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Triads Around The Cycle

[wpvideo k7psS9uW]
Using the cycle to practice harmonic material ensures all key centres get some attention. This is especially important for students interested in improvisation.
The “cycle” occurs in so many styles of music that it really should be explored by all musicians, but for this lesson we are only using it as a practice tool.
* All triads are played as half note triplets (2 triads per bar). Try playing quarter note triplets, on in 12/8 or 3/4 etc. My lesson PDF’s include many written examples.
The first exercise I play in the video is major triads through the cycle starting with F major (on the D string). The cycle is complete when you get back to F (on the E string).
Once you can comfortably play major triads through the cycle, repeat the exercise but start on F#, G etc.
The second exercise involves alternating between minor and major triads. Start with F minor triad (start on the D string again) then Bb major etc etc. This is a great way to practice quick major  ii V7 changes. Again, once this is mastered, repeat the exercise by starting on F#, G, G# etc.
The third exercise involves alternating between diminished and major triads. This chord progression mimics the minor ii V7 movement (m7b5 / V7).
For a detailed PDF of this lesson please contact via e-mail.

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Jean-Michel Pilc

Here is a series of clips from jazz pianist and educator Jean-Michel Pilc. He has been a faculty member at NYU since 2006. He has played with greats like Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, Chris Potter and Richard Bona.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwrbPXwow4Y]
In this short clip Pilc talks about the difference between playing what YOU hear vs the instrument playing YOU.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo71IYASARo]
Pilc has interesting views on music education.
I recently purchased his book It’s About Music: The Art and Heart of Improvisation” which Im currently still reading. Stay tuned for my review.
Here is an interview with Pilc talking about his book
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrhFyRWi008]

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An evening with Paul Grabowsky

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWfzaiUiRsQ]
I saw this on the ABC a few months ago. Paul is such an interesting guy and I loved this interview. Thanks Youtube for giving musicians access to so much educational material from all over the world.
For those that don’t know, Paul is one of Australia’a leading jazz musicians. Here is a link to his website.

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Steve Swallow solo transcription

Here is a transcription of Steve Swallow’s solo on “Someone To Watch Over Me” recorded live with the John Scofield Trio recorded in 2010
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXGpNOW6bU0]
Click on this link Someone To Watch Over Me for my written transcription of Steve’s solo.
Key elements to analyse are:
– emphasis on outlining chord tones and harmonic movement
– development of key rhythmic and melodic motifs
– clear definition of rhythmic ideas
– constant articulation of every note
Swallow uses string bends in a sophisticated way to colour the underlying harmony, and his application of this technique is an extension of how it is applied in blues music. Dig how he uses string bends to anticipate the Db diminished and B diminished chords coupled with a repeated rhythmic phrase.
I recommend listening to Steve’s solo (without me playing over the top) to anyone wishing to learn and analyse this solo. The simplicity and beauty of this solo make it one of my favourite Steve Swallow solos. Here is the link to the Youtube clip.