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  1. #1

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    [This OP has changed in light of much interest from several members. The direction is now toward Frank Vignola's rhythm changes etudes / play-alongs, published by Mel Bay.
    http://www.melbay.com/Author/Default...AuthorId=37360
    We will start with Volume 1---the 3-in-1 volume above seems to me to be the best deal, but 'to each his own'.
    The first 20-or-so posts below came before this addendum to the OP.]

    I am new to these Jazz Guitar Study groups. This month I joined 3 groups and I love them.

    Just wondering if there would be any interest in a study group using "Frank Vignola's Jazz Standard chord progressions" published by Mel Bay.

    The solos are relatively easy but there are some very interesting licks.

    I believe that Frank Vignola and Mel Bay teamed up for a couple of other books in this series but we could start with this one.

    I am thinking 1 song a month ??

    I am open to suggestions

    Let me know what you think.

    Whose in ?


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    Last edited by MarkRhodes; 01-25-2017 at 10:51 AM. Reason: Clarify changes decided upon since OP initially appeared

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I like Frank a lot. I've been using his etudes on rhythm changes (3 volumes) lately. Great stuff. I'm open....
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    I like Frank a lot. I've been using his etudes on rhythm changes (3 volumes) lately. Great stuff. I'm open....
    Great. Let's wait to see if we can get a few others to join before we get started.
    B.T.W. I love Frank Vignola's guitar playing and his educational work with Mel Bay and TrueFire.
    I met him and even got the chance to play with him. He is a great guy.
    P.S What études on Rhythm Changes are you referring to ?


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  5. #4

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    Here's a link to Frank's first book on rhythm changes. (There are three.)
    They are a supplement to the "Modern Guitar Method" Frank did for Mel Bay. (I haven't seen those volumes.)


    Modern Guitar Method Rhythm Changes, #1 eBook+Online Audio - Mel Bay Publications, Inc. : Mel Bay

    O, here's a link (same site, Mel Bay) to all three volumes between two covers, with 'online audio' instead of a CD.

    Frank Vignola's Complete Rhythm Changes Play-Along for Guitar Book + Online Audio - Mel Bay Publications, Inc. : Mel Bay

    As for the Group, you're wise to wait for more interest to show itself before getting started.

    I take it this is the volume you are talking about. (Well, there are two; this is one of them.)

    Play-Along Jazz Standard Chord Progressions eBook+Online Audio - Mel Bay Publications, Inc. : Mel Bay
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Here's a link to Frank's first book on rhythm changes. (There are three.)
    They are a supplement to the "Modern Guitar Method" Frank did for Mel Bay. (I haven't seen those volumes.)


    Modern Guitar Method Rhythm Changes, #1 eBook+Online Audio - Mel Bay Publications, Inc. : Mel Bay

    O, here's a link (same site, Mel Bay) to all three volumes between two covers, with 'online audio' instead of a CD.

    Frank Vignola's Complete Rhythm Changes Play-Along for Guitar Book + Online Audio - Mel Bay Publications, Inc. : Mel Bay

    As for the Group, you're wise to wait for more interest to show itself before getting started.

    I take it this is the volume you are talking about. (Well, there are two; this is one of them.)

    Play-Along Jazz Standard Chord Progressions eBook+Online Audio - Mel Bay Publications, Inc. : Mel Bay
    That's great. Maybe after we are done with the first book, we can move on to other Frank Vignola publications.

    And yes, that is the book I am referring to. What is the title of the second book?


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  7. #6

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    I'm interested. Mastering rhythm changes is a specific goal of mine right now, so I'm glad to have a community to pursue it with and help keep me motivated.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco View Post
    I'm interested. Mastering rhythm changes is a specific goal of mine right now, so I'm glad to have a community to pursue it with and help keep me motivated.
    Great
    Welcome

    Maybe we should wait for a few more joiners then we can decide which Frank Vignola publication to start with.


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  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doublea A View Post
    Maybe we should wait for a few more joiners then we can decide which Frank Vignola publication to start with.
    I'm happy to wait awhile but it was my (mis?)understanding that we would be starting with his Rhythm Changes book, first volume of two? That's what I'm interested in doing...

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco View Post
    I'm happy to wait awhile but it was my (mis?)understanding that we would be starting with his Rhythm Changes book, first volume of two? That's what I'm interested in doing...
    Sure. What do you think Mark Rhodes ?


