Pat Metheny Chops – A Lesson By Morten Faerestrand

A few days ago, my good friend Mauro sent me a link to a YouTube video by Morten Faerestrand. This video provides excellent insight into some of Pat Metheny's techniques. As well, Morten is a fabulous player and I very much appreciate the time he spends to detail these creative and unique techniques of a truly amazing musician. Hope you enjoy it. Me, I am off to practice ;-) Thanks Mauro!   … [Read more...]

Exploring 7/8

This piece is not meant to be a theory lesson in meter and time signatures. Rather, it is meant to help you open up some new doors and hopefully get your creative juices flowing! Most of us have grown up listening to music characterized by the familiar time signatures of 4/4 or 3/4. 4/4 is the most common time signature in rock, blues, country, funk, and pop while 3/4 is often used for country & western ballads, not to mention waltzes, minuets & scherzi! Both of these time … [Read more...]

Exercise and trust your ears!

Years ago, I jammed with an incredible pianist. Classically trained, he could play anything you put in front of him. Not only was he a great sight-reader, he would also put a lot of feeling into everything he played. His only problem was that without sheet music, he was lost. If we played a 12 bar blues, despite the fact that he had an exhaustive knowledge of scales, he had no idea how to improvise over it. It was very frustrating for him. In time, he learned to use and ‘trust’ his ears. This … [Read more...]

Improvisation Blues in A (Swing Feel)

This is standard blues progression with a jazzy feel to it that is great to solo over. Work with the A Minor Pentatonic scale over this progression. Try to play it in all 5 positions mentioned in the A Minor Pentatonic lesson. The chords for this progression can be found in the page of all the chords used at this site. For the Bb13, play the A13 chord block shown on that page but play it on the 6th fret. For the E9, play the D9 chord block shown on that … [Read more...]

Improvisation: Am7 FMaj9 Progression with MP3

This is a slow and moody groove that is wonderful to solo over. Start of by working with the A Minor Pentatonic scale over this progression. Try to play it in the 3 positions mentioned in the A Minor Pentatonic lesson. Then work in these scales: (Over the Am7) A (Jazz) Melodic Minor .. Same pattern as the G (Jazz) Melodic Minor scale shown in lesson but played 2 frets higher. (Over the Am7) A (Dorian) Minor .. Same pattern as the G (Dorian) Minor scale shown in … [Read more...]

Some Thoughts on Improvisation

Literally, volumes have been written on the subject of improvisation. These are some of my thoughts on what I find to be one of the most pleasurable and satisfying aspects of playing music. Be Musical: Being musical is a very difficult statement to try to quantify for everyone. The reason of course is that there are so many different types and styles of music that it is almost impossible to make a definitive statement about what being musical means. But … [Read more...]

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