Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Posts 1 to 50 of 226
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    From a paper I'm looking at - Jazz Analysis as Cultural lmperative (and otherurban myths) - Barry Kenny (1999) I think about covers it:

    Chord Scale Theory

    Whether jazz improvisation strongly adheres to a referent structure (i.e. song form) or constructs its own self-contained referent, there nevertheless exists in most forms of tonal jazz a direct relationship between improvised melody and some overarching structural form, the most common of these being harmonic cycle or chord "changes." The chord-scale methodology, first successfully outlined by Mehegan (1959),8 consists of relating certain categories of chords to certain categories of scales. Although the method has achieved widespread popularity within practical and scholarly jazz circles, it has also received much recent criticism. As Birkett (1995) explains, "While it certainly gives students notes to play, it does not seem to offer any reasons for playing anything in particular"; (Birkett, 1995, vi). Offering a knee-jerk approach to each successive chord within a series, the methodology’s randomness seemingly negates the "tension and resolution relationships" suggested by extended harmonic passages and is therefore viewed by many jazz theorists to be "anti-tonal; (Birkett, 1995, p. 25). More serious, however, is the uncritical manner in which it is so readily applied in jazz education, providing beginners with too many note choices before they are able to fully grasp the full implications of improvising within the tonal system.

    Interesting, and also provides a lot of references including one for the first codification of CST (!), which is great for getting into the history of this approach... The article itself goes on to cover many types of jazz analysis.

    Needless to say many of the critiques and defences offered here of CST have already been debated in the scholarship, but I'm interested to what extent, and how well evidenced contemporary jazz pedagogy is in general.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    There's nothing wrong with CST. When I heard people knocking it constantly I wondered what they were on about. Then I read an article or two and realised that CST wasn't the culprit, it was the way those people were thinking that was wrong.

    They were using some sort of blueprint to choose notes with and generally doing it chord by chord, like a jigsaw. So Dm7-G7-CM7 must be, and can only be, the usual dorian-mixolydian-ionian. Except that, over each of those chords, CST actually prescribes a possible number of scales/modes and other means of improvisation. So it's no wonder they were lost.

    The educated musical mind can employ what notes it likes over chords to produce the effects it wants. The inexperienced mind needs to be told what to do and copies without insight. It's not the fault of CST. Outcomes depend on the mindset of the pupil, and that depends on knowledge and experience. If CST is to be taught, that should be borne in mind. So a lot depends on the instructor.

    CST gives you the ingredients but not the recipe. It's not trying, or supposed, to provide any recipes. How the ingredients are mixed and cooked together determines the dish, not the ingredients by themselves.

    Also, with experience, any good cook can happily add, subtract or alter the ingredients once they know what they're doing. Musical improvisation is not a thing set in stone. When CST becomes a fundamentalist ideology then one has misunderstood its purpose entirely.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    I agree that people think that it's more than it is. Maybe they're intellectually lazy and don't want to bother with more. For example - just look at the number of enthusiast jazz musicians that can't be bothered to learn ANY theory, CST or otherwise, lol.

    CST is pretty superficial, but important. To a significant extent it's just some guard rails of matching tonality (scales) to chords and vice versa.

    But as the author said, it's not the jazz language. It's not a motif, phrase, sequence or section.

    I'll have to review Mehegan's works, but I don't recall anything that approached what say, Bert Ligon teaches when it comes to the jazz language. So yes, Jazz Ed. has evolved, and it has evolved to the point of teaching something in a way that could have been done day one, had it been decoded better.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Before I started studying Barry Harris, I liked Barry Greene's stuff. From what I remember he taught cst in a more practical way. Just a handful of modes, like dominant with a #4, and let them be default. Then you learn language in those handful of modes. in each lesson he just spews out jazz language and has it notated.

    Anyway, I liked the idea of selecting practical modes and sticking to those.
    White belt
    My Youtube

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    On the below point that I made earlier I would pose a question:

    If you wanted to arrange or improvise on some ALREADY COMPOSED HARMONICALLY SOPHISTICATED MUSIC, how would you start to break down that challenge? You could play some arpeggios to get started, yep. But after you ran out of chord tones only, what other notes would you choose to play, and how would you choose them? You would need a full pool of notes (we can't say "scale" it's taboo!)


    Would you always play:
    Major for Maj7 chords?
    Minor for Mi7 chords?
    Mixolydian for Dom7 chords?
    Locrian for Mi7b5 chords?
    Whole-Half for Dim chords?
    Half-Whole for Dom7alt chords?

    And would that always work? If so, why? If not, WHY NOT?


    "CST is pretty superficial, but important. To a significant extent it's just some guard rails of matching tonality (scales) to chords and vice versa. "



  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    OK, I just reviewed Mehegan's works and their are harmonic/scale relationships and rhythmic breakdown explanations. But the approach to a significant extent involves applying the right scales, arpeggios and some chromatics, playing reasonable exercises and lines without understanding everything about their harmonic and melodic DNA (like voice leading for example), and then - Imitation, i.e. learning transcribed solos from the masters.

    So yes, there is more to jazz improvisation pedagogy. Even an update of the classic text "Improvising Jazz", by Jerry Coker includes a lot more material, and it's good stuff. (version only available on Kindle? Meh.).
    Last edited by Jazzstdnt; 03-04-2019 at 10:58 AM.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Thanks, Christian.

    Two things stood out for me on first reading:
    1) "While it certainly give students notes to play, it does not seem to offer any reasons for playing anything in particular."
    2) ...providing beginners with too many note choices before they are able to fully grasp the full implications of improvising within the tonal system.

    Carol Kaye makes the second argument well: too many choices paralyze a novice. You end up thinking about what can be played rather than listening to the music in your head and getting it out on the guitar. She also thinks that scales don't develop the ear as well as triads. If you learn the triads, your "home base notes" as she calls them, you are developing your ear and fingers at the same time. Then you learn to connect them. And you learn "extended triads" and how to make lines off of those. You learn PATTERNS, which one hears all the time in Wes, Clifford Brown, Joe Pass, Oscar Peterson, Charlie Parker, Pat Martino et al.