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  11. #10

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    It's fine with me. Whatever the group wants to do. All Frank's material is worth learning. The main thing is we pick something that 3 or 4 will stick with at least long enough for a few other people to join in. ;o)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  12. #11
    Don't know if I'm ready, but I am....jazz curious.

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  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by inktechpatrick View Post
    Don't know if I'm ready, but I am....jazz curious.
    Good enough!
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  14. #13
    I had to double-check. Turns out Jazz is legal in this state. I'm in!!

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  15. #14

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    Hmmmm... I want to say yes, but school is way too much this semester. Sad!

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by pants View Post
    Hmmmm... I want to say yes, but school is way too much this semester. Sad!
    Why not just keep in touch with us and jump in when school lightens up


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  17. #16

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    I just noticed where this thread is----in the Jazzguitar.be Lessons. I'm not sure it belongs here.

    I guess the thinking was, 'These are standard progressions and this is where the Practical Standards group posts, so..."

    But it might be better off somewhere else. There isn't a 'study group' forum. If the focus is on learning the progressions, then the "Comping, Chords & Chord Progressions" area seems best; if the focus is on learning the etudes, then the "Improvisation" section may be best.

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

  18. #17

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    I'd like to learn both. You decide. (That's why they pay you the big bucks...)

  19. #18

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    Not to complicate things too much but it seems to me like there ought to be a study group forum. Might even increase participation as people spot the category and browse.

  20. #19
    I will look into this


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  21. #20
    Where should this thread be ?


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  22. #21
    I think that I will announce this group in a couple of spots on Tapatalk and while looking a permanent and logical home for it to breathe. I will keep you updated.

    In the meantime, I think the February "assignment" should be Basics 1 and 2 (Rhythm Changes in C). Your thoughts . . . .


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  23. #22

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    A February assignment from Volume 1 of the Rhythm Changes book is fine for me, as I already have it, but for the sake of the group, we need to catch our breath and make clear which book we are starting with because Frank has two books on standard progressions and three on rhythm changes. That's five books. No one should have to buy five books to start with a study group! (The 3-in-1 volume of Rhythm Changes material with 'online audio' rather than a CD is an option I wish I had had----over the years I have had trouble with some CDs that come with instructional books. If you're interested in that, there's a link upstream.)


    If we want to do rhythm changes, I suggest we change the name of this thread to "Frank Vignola Rhythm Changes Study Group." (It's nice to have a title that appears in full even on small screens. That can be taken in at a glance.)

    If that suits everyone, I'll change the title. And then move this to the Improvisation section.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  24. #23
    Great Mark !! Thanks for taking the initiative


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  25. #24

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    Suits me just fine. Thanks.

  26. #25

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    If we're going to start on Frank's rhythm changes etudes (Volume 1), we have to decide where to start.

    One option is, "Start with the very first thing, then go to the next one, and so on until you come to the end."
    That is simple enough but study groups only work to the extent that at least a few people (-and who those few people are may change over time) stay involved. Hence option two:

    Let the members decide which piece they want to start with, and when that's done, let them pick the next one. (The "Raney" group works like this and it's a big success.)

    Another wrinkle here is that Frank starts his "basics" exercises in C. Nothing wrong with the key of C, but rhythm changes is usually played in Bb. (Yeah, yeah, we all need to be able to play 'em in all 12 keys, or at least, C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, and G) but starting in Bb would not be a bad idea.

    How many people have (or could have within a week) Frank's book / CD? (I do.)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  27. #26

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    I could have it within a week certainly; would just buy it online with online access to the content...

    As for myself, I would probably like to: start at the very beginning, a very good place to start, first i'll begin with A, B, C, then I'll move on to do, re, me...

  28. #27

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    Don't count on me... as much as I'd like to, I shouldn't buy another book until I get more out of the ones I already have.

  29. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    If we're going to start on Frank's rhythm changes etudes (Volume 1), we have to decide where to start.

    One option is, "Start with the very first thing, then go to the next one, and so on until you come to the end."
    That is simple enough but study groups only work to the extent that at least a few people (-and who those few people are may change over time) stay involved. Hence option two:

    Let the members decide which piece they want to start with, and when that's done, let them pick the next one. (The "Raney" group works like this and it's a big success.)

    Another wrinkle here is that Frank starts his "basics" exercises in C. Nothing wrong with the key of C, but rhythm changes is usually played in Bb. (Yeah, yeah, we all need to be able to play 'em in all 12 keys, or at least, C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, and G) but starting in Bb would not be a bad idea.

