Archive for October, 2009

Jimmy with EDS-1275

Posted in Guitar Gear on October 28, 2009 by Staff Writer



Here she is. Mesa/Boogie Mark V – Opening of box experience.

Posted in Guitar Gear on October 28, 2009 by Staff Writer

My 20 year lust for a new Mesa/Boogie Mark Series Amplifier is sated. Introducing my Mark V which arrived the evening before last about 8pm. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to plug her in and turn her on yet because I’ve been busy with domestic things, but hopefully tonight I will get an hour to mess around with some settings.

There was a little bag of sweets inside. Not certain if they originate from Boogie themselves or from the online retailer.

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Lesson 31: GFI Bridge

Posted in chord changes, jazz, music theory on October 28, 2009 by Staff Writer

Chord progression of the Jobim original for 16 bar bridge:

| Dmaj7   |          |  G7(9)    |         |

| Dm9      |          | Bb7(9)   |         |

| Ebm9    |           |B7(9)       |         |

|Fm7       |  Bb7b5 | Ebm7    |   A7b5  |


Approach Master showed me, based on Pat Martino ‘reduce to Minor’ method:

  • Bar 1/2 Dmaj7, play Bminor (key D major)
  • Bar 3, 4, 5, 6, over the G7 and the Dm, think D minor (when he says ‘minor’ he usually means Dorian’), so playing in C major.
  • Over Bars 7/8, Bb7, think Fminor (Bb7 is the V in ii V I of Eb), so key is Eb maj
  • Bars 9/10 over Ebm9, think Eb minor as ii chord of Db, so key is Db maj
  • Bars 11/12 over B7, think F#m (ii in ii V I of E maj) so key is Emaj
  • Bars 13, 14, 15, 16 – this is a iii vi ii V in key of Db – home key of Db

So we are moving keys from D, thru C, Eb, Db, E and back to Db. Phew!  Great – so I’m learning a whole bunch of weird keys which is good. Spent some time jamming over this progression last night, just getting used to the switching of keys and getting the notes under my fingers, trying to overlay the melody on to the chords, and sticking various arpeggio shapes over each chord.  Now I need to think more in terms of the minor, plus the chord.  I’m sure there are many other approaches, but this one sounds natural to me.

Lesson 30

Posted in Jazz Guitar on October 19, 2009 by Staff Writer

Another awesome digression with Master yesterday as we talked through the bridge changes of GFI. Too much for me to type out. Plenty of nice voice leading chord changes with 9s and 13s and drop-2 voicings on middle set of strings. A lot for me to practice.

Random stuff

Posted in Guitar General on October 16, 2009 by Staff Writer
  1. ..and most importantly, at last Sunday’s lesson, I started – just started, with an inkling of a hint of a smidgen of a chink-of-light-shining-through-the-crack, began to understand what and how to go about thinking about this jazz stuff. For too long, my approach has been ‘which scale goes with which chord’ – very rigidly. I’m gradually beginning to look at things as more in terms of the interval and the sound of that interval against the root. Last night I printed out some neck blanks and started writing out all the notes related to the root – C to start with, so the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th etc. then filled in all the b9/#9s and b5s and #5s and #4 and #11s and of course the 7ths, major and minor. I plan to try and think more in terms of the note choice against the root chord from now as part of my approach and the *sound* of it in terms of consonance or dissonance. 
  2. Related to the above I have resolved (bad pun) to think in terms of the chord tones, the color tones and the tension tones to provide a bit of structure.
  3. I’ve come up with a nice arrangement for Irving Berlin’s ‘What’ll I do’ which I initially discovered on a Frank Sinatra compilation. Hoping to record it soon.
  4. Finally got the TAB book out of the case of my Chet Atkins guitar DVD and started learning his great arrangement of “When you wish upon a star” which uses a lot of artificial harmonics. It also has a great section with a nice walking bassline under the main melody. Awesome player, great tune, lovely sounding playing. I’m getting better at it.
  5. I’ve decided I want a bass (again). Thinking.
  6. …but it has to get in the queue behind a Gibson EDS-1275. Stupid really. I’ve wanted one of these for more than 20 years, but somehow always ended up buying something else. From now, I am going to be laser focused that this is the next guitar I will buy.


More Autumn Leaves

Posted in Jazz Guitar on October 14, 2009 by Staff Writer

Spent an hour or so playing through numerous variations of chord voicings and walking bass augmentations of the Autum Leaves progression. Getting to know that song pretty well now – just need to work with Master to make my soloing over it less dorky.

Lesson 29

Posted in Guitar Playing, Jazz Guitar on October 14, 2009 by Staff Writer

Worked more on Girl from Ipanema. Master corrected some of my chord fingerings and helped me hone the melody. We did a bit of jamming improv over the the A section and I have been trying this since.

We then had some general discussion/mentorship and he talked about different approaches to improv. At one point he mentioned a quote from George Russell which (paraphrased) went something along the lines of ‘improvising of a tune is like a boat trip up the Mississippi – you can can sail directly there, or you can stop at all the little towns on the way.’ The analogy was supposed to be related to how do we approach some chord changes. For example a ii V I in any given key – let’s say C. Do we just play C over the whole thing? Do we think D Dorian, G Mix , C Ionian at each chord? Do we treat each chord as a vertical slice and think of all the different harmonizations possible?

He also showed me a mod for a Maj7 chord, i.e. the #4 or #11 which implies the Lydian mode, e.g. Cmaj7#11 (I prefer this name as opposed to the #4 though my internal jury is still out).