The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 3 of 7 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast
Posts 51 to 75 of 153
  1. #51

    User Info Menu


    This is literally just a few bars, while listening to the wonderful Ella Fitzgerald recording.

    Trying to play the melody on the Bass notes - guess i am just wondering if this is going in the right direction- or not?



    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #52

    User Info Menu

    I've gotten lost a bit in fusing this with my studies of Wilmott's book on voicings. Been trying to cobble together some drop 2 voicings to comp with on the tune. Mostly that is mechanical at this point. I've also been working with the melody which has been going pretty well. I hope to record something in the next day or so and then focus on improv a bit on the weekend.

    Bass line didn't turn out to great so that is something I definitely still need to work on in general.

  4. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by android

    This is literally just a few bars, while listening to the wonderful Ella Fitzgerald recording.

    Trying to play the melody on the Bass notes - guess i am just wondering if this is going in the right direction- or not?

    Really nice and there's more you can learn from this clip than you can ever suspect. I can hear your ear emerging as a significant driver in your own player. Playing the melody with a recording is tough (I assume you were doing this by ear) because you have to hear it, and our natural relationship with a song is like a song; it's sung. You are following Ella's words. You pause when she does, and your sound is the sound of her voice. You're hearing it.
    Where the tune follows strong diatonic lines of harmony, you're solid. It's in the second system of the B section, when the melody starts to create tension by going outside the comfort of the key that it gets tricky. In the piece, that's a point where the most tension and interest leads your ear. This is the point where you can really benefit from isolating just those 4 measures and getting to REALLY know them. You'll learn about the piece (that's a significant twist in the racetrack; learn to drive that twist and you won't crash again), and you'll learn about what will later be intellectualized as a secondary dominant. For now, get it in your ear.

    With this piece, I see it in 6 distinct parts, each of which is like a part of a tricky racecourse, or part of a video game, each with its own challenge.
    1) First system. The comfort of the home key. "
    My romance doesn't have to have a moon in the sky"
    2) Second system. The contrast of another mood. "
    My romance doesn't need a blue lagoon standing by"
    3) Third system. The pondering dialogue between two thoughts. "
    No month of May, no twinkling stars"
    4) Fourth system. Asking a question...and finding an answer that brings you home. "
    No hideaway, no soft guitars"
    5) The C section or second ending. The long and winding road that leads to... "
    Wide awake I can make my most fantastic dreams come true"
    6) The resolution of returning to the comfort of coming home. "
    My romance doesn't need a thing but you"

    Each of these little parts is a lesson on how harmony works with melody and more importantly, they're passages an models where you can explore and learn to find the meeting of some sound you hear, and the melody you can create on your own.

    When I practice, I might take each system on its own, and spend 15 minutes (or whatever, just so I can learn to see it distinctly), and work with the melody, and work with the roots, and work with the melody AND the roots, and then make my own melodic variations based on the melody and the roots. It's important for me when I'm making my own melodies, that I keep it simple and learn to really listen and hear what I'm doing. Then build ideas and take notes on what works and what contributes to a logic I can use when I'm soloing.

    Nice clip android. Thanks for sharing!

  5. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by charlieparker
    I've gotten lost a bit in fusing this with my studies of Wilmott's book on voicings. Been trying to cobble together some drop 2 voicings to comp with on the tune. Mostly that is mechanical at this point. I've also been working with the melody which has been going pretty well. I hope to record something in the next day or so and then focus on improv a bit on the weekend.

    Bass line didn't turn out to great so that is something I definitely still need to work on in general.
    Acquiring a chord vocabulary is a huge and lifelong task. Be patient and keep your ear open to the chord and the context. Learn each chord as a hand shape, but also learn it as a sound within the key. This is why I emphasize root movement and roman numeral identification.
    I teach my students to have usable chords under their fingers but also know the melody WITHIN the chord so they can at least be seen as part of the same larger picture. This will help with integrative soloing.
    What you might want to experiment with is comping with dyads and triads if you really want to realize the potential within a chord. Comp with roots only, then add a chord tone above it...then two. Yes it's not as fast or handy as a single grab (which you should still work on) but it'll teach your ear the importance of each chord tone and how it effects, and how it informs the root. If you do this as an exercise, it'll help you bridge the aural world of melody and harmony.

