Sussex Jazz Guitar School will be taking a break over December and returning on 11th January 2014. Since June, our monthly classes have covered a great deal of material concerning different aspects of jazz guitar performance. We have delved into a variety of different concepts on how to build single note jazz lines when improvising over chord changes, solo guitar concepts, chord melody playing, how to practice effectively over entire jazz standard tunes, movement of chords on the guitar and how to produce intricate inner voice movements and contrapuntal ideas with different voices of chords moving independently to each other. We have spent time really trying to nail the chord changes when soloing over them in a tune rather than just mindlessly noodling around in any given key.
Our last class focused on building concise bebop jazz lines over II, V, I progressions. We looked in depth at mixing up bebop scales with superimposed arpeggios and looking at how both chord tones and colour tones can be placed in a bar focusing on down and off beats.
The next class on 11th January will be looking at the Harmonic Minor Scale and it’s applications. We will be looking at the modes of this scale and what arpeggios are contained within these modes. We will be applying the information to II, V, I progressions in a minor key and how to creatively improvise over half diminished and altered dominant chords. We will also apply the information to vamps such as in the tune Caravan and to tunes such as Chick Corea’s “Spain”. The learning objective will be to be able to weave creative jazz lines using the Harmonic Minor scale and it’s arpeggios. This is also ideal for guitarists who have a particular interest in Flamenco, Spanish Rhumba or Flamenco Fusion! It’s also quite useful for those students who wish to pursue a career in snake charming – just come to the class, buy a basket n a snake then go busking in the Laines.
Again, don’t worry if all this sounds complicated! As usual, in class, I will break it down into manageable steps explaining everything clearly. I will also provide different challenges for different students in the class depending on ability level. By tackling the challenges set out in the class you will improve in other aspects of your guitar knowledge and discover valuable nuggets of useful knowledge along the way.
For those of you who have been attending regularly, you will see that the main theme running throughout the course is me passing on my approach to exploring concepts and practising effectively. I know it’s been arduous (but fun!) at times, but I am trying to instill into you how to really improve as a jazz guitarist and not to gloss over anything. It’s all about taking a concept and really really exploring it for all it’s worth, taking it apart, wringing it out and giving it a good ol’ rinsing! That is the path to true mastery my grasshoppers. I’m still learning myself and exploring new concepts in these precise way. But again having fun practising in creative ways!
I have seen some great performances of Sussex Jazz Guitar School students at my Jazz Jam night (Brunswick Jazz Jam). Some of you are really flying, impressing both fellow musicians and audiences at the Brunswick! So well done!
The last class in November was a good solid foundation for the up coming work in January. So those students who wish to book a one to one lesson in advance can do so and I’ll give you plenty of information and practise work.
The dates for 2014 are Saturdays – 11th Jan, 22nd Feb, 22nd March – 11am til 1.30pm (£20 per class, £55 for three)
I will send out the prep work before the class. In the meantime here’s two mighty guitar legends, flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia and jazz guitarist John McLaughlin to get you in the mood for next class!