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  1. #751

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    Without getting the thread too far off track, any quick recommendations for ear training? Software or otherwise? My ears aren't totally terrible but I have been meaning to start some ear training. (I have looked at posts in the ear training forum).
    Last edited by JohnoL; 07-19-2020 at 08:24 PM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #752

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    Hi JohnoL


    Not far off track in the light of JimmyBlueNote's 'elephant in the room'. I'm finding that subvocalising, as arpeggios, the most familiar Almanac pages, and then also singing these without the guitar, is quickly becoming useful. Another 'voice safety' health warning though, as per the 'hand safety' one in the Almanacs: take good care not to damage or strain your voice, please.
    If you use an Apple iPad/iPhone, I've found goodEar Pro by Pascal Weiss very useful and fun (note capitalisation - it's case sensitive, and there are a few other aps with very similar names). It's on Apple's App store site. There's a review here at Ask.audio, together with another app, Earbeater, that I've not tried:


    Ear Training Apps Review: goodEar Pro and EarBeater for iPad : Ask.Audio

    Best wishes
    Mick
    Last edited by Mick Wright; 07-20-2020 at 05:08 AM.

  4. #753

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    I'm finding that subvocalising, as arpeggios, the most familiar Almanac pages, and then also singing these without the guitar, is quickly becoming useful.
    I have been singing the root of each chord in the cycle as I play it. I have to concentrate to get the tritone of F to B.

  5. #754
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnoL
    Without getting the thread too far off track, any quick recommendations for ear training? Software or otherwise? My ears aren't totally terrible but I have been meaning to start some ear training. (I have looked at posts in the ear training forum).
    This one's free, and it's fun.
    Music Interval Identification Ear Training
    A little thought or two on developing one's ear in playing improvised music. There are a lot of ways to learn, and although some methods stress assimilation of vocabulary, some are better for hand proficiency, some are great for visualizing linear concepts, in the end, it's you, your ear and your instrument in real time. The more you can hear, the more you can imagine both in content and in imaginative execution. This goes from the earliest endeavours on the instrument to the most advanced; if you can't hear it, it's not going to be the most complete version of what you can do.
    One thing to be strived for is to be able to hear the notes within a given scale, and identify them in some way. This is do re me, or numerical ear mastery. When you're familiar with all the notes, where they exist and identify them instantly, it allows you instant variation and access to any musical phrase. The more limited your ear is, the less likely you'll be to utilize the ranges and melodic options outside your comfort zone. I ask students to listen to a simple melody. Do you know the individual notes by relative name? (Do re me or 1, 2, 3). This can be extended to beyond an octave so you can...in essence talk in a meaningful conversation with an option to using larger words if you wanted. It's all the ear.
    Another thing to be strived for is recognizing the voices within a given chord, and be aware of the voices within. If you can hear a chord, identify its quality (Major, Minor, Dominant, Diminished, Half diminished, augmented, etc) it gives you the ability to identify the function and take options to play within that function with different options (substitutions). This comes from the ear. Mastery can be achieved. With this is the ability and knowledge to know inversions, to recognize chords in different configurations. This is one of the ways that the voice leading cycles helps: there's a constant interplay of different inversions and no one single voicing is used more than the others. You really get a workout on inversions of a chord family and how they can be used. It levels the aural playing field and tends to remove a player's prejudice towards individual "grabs" but rather develops an appreciation for aural continuity.
    One other way that you can train your ear is chords and voices relative to the key centre. For every chord in a key area the individual notes move within that key: the 1,3,5 of a II chord is heard as 2,4,6 of the key. This is a really nice awareness to have when one is moving a voice leading line and adding diatonic or chromatic notes in passing. One thing you can do with the cycles is instead of playing the notes as written, alter a chord tone and resolve it. This gives an unexpected bit of colour and it also makes things really interesting. With an awareness of the movement relative to the key centre, this can be a melodic line that's much more interesting than the simple diatonic voice, and it opens up a LOT of options when improvising in real time. A chord voice that stands out within a moving chord line is clever and magically pleasing when it works with or against an implied DO. This comes from a good sense of ear training and one thing you can do in working this way is have a drone held against a cycle as you work your way through. The movement of the MSRP is really evident, or it becomes easier to hear as your ear hears better.
    All of this is slow going, but given the correct perspective and gentle pushing, your ear can grow leaps and bounds in improvisational contexts, and you'll hear, think, audiate and play ideas more naturally and faster.

  6. #755

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    Thank you Jimmy, that site it great. My aural skills are dreadful so I'll definitely spend some time with that. The chord and chord progression identifier exercises look really useful as well!

