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.

Elective Affinities: Introduction

We define ourselves as musicians not so much by what we play as how we develop it, and this happens in various ways. One that everyone can agree on is listening to recordings. These come to us from the past, and our relationship with records develops into a kind of personal history: not a history of when I heard a particular record, or when it was made, but a retrospective picture of how it fits into my own (past and future) development.

DIY Effects Pedals

I wanted to let it be known I'm still alive and kicking, and still playing, just not thinking about theory / vocabulary ideas at the moment so my posts here have been scarce. I feel like I have a big backlog of stuff to work on on that front and a small amount of time available to do it, so adding to the pile isn't very productive. But also, my musical activities have been slightly taken over by a new thing: building effects.

David Stern's 12-Tone Patterns

Here's one of those 10-page PDFs that will take you several lifetimes to explore, David Stern's "12-Tone Patterns". Being a Dropbox link, I recommend downloading it in case it disappears.

A New Sound from Harmonic Minor

While noodling around in the practice room today, I discovered a new (to me) application for a Harmonic Minor mode. I'm sure I'm not absolutely the first person to spot this, but I got some good sounds out of it so I thought I'd note it here, especially as I also stumbled across an exotic scale in the process.