    How many people have (or could have within a week) Frank's book / CD? (I do.)
    I think that you make some points Mark. I think that starting at the beginning and moving sequentially makes sense because it seems that Frank builds on each idea. Even though he starts in C it is the concept that we should be absorbing. I think that he starts in C because of simplicity sake. Then, he quickly moves to Bb.

    I would like to see the group move onto his Chord Progression series where he transcribes simples to be played over standards.

    I also think that moving and renaming the group makes sense. I am new to these groups and clearly I am in need of some guidance from the veterans.

    I know that I am an "All in" kind of guy but I bought the book yesterday and started working on it today.


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  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doublea A View Post
    I think that starting at the beginning and moving sequentially makes sense because it seems that Frank builds on each idea. Even though he starts in C it is the concept that we should be absorbing. I think that he starts in C because of simplicity sake. Then, he quickly moves to Bb.
    That would be fine by me.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  31. #30

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    So, is it time to buy the book yet?

  32. #31
    Yes. I bought mine yesterday


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  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco View Post
    So, is it time to buy the book yet?
    I think so, yes. Volume One. It's published by Mel Bay. (You can get it through Amazon.)

    I have an older edition that came with a CD. (Not that old, really.) It's now available now as a 3-in-1 volume (3 books between two covers) with online audio rather than CDs. It's cheaper that way. Seems like a good value to me. But the etudes are the same either way.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  34. #33
    I bought the digital version directly from the Mel Bay site


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  35. #34
    I will have the online/ebook version by the weekendFrank Vignola Rhythm Changes

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  36. #35

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    Ok, so I just downloaded the book tonight and listened to many of the sample audio tracks. My first impressions:

    The Good:

    There are 25 different solos over rhythm changes, in varying keys and tempos ranging from about 69 bps to 200 bps

    Several are in Bb or F, the most common keys for rhythm changes

    The solos exhibit good phrasing, thematic development, etc. They are quite melodic, and later ones use more accidentals

    The backing tracks use progressively more interesting chord substitutions, all of which are named on the charts.

    The tracks continue for several more choruses after the sample solo is played, so you can keep playing it along to the track.

    The book is in standard notation, plus guitar tab. I will find the standard notation very helpful for meeting my other objective of this coming year of becoming a better reader. Reading these solos will help a lot, I believe.


    The Less Good:


    I was immediately disappointed that:

    (a) there is no teaching of the chords, voicings, etc. This is strictly a series on "how to solo over rhythm changes" not "how to play rhythm changes chords, voicings, etc."; and

    (b) there is no explanation of anything at all. You have to perceive what the lesson is that's being offered. Frank says nothing more than to announce the title and number of the track and the tempo. It would have been nicer to have him say, e.g., "Now in this next example, we're going to start introducing the use of the b5 tone. Notice how it does blah-blah-blah..." or "notice the use of arpeggios alternating with scalar runs..." etc.

    Basically, it boils down to "play all this stuff and you'll learn a lot from it, once you figure out what you're playing and why." Fortunately, I believe I will learn a lot by playing through this, but I'll have to keep my thinking cap on to get the most out of it and not fall into my lazy routine of just learning to play the solos and then just enjoying playing them without a deeper understanding that will let me play anything I want to at the end of the day. (I'm declaring this here because I do have a lazy streak, which is why it's a good thing that we're doing this together. It will help keep me working in the right direction. Also, with a study group, we can share our own observations and learnings from the exercises, i.e., the stuff that Frank isn't saying...)

    So... let's do it!

  37. #36

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    If there will be a F.V rhythm changes study group, I'll certainly follow it. I've been obsessing over being able to improvise over R.C. for more than a year and a half now (concentrating on the key of Bb) and part of my learning materials have been Frank Vignola's books ( I have vol. 1 and 2). I once figured that if I can make it through R.C. playing other stuff would be much more easy to do - still don't know if I'm right or wrong (LOL!). Anyway: I'm still working on that stuff (Thanks to Matt Warnock by the way for his excellent tutorial) and very interested in a study group.
    Thanks
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  38. #37
    Shall we make February assignment the first 2 "tunes". Basics ( 1 and 2 ) Rhythm changes in C.


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  39. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco View Post
    Ok, so I just downloaded the book tonight and listened to many of the sample audio tracks. My first impressions:

    The Good:

    There are 25 different solos over rhythm changes, in varying keys and tempos ranging from about 69 bps to 200 bps

    Several are in Bb or F, the most common keys for rhythm changes

    The solos exhibit good phrasing, thematic development, etc. They are quite melodic, and later ones use more accidentals

    The backing tracks use progressively more interesting chord substitutions, all of which are named on the charts.