    The first point was my experience with my first jazz teacher---it was overwhelming. In a way it was like a test in school where you realize you need to put the points the teacher stressed into your essay to show you paid attention. And that's okay in school where you need to demonstrate you learned your lesson. But it is different in music, where you are trying to MAKE music rather than show you did your homework. (There is a time for showing you did your homework, such as learning chord inversions or getting the melody right or learning this or that scale.)


    At this link there's a gif showing how the same data may fit several theories.
    Simple Gif Shows How People Can See the Same Thing Entirely Differently <<TwistedSifter

    I think this is important here so as to make something very clear (at least from my limited, hack perspective.)

    One need not argue whether CST is right or wrong. As Pat Martino said in "Linear Expressions", he thought it was correct in its way but that it wasn't as practically useful for him as a less cumbersome way he found to organize the fretboard and generate improvised lines (-in a nutshell, convert to minor, though that fine book does not capture all that Pat does.)
    This approach (CST) has worked for many players.
    It has also, um, not produced the same results for many other players who found a different way to get good jazz out of their instruments.

    In a way, it's like organizing the fretboard. It can be done in more than one way. But it's good to have some way...
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    I looked into the Mehegan book BTW, it's out of print AFAIK, but available here

    Armonia - Tonal and Rhytmic Principles- Jazz Improvisation i - John Mehegan (112 p)

    It represents CST in a state of infancy. There's no mention of melodic minor modes for instance, but the idea that the fundamental jazz chords are seventh chords is present already, and the basic concept of pairing a chord with a scale is indeed present, as are the mode names.

    His ideas on the minor key are interesting.

    I was hoping this book might help me place the concept of the jazz minor scale chronologically, but sadly not the case. The unbelievably nerdy quest which no one else is interested in continues ;-)


  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    I'm not really up for arguing anything personally here... Just reporting on interesting stuff I find, which may or may not agree with what I already think, and may change my mind. This is simply the first paper I read on the subject.

    What I would say is that there's not a huge amount of scholarship available easily to me on jazz pedagogy. The papers referenced in that footnote included - a PhD thesis unavailable without a visit to the British Library and an out of print Jazz method. Papers referenced elsewhere in the paper were not easily obtainable.

    I'll need to research further to see if that reflects a general lack of scholarship, but I wonder to what extent jazz education has been the subject of academic study? There's obvious a body of general literature out there.

    Furthermore, there's going to be a huge wealth of material out there IRL - old teaching materials from Berklee and so on and so forth, as well as oral accounts.

    Jazz itself generates plenty of academic literature - I know a guy who's doing a PhD on Django for instance. Academic analysis of jazz music is pretty common.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I looked into the Mehegan book BTW, it's out of print AFAIK, but available here

    Armonia - Tonal and Rhytmic Principles- Jazz Improvisation i - John Mehegan (112 p)

    It represents CST in a state of infancy. There's no mention of melodic minor modes for instance, but the idea that the fundamental jazz chords are seventh chords is present already, and the basic concept of pairing a chord with a scale is indeed present, as are the mode names.

    His ideas on the minor key are interesting.

    I was hoping this book might help me place the concept of the jazz minor scale chronologically, but sadly not the case. The unbelievably nerdy quest which no one else is interested in continues ;-)

    Mel. Minor? Have you read Improvising Jazz, by Coker?

    A foundational book.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    Mel. Minor? Have you read Improvising Jazz, by Coker?

    A foundational book.
    That's from the late 60s IIRC?

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    When jazz becomes a term paper, I lose all interest.

    Man I hate parenthetical citations.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Thanks, Christian.

    Two things stood out for me on first reading:
    1) "While it certainly give students notes to play, it does not seem to offer any reasons for playing anything in particular."
    2) ...providing beginners with too many note choices before they are able to fully grasp the full implications of improvising within the tonal system.

    Carol Kaye makes the second argument well: too many choices paralyze a novice. You end up thinking about what can be played rather than listening to the music in your head and getting it out on the guitar. She also thinks that scales don't develop the ear as well as triads. If you learn the triads, your "home base notes" as she calls them, you are developing your ear and fingers at the same time. Then you learn to connect them. And you learn "extended triads" and how to make lines off of those. You learn PATTERNS, which one hears all the time in Wes, Clifford Brown, Joe Pass, Oscar Peterson, Charlie Parker, Pat Martino et al.

    The first point was my experience with my first jazz teacher---it was overwhelming. In a way it was like a test in school where you realize you need to put the points the teacher stressed into your essay to show you paid attention. And that's okay in school where you need to demonstrate you learned your lesson. But it is different in music, where you are trying to MAKE music rather than show you did your homework. (There is a time for showing you did your homework, such as learning chord inversions or getting the melody right or learning this or that scale.)


    At this link there's a gif showing how the same data may fit several theories.
    Simple Gif Shows How People Can See the Same Thing Entirely Differently <<TwistedSifter

    I think this is important here so as to make something very clear (at least from my limited, hack perspective.)

    One need not argue whether CST is right or wrong. As Pat Martino said in "Linear Expressions", he thought it was correct in its way but that it wasn't as practically useful for him as a less cumbersome way he found to organize the fretboard and generate improvised lines (-in a nutshell, convert to minor, though that fine book does not capture all that Pat does.)
    This approach (CST) has worked for many players.
    It has also, um, not produced the same results for many other players who found a different way to get good jazz out of their instruments.

    In a way, it's like organizing the fretboard. It can be done in more than one way. But it's good to have some way...
    This may be well intended but is off topic and also confused. The same thing happens every time we discuss CST.

    This is not about scales. It's about CST, a harmonic theory that benefits composers, arrangers, and improvisers.

