The key to alternate picking with the guitar pick when dealing with jazz improvisation and jazz fusion improvisation is to be aware of the off -beat. In these two little examples we simply miss the 1st beat.
Remember that the 2nd note of a group of 16ths will be an “Off-beat” and an “Upstroke”. But, if you start on the “Off-beat” with a down stroke then the patterns will be opposite to what they would be starting on the beat. This may sound confusing but is “paradoxically” natural and an easy way to create and control ‘syncopation”, literally cutting off the first note.
You can do this anywhere in the bar, but to begin with it is best explained through the two short example alternate picking exercises.
This phrase below is a little “Off-beat” phrase found in the John Mclaughlin album/CD called “Belo Herozonte.
Below we use sextuplets and miss out the first beat. [Count the silent beat but pluck the string starting on the 2nd off beat].
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When Looking for jazz improvisation literature people will walk into a sheet music department and sometimes be astounded at the prices of the theory and practice books. A concise quality book that contains all of the essential information and is well written and easy to follow can start anywhere from $30 to $150 plus for the Lydian Chromatic Concept!
So I have whittled it down to 3 books. [I am sure there are some other very well written books out there that is not on my list] but any of these three books will hold you in good stead when you are starting out.
The first 2 books are “Inexpensive” and contain a mountain of material.
BOOK 1: JAZZ SOLOS BY LES WISE. THIS BOOK IS IDEAL FOR GUITARISTS BECAUSE IT HAS TABLATURE
BOOK 2: JAZZOLOGY BY ROBERT RAWLINGS AND NOR EDDINE BAHHA
BOOK3: A BIT MORE EXPENSIVE BUT IT IS A COMPLETE ENCYCLOPEDIA BY MARK LEVINE CALLED “THE JAZZ THEORY BOOK”
As I state in the video you can get these books secondhand on Amazon [CLICK LOGO/LINK BELOW] even cheaper or you can try your local library. But, I would suggest owning a copy of one of them in order to pencil in your own thoughts, directions and favourite exercises etc.
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Today we will look at a John Mclaughlin alternate picking Jazz/Fusion improvisation cadence employing the altered dominant chord! Please watch the video below and then try it out yourself.
As you will see this cadence employs the Altered scale. It is a 2 [minor 7 flat 5] going to 5 [ “Altered Dominant”] 1 [major 7th]. This being Dm7 flat 5 G7 altered resolving to C major7.
I also employ a flat 5 substitution on the Dm7 flat 5. All of this resolves though and slips nicely into the altered dominant 5 chord. I also use pentatonics within the altered scale for rhythmic flow. Please look at the TAB/MUSIC below and play through it yourself to see and feel how it all “Naturally” unfolds. I employ alternate picking the same as John Mclaughlin.
John Mclaughlin alternate picking altered scale line Music/Tab
VARIATION With an A flat Pentatonic shape replacing A flat minor/Major Arpeggio for the flat 5 substitution.
THE LCC BY GEORGE RUSSEL: “Lydian chromatic concept of tonal gravity”.
If we look at the diagram below we see the “Overtone Series” The perfect octave and the perfect 5th. If you can think in terms of perfect 5ths then the LCC will be much easier to understand.
First we start with C Ionian [C Major in Classical western tradition].
Next George raises the 4th forming C Lydian [Raised 4th or#11]
Below we see Stacked 3rds in C major [Ionian] and then in C LYDIAN [Hence the f sharp at the top below the a note]
C ionian C Lydian [13TH]
Below we see George Russel’s TONAL GRAVITY of Stacked 5ths. Notice the flattened 5th in the first bar but the “Perfect 5th” in the second bar. [The second bar creating C Lydian].
Below is the piano layout which one can easily hear tonal gravity across the long span of the piano keyboard. We have the #11 [F#] to create stacked “PERFECT” 5THS” [which again results in C Lydian]
Below is a layout starting on the lowest F note in order to hear it all in full along the guitar fingerboard. There is also a version in the second bar that moves around with C as the tonic due to lack of span on the guitar fingerboard.
If we take the C major 7th chord and look at the C major scale we can see the “Avoid” note. The E note clashes with the F note and the B natural and the F natural produce a Dominant sound. By adding the Perfect fifth F# there isn’t any “Avoid” notes as displayed in the second bar below.
"The interval of a fifth is the building block of tonal gravity, a seven-tone scale created by successive fifths
establishes the most vertically unified harmonic order whereby the gravity falls down each fifth back to the singular
Lydian tonic". "Andy Wasserman"
F C G D A E B = ALL PERFECT 5THS = F LYDIAN
“The Lydian Chromatic Scale” The ANSWER TO ANYONE CONFUSED!
By stacking PERFECT 5ths George Russel creates a chromatic scale
[F] C, G, D, A, E, B, F♯,C♯, G♯, D♯(E♭), A♯(B♭), E♯(F), [B♯(C) = a 12 tone scale.
But “why” does he skip the interval between the Seventh and Eighth notes in the diagram in his book with the outgoing tonal gravity?
2] The answer is because the outgoing tonal gravity level goes to C# next [not F# for perfect 5ths]. Hence the 1st “Lydian scale” then goes to the 2nd scale “Lydian Augmented” with the raised 5th.
ANSWER BELOW IN DIAGRAM FORM
BELOW: AS SHOWN IN GEROGE RUSSELLS LCC BOOK
In the example diagram above we see George Russels “Tonal order” going from numbers 1 to 12. Numbers 1 to 7 being the Lydian mode.
When we go beyond the 7 notes of the lydian scale and further up the cycle of 5ths things increase in terms of dissonance.
George Russell terms the scales as”Ingoing” “Semi ingoing” “Semi outgoing” and “Outgoing” . The more we move to the right of the diagram the more “Outgoing/Dissonant” the scale will sound.
In terms of scale substitution we see a C# and not a D flat as this would be a raised 5th [Augmented 5th] and it would make no sense reading it enharmonically as a D flat as we see in the diagram above and in Georges scales.
GEORGE RUSSEL “VERTICAL” SCALES:
Basic Lydian [#11]
This could also be seen as 3rd mode of Melodic Minor
This could also be seen as 4th mode of the Harmonic Major
This could also be seen as the 4th mode of the Melodic Minor
This could also be seen as the Whole Tone Scale
This could also be seen as Octatonic Whole Half Diminished
This could also be seen as Octatonic Half Whole Diminished
Finally, Horizontal Scales. Notice the B FLAT hence the Major.
Finding a parent scale,
From E Flat 7 going to A Flat major 7th we would employ the D Flat Lydian mode due to the G natural or #11 of the D FLAT LYDIAN to modulate to A flat major 7th.
PART 2 Final Analysis
The Lydian Chromatic Scale and best explanation from “Wikipedia”
Russell builds a prototype chromatic scale starting on the Lydian Tonic by stacking fifths, skipping the interval between the seventh and eighth tones. Using C as the Lydian Tonic yields the following 12-note scale with enharmonic respellings:
C, G, D, A, E, B, F♯,C♯, G♯, D♯(E♭), A♯