  7. #756
    Quote Originally Posted by 7#5
    Thank you Jimmy, that site it great. My aural skills are dreadful so I'll definitely spend some time with that. The chord and chord progression identifier exercises look really useful as well!
    I'm so glad to hear you'll be working on those skills. In all my years teaching, I've found that many students want to learn to play this music we call jazz guitar, but there are always those who secretly believe it's beyond them; that somehow there's a connection they don't get. And it's true-in 90% of the cases it's not having natural ear skills. It's something that people who've grown up in a musical household don't understand because it's instilled early on for many successful players. But for those who've come to me with a history of really struggling, it's so very often that their ear training skills aren't there.
    Improvisation requires you have a really good idea of what's possible, and some practice in the proficiency of making it happen. If you never connected it in the "mental grid", then it's just something magical you enjoy but can't imagine creating. Once the ear knows what is possible, and it's balanced with a lexicon in your ear, a syntax in your mind and a statement or order in your soul, then it's really natural to create. But ear is the big bad block. Why? Because you can't sell your ear skills in a book. No body dares spend their lesson time on ear exercises with no apparent takeaway, and frankly, until you have it, you can't imagine how important it is.
    In the Almanac thread here, I'm not going to say this is easy, but it's logical and very natural once you have an integrated ear and the visualization of the fingerboard that allows you to move.
    Glad you're doing it. And yeah, I like that website. The ear training is a game, and you can get very good very quickly.

  8. #757

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    I spent a lot of time with Van Eps Mechanism-books in the 90's. And I have been working with triads, cluster, quartals and seventh chords from the Almanacs. Especially the seventh chords that I started with this spring opened up the fingerboard. I play in a pop-rock-band, Drunk on the Moon, but I am very interested in more improvised music, call it jazz or whatever.

    I work with jazzstandards but I think that my playing and chordchoices are so polite, nice and vanilla most of the time. I would like to be more free from the given chords and be able to choose more interesting chords. I'm looking for methods, concepts that could help me find new sounds. I haven't been working with Van Eps displaced concept but maybe I should try that.

    Any ideas?

  9. #758

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    Quote Originally Posted by thule
    I spent a lot of time with Van Eps Mechanism-books in the 90's. And I have been working with triads, cluster, quartals and seventh chords from the Almanacs. Especially the seventh chords that I started with this spring opened up the fingerboard. I play in a pop-rock-band, Drunk on the Moon, but I am very interested in more improvised music, call it jazz or whatever.

    I work with jazzstandards but I think that my playing and chordchoices are so polite, nice and vanilla most of the time. I would like to be more free from the given chords and be able to choose more interesting chords. I'm looking for methods, concepts that could help me find new sounds. I haven't been working with Van Eps displaced concept but maybe I should try that.

    Any ideas?
    I was going to ask about the Brett Willmott (Harmony, Theory, and Voicing)
    book, and then your post provided me with a good lead in.
    I've had the book for quite a while and it was my first encounter with drop 2 chords. I have done most of the exercises in the first chapter.
    But reading ahead in later chapters the material looks difficult. I have to read some of the explanations several times, and then the next paragraph following that is equally hard to grasp. It seems to have a lot of good information but you really have to dig for it.
    Last edited by JohnoL; 07-24-2020 at 02:39 PM.

  10. #759

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnoL
    I was going to ask about the Brett Willmott (Harmony, Theory, and Voicing)
    book, and then your post provided me with a good lead in.
    I've had the book for quite a while and it was my first encounter with drop 2 chords. I have done most of the exercises in the first chapter.
    But reading ahead in later chapters the material looks difficult. I have to read some of the explanations several times, and then the next paragraph following that is equally hard to grasp. It seems to have a lot of good information but you really have to dig for it.
    The Willmott book can feel overwhelming, getting inside his numerical language and the multitude of relationships that he documents but there is a wealth of great content.
    My advice, start playing the examples starting with the chapter on 9th chords, you can go back later for earlier examples.
    If it is hard to grasp instantly which drop 2 voicing to play from just the lead note then write it in.
    It is a book structured to systematically explore sounds and hopefully find some that you like.

  11. #760
    Quote Originally Posted by thule
    I work with jazzstandards but I think that my playing and chord choices are so polite, nice and vanilla most of the time. I would like to be more free from the given chords and be able to choose more interesting chords. I'm looking for methods, concepts that could help me find new sounds.
    Any ideas?
    Big question! I'll start by saying that you're going to find a lot of approaches to what you're looking for, from playing inversions, adding upper tension extensions or making chromatic notes. I don't know what your working knowledge of chord construction and logic is so I'll just throw out ideas and let you ask questions.
    Well you can experiment with sonic options without any theoretical context to tie it together. This is a great way to see how things fit together. You could, say, take a piece of paper and write out a roughly two octave scale on a chord grid type arrangement (so you can see the notes as they lay on the fingerboard) and in the lower strings, choose your chord tones, 1, 3 and/or 5 in an arrangement of your choosing. Then above that, pick any note and see what the effect of adding that note is. Experiment. Get away from thinking in "grabs" and see the ways you can combine notes of the lower structure with notes of the higher structure harmony. You find sounds you like, save them. You see some relationship of sounds to how you make them, save that knowledge. You find that different inversions or doubled notes or eliminating a note has an effect, good, save that. This is the pure spirit of experimentation. It's one way to find "interesting chords".
    Another very different avenue is using the cycles material. Again, there are tons of approaches within but I'll give you some I like using the triads.
    By using a complete cycle, you wind up using every note of the scale. That means the chord tones and extensions are within a cycle. Knowing that, a cycle will give you a very complete and melodic way of conveying a chord. If you're playing over a II- chord, say, and you start your cycle with the D- chord in the cycle (or course you'll have to put this into the key you're working in), you get some very interesting chord lines instead of one single grab. This voice led line (different depending on the cycle, or even parent scale-try a melodic minor scale or harmonic minor based triad cycle for a really wild sound!), can be beautifully jaw dropping. Try arpeggiating, for linear ideas, or break them into dyads... all sorts of ideas. Just with triads. You'll have core chord tone triads, partial triads with extensions, even rootless upper extension triads all within a cycle. And remember, a cycle is never meant to be played as a complete "thing" any more than an entire alphabet is meant to be included in every word. Find the parts you relate to and use them. Experiment. Note. Experiment. Listen. Experiment. Feel.
    You can use the triad cycles this way, or here's a fun idea: Find the triad cycles based on the fourth degree of the melodic scale and start that a half step above a target chord. You'll get some really interesting tritone sub Lydian b7 sounds, in an out kind of modal way.
    This gives you some options of sonic and fingerboard experimentation. If you can figure out how to voice a root note of the parent chord and put that in the lower register, you've got wild triad/bass note chords. TBN with melodic min or HM, you've got new sounds.
    I, of course don't know what your contextual harmony knowledge is, or if any of this makes sense, but as questions, try things out and the community here, weigh in!
    Have fun!

