 20 or more
    years ago......."nothing wrong with learning some thing from a book, but for every book you read, you
    should write one of your own"
    Hmmmmm......that's a big call.....but I have pretty much done that with this one.

    Meantime.....there's a lot of culling out of unfinished books etc to do in my music room.

    Time is of the essence.

  44. #143

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    If anyone is interested...Pick a few tunes and I'll give examples of converting to minor references. I'll also try and explain the source and organization of relationship which is used for conversions... there are a few. I'll try and make as black and white as possible... and sloooow.

    I'm sure I'll screw a few things up... but should help understand application of concept.

  45. #144

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    Thanks for the offer, Reg. I'll pick a couple tunes.

    1) All Of Me. Old and simple but people really like it. Not many chords, though, so a modern player wonder, 'what do I do for two bars of C6???'

    2) Autumn Leaves. Everyone seems to learn this one early on and yet many pros still enjoy playing it.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  46. #145

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    Thx Reg,
    Any tunes would be great. It might be interesting to see how to approach this in songs that have quick changes, such as rhythm changes for example or tunes that have one bar with a ii V and then the next bar is a I /i chord....not much time on each chord type. Another example is tunes that start with one bar of a maj7 chord and then the very next bar is a VI7 chord, like 'Back Home in Indiana.' Although perhaps this material is not intended for these sorts of quick changes, which in that case it be nice to clarify.

    I think one thing that is interesting in terms of minor conversion, is that the "Activities" use melodic minor, so for example when you use an A minor phrase over a C major chord, you get both #5 and #4. I find this sometimes tricky to make work, at least in terms of using the lines from "The Activities." It would be interesting to see a transcription byPM to see how this sound work. Personally, I've worked with improvising with #5 sounds, but I mostly made it work by using arpeggios such as maj7 #5 or targeting specifically the #5. I find PM's lines trickier to make work the way he is running it sort of scalar-like. Not sure if any of that made sense. But those area couple of points that confuse me.
    Last edited by srlank; 10-02-2014 at 10:50 AM.

  47. #146

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonray View Post
    When you get to Phase III you get the biggest pay off.
    .....and that is, an insight on how Pat changes [pivots, I think he would refer to it]
    from one chord to another while maintaining a long unbroken line of 8ths.
    Thank you for your post, that's great to hear about the payoffs from phase III! The book does seem to have some excellent material, but is not very clear about the objectives or how they will be achieved - it is a bit of an act of faith that if you work through it "something good" will happen near the end.

  48. #147

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Floorstand View Post
    The book does seem to have some excellent material, but is not very clear about the objectives or how they will be achieved - it is a bit of an act of faith that if you work through it "something good" will happen near the end.
    Mike, that's why working through LE and the activities without understanding Pat's earlier work and what led up to it is indeed an "act of faith." If you don't do the homework that he did to acquire the language it's a waste of time, because you're putting the cart before the horse.

    This is precisely why I recommended the D. Baker book in an earlier post, because the knowledge of II-V's is a critical part of Martino's foundation, just as it was for any other skilled jazz improviser regardless of the instrument played. An advanced concept means little without the substance, and if you have that substance than "something good" will indeed happen in a big way.

    If you take the time to listen carefully to Pat's earlier work with Don Patterson, Eric Kloss, Willis Jackson, Jack McDuff and others you'll hear exactly what I'm talking about, because he was using classic jazz clichés that he had learned by ear, with little or no evidence of scale-based thinking whatsoever. I'm not suggesting that anyone avoid LE, but trying to glean value out of it without the foundation makes little sense to me. Work on the activities for conceptual reasons, but I'd devote the majority of your time to acquiring the core language that was the basis for it. Then you'll have the best of both worlds.
    Mark Stefani
    http://www.visionmusic.com

    "Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple" - Mingus

  49. #148

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzOnSix View Post
    Mike, that's why working through LE and the activities without understanding Pat's earlier work and what led up to it is indeed an "act of faith." If you don't do the homework that he did to acquire the language it's a waste of time, because you're putting the cart before the horse. .
    You know, Mark S, if this is true-----and you make a compelling case (-more elsewhere than in just this post)---then I think Pat should have been clearer in the introduction to "Linear Expressions."

