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  1. #1

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    Our song for December is "The Christmas Song"

    Here's a pdf of the lead sheet, a mp3 backing track, and another mp3 backing track with double time in the middle:

    Box | Simple Online Collaboration: Online File Storage, FTP Replacement, Team Workspaces
    Last edited by fep; 12-03-2011 at 02:38 PM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    A lead sheet and backing track: Have fun with these!

    wiz


    The Christmas Song

    backing track----The Christmas Song (vocal)_Render.mp3 - File Shared from Box - Free Online File Storage

    Lead sheet---- http://www.box.com/s/izh4oq11rlzebb12elg0
    Last edited by wizard3739; 12-02-2011 at 12:55 AM.

  4. #3

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    Hey Howard,

    I'm confused. Are we doing two songs now?

  5. #4

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    Sorry Frank, my bad! I looked at the tie vote and didn't look at the title on the thread. I will fix this by removing the links on "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". BTW, thank you very much for picking up the thread and taking care of the new poll. As you probably can guess, this is a very busy time for me, and my band (Starlight) is trying to make a CD along with the Holiday season gigs. I missed out on "Bluesette" but should be able to do something for "The Christmas Song".

    wiz

  6. #5

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    Cool

  7. #6

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    Thanks guys!!

  8. #7

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    Hey all, I updated my mp3 backing tracks (link is in the first post of this thread). I fixed the ending and normalized the tracks.

    Quote Originally Posted by wizard3739
    BTW, thank you very much for picking up the thread and taking care of the new poll. As you probably can guess, this is a very busy time for me, and my band (Starlight) is trying to make a CD along with the Holiday season gigs. I missed out on "Bluesette" but should be able to do something for "The Christmas Song".

    wiz
    Cool Howard... You had to carry the ball for too long. I'm thinking we can trade off every couple of months. And if anyone else wants to head it up, that's cool too. Perhaps with different folks taking the lead we might get different perspectives.

  9. #8

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    I suggest we discuss how we go about learning a tune on this thread.

    I'll start. The first thing I do is go and listen to some versions on youtube.

    2nd thing I do is learn the melody.

    I play it in a couple positions, and in a couple octaves if that works on the guitar.

    Then I learn to sing it.

    Then, if I can, I try to play a simple chord melody (all my chord melodies are pretty simple anyways). I've gotten to where I can do this pretty quickly and easily for ballads.

    Let's discuss...

    And, what do you do or what's next?
    Last edited by fep; 12-03-2011 at 02:45 PM.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep

    Cool Howard... You had to carry the ball for too long. I'm thinking we can trade off every couple of months. And if anyone else wants to head it up, that's cool too. Perhaps with different folks taking the lead we might get different perspectives.
    Hiya Frank, Sounds good to me, I think I need a break now and then to keep my head straight on the kind of stuff I want to work on. As you know, I'm up for any song the majority of the group wants to work on. The benefits of hearing and analyzing different approaches to the songs is a tremendous help for my continuing education efforts in the jazz music arena
    I love this thread!

    My method for learning songs for this site is:

    1) Be able to play the melody in any key (usually easy for me as an ear player) and listen to some classic jazz recordings of the song.
    2) Prepare a chart written in the composers' original key.
    3) Arrange the song with intro and ending with BIAB Realtracks for practise and listen to classic jazz recordings of the song.
    4) Analyze the progressions in the song for comping (voicing) and possible improv lines.
    5) Practise as time becomes available and use the song on a gig if possible.
    6) Record and submit for the Practical Standards group if time permits.

    Not much originality in my approach, my ear usually takes over after I have learned the melody and looked at the progressions. Occasionally I will rearrange the song for my wifes' vocal range and if I really like the song I will work out a chord melody for it.

    wiz
    Last edited by wizard3739; 12-03-2011 at 03:54 PM.

  11. #10

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    I am a relative beginner. First I just try to learn the melody. For that I dig up a BIAB version of the tune; I have a huge collection of BIAB realbooks and just load up all the versions of the tune I can find. I try to dig one that matches the key and changes of the posted lead sheet as much as possible and also try to choose a BIAB version with simpler changes, given a choice. Then I try to learn the melody usingh the BIAB file and the lead sheet posted here. It used to take me a week to learn one tune. It has gotten faster and faster. Now it takes me a day. I try to read it as much as possible from the lead sheet and use the BIAB version as a crutch to hear the phrasing.

