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  1. #76
    The Three Week Immersion: Study group for a tune based practice routine-screen-shot-2021-07-25-7-45-07-pm-png
    This is the chart. It's in C and you can see the sections if you can hear the piece while you're listening, in your head or with the music.
    The Three Week Immersion: Study group for a tune based practice routine-screen-shot-2021-07-26-4-14-25-pm-png
    I've made up a little breakdown so you can see the blocks without the distraction of individual chord symbols. This is kind of an EAR's look at the piece. This is the way I see the piece when I'm playing.
    If you want to see how chords are found on the fingerboard and where you can find alternatives to the easy and convenient transition, I've put the big picture up here:
    The Three Week Immersion: Study group for a tune based practice routine-screen-shot-2021-07-07-4-32-43-pm-png
    But none of the visuals is worth ANYTHING if you don't hear and know the piece by ear. Listen. Learn to like it. And I'll start with ways to approach this on the instrument in the next post.

    Have fun!


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #77

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    Oh! This is one of the most smoking songs ever, it makes me sweat

  4. #78

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    This is a good one. Just a question: in the breakdown chart, the first chord could be ii7b5, right?

  5. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by Ukena
    This is a good one. Just a question: in the breakdown chart, the first chord could be ii7b5, right?
    Absolutely. I labeled it as a functional generic turnaround which we'll explore. I like this tune because from beat 1, it dispels the notion that there is a specific "Major" or "minor" turnaround for a given chord. The interchangability, and even the length of time spent on the turnaround vs the destination is a matter of artistic license which we'll play around with.

  6. #80

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    Hey, JBN—great tune. Would you mind explaining a bit more about how to benefit from the diatonic harmonic map? I am not quite clear on the application. Thanks!
    Last edited by wzpgsr; 07-28-2021 at 11:58 PM.

  7. #81

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    I've been getting to know Night and Day. This is another tune that I don't often play for some odd reason. It's interesting that iReal Pro has an Abmaj7 rather than Dm7b5 for the first chord. I've memorized the changes, learned the melody and put together a simple chord melody. I've also been spending a lot of time playing over the changes at 90 bpm. Very enjoyable!

  8. #82

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    Melody and simple chord melody past couple of nights. Love this song, especially the two or three Fred Astaire versions I have found, which is *really* outside my wheelhouse. I experienced a little jolt of nostalgia when I listened to the Joe Pass version from Virtuoso. When I was in high school and just really starting to play, I checked the Virtuoso CD out from the library. Night and Day is the first track and I can still remember not really getting what I was hearing—it sounded unlike I had ever heard before. Then, entering the realm of auspicious coincidence, I watched Rick Beato’s new video last night... and what does he talk about and play a snippet from? Night and Day off of Virtuoso. So now I feel like I really ought to pay attention to this tune.

  9. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr
    Hey, JBN—great tune. Would you mind explaining a bit more about how to benefit from the diatonic harmonic map? I am not quite clear on the application. Thanks!
    The way I look at a piece, the root movement forms the tonal and intervallic (home base for the melody) reference. So if the root of the scale/chord is on the top, you'll be working with a melody below it. It's got a certain sound. If you're working with the root in the bass, that's most familiar. Root in an inner voice, that's like a triad in an inversion, different sound and feeling.
    What we can start to see from the last piece's exercises, is we can map out the root movement to guide the hands (and ears) to different ranges of notes, and by necessity, different parts of the fingerboard. Achieving real freedom of the fingerboard means exploring all the possible roots located on parts of the neck.
    The Three Week Immersion: Study group for a tune based practice routine-screen-shot-2021-07-07-4-32-43-pm-png
    If you're on the I chord, let's say in the key of A, you can find a scale and chord at the fifth fret, 6th string. On the chart, that I on the bottom line is now the 5th fret. There's another root on the top line (first string) and two frets up and two strings over on the 4th string.
    Bottom line is 6th string, top line is 1st, left is towards the neck, right is towards the bridge. It's an infinite loop so it works for all keys and goes on infinitely in both directions.