  12. #761

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Right. The reason why there are no specific chord "names" for chords like these is because they are very textural, ambiguous and if one were to say "This is the a chord built in 4ths with the root or tonic on top", it would prejudice one from hearing, and using it in another way.
    As for why the cycle begins there, you probably realize these are cyclical, they are rather like a barber pole spiral that continuously repeats. That's why I posted the roman numeral post in a linear perspective where you could begin at the II, the VI, where ever you want. When you start hearing harmony as not having a clearly defined starting point, especially in these cycles, one might (I certainly did) see these as moving textures that impart an overall sense of movement even more than a harmonic identity.
    ,
    As to "Why begin with the root on top?", well that is a strong conventional sense of tonal centricity, though ambiguous as it is in its suspended sound; note supported by the dominant tone supported by its dominant tone.
    But really, the whole "exploring ambiguity" is why volume 2 is unique. None of these chords have a strong enough tonal identity that they can be fixed as one particular interpretation with one undeniable root. It's a quantum ear leap to learn to use these in a strict tonal context because they are kind of atonally tonal. They have textural sounds and how and where they are used (and they definitely can) is up to the user to find. In other words, freed from the strict definitions of what and how the chord is used, any number of players can find their own contextual application, and one person studying this cycle might hear another player's sound and say "I love what you're doing! What IS that?", so different the sounds can be.

    This is why I've said you need to live with one of these pages long enough for your ear to catch up. It's not a complete plant you can bring into your living room. You have to plant it, live with it and watch it grow.
    Hi David, did Mick ever discuss any thoughts about George Russell, proposing the Lydian mode as a major tonic, given that an F# may be a more acceptable tension over Cma7.
    cheers!

  13. #762
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzism
    Hi David, did Mick ever discuss any thoughts about George Russell, proposing the Lydian mode as a major tonic, given that an F# may be a more acceptable tension over Cma7.
    cheers!
    Yes, he's in agreement with George's Lydian Chromatic concept. Mick taught for a while at the New England Conservatory, where George was a mainstay in their theoretical foundations. But beyond acknowledging the logic behind it, he didn't talk about it much, or at least to me. There were always too many other questions he was answering.
    For the practical world though, Ionian is the basis of diatonic harmony as we play it.

  14. #763

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    Of course Mick made mention of LCC in The Advancing Guitarist and encouraged the reader to check out Russell's book if interested.

    Working through this voice leading material has given me some fresh perspective on the voice leading section of AG. In AG Mick lays out all the possibilities without much fanfare. I always intended to get to that stuff, one day, and really work through it, but it has always seemed I needed to get the earlier concepts and other stuff down better, first. And life always seems to get in the way of best laid plans.

    I wonder if Mick realized that most players were deficient in working through these concepts diatonically and, therefore stood little chance of really taking advantage of his 48 triad types in a row presentation in AG. I can see where working through the almanacs is setting the stage for working non-diatonically, as well.

    An interesting side note is that Don Mock had a chapter on triads over bass notes in the book TEN that was put out by Musician's Institute (GIT). That's another thing I've always planned to get to one day. AG and the almanacs is providing the groundwork for that goal too.

    .

  15. #764

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    Quote Originally Posted by FwLineberry
    Of course Mick made mention of LCC in The Advancing Guitarist and encouraged the reader to check out Russell's book if interested.

    Working through this voice leading material has given me some fresh perspective on the voice leading section of AG. In AG Mick lays out all the possibilities without much fanfare. I always intended to get to that stuff, one day, and really work through it, but it has always seemed I needed to get the earlier concepts and other stuff down better, first. And life always seems to get in the way of best laid plans.

    I wonder if Mick realized that most players were deficient in working through these concepts diatonically and, therefore stood little chance of really taking advantage of his 48 triad types in a row presentation in AG. I can see where working through the almanacs is setting the stage for working non-diatonically, as well.

    An interesting side note is that Don Mock had a chapter on triads over bass notes in the book TEN that was put out by Musician's Institute (GIT). That's another thing I've always planned to get to one day. AG and the almanacs is providing the groundwork for that goal too.

    .
    Hi, do you know if TEN is still available please? I can't find it anywhere and would be very interested to read Don Mock's approach to triads over bass notes.

