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  1. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzOnSix View Post

    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.
    Here's a juicy quote from that essay:
    >>>>Excessive reverence for the romantic illusion of “original thought” is the most fraudulent and destructive element in the institutionalized process of jazz education. Students are encouraged, sometimes even forced to engage in a frenzied “real time” search for “what to play”, resulting in frustration for the student and the audience. The usual result is awful gibberish which ought to be embarrassing to all parties but which seems to be not only condoned but encouraged by those jazz educators who misunderstand the process of improvisation.

    Under prepared students are rewarded for incoherent public attempts at improvisation at officially sanctioned contests and festivals with the result that the students are reinforced in the expression of anxiety and insecurity. Memorization of solo passages is discouraged by unwise educators who never heard or realized how often the appropriate solos were repeated by Ellington band members in successive performances of his compositions. Members of the audience have no way of knowing whether or not a solo is improvised or memorized, they only know if it sounds good or not and that’s the only thing that should matter to them. <<<<

    Amen!
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

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  3. #152

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    So as I think I explained earlier... minor conversion or how or whatever you want to label... in it's simplest concept is just using a... organizational concept to control creating a relationship, in this case a substitution type of relationship.

    Jazz players generally hear or have an easy time seeing and hearing the minor substitution G-7 for C7.

    You see, or the chart or tune spells or notates The chord C7, and you choose to use as your reference G-7. What you play is organized using G-7 as the basic reference. The relationships you create use G-7 as compared to C7.

    There are many methods of creating guidelines for that application of substitution, again in this example we can label Minor conversion, that is one. There are or can be many more levels of organization of this application.

    What generally happens is the further you develop the relationships, ( G-7 for C7), The more levels of controlled relationships, with G-7 as compared to C7... generally the notes and source of notes for development change.

    If you just think of this basic jazz concept... substitution, of which Minor Conversion could be classified as. There are a lot of options for conversions and options for creating or following existing control or guidelines of application of Conversion.

    Pats use of patterns within his organizational guidelines gets fairly complicated. But are organized, his organization. I got to go... I'll get into some tunes in next post... Reg

  4. #153

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Here's a juicy quote from that essay: "Excessive reverence for the romantic illusion of “original thought” is the most fraudulent and destructive element in the institutionalized process of jazz education."
    That was one of the points that Coker made in his "The Jazz Idiom" book. The misconception among many is that the best parts of a jazz solo are when an artist is stretching the envelope in trying things that he/she has never done before. Jerry calculated that 85-90% of a good solo is comprised of what's been said before, and that the remaining 10-15% represents new ground. However, he goes on to point out that the new experiments typically constitute the weakest part of the solo. Given the transcribing of great players that I've done over the years and how much repetition I've seen, I totally agree. To me, what's "original" is the way that a player's existing language gets blended on-the-fly.

    Pat Martino is a perfect example of a player who uses many of his pet moves over and over, but it's the way that he "connects the dots" that keeps it sounding creative, fresh and worth listening to again.

    Regarding Reg's reference to G minor over C7, that's the most logical place to start using minor conversion, because you can begin with the blues just like Wes did in using that approach in so many of his solos. What's always important to keep in mind is the fact that just like Montgomery, Martino is a language-based player with meaningful content. A jazz concept without the language is like a Ferrari with no fuel ;-).

  5. #154

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzOnSix View Post
    That was one of the points that Coker made in his "The Jazz Idiom" book. The misconception among many is that the best parts of a jazz solo are when an artist is stretching the envelope in trying things that he/she has never done before. Jerry calculated that 85-90% of a good solo is comprised of what's been said before, and that the remaining 10-15% represents new ground. However, he goes on to point out that the new experiments typically constitute the weakest part of the solo. Given the transcribing of great players that I've done over the years and how much repetition I've seen, I totally agree. To me, what's "original" is the way that a player's existing language gets blended on-the-fly.
    I realize now that I made a big mistake when I was young. Back in high school, I played guitar and a good friend played bass. We talked about music all the time, mostly rock, but we had some interest in jazz as well. (Not that we could play it but we thought some of it was cool.) Well, my friend read a biography of Charlie Parker and passed it on to me. We got the impression from this book----which was not written by a musician, as it turns out---that improvisation was everything Chuck Isreals said it is NOT. We thought it was more like the "I play just what I feel" thing. (And that's fine if you have mastered the language and honed your technique; by that point, your "instincts" should be reliable.) And given that we couldn't play well and didn't know much, however we felt, we sounded pretty crappy! ;o)

    Anyway, I am now happy to learn solid "language" and 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

  6. #155

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    Back to studying Linear Expression lines ... I took each four-note subphrase (first or second four notes from each bar) of each Activity and wrote down the scale degrees (relative to G as root) of each note.

    Then put this into a spreadsheet and used a pivot table to see what the most frequent patterns are...

    There are 47 subphrases in total, 30 of them unique. The most common, occurring 4 times, is the diatonic 1,2,b3,4 - I think this is called a minor tetrachord. The next most common subphrase is a much more interesting chromatic phrase 2,b7,b2,6 and is used to approach the root in 3 Activities. (A very similar phrase b7,2,b2,6 is also used once.) No other subphrase is used more than twice.

