Brendan: This is jazzguitarlegend.com Podcast Episode 3
Brendan: Welcome back this Episode 3. My name is Brendan Hall and you’ve made to your ultimate source for learning jazz guitar online with easy to follow video lessons, tab and notation and an interactive learning community. And that was bit of a mouthful, was it Dixon?
Dixon: But it’s all true. Come to us if you want to learn about jazz guitar. We’ve got a fantastic thing going on here.
Brendan: Well I thought if I’ll just explain it in one sentence then people would know what it’s all about. I might have accidentally clicked on a wrong podcast and have “how to play tambourine”.
Dixon: Skip the first 10 seconds and now you can just go back and listen to that one sentence again and everything that we’re about here at jazzguitarlegend.com.
Brendan: And you’ve got a juicy lesson for us today Dixon. Tell us a little bit about the song.
Dixon: It’s just yeah. I saw John Scofield played this tune on a, I don’t know, on one of his videos some time ago, 20 years ago and he used to do fantastic jazzy, bluesy kinda solo version of it and I really liked so I’ve adopted that approached. I haven’t transcribed anything “…” note for note but I’ve just adopted that approach and what we’re gonna do is I’m just gonna show you how to comp and play a little bit of a bass line but mainly just comp chords and “….” solo guitar and then we’re gonna talk a little bit about improvising over there.
Brendan: Well that’s great! We’ve got some great feedback from last week’s lesson episode 2. And I know a lot of people got a lot out of that and also got a lot out of the play-along track, the jam track and I hope that everybody really appreciates that stuff.
Dixon: Yes. I think we got to coin the phrase “comp-along”.
Brendan: What do you prefer? Comp-along, jam-along?
Dixon: I like comp-along. See comp to me it actually is 2 things. It’s short for accompany. So an accompanist is the person that sits here and makes the solos, the lead, the feature, part of the band sound good. So it comes from that you know, c-o-m-p comes from that word. But it also could come from the word compliment.
Brendan: Ah excellent!
Dixon: So if you’re sympathetic you know, if you got a good ear to create a great platform in which you can create an improvisation or “…” solos or lead instrument play, that’s really what it’s about. “…” When you’re comping, then you got to be a bit of musician I think. “…” But even just to make your own comp-along track, you know, just be yourself. It’s much a better idea to think of, you know, to think of those 2 things – being a great accompanist, and being a sympathetic complimentary musician.
Brendan: And really that’s what jazzguitarlegend.com is all about. It’s helping and complimenting people and giving them a platform where they are able to get better.
Brendan: And the website is going well, depending on when you’re listening to this. We are in launch mode and really really excited about the launch, if you haven’t found out already, we’re working on 42 lessons and let me tell you, I’ve lost a lot of sleep over those videos and lot of people who actually transcribed the videos as well have lost a lot of sleep as well.
Dixon: Yup we need to thank some people.
Brendan: We’d like to thank a small army of people in Argentina for doing that, thank you very much. And ah, that’s fine. That’s gonna be launching. And also I mentioned in an email that I will be letting everybody know how they can get hold of a walk-through of the brand new site before we actually launch. And this is only available to those people that have signed up for the membership site for the free lesson section. There will be an email going up shortly. I’ll tell you exactly how you can get the walk-through. Now as we mentioned YouTube channel and also the email, we were going to be launching on the end of February and looks like, just due to the fact that we want to release a great product that we have decided to push the date for the launch to March the 9th. That is official. March 9 is the launch of jazzguitarlegend.com so make sure you check back on March 9 and if you subscribe to our website obviously we’ll send out an email. Now on March 9, we will be going live over a complete walk-through of the new site so you can be absolutely confident that what you’re getting as part of the membership site is gonna be great quality and I’ll be explaining every single component as well as some great new ideas that we have. Secret ideas actually, that we’ve been working on as far as content is concerned. So that is March 9 so if you’re listening to this in the future then hit straight on over and you can have a walk-through video and all of the great content that we have online at jazzguitarlegend.com. Alright that’s the great news that we have about the launch and right now we are going to hear from Dixon Nacey who will be giving us the feature lesson so over to you Dixon.
Dixon: Okay so Georgia on My Mind. How are we gonna play this? We’re gonna play this 12/8 and a slow 12/8. So kind of like a ballad but we’re gonna give it a back beat. “…” the drummer playing the 2 and 4 without strumming hand or picking hand, my right hand in this case. We’re just gonna be like 1, 2, 3, 4, giving it that nice back beat just to give us a bit of stability and make it like a kind of a little bit “popified” rather than just an open jazz ballad. So that’s the first thing we’re gonna do. I’m gonna show you how to do some rhythmic variations on comping the chords but still keeping it feely simple but just varying the rhythm a little bit and keeping the bassline very simple. That’s the first thing. That;s the comp-along. In the solo section we’re gonna talk about how to use major and minor pentatonic scales, they’re old friends or foes, how to make melodic ideas and keep our lines, telling a logical, listenable story just by using scales and very few other harmonic embellishments over you know, jazz changes which is “…” in this tune. So here we go, Georgia on My Mind.