    Thank you, Rich

  16. #765

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7#5
    Hi, do you know if TEN is still available please? I can't find it anywhere and would be very interested to read Don Mock's approach to triads over bass notes.

    Thank you, Rich
    I have it. I could scan the relevant pages for you. PM me.


    Gesendet von iPad mit Tapatalk

  17. #766

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    It’s been fun reading through rebirth of Mick... Thanks. I loved Mick back in early 70s, his playing never really did much for me...the listening part, but always enjoyed his approach and just him personally... He just has a presence, I was at Berklee back then...fun times etc.. Burton, Swallow, etc.. I worked in the ensemble office, transcribed and copy wk. anyway I can already play but ... like guitar clan things... and am looking forward to when some of you start posting playing some jazz.... applications of approach.

    I also thought Mick Wright’s post about physical damage is really important, stretches can do damage. That is a subject in it’s self. Again thanks Jonny B N and all.

  18. #767
    Not Almanac related but this is something that Mick wrote. Performed by a quartet including Mike Bono, with whom I'm collaborating on the book. Enjoy

  19. #768

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    yea, nice, very Mickish. Dug his tunes with Bergonzi and there was a cool duet with Metheny most of is stuff seems to be guitar cult thing... but what's wrong with that... Thanks for posting...

  20. #769

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    Light bulb moment for me this morning. I didn't want to read back through the entire thread, so this may have been pointed out, already.

    Working through triad cycles:

    Until now, I've just assumed that the reason for descending with cycle 2 and ascending with cycle 7 was due to the fact that everybody already knows ascending with cycle 2 and descending with cycle 7. Now I see a different logic to flipping it around.

    Cycle 7 - C up to Bdim

    Cycle 4 adds a step between each - C up to F up to Bdim

    Cycle 6 adds a step between each - C up to Am up to F up to Dm up to Bdim

    Cycles 2, 5 and 3 do the same thing descending.

    It will be interesting to see if/how this translates to the four-note cycles.

    .

  21. #770

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    It will be interesting to see if/how this translates to the four-note cycles.
    The diatonic cycles are built on the same root progressions regardless of the chord density.

  22. #771
    Quote Originally Posted by FwLineberry
    Light bulb moment for me this morning. I didn't want to read back through the entire thread, so this may have been pointed out, already.

    Working through triad cycles:

    Until now, I've just assumed that the reason for descending with cycle 2 and ascending with cycle 7 was due to the fact that everybody already knows ascending with cycle 2 and descending with cycle 7. Now I see a different logic to flipping it around.

    Cycle 7 - C up to Bdim

    Cycle 4 adds a step between each - C up to F up to Bdim

    Cycle 6 adds a step between each - C up to Am up to F up to Dm up to Bdim

    Cycles 2, 5 and 3 do the same thing descending.

    It will be interesting to see if/how this translates to the four-note cycles.

    .
    Exactly! And a smattering of volume 3, where you have a stepwise (as opposed to chromatic) movement, you can add passing note movement between the chords. When you get familiar, you can even sound the chords in dyadic form and with passing notes it doesn't sound like a string of chords anymore but movement from one chord to another, that takes different amount of time depending on the cycle and how you play it.
    I'll say here that there's a lot that can be discovered that will lead to making you an informed player. For anyone on any level, these forms/cycles are so rich with possibilities, that you don't even have to know what someone else gets out of them, nor what their application is, you'll find something in there.
    I'm working on chord solo arrangements of tunes, voraciously unlocking the character of many tunes. I'm finding myself playing myself through chords I don't even know on my way to a specific "milestone chord" in the piece. As you point out FwLineberry, there are many ways to get from one chord to another. Once you get the fluidity of even a couple of cycles under your fingers, you'll find almost an effortless way to weave yourself from one chord to another in real time. That's the real goal in my opinion: you have access to any number of routes that smoothly voice lead you from one chord to another.
    Improvisation is creating a new route at will. The joy is in the discovery.

  23. #772

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako
    The diatonic cycles are built on the same root progressions regardless of the chord density.

    Yes, but the direction of the voice leading changes in some of the cycles depending on how many voices are being used.

    .

  24. #773

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    Quote Originally Posted by FwLineberry
    Yes, but the direction of the voice leading changes in some of the cycles depending on how many voices are being used.
    Very true. The more notes squeezed into a structure, the sooner to arrive at a voice led common tone or neighbor tone.

  25. #774
    Quote Originally Posted by FwLineberry
    Yes, but the direction of the voice leading changes in some of the cycles depending on how many voices are being used.

    .
    There are some chordal structures that have both ascending and descending movements but there is still an overall root movement and tendency. These get really interesting in the sound and to my ear, tend towards chords that don't always suggest a strong identifiable chord identity.Triads over bass notes can be the basis for voice led inversions but they have a sound all their own, not what you'd traditionally think of as the sound of a triad over bass note. Very slippery for me to get my ear around, but there it is. Lots of up and down arrows that sound like two converging voices. Not for the faint of heart or ear. Maybe label these as "work on these when you've got a firm footing on your more conventional voice movements" ...or not.

  26. #775

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    Come on.... post some examples...in real time.