    Then I just play the melody again and again and again and again .... over the BIAB version and the posted playalong.
    Then I try to memorise the chords. I know I have them memorised when I can play them into a loop pedal and then I use that to play over.

    Then I try to improvise over the changes. Then I really appreciate any analysis/tips/stuff posted here by FEP/REg etc. Most of my imporvising is stilted and just arpeggios one after another but I am getting better with each tune.

  12. #11

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    Nice to see this thread going well...
    I guess it depends on your level, I've obviously been around... it's rare when I haven't heard or recognize the style and form of tunes... So I usually try and cover in style implied by chart... melody and changes imply where and and what style tune implies. If there are conflicts, I would try and decide which way to interpret. If I want to do something different, I'll pick an approach and go. I prefer to not really rehears tunes... The more I play a tune... the more things become implied and listeners may not hear what I assume as heard...
    I like improve... I dig things being on the edge... having to make choices. It obviously helps when your reading chops are together etc...
    I'll try and post a playing example of tune later today... last week I didn't have time to eat or sleep... Reg

  13. #12

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    This is my take on the Christmas Song. Unfortunately, my noise problem is back and I have no time to fix it right now. We have 3 rehearsals this week and a studio date to record my new original. Please bear with me for a short time and I will be back soon. This time I had to rely on my ear again. The short term analsis is that everything except the bridge is in Eb or related to Eb. The first chorus is me comping, the other three choruses are me trying to improvise. As before, the backing track is a BIAB realtracks Bill Evans trio style.

    The Christmas Song.mp3 - File Shared from Box - Free Online File Storage

    wiz
    Last edited by wizard3739; 12-09-2011 at 12:55 AM.

  14. #13

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    Good job Wiz!

  15. #14

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    Hi Howard,

    Nice voicings on your comping, rhythm was a bit off at places, just a few more takes and I'm sure you'd have your groove on.

    Your solo, now you've got your groove on, and really nice lines. I'm digging it.

  16. #15

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    Why?...

    There are a couple of reasons I like to do chord analysis but the primary one is... I'm trying to transistion to knowing songs not by their chord symbols but by the Roman Numerals... Just like the pros that I know do. This allows you to more easily see common progressions (like ii V I) and helps your ear more easily recognize them.

    So without further poo poo; here's my analysis. Let me know if I made any mistakes, if past performance is any indication there are probably a few.

    Christmas Song Files - Folder Shared from Box - Free Online File Storage

    Mm. 6-8, I'm not sure if I should have shown that as key changes, I'm thinking they go by so fast that new keys aren't really established.
    Last edited by fep; 12-10-2011 at 01:29 PM.

  17. #16

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    just started on this tonight and feel i am doing ok, but slow, and there are a few places that are giving me a little difficulty, my reading is very slow so I have to stumble through till i get it in my head and then go by ear, could someone post a video, or recording, of the chords, and of the melody (separately without backing tracks) using this pdf, so i can hear how it is done correctly

    thanks in advance for anyone that will take the time to do this

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolchop
    just started on this tonight and feel i am doing ok, but slow, and there are a few places that are giving me a little difficulty, my reading is very slow so I have to stumble through till i get it in my head and then go by ear, could someone post a video, or recording, of the chords, and of the melody (separately without backing tracks) using this pdf, so i can hear how it is done correctly

    thanks in advance for anyone that will take the time to do this
    I'm glad you asked. I think there might be others in your situation that haven't asked. I really want this to be a good learning resource for all levels (well perhaps not the advanced players, but they can chip in, teach and showcase if they choose).

    I'll tab the melody (and encourage you to work on your notation reading skills) and write up chord diagrams and a video.

    I might not be able to get to it until Tuesday.

  19. #18
    fep - i was just going over your chord analysis and am not sure what i am missing. i see a chord for every note you refer to and am not sure what that means. is there a chord related to every note in a scale and if there is where can i get information on this. its new to me so please excuse my ignorance.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    I'm glad you asked. I think there might be others in your situation that haven't asked. I really want this to be a good learning resource for all levels (well perhaps not the advanced players, but they can chip in, teach and showcase if they choose).

    I'll tab the melody (and encourage you to work on your notation reading skills) and write up chord diagrams and a video.

