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  1. #1

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    Last month we gingerly dipped our toes into how to deal with the ii-V sequence. This month we expand our palette with more on how to deal specifically with dominant chords.

    After a bit of theory and handy tips about substitutions, GF gives us a few nice lines in the style of Charlie Christian.

    Following that, we've got a 12-bar blues solo to grapple with, and then we're free to explore what we've learned over the progression!

    Let's do this.
    Fewell's Melodic Approach - Ch. 4 (Dominants & Blues)-batman-thumb-jpg

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I've also started an index thread to help people find the relevant thread for each chapter:

    Fewell's Melodic Approach - Index Thread

    Any idea on how to make that a sticky? (Mark?)

  4. #3

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    Thanks Jay!

  5. #4

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    Glad you guys are keeping this going.
    Last month was pretty much a lost cause for me.
    Got a call this morning that my worst fears have come to pass: a "few" patients in the rehab where my mom (90) is have tested positive for the coronavirus. This doesn't mean she will be infected with it but it's hard not to worry about it. And at her age, my God....

    I play every day but my concentration is poor. (On the bright side, my picking has improved.)
    Maybe starting a new chapter will make things easier. We shall see.

  6. #5

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    Fingers crossed your mother avoids the virus, Mark. It's pretty horrible not to be able to go and see one's folks. Mine are in lockdown (both late eighties) and though I had a conversation with my mother from several yards away when I dropped off some supplies for them, I didn't get to see or speak to my dad at all.

    I'm looking forward to getting to this chapter, but I'll be bringing up the rear. My plan at the moment is to find some tunes with lots of minor chords and spend some time really getting the initial shapes, and then the triad shapes under my fingers. I'm rather hoping that the work done so far will make this less onerous than I fear it will be.

    Derek

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Got a call this morning that my worst fears have come to pass: a "few" patients in the rehab where my mom (90) is have tested positive for the coronavirus. This doesn't mean she will be infected with it but it's hard not to worry about it. And at her age, my God....

    Quote Originally Posted by digger
    Mine are in lockdown (both late eighties)

    Derek
    Fingers crossed for both of your parents, Mark and Derek! (and of course everybody else's)


    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I play every day but my concentration is poor.
    Same here with me...

  8. #7

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    Thanks Jay. I'm in. While I have not posted many videos, I have been working on the material each day. Cheers.

  9. #8

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    I've been in this chapter for a bit now. It's a short chapter, but it's also been a little tougher to wrap my head around.

    What I've boiled it down to is this: You play a minor triad a 5th higher than the Dom7 chord.

    So C7, play a Gmin triad. D7 - Amin triad. And so forth. I do get it's more involved than that, like starting from the 3rd is a m7b5 triad as he teaches, etc. Please correct me, or expound on that if you want.

    What's been bugging me, is his example solo is nice, but he didn't mark out what triads he is using. Maybe he's intentionally left that for us to figure out? I'm going to do just that here someday soon, so I'll try to post that for anyone else who is struggling with that as well.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bahnzo View Post
    What I've boiled it down to is this: You play a minor triad a 5th higher than the Dom7 chord.

    So C7, play a Gmin triad. D7 - Amin triad. And so forth. I do get it's more involved than that, like starting from the 3rd is a m7b5 triad as he teaches, etc. Please correct me, or expound on that if you want.
    Yeah, I think that's the gist of it, and moving that b7 in the minor to the 6 to get the 3rd of the dominant. I personally don't find the m7b5 sub particularly helpful; it's just not how my brain works. I actually go the other way: For a m7b5 I sub a minor starting from the 3rd.

    What's been bugging me, is his example solo is nice, but he didn't mark out what triads he is using. Maybe he's intentionally left that for us to figure out? I'm going to do just that here someday soon, so I'll try to post that for anyone else who is struggling with that as well.
    I think you nailed it. This is another instance of GF subtly asking us to do a bit of homework. I think someone could make it through the book just playing through each exercise, but man, if you dig a bit deeper this thing is a goldmine.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu View Post
    This is another instance of GF subtly asking us to do a bit of homework. I think someone could make it through the book just playing through each exercise, but man, if you dig a bit deeper this thing is a goldmine.
    This book is definitely a goldmine. It's a whole new way of looking at things I never considered.

