Chromatic Tetrachord Covers

I recently revisisted this post and decided to smarten up some of the presentation. The idea is to take a common seventh chord and find all the ways to divide up the remaining 8 notes that aren't in it between another common seventh chord and some weird combination of the leftovers.

A few ii-V-I subs for the weekend

I've been messing about with various chord subs and voicings lately. Here are a few things I've been playing. They're mostly based on Coltrane changes, but they're not exactly that. I've written them out with voicings so even if you don't like the sub ideas themselves there might still be something to steal.

Picking Coordination Exercises

A long while ago I posted this hybrid picking exercise. I've recently gone back to it and extended it a bit. Here are some variations.

Vertical Polytonality

Here's something I picked up from Yusef Lateef's Repository: stacking chords where each voice is from a different scale. Interesting results -- check it out.

Scale & Arpeggio Book Errata

It's never nice to be wrong but since it's not possible to never be wrong the second best thing is having nice people to point out your mistakes so you can fix them. A few weeks ago Steven Muschalik spotted a few issues with particularly exotic scales in Scale and Arpeggio Resources and kindly took the time to email them over to me.

Uses and Abuses of Tablature

If you want to follow the fashion of the online guitar pundits, the thing to do at the moment is denounce "tab". It's an unnecessary crutch that stunts your growth as a musician, they say. Eat your greens and learn to read traditional notation instead!

Some Modal Ideas on Nefertiti

I've been working on the Wayne Shorter tune "Nefertiti" lately, and have a few ideas for scale superimpositions that sound quite interesting. What I'm presenting here isn't somethng finished; consider it ephemera from the woodshed. I find this quite a useful way to practice a tune with tricky harmony and you might, too.

Allan Holdsworth, 1946-2017

This weekend saw the passing of a giant in the world of guitar. I've no business writing an obit but here's a personal favourite track; I think it encapsulates his lyrical imagination and harmonic adventurousness as well as, of course, that famous legato:

Finding your Voice and Being Contemporary

By chance I happened across three people giving somewhat related advice about learning jazz, but from very different directions.

The TL;DR here is that every musician needs to develop a way to figure things out for themselves in their own way, and that this is a creative process rather than a chore. Formal education can be useful for some specific things but spoonfeeding leads to weak forms of learning that you can't rely on and standardised syllabi produce standardised results. You need to know the tradition but it's raw material for you to form into your own voice.

Elective Affinities: 1971

Here's my account of what was going on in the album releases of 1971, including John McLaughlin, Quincy Jones, Alice Coltrane, Terry Riley, Woody Shaw, The Last Poets, and, yes, The Moving Gelatine Plates.