    These things take time. It always takes more time to integrate the ear and the hand but once that foundation is in your overall attitude, the constructive process of soloing is a lot easier, and personal.

    Does this make any sense?

  6. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr
    For some reason easier for me to get lost in the playing bass over my comping. Learning that half note approaches don’t always work well if the key is modulating. Maybe this is what I have heard referred to as “modal ambiguity”?
    Playing in real time is a balance between knowing where you are, in the tune and on the fretboard, and knowing where you're going, in the tune and on the fretboard. Be aware of whether you're being tripped up by your not hearing the "curves ahead" or whether your fingers don't know where to go.
    THen focus on just that aspect of your playing when you practice. Practice an idea until you're playing it by ear.
    Try looping a passage of chords. Then play bass notes over just that one section until it's natural to play, until it seems too easy, until you're really playing what you hear and hearing what you play. It's not easy but it's necessary, then it's so easy you'll never remember what it was like NOT playing that way.
    Once you have achieved that integrity of ear and hand, you'll know what it feels like to solo and you can begin to see a chorus of these "safe familiar islands" joined together by passing notes and approach notes (which I'll be focusing on in the future).
    Be patient. It'll a bold of lightning.

  7. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr

    Now here’s the interesting part. I haven’t really tried to improvise over the tune before until tonight. Lots of listening to various versions, comping with shell voicings, walking bass, walking bass with chord stabs, etc. and just a little bit of dedicated work playing the melody. And despite that, although my improvisation really sucked, I was playing almost entirely by ear and actually pre-hearing the changes in a pseudo-melodic way. My actual playing was halting and often behind the changes, but it was pretty neat how clearly I could anticipate the changes. I think my inner ear is audiating the secondary dominants and their targets in some new way I can’t quite yet articulate very well.
    If you can hear the changes but your time falls apart in the flow, this is a good thing because now you know you need to focus on left hand shifting and adjusting your hand coordination. This is a skill within itself; relocating your notes of strength to a new tonal centre in a smooth and elegant way.
    Any piece is full of these little contours that make a piece interesting. They're the landscape of the piece. Like a landscape, you're a hiker or a mountain climber. You need to be able to follow your ear, anticipate jumps and learn the physical (kinesthetic) skills to transition from one area to another.
    I'll be honest, a lot of students don't really work on this aspect-don't really polish this ability, so their time falls apart on parts where things like secondary dominants (hand shifts help position yourself so you can embrace these better) can interrupt the flow. Often the quick answer is to learn a lick that gets you through a situation but when building your own personal lexicon (vocabulary or style) it's well worth it to recognize the harmonic challenge, hear it and teach your hand to follow your ear. With practice, time and familiarity comes flow.
    It'll come. You're hearing it. That's the biggest step.

    If your time falls apart because you can't hear the changes, then you know you're not able to sense the flow yet. Learning to play fast or play scales and arpeggios before you hear the changes is like learning driving skills in a parking lot. You're going to have to slow down when the freakiness of the unknown or the twisty turn or the wall of new tonality is suddenly a half a beat in front of you.
    Listening skills come from listening and immersing. That's why radio stations that played all these tunes for you helped shape a generation of people who played better by ear. That's why going to see live music is SO important: You are trapped with the music talking to you in real time. YOU become an active part of the band as the next moment is. unfolding. YOU become engulfed in the flow and you can feel how it happens.
    Get the ear to "see" your place and get your hand to follow your ear.
    You're on the right track.

  8. #57

    User Info Menu

    I am grateful for this thread; I find it a very useful approach for me.

    As a singer, I have always approached the guitar as accompaniment, and in the last couple of years I have wanted to accompany myself for tunes in the Great American Songbook, which I have always loved. This necessitated learning some fundamentals of jazz guitar, and I was drawn to this forum.

    I am also grateful that following the guidelines for this thread made me learn "My Romance." This song had never appealed to me, as I found it kind of soppy. But studying it the last few days has given me a real appreciation for it – harmonically, it is terrific, and I now feel very different about the words as well. Thank you!