    I counted the most common first note of each subphrase - not surprisingly the root starts the phrase nearly 25% of the time. More surprisingly the 2nd (9th) degree as the starting note is just as common as the root.

    The most common fourth note in each subphrase is the 5th degree, especially in Activity 1. The 5th degree of Gm is the 3rd degree of BbM so it would make sense to resolve phrases on that note if it is a BbM "convert to minor" substitution. The final note of other subphrases are more evenly spread though.

    Hope this is of use to someone!



    Activity Bar 1st/2nd half Gm scale degrees
    1 1 1 1,2,b3,4
    1 1 2 b5,5,b7,5
    1 2 1 6,7,1,2
    1 2 2 4,2,b3,5
    1 3 1 b7,2,b2,6
    1 3 2 1,b7,6,5
    1 4 1 4,2,b3,5
    1 4 2 2,b3,2,1
    1 5 1 b7,5,4,5
    2 1 1 2,b3,5,b7
    2 1 2 2,b3,2,b2
    2 2 1 1,2,b3,4
    2 2 2 5,b7,2,4
    2 3 1 b3,5,b7,2
    2 3 2 1,7,b7,1
    2 4 1 6,5,4,b3
    2 4 2 2,b7,b2,6
    2 5 1 1,2,b7,5
    3 1 1 5,6,7,2
    3 1 2 7,1,2,4
    3 2 1 2,b3,5,b7
    3 2 2 2,b3,2,b2
    3 3 1 1,b7,5,b6
    3 3 2 6,1,b3,5
    3 4 1 4,2,6,4
    3 4 2 5,b3,2,1
    3 5 1 4,2,b3,4
    3 5 2 2,1,b7,5
    4 1 1 5,6,7,2
    4 1 2 1,2,b3,4
    4 2 1 b5,5,b7,5
    4 2 2 6,7,1,2
    4 3 1 b3,4,5,b7
    4 3 2 6,5,4,b3
    4 4 1 2,b3,2,1
    4 4 2 b7,5,4,b3
    4 5 1 2,b7,b2,6
    4 5 2 1,2,b7,5
    5 1 1 1,2,4,2
    5 1 2 b3,5,b7,2
    5 2 1 1,2,b3,4
    5 2 2 5,b7,2,1
    5 3 1 b7,5,4,b3
    5 3 2 2,b7,b2,6
    5 4 1 1,b7,6,5
    5 4 2 4,2,b3,4
    5 5 1 2,1,b7,1

  7. #156

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    Thank you Mike. Very nice! Interesting that when I work with the material, I have often studied 4 notes at a time to try and understand the material better, and to transpose bit by bit. The chromatic major 3rds targeting the root are really cool. I just checked this out targeting some other chord tones, and it's a great device.

    And well of course intervals other than 3rds sound great as well.
    Last edited by srlank; 10-05-2014 at 12:49 PM.

  8. #157

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    Mike Floorstand, I appreciate you doing that analysis of Martino's five activities. It's interesting to look at things that way.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  9. #158

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Floorstand View Post
    Back to studying Linear Expression lines ... I took each four-note subphrase (first or second four notes from each bar) of each Activity and wrote down the scale degrees (relative to G as root) of each note.

    Then put this into a spreadsheet and used a pivot table to see what the most frequent patterns are...

    There are 47 subphrases in total, 30 of them unique. The most common, occurring 4 times, is the diatonic 1,2,b3,4 - I think this is called a minor tetrachord. The next most common subphrase is a much more interesting chromatic phrase 2,b7,b2,6 and is used to approach the root in 3 Activities. (A very similar phrase b7,2,b2,6 is also used once.) No other subphrase is used more than twice.

    I counted the most common first note of each subphrase - not surprisingly the root starts the phrase nearly 25% of the time. More surprisingly the 2nd (9th) degree as the starting note is just as common as the root.

    The most common fourth note in each subphrase is the 5th degree, especially in Activity 1. The 5th degree of Gm is the 3rd degree of BbM so it would make sense to resolve phrases on that note if it is a BbM "convert to minor" substitution. The final note of other subphrases are more evenly spread though.

    Hope this is of use to someone!