Dixon: Okay so the first thing I wanna talk about is Rhythm Variation – how do we play rhythms and vary them over 12/8 comp so that we don’t sound always playing the same thing, so that we could put a variation, a bit of interest and so that we can explore different kind of rhythmic stories against rhythmic, melodic statements while we comp. What I’m gonna do is I’m just gonna “…” FMaj7, 3, 4 and Bb/C, 4 and “….” Go back, 1, 2, da da da dada da [Music]. Okay so these are real simple rhythm. And the real important part, important thing to remember to play there is just the downbeat needs that “…”, the lowest note of the chord, whatever chord happens to be that you’re on. 1, 2, 3, you know you’re on the tonic “…”. And the guitar, ah sorry the chord, which I’m playing with my first, second and third fingers of my picking hand…might do something like that ba da da dada da. So a really good thing that you can do, work on is just write out 12/8 notes in a bar and group them into three’s. “……” Okay and then write down for me what you heard “…”. You can easily “…” that out. I don’t need to explain how to do that. Most people can probably do that, that are listening to this. Anyway the next thing that you can do is experiment with different variations on the 12/8 “…”. It could be like…and that’s a much more syncopated you know… you know you can try some different variations. And with that whole idea of rhythmic variation, it’s kind of you just gotta make sure I guess from “….” making sure that it’s within the context of being an accompanist so you know, you don’t go…you know, you’re not trying to do a million fancy things. It’s more about laying down something really “….” and you know really like a foundation for someone else to sound good on, perhaps you, later on. You play and you comp-along. So that’s the idea there. Okay so what we’re gonna look at now is how to improvise using the major pentatonic: the minor pentatonic, the blues scale and the major blues. I don’t know “……” and combinations over the scales.
Dixon: Okay so to summarize, I will be playing in the 12/8 you know, sort of solo guitar arena then it’s a good idea to try and hold down that time with a very simple bass line that’s built around the 1 beat and the tonic of the chord. “…” You don’t need to get fancy there if you’re holding altogether as a soloist, solo guitar sorry. And also with your chords, try and stick to things that are rhythmic ideas that are again quite simple and repetitive and strong. If you wanna get explored of that’s cool but make sure that it fits within the context of the song. That’s just a couple of points that I want to make about when you’re doing a comp-along or when you’re thinking about comping live for another instrument or for voice. And secondly, we’ll be talking about in terms of improvising using these pentatonic scales, I guess for that you gotta do some experimenting and you gotta be able like I really hear the melody and I really hear the chords when I’m improvising. And so I don’t need to look at a bit of paper and think ah what’s the next chord coming up. I can just hear it and I can feel under my fingers what tones of either those pentatonic scales “…” like maybe once or twice in that entire solo did I step outside of the tones, of the major or minor or blues scale, major scale and the blues scale for the key of F and yet you had all of these you know little kind of modulating chords and all those sneaky sideways movement two five jazz chords. But we basically came up with the fact that melody is so much more powerful than you know, having to, you know, feeling like you have to run chord changes and play arpeggio tones and 3-7’s and all these sorts of you know, distinctly you know, I call them spelling ideas, you know where you just spelling the arpeggio of the chords so that the listeners and the band knows and you know who you are. Well you don’t need to do this, especially not on this context. I think more than anything else you wanna go for nice and logical melodic ideas that stemmed from more kind of an emotive bluesy background rather than bebop background. So, please experiment with that and yeah leave any comments that you want.
Brendan: Well thank you for that Dixon, another great lesson this week and that was Georgia on My Mind. Now if you’d like to get hold of the transcription and the comp track, it is available at the jazzguitarlegend.com and get hold of that if you haven’t done so already you can sign up for access to our free section and that’s for free lessons.
Dixon: Did you say free?
Brendan: Yeah. It’s completely free. That will give you an idea of what the membership site is all about. Now before we go Dixon we’re going to talk about our special feature tip, “…” as special feature tip.
Brendan: And I’ve actually “…” Dixon and we haven’t talked about this before. But I would like to know how you practice.
Dixon: How I practice.
Brendan: I know “…..” but I’d like to know like people always talk about you know, practice in different ways and practicing but how do you Dixon Nacey practice? Do you still practice?
Dixon: Yes! I ah..it depends on what I’m doing but at moment I have to prepare for some really difficult gig so that has forced me into practicing a lot longer than I normally you know, want to or have the energy for, just having young kids and a very busy life “….”, but what I do is I sign a said amount per day and at the moment it’s a lot “….”
Brendan: 2 to 4 hours?
Dixon: 2 to 4 hours yeah! And I just, I don’t do any set except “…”. I don’t start with warm ups or anything like that, nothing with that. It’s just I put on the tunes that I need to learn.
Brendan: The Spider?
Dixon: The Spider. That’s the one man. That’s all you need. Thank you. Tune in next week. (laughing) But ahm, it is the key. Yeah but it’s tunes. I just put on “…” working on a tune and it’s in 7 then I put the melody on in the background in a “…” made it up as a “…” or a play-along track “…” and I’ll go over and over the tune and I “…” and that’s I practice playing chords, I practice playing bass lines, I practice a whole lot of stuff that’s all contextual practice so I get very little time for abstract practice which is the thing we talked about on the other podcast where you go, “ah wow, what’s the scale? What’s that sound?” and you just explored that side of that actually musical context. All of my practice, Brendan thank you for asking, is done within the context of songs and tunes that I have to prepare for public performance so you know “…” like I don’t wanna get out and look like a “…” so that draws me to practice even harder and when I’m really stuck and really tied up for long day with kids and with work, I still practice like crazy just so I don’t look like a fool.
Brendan: Just the case there’s no confusion what is a “…”
Dixon: In New Zealand we have small groups of them and they drive in front of me all the time.
Brendan: But ah, let’s synchronize perfectly into a little outro piece “…” which is don’t forget to tune in next week for another great lesson and if you have any questions, comments or feedback we would love to hear from you. You can email us at email@example.com. Thank you very much and we’ll see you back here.
Dixon: See you next time.
Brendan: See you next week.