    One pitfall I am noticing in my own approach is a difficulty in hearing ahead, so I am trying to work on that. Learning a song by ear has never been a problem for me, nor has learning the changes – I can hear those well. But when playing, I am usually right smack dab in the current musical moment, and trust myself to remember what's coming up, rather than trying to stay ahead of myself. I realize that is what gets in the way of improving my amateurish improvisational skills.

    I look forward to the next step...

  9. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Ukena
    One pitfall I am noticing in my own approach is a difficulty in hearing ahead, so I am trying to work on that. Learning a song by ear has never been a problem for me, nor has learning the changes – I can hear those well. But when playing, I am usually right smack dab in the current musical moment, and trust myself to remember what's coming up, rather than trying to stay ahead of myself. I realize that is what gets in the way of improving my amateurish improvisational skills.
    Welcome Ukena!
    As a singer, you're coming at this with a huge advantage over most guitarists: a comfortable relationship with your body as a voice (as opposed to your head, which is where much instruction about learning jazz comes from). But as you're learning, listening to jazz and wanting to play is very different from actively creating the things you want to hear. It's a huge quantum leap from appreciating the product and controlling the process.

    I had an art session I conducted with musicians, artists and models. It was an amazing way for visual artists to learn from improvising musicians who would play improvised compositions (free improvisation) to the time constraints of a pose. Musicians would draw when we weren't playing.
    One thing we all learned was whether you're working with a pencil and paper, or a guitar, or finding and holding a pose, we all experience that moment where confront nothingness and we learn to use our given art to fill ourselves in that void.
    An artist learns to "see" the image framed on the piece of paper. A model learns that a pose must fill the amount of time of the pose with something they can hold and holding the interest of the artists. A musician learns the value of time, pacing, how to start, how much time constructive statements will take and how to develop them within the time given. We all had the linguistic skills of our art acquired through long hours of trial and error, and practice and doing.

    Mastering an art is establishing a sense of perspective, balancing things you know with what you feel, and a simultaneous awareness of the micro and the macro.

    So we can learn some of these things by letting the pieces themselves teach us. For instance, if you take a certain part of the piece, one line for instance, and you:
    Learn to play it as you hear it (the melody)
    Then learn to play it for the actual elements of music (quarter note bass line)
    Then integrate the melody with 5 variations you make up based on the melody, you will learn how the composer heard and felt that void, and you can make your own statement WITH that informed sense of spacial awareness. You learn to feel time at the as you learn to use space; by being acutely aware...and learning freedom within that.
    It's a sense you learn to be aware of and build with. You know as a singer there are some lines you need to prepare differently for, breath is different, the tension is different, where you place you voice (chest, throat, head...) all becomes second nature. But at first I'll bet there were times when you had to learn to breathe. Every phrase you play in a solo is a breath of specific demands by the structure of the piece.

    Suggestion for experimentation:
    Play the piece through, just the head. Just as close to the piece as you can. We've worked for a few weeks so you can strive to do this off book (THIS IS IMPORTANT because a book can't communicate what space feels like, but your voice controlling your hands can)
    On the second time 'round take every other line of the piece and alternate the head with an improvised line. It can follow the the head, and that's actually a strong teacher.
    Then try two bars of the piece straight, and then improvise the next two, back to the head...

    This spacial dialogue can help you combine the piece you listen to with the sounds you hear and the sounds you can make.

    Work with this until every note makes sense in the void. And space will take on an entirely new alliance.
    Try it. Good luck.

  10. #59

    User Info Menu

    At my pace three weeks likely not going to be enough. Spent the evening with just the melody—it's not nearly as internalized as it needs to be, especially the C section. Working on hearing the melody against the bass notes. My half-assed little chord melody is starting to sound kinda nice, if still clunky.

  11. #60

    User Info Menu

    Hey, everyone. I was away on vacation for the past week. First family holiday in two years. I've been keeping up with this thread. Lots of great ideas from everyone. I threw my Telecaster under the plane, so I was able to get some guitar time in while I was away. I keep working on My Romance, along with other tunes. I feel like I've pretty well internalized the changes and the harmonic movement. I continue to try and really articulate the changes as well as the block of ideas within the changes. It's always an interesting dance for me to let go and follow my ear, but not drift too far afield from chord tones. Anyway, it's good to be back.