    In my own case, I was assigned LE by a teacher; I hadn't heard any of Martino's records, much less learned any licks from them or gleaned a sense of his sources. I was under the impression one could learn his 'linear expressions' and put them to work playing jazz tunes. And a better student than I was might do just that, but although I learned the lines (and found good use for some of them) I really wasn't clear how to put the material to work in the tunes I was trying to play.

    By the way, I'm working in David Baker's "The BeBop Era, Volume 1" now. Just getting started, so I'm doing the "daily calisthenics" part. Very good stuff. Thanks again for recommending it.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  50. #149

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    You know, Mark S, if this is true-----and you make a compelling case (-more elsewhere than in just this post)---then I think Pat should have been clearer in the introduction to "Linear Expressions."

    In my own case, I was assigned LE by a teacher; I hadn't heard any of Martino's records, much less learned any licks from them or gleaned a sense of his sources. I was under the impression one could learn his 'linear expressions' and put them to work playing jazz tunes. And a better student than I was might do just that, but although I learned the lines (and found good use for some of them) I really wasn't clear how to put the material to work in the tunes I was trying to play.

    By the way, I'm working in David Baker's "The BeBop Era, Volume 1" now. Just getting started, so I'm doing the "daily calisthenics" part. Very good stuff. Thanks again for recommending it.
    Understood, Mark. However, that's always the danger in looking at things at face value without realizing the origin of a concept. In Pat's defense, LE represented and explained his recorded works closer to the time period when the book was published. The longer lines indicative of the activities are lines that you'll hear in Pat's solos on Live and Consciousness (mid-seventies), like The Great Stream, Impressions, Sunny and others.

    LE had tremendous value to me, not in learning anything new per se but in vindicating my research and conclusions based on personal transcriptions of those solos. That's how I was able to indentify the II-V's, his clever linking devices to create longer lines, and the ability to use minor conversion as another option for handling changes as well as modal or groove-based fusion situations featuring static harmony.

    You're certainly welcome regarding the Baker suggestion, and it's great to hear that you are doing what's required to get caught up on the language front. Sad to say, many players fail to do that and end up going around and around in circles without making forward progress, because the foundation isn't there. As you're building up your language vocabulary, I'd encourage you to go back and listen to those early Martino recordings, because it'll all make sense at that point. Since you mentioned "All of Me" as a candidate, you'll be playing great solos on that and other standards without even resorting to the activities in LE, although it's a nice option to have in your improvising arsenal.

    Finally and on a personal note, it's never too late to make huge strides in your evolution as a player. I used to believe that as we age our ability to reach the next plateau gets harder and harder, but events in recent years have caused me to completely dispel that myth. Accelerated growth will do that. It's all about the path, regardless of age or how long we've been playing.
    Mark Stefani
    http://www.visionmusic.com

    "Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple" - Mingus

  51. #150

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbyork View Post
    I don't have this book, so I can't speak to it directly, and wish to take nothing away from anyone who finds value in it. However, I've come to believe that the instructional methods of most teachers bear little resemblance to how they themselves actually learned to play. At best, the books are attempts to synthesize and codify what they discovered via whatever path they took, which generally involved a lot of time playing "drop the needle" with Wes Montgomery records. Very few teachers are candid about how important this listening and imitating was to them, possibly because no one will buy a book that tells them to listen to a lot of jazz and try to learn what you can from players you admire.
    So true, Jeff. That's why one of the greatest books I've ever read is an out-of-print rather obscure paperback, "The Jazz Idiom" by Jerry Coker:

    Linear Expressions by Pat Martino-jazzidiom-jpg

    Unlike "Improvising Jazz" (also by Coker - the far more popular book back in the day), there were no musical examples to be found. However, it broke down the language-based jazz learning process that is rarely discussed yet so critically important in truly understanding how the greatest players got from point A to point B. At the time it was a real wake-up call for me and just what I needed to hear.

    Right along similar lines is the brilliant "An Unpopular Perspective on Jazz Education" article published by jazz bassist Chuck Israels earlier this year. Even though many here might have already read it, it is well worth revisiting on a regular basis. It's targeted at young aspiring jazz musicians, but the message is a universal one that underlines the gist of what I got years ago out of the Coker book. It underlines Clark Terry's "Imitation -> Assimilation -> Innovation" philosophy.
    Mark Stefani
    http://www.visionmusic.com

    "Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple" - Mingus