    Activity Bar 1st/2nd half Gm scale degrees
    1 1 1 1,2,b3,4
    1 1 2 b5,5,b7,5
    1 2 1 6,7,1,2
    1 2 2 4,2,b3,5
    1 3 1 b7,2,b2,6
    1 3 2 1,b7,6,5
    1 4 1 4,2,b3,5
    1 4 2 2,b3,2,1
    1 5 1 b7,5,4,5
    2 1 1 2,b3,5,b7
    2 1 2 2,b3,2,b2
    2 2 1 1,2,b3,4
    2 2 2 5,b7,2,4
    2 3 1 b3,5,b7,2
    2 3 2 1,7,b7,1
    2 4 1 6,5,4,b3
    2 4 2 2,b7,b2,6
    2 5 1 1,2,b7,5
    3 1 1 5,6,7,2
    3 1 2 7,1,2,4
    3 2 1 2,b3,5,b7
    3 2 2 2,b3,2,b2
    3 3 1 1,b7,5,b6
    3 3 2 6,1,b3,5
    3 4 1 4,2,6,4
    3 4 2 5,b3,2,1
    3 5 1 4,2,b3,4
    3 5 2 2,1,b7,5
    4 1 1 5,6,7,2
    4 1 2 1,2,b3,4
    4 2 1 b5,5,b7,5
    4 2 2 6,7,1,2
    4 3 1 b3,4,5,b7
    4 3 2 6,5,4,b3
    4 4 1 2,b3,2,1
    4 4 2 b7,5,4,b3
    4 5 1 2,b7,b2,6
    4 5 2 1,2,b7,5
    5 1 1 1,2,4,2
    5 1 2 b3,5,b7,2
    5 2 1 1,2,b3,4
    5 2 2 5,b7,2,1
    5 3 1 b7,5,4,b3
    5 3 2 2,b7,b2,6
    5 4 1 1,b7,6,5
    5 4 2 4,2,b3,4
    5 5 1 2,1,b7,1
    So this is an example of how you analyze a lick. I don't recall ever seeing it written out this way.

    The graphic speaks volumes to me, and I can see how you are able to identify the sounds that you like and then try them over different chords. Such as starting a phrase on the 9th, as you mentioned instead of the root.

    I am extrapolating from this that those who have the time, practice starting from various intervals and tensions of a chord (hope I expressed that correctly).

    Kudos to you, amigo.

  10. #159

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    I realize now that I made a big mistake when I was young. Back in high school, I played guitar and a good friend played bass. We talked about music all the time, mostly rock, but we had some interest in jazz as well. (Not that we could play it but we thought some of it was cool.) Well, my friend read a biography of Charlie Parker and passed it on to me. We got the impression from this book----which was not written by a musician, as it turns out---that improvisation was everything Chuck Isreals said it is NOT. We thought it was more like the "I play just what I feel" thing. (And that's fine if you have mastered the language and honed your technique; by that point, your "instincts" should be reliable.) And given that we couldn't play well and didn't know much, however we felt, we sounded pretty crappy! ;o)

    Anyway, I am now happy to learn solid "language" and enjoy playing it.
    When an established artist (e.g. Parker, Pass, Martino, etc) publishes a biography or an educational book, it's typically done with a co-author that has more of a literary background. While they don't have to be a musician per se, it certainly helps if they are very familiar with the artist. However, that's not always the case, which can mislead the reader to just accept everything as gospel truth. Often the co-author will add their own spin and analysis to the mix. For that reason, I concluded long ago that on the educational side the best way is to go directly to the source via transcribing.

    This was the case with the original Joe Pass Guitar Style book, co-authored by Bill Thrasher. While there are certainly things of value there, I always knew that there was a lot missing in both the way that Joe played as well as thought, yet I would've never known that if I didn't do my own research.

    Martino's LE book was co-authored by Tony Baruso. I can't say for sure how much input he had, but Wolf and I have often discussed the fact that none of the activities were based verbatim (note-for-note) on Pat's actual solos. Frankly I wish that they were so that the student would have more of an organic reference point, instead of having to figure out ways to apply an activity that Martino never played in context. Sure, there are some of his key moves embedded in those lines, but overall they fall short for me compared to what I've transcribed. Like I said before, this wasn't all that important personally, because what I got out of LE was the basis of minor conversion, a confirmation of what I had already concluded. MC allowed me to extend my existing language vocabulary (including what I learned from Pat) to multiple chord families.

    Great to hear that you're on the language path and enjoying it! All for now..

  11. #160

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzOnSix View Post
    Martino's LE book was co-authored by Tony Baruso. I can't say for sure how much input he had, but Wolf and I have often discussed the fact that none of the activities were based verbatim (note-for-note) on Pat's actual solos. Frankly I wish that they were so that the student would have more of an organic reference point, instead of having to figure out ways to apply an activity that Martino never played in context. Sure, there are some of his key moves embedded in those lines, but overall they fall short for me compared to what I've transcribed. Like I said before, this wasn't all that important personally, because what I got out of LE was the basis of minor conversion, a confirmation of what I had already concluded. MC allowed me to extend my existing language vocabulary (including what I learned from Pat) to multiple chord families.

    Great to hear that you're on the language path and enjoying it! All for now..

    I've memorised Activity 1 and can play the line in many different ways and keys, but after reading your posts, I'm thinking that maybe It would be more productive to transcribe my fav short minor lines from recordings, but apply the minor conversion to these minor lines, as I spend a portion of my practice time transcribing fav lines anyway.

    We could get together and make a list of our fav four bar Pat Martino minor lines and transcribe them.
    “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

  12. #161

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzOnSix View Post
    This was the case with the original Joe Pass Guitar Style book, co-authored by Bill Thrasher. While there are certainly things of value there, I always knew that there was a lot missing in both the way that Joe played as well as thought, yet I would've never known that if I didn't do my own research.
    I think that is inevitable. No master can put all he knows about guitar into 50-60 pages. A dedicated novice can learn a whole lot from that book and become a better player, which is about all you can expect for around 20 bucks! ;o)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  13. #162

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    Yea.. I thought it was good for the time... Like Jazzonsix said, he picked up Minor conversion, which is obviously a great application of substitution. And then if you get the concept of substitution... you open, possibly the biggest door of playing in a jazz style, the ability to have possibilities of what to play.