    I've been back playing the guitar for, I dunno, just over a year maybe..and one of the things I've learned the most from is transcribing lines and then understanding why they played what they did. I don't think GF's blues in this chapter is all that complicated, he's just following chords and using his method for the most part. He's just really accomplished at it, is all.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bahnzo View Post
    I don't think GF's blues in this chapter is all that complicated, he's just following chords and using his method for the most part.
    Absolutely, and I think that's his point. At its heart it's really just a (relatively) simple approach for generating singable content.


    He's just really accomplished at it, is all.
    Fewell was more than a textbook author; he walked the walk. He was the real deal. If you seek out some of his recorded material you won't tend to hear a lot of fireworks, but solid, confident, and incredibly relatable communication of melodic ideas, which I believe is what we're all after in the end.

    Then we can augment that with dive bombs and two-hand tapping if we want.

  13. #12

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    I like the solo in chapter 4. Good lines, some familiar. But when I ask myself, "how would I follow this chorus? What would I play?" I don't have a good answer. (The only answer is really "sh*t I already know.") I like this material. Very playable. But I really haven't integrated the approach into my own playing. But I'm old enough to realize that's okay: these things take time. I'm glad I'm working on this. Yet it still feels like a totally separate compartment from my playing the rest of the day. ;o)

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu View Post
    Then we can augment that with dive bombs and two-hand tapping if we want.
    Is that what all those Bigsby's I see are for?

  15. #14

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    Mark, I’m with you exactly. There is nothing wrong with the solo he offers, although I’ve played it so much I’m dreaming of that arpeggio from the 6 of the minor triad (3rd of the Dominant).

    My problem is when I try to create lines from the minor on the V it doesn’t sound in the least like the blues. There is no grit, no growl, in that sound. All I hear is Dorian. Perhaps I have listened to too much T Bone Walker and too little Charlie Christian, but I just can’t seem to massage this into something musical and bluesy.

    I’m not complaining. We will see where I’m at after a month of daily practice. But for now it isn’t nearly as natural and exciting as chapter 3 was. It’s why I stopped here when I first bought the book.

    PS: For the theorist among you, I can’t help but notice people playing a minor triad over the Dominant (not it’s V) even over a major blues. GF doesn’t mention that. I don’t think it counts as a “sister” minor to the V in the Barry Harris system. It undoubtedly sounds good. What’s that about?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  16. #15

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    I had a sneaky look at Ch. 4, as I have a cunning plan: my approach to get these shapes under my fingers by applying the minor and majors shapes to songs can be enhanced by applying the dominant formula too. That way, even without going through chapter four properly I'm gaining a tiny bit of benefit.

    So, correct me if I'm wrong (please!) but I see the melodic approach works, very simplistically, like this:

    Minor Chord - play the GF minor triads as is
    Major Chord - play the GF minor triads starting on the 6th of the Major chord you are on
    Dominant Chord - play the GF minor triads starting on the 5th of the Dominant chord you are on

    So, in theory, I can practice almost any songs using the basic shapes we learned in Ch.2 (which is where I still am). For example, the first four bars of All Of Me could be approached in the GF Melodic fashion as follows (full stops are just for spacing)

    | C Maj7 .....| E7..... | A7 ....... | Dmin7 .......|

    Am Triads ... Bm Triads ....Em Triads..... Dm Triads

    Is my logic correct?
    Derek

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger View Post
    I had a sneaky look at Ch. 4, as I have a cunning plan: my approach to get these shapes under my fingers by applying the minor and majors shapes to songs can be enhanced by applying the dominant formula too. That way, even without going through chapter four properly I'm gaining a tiny bit of benefit.

