How to Read Music.Part 1 Treble Clef Notes

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In this blog we will take a look at how to read the music lines and spaces of the treble clef.

In order to identify the notes on the 5 staff Lines we must first decide on an clef. In this case this will be the Treble Clef


Now we can look/identify the names of the notes on the 5 lines of the treble clef.

How to read Music/Learning to read music Notation

Next, we will look at the notes in the 4 spaces of the staff lines: F A C E

How to read Music/Learning to read music Notation

If we look at the notation below we will see the C major scale and the names of the different degrees of the scale in order.

How to read Music/Learning to read music Notation

We can now add thirds to the scale notes and notate the “Triads” of the C major scale

How to read Music/Learning to read music Notation

Although we will look at this in another video/blog we can clearly see the time signature. This is 4/4, meaning that there are 4 Quarter note beats to the bar.

How to Read Music/Learn to read music

One last thing to take into consideration is Key Signature. Again we will look at these in detail in the next video, but it is a good idea to be aware of them. They move in the cycle of 5ths. So a fifth up from C major is G major. This has an F# as the key signature. This means that every F note in the key is sharpened. Unless of course there is an natural sign.

Learn to read music/How to read music

So the key signature is for us to acknowledge that specific notes will be sharpened or flattened as we play our way through the music.

This is just the basics and beginnings for learning to notate, create and read the treble clef.

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SUPER-ULTRA-HYPER-MEGA-META-meets 12 tone and polychords

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SUPER-ULTRA-HYPER-MEGA-META-meets 12 tone and polychords

Going forward with our Jacob Collier SUPER-ULTRA-HYPER-MEGA-META blogs/pages it is a good idea to look at other relevant concepts within the ideal of extension. In this blog we will look at how 12 tone, 23rd chords, tertian harmony and polytonality play a fascinating part.

We will start with the #15 Arpeggio [Superimposition as used by Lennie Tristano]. Below you will see this in action with a Cma7 and a Dmaj7 arpeggio combined. This creates a sharpened 15th [or Augmented 15th arpeggio].

SUPER-ULTRA-HYPER-MEGA-META-meets 12 tone and polychords

Below, you will see the full extension of this with a full 23rd chord [The largest chord in music]. This can be viewed as polytonal, polychordal, 12 tone row, or “Tertian” harmony as a full 23rd chord.

SUPER-ULTRA-HYPER-MEGA-META-meets 12 tone and polychords

All 12 notes of the chromatic scale are used, so, the following occurs [in this case in 3rds as Tertian harmony]

1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23

In terms of improvisation it can be easier on the guitar to break up 4×3 semiquaver tetrachord lines into two HEXATONIC [2×6] lines as shown below.

SUPER-ULTRA-HYPER-MEGA-META-meets 12 tone and polychords

Below we have the employment of triplets and the commonly used 4 note groupings of tetrachords.

SUPER-ULTRA-HYPER-MEGA-META-meets 12 tone and polychords

Below is an example of employing the jazz improvisation concept of “Chord Pairs”

SUPER-ULTRA-HYPER-MEGA-META-meets 12 tone and polychords chord pairs

For more info click this link:

SUPER-ULTRA-HYPER-MEGA-META-meets 12 tone and polychords


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Alternate Picking John Mclaughlin guitar jazz fusion Lick Lesson

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Alternate Picking Jazz Fusion John Mclaughlin guitar Lick Lesson

The video above is a quick fire John Mclaughlin jazz fusion guitar lick. The lick employs strict alternate picking starting on a downstroke.

John Mclaughlin Jazz/Fusion Lick Tab/Notation

Alternate Picking John Mclaughlin guitar jazz fusion Lick Lesson

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Dorian Flat 2 Mode “Improvisation” Techniques

Dorian b2 Mode of the Melodic Minor Scale

Dorian b2 Mode

C Dorian b2 Mode

Two octaves; Tab and Notation

To Begin with let’s look at the arpeggios of the Dorian b2 mode. Notice the Two Major arpeggios.