    This chart tells you not only where the I chord is and all the options open to you, it shows you where all the II, III etc. chords are.
    Why is this useful? When we learn root movement, we tend to keep close to where we are, close to what we know and hear NOW. But there are most unexpected melodies awaiting you when you root your phrases on different strings. Try it, you'll see.
    By knowing where other root areas are, your lines can be encouraged to expand, and you can see there'll always be a root to centre yourself.

    This takes practice, but it's a practice well spent in opening up the fingerboard, ear, hand movement and especially to hear root movement off the beaten track. I chord to VI chord (also known as the common major to minor) can be done by moving down 3 frets, or finding the VI chord within your present position, but how about moving your melodic lines along a string; a very lyrical and intuitive way to feel melody. No matter where you go, there's always a root in a position you'll wind up in. What if you could instantly feel at home, in a familiar position, no matter where you go on the neck? THIS is the map of what your perception will know when you do that.

    Exercise suggestion: Look at your small tonal blocks (a 4 bar phrase in a piece) and look at the usual route you'd play a chord progression. THEN find that same progression with different places on the map. Voice your chords there. Notice any cool and new sounds? The same applies to creating melody around a root. New locations open up new possibilities.

    Another suggestion: Where ever you hear yourself going to, where ever you hear your root going to, find a different location on the fingerboard to create your line. In other words, if you're in the 8th fret area, use the visualization of the fingerboard and find that same root in the 3rd fret or 13th fret area. Don't let your perceptual limitations keep you making the same lines with what's available to your hands. Know where every alternative to every note you play exists. If you feel too familiar starting a line, look for a completely different place to go.

    This way of thinking is initially more work than learning a set of chord (TAB) voicings and movements given to you, which isn't bad in itself, BUT... being aware of other places you can go, especially when you ask that question "Why does this always sound the same?", this question is the catalyst for change. The map gives you possibilities.

    If you'd like some ways to look at chords and chord voicings, I can expand further, but for Night and Day, you've got two phrases, two systems that are repeated. How about creating a question and answer between the two, or a statement and variation? Use the map to see where the fingerboard can create a new setting. Then open your ears and show your fingers how to sing!

    Have fun. I hope this makes sense. Ask questions.
    Last edited by Jimmy blue note; 07-30-2021 at 10:28 AM.

  10. #84

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    I'm playing melody and chords in different keys, to solidify the relationships. Definitely extremely helpful to think in terms of I - IV - V, etc. when jumping to non-related keys to see those relationships. Also helpful, for me: the root of that #IV-7b5 is the tritone, so it's easy to find quickly; just as easy to find as the initial ii (or ii7b5) chord, once you know what key you're in.

    This one has a pretty easy tune to learn and remember, too.

    Now to get the ear to hear some alternate melodies in a jazz vocabulary...

  11. #85
    TURNAROUNDS- some thoughts and experiments

    Night and Day is not the most complicated songs, but it certainly is one of the most memorable and fun to play on. This is in no small part due to the fact that it plays so effectively as a series of turnarounds in different forms and in different distinct phrases that feel like and literally are breaths. You can hear this in the Fred Astaire version. First turnaround, a line sung in a breath, with a start, a lyric and and ending.
    Night and Day, You are the One.
    Listen to the flow of that line, and the way it is brought to a feeling of completion. That's a good phrase, and it doesn't sound anything like a run of arpeggios on a II V I chord.

    I hear people always talk about turnarounds as being the biggest thing a player needs to learn, to the point that many are taught to lift them from others before they can really understand the line dynamics of what makes a line unforgettable.

    Yeah, turnarounds, or cadences as they're classically known, are known for their "lick"-ish noteyness (if that's even a word), but the purpose of a turnaround is not to stuff as many notes into a space as possible, yet that's often the way we learn them, with that purpose as the goal.

    I was having a conversation with a player who thinks as each phrase as a line of poetry, full of meaning and surprise. He noted that a lot of people play notes without meaning, that one of the things that a player learns as they mature, or at least for him, was to make each note count. In fact, he related an exercise where a player plays only two notes, in this case two chromatic notes ONLY for, like an hour. And he said after a while of those strict limitations, he begins to hear all the other notes gradually emerging and revealing themselves as choices he can hear, but not play.
    The end result is Don't play a note until you can feel the meaning of it, even if it's one note.
    That was a deep thought from Bill Frisell.