    It does not tell you what to play beyond the overall ballpark. If that is a criticism, then it goes both ways, it neither suggests that you play less material, or more material.

    If one is going to ascribe CST to John Mehegan and claim that it's all scales, then I double dog dare them to play his first book. Their fingers will be bleeding from arpeggios out the wazoo.

    There are two points of confusion regarding CST in the public domain. What it isn't (the source material for its critics), and what it is (this is the part that most are ignorant about/too lazy to investigate, so they just assume).

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    When jazz becomes a term paper, I lose all interest.
    I think if someone had made me study bebop I would have resisted it.

    Jazz should never be driven by an undergrad mentality. You should always be driving your own research ;-)

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I looked into the Mehegan book BTW, it's out of print AFAIK, but available here

    Armonia - Tonal and Rhytmic Principles- Jazz Improvisation i - John Mehegan (112 p)
    Mehegan's books (-I believe there are 3 volumes in the series) had a big influence on Jack Wilkins. I think for a time he wished he had taken up piano instead of guitar. Glad he got past that!
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    This may be well intended but is off topic and also confused. The same thing happens every time we discuss CST.

    This is not about scales. It's about CST, a harmonic theory that benefits composers, arrangers, and improvisers.

    It does not tell you what to play beyond the overall ballpark. If that is a criticism, then it goes both ways, it neither suggests that you play less material, or more material.

    If one is going to ascribe CST to John Mehegan and claim that it's all scales, then I double dog dare them to play his first book. Their fingers will be bleeding from arpeggios out the wazoo.

    There are two points of confusion regarding CST in the public domain. What it isn't (the source material for its critics), and what it is (this is the part that most are ignorant about/too lazy to investigate, so they just assume).
    Sure.

    Yeah that Mehegan book is like super arpeggios lol...

    A big thing I have as an educator is students who come in knowing all the scale relationships and can't play chord tones through a chord sequence or outline chords at all.... Often they have had guitar teachers who taught them CST relationships and they just go up and down the scales.

    Presumably their teachers are getting it from somewhere thinking this is the way to teach jazz. We might know better here, but there's a lot of people teaching who do not.

    (So in what I would consider good teaching practice, you can introduce the idea of CST through rules of thumb for chord subs and then introduce the theory later. Of course if all you ever do is go up and down arpeggios you are going to get some pretty boring lines. Nothing wrong with scales....)

    I always feel the missing link in this is 'ways to build language.' For me, that's fundamentally to do with rhythm first and foremost and the notes are an expression of rhythm. There's definitely no papers coming up on the search for that.

    But the point remains - people are getting it from somewhere, this CST/scales trope. It's a real thing....

    On the positive side I usually don't need to worry about teaching students much theory.

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I think if someone had made me study bebop I would have resisted it.

    Jazz should never be driven by an undergrad mentality. You should always be driving your own research ;-)

    Agreed...

    I'd also argue the educational material of the music is...the music...

    But I get that you can't hear or explain everything right away, so books can have their place...heck, 20 years into it, there's still a lot of stuff I can't hear...I try not to use slower downers and stuff too much...I just try to hear what I can, take away what I will...

    I think the "productive struggle" is a big part of getting better. When everything is written down and taught and regurgitated, where's the struggle for the student? Arriving at their own answers, even if they're not textbook "correct" might be better than getting it "right." At least that's my 2 cents...
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I always feel the missing link in this is 'ways to build language.' For me, that's fundamentally to do with rhythm first and foremost and the notes are an expression of rhythm. There's definitely no papers coming up on the search for that.
    Bingo!
    One thing Willie Thomas does is stress rhythms. Take just a couple notes and make music with them. That requires attention to rhythm and phrasing. He puts rhythm earlier than most guitar instructors (that I am familiar with) do. It's notes that are gradually added, while rhythms are stressed from the start.

    This is a neat little video from Willie's (recently deceased) "Tunes to Know & Blow" series. "Perdido" is a simple tune--the riff couldn't get much easier---yet irresistible. (There's a lesson in that...)

    Willie knows all his scales and he knows jazz harmony. But he also knows how to get someone to START playing jazz without having already learned that. He starts with music, and gradually helps students to draw more out of it.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Agreed...

    I'd also argue the educational material of the music is...the music...

    But I get that you can't hear or explain everything right away, so books can have their place...heck, 20 years into it, there's still a lot of stuff I can't hear...I try not to use slower downers and stuff too much...I just try to hear what I can, take away what I will...

    I think the "productive struggle" is a big part of getting better. When everything is written down and taught and regurgitated, where's the struggle for the student? Arriving at their own answers, even if they're not textbook "correct" might be better than getting it "right." At least that's my 2 cents...
    Well I quite agree as you know. So you are summarising the debate between top down and self directed learning. The latter is actually pretty trendy among music educators.

    Self directed learning is key for jazz.

    It's interesting the extent to which classical educators think jazz players are entirely self directed learners getting stuff from records and teaching themselves, playing gigs and learning from each other and apprenticeships so on, and some of them want to adopt more of that model for classical music education.

    Good idea I think... but I think they have a somewhat idealised folksy idea of how musicians learn jazz these days.

    Furthermore - I can't think of anything more top down than a Barry Harris workshop. And generations of jazz musicians have been through his workshops.... Including many of those we would consider the 'greats.' If Trane was happy to pop in and get some information, I don't think we need to feel too bad about seeking out things that we can't get from the records...

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    I think it comes down to, as in most things, balance is key. And that balance might differ student to student...

    I still refuse to ever bash CST. I've found it incredibly useful...in CERTAIN SITUATIONS.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Assume a trumpet player. He can't blow a harmony in one puff. But he can play a pattern of the notes making a harmony. If I was blowing the horn, I would swear by CST. I would collect patterns.

    I am very fond of instruments that can do sustaining harmony; like the guitar and the piano. I don't have to collect patterns. I prefer to collect chords, arpeggios and licks (sometimes it's a pattern).

