Perfect for seasoned rockers seeking new challenges and jazz newcomers looking for a good start, this book/CD pack covers scales, chords, licks, techniques and other vital jazz improv concepts step by step. The accompanying CD features 65 full-band demo and play-along tracks.
64 pages – Softcover with CD.
Author: Joe Elliott
A Comprehensive Improvisation Method in teh Master Class Series 104pp Illus. Soft cover 305mm X 230mm plus a CD with 65 demo tracks
If you’re like me, your first experience playing a guitar solo was in your friend’s basement or garage. You probably learned the A minor pentatonic scale in fifth position, learned a few repetitive “didlee-diddles,” a couple of bends, and had a great time jammin’. When I figured out what key a song was in, I would move my minor pentatonic shape, didlee-diddles, and bends to the place on the neck that seemed to fit and jam. The soloist in me didn’t really seem to care that I didn’t know too much.
Well, this was how I played for quite some time. I gradually expanded my knowledge by learning more patterns of minor and major pentatonic scales. I played with this amount of scale knowledge until I got into college and was introduced to some jazz guys. Playing tunes with them, I continued this basic approach but had to adapt to the songs changing keys more often. My solo approach, however, was still basically the same: figure out the key and wander around the pattern hoping I’d get lucky and play something good. This is called key center soloing, and there is nothing wrong with it. It’s a wonderful way for us to break into the world of soloing early on in our musical development. It’s great that we guitarists can learn to make good music with a small amount of information. But I knew there had to be more.
Most guitarists live in this stage of development for a long time with a growing sense that they are missing some important element that would make them sound better. They’re right. What’s missing is the knowledge of how to make your solo fit the chords the band is playing. How do the great players pick those great notes in their solos? Some people might refer to these notes as “sweet notes,” but they are really just chord tones. Chord tones are simply the notes of the chord that the band is playing. This very simple concept, which is called chord tone soloing, is the basis for the technical side of playing jazz. The vehicle for playing chord tones is the arpeggio. Understanding the concept is simple; implementing it requires some special and organized efforts. This book is designed to do just that: organize and gradually build your fretboard knowledge to a level where chord tone playing becomes as natural as wandering around the minor pentatonic scale.
This book is based on the jazz improvisation method I’ve taught at G.I.T. since 1988. It works for the seasoned rocker who is ready for a new challenge or the jazz newcomer looking for a good start. The essence of the book can be summarized by the following statement.
As a developing player, you have two simple goals:
• To acquire a vocabulary (licks you know)
• To acquire a repertoire (songs you know)
(For a song to be “in your repertoire” you must be able to play the melody, improvise a solo, and comp for another soloist-all from memory.)
This book will cover the following general topics to help you develop vocabulary:
• key center soloing
• chord tone playing
• organizing arpeggios
• situation playing-the concept of extracting common chord progression fragments from tunes and learning vocabulary to play over them
• colorful note options
• writing licks (developing vocabulary)
• inserting the licks into songs
• acquiring and developing repertoire
• other melodic devices
• solo shaping
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