    I would think if you get the basic concept of minor substitution, Pats are typical just diatonic substitutions...

    -Relative Min. A-7 for Cmaj
    -VI-7 for Cmaj7... a functional Diatonic sub
    -G-7 for C7... typical jazz II V concept,
    -Eb-6 for C-7b5... same notes just different root... reference

    Anyway the next step is more complex subs... If you listen to Pats playing... his lines have strong harmonic implication, (they sound like different chords), which employ modal interchange which can also be used as a substitution device or a method of organization.

    So All Of Me... I'm taking it you know the tune, melody and changes, standard key "C"

    Think of a mambo at 150, feel in two,

    / A-7 D13 / A-7 D9#11 / B-7 E9 / B-7 E7#9 /

    / E-9 A13 / E-9 A13 / D-9 A7alt / D-9 A7alt /

    / B-7 E7 / B-7 E7 / A-7 E7#9 / A-7 E7#9 /

    A-9 D9#11 / A-9 D9#11/ D-9 G13 / B-7b5 E7#9 /

    Autumn Leaves... same feel and tempo. keep it simple

    / A-11 G13 / F#-7 B7alt / E-9 A13 / D-9 G13 /

    F#-7b5 Cm6/9 / F#-7 B7alt / E-9 B7alt / E-9 Bb13 /

    I'll vid them and post examples with all my usual BS and chords I use in between etc...

  14. #163

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    Very clear example. Thx very much Reg.

  15. #164

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post

    So All Of Me... I'm taking it you know the tune, melody and changes, standard key "C"

    Think of a mambo at 150, feel in two,

    / A-7 D13 / A-7 D9#11 / B-7 E9 / B-7 E7#9 /

    / E-9 A13 / E-9 A13 / D-9 A7alt / D-9 A7alt /

    / B-7 E7 / B-7 E7 / A-7 E7#9 / A-7 E7#9 /

    A-9 D9#11 / A-9 D9#11/ D-9 G13 / B-7b5 E7#9 /
    Thanks, Reg. That's cool.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  16. #165

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuyBoden View Post
    I'm thinking that maybe It would be more productive to transcribe my fav short minor lines from recordings, but apply the minor conversion to these minor lines, as I spend a portion of my practice time transcribing fav lines anyway.
    Definitely. I've been doing exactly that for over 30 years, and even back in the mid-eighties I started authoring lesson topics and scores with headings like The Jazz Language, Linear Concepts, Minor Sketches, etc. Some of the more recent additions are Modal Magic and Minor Connections, but to one degree or another they include Martino's minor conversion principles.

    Take a look at these blast-from-the-past (1984) examples from the LC series:
    Linear Expressions by Pat Martino-minorlines-jpg

    What you're seeing are a half dozen inside/melodic II-V clichés from the likes of Stanley Turrentine, Joe Pass, Charlie Parker, George Benson, John Coltrane and yes.. Pat Martino. They can be played in a variety of different positions.

    For starters, after executing any of the six examples, play a Cmaj7 or Am9 to hear how they work as dedicated II-V's in either a major or minor key. However, the deeper purpose of this lesson is how the lines were set up to interconnect, which is where we get into Pat's minor conversion potential. Try playing A followed by B, then C followed by D and finally E followed by F to hear what I'm talking about. It's a whole lot of fun getting into all of the mix 'n match possibilities when it comes to using genuine language.

    One final piece of advice is to be judicious with regards to song selections targeted for minor conversion. While it's true that it can theoretically be applied to any standard (like "All of Me"), there are better and more logical choices to get comfortable and confident in using the concept. It's rarely my first choice, but it's a nice option to have. All for now..

  17. #166

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzOnSix View Post
    One final piece of advice is to be judicious with regards to song selections targeted for minor conversion. While it's true that it can theoretically be applied to any standard (like "All of Me"), there are better and more logical choices to get comfortable and confident in using the concept. It's rarely my first choice, but it's a nice option to have. All for now..
    This is an interesting topic, and not just about minor conversion. To what extent have jazz players found, let us say, Things That Work and chosen a repertoire that calls for those things often, as opposed to choosing great tunes (-for the sake of being great tunes) and then figuring out things to do with them? My mother has started me thinking about this.

    My elderly mom doesn't get out anymore, so I give her a weekly 'concert,' made up most of old swing things. Plus "Watermelon Man," which she insists I play every week. That and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" are the opening and closing of the act.

    Even though my mother is a musician (piano), she isn't a jazz musician. She grew up on what we now call the Great American Songbook and remembers lots of those songs. But I've noticed that she has no special affection for many tunes jazz musicians consider 'must-know' stuff: All the Things You Are, Stella By Starlight, I Hear A Rhapsody, Stardust. It's not that she dislikes them. She thinks they are okay but nothing she ever cared to play. She prefers "Five Foot Two," "Ain't Misbehavin', (but NOT "Makin Whoopee"---the lyric offends her), "Thanks For The Memory," "Here's That Rainy Day" (<<< now that one is a must-know for many jazz musicians), "Tuxedo Junction," "In The Mood," and Tommy Dorsey's "Boogie Woogie."