    I might not be able to get to it until Tuesday.
    hey thanks i am working on writing out the chords i have figured out and am going to post and see if 1 they are correct and 2 if there are other positions that might work better together

    tab for the melody would be great, although I am trying to get away from it, but to see if what I am doing is correct cause my sight reading is very limited

    i just found this part of the forum this week (for what reason it took so long who knows) but this is def what i need, a way to walk through a tune with someone to give a little guidance

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by richard vandyne
    fep - i was just going over your chord analysis and am not sure what i am missing. i see a chord for every note you refer to and am not sure what that means.
    I'm not sure I understand the question as I didn't write any notes in the chord analysis. The roman numeral symbols do represent the root of each chord in relation to the tonal center.

    Quote Originally Posted by richard vandyne
    fep - i was just going over your chord analysis and am not sure what i am missing. i see a chord for every note you refer to and am not sure what that means. is there a chord related to every note in a scale and if there is where can i get information on this. its new to me so please excuse my ignorance.
    Yes there is a chord that can be built from each note of a scale. In a major key the chord qualities are:

    Major minor minor major major minor diminished

    or if you extend the chord to it's 7th:

    Major7 minor7 minor7 major7 dominant7 minor7 minor7b5 (aka half-diminished 7)

    The related roman numerals:

    Imaj7 ii7 iii7 IVmaj7 V7 vi7 viim7b5

    In the key of C:

    Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7 Bm7b5
    __________________________________________

    If you haven't been exposed to this yet it is probably hard to follow. In a music theory text you would go through several chapters before you got to this. They'd talk about key signatures, tonal center, building chords in 3rds etc. before they'd discuss the above.

    The book 'Joe Pass Guitar Styles' has a good concise description of building chords. Go to the link and use the 'look inside' feature and you can see the chord construction bit for free.

    Amazon.com: Joe Pass Guitar Style (9780739018651): Joe Pass: Books

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolchop
    just started on this tonight and feel i am doing ok, but slow, and there are a few places that are giving me a little difficulty, my reading is very slow so I have to stumble through till i get it in my head and then go by ear, could someone post a video, or recording, of the chords, and of the melody (separately without backing tracks) using this pdf, so i can hear how it is done correctly

    thanks in advance for anyone that will take the time to do this
    I did a couple pdf files that can be found here (look for 'Tab & Diagrams' and/or 'Notation & Diagrams'):

    Christmas Song Files - Folder Shared from Box - Free Online File Storage

    No promises, I'll see if I can get around to doing a video.

  23. #22
    fep- really appreciate the help. i have seen this info at other times but didnt pay too much attention. now i think i need it. are these moveable tones up the neck. i want to get this info in all keys??? thanks for answering so soon.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    I did a couple pdf files that can be found here (look for 'Tab & Diagrams' and/or 'Notation & Diagrams'):

    Christmas Song Files - Folder Shared from Box - Free Online File Storage

    No promises, I'll see if I can get around to doing a video.
    this is exactly what i needed i have not been able to sit down with guitar and work through what you have given me, but i can see that i am doing a few things different, still might sound ok but i think i am jumping around a bit more, the next few days maybe i can work through it some more, thank you so much for the help

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by richard vandyne
    fep- really appreciate the help. i have seen this info at other times but didnt pay too much attention. now i think i need it. are these moveable tones up the neck. i want to get this info in all keys??? thanks for answering so soon.
    Yes this is movable to all keys.

    If you take this info:

    Quote Originally Posted by fep

    Yes there is a chord that can be built from each note of a scale. In a major key the chord qualities are:

    Major minor minor major major minor diminished

    or if you extend the chord to it's 7th:

    Major7 minor7 minor7 major7 dominant7 minor7 minor7b5 (aka half-diminished 7)

    The related roman numerals:

    Imaj7 ii7 iii7 IVmaj7 V7 vi7 viim7b5

    In the key of C:

    Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7 Bm7b5
    [/url]
    And you know your key signatures...

    Then for example, G major:

    From the circle you can see G has one sharp, F#. So to spell the G major scale:

    G A B C D E F#

    Then using the order of chord qualities for a major scale, you get:

    Gmaj7 Am7 Bm7 Cmaj7 D7 Em7 F#m7b5

    We haven't discussed the minor scales, it's a bit more complicated as you have to consider the Natural Minor scale, the Melodic Minor Scale and the Harmonic Minor scale. But here is what I think is the most common order of chord qualities for minor:

    For Am:

    Am7 Bm7b5 Cmaj7 Dm7 E7 Fmaj7 G#dim7 (Note that the 7th is raised to get the E7 and G#dim7 chords)

    It looks like you want to explore learning some theory. I'm giving you some specific answers but not building all the underlying foundation. You might want to look for a book or an online free theory site... (I can't recommend the theory book I used in college, it goes too far and is too expensive and would be hard to get through without a teacher)
    Last edited by fep; 12-12-2011 at 09:15 PM.