    So I have a suggestion for an exercise in phrase construction especially relating to turnarounds.
    Start at the end.
    Now this takes practice but it's practice in hearing what you play and knowing notes as living things.

    Night and Day's first system, the first sentence ends with the C chord, the home chord of the piece.
    Don't think of the piece, or even rhythm at this point, but do think of the notes of that C scale; there's your feeling of home.
    Pick the note C and preceed it with a note from the C scale. Take note (pun intended) of the impact of each note as it forms a duo of notes with C. Each note will have a different impact but you will need to spend time and decide what that impact is to YOU. It's like you're forming a doorway to the note of rest, each door has its own way.
    Then use another note to form a line or shape that ends in C. And then work your way back, all the time learning the cumulative constructive impact of the lines you create.
    This is the way you can begin to make and personalize your own linear vocabulary.

    You will learn that maybe note combinations built in thirds have a certain elegance to them, some built on certain notes will feel differently, so take note of what works for you.

    The more you work with these scale notes the more you will learn lines that lead home, or turnarounds of impact. Your ear is the director here.


    Next, instead of Major scale as your ultimate goal, do this with a C minor scale. You'll notice a completely different set of "doorways" to resolution. Study this. It'll be time well spent.
    Minor resolutions emphasize a different set of note combinations and reflective notes (notes inform or cast light on other notes; that's the consonance and dissonance of dyads and intervals).

    Major and minor notes feel different. When you take the lead in notes of a minor and find a major at the end, THAT's the sound of surprize. And THAT's the distinctive sound of Night and Day.

    NOTE: You might notice that in my harmony break down, the II V block is a little more loose than the changes of the piece. That's because when you begin to recognize turnaround phrases, you will also learn that you can get different lyrical ideas by expanding or compressing diatonic and tension phrases.
    In other words changes are not written in stone, and this is especially true when it comes to turnarounds.

    As you become more adept at hearing, and your chops get better, you can take lead-in notes and employ individual diatonic and chromatic notes and even triad or chordal passages. More on that later...
    But for now, see if you can get these musical doorways and windows to resolution.

    Have fun and experiment!

  12. #86

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    I wasn't terribly methodical about it, but I did improvise over a loop of the first four bars tonight for maybe 20 minutes. I feel like I am starting to hear superimposed harmonies a bit better in recent weeks....story time...

    When I first started really working at jazz, maybe 7 years ago or so, I took an online class through some Berklee online extension program. The class was taught by Gary Burton, and if I recall correctly, it was really heavy on chord-scale stuff. The first song we worked on was What Is This Thing Called Love—a Cole Porter tune that I now understand has the same minor-resolving-to-major thing as Night and Day. I had no idea what I was doing. At all. I was coming off of maybe 10 years hardly touching a guitar, and back when I did play, it was mostly pentatonic stuff with a little bit of extended flavor. I didn't even know the tune, so I found a killin' version by Oscar Peterson (whom I had never heard of before, either), got some slow-downer software, and started transcribing his blazing fast, ridiculously great solo. I had been trying to piece together bits of theory here and there, so I kind of understood what D-7b5 was, what G7 was, per the Gary Burton chart. As I worked through the solo I started seeing snippets of familiar arpeggio shapes—if I remember correctly there was a lick based on a Bb7 arpeggio and I couldn't for the life of me understand why it worked where Oscar was playing it—rootless Bb9 being the same shape as a drop 2 D-7b5 was an epiphany of sorts. And what I found when I was transcribing were some arpeggio shapes that seemed to come from other harmonies. Like, although the first chord is a D-7b5—C minor, right? which should mean an altered G7—Oscar played this lick over the G7 that built around an ascending Dm arpeggio, and all the extensions would have been diatonic to C major. I was so confused, but it sounded so good.