  12. #61

    User Info Menu

    Took Jimmy's advice and improvised over small chunks of the A section for maybe 45 minutes tonight. Then I recorded the harmony, with some bass line embellishment, of the entire A section and recorded myself playing the head once, followed by a few choruses of improv. Repeated this three times. Below is the last of three takes. Not terribly excited about this as a "showcase" of my playing or anything like that—still very much feeling my way through with a combination of ear and using my shell voicing grips as guides for where to play on the neck. It does get a bit better by the end, I think. By the end of this third week, though, I should be fairly comfortable with the tune in a basic sense and ready to dig in deeper.

  13. #62

    User Info Menu

    Very nice, wzpgsr! Sounds great! I really like how your solo builds each time through. I especially like the blues you throw in at times. Very soulful. Thanks for sharing!

  14. #63

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by D'Aquisto Fan
    Very nice, wzpgsr! Sounds great! I really like how your solo builds each time through. I especially like the blues you throw in at times. Very soulful. Thanks for sharing!
    Thanks! I think I overstepped into wank territory with a couple of those minor third half bends, but I’ve been trying to incorporate more blues into my playing and less scale noodling.

  15. #64
    Some thoughts on becoming a thoughtful soloist.
    There was a huge gap between the time I fell in love with jazz and the time I could play something that made sense to me. In that time, I accumulated shelves full of books that I hoped would shed some light on how to turn a lot of scales, arpeggios and chords into something that made sense. Even teachers I worked with couldn't address that elusive question of "What makes the difference between a bunch of notes and a solo?"
    It wasn't until I had the experience and language to talk with experienced masters on the instrument that the real insightful advice was revealed. I'll share three pieces of conversations that I'm amused, challenged and inspired by. When I asked these people what their thoughts on soloing, or making a solo they felt connected with, these were some nuggets that I picked up:
    Sax player Jerry Bergonzi said "I'm thinking about shapes. I can create a line that goes up. I can create a line that comes down. How they go up (or come down), how they're followed by other lines, and how they're answered gives me the shapes that become a solo.
    What I got from that was more important than playing the notes that may be deemed proper, is using the notes you choose to convey a larger sense of purpose. Use notes with each other to create shapes that work with each other to make the story.
    It wasn't until I started to practice in a broader, less self conscious note oriented way that I really got what he was saying. "Don't sweat the small stuff" is a broad generalization.

    Bill Frisell is a delightful conversationalist in addition to being a really good player. As we were talking about being bound by form vs the freedom to go anywhere, he said "When you play anything, you're asking a question. When you play any note, there's an infinity of ways you can answer that." SOOOO different from searching out licks and phrases from somebody else's thought process.
    What I got from that was a devotion to possibilities when I'm in my practice time. Being aware of what you have, what you've played and hearing what follows; having an awareness of possibilites, is not just something that comes from heaven. I needed to practice hearing and experimenting to give me the confidence to find the new, the unexpected path and the presence of mind to make something of it-every time I solo. This changed my practice routine, radically.

    Mick Goodrick has a perspective on music that goes way beyond notes on a guitar. He has some kind of vision about the way sound is created, and he has had a lot of time on the road to observe his own way that a solo is created. His answers are often elusive but turn out to be uncannily direct when you put the time into playing and their meaning comes through the temper of time.
    I was talking about the differences between choruses. First choruses can be the times during which a lot of exploring takes place, or a lot of "throw it in and we'll see what comes out". The second chorus for me is when connections come together, and it makes sense. Third chorus is tricky because it can be a definitive time when the energy and inertia, the order pieces conspire to make a strong statement, or if you're not careful, it can show the inability to hold the focus with the tools and materials you have.
    Anyway it was in that most problematic "getting a running start to the second chorus" that I asked him how to "find the juice" that makes a really strong statement. His cryptic answer was "Start with the second chorus". I was absolutely floored by the simplicity and the impossibility of this answer.
    What I got from this was a good solo takes a certain frame of mind. It takes a way of seeing and a freedom and ordering, an awareness of what you can do and the calm to do it. Often that won't come immediately. But I can come faster or with greater conviction if I developed the focus and the commitment of a second chorus...right from the start.

