Friday, April 1, 2016

Miles Davis Solar Transcription

Here is my transcriptions of  Miles solo on Solar from the 1954 album Walking.
Lot's to learn here: listen to Miles time-feel. It's a challenge for any jazz musician to sound so laid back an relaxed and still be able to draw in the listener, how does he do it? Also check out how he uses the major second on the dminor7(b5) chord.

Transcription PDF here

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Jazz guitar lesson #5 making patterns more interesting


Playing patterns or not... that's a hot potato among Jazz musicians. I
have often heard musicians accusing certain famous Jazz players of
playing to many patterns. Personally I have nothing against patterns.
It's not what you play, it's how you play it. So how can we make
patterns more interesting?

Here you need to download the pdf

Jazz Guitar Lesson #5 PDF

2: move the four note pattern rhythmically. By doing this we anticipate
the beat and create a sense of forward motion. "Forward motion" by the
way is a magic term that Jazz educators all over the world like to use.

Ex 3: Play a four note pattern as triplets. 

Ex 4: Another four note pattern played as triplets.

Ex 5: A tree note pattern played as eight notes. Pay attention to how you wanna emphasize certain notes to make it swing!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Jazz Guitar Lesson #4 Poor Man's Chord Melody


Jazz Guitar Lesson 4 adding guidetones

a piano player plays Jazz he or she can play the melody with the right
hand and then play chords at the same time with the other hand..easy,
right? This is in my opinion one of the reasons that the piano trio is
such a popular format in Jazz. Now what if we want to do the same thing
on guitar. Impossible some you say..I think not! We just have to make
the chords smaller. This way of playing that I want to show you in this
lesson comes from players like Lenny Breau. If you haven't checked him
out. Do it NOW! This technique or concept was shown to me by another
Canadian guitarist: Ted Quinlan who I was studying with a few years

The point of all this to able to comp for
yourself when you are playing the melody or even soloing. In another
word: fire the piano player and the band will have more money to split
among themselves! :p

Here is the concept:

Play the melody on the top two strings with the index and pinky.

Play the guide tones on the lower strings using the second and third fingers.

That's it!

you can see in the video we will run into some fingering problems when
it's better to abandon these rules and come up with other fingerings.

There are other similar concepts as well, maybe you have seen Kurt Rosenwinkels clinic from Gdansk?

Kurt Rosenwinkel Clinic Gdansk (chord melody) 

Here is a documentary about Lenny Breau

Lenny Breau The Genius Of documentary

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Jazz Guitar Lesson #3 How to practice modes on the guitar

Here is an exercise for you guitarists who are trying to get better at playing modes.This post could have been titled "the problem of trying to learn scales on the guitar" or something like that. As I'm sure you have noticed there are some advantages as well as disadvantages with our instrument. We can learn one shape for a major scale and then we can move the exact same shape to play in another key. Think about any other (non string) instrument. Suppose they are playing a C major scale for example and want to move it a half-step up to Db major; they have to learn a whole new fingering! At first this might seem like a problem for them but in my opinion they are in a better position to learn the notes they are playing.

When I started to learn the modes and scales and all that I had a book that showed all the scales as fretboard diagrams. So I learned the scales and jammed along with jam-tracks and thought everything was great. The problem occurred later on when I tried to learn how to play over changes. To do that you need to know what notes you are playing. You should actually always know what notes you are playing even if you are just playing over a static chord situation. We guitar players have a tendency to mindlessly let our fingers move around the neck. A trumpet player for example has to think about the note and hear it in his head before he plays it. We should approach our instrument the same way. So learning the scales/modes on another instrument is a great idea.

So here is an exercise that hopefully will help you with this problem (if you don't have the time to learn how to play the trombone) :p

Play a C major scale starting on the sixth string. Play three notes per string and play two octaves.

Here is the trick: when you go to Db major, you should stay in the same position or area of the guitar neck. This way you don't move the shape but instead you have to think about what you are doing.

So play a Db major scale also starting on the sixth string but this time START WITH TWO NOTES on the sixth string. This was you get a different fingering, right?

By now you have probably figured it out; when it's time to play D major you start with one note on the sixth string. Very good Sherlock! :p

Now to keep going you play Eb major starting on the fifth string and you go through the same procedure. When you start on the fifth string you have to adjust the higher notes since you're gonna get more that three notes on the highest string. If this is confusing check my YouTube video how I solved this problem.

Now some of you say -wait a minute, we are only learning six keys?!  My answer: Start the exercise on any other note then C, then!

After you've done all this you start over this time with Dorian, then Phrygian etc etc. For the more advanced student: do the melodic minor scales and modes as well. Actually any seven note scale that you know. For scales with more or less than seven notes you have a modify the exercise a bit. Please let me know if any of you out there do that I would love to get feedback on this.

What happened to me when I started practicing this way was that I had to really think about the notes and the relationship between the notes and the scales. Do the exercise slowly and I recommend singing the notes with there actual note names. Good luck and let me know if this helped. :)

Practicing modes PDF 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Jazz Guitar Lesson #2 The diminshed scale (how to hear it)

This is a lesson on the diminished scale. I think that a lot of jazz guitarists (and other instrumentalists) are struggling with this scale( I know I do) It's hard to "hear" this sound and if you can't hear it then you are less likely to play it. When you are improvising you want to follow your ears rather than having to think about what scale or system you are using. Here is a little tip how you can hear it more easily. I recommend practicing singing the scale. Divide the scale in two: D minor which is D E F G  and Ab minor which is Ab Bb Cb Db. Or if you wanna think of the Cb as an B nautural which is what I tend to do.

So this lesson is not really explaining how to construct the diminished scale, there are a lot of resources online on that. This is simply a way to practice internalizing the sound.

Diminished Scale Lesson PDF click here

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Augmented Scale

Sooooo It's been ages since my last blog. I don't do a lot of transcribing these days unfortunately but hey...I'm starting a "Jazz theory for guitarists" channel om YouTube.

First topic is the augmented scale. This scale is not so often mentioned in Jazz method-books but you can hear a lot of players use it. The best example I can think of is Oliver Nelsons solo on his tune Stolen Moments. The lick was shown to me by Jazz saxophonist Pat Labarbera. You can also hear Freddie Hubbard play this exact lick in his solo on Survival of the Fittest from the Herbie Hancock album Maiden Voyage.

You can also hear this kind of sound in the composition Ambleside by pianist John Taylor.

One has to be careful when using scale so that it doesn't sound contrived. Just like with any symmetrical scale it can easily sound like you are playing patterns. I guess the trick is to be able to hear the sound so that it becomes part of your vocabulary, just like with any new concept you learn.

This scale works over Maj7(#5) chords but like any symmetrical scale you can pretty much use it over any chord if you know how to resolve it.

Don't confuse this scale with the Lydian Augmented Scale, that's the third mode of a Melodic Minor scale.

The Augmented Scale Pdf

The Augmented Scale PDF

Survival of the fittest


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Coquette Stochelo Rosenberg solo

This is my transcription of the fantastic Gypsy Jazz guitarist Stochelo Rosenberg's solo on Coquette. From  Bireli Lagrene's album Gypsy Project.

Coquette Rosenberg Solo