    Anyways, that ascending Dm7 lick has managed to stick with me after all these years even though I don't play it much. Tonight, I was feeling around per JBN's advice above and stumbled onto something that sounded like Oscar's lick, so I started playing that. Pretty soon I was changing that lick around, then started playing with Am7 as a sub for CM7, then I found my way into AmM7--


    The long and short of it is that I wasn't *thinking* in terms of all that theory above. I was hearing it, with some vague "in the moment awareness" that what I was playing had some basis in the above theory. This is rambling and discombobulated when I write it out, but I did have a great practice tonight. The fretboard is starting to light up for me in ways I have heard other players talk about, and that's really exciting for me.

  13. #87
    ANOTHER TAKE ON TURNAROUNDS AND BEYOND-Being the author of your own licks

    As our ear becomes more adept at hearing harmony, so does our ability to play chords in different order, and with those things come solo lines that emerge from our playing with more confidence and complexity.
    Take, for example, a bar of I, a bar of II, a bar of V7 and a resolution back to I.
    That in itself (Cmaj7|D-7|G7|CMaj7 if you want to be in C) is a system, a little story.
    But as a soloist, an improvisor, a composer, that story might be told differently in that 4 bar space; it's yours to create.
    CM7 Dm-7| E-7 Eb7| D-7 G7| C
    or CM7 FM7| E-7 Eb7| ...
    or Getting more chromatic, E-7 Eb7| D-7 FM7| Ab7 G7 | C
    Really, there are many ways to begin from a point of clarity, and articulate some kind of harmonic and linear journey that takes the listener's ear back home. Now I can hear the voices right now: "But those aren't the chords of the PIECE, they aren't the things I'm supposed to improvise on." and yes, this goes against some ideas of how to improvise, but understand this: It's YOUR solo, and as you grow as a player, you'll assert your own stamp and that includes the ways your hear harmony. You are NOT Cole Porter, but in a conversation with him through a composition of his, you can add your thoughts.

    Listen to a player you like. There will be times when you might say "Where did THAT come from?". That's their personality coming through after a lot of time spent learning how to hear different ways harmony can be constructed and finding things they like and saying them. If they hear harmony they like, and they feel adept to bring that harmony to life through a solo line, it MAY VERY WELL be different from the Cole Porter changes the band is playing. That's called playing outside the changes. When you find the mutual home chord, you sound like a genius.


    Take a 4 bar phrase space and mark the ultimate chord as the one given in the piece. Then experiment with creating a diatonic based harmony substituting along the way, maybe using half note changes. Write the chords out and play them until you can hear the sound; feel the sound. Then use the melodic tools and your ear to create a line that brings out that sound. When you have something you like, write it and save it. Transcribe yourself. Teach yourself. Play yourself. Use yourself.

    Introduce an adjective into your diatonic creations. Chromatic 7th a half step above, a secondary dominant, or even one chromatic "wrong" note that resolves to a chord tone. These things, when played with assurance, and confidence sound REALLY good. This comes from practice and this is why you practice.

    Here's the kicker: In Night and Day, Cole Porter states the first two systems simply, but with a twist. They're simple turnarounds to C Major using notes from MINOR! Cool. Simple. Effective. Classic.
    But in the third system,
    Whether near to me or far
    It's no matter, darlin', where you are

    he does this very thing, he creates his own extended harmonic elaboration. This is followed by the resolution.

    In subsequent posts, we can explore ways to create lines, but that's really up to you. The more you work on this, the more time you spend experimenting, the more you figure out just how chords become lines, the deeper your music and playing will get, and the more you'll have to say.

    Think about this. It's like a fine wine or a glass of VSOP brandy, the more time you give it, the more you can find the singular character that's in you as a soloist.

    Have fun!

  14. #88
    This way of focused study combined with practicing specific harmony lines of your own creation is a really great way to take the Super Chops routine into the next level.
    Sunday you can work out chord progressions that work with a piece, and each day of the week going from slow to faster, alternate choruses of the written changes with chord runs from your "chord lab" work. That's good for your ear, and you can do this to really get juice out of eighth notes and triplets. Add your hammer ons and pull offs especially on chord tones and you'll see some big payoffs in time.