    So I've been thinking about these things as I've been working this week. Not specifically on harmony, nor specifically on melodic elements, but how to use the blocks of harmony each piece gives us, and building on those blocks with notes that work and convey something, and practicing a way of using line, context and broader awareness to create a more thoughtful solo.

    First I'll talk about Continuity, Question and Answer, and then later I'll talk about Motif and developing large ideas out of small parts.

    Just some fun things to ponder.

  16. #65

    User Info Menu

    Thank you, JBN for those great nuggets of advice and wisdom. It does appear to be a constant struggle between honoring the harmony of the tune, hitting chord tones, etc. and the freedom to let go and say something through the instrument. I often worry that if I let go too much, I'll fall into lazy habits and not really outline the changes. But most often the best moments are the musical statements... coming up with an idea on the spot and following it through a few more bars, etc. Typically that's when I get a positive reaction from the person I'm playing with more than impressing them with my ability to play the changes.

    Anyway, I continue to work on My Romance. I must admit I then turn to other tunes. I'm still very much enjoying this immersion course, although I'm not certain I'm fully immersed. The strict regimen of Super Chops meant I always knew what to do every day when I picked up the guitar. Obviously this immersion course is much freer with many possibilities. For the most part I've just been playing over iReal Pro's version of My Romance. But like I said, I'm still very much enjoying this program.

  17. #66

    User Info Menu

    Looks great. Dig the approach.

    My feedback:

    For me I think I would need a month for each 4 bar section or at least a week

    (Signature - one of those guys that have played forever and could play nothing in its entirety nor pull a good jazz solo so walked away from jazz a few years ago. I now have a library of rock folk tunes and solo acoustic. Am coming back to jazz with purpose. Can come up with some pretty melodic rock solos if I don't mind saying but jazz no I can't hear it can't speak it. I have been trying to come up with a nice line to start building on for Summertime forever. Nothing! I turn on Rosenwinkle, Kreisberg, KB, Louis and they floor me from their first note)

  18. #67

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by gggomez
    Looks great. Dig the approach.

    My feedback:

    For me I think I would need a month for each 4 bar section or at least a week
    You might be surprised by what you can accomplish with some time pressure. I’m not suggesting it’s the best or only way to learn, because I like deep dives like this as well, but if you come check out the weekly “jam session” threads and stick with them for awhile, you might start to internalize song forms more quickly. I’ve noticed a significant increase in my ability to quickly internalize changes and get off-book after a few months of weekly jam session participation. It used to take me days to internalize a tune, but now it’s sometimes as little as 30-60 minutes. Once you can internalize the harmony without staring at the chart you can really focus on the improvisation. Tonight I played Autumn Leaves, which I have been playing almost daily for 18 months, and because I have become so familiar with the form, I found that I could focus on watching my right hand (not starting at a chart) and almost immediately recognized a picking technique deficiency that had been limiting my ability to play certain kinds of rhythms accurately. It was kind of a cool revelation that came about because I was able to focus my attention elsewhere besides the chart.

    Rambling a bit now...

    For this My Romance deep dive I generally followed JBN’s suggestion to practice in 5 minute blocks. It worked for me because it imposes some forward momentum. Progress. Keep moving and improving. Loop four chords for 5 minutes. Then the next, through the whole form. Maybe you only get one note per chord. That’s okay. Do it again the next day and notice the little improvements. I’ll be satisfied at the end of this three weeks if I can play a single chorus of improv over the changes in a moderately convincing way without getting lost in the form or making too many clunkers.

    Also, there’s a different kind of time pressure that I found useful: playing at tempos that are outside your comfort zone forces you to find something that you can pull off at a given tempo.

  19. #68
    Questions and Answers
    Do you remember the last good book you read? The way each chapter brought you into another chapter before you knew? The way each page turned itself? The way you couldn't finish one paragraph without being swept into the next? The way each line of dialogue pulled you into the next word?
    Do you remember a textbook, manual or book on law or philosophy that you really had to work through and felt exhausted by; glad the task was done?