    I don't mind a guitar player that plays patterns over the changes, but so far it's not for me. Practicing scales and/or patterns is ear training that eventually will guide the fingers when improvising, not robotics (even though muscle memory is part of the equation too). That's the way I see it, no criticism of CST even though I see where the critics come from.

  23. #22
    Wow. 21 posts in like an hour...

    Only CST. :-)

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Wow. 21 posts in like an hour...

    Only CST. :-)
    And ONLY on the JGF!

    I still enjoy these discussions, mostly because they remind me to look at my own processes.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Bingo!
    One thing Willie Thomas does is stress rhythms. Take just a couple notes and make music with them. That requires attention to rhythm and phrasing. He puts rhythm earlier than most guitar instructors (that I am familiar with) do. It's notes that are gradually added, while rhythms are stressed from the start.

    This is a neat little video from Willie's (recently deceased) "Tunes to Know & Blow" series. "Perdido" is a simple tune--the riff couldn't get much easier---yet irresistible. (There's a lesson in that...)

    Willie knows all his scales and he knows jazz harmony. But he also knows how to get someone to START playing jazz without having already learned that. He starts with music, and gradually helps students to draw more out of it.
    Yeah that's solid basic stuff.

    I think what a lot of people don't quite get - if the endless bloody threads about whether or not people should practice bebop scales etc - is that there is a really strong relationship in bebop and other traditional jazz languages between where you put chromatic tones and chord tones in a line. The bop scales are appropriate because scale passages tend to be rhythmically neutral until they resolve - that is to say, they don't imply any accents in the line.

    Accents in the line tend to be harmonically significant, which unaccented notes are usually filler, like ghost notes on a hand drum.

    For instance, it's most common to put passing tones on a connecting upbeat, by which I mean a upbeat followed by a note on the beat. If you put a LNT there, it will always work.

    If you displace the whole line by an 8th note it will completely shift the feeling of the line, it will feel off centre.

    OTOH if the note is upbeat anticipation you can treat it as a downbeat, so it needs to be chord tone of some kind... But if you have a beat before, that will feel like a downbeat, and actually a passing tone won't feel right there.... There's some strong rules that are observed by and large...

    One really good way of understanding this is taking a line and mucking around with it rhythmically, take a line, start it an 8th earlier - where do you add a note, and how?

    This is incidentally the reason why so many players who have gone through CST but haven't addressed older jazz have trouble swinging. It's not that they have bad time or anything - it's that the lines they are playing have no inbuilt groove.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    That's one reason why starting by varying the melody is such a good idea - you have the chord tones built in to the melody....

  27. #26

    User Info Menu


  28. #27

    User Info Menu


  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    Another thing I find interesting is how and when this approach became codified. Mehegan in 1959 is a good name and date to keep in mind.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    I've got books by him somewhere. I think it's 3 volumes in one, piano music. Buried somewhere around :-)

  31. #30

    User Info Menu

    I've never taken a formal CST class, so I've never had a teacher say, "this is CST, and THAT is not".

    Instead, I heard about it on forums like this one and eventually read Nettles and Graf.

    After all of that, I can't define it exactly and I can't even really tell how much I use it.

    What I did learn years ago was chord tones and tonal centers. Extend the chords to the 13th and you're overlapping with CST.

    That gives you 7 notes. That leaves 5, one or two of which (like the other 7 and the other 3) may be avoid notes. So, I think, how much theory do I need to be able to select from 3 or 4 additional notes?

    And, to the extent that I do need theory, I find it easier to superimpose chords rather than think of scales.

    In terms of turning a kind of corner into being a better jazz player, what was most helpful was ear training. And, I tried that various ways. What was most effective was IRealPro in 12 keys. Solo and comp.

  32. #31

    User Info Menu

    CST is definitely not about teaching any particular style. Just like classic harmony is not.

    Premise of discussion is false.

    Learn to play, or get life.
    Forget about FAQs, help files, snake oil and red herrings, presented as truth and knowledge, in this world of Jazz education market.

    Sent from My Blog Page
    ^ ^ ^
    <<< My BlogSpot Page >>>
    v v v

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    There's a similar LONG thread on LiftGammaGain, a forum of mostly professional Colorists. The people that take the timeline of clips from an editor with a number of different cameras/lenses/lighting types, a very visually jarring progression ... and make it both look as if seen by one pair of eyeballs and like ... something cool.

    Is what we do "grading" or " color correction" ... and more importantly, is there even a place for using the first as a basic step of a grading process?

    Many experienced colorists bristle at the term "correction". And verbal battles ensue.

    You see, to them a true craftsman does not separate basic corrections from fully treating the program as they work. Similar to a master jazz performer who doesn't think about CST or modal scales or quartal theory while playing.

    I've trained people to be master craftsmen at b/w and color printing in a darkroom. And I always had to train them to take any negative and get to a good "neutral" tonal state first. Once they truly mastered THAT on their own, I could allow them to work an image without first producing a good neutral test.

    In fact, at the very beginning I refused to explain anything as it would never make sense until you had done it for a while. After a couple weeks of rote performance under directions, as they seemed to grasp the basics of how changes in settings affected prints, *then* I'd ask how well they were still mystified by what was happening.

    "A lot ... " was the typical answer as they had come to realize nothing ... nothing ... was what they had been so sure it HAD to be at the start.

    Jazz is a master craftsmen thing also.

    I loved the post above mentioning how even the use of altered tones as passing tones is dependent on *rhythm* ... they have to be placed right rhythmically to *sound* right.

    CST is one tool for absorbing incredibly complex thoughts. But nothing in jazz is an island, it's all relative.

    And rhythm is really the binding agent that holds it all together. Some players with no training in theory but with great skill in rhythm and an ear for ... interesting ... melodic/rhythmic/harmonic sounds from their fingers or lips have become legends.

    For most people, assistance along the way is both useful and needed. Whether it's Harris or CST books or whatever. But it has to become a joined process eventually.