  26. #25

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    just wanted to add that a cool substitution that some folks use is to play:

    Am7b5 Ab7b5 instead of
    Ebmaj7 Fmin7

    for the first measure of the last A section

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluegreenguitar
    just wanted to add that a cool substitution that some folks use is to play:

    Am7b5 Ab7b5 instead of
    Ebmaj7 Fmin7

    for the first measure of the last A section
    Starting the section with a m7b5 instead of the tonic, never would have thought of that. A ii V of the Gm7 chord.

    Just tried it, sounds good to me.

  28. #27

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    Hi Frank -

    Thanks for the analysis.

    Could the Gm7-C7-Fm7-Bb7 bars be simplified as iii - VI7 - ii - V7? I've seen this analysis often used for the turnaround sequence.

    BTW, what notation software do you use? I'd like to get started doing analysis charts.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimand
    Hi Frank -

    Thanks for the analysis.

    Could the Gm7-C7-Fm7-Bb7 bars be simplified as iii - VI7 - ii - V7? I've seen this analysis often used for the turnaround sequence.

    BTW, what notation software do you use? I'd like to get started doing analysis charts.
    Hi Jim,

    Yes, and thanks, I think your analysis is better. I'll try to get around to changing it, I've got a few other projects going right now.

    I used Sibelius 6.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolchop
    just started on this tonight and feel i am doing ok, but slow, and there are a few places that are giving me a little difficulty, my reading is very slow so I have to stumble through till i get it in my head and then go by ear, could someone post a video, or recording, of the chords, and of the melody (separately without backing tracks) using this pdf, so i can hear how it is done correctly

    thanks in advance for anyone that will take the time to do this
    Okay I got some video recorded.... one for melody and one for chords.

    The main thing that differs from the pdf files is my backing track ends with a Emaj7 chord and then the Ebmaj6. Also, I played around with the rhythms here and there on the melody take and played around with the chords a bit on the last 'A' section.

    Here's the pdf files (again).

    Christmas Song Files - Folder Shared from Box - Free Online File Storage





  31. #30

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    I have a little arrangement of The Christmas Song in text. I have the score in tabledit, but I don't know how to convert to pdf. If anyone can be of assistance to me re the conversion I'd appreciate it. Enjoy. The Christmas Song.txt - File Shared from Box - Free Online File Storage

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    Okay I got some video recorded.... one for melody and one for chords.

    The main thing that differs from the pdf files is my backing track ends with a Emaj7 chord and then the Ebmaj6. Also, I played around with the rhythms here and there on the melody take and played around with the chords a bit on the last 'A' section.

    Here's the pdf files (again).

    Christmas Song Files - Folder Shared from Box - Free Online File Storage




    awesome thank you big help, now for the weekend to get here and i can devote a good time block to it, and thats a nice guitar

  33. #32

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    Hey Frank, beautiful guitar and you get a wonderful tone from it! Very, very nice clean sound. I love listening to you play.

    wiz

  34. #33

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    Nice job Frank. Sounded good.

    I just started working on a CM for it tonight. I have the A section down, will be working on the B section tomorrow. When I get it fluid I will post it.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzalta
    I have a little arrangement of The Christmas Song in text. I have the score in tabledit, but I don't know how to convert to pdf. If anyone can be of assistance to me re the conversion I'd appreciate it. Enjoy. The Christmas Song.txt - File Shared from Box - Free Online File Storage
    on windows, if you can print the file in a format that you like, you can usually convert what gets printed to a PDF. You have to download a "printer" called PDFcreator. It gets installed like a printer driver but instead of printing, it creates a PDF. YOu have to select it like you would select a printer from a list, when you go to print from TABLEDIT?

    Here is a link PDFCreator | Free Business & Enterprise software downloads at SourceForge.net

    Des

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolchop
    awesome thank you big help, now for the weekend to get here and i can devote a good time block to it, and thats a nice guitar
    Quote Originally Posted by wizard3739
    Hey Frank, beautiful guitar and you get a wonderful tone from it! Very, very nice clean sound. I love listening to you play.

    wiz


    Quote Originally Posted by brwnhornet59
    Nice job Frank. Sounded good.