    So, correct me if I'm wrong (please!) but I see the melodic approach works, very simplistically, like this:

    Minor Chord - play the GF minor triads as is
    Major Chord - play the GF minor triads starting on the 6th of the Major chord you are on
    Dominant Chord - play the GF minor triads starting on the 5th of the Dominant chord you are on

    So, in theory, I can practice almost any songs using the basic shapes we learned in Ch.2 (which is where I still am). For example, the first four bars of All Of Me could be approached in the GF Melodic fashion as follows (full stops are just for spacing)

    | C Maj7 .....| E7..... | A7 ....... | Dmin7 .......|

    Am Triads ... Bm Triads ....Em Triads..... Dm Triads

    Is my logic correct?
    Derek

    Yes - I think that's what GF has been teaching us so far but for variety and to connect the changes fluently think of also using the extensions of the minor triads, like using Em triad over Cmaj7 and Am7 triad over Dmin7 for example. I think that's where GF wants us to go.

  18. #17

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    All of which highlights the challenge which is playing jazz. When faced with my four bars of All Of Me (well, all 32 bars) I first have to consider whether or not I want to play something based around the melody, maybe some rhythmic alterations or simple melodic alterations, or, if I decide otherwise, I might choose to play something based around the arpeggios or scales, or maybe try a little bluesy something, or do I think "melodic traids!" and decide that's the sound I want, whereupon I then have to do the conversion from maj / dom to the relevant triad, work out what notes that gives me and... oh hell, I've missed my chorus altogether :-)

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger View Post
    do I think "melodic traids!" and decide that's the sound I want, whereupon I then have to do the conversion from maj / dom to the relevant triad, work out what notes that gives me and... oh hell, I've missed my chorus altogether :-)
    In my experience it comes with playing and playing and then playing some more - the sounds become deeply ingrained and the thinking part will disappear.

  20. #19

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    Things you probably already knew....

    While working on Figure 4.3: Phrase in the style of Charlie Christian (a phrase over a C7), I decided to try the phrase over a ii-V-I (Gm7-C7-Fmaj7). I really liked the resulting sound. I understand that whatever you play over the Minor 7th will work over the Dominant 7th and vice versa, but sometimes it is nice to see it in action.

    I plan on working on Exercise 4.1 today. Onward!

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by losaltosjoe View Post
    Things you probably already knew....

    While working on Figure 4.3: Phrase in the style of Charlie Christian (a phrase over a C7), I decided to try the phrase over a ii-V-I (Gm7-C7-Fmaj7). I really liked the resulting sound. I understand that whatever you play over the Minor 7th will work over the Dominant 7th and vice versa, but sometimes it is nice to see it in action.

    I plan on working on Exercise 4.1 today. Onward!
    This is something GF will mention later in the book: playing over a ii - V a blues oriented player will just play the ii and a bebop player will emphasize the dominant sound.

    Couple of typos in the tabs for "Blues For Charlie": first chord is not F-7 but F 7 and: going from four and in bar 11 to the one in bar 12 should be played on the d string (f# to g).

  22. #21

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    Ok, here's my first take of Blues For Charlie. GF's chorus (for the most part) and then a couple more afterwards. I tried to use GF's triad ideas, but also kinda just fell back a bit on my own blues stuff.

    Oh...and I discovered afterwards that I maybe should've tuned my guitar. Heh, it wasn't bad, but it was a little ripe.


  23. #22

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    Good job, Bahnzo!

  24. #23

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    Okay, my first pass at the chapter 4 blues solo.
    I used Aebersold's vol 42 (Blues in all 12 Keys) play-along for the backing and play (once) the riffy head Jamey wrote for it.
    Then, Garrison's so. Part of it works and parts of it don't. But I need a marker to judge progress by later.
    Next, my solo. I had tried this a couple times before. It's not worked out but I had a few of the main ideas. As is my custom, I screw up on the spontaneous fills in-between the things I intend to play. (I've really got to stop doing that: "When in doubt, lay out!")
    The third and fourth choruses are from a Javon Jackson (sax) solo on "Billie's Bounce". There are things I really like about his solo. (One of them being that it is not light years beyond me.) But I should woodshed it again because I flub too many notes.
    Finally, the head out.