    I don't think I'll live long enough to master this as I once did making b/w and color prints. But the process is comfortingly similar. Complex. Daunting. Elusive as Hades.

    And listening to those who've mastered jazz is as entrancing as seeing photographs printed by a master. Or the finest colorists.



    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  34. #33

    User Info Menu

    What is considered CST? I read a lot of discussion on this forum about CST but I feel that everybody has his own interpretation of CST.

    Some say "The Jazz Theory Book" is the bible of CST. I read this book but I found it pretty weird. It doesn't say ANYTHING about functional harmony! It never talks about how chord progressions work etc. So some people say that CST is just assigning scales to chords out of context. Which is just wrong IMO.

    A better book is The Berklee Book of Jazz Harmony which is contains basically the same material (almost word for word) as Nettles & Graff however it is much easier to read. This book talks about functional harmony and how you can derive scales from chords that are actually in a progression. IMO its a great book, that really gives a clear overview of jazz harmony and the scales you need. I am in no way a pro but I really learned a lot!

    However, I feel CST is more handy for analysis. You think of everything vertically while music moves horizontally and basically everything can work if you resolve it and have good rhythm.

    But back to my question. What is considered CST? Looking at the notes you play over each chord relative to the chord?

  35. #34

    User Info Menu

    No idea. I'm shedding C Yo.

  36. #35

    User Info Menu

    From the OP - "The chord-scale methodology, first successfully outlined by Mehegan (1959), consists of relating certain categories of chords to certain categories of scales."

    Though, that definition would also include Barry Harris's teaching.

  37. #36

    User Info Menu

    Would this help? I don't know. But I tend to think of CST in two ways.

    One is "descriptive" where one is asking "What in the world is going on with that melody or solo, given those chords?" A model that sees certain kinds of scales generally fitting over certain kinds of chords offers a kind of foil for describing things, and maybe even for thinking how far "outside" a certain phrase is and if possible, why it still works. I think this is pretty helpful. One needs a baseline even if it's just a modest template.

    The other would be "prescriptive" where one is actually being taught "over these chords you play these scales" and there the critique of "But why would you play those notes..?" is on target.

    I don't find the prescriptive approach very helpful, but I do find CST useful when I'm trying to figure out whats going on in a given phrase, and then maybe also how to "port" that phrase to other contexts.

    But I'm absolutely no "master" player, not even a journeyman, so this distinction might not hold up under more intense pressure.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  38. #37

    User Info Menu

    Yeah my beef with that, and by no means is this an implicit criticism of CST is that you don't need to know what notes work on a chord.

    No one needs to know that to improvise jazz.

    "On" or "over" is the WRONG language from day one. Jazz improvisers don't float. They express harmony in their lines.

    What you actually need to know is
    1) How to express a chord in a melodic line.
    2) Then you need to learn how to embellish a chord with scalar and chromatic tones.
    3) We learn how a single tonality such as major or minor can be enriched through the use of substitute or extended tonalities of related triads and extended structures.
    4) Then you need to learn a repertoire of chordal movements towards a target tonality (call them II V I's if you want, but really, it's much more generalised than that.)
    5) Then you get skilled at applying them to standards.
    6) All the while getting good at recognising this stuff in material that you study by ear.

    These relationships can in part be systematised as part of a CST concept, but that's BACKGROUND for skilled improvisers.

    As I think is generally agreed, CST is unhelpful for beginner improvisors because it gets them into a mind set of thinking about safe notes. But really, we should be starting with players playing without backing tracks and outlining very simply the chords of a song (once of course they can play the melody convincingly.) That will be disappointing to many of course because it won't sound like jazz.

    But there's almost no theory. It's like - here's a Cmaj7 chord, play a C triad.

    It's no accident this 'what to notes play over x chord' improv concept is first encountered along with Jamie Aebersold play alongs in many cases...

    Basically almost every time I teach students I find myself repeating the basic points outlined by Pat Metheny in this audio:


  39. #38

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    What is considered CST? I read a lot of discussion on this forum about CST but I feel that everybody has his own interpretation of CST.

    But back to my question. What is considered CST? Looking at the notes you play over each chord relative to the chord?
    In a word, yes.

    Really, people shouldn't have their own interpretations of what it is. It's very clear what it is.

    CST stands for Chord-Scale Theory. As you say, it's basically about what can be played over what.

    In its simplest form it starts with the fact that chords are built from scales. So, stacking the notes of C major in 3rds and making 4-note chords, the chords of C major are: CM7, Dm7, Em7, FM7, G7, Am7, and Bm7b5.

    Therefore, because those chords have been built from the C major scale, the C major scale can be used to play over them.

    That's the simplest way to explain it. But it can get a lot more complex than that. Also, the problem with it is that, in real life playing, there's no need to stick to it. A great deal of high-quality jazz doesn't.

    Anyway, I suppose the Wiki page is good enough for starters:

    Chord-scale system - Wikipedia

  40. #39

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post

    But the point remains - people are getting it from somewhere, this CST/scales trope. It's a real thing....
    Yeah, and a bunch of guitarists approaching jazz from a rock background is one source.

    "What scales do I play man? You mean I can't just wank away with my pentatonics like I always do? Theory sucks dude!".

  41. #40

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    From the OP - "The chord-scale methodology, first successfully outlined by Mehegan (1959), consists of relating certain categories of chords to certain categories of scales."

    Though, that definition would also include Barry Harris's teaching.
    I owned Mehegan's books for 20 years before I heard the term CST. Jerry Coker et al informed the student which scales to apply for certain chords - in certain progressions or "formula", so did Dick Grove, and just about everybody else who taught Jazz Theory/Harmony and/or improv.

    But I don't know of a single one of them who ever suggested that stopping at the understanding of tonality or scales/modes in relation to harmonic scenarios represented a complete course in jazz improvisation. Nettles and Graf referred to their book by the same name as a Harmony book, not an Improv book.

