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The Power of Altered Pentatonics

October 21, 2008

Last time we covered a few different ways to utilize major and minor pentatonics to create a more structurally focused intervallic approach to our lines. This time, we’ll expand upon those concepts by taking a look at altered pentatonics and their uses in various harmonic situations. Altered Pentatonic ScalesWhile many players are familiar with the […]

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The Power of Pentatonics

August 19, 2008

Pentatonic scales are everywhere! They can be found in folk music from all around the world including: China, Japan, Greece, Poland, Indonesia, Ethiopia, and Scotland. American spirituals such as “Amazing Grace” and “Old Man River” utilize pentatonic scales exclusively and many rock guitar players have built their entire careers upon the five notes of the […]

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Maximizing the Benefits of Solo Transcription

January 9, 2008

While there are many pedagogical approaches to jazz improvisation, the most effective method of learning to play jazz remains learning tunes, phrases, and solos by ear from significant recordings. It is through this process that we gain an intimate knowledge not only of musical vocabulary, but also countless other essential musical elements such as phrasing, […]

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Arranging Fundamentals: Reinventing Melodies

October 30, 2007

Some of the greatest experiences an arranger can have are the opportunities to lovingly “mess with” someone else’s melody. It is also the one aspect of arranging which I’ve found that less experienced musicians are the most intimidated by.However, altering aspects of a song’s melody shouldn’t be looked upon as something that is taboo.Rather, the […]

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Slash Chords – Part II Beyond Western Harmony

September 5, 2007

Last time we covered how to substitute slash chords to simplify complex harmonic situations. Now we’ll look at how to use slash chords to create modal chord structures and interesting re-harmonizations. These techniques can be useful in creating a more modern sound in your writing and arranging. What Mood Is Your Mode?Modal music has intrigued […]

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Slash Chords – An Introduction

June 20, 2007

Slash chords offer musicians a plethora of new sonorities to incorporate into their playing and arranging.Not to be confused with poly-chords (two triads stacked upon each other), the term �slash chord� refers to a triad played over an independent bass note. There are innumerable ways in which to incorporate slash chords into your playing and […]

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