    This week I'm adding "St. Louis Blues" to the set because I know she likes that one. But I won't play the chord melody I've worked out for "ATTYA" because although she might find it impressive, she wouldn't find it enjoyable.

    It's one of those things that reminds me of how my listening has changed. I mean, I don't love "ATTYA" as a lyric---it's overwrought and off-putting to me--and the same goes for "Stardust" and "Stella"---but those are such great vehicles for improv, I love them for that reason. But suddenly I realize, that's no reason for a non-jazz player to love 'em!

    But back to Mark S's post: Mark, what 3-5 tunes do you think would be great for a newbie to minor conversion to use it on? Would "Sunny" be one? Pat seems to really love to play that tune.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  18. #167

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    @JazzOnSix, are the changes at the top what these measures would be played over?

    Thanks

  19. #168

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuyBoden View Post
    I'm thinking that maybe It would be more productive to transcribe my fav short minor lines from recordings, but apply the minor conversion to these minor lines, as I spend a portion of my practice time transcribing fav lines anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by JazzOnSix View Post
    Definitely. I've been doing exactly that for over 30 years, and even back in the mid-eighties I started authoring lesson topics and scores with headings like The Jazz Language, Linear Concepts, Minor Sketches, etc. Some of the more recent additions are Modal Magic and Minor Connections, but to one degree or another they include Martino's minor conversion principles.

    Take a look at these blast-from-the-past (1984) examples from the LC series:
    Linear Expressions by Pat Martino-minorlines-jpg

    What you're seeing are a half dozen inside/melodic II-V clichés from the likes of Stanley Turrentine, Joe Pass, Charlie Parker, George Benson, John Coltrane and yes.. Pat Martino. They can be played in a variety of different positions.

    For starters, after executing any of the six examples, play a Cmaj7 or Am9 to hear how they work as dedicated II-V's in either a major or minor key. However, the deeper purpose of this lesson is how the lines were set up to interconnect, which is where we get into Pat's minor conversion potential. Try playing A followed by B, then C followed by D and finally E followed by F to hear what I'm talking about. It's a whole lot of fun getting into all of the mix 'n match possibilities when it comes to using genuine language.

    One final piece of advice is to be judicious with regards to song selections targeted for minor conversion. While it's true that it can theoretically be applied to any standard (like "All of Me"), there are better and more logical choices to get comfortable and confident in using the concept. It's rarely my first choice, but it's a nice option to have. All for now..

    Many thanks for the examples and good advice.
    “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

  20. #169

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbyork View Post
    Until now, I didn't have these particular examples, but I became familiar with the lesson topics because they are included in your swing blues course. It was cool just learning the lines as written, and plugging them into the changes, but -- as you said -- the real fun began when I started learning them in different positions, on different string sets, and combining them in as many ways as I could imagine. Then, I picked out the notes I liked in each line and tried to find different ways to connect them while still resolving in the same way. After that, I started hearing the variations whenever I listened to jazz, and saw that I could play with the rhythms as well as the notes. Quite a workout, immediately applicable, and way more fun than fumbling through exercises and trying to figure out how to make music out of them. Still, I couldn't have done any of this without first being exposed to the language in your lessons, or your recommendations on how to use them.

    You must have done an insane amount of transcribing to be able to share so many examples. Many thanks!
    Yes, Jeff.. the Linear Concepts and Jazz Language series (among others) in the Swing Blues course began considerably earlier than when I authored it back in 1998. You can see that from the example I recently shared that it predates the course by some 13-14 years. What you're saying makes a lot of sense to me, because strong language spawns strong language when you start to experiment with it, which is exactly what I was doing even back then.

    As far as transcribing goes, in retrospect what was "insane" is what I had been doing prior to that time period. Naturally I had very little language, and while I could hold my own in any high-brow music theory conversation, the truth was that I couldn't play anything convincing at all. Talk is cheap, just as it is today. The decision to start transcribing on a regular basis changed everything for me. I quickly realized that I could be like "a kid in a candy store" in choosing any great player, regardless of the instrument, as a personal instructor.

    My first efforts were frustrating and I gave up after just 3-4 days, but then something amazing happened to me. I saw my playing clearly improve over a couple of weeks and for the life of me I couldn't put my finger on why. I kept asking myself what I had done differently to explain the growth and all of a sudden it dawned on me. The simple fact that I had challenged my ear for hours and hours over those few days improved what I was hearing spontaneously. That was a lightbulb moment that led to years of learning from some of the best players I could possibly imagine. I was having so much fun and haven't looked back since.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Mark, what 3-5 tunes do you think would be great for a newbie to minor conversion to use it on? Would "Sunny" be one? Pat seems to really love to play that tune.
    Mark, that tune is near and dear to me. You've probably already heard this, but check out my studio take on Sunny from the Blues, Jazz & Beyond release. I've had so many great reviews on that track and you'll hear some minor conversion moments. Of course, I'm very familiar with Martino's 10-chorus solo from his Live album, having transcribed it many years ago. I opted a bit more for the blues card yet did use repetitions like Martino, but in the way of double-stops cut from the Benson cloth.

