The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  1. #1
    Firstly I'd like to acknowledge what a great inspiration he has been and even though I am under the age of 30 and have only recently become acquainted with his material, I still can't believe such a giant of this music has passed.

    Was just wondering how well the Barry Harris method to learning to improvise would work when approaching fusion tunes such 500 miles high, La Fiesta and Spain (yes I'm currently on a Chick Corea binge) or on tunes by Weather Report, Mike Stern and such. I know a lot of these guys had a grounding in more "traditional" jazz growing up and whilst I haven't yet transcribed any of this material (I have mainly been transcribing the bebop greats but I'm thinking of taking a break and transcribing another era for a while to break up the monotony) I suspect I'm going to run into a lot of the same concepts; namely triads, rhythms, approach tones, chromaticism etc.

    One thought I had was that Barry seems to emphasise learning to play over movements and not chords, but it seems to me that a lot of fusion seems to be more modal (although I think the above Chick Corea songs I mentioned have plenty of movements, but not sure about the Weather Report material), and I've seen some say that Barry's method isn't that great for modal tunes and that a different approach/mindset may be needed in these instances.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    This should be fun, lol.

  4. #3
    I hope I haven't said anything un-pc with this question

  5. #4

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    Nope, not at all. Just a lot of entrenched opinions.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brummy_Guitarist
    Firstly I'd like to acknowledge what a great inspiration he has been and even though I am under the age of 30 and have only recently become acquainted with his material, I still can't believe such a giant of this music has passed.

    Was just wondering how well the Barry Harris method to learning to improvise would work when approaching fusion tunes such 500 miles high, La Fiesta and Spain (yes I'm currently on a Chick Corea binge) or on tunes by Weather Report, Mike Stern and such. I know a lot of these guys had a grounding in more "traditional" jazz growing up and whilst I haven't yet transcribed any of this material (I have mainly been transcribing the bebop greats but I'm thinking of taking a break and transcribing another era for a while to break up the monotony) I suspect I'm going to run into a lot of the same concepts; namely triads, rhythms, approach tones, chromaticism etc.

    One thought I had was that Barry seems to emphasise learning to play over movements and not chords, but it seems to me that a lot of fusion seems to be more modal (although I think the above Chick Corea songs I mentioned have plenty of movements, but not sure about the Weather Report material), and I've seen some say that Barry's method isn't that great for modal tunes and that a different approach/mindset may be needed in these instances.
    yeah while probably antithetical to Barry’s taste in music, I have found ways to apply it. I want to apply what I already know wherever I can, and the dominant scale stuff works great on modal vamps and non functional numbers where you get one chord for a bar or more. Take a D Dorian vamp and treat as G7 for instance. Ii V relationship, right?

    I think of this is a sort of Cannonball approach to modal tunes. And I who doesn’t love Cannonball?

    If you look at many textbooks they will talk
    about the ‘bebop Dorian’; in fact this is a mode of the dominant scale in the way we just described G7 on Dm7 (Dorian). If you think about it you might be able to see that not only can you apply all of your dominant bop language on m7 chords, you can also make a bebop Lydian and bebop locrian modes in the same way (Barry didn’t talk about it in this way exactly but the latter was certainly a big part of his teaching.)

    This is the IMO best way to use Chord Scale and modal theory btw; you can of course do the exact same thing for your m6 bop lines, as ‘melodic minor modes’.

    Secondly any ‘non functional’ tune can be made into a bop tune if you add in some ii Vs lol. Inner Urges first section starts to resemble Tune Up For instance.

    I did a video. I keep meaning to do another. It’s not Barry stuff specifically but if you have shedded a lot of dominant stuff (as one would with Barry) this is a way of applying this post modal tunes (not sure why it’s saying ‘video unavailable btw)



    Brecker and those guys were very bop influenced in their lines

    Another thing; once mastered you can apply the Barry added note rules to ‘bopify’ any mode or scale. Check out the second DVD for more info on how to do this.
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 01-17-2022 at 07:10 AM.

  7. #6

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    I think Spain is pretty functional? Armando’s Rhumba as well. I’ll need to have a look at La Fiesta and 500 Miles High; haven’t looked at those tunes for yonks.

    Spain:

    I kind of treat the first chord as A7 (‘G Lydian bebop’) and run down to the third of F#7 like a minor ii V (C#m7b5 to F#7) (giving F# ‘Phrygian dominant’)…

    note that one note; A l moving to A# is the one that gives you the sort of eight note Spanish scale that combines the F# Phrygian with a major third (A#) but that’s definitely not how we are thinking of it, because the whole point of these conversions is to be able to play bebop on everything.

    After that, it doesn’t go to the expected Bm but instead to Em7 A7, so you then move immediately back to A7 again. It’s all just a big V chord functionally…. Until we get to the D

    The C#7 to F#7 to Bm is pretty trad (II7 V7 pops up in Armando as well of course) so you can play that as two separate dominants (I’d choose E7 to A7 for the 7b9 sound) or you can just treat it like a Bm ii V I if you like. (Barry trick there.)

    Then you have a funny move (‘interrupted cadence’) which is (F#m7b5) B7 to Gmaj7. This can be handled as a straight V-I D7 Gmaj7

    Not sure if that makes sense.

    In practice I mix up linear bop and more harmonic ideas like intervallic chord scales and triad superpositions etc.

    Plus it’s in keeping with the aesthetic of those tunes to be, well, a bit Spanish. So bring on those flamenco scales. While Barry Harris counsels against getting stuck into the harmonic minor, but with Chick that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 01-17-2022 at 07:48 AM.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    yeah while probably antithetical to Barry’s taste in music, I have found ways to apply it. I want to apply what I already know (not sure why it’s saying ‘video unavailable btw)
    Good video. There is a youtube setting when you upload, ‘allow this video to be embedded in other websites’ or something along those lines, it might be that? maybe you turned the option off somehow. I don’t know if you can change it after it’s been uploaded though.

    (edit: I think it could be the option 'allow embedding', if so it looks like you can switch it back on at any time. It's in the youtube 'Manage videos - edit details' section.)
    Last edited by grahambop; 01-17-2022 at 12:24 PM.

  9. #8
    Yes I am all about using what you already know and applying it to new contexts. I feel like that's what jazz is at the end of the day, pushing the envelope.

    Thanks for that video Christian, really helpful!