    Again, the problem lies more in the uninformed persons mind about what CST "might" mean, or their personal definition of it. So there are many opinions, and hence "definitions" (to abuse a term).

    One question might be "if a person didn't originate/invent CST, never studied it, and never studied jazz improvisation, arranging, or composition, why would they have a particularly strong opinion about it"? Would they do the same thing with say.... Electronic Engineering?

  42. #41

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Sure.

    Yeah that Mehegan book is like super arpeggios lol...

    A big thing I have as an educator is students who come in knowing all the scale relationships and can't play chord tones through a chord sequence or outline chords at all.... Often they have had guitar teachers who taught them CST relationships and they just go up and down the scales.

    Presumably their teachers are getting it from somewhere thinking this is the way to teach jazz. We might know better here, but there's a lot of people teaching who do not.

    (So in what I would consider good teaching practice, you can introduce the idea of CST through rules of thumb for chord subs and then introduce the theory later. Of course if all you ever do is go up and down arpeggios you are going to get some pretty boring lines. Nothing wrong with scales....)

    I always feel the missing link in this is 'ways to build language.' For me, that's fundamentally to do with rhythm first and foremost and the notes are an expression of rhythm. There's definitely no papers coming up on the search for that.

    But the point remains - people are getting it from somewhere, this CST/scales trope. It's a real thing....

    On the positive side I usually don't need to worry about teaching students much theory.
    A couple of follow-up points.

    Improvising Jazz by Coker was written in 1964. It lists Melodic Minor for Tonic chords only. His later updates may have expanded on that but I don't recall.

    Mehegan wrote four books - which are you referring to, the first? If so, yes it has lots of etudes with lots of arpeggios and skips. Try pages 55-80 - for starters.

    Another thing, it covers a lot about rhythm and it covers chromatics and approach notes to tones 1-3-5-7-9. His second book goes much more into "jazz rhythm and the improvised line".

    Two things:

    1. He didn't call his work "CST".
    2. He did show players "what to play" to a significant extent - but - he didn't describe everything as fully as SOME educators do now. It should be noted that many contemporary "educators" still only scratch the surface of what Mehegan presented.

  43. #42

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    In a word, yes.

    Really, people shouldn't have their own interpretations of what it is. It's very clear what it is.

    CST stands for Chord-Scale Theory. As you say, it's basically about what can be played over what.

    In its simplest form it starts with the fact that chords are built from scales. So, stacking the notes of C major in 3rds and making 4-note chords, the chords of C major are: CM7, Dm7, Em7, FM7, G7, Am7, and Bm7b5.

    Therefore, because those chords have been built from the C major scale, the C major scale can be used to play over them.

    That's the simplest way to explain it. But it can get a lot more complex than that. Also, the problem with it is that, in real life playing, there's no need to stick to it. A great deal of high-quality jazz doesn't.

    Anyway, I suppose the Wiki page is good enough for starters:

    Chord-scale system - Wikipedia
    No offense but that Wiki makes me groan with every sentence. Such drivel, but then nobody has to put his name to it. No one is accountable.

    I agree with you when you say that CST informs us what pool of notes CAN be played. But here is where things get off track quickly.

    To be specific - CST does not, does not, does NOT "tell you what to play".

    But people approach it thinking that it does, or will, and then come away disappointed and thinking that they'e been shortchanged or hoodwinked.

  44. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    As Birkett (1995) explains, "While it certainly gives students notes to play, it does not seem to offer any reasons for playing anything in particular"; (Birkett, 1995, vi). Offering a knee-jerk approach to each successive chord within a series, the methodology’s randomness seemingly negates the "tension and resolution relationships" suggested by extended harmonic passages and is therefore viewed by many jazz theorists to be "anti-tonal; (Birkett, 1995, p. 25).
    I can't read this as being much more than nonsensical. I don't know what is supposed to be meant by "reasons", "knee jerk" or "randomness", but I guess it's based on the premise that CST is basically "Play any note from the 'correct' scale in any order as long as you don't play an avoid note, and it will sound great". Maybe that's a working definition of CST, but I'd be surprised to learn that.

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    More serious, however, is the uncritical manner in which it is so readily applied in jazz education, providing beginners with too many note choices before they are able to fully grasp the full implications of improvising within the tonal system.
    I just don't know that many jazz educators don't use some kind of scale framework from which to start teaching vocabulary. I mean, it's based on the major scale or something. You can't play simple upper or lower neighbor tones without a basic knowledge of scales. You can't talk about "chromatics" without referencing a scale really.

    I get the feeling that most people view the "CST vs..." debate as being mostly "CST vs vocabulary". So... "Don't play scales straight up and down. Play jazz vocabulary (enclosures, diatonic/chromatic approaches, arppegios etc.)... Don't play straight up-down CST 8th notes, play jazz rhythms.... Don't play with CST scale-thinking, play with your ears." If that's what is really being discussed, then it's mostly a false argument. None of these statements are opposing statements, because all of these things can be done from the framework of CST basically. It's not a rhythmic organization as far as I know. It doesn't require only playing up and down. It doesn't require not using your ears the same way you would otherwise and it isn't melodically restrictive as to up-and-down or enclosures etc.

    You can play any melodic device with any of these scales. You can chromatically address lydian dominant or even altered using the same embellishment guidelines used to target plain old major diatonic. "You can't explain chromatic line X using CST" isn't really the correct way of looking at it. We say things like this as a kind of way of saying that there isn't a single 8-note scale which describes it. This is true, but then we actually describe it using flats and sharps (which is a direct reference to an 8-note scale: major).

    The "too many notes argument" is just silly. It's overused. We can't even describe which notes to use to build a major or minor chord without some basic knowledge of a major scale. We talk about "reducing down" to simpler, but reduce down from what reference?

