27/4/14 Prep Sussex Jazz Guitar School

Hi Sussex Jazz Guitarists!  Hope the practising is going well!  Next class we will be looking at a structured way to learn a tune and create a systematic way to approach improvising.  We will look to see what is special about the chord progression, key centers and how to create a meaningful improvisation dependent upon the chord changes.

We will also analyse the melody and see how this fits in with the chordal harmony.  We will look at effective methods of how to embelish the melody and use it in our improvisation so it actually resembles the tune we are playing.  Through this process, we will be en route to creating thoughtful, deep ideas when playing a tune.

So in fact, we are tackling the tune from two angles. 1, Systematic use of scales & arpeggios and 2, Using melody notes of the tune which will move us on the 3, Mixing up the two ideas!

What is the Jazz standard pray tell?  Well it’s the well worn tune “On Green Dolphin Street”.  This will be the ideal vehicle for our analysis and work.  Those of you who think, eeh it’s a bit of a monster, have no fear, just focusing on the first four bars or first A section would be sufficient.  We are using this to improve our overall skills and solve problems that crop up countless times in jazz standards.  For example, three specific traits of the tune just from the first section would be;

1.  Major to minor key change
2.  Tri tone substution – I beg your puddin’?!
3. 11,v,1 modulating up a minor 3rd

I will be referring to other jazz standard tunes which share these traits, so by mastering it in one tune you will nail it in others.  The work we do will also help in transposing tunes.

Please revise the work from last lesson on triad movement as we will be using these ideas as well over the tune.

If you need a focused booster lesson before Sunday 27th, I have some slots free this and next week, just let me know in advance.

Here are the next dates, and if you book the block of three classes, discount applies.  Dates can always be found on the section of my site Sussex JGS Dates.  For new students just let me know and I’ll send you the sign up info.  We’ve been having between 15 and 17 students at the classes so early booking recommended as I have to limit numbers at some point.

Sunday April 27th
Sunday May 25th
Sunday June 22nd

Also another date for your diary!  I’m playing with my trio at the Verdict Jazz Club Saturday 21st June.  It’s going to be an intricate mix of Brazilian, Argentinean, Venezuelan and Jazz tunes turned upside down.  It’s a very special trio and I’ll try and get all Sussex Jazz Guitar students a discount.  It’ll be an album launch too!  Not that we’ve even started yet but as the date draws nearer, we hope to go into a studio and lay down some tracks.  Actually if anyone knows of any good studios..

Anyway, see you Sunday 27th 11am for 2.5 hours of thorough jazz guitar work!  Here’s the tune below, please print out and bring to class.


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