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Friday, September 14, 2012

Harmonizing Scales to fill out your single note lines

Sorry it's been a while since my last post. Busy summer. Lots of teaching and gigs plus the family took a nice vacation out west to Alberta and BC where we also took my daughter Michaela to start her first year of university. She decided to go west for university.

I have attached a video where I talk about and demonstrate harmonizing a scale to fill out your single note lines. It's not the conventional way of thinking about it where you play your single note line and then add a chord and then repeat. This is taking a scale like C dorian (b3rd and b7th) and playing two or more notes of that scale to fill out your lines. I find using two or three is usually best as you can grab them quickly without interrupting your single note line. I find if you are very specific as to where you practise these you will get a lot more out of it. For example practise harmonizing the scale within open and fret 5. Try different string combinations etc plus different rhythmic groupings like whole notes, half notes, etc.

I've been listening to:

Bill Evans "You Must Believe in Spring" with Eddie Gomez on bass and Eliot Zigmund on drums. Came out in 1977 and is a beautiful record. Great interplay within the trio and they play the Theme from MASH which is cool. Great song. 

Lyle Mays "Fictionary". Pianist Lyle Mays might be the most under celebrated piano player around and it baffles me why. Among musicians he is extremely well thought of and well known as Pat Metheny's right (and left) hand man in the Pat Metheny Group but to the general jazz audience not so much. Lyle Mays is a great player with lots of depth and imagination. This record is with Jack DeJohnette on drums and Marc Johnson on bass. Great straight ahead acoustic jazz record. Highly recommend it.

That's all for now!