  27. #776

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Big question! I'll start by saying that you're going to find a lot of approaches to what you're looking for, from playing inversions, adding upper tension extensions or making chromatic notes. I don't know what your working knowledge of chord construction and logic is so I'll just throw out ideas and let you ask questions.
    Well you can experiment with sonic options without any theoretical context to tie it together. This is a great way to see how things fit together. You could, say, take a piece of paper and write out a roughly two octave scale on a chord grid type arrangement (so you can see the notes as they lay on the fingerboard) and in the lower strings, choose your chord tones, 1, 3 and/or 5 in an arrangement of your choosing. Then above that, pick any note and see what the effect of adding that note is. Experiment. Get away from thinking in "grabs" and see the ways you can combine notes of the lower structure with notes of the higher structure harmony. You find sounds you like, save them. You see some relationship of sounds to how you make them, save that knowledge. You find that different inversions or doubled notes or eliminating a note has an effect, good, save that. This is the pure spirit of experimentation. It's one way to find "interesting chords".
    Another very different avenue is using the cycles material. Again, there are tons of approaches within but I'll give you some I like using the triads.
    By using a complete cycle, you wind up using every note of the scale. That means the chord tones and extensions are within a cycle. Knowing that, a cycle will give you a very complete and melodic way of conveying a chord. If you're playing over a II- chord, say, and you start your cycle with the D- chord in the cycle (or course you'll have to put this into the key you're working in), you get some very interesting chord lines instead of one single grab. This voice led line (different depending on the cycle, or even parent scale-try a melodic minor scale or harmonic minor based triad cycle for a really wild sound!), can be beautifully jaw dropping. Try arpeggiating, for linear ideas, or break them into dyads... all sorts of ideas. Just with triads. You'll have core chord tone triads, partial triads with extensions, even rootless upper extension triads all within a cycle. And remember, a cycle is never meant to be played as a complete "thing" any more than an entire alphabet is meant to be included in every word. Find the parts you relate to and use them. Experiment. Note. Experiment. Listen. Experiment. Feel.
    You can use the triad cycles this way, or here's a fun idea: Find the triad cycles based on the fourth degree of the melodic scale and start that a half step above a target chord. You'll get some really interesting tritone sub Lydian b7 sounds, in an out kind of modal way.
    This gives you some options of sonic and fingerboard experimentation. If you can figure out how to voice a root note of the parent chord and put that in the lower register, you've got wild triad/bass note chords. TBN with melodic min or HM, you've got new sounds.
    I, of course don't know what your contextual harmony knowledge is, or if any of this makes sense, but as questions, try things out and the community here, weigh in!
    Have fun!
    Thank you for the answer! I have been playing for 45 years, on and off, depending on studies, work and opportunities. Mostly in a rock- or pop-context, but also playing jazzstandards with friends. Many years ago I was involved in a shortlived project with a saxophone-playing friend, playing some Monk and our own tunes in a very free way. I wasn't ready for that then, but it was very exciting while it lasted.

    I have always been very interested in music theory and I think that I have a pretty good knowledge of chords, inversions and so on. I decided early on to get away from "grabs" and I am using some cluster, quartals and a lot of diatonic substitution when playing with my band.

    I would like more harmonic freedom in my playing, to think more about tension and release within the context of a tune. What I'm looking for is a method to experiment with different degrees of tension, as methodical and thorough as Goodricks Almanacs. Going way out or just a little. But maybe there are no method, I just have to try different things.

    I do like the flavour of melodic minor. The idea about using triads from the fourth degree and start a half step above the target, I suppose that it means playing triads, stuctures, from Ab minor if the target is C? I like the sound of that anyway.

    So I welcome any new idea and concept.

  28. #777
    Everything Mick does is elegantly voice led. Some of the ideas in action, or just for your enjoyment, from his 36 pieces.


    Last edited by Jimmy blue note; 08-05-2020 at 01:24 PM.

  29. #778

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    Does anyone know where to find a slanty arrow up an down symbol to insert into a word document?

  30. #779

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    Hi,

    On my version of Word you can get an arrow from Insert -> Shape -> Line and then you can set it to the angle you want.

    Best wishes,

    Rich

  31. #780

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    A couple of odds and ends I'm looking at -

    Cycle 4 over a progression in C 1, 2(FMaj7), 5 (Bm7b5), 1(Em7), 6, 2, 5, 1.

    Second you don't have to start with the 1 chord of a cycle, in melodic minor I'm looking at starting on the Eb+M7.

  32. #781
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnoL
    A couple of odds and ends I'm looking at -


    Second you don't have to start with the 1 chord of a cycle, in melodic minor I'm looking at starting on the Eb+M7.
    YES!!!!!! And you don't even need to play much of the cycle. THe cycles when you run them through completely, include all inversions, so you can get a manifestation of the cycle, or a part of it, ANYWHERE on the fingerboard. Take three crucial pivotal chords, or ones that capture a harmonic essence you like, and you can play them moving, as they move you up or down the neck, continue that segment in an inverted form (from the next line in the layout of a page). Then you can come "back into" the piece at any point by voice leading to the chords you want to define the cadence with.
    This is what Bako was saying long ago when he said they are transitional passages. Try it! You'll find things you can bring into YOUR vocabulary and then innovate by adding chromatic passages or superimposing different parent scale families (HM or MM) for a effect. Find a passage you become really good at using so it's as easy as "a grab" and never get bored with inclusion of chromatic passing elements.
    Listen to Mick's compositions. They're voice led, and there's something Bach-ish about them. That's how HE chose to use them. Someone who learns to extract upper tension harmonic interpretations over the existing harmony will wind up with Ravel. It's developing your ear as you develop your facility. That's the work you do. That's what you can't copy. That's how you develop your own sound, you live with the templates and sounds will reveal themselves as you chance across them. You remember the context and you've got some very hip ways to make unreal harmony.

  33. #782

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    Quote Originally Posted by thule
    I spent a lot of time with Van Eps Mechanism-books in the 90's. And I have been working with triads, cluster, quartals and seventh chords from the Almanacs. Especially the seventh chords that I started with this spring opened up the fingerboard. I play in a pop-rock-band, Drunk on the Moon, but I am very interested in more improvised music, call it jazz or whatever.

    I work with jazzstandards but I think that my playing and chordchoices are so polite, nice and vanilla most of the time. I would like to be more free from the given chords and be able to choose more interesting chords. I'm looking for methods, concepts that could help me find new sounds. I haven't been working with Van Eps displaced concept but maybe I should try that.

    Any ideas?

    As a matter of fact, I think that I have found what I was looking for. Jordan Klemons has a new format for his melodic triad courses. I am not into his quadratonics concept right now, but he has a course covering four types of chord movement: dominant, diminished, chromatic and diatonic. He is using shell voicings, but that doesn't matter. This methodical way of looking at chord movement is very enlightening for me and what I need at the moment to progress. There is really nothing new theoretically for me, and it is kind of embarassing that I haven't been able to figure this out myself.

    thule

  34. #783

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Take three crucial pivotal chords, or ones that capture a harmonic essence you like, and you can play them moving, as they move you up or down the neck, continue that segment in an inverted form (from the next line in the layout of a page). Then you can come "back into" the piece at any point by voice leading to the chords you want to define the cadence with.
    This sounds very interesting, but I don't quite understand. Could you please exemplify, how to do it in a tune?

    thule

  35. #784
    Quote Originally Posted by thule
    This sounds very interesting, but I don't quite understand. Could you please exemplify, how to do it in a tune?

    thule
    Glad you checked in again thule. I've been putting together an answer to your question on harmonic options. It turns out it's a HUGE question with many answers that go in many directions. I'll post something on the sonic effects that you get when cycling through different voicing families from close voiced (close voicing or drop 2) or very spread voicings on the other end of the spectrum (double drop 2 drop 3) and how contrast of the familiar and the unexpected can transform even an overplayed approach to chordal movement into something full of contrast and surprise. I'll post that (long) answer soon.
    But I did want to suggest you check out Ben Monder's first course where he covers triads and substitutes within basic triadic forms. He's able to very concisely present triadic materials in a way that allows the student to expand and experiment with very exciting sounds. Ben's from another planet!

  36. #785

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Glad you checked in again thule. I've been putting together an answer to your question on harmonic options. It turns out it's a HUGE question with many answers that go in many directions. I'll post something on the sonic effects that you get when cycling through different voicing families from close voiced (close voicing or drop 2) or very spread voicings on the other end of the spectrum (double drop 2 drop 3) and how contrast of the familiar and the unexpected can transform even an overplayed approach to chordal movement into something full of contrast and surprise. I'll post that (long) answer soon.
    But I did want to suggest you check out Ben Monder's first course where he covers triads and substitutes within basic triadic forms. He's able to very concisely present triadic materials in a way that allows the student to expand and experiment with very exciting sounds. Ben's from another planet!

    Great, I'm really looking forward to your answer on harmonic options. By Ben Monder's first course, do you mean his course on My Music Masterclass? I have that but I haven't watched it for a while. I will go through it again. Monder is one of my absolute favourites.

    thule

  37. #786

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    Since the big thread has been a little quiet, here is Berklee Professor Jim Kelly in tribute to Mick Goodrick.

    Professor Jim Kelly in tribute to Mick... - Berklee Guitar Department

  38. #787

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    Hi JohnoL
    Nice one - Falling Grace is such a great composition.

    While it's been quiet here, I've been working on this page below, from near the back of Almanac 2. It's TBN2 with drop 2 voicings in melodic minor. which arpeggiates beautifully, and the repeated notes in the lowest and highest voices make good pedal & inverted pedal tones. As usual, there are some rare and unexpected sounds amongst others that are more familiar: quartels, 13ths etc..

    One penny dropped for me, this week. I've wondered about the Almanacs' voice-leading context of the chord G7(#5) for quite a while. It's a common enough sound, and it puzzled me because the augmented triads in both the HM and MM minor scales produce the major 7 (#5), rather than the dominant 7 (#5), when another third is added above the triad.
    In the middle of the fourth line of the chart, below, the Eb+/F chord is the G7(#5) chord that I'd been looking for (it's about their uses, not their names, I know, and it might also be called B(alt) or F9(b5), and that's just for starters). They're all in here, somewhere.
    All the best
    Mick W
    Attached Images Attached Images Anybody use the Goodchord Voice Leading Books?-img_2365-jpg 

  39. #788

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    In the middle of the fourth line of the chart, below, the Eb+/F chord is the G7(#5) chord that I'd been looking for
    Hmm, and there on the first line, 2nd chord is the minor nine with no b7 that I've been searching for. I'm going to have to take a closer look at the TBN's.

  40. #789

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    I've been using the almanacs for compositions for many years, mainly Vol 2, but I've never looked into Vol 3. I've been saving Vol 3 for when I thought I had exhausted the possibilities with Vol 2, but I don't think I will ever exhaust the possibilities of Vol 2.

    Any insights into Vol 3 ?, I'm curious and might just take a quick peep.

  41. #790

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    Hello Guy

    Mick Goodrick says that the chapter starting on page 72 is the 'most important' in Volume 3: 'Twenty three-part chords you should know'. The fun starts when you explore 'some uses' (chromatic uses) of each of these 20 different three-part chords – the triads, quartels, clusters, 7 (no 3rd), and 7 (no 5th).

    Can anyone else comment on, or explain, the square boxes around certain chords on pages 79-84, please?

    Also, the section called 'Analyze This' (pages 165-187) is fascinating (p.177 is particularly good fun, alternating TBN I and 4-part 4th voicings). This chapter is a work-book section, where you are given three dozen 'puzzles', numbered 1-36 to solve. All of the 'answers' are given, but they're 'lettered' A - JJ and in no particular order, so that you have to match these up with one another. The mixture of theory, great sounds, and great germs of improvisational/compositional ideas is breathtaking.

    All the best
    Mick W
    Last edited by Mick Wright; 09-18-2020 at 11:52 AM.

  42. #791

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    re. Vol. 3 insights — Below is Mick Goodrick's 'short-form' sketch from Vol. 3 p. 177, followed by my own unpacked 'long-form' version (I've cleaned up my handwritten draft in this repost). It's worked out using the first four chord pairs as drop 3 voicings. (I'm reading the final two pairs as more spead out drop 2&3 voicings, and they'll be fun too, for a further two page long-form expansion, sometime soon.) I'm not sure what the bracket on the left of this example implies. I like how the rising fifth of each TBNII forms the quartel, then the quartel's root rises to form the next TBNII – in effect just two beautiful passing notes. Much of this drop 3 material is guitar-friendly and sounds good whether played low or up the octave higher in the middle of the neck. There are a few bigger stretches so please be careful and arpeggiate or use open strings where they're an option.
    Anybody use the Goodchord Voice Leading Books?-img_2376-jpg Anybody use the Goodchord Voice Leading Books?-based-almanac-3-p177-jpg (There is a higher-res printable version of this thumbnail in post #795 below)
    Last edited by Mick Wright; Yesterday at 06:51 PM.

  43. #792

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    Mick could you describe your notation above the 4 part 4ths? Is that the root and what is that symbol?

  44. #793

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    Hello

    Sorry, the pencil is faint (and I'm putting the chart into Word, tonight) — It's a letter Q after the root - shorthand for these stacked diatonic 4ths. It does look dangerously like the half-dim symbol!

    I like how the only ascending voices are the fifth of the TBN I and the root of the Four-part fourth...

    All the best
    Mick W

  45. #794

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Wright
    Hello

    Sorry, the pencil is faint (and I'm putting the chart into Word, tonight) — It's a letter Q after the root - shorthand for these stacked diatonic 4ths. It does look dangerously like the half-dim symbol!

    I like how the only ascending voices are the fifth of the TBN I and the root of the Four-part fourth...

    All the best
    Mick W

    My god, I envy your penmanship!

    If I wrote that out, I would need a drafting table just to get the lines straight.

    .

  46. #795

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    Hi FwL
    Thanks for the kind words - that's not how my writing ever looks to me (and A4 always looks far neater, shrunk 10% smaller). I was just about to replace it with the print pdf copy below (longhand still beats clunky Word for speed, anyday).
    I had inspiring music-writing teachers (one, an engineer, wrote in an impossibly-perfect copperplate italic music hand) but I never got anywhere close to their level. I still scratch out a few pencil drafts first, then proofread, then add ink with an old 'invertible' Rotring BB nib ArtPen. It's slow work but enjoyable. Also, afterwards I picked through this sequence from memory (slowly), last night, so writing it out also helps the learning process.
    I'm still happier with dots, but the 'Universal Notation System' offers important advantages and insights of its own.
    Here's a pdf of the print version (I kept the arrows to minimum).
    All the best,
    Mick W

    Long form from Al 3 p177.pdf

  47. #796

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Wright
    re. Vol. 3 insights — Below is Mick Goodrick's 'short-form' sketch from Vol. 3 p. 177, followed by the my own unpacked 'long-form' version, worked out using the first four chord pairs as drop 3 voicings. (I'm reading the final two pairs as more spead out drop 2&3 voicings, and they'll be fun too, for a further two page long-form sometime soon. I'm not sure how these connect, or what the bracket on the left of this example implies.) Much of the drop 3 material is guitar-friendly and sounds good whether played low or up the octave higher in the middle of the neck. There are a few bigger stretches so please be careful and arpeggiate or use open strings where they're an option.
    Excellent, good insight, many thanks for posting info about vol 3, much appreciated.

  48. #797

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    Thanks Guy
    Glad that the posts were useful.
    Your post also helped me to figure my mystery ‘boxes’ question (see jpeg below). I'm not certain that my solution is the correct one, but the five square boxes ‘mark out’ any repetitions of this complete set of all possible three-part chords. These are the only repetitions, and they appear to be included because they’re systematically-sequenced, generated as a part of the full set of 55 (x2) different three-part chords starting on p.79 of Vol. 3.
    So, in the ‘triads’ line, there’s an ‘unboxed’ C aug triad (5th and 6th chord) then in the first box there is an ‘identical’ G# (Ab) augmented triad, and the second box again contains the same three notes, this time functioning as E aug. The enharmonics confuse the issue a bit but the boxes do flag up the repetitions. I've double-checked again, and that's about it, I think. It's enjoyable hard work, and serious fun, playing and hearing all of these grouped together.
    All the best
    Mick W.
    Attached Images Attached Images Anybody use the Goodchord Voice Leading Books?-whatsontop-boxes-jpg 
    Last edited by Mick Wright; 09-21-2020 at 07:31 AM.

  49. #798

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    Here is something I've been working on using Microsoft access to generate and transpose cycles. F melodic minor. Cycle 2, drop 2. With chord tones in parenthesis.

    Anybody use the Goodchord Voice Leading Books?-fmelodicminor-jpg

  50. #799

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnoL
    Here is something I've been working on using Microsoft access to generate and transpose cycles. F melodic minor. Cycle 2, drop 2. With chord tones in parenthesis.

    Anybody use the Goodchord Voice Leading Books?-fmelodicminor-jpg
    may we see the SQL? Haha

  51. #800
    A few weeks ago I began hearing from individuals who started working in depth with the Almanac materials at the start of the pandemic. Though I've been in touch with some of these guys over the course of the pandemic, most of them had been finding their own way and by some synchronicity have had very significant breakthroughs about the same time.
    First of all, none of them reported anything even resembling ennui or anything but an intense engagement with their guitar while making their way though. Everyone had experienced some revelation about the guitar and/or their relationship with the fingerboard, their ear, their intuitive finger movement when improvising "without being aware" of how their fingers were finding these sounds, finding new and fresh ways to connect familiar chord passages using new routes on the fingerboard, and feeling empowered to voice lead harmonies with chromatics and an awareness of all voices (not necessarily by way of any particular cycle, but by the awareness of motivic movement in outer and inner voices).
    As a matter of note, players seemed to be using the cycles as springboards into envisioning voice movement.
    In short, a few commonalities:
    It took immersion and enough daily exposure to cycles so the movement was effortless (etude approach).
    Some worked with a particular voicing through different cycles. Some worked with a particular cycle using different voicings. One worked with a specific voicing and cycle through the different scale possibilities (drop 3 cycle 6 major, melodic minor, harmonic minor and by alteration melodic major) and made a study of chromatic colouring that led to real control of chromatic harmony he'd never imagined. Everyone said that their ear was better than they'd ever known.
    Takeaway:
    I'd recommend for starters to work with a specific cycle and chord type and practice it until you have the entire cycle that includes all inversions. In cycle 4 and 5, this means two separate groupings. Get this til you are OFF BOOK. That means don't reference the Almanac or any other visual guide.
    You will start to see references that guide the relationships to the next chord.
    Do this by being aware of 1) what inversion you're using by ROOT MOVEMENT. Where is the next root? Then use this to pick the best inversion.
    2) find the next chord BY EAR. Each chord you play has a specific note that will voice lead to the next root. Be aware of where that "guide voice" is in the chord you're on and it will ascend or descend to the next root. This navigating by ear will be invaluable in the real time movement of chords needed to play a tune. The MSRP guide is really useful here.
    3) Look and see the fingerboard VISUALLY. Be able to see the next chord in a cycle and the placement of that chord on the fingerboard, either by looking at the fretboard or in your mind's eye, but this visualization of chord voicings will aid in accuracy of hand movement.
    4) Sharpen your aural ear training and diatonic relationships of the chords (Roman numeral ear training) and let the cycles and the awareness of your theoretical diatonicism inform one another)
    5) Learn by kinesthetics, or take segments of a cycle and really work on hand awareness and flow of your hands so they know exactly what the feel of a cycle run is.
    These are some suggestions. There are ones you will discover yourself. But one thing, if you commit to the study something WILL happen. If you don't, none of these suggestions will mean anything to you.

    In practical terms, I find that in my chord solo playing, for me, at least, it's essential that the piece I'm working with is off book before I can apply the voice leading techniques. I guess that may not be a must do for some people, but having a piece off book affords me the best chance of discerning the harmonic point of interest I want my voice leading to take me to.
    I'm working on Some to Watch Over Me by Gershwin. I'll play a passage and in my awareness of chords, I see a number of tonal areas, which are marked by a turnaround that defines a tonal destination; other chords serve to bring me there. From any point within that tonal area I'll find myself on a chord. Now I can take a cycle of voice leading and let that "run" take me to a point where, as I close in on the turnaround, I can find the dominant chord that takes be back into the piece. This is like treating an entire cycle run as I would a chord grab. It gives me a beautiful voice led line to the closing chord using the V I at the end.
    Try it.
    If you're so inclined, use chromatic alteration to add even more movement.
    I happen to like cycle 6, it's got great groupings of major tonalities grouped together juxtaposed with groups of minor. I also like cycle 4 because there's so much movement and it covers a lot of fretboard real estate. Your own vocabulary will dictate what resonates with you.