    Is anyone actually reducing down from the chromatic scale? It's fine to say "reduce down to the root", but the root of what? ... or 1 3 5. OK. 1 3 5 of what? The chromatic scale? It's crazy to reinvent the wheel and act as if notes grow in cabbage patches or are brought by Santa Claus. There aren't that many choices for things to play over a VII7 or III7 chord. There are some, but there are certainly choices which can be prioritized based on tradition, and that's a lot of what CST addresses. I wonder if a lot of the confusion around this topic isn't chromatics themselves.

    Anyway, Aebersold is all about the traditions of this music. Read what he actually lays out and recommends in his writing. It's listen, listen, listen... transcribe... play traditional jazz vocabulary (built from these scales)... arps, enclosures, approaches and patterns of all types played by the greats. I don't feel that it's fair to imply that he's mainly a scale-list-maker. I know that's probably not what's meant, but it comes across, in balance of the one side which is stated.

    Sorry to rant. (I know I quoted Christian at the top, but it's mostly not personally directed at any one person. All the best to everyone involved, really.)

  45. #44

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post

    To be specific - CST does not, does not, does NOT "tell you what to play".
    I don't think you probably meant it that way but, since you put that sentence in following a quote from me and put "tell you what to play" in double quotes, it looks like that's what I was saying or implying.

    I wasn't and I didn't. I said "it's basically about what can be played over what".

    The Wiki page was the only dedicated page on CST I could find, strangely. There were some others but they were superficial.

    I agree it's not that well written but it's not 'drivel', that's ridiculous! Why did you say that?

  46. #45

    User Info Menu

    In response to Jazzstdnt (it’s getting wordy)

    I don’t think Mehegan is CST either. Chord/scale relationships of a type also feature in Barry Harris and I doubt we’d call that CST.

    But it shows the mode names and seventh chords as a basis for jazz harmony were established by 1959 and that’s quite interesting.

    So between 59 and the the late 60s where we have Coker’s book which is recognisably a version of CST I wonder if there’s anything else.

  47. #46

    User Info Menu

    Dizzy Gillespie was a clever man. In the 50s he wrote a little piece he called "Con Alma" ("with soul"). The melody is simple and catchy with familiar chords. Then arrive at the solo and most people get in trouble. Because there's a change of key right in the middle of the theme. You hear where the melody is going, but somehow your fingers may not follow the changes, the song messes with your ears. Very annoying actually, because it's a sweet tune that wants you to express yourself (with soul).

    options:

    1, Read the changes (vista) and play patterns, or

    2, Learn the song, internalize the changes, or

    3, Write a solo (and write several variations on that solo)

    -If I do Nr. 1 above many times, sooner or later I would arrive at 2, right?

    -If I approach Nr.2 above by analyzing the changes and then apply scales and patterns (we can call that CST) , it's no different from Nr.1, is it? -Are there any ways other than CST to internalize the changes? For a trumpet player, a guitar player?

    -If I do Nr. 3, I'm cheating, not improvising, am I? -Maybe, by writing a solo, it's possible to actually internalize the changes so that eventually I could improvise freely?

    At the end of the day, if I want to express myself with soul, I need ear-training, no matter what I call the process. There are no avoid notes. Either I know the song or I don't.

    Last edited by JCat; 03-05-2019 at 06:21 AM.

  48. #47

    User Info Menu

    A thought from Ed Byrne on CST
    - Chord Scale Theory - submitted by EdByrne
    ....which was from some essays he posted about his well received work - Linear Jazz Improvisation.
    FreeJazzInstitute -

  49. #48

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    I can't read this as being much more than nonsensical. I don't know what is supposed to be meant by "reasons", "knee jerk" or "randomness", but I guess it's based on the premise that CST is basically "Play any note from the 'correct' scale in any order as long as you don't play an avoid note, and it will sound great". Maybe that's a working definition of CST, but I'd be surprised to learn that.
    Well here's the thing - it kind of doesn't matter to me what CST actually is supposed to be, because that's how I've often encountered it first as a student and many of my students seem to have been taught exactly this way.

    So that's the reality of CST for many. What it says in the Berklee Bumper Fun Book of Cleverness is really neither here nor there, because I have to fix students who play largely stepwise solos that don't communicate any sense of harmony or rhythm. Like that student ion the Metheny lesson. I've heard that sound a 1000 times.... (And, dammit, it can be fixed!)

    In fact Kenny's wording really strikes a chord (scale?) with me. He's nailed the problems right there.

    There are even working jazz players who play this way, because they've only ever played modern non-functional shit. Seriously. When they play a standard it sounds like chord scales. If they are accomplished they do so in a way which is musical.... But it's not connected to any tradition or swing.

    Perhaps Barry says it best - 'people used to harmonise melody, now they melodicise harmony.'

    Chord Scale Theory applied to improvisation. Definition right there.

    The thing here is ubiquity. CST has a sort of hegemony on jazz education, so that means it's the first thing many students contact, and many students never bust out of it - the best, of course do. (I don't think anyone working in NYC has this issue for instance, they all seem to have mastered bebop when still in diapers....) But I honestly think the result is to produce some very bad jazz. People who grudgingly do standards gig and can't swing or play a melody and people in the audience think 'oh that's jazz, I hate that.'

    This beast exists.

    So, as educators, I think we can do a lot better than that, and one aspect is the teaching resources.

    I just don't know that many jazz educators don't use some kind of scale framework from which to start teaching vocabulary. I mean, it's based on the major scale or something. You can't play simple upper or lower neighbor tones without a basic knowledge of scales. You can't talk about "chromatics" without referencing a scale really.
    Yeah Kenny's definition is too loose.

    But obviously all of that diatonic/chromatic passing tones and LNT stuff is 100s of years old. It's Bach and Mozart stuff. I learned that stuff from classical theory.

    I get the feeling that most people view the "CST vs..." debate as being mostly "CST vs vocabulary". So... "Don't play scales straight up and down. Play jazz vocabulary (enclosures, diatonic/chromatic approaches, arppegios etc.)... Don't play straight up-down CST 8th notes, play jazz rhythms.... Don't play with CST scale-thinking, play with your ears." If that's what is really being discussed, then it's mostly a false argument.
    I don't give a stuff whether it's a false argument or not. It's literally what I have to deal with for my job.