    To me, here are the best candidates for initially getting your feet wet using both MC and longer minor lines in general:

    1) Any three-chord blues but especially those with a jazz slant, like All Blues and Freddie Freeloader by Miles or Bessie's Blues by Trane. The simpler harmony allows you to experiment without having a bunch of changes flying by.

    2) The Rhythm Changes bridge. Not only is it a critically important tune and chord progression, but the original III-VI-II-V sequence with two bars each of dominant 7ths are perfect for minor conversion.

    3) Any classic jazz modal tune (or groove-based vamp) for a direct application of longer minor ideas, like Impressions, So What, Cantaloupe Island, Little Sunflower, etc.

    Side note to edh: Yes, the chord changes you see in parenthesis or combinations are all legit candidates for applying the lines that you see. Same goes for the LE activity examples, except that those are in G minor instead of D minor so you have to transpose accordingly. All for now..

  21. #170

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzOnSix View Post

    To me, here are the best candidates for initially getting your feet wet using both MC and longer minor lines in general:

    1) Any three-chord blues but especially those with a jazz slant, like All Blues and Freddie Freeloader by Miles or Bessie's Blues by Trane. The simpler harmony allows you to experiment without having a bunch of changes flying by.

    2) The Rhythm Changes bridge. Not only is it a critically important tune and chord progression, but the original III-VI-II-V sequence with two bars each of dominant 7ths are perfect for minor conversion.

    3) Any classic jazz modal tune (or groove-based vamp) for a direct application of longer minor ideas, like Impressions, So What, Cantaloupe Island, Little Sunflower, etc.

    Side note to edh: Yes, the chord changes you see in parenthesis or combinations are all legit candidates for applying the lines that you see. Same goes for the LE activity examples, except that those are in G minor instead of D minor so you have to transpose accordingly. All for now..
    Thanks, Mark S. Since my old copy of Jamey Aebersold's "Maiden Voyage" has "Impressions" on it, I'll go with that one for the modal tune. (I've never worked on that tune, either, so it's about time....)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  22. #171

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    @Mark Stefani, thanks for answering my question.

  23. #172

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    Quote Originally Posted by edh View Post
    @Mark Stefani, thanks for answering my question.
    (CAUTION: Shameless plug to follow)

    edh, you have got to check out Mark's website and see what you think. It is very seductive, especially for me, the Swing Blues course.

    Good stuff, Mark!

  24. #173

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    Ive been studying with Mark Stefani for about 2 and a half years now,whew!,what a change in playing Ive made.Still playing live and getting more heads to turn than ever just by infusing his language based ideas from all his courses.Anyone out there that needs a little guidance and to get their mind to open up to this will be pleasantly pleased!Youngstown Ohio speaks out!

  25. #174

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    Quote Originally Posted by YoCat View Post
    Ive been studying with Mark Stefani for about 2 and a half years now,whew!,what a change in playing Ive made.Still playing live and getting more heads to turn than ever just by infusing his language based ideas from all his courses.Anyone out there that needs a little guidance and to get their mind to open up to this will be pleasantly pleased!Youngstown Ohio speaks out!
    That's great to hear. Mark Stefani knows his stuff, plays like mad, and is a super nice guy. I got some things from him (-Swing Blues material) back in 2004 or '05, when I was living in New Orleans, and I keep the folder with the charts near my music stand at all times. Great, essential stuff.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  26. #175

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    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the "shameless" website plug, coaching endorsement and kind words! ;-)

  27. #176

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    Yesterday I strarted the book....I have already memorized activities I and II, today I will learn the others, and then I will play it in all 12 keys.
    I think they could fit well i.e. over domintant chords, playing the minor chords of the diminished scale harmonitazion (i.e. Gm6, Bbm6, Dbm6, Em6 over a G7 chord). Maybe will try them over activities I and II to listen the sound.

  28. #177

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    I would like to start working on activities but i'm skeptical on how to use them, have you guys figured out how to make use of them ans start creating your own even ?
    This guys seems to have got it !

  29. #178

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    Quote Originally Posted by mooncef View Post
    This guys seems to have got it !
    That's Jack Zucker!
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  30. #179

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    That's Jack Zucker!
    Don't know him

  31. #180
    dortmundjazzguitar Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by mooncef View Post
    I would like to start working on activities but i'm skeptical on how to use them, have you guys figured out how to make use of them ans start creating your own even ?
    you should not be concerned with that. just learn to play the first three phases. record the activities and post them here. applications will become clear in the process. just do it.

  32. #181

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    Quote Originally Posted by dortmundjazzguitar View Post
    you should not be concerned with that. just learn to play the first three phases. record the activities and post them here. applications will become clear in the process. just do it.
    Dortmund is right. Just do it.
    But I can give you one simple example of a place I used the first activity: over the first measures of the bridge of "Satin Doll." A simple ii / V / I / I. There's a lot of other things you can do with that line, but that's one you can mess with a must-know tune that you don't even have to play fast.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  33. #182

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    You can use them in all sorts of places. I used one (or my approximation of one) at 2m 10s here:


  34. #183
    dortmundjazzguitar Guest

  35. #184

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    The PM solo in Along came Betty still freaks me out. It's just so unbelievably exciting and in the pocket.
    ....and he's right on those changes even though there are lots of them.