Dorian b2 Mode Arpeggios

They are E flat Major and F Major

We can immediately make Triad Pairs from them

Dorian b2 Triad Pairs

Going the opposite way

Dorian b2 triad pairs

We can Sharpen the 5th and create a more exotic and colourful sound

Dorian b2 triad pairs

We can add Gm7b5 and Am7b5 to the Major or F aug arpeggio

Dorian b2 Triad/Arpeggios

We can employ the B flat minor 9 major 7th arpeggio

Dorian b2 Melodic Minor

Here we can add it to the F major arpeggio

Dorian b2 Melodic Minor

It is an even better idea to start the B flat minor 9 major 7th arpeggio on the tonic note of C

Dorian b2 Mode melodic minor

Here we will extend the Am7b5 part of the line

Am7b5 for Dorian b2 Mode

We can also make scales from the mode. Below is an example of creating a scale and then adding harmonic content with wider intervals like triads.

Making scales form Dorian b2 Mode

Making our own pentatonic scales from the mode works really well also.

Pentatonic from Dorian b2 Mode

Here is a short sus4 and aug Lick

Dorian b2 Mode lick

Another short lick

These are the basic chords of the Dorian b2 mode

Dorian b2 Mode Chords

Of course we can change the chords to make them more exotic and colourful

Dorian b2 mode chord variations

We also have the typical jazz fusion chords contained within the Dorian flat 2 mode of the melodic minor scale

Dorian b2 Chordal ideas

Below we create a very exotic colourful “‘al la” John Mclaughlin sound!

Dorian b2 mode chordal idea

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Contrapuntal Atonal Guitar string skipping intervallic Concept

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Contrapuntal Atonal Guitar Mirror Concept

Today we will look at a concept that I have been asked about a lot recently. This is a contrapuntal string skipping intervallic “Mirroring” technique. It is intervallic by design and employs a Bachian Atonal “Question and answer” effect between the “Bass and Treble” with wide intervals. The string skipping inherent within this works especially well for atonal music, awkward intervals and polytonal scales.

Idea 1

Atonal string skipping guitar “Mirroring”
Atonal string skipping guitar “Mirroring”

Idea 2

Atonal string skipping guitar “Mirroring” device

Idea 3

Atonal string skipping guitar “Mirroring”

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Creating the Dorian Mode Flavour

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dorian mode

The key to improvising is to do something creative with the melody. To recompose it or to broaden it out or to instinctively develop the harmony. Most people take to the modes though with a compulsion to play “Carte Blanche” scale over a chord ad nauseam.

In this Blog/Vlog we will look at some ideas for bringing out the actual flavour of the most talked about mode of them all the “Dorian Mode”.

Most people look at the dorian mode as being a scale of C major starting on the note D. But here is how it works.

ANSWER=D is one tone up from C for D Dorian, so C is one tone up from Bb for C Dorian.

C DORIAN MODE [D Dorian as people learn it]

Below we see the difference between C minor and C dorian. C minor has the semitone between the 6th and 5th whereas C Dorian has a tone between the 5th and 6th notes. Dorian Raises the 6th note up a semitone. Without the raised 6th note C would just sound minor and not dorian, so bringing out this 6th note [as it will be in a melody to imply that we are in the dorian mode] is essential to creating actual music and phrasing and not just playing a scale over a chord.


In order to bring out that A natural note in C dorian an easy way is to employ an arpeggio like Bb major 7th. This is very useful, melodic and can be played in 4 note groupings.

Bb major 7th for C dorian Mode Improvising

Next we can employ some basic chord pairs.

C minor 7 and F major

Dorian Mode triad pairs

F major and Eb major

Dorian Mode triad pairs

Now we can broaden out on this with C minor and D minor

Dorian Mode Example of bringing out the flavour/sound

Bb and G minor

Dorian mode example for improvising arpeggios

We can also employ pentatonics to bring out the flavour [melody] of a tune.

Dorian Mode pentatonics example

Another example =Short pentatonic scale that ends/resolves with the A natural note [Raised 6th] and played in 4 note cells [Tetrachords]

Dorian Mode pentatonics example

Finally it’s a good idea to look at the arpeggios available that line up one after the other.

Dorian Mode Arpeggios

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