    A feeling of movement is the flow of ideas and thoughts that brings a reader, listener or audience into your world. It's more than a stack of facts, line of notes, scales, arpeggios that coincides (or not) with a particular chord (or chords).
    If you want to be able to create a sense of movement, drama and purposeful dialogue through your music, creating those things begins in the practice time.

    There are many ways to create a compelling flow: Dynamics, pitch, rhythm, space, contrast... I can suggest a few to think about and as your own personal definition of music becomes evident to you through time on the instrument, you'll develop your own lexicon. The key is to recognize contrast and complement. Question and Answer.

    Look at the first line of My Romance. The title words of the song are created with a three note question. If you're aware of the scale, the key of the piece, you can hear 3, 4, 5 of the scale. (if you sense the scale in your playing, then be aware of these notes within that scale. It'll help you develop your pitch/fingering relationship). There's a statement. In answer, those three notes are answered by repeating those notes and using them lead all the way to the root of the chord. Then a change of direction. The exhale. Questions and answers.
    Use this phrase to create other phrases that have a similar sense of Question and Answer.

    Look at the entire first line of the piece. Think of that as a question in itself.
    See the way the second line (second system) creates an answer by rephrasing that thought in a different location? When you create a solo, recognize tonal areas as places where you can reflect and reflect on an idea you created. Listen to your questions and consider thoughtful ways to answer them. Sometimes that comes from rephrasing that first question for emphasis.
    Use the second line to stay with the spirit of the first line, yet create an answer.

    The next system is a contrast, a dialog of short statements create complementing shapes, they themselves create something that can be answered or resolved.

    Use ascending lines, and answer with descending. Use a shape and turn it upside down. Play loud, and then whisper. Set up a question...and answer with silence.

    These are all things that will inform an interesting sense of story telling. They're things to be aware of, how the chordal areas set up the canvas(es) through which you can draw your own articulation of shape, lead the listener's ear to see a landscape.
    If you see it, you can convey it. If you can hear it, you can play it.

    Remember, a lot of people can teach you the scales and notes you "should" play and you can become a really adept arborist but sometimes you need to remember to stand back, see a larger picture and learn to enjoy the beauty of the forest. Ask and the answers are there.

  20. #69
    Composing a solo by developing ideas. Motivic playing.
    I think there's a myth about the magic of improvisation. You can't plan it ahead of time. You know it, forget it and then it comes. That kind of thing.
    I think one of the biggest obstacles in students becoming really good improvisors is entering a solo space with nothing to say; and no plan for creating a portrait of yourself given the sum total of your knowledge...and silence.


    Classical composers spend years becoming proficient in the art of unfolding ideas...and that's with all the time they need to rework, reframe and rewrite. Improvising is the same as composing, using form, harmony, pitch, but we have the benefit of harnessing the excitement of the moment and we must learn to have our options ready and well practiced. And we need to know where we're going.


    Listen to a solo. At some early point, it presents sound in a way that engages you, then it unfolds in a way that keeps you. This is the art of developing an idea.
    One of the techniques you can use is motif (an idea) and development (things you can do to expand that "seed" into a musical journey).
    A motif is, by nature short. It can be three notes, like Beethoven's fifth, or three notes like My Romance, or a rhythm even, that takes on a form by having a melody hung on it.
    The important thing is to create a simple idea and recognize, hold it, don't let it get away, and repeat it, extend it, make a similar idea at a higher pitch, turn it around, remove the notes and make it a rhythmic motif by playing different notes. The important thing is to keep that seed in mind, until you decide to move on to another one or contrast and change it.

    Suggestion for experiment:
    Take a harmonic block, the first 4 bars of My Romance and like the way the first three notes stand alone as an idea, find out how many different ways you can play that. Observe your expanding the nature of that motif, then move on to another idea that flows from that.
    Then return to the motif in a new incarnation. Each time you return, it will become stronger. Try it.
    Try this as a way to meld harmonic blocks with melody. See if it helps you create a solo that is thoughtful AND compelling.

    Note: Work with simple melodic ideas. Resist the temptation to "fancy" yourself off the road. If we decide we want to continue this thread, we will surely address the process for making elaborate solos with embellishments, ornaments, substitutions, sequences and playing within and outside of a given harmony. That will all have a place. Learn to control space right now.