  36. #185

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    I don't do a lot of joining study groups or anything. When I get hooked on something I just kind of zero in on it. I started working on "Expressions" a while back and then moved on to Pat's "Creative Force" which expounds on the ideas in Expressions. I'm still in the first of two Creative Force courses. I'm glad I did "Expressions" first as it references the minor chord forms more and kind of acclimates you to the positions. I'm still referencing those minor forms and attaching them to the 7th chords derived from the parent diminished chords (a major concept in Creative Force). I'm enjoying this so much. Sometimes whilst learning these licks I think "...that's awkward...not for me". Then after a while it's in my vocabulary. I sat in with a group a couple of weeks ago & they thought I was some kinda jazz dude. I'm really not and just really diggin this. Many of you are probably more adept than I.
    A side note: I met Pat a bunch of years ago (like '79) and told him how I was hooked on pedal steel. He was VERY positive and supportive much to my surprise. He was in collaboration with Buddy Emmons (king of jazz steel & my idol) to do an album that never happened and won't as Buddy passed away last year. My next project (after I'm done with this) is to transpose all this to C6 pedal steel--a whole different matrix. My main purpose for this post is to encourage all of you involved in "Expressions" to please move on to "Creative Force" when you feel that you've gotten everything out of "Expressions". It goes much further in respect to dancing around in those patterns and probably inventing your own licks. Then after that there's "Quantum Guitar". I'm still on Creative Force 1. I guess Pat Martino, Robert Conti, and Sheryl Bailey have helped me the most in my jazz education.

  37. #186

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzOnSix View Post



    1) Any three-chord blues but especially those with a jazz slant, like All Blues and Freddie Freeloader by Miles or Bessie's Blues by Trane. The simpler harmony allows you to experiment without having a bunch of changes flying by.
    That's what I'm talkin' 'bout! This is what I love about places like this: discovering guys I never even heard about before, especially when they know what they're talking about. It recharges my batteries after reading so many posts rife with $5 words trying too hard to describe concepts that really ought to be simple.

    I would go even a step further to say also check in with the rawest, most 'untutored' blues, Chicago, delta, whatever---and get at least a little into your playing. It is to me the very plasma of jazz (arguably along with the American Songbook), no matter how fancy or abstract the harmonies or concepts get. I like players that take me 'home' to the basics, whatever (hopefully interesting) trip they may be on.

    I'm for a return to simplicity---as long as it's not simple minded. There has been to me, an unfortunate deviation away from the heartbeat and roots of jazz in particular, sometimes into self-indulgent and too long solos. The blues players and older school jazz players knew to 'say it in 2', or their hinies just might have been kicked off the stand.

    (Gets off soapbox, steps in s^^t).

    And now, with pleasure, I will listen to Mark Stefani...
    Last edited by fasstrack; 10-02-2016 at 09:04 PM.

  38. #187

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    Mark Stefani:

    If you are out there, I salute you and bow deeply! I just listened to Shadow of Your Smile, and it had all the qualities I love and try to exemplify myself in music: A desire to use one's talent in the service of bringing out a beautiful song, rather than show 'what I'm working on'. It is a mature and wise attitude that says in the performance 'Folks, isn't this a beautiful tune?' rather than 'Folks, ain't I a bad MF?'. Yes, there's a time for that, too, and 'if you got it flaunt it'---but it seems relatively rare these days, especially among certain younger players weaned on the age of technology and reflecting it in their playing, to hear a loving, knowing delivery of a melody the way a guy like you does.

    That tenor player is gorgeous. Who is he?

    Joel Fass, Bronx, NY. (62 year-old jazz guitarist-songwriter)...
    Last edited by fasstrack; 10-02-2016 at 09:34 PM.

  39. #188

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    Quote Originally Posted by fasstrack View Post
    Mark Stefani:

    If you are out there, I salute you and bow deeply! I just listened to Shadow of Your Smile, and it had all the qualities I love and try to exemplify myself in music: A desire to use one's talent in the service of bringing out a beautiful song, rather than show 'what I'm working on'. It is a mature and wise attitude that says in the performance 'Folks, isn't this a beautiful tune?' rather than 'Folks, ain't I a bad MF?'. Yes, there's a time for that, too, and 'if you got it flaunt it'---but it seems relatively rare these days, especially among certain younger players weaned on the age of technology and reflecting it in their playing, to hear a loving, knowing delivery of a melody the way a guy like you does.

    That tenor player is gorgeous. Who is he?

    Joel Fass, Bronx, NY. (62 year-old jazz guitarist-songwriter)...

    Hey, Joel,
    I know Mark. He's a member here but he's a busy guy, playing and teaching, and goes long periods without popping up here. I'll email him and make sure he sees this. Might prompt him to come back and post something----he's come up with a multitude of good lessons. Great taste, great feel, great guy!
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  40. #189

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Hey, Joel,
    I know Mark. He's a member here but he's a busy guy, playing and teaching, and goes long periods without popping up here. I'll email him and make sure he sees this. Might prompt him to come back and post something----he's come up with a multitude of good lessons. Great taste, great feel, great guy!
    You have my blessing! He def knows what he's doing and what he's talking about and plays beautifully.