  15. #89

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    Thanks, JBN! I really feel inspired by your last two posts. I'm going to put in some time this week and see what I can come up with. Thanks for the great suggestions!

  16. #90
    Hey, since we're all friends and task mates here, I'll share something I thought was remarkable.
    I have a friend Mick, we have nice conversations these days. A couple of days ago, I asked him if he remembered the first time he felt he had his own creative voice.
    "I remember very clearly. I was with Gary (a guy he had a gig with) and up until then it was just playing and hoping I wouldn't get fired. One night I found myself playing things that I felt 'this is me' and I didn't think it was good at all. As a matter of fact I thought it was awful, but it was me."

    This really surprised me, cuz he's a pretty good player with a very distinctive style. What was wrong with it?
    "Well, I thought everything. But I was just lucky somebody recorded me because when I heard myself, I heard it completely differently. It sounded good. I'm just so grateful somebody recorded that."

    Think about this while you're thinking of yourself on a long road. And keep taking the next step.

  17. #91
    What were you thinking?
    How's everyone doing these days?
    Some thoughts and observations for my part:
    When I go in to this piece cold, there's definitely a period of time when my ideas are full of "not THAT again!" things. Things that I don't even seem to notice until after I've played them.
    Lots of reasons for this, a few of which are easy to identify:
    I'm thinking of the chords and not hearing any melody, so my fingers go for the same way.
    I'm starting my phrases and ideas in the same way.
    My lines run in zones that are convenient and comfortable to my fingers, well travelled lines, easy arpeggios I've practiced a lot, and they don't go anywhere.
    My strings of notes are too long and I don't even know what I've played.

    So I thought I'd work on these areas this upcoming week.
    I'm going to try hard to keep a big picture, visualize the entire piece in a landscape of independent and dependent "islands" that I anticipate and give myself a fresh start in each time I pass into one.
    I'm going to shorten my lines and leave space after these small minimal statements.
    I'm going to really relax and listen to the effect of what I've just played...even if it might mean a measure of rest. Then I'm not going to move my fingers until I've come up with something that sounds like a continuation of what I've played.
    I'm going to build a vocabulary of starts. Where I start, how I start, how each beginning feels, ...avoid root on beat 1...etc.
    I'm going to make a conscious effort to stop before my ideas run out. In the micro and the macro. That means if I've run a flurry of notes, STOP there and see if the impact of them is stronger if I don't play anything more. And it also means remembering and finding out when it's time to start something fresh... like moving to a completely new part of the neck, or thinking in triads or even, knowing where I am harmonically, playing a chord that fits but in all cases, learning to use space.

    I think this can keep me busy.
    Sometimes things go well, sometimes my playing bores me. I think one of the biggest factours in finding myself on the road to boredom is beginning to play without a sound or idea of what I want to do.
    This, I realize takes practice. That's my week ahead.

    How are things going for you?
    Last edited by Jimmy blue note; 08-08-2021 at 08:51 AM.

  18. #92

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    Life got really busy and I've hardly touched the guitar the last three weeks, unfortunately. I think I definitely learned a lot with the initial time I spent on the tune. I also got kind of side-tracked into learning drop 2 voicings via Wilmott's book and I struggled intregrating that with this.

    Overall, it's been a great learning experience and would love to put more time into it again once I have more of these voicings under my fingers.

  19. #93

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    I've been plugging away, but admittedly, not too much on Night & Day recently. Some of the "bordedom" realizations JBN mentioned sound familiar. Playing to the chords too much vs. melody. Running typical arpeggios, etc. I've been sidetracked working on other tunes, coming up with my own phrases/licks and learning them in different places on the fingerboard. JBN's post will help get me re-focused on Night & Day again.

  20. #94
    When I sit down with my guitar, it's almost like finding myself on the gateway to an enormous amusement park: It's filled with any of the pieces I can imagine and each time I "play" one, open it up and really immerse myself in one, it can range from pleasantly amused to deeply moving.
    At this point, the forms of a piece are made by the same molecular compounds, but the chemistry can be manipulated in the moment.