    Can you hear a rhythmic motif in the solo as it develops?

  21. #70
    Concluding three weeks of immersion
    Study of My Romance
    Final speed 180 metronome on 2 and 4 at 90
    Key of the day: F

    Warm up, chromatic and scale exercises. Spider fingerboard exercises and scales with hammer-ons and pull-offs. 15 minutes

    10 minutes Triad and Bass line harmony track. I kept the chordal voicings light so I could get more in my ear as I was running the exercise.

    rest plan next 10 minutes

    10 minutes chords with walking bass lines. Various blocks of bass lines and chords. This gave me a good sense of the form of the piece. This is one of the reasons I like to be at least the second soloist in a soloing queue.


    10 minutes Taking a cue from the Super Chops regimen, I did this segment with eighth notes and pull offs. Whew! It was a great work out and I tried to minimize the amount of mindless fills when I lost the connection with the form. At those times, I allowed myself the luxury of laying out until I could catch the form with a pickup note. It was much better to let my playing stop rather than playing unintentional lick based finger wiggling to try to desperately "catch the bus".
    I really try to use practice time to break habits as much as find better strategies to stay on track. Motifs are REALLY helpful because entire lines of notes have a purpose and gravitational centre I can keep focused on.


    10 minutes Question and Answer exercise with attention to tonal blocks. I tried to move to different positions and find connecting lines to unexpected positions on the fingerboard. It was really great ear exercise because I can't "calculate" that fast so it's my ear guiding my hands. Very humbling.


    10 minutes combining parts of the tune itself (head) with variations and breaking down parts and building with them. This was a lot of fun but it's surprising how easy it is to lose the beat when it's always there.

    That used up my hour quickly and I went back for an iteration with only the metronome. Didn't feel pressure and lots of ideas came easily.

    Observation: It takes a LONG time to get comfortable enough not to feel like a total amateur. It wasn't until the half hour mark that I felt like I had any control over the guitar. Now to hold on to 10% when I pick up the guitar tomorrow.

  22. #71
    Please weigh in on your reactions to these weeks. Let me know if you're up for a different tune. If so, I'm up for it!

  23. #72

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Please weigh in on your reactions to these weeks. Let me know if you're up for a different tune. If so, I'm up for it!
    Count me in for a different tune.

  24. #73

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Please weigh in on your reactions to these weeks. Let me know if you're up for a different tune. If so, I'm up for it!
    I'm definitely up for another tune. I admit to being less focused with this program than Super Chops. Like I've mentioned in past posts, the openness and freedom to explore what you want in this study group is great, but the firm direction of Super Chops was nice as well. I didn't have to think about what to do next. That said, I'm certainly up for a new song. Thanks again, JBN!

  25. #74

    User Info Menu

    I haven't been able to spend as much time on this approach the last week as I would have liked – I have needed the practice time to prepare for a performance. Plus I found the thread a week late.

    But I am finding this to be a perfect approach for me – it makes sense, is incremental, and I'm finding it answers many of my questions (not just motif-wise, either!).

    I'd be grateful for a continuation...

  26. #75
    Three week immersion
    Song Form Night and Day in C
    Points of note: Turnarounds in major. Turnarounds in minor. Key area changes. Extended turnarounds.

    A little about the piece.
    The piece is called Night and Day. It IS a study in dualities. Minor and Major.
    The first system is a strong classic phrase in Major with what looks like a setup for minor!
    The second system repeats this. I've labeled this as 1 and 1A in yellow highlight on my breakdown page.
    The next new idea on the comes as a long wind down that twists chromatically to...
    The turnaround in all its tonality to the home chord. That's the A section.
    The B section looks like a new key. It' fresh. It's non diatonic. It's in Eb major, which is the relative major to C minor. Don't sweat this, just delight in the sound and Cole Porter's clever use of Major and minor.
    This is so great that it too, is repeated.
    The Piece ends with that extended descending turnaround again.
    And the journey to the home of C major.

    Listen to versions you can find on YouTube.
    Listen and get this into your ear before you even DARE to look at the chart.

    And the best

    Listen to these and listen to the way the sections fit together if you can.
    Analysis to come in the next post.