    Thanks for having this forum and letting me get my 'coat pulled' to some pros and very talented people like Jordan Lemons, Nathaniel Koenig and especially Mark Stefani.

    All reet...

  41. #190

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    [QUOTE=dortmundjazzguitar;696102]
    What a heavyweight he is (even if I'm not in love with every SINGLE note he plays). Such command from note 1, such great, surging time. My lone reservation would be that I wish he'd take more breaths more often. I like a little daylight between the notes myself. It gets a little 'monochromatic' for me (for want of a better expression) when players don't (won't?) leave a little space now and again. (I'm a Stan Getz, Paul Desmond, Miles freak).

    He is one of the greats and originals, going back to when he played with Sonny Stitt at like 14. The organ dates, especially with Don Patterson, are some of the most burnin' and soulful music I've ever heard. I sometimes practice and try to keep up with him on stuff like Minority (or Wes playing Tune Up). Kicks my natural ass and keeps me young...
    Last edited by fasstrack; 10-02-2016 at 10:28 PM.

  42. #191

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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffsct View Post
    A side note: I met Pat a bunch of years ago (like '79) and told him how I was hooked on pedal steel. He was VERY positive and supportive much to my surprise. He was in collaboration with Buddy Emmons (king of jazz steel & my idol) to do an album that never happened and won't as Buddy passed away last year. My next project (after I'm done with this) is to transpose all this to C6 pedal steel--a whole different matrix.
    Wow, we must be living parallel lives. I met Pat soon after I moved to Philly in 1984 and took a lesson with him at his parents' home in South Philly. My main activity at the time (as it still it today) is jazz pedal steel. Except he was less encouraging to me than it seems he was to you. Emmons was also my main inspiration (and a teacher of mine at Jeff Newman's place in Nashville). Anyway, updating to modern times, I have indeed transcribed the first few of the Martino activities to C6 pedal steel and do use them in the course of improv, for example, on tunes like Recorda Me.

    Where do you live? If not too far, we ought to get together some time. (Or perhaps we already have done so and don't know it cuz we don't recognize each other's forum moniker?)

  43. #192

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    jasaco, I'm way out in NW Colorado. Do get in touch if you're ever out this way. I think I'm the only pedal steeler in three counties & I don't play out that much. I never got too proficient on C6 but I'm thinking I dig these PM courses so much that it's the way to go on steel too.

  44. #193

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    I've been working with the Martino lines for several months now and I do use them regularly in ii V I's. I grabbed a video cam this morning and just played over a backing track for awhile, using each of the Martino activities. I apologize in advance for not capturing the first few frets of the neck with the video (which limits vision of activity #1) but you can certainly hear all the lines and if you've been working with these lines for awhile, you'll recognize them, either in full, or pieces of them. I'm not a great player, more an intermediate-level, but I thought this might be either interesting or useful to somebody out there.

    jasaco

    Last edited by jasaco; 10-04-2016 at 12:50 AM.

  45. #194

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco View Post
    I've been working with the Martino lines for several months now and I do use them regularly in ii V I's. I grabbed a video cam this morning and just played over a backing track for awhile, using each of the Martino activities. I apologize in advance for not capturing the first few frets of the neck with the video (which limits vision of activity #1) but you can certainly hear all the lines and if you've been working with these lines for awhile, you'll recognize them, either in full, or pieces of them. I'm not a great player, more an intermediate-level, but I thought this might be either interesting or useful to somebody out there.

    jasaco

    Great playing Jim, and that guitar sounds fabulous!

  46. #195

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop View Post
    Great playing Jim, and that guitar sounds fabulous!
    Ha! Thanks for the comment, and thanks for selling me the guitar!!
    (It's a 16" Peerless Cremona, bought here from 2b a few months ago. Loving it.)
    Last edited by jasaco; 10-04-2016 at 07:39 PM.

  47. #196

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco View Post
    I've been working with the Martino lines for several months now and I do use them regularly in ii V I's. I grabbed a video cam this morning and just played over a backing track for awhile, using each of the Martino activities.

    Nice! I could sure recognize them. I had a teacher when I started in Pat's book and I learned those lines thoroughly. Wasn't sure sure what to do with them then----I wasn't really a jazz player yet---but "As Time Goes By" I've found many, many uses for them. And I like them as warm-ups too because they're actual jazzy lines, not just scale / arp patterns.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  48. #197

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    I recently started to learn the lines from the "Linear Expressions" in a structured way. I recorded a short example of Line study 2a where all the two bar phrases are transposed to A minor. What is very useful in these phrases that they usually start from different chord tones, not only from the lowest chord tone as in the first part of the book.I first play a chord form and then the lines. In some cases I slightly modify the lines. I take one key a day and move in circle of fifths.

  49. #198

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    Chanced upon this today: guy playing Pat's line studies over the changes of "All the Things You Are."

    Study Group: Linear Expressions by Pat Martino
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  50. #199

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    Oops, wrong link!
    Here's the right one:

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  51. #200

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    How do I join the group this late in the piece? Where would I start?


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