    That's kind of what these pieces are in the choices and ways I'm presenting them. Not as a Cole Porter piece per se, but as the template for forming and developing our choices, and writing our own "book" of options.
    This piece was a II V exercise. My Romance was a diatonic harmony exercise. There will be pieces that can teach you a lot about secondary dominants... others that you can learn modal interchange from. Etc.

    All of these are experiments to broaden your reception and your ear, with the hope that it'll give you more ready run options that you can solo on.

    That's kind of the point of these songforms and experiments.

    Let me know what you're wrestling with at any level of proficiency of ability and we can use a song form to create things that you will play with. That's how you own it.

    Feel free to share what's relevant to you, and we can use the music of the masters to broaden your horizons and abilities.

    Have fun. Yeah!

  21. #95
    Tuesday: Night and Day
    Third week
    Combining Harmony with Melody

    This week I'm putting a backing track starting from ballad tempo and gradually increasing it.
    I've been recording a backing track with roots or dyads (two notes only) to get my ear to hear the melodies I make more clearly against a bass note.

    I'll run at least 4 iterations and here's my challenge: Each time I find myself going somewhere I didn't consciously intend, I either change my plan, go somewhere else entirely or put in a pause, a rest.
    This has been really good because I'm finding that I'm listening to what I play.

    Tomorrow I'm going to actively add chromatic embellishments, see what happens.

    I keep a list of possibilities and for practice time, I draw on that for each run through. Focus.

  22. #96

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    FYI, I'm still here. Still plugging away. I've gotten away from Night & Day recently. Working on other tunes, ii-V lines, etc. I'm still grateful this course is up and running for us.

  23. #97

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    So here's my effort. I have kept in mind the minor feel and tried to incorporate chromaticism...

  24. #98

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    Hi there,

    I am new to the forum and has always wanted to join or try study group to really improve my impro skills. I hope it is ok to tag along and try if you guys don't mind.

  25. #99

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    Welcome, Jerry! Unfortunately, it seems as though I have killed this thread. I hope to be proven wrong...

  26. #100
    SOOOO many ideas. Sorry I've been quiet. I've been working a lot on a number of tunes and each one of them breaking down into tonal segments. I realized everyone is coming from a different place and taking their own time in the process of assimilation but I'm here looking out my window at the waves of water falling from the sky and I really welcome hearing from you guys. Jerry405, I throw out a tune and give some suggestions on things that will help you get a handle on becoming a strong improvisor/spontaneous composer.
    Pieces give us a framework of familiar recurring structures which, when we learn to use them, will become sounds and harmonic "islands" that make up all tunes. I look at it as a journey of the ancient Polynesians, who did amazing things like colonize islands across the Pacific clear to Hawaii and everywhere in between.
    In this thread, and in all songs I want to learn, there are skills of reading the currents (That's developing your harmonic ear), and skills of navigation (that's knowledge of the fingerboard), and there are skills of colonization (that's learning to create melody in a personal way that fits each "island").

    Each tune, I'll break the tune into harmonic areas and suggest things we can do to explore those distinct areas. 7 big islands are the diatonic chords, the 7 chords of the major scale.
    For each of those harmonic areas (chords) is a set of notes that brings out the landscape and feel of that chord. These are the scales whose notes are like the distinct flora and fauna that bring out the natural feel of the land. Otherwise known as major, minor or dominant melody.

    Each time I introduce a new tune, it will have some interesting quality, and I'll talk about that as we start by listening and getting an aural feel for the tune. We've met a diatonic based tune, a tune that is full of rich turnarounds, and I think we'll meet a tune with an idea we call the secondary dominant, or the little islands that form around a central island to form a harmonic atoll.

    This thread really takes off when anyone throws in a comment, or question about what they're doing.
    So I'll do a tune that will take us through the next three weeks.
    First week is a good time to get the footing on the harmony.
    Second week is a nice time to develop facility with melody.
    Third week is a blending of the two and by then, the ear will help us navigate the islands in a way that we can creatively and confidently solo with.
    The EAR is the biggest unifying element in this approach. Off book ASAP.

    Thoughts or reactions?