    The tracks continue for several more choruses after the sample solo is played, so you can keep playing it along to the track.

    The book is in standard notation, plus guitar tab. I will find the standard notation very helpful for meeting my other objective of this coming year of becoming a better reader. Reading these solos will help a lot, I believe.


    The Less Good:


    I was immediately disappointed that:

    (a) there is no teaching of the chords, voicings, etc. This is strictly a series on "how to solo over rhythm changes" not "how to play rhythm changes chords, voicings, etc."; and

    (b) there is no explanation of anything at all. You have to perceive what the lesson is that's being offered. Frank says nothing more than to announce the title and number of the track and the tempo. It would have been nicer to have him say, e.g., "Now in this next example, we're going to start introducing the use of the b5 tone. Notice how it does blah-blah-blah..." or "notice the use of arpeggios alternating with scalar runs..." etc.

    Basically, it boils down to "play all this stuff and you'll learn a lot from it, once you figure out what you're playing and why." Fortunately, I believe I will learn a lot by playing through this, but I'll have to keep my thinking cap on to get the most out of it and not fall into my lazy routine of just learning to play the solos and then just enjoying playing them without a deeper understanding that will let me play anything I want to at the end of the day. (I'm declaring this here because I do have a lazy streak, which is why it's a good thing that we're doing this together. It will help keep me working in the right direction. Also, with a study group, we can share our own observations and learnings from the exercises, i.e., the stuff that Frank isn't saying...)

    So... let's do it!
    I agree that the book lacks theoretical explanations but I thought that this is something that we as a study group could discuss.


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  40. #39

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    I would have preferred some explanations to the individual etudes myself, like "this is a typical swing / bebop solo" or something like that, or "this playing a diminished run over such and such a chord." so I could use that as a starting point in making up my own runs. As for the chord symbols above the notation I think it's mainly writing the chords that are being outlined in the corresponding phrases - at least that has been my impression.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doublea A View Post
    Shall we make February assignment the first 2 "tunes". Basics ( 1 and 2 ) Rhythm changes in C.
    Yes, let's do that. I guess folks can post either video or audio, whichever they prefer...

  42. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco View Post
    Yes, let's do that. I guess folks can post either video or audio, whichever they prefer...
    Yes


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  43. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO View Post
    I would have preferred some explanations to the individual etudes myself, like "this is a typical swing / bebop solo" or something like that, or "this playing a diminished run over such and such a chord." so I could use that as a starting point in making up my own runs. As for the chord symbols above the notation I think it's mainly writing the chords that are being outlined in the corresponding phrases - at least that has been my impression.
    I agree. But we need to work with what we have.


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  44. #43

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    I would say that that is what the group is for. We will have the discussion and teach each other and create the commentary that Frank is not providing.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco View Post

    The Less Good:


    I was immediately disappointed that:

    (a) there is no teaching of the chords, voicings, etc. This is strictly a series on "how to solo over rhythm changes" not "how to play rhythm changes chords, voicings, etc."; and
    My best guess is that Frank sees these volumes (three on rhythm changes and two on blues) as supplements to the long "Mel Bay Modern Guitar Method" Series. (I suspect they teach reading, scales, arps, technique, in a graded fashion.) Still, I agree that it is disappointing that there isn't at least a page or two of Frank's go-to grips for all the chord types used.

    I'll send him an email and see if can give us a link to a page of grips he would recommend for comping rhythm changes.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  46. #45

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    While we're on the subject of chords, I have Neck Diagrams software. If need be, we can put together our own page or two of grips for rhythm changes. Compare and contrast. See what we like, what we find "playable" as the tempos rise, etc.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  47. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    While we're on the subject of chords, I have Neck Diagrams software. If need be, we can put together our own page or two of grips for rhythm changes. Compare and contrast. See what we like, what we find "playable" as the tempos rise, etc.
    I love that idea


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  48. #47

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    Got the book on order for next week, so I'm in!

  49. #48

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    OK, I'll begin. Here is Basics 1 - key of C


  50. #49

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    Amazing how you can make a guide tone line sound like actual melodies by adding rhythm - well done!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco View Post
    OK, I'll begin. Here is Basics 1 - key of C
    Nice! I'll give it a go this weekend. May I ask what backing track you used?
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola