Masterclass Lessons

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Masterclass Lesson 6: Substitution Video 1 – Dorian

Full Transcription coming…

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Masterclass Lesson 13: Odd Meter – Con Alma, Magreb [ML13]

To close my recital I chose a swing tune that is often interpreted as a 3/4, 6/8 or 12/8. I arranged it predominantly as a 6/8, albeit with a few interesting twists in the head. To introduce the tune, I explore the harmony using wide-interval, disjointed arpeggios that imply the melody (and…

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Masterclass Lesson 12: Odd Meter – Countdown, Mixed Meter [ML12]

In this tune I wanted to explore the idea of the 7/4 swing, where the original 4/4 bar is transposed into two bars, one of 4/4 and one of 3/4, creating a ‘swinging 7’ feel. Played at a frenetic tempo, the slightly longer harmonic rhythm still offers challenges in maintaining musical phrasing in…

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Masterclass Lesson 11: Odd Meter – In Your Own Sweet Way [ML11]

Here we introduce another rhythmic challenge with an 11/8 meter; prompting many long practice sessions, where the aim was to internalise and, as an ensemble, ‘naturalise’ the many possible combinations of 8th note groupings in 2’s and 3’s in a bar. A base rhythm was settled upon; 2, 2, 2,…

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Masterclass Lesson 10: Ballad Approaches – Naima [ML10]

Looking to investigate timbre and texture, a sparse drum solo introduces this tune, leading to an open guitar and drum melody-interpretation. Bass joins at letter B; and so begins the only 4/4 tune of the recital (in the hope of serving as a release from the tension of so much metric mayhem). I…

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Masterclass Lesson 9: Odd Meter – Very Early [ML9]

Here we tackle the 5/4 meter as a guitar and bass duo, keeping the pace brisk and thereby augmenting the challenge of improvising fluently over the quick and complex changes of the underpinning harmony. I developed a pianistic approach to chord accompaniment supporting the framework of the melody…

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Masterclass Lesson 8: Odd Meter – Along Came Betty [ML8]

I rearranged the original chords and melody of this tune around what could be called a ‘4-and-a-half-over-4’ feel; a fitting description of the pulse phrases generated from the most comfortable rhythmic grouping the trio settled upon for the ‘quarter note accented 9/8’ feel (or 2, 2, 3 and…

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Masterclass Lesson 7: Odd Meter – Night and Day [ML7]

A fast 7/8 Latin with a fairly straight ahead ‘bebop’ head arrangement and improvising sections. Emphasis is given to soloing using long 8th note lines based on 7/4 pulse groupings that created ‘comfortable’ phrases linearly across the barline, firstly between sets of two bars and…

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Masterclass Lesson 5: Modal Vamp Approaches [ML5]

Here we investigate different approaches to improvising over static or non-progressional harmony.There are a few points related to common form ‘vamps or modal’ tunes that we should understand if we are to improvise well. 1. The written (valid) chord usually does not change for many bars.…

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Masterclass Lesson 4: Altered Arpeggios [ML4]

In this video we examine the Altered Scale (melodic minor mode 7) from the point of view of three different related arpeggios. The backing track we have used is comprised of a vamp based around an Ami7, with an Ealtered 7th as the V dominant. Over this E7alt chord we will play these 3…

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Masterclass Lesson 3: Chord Voicing’s Bb Turnaround [ML3]

In this video we examine different chord voicings for a very common jazz chord sequence - the Bb turnaround, using ‘2 beat’ changes (where the harmony changes every half note or minim). Four Basic Sequences You Should Know In the following 8 bar example, we can see 4 repetitions of our…

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Masterclass Lesson 2: Seventh Chord Four Note Inversions [ML2]

7th chords are 4 note chords (stacked in 3rds) built upon the four tertian triads (major, minor, diminished and augmented triads). There are only 7 TRUE 7th chords using the possible combinations of either major or minor 3rd intervals, all of which are listed here: • Major seventh (ma7) = 1 3…

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Masterclass Lesson 1: Triad Pairs [ML1]

For any of our common 7 note diatonic scales – major, jazz melodic minor, harmonic minor and harmonic major - there are two closely positioned major, minor or diminished triads either a whole-tone or semi-tone apart, that can be paired together once derived from each of these scales. Scales…

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