Jazz, America, and Independence Day

Jul 05, 2020
 
In 1776 - when around 90% of the global population lived in extreme poverty and only around 10% of the human population was literate... when the vast majority of the world was governed by tyrannical monarchs and empires and only had as much freedom as the nearest king or army felt like granting them on any given day - a small band of highly imperfect men banded together and changed the course of the world.
 
They dreamed of a place where the people were self governed. Where every person was granted life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They viewed these rights as inalienable - not granted by any army, any government, any politician, and therefore not able to be taken away by any army, government, or politician. They laid these philosophical Ideals - these highest...
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Pat Metheny... Best Advice To Learn Jazz Guitar

Jun 29, 2020

 

If you were fortunate enough to get to take private jazz guitar lessons with Pat Metheny, what do you think would be the first thing he would ask you to do?

  • Arrange a solo guitar chord melody for a jazz standard?
  • Transcribe a famous solo?
  • Master all of your scales and arpeggios in every position of the fretboard?
  • Memorize all inversions of your basic drop 2 chords?
  • Read a theory book?


What do you think that Metheny would say is the absolute most important thing to your jazz guitar progress? I'm going to tell you what it is today, and I'm going to attach two PDFs and give you some ideas how you can accomplish it and begin applying it to your music and your playing to start seeing changes immediately and continue watching those changes grow and...

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Chord Melody: 5 Steps To Bring Instrumental Jazz Standards To Life

Jun 22, 2020
 

 

Chord melody.


The staple pursuit of almost all jazz guitar players. It's an art form in-and-of-itself that can immediately set the legends apart from the pros apart from the talented hobbyists apart from the early stage players. Can you sit with a guitar and make music? Not simply play a tune... or make it through the form... but can you truly bring a jazz standard to life? 


Ultimately, this is a lifelong pursuit. We mature and season over time with our playing much like a great wine or bottle of scotch. But I do believe there are practical steps we can take immediately to start seeing much quicker results. Not that they will get our technique to a place where we're sounding like Martin Taylor or Tuck Andress by next year... but they WILL take us from where we are...

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McCoy Tyner & Maj7 Triad Pairs [Ask Jordan: Episode 1]

Jun 07, 2020

 

Ask Jordan: Episode 1

Today's episode is based on three questions from Daniel.

(1) How do you use triad pairs?

(2) How do you apply triads over altered dominants?

(3) And how do you sound outside when improvising with triads?

 


(1) How do you use triad pairs?

There are plenty of traditional generic ways of using triad pairs which involve arpeggiating through one triad, then arpeggiating through the next, and then moving back and forth for a while. This is a fun technique that will get you outside of sounding like you're running scales. If you can't do this yet, you should try it. It's a good way to break things down.


However in the Melodic Triads approach, there's one additional thing happening. Melodic Triads is all about learning to control tension and...

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Advanced Jazz Guitar: Dominant Diminished & Liquid Harmony

Jun 02, 2020

 

 

 Alright jazz guitarists...

 

Today we're looking at two really worthwhile topics:

 

1 - Liquid Harmony

2 - The Dominant Diminished Relationship

 

 

I wrote a short, 2-measure idea for you that combines both topics applied to a basic V7 -> I6 chord progression. Then I moved that progression through the entire circle of 5ths so you could try it in all 12 major keys. You can download the PDF below.


Let me briefly explain what each of these two topics means, and then I'll analyze what's happening in the exercise.

 


LIQUID HARMONY

This is a name I use anytime I'm attempting to create harmony in a way that does not simply involve playing this chord voicing, then the next chord voicing, then the next chord voicing, and on, and on, and on......

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Octatonic Triad Pairs? And Why Bruce Lee Wants You To Stop Kicking So Much

May 28, 2019

 

Look! Up in the sky!
It's an octatonic scale!
It's a dyad run!
It's triad pairs!

It's.......


Melodic Triads.

Yep, this whole run started with one simple major triad. But like a seed planted in the ground, watered, and tended to... it's bound to grow into something else.

Here's the basic theory going on that turned a simple A major triad into... that ^^^^

Actually first, let's talk about Bruce Lee for a second. Bruce once said that he's not afraid of a person who's practiced 10,000 different kicks once. He's afraid of a person who's practiced one kick 10,000 times. We'll come back to that in a minute. Let's pick up from the A major triad.

I'm using an A major triad over a C7 chord. There's a lot to cover, so I'm not going to explain too much about that.

I like to add a...

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The Day Miles Told Scofield to Play the Buttah Notes & Why I Love Melodic Triads

Jul 21, 2018

 

You may have heard the story about Miles Davis telling Herbie Hancock not to play "the buttah" notes. But did you know that he also once told John Scofield and some of their fellow bandmates that he WANTED them to "play the buttah notes"?!

True story.

Weird, right? Why would he tell Herbie not to play the 'buttah' notes and years later tell other band members to play them? And what the hell is a 'buttah' note?

Let's be honest... with Miles... sometimes things were just cryptic. Maybe he said strange things to get people out of their comfort zone so they'd try something new... who knows?


But let's look at how Herbie and Scofield both interpreted their experiences to see if we can learn something to put into the shed.


As the story goes, Herbie was sitting at the...

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