    None of these statements are opposing statements, because all of these things can be done from the framework of CST basically.
    But here's a question - what's the point of doing so? I mean, I can tell someone to play a D triad on a C7 chord.

    For instance Jordan's melodic triads thing is all ultimately related to CST relationships. But it a) sounds better b) is easier to use and c) no one has to know.

    It's not a rhythmic organization as far as I know. It doesn't require only playing up and down. It doesn't require not using your ears the same way you would otherwise and it isn't melodically restrictive as to up-and-down or enclosures etc.

    You can play any melodic device with any of these scales. You can chromatically address lydian dominant or even altered using the same embellishment guidelines used to target plain old major diatonic. "You can't explain chromatic line X using CST" isn't really the correct way of looking at it. We say things like this as a kind of way of saying that there isn't a single 8-note scale which describes it. This is true, but then we actually describe it using flats and sharps (which is a direct reference to an 8-note scale: major).

    The "too many notes argument" is just silly. It's overused. We can't even describe which notes to use to build a major or minor chord without some basic knowledge of a major scale. We talk about "reducing down" to simpler, but reduce down from what reference?

    Is anyone actually reducing down from the chromatic scale? It's fine to say "reduce down to the root", but the root of what? ... or 1 3 5. OK. 1 3 5 of what? The chromatic scale? It's crazy to reinvent the wheel and act as if notes grow in cabbage patches or are brought by Santa Claus. There aren't that many choices for things to play over a VII7 or III7 chord. There are some, but there are certainly choices which can be prioritized based on tradition, and that's a lot of what CST addresses. I wonder if a lot of the confusion around this topic isn't chromatics themselves.
    You seem to be equating the use of scales with chord scales...

    Anyway, Aebersold is all about the traditions of this music. Read what he actually lays out and recommends in his writing. It's listen, listen, listen... transcribe... play traditional jazz vocabulary (built from these scales)... arps, enclosures, approaches and patterns of all types played by the greats. I don't feel that it's fair to imply that he's mainly a scale-list-maker. I know that's probably not what's meant, but it comes across, in balance of the one side which is stated.
    Of course, JA being the man who literally wrote the Omnibook. (And a friend who took a lesson with him, literally the first thing he said was 'stop trying to play all the right scales.')

    But - like it or not, I suspect Aebersold will be remembered as the scales guy.

    Why? Presentation. When someone opens a JA playalong book what do they see?

    I mean generations of jazz students couldn't be bothered to read the eratta in edition 5 Real Book and learn that there was a repeat in Desifinado .... Obviously when the chart is corrected for the latest edition, it's not a problem.

    Anyway I'm not wailing on poor JA here. The dude's a pioneer. But there's been water under the bridge. We've had a chance to reflect on the use of these teaching resources in our practice as educators, and I think there's a lot we can do to improve them.

    (However the commercial success of JA means we will be stuck with them a while.... )

    And really this is the nub of my argument. The information is all out there. It's about presentation. CST isn't 'wrong' but it is ubiquitous and likely to be a first point of contact for learners.

    Then, it's highly problematic - by drawing the attention of the student to 'good sounding notes' over chords, considering the chords of the tune as the sole resource for improvisation and not addressing the relationship between rhythm and improvised line, it frames jazz education in a certain way. An unhelpful way, I would say.

    This is the legacy of CST in the real world, whatever they teach in the elite music schools to kids who can already play.

  50. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    This is the legacy of CST in the real world, whatever they teach in the elite music schools to kids who can already play.
    So much of the "CST" you're referring to is the larger social misunderstanding of what it MIGHT be?

  51. #50

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    So much of the "CST" you're referring to is the larger social misunderstanding of what it MIGHT be?
    Well more to the point I think it's easy to see that is the context of the quote I extracted. He makes the mistake of not defining his terms better... I can't check out his source for the assertion.

    You mention you don't teach jazz.... I think if you did, you'd know exactly what he's talking about. I don't actually think that's a distortion of the theory at all. It's a massive problem of what CST is being used for, and only some of it is down to educators.

    But this is what I mean by Hegemony and also, CST. Take a look at Mark Levine's The Jazz Theory Book.

    It's a NICE book. Well produced, designed and written. Edditted and proofread to professional standards. Available at every music shop.

    What does it teach? I would say it teaches a Chord Scale Theory interpretation of jazz harmony. (But maybe it doesn't, who knows any more lol? I'm not a CST Operant Thetan, so I'm not really qualified to say.)

    It is also The Jazz Theory Book. Not 'A Jazz Theory Book' or 'A Guide to Modern Jazz Harmony' or 'Chord Scales in Modern Jazz' or anything like that. The title establishes what is actually when you think about it a rather aggressive hegemony over jazz theory. The framing is 'this is THE definitive book you need.'

    The quality of the product reinforces that message because it's a much better looking book than the other stuff on the shelves.

    This is definitely how I felt when I first saw it in a music shop.

    I thought - 'Oh I got to get me that! Then I will know how to properly do a jazz.'

    (None of this is Levine's fault, of course. I don't know if he chose the title.)

    Most of the teaching guides I find actually useful are deeply flawed products, self published with spelling and grammatical errors and in need of editing for length, rewriting for clarity and improvements in presentation. Some of them aren't even stocked at music shops. In short they need the resources that have been put into Sher's products such as the Levine book.

    Students starting their journey into jazz aren't going to be picking up these books.

    They'll be picking up the Levine book.

    So IF we agree the type of theory in Levine's book won't help a starting improvisor actually play jazz, there's a need there - for a really good book that deals with the information you need to know and a hands on way to apply it to music - but problem is that you need the resources put behind that book to compete with it.

    I mean I can try and write one, but who cares? I'm a nobody...