    I just started working on a CM for it tonight. I have the A section down, will be working on the B section tomorrow. When I get it fluid I will post it.
    Thanks...

    Glad to see this post is still alive and kicking. I still want to post a version of this tune. I have an idea of creating a 'Christmas Card' of my version with a youtube video; I'd have pictures mixed going in and out of the video of me playing the tune.

    Lots of chords on this one, I'm off to the woodshed.

  37. #36

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    Hi Frank,

    damn I miss this forum :-) Just wanted to say that you're doing a brillian job at keeping it going while howie has to take a back seat (he's great too though)!

    Thanks a lot and I look forward to one day chiming back in.
    Cheers,
    Tony

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    Why that guitar you may ask...

    Well, it's the only one I have that matches my hat.

    nice chops

  39. #38

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    Better late than never. Sorry the volume is low. I wanted to get it perfected better, but Christmas is over, so here it is. Hope you dig my arrangement.

    Thanks for such a cool thread and everyone that has participated.


  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by brwnhornet59





    Better late than never. Sorry the volume is low. I wanted to get it perfected better, but Christmas is over, so here it is. Hope you dig my arrangement.

    Thanks for such a cool thread and everyone that has participated.

    Cool arrangement (pretty high level of difficulty too)

    Hey, you have a knack for arranging... that probably translates to compositions too. Do you write your own tunes? You should.

    Better write that down so you don't forget it for next Christmas. Well you do have it recorded so that should do.

  41. #40

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    Thanx Frank I appreciate it. I am going to write it out. I wish I had the software you and Matt use, it would make things so much easier.

    I have written, but not in a while. I am still getting my chops back together after not playing for 15 years. But hopefully that will change. Thanx for the encouragement!

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by brwnhornet59
    It is never to late!
    Sounds like you playing is coming along nicely!Ï can't imagine a 15 year break-this summer I was without a gutiar for 3-4 days and it was a strange feeling- I finally went to a music store pretending to buy a Tom Anderson and a PRS just in order to practice a bit. Yes I am that guy. It felt like I had never played before.
    I think the arrangemt of the Christmas son is really nice, not the easiest, but you handled it well. Looking forward to new clips from you.
    Happy new year!

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soco
    Sounds like you playing is coming along nicely!Ï can't imagine a 15 year break-this summer I was without a gutiar for 3-4 days and it was a strange feeling- I finally went to a music store pretending to buy a Tom Anderson and a PRS just in order to practice a bit. Yes I am that guy. It felt like I had never played before.
    I think the arrangemt of the Christmas son is really nice, not the easiest, but you handled it well. Looking forward to new clips from you.
    Happy new year!
    Wow Jostein, I am speechless. Not an easy feat, just ask my wife!

    I can say that the inspiration I have found in this forum, and the players and teachers, especially Matt Warnock, Morten Faerstrand and Dave Kain, have all kept me going and helped open my eyes and ears to the many possibilities that were never there before in my thinking. Your music and playing is especially inspiring as well Sir!

    I love this place.

  44. #43

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    This was really fun to play over, and was really well received every time I played it. I started on this a bit late, so I didn't get into it as much as I would have liked, but I managed to record something before Christmas to share with friends and family:

    Christmas Song

    The first time through, I mostly stuck to the head as written, with minor embellishments here and there. The second time through, I tried adding my own spin to things, especially in the A sections. I wanted to take things in a more improvisational direction, but time ran out. If you're not already sick of Christmas songs, I'd appreciate any suggestions and feedback.

    One thing I tried while improvising over the backing track was simply hitting chord tones with approach notes and chromatics sprinkled in. For the most part, I focused on just the first chord in a bar, and this worked fairly well, except in one place - over the Cm7 in the 5th bar. I just couldn't get the C (I) to work for me. An Eb (bIII) worked well enough, but I was already targeting the Eb a lot for the Ebmaj chords and wanted something different there. I found that targeting a G (V) worked as well, but I'm still confused about why targeting the root note of the chord didn't work very well. Any thoughts on that?

    I really appreciate all the great resources you guys put together for this song, thanks!

  45. #44

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    Good job. Keep up the good work!