    Amp is set to the cleanest tone it provides. Love my Tele but I haven't yet found the most suitable sound for me to make with it using what equipment I now have.


  25. #24

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    Good work, Mark. You certainly laid down a marker for us all.

    I pulled my Telecaster out today, too. Lovely and easy to play after months on acoustics!

  26. #25

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    Nicely done, gents!

    Just a comment regarding not knowing what to play: Don't forget that all of the lines and materials from the previous chapters are fair game for trying out/adapting. Some might work and some might not, but that's part of the fun.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu View Post
    Nicely done, gents!

    Just a comment regarding not knowing what to play: Don't forget that all of the lines and materials from the previous chapters are fair game for trying out/adapting. Some might work and some might not, but that's part of the fun.
    Great point. Agree completely. Problem: unless I'm practicing the material, it doesn't 'come to mind' when I'm playing. I believe it will eventually.

    It's funny: when I play an exercise through "Cycle 5" (as Garrison calls it), I can do that, but when I'm playing a tune or a blues, it isn't so immediately obvious to me where to play. (I have a familiar way of 'knowing the fretboard' and this way---which I realize is good and solid and will benefit me eventually---just isn't habitual yet. In other words, I can PLAY these lines but I can't THINK these lines yet. Or so it seems to me. That will come with practice, which is what we're doing, so I'm staying on board and looking forward to the material in the next chapter (-minor lines over dominant chords). Not that I'm through with this one! I want to play this solo again in a week and see if I have a better handle on it.

  28. #27

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    Here is my take on his solo. Still not hearing when I try, but I'll keep working at it. We have three more weeks.


  29. #28

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    Here is my take on Exercise 4.2: Blues For Charlie. The solo is short so I included 2 versions. The first one is at 95 bpm and the second one is at 120 bpm (Fewell's tempo).

    For me, the first step was to get this solo under my fingers, playing it as written. Step 2 will be to analyze and understand how Fewell constructed the solo using arpeggios and extensions. Part 3 (which could take a while) is to experiment and develop my own solo ideas.

    I found it very difficult to play the eighth-note triplets and rest strokes cleanly and clearly. Subsequently, I spent a great deal of time working on my technique. Playing this solo at speed (120 bpm) is still very much hit or miss.

    I plan on spending the rest of April reviewing the material in chapters 1-4 before moving on to Chapter 5 in May.

    Happy Easter!
    Joe

    Last edited by losaltosjoe; 04-12-2020 at 12:52 PM.

  30. #29

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    Here's a crack at Blues For Charlie, before the month runs out!

    - The first chorus is the head
    - The second chorus is the line from Ex. 4.1
    - The third is a mix of Figs. 4.5 and 4.6
    - The fourth and fifth are an attempt at improv using the material we've learned so far



    Anybody still with me?

  31. #30

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    Not only still with you, but I've cracked Part II/Ch5 a bit. It seems it's mostly examples of famous players and how they utilize this method? As in he's now going to introduce us to how to incorporate his teachings into "real life" situations.

    Also: any interest in picking up the pace a bit? A month per chapter seems a little bit long. Or not? Just want to keep interest up and not sure where people are.

  32. #31

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    Well done, Jay. I've been trying all month to get out of my "blues" blues playing to sound a bit jazzier. I think it's time to do a clip.

  33. #32

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    Great work from Jay, Joe, and RLRhett there. That's a nice sounding solo and a lot more bluesy than I imagined it would be from the preceding chapters.

    Must admit I haven't picked up the book in an age. Still trying to build some basic foundations at the moment. I was running too soon with this book.

    Derek

  34. #33

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    Thanks, gents. Tommo -- looking forward to the clip!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bahnzo View Post
    Also: any interest in picking up the pace a bit? A month per chapter seems a little bit long. Or not? Just want to keep interest up and not sure where people are.


    Hey, I'm open to whatever people want to do. A chapter a month was the popular choice when I started the group, and it seemed better to spend more time on each concept than to leave people behind. But I don't even know if the people who voted for that pace are still with us, so I'm totally open to a recalibration.

    How do people feel about two chapters a month?


  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu View Post

    How do people feel about two chapters a month?

    My experience: I impatiently hurried through the book first time around and it didn't do me any good because I didn't really internalize the material at hand which resulted in problems while working on later chapters. Chapter 4 is not overly comprehensive so a month is probably a lot of time for it but on the other hand it gives everybody extra time to revisit and review former chapters. Later chapters may even require more than a month to really dig into the material.
    If anybody wants to go ahead - just do it - there's no restriction to not do so....

  36. #35

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    OK - here we go - warts and all:




  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu View Post
    Here's a crack at Blues For Charlie, before the month runs out!

    - The first chorus is the head
    - The second chorus is the line from Ex. 4.1
    - The third is a mix of Figs. 4.5 and 4.6
    - The fourth and fifth are an attempt at improv using the material we've learned so far

    Anybody still with me?
    Well done Jay! And thanks for annotating what you played for each chorus. I am definitely still with you and am happy with the current pace at 1 chapter per month. I will go along with what ever the group decides. Cheers, Joe

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO View Post
    OK - here we go - warts and all:
    Very nice Tommo! Bluesy and Jazzy. Seeing all of the posts here is very inspiring and motivates me to keep at it. Thanks.

  39. #38

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    Nicely done Tommo! You're definitely getting the good stuff from the book!

  40. #39

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    Thanks guys. Digger: my improvisation is more informed by over fourty years of blues playing than what I picked up from the book. Still working on getting more of a jazz blues feel.

  41. #40

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    The people have spoken... we'll err on the side of too much time over not enough.

    Great playing, Tommo! I think once we get to adding things like approach notes and enclosures, you won't have much of an issue getting more jazz into your blues.

  42. #41

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    Well, here we are at the end of the month. I still don't feel like I'm hearing it, but I have to admit it sounded much better than I thought on the recording. Maybe there is something to all of this. ;-)

    Here is my take on improvising using the licks and triads of Chapter 4.


  43. #42

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    Nice playing Tommo!

  44. #43

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    Thanks Jay and Bahnzo!

    Nice one rlrhett!

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett View Post
    Well, here we are at the end of the month. I still don't feel like I'm hearing it, but I have to admit it sounded much better than I thought on the recording. Maybe there is something to all of this. ;-)

    Here is my take on improvising using the licks and triads of Chapter 4.
    Very nice indeed!

  46. #45

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    Good stuff, rlrhett! What are those pickups you have on that guitar?

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu View Post
    Good stuff, rlrhett! What are those pickups you have on that guitar?
    Low Boy Alumitones

    https://lacemusic.com/products/alumi...5e1bb048&_ss=r

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bahnzo View Post
    Ok, here's my first take of Blues For Charlie. GF's chorus (for the most part) and then a couple more afterwards. I tried to use GF's triad ideas, but also kinda just fell back a bit on my own blues stuff.

    Oh...and I discovered afterwards that I maybe should've tuned my guitar. Heh, it wasn't bad, but it was a little ripe.

    Okay, you made my lick diary
    Attached Images Attached Images Fewell's Melodic Approach - Ch. 4 (Dominants & Blues)-bahnzo-lick-png 

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    Okay, you made my lick diary
    That seems ominous.

    I don't read very well, is that something I played?

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bahnzo View Post
    That seems ominous.

    I don't read very well, is that something I played?
    It's the last notes you played on the soundcloud you posted. I was going to go back and listen for some more good lines but the sound at that point stopped working on my computer for soundcloud... now that seems ominous. There is some glitch when I open Musescore, the sound for youtube and soundcloud stops working until I restart my computer. Definately makes it harder to transcribe.

  51. #50

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    Ahh yeah, that's just a Herb Ellis lick I stole, which he probably stole from Charlie Christian. Works great to start a 12 bar blues as well. I think I used a variation of it earlier to start my solo.

    Does your Musescore use ASIO for it's sound? I know ASIO drivers will grab your sound device and cause all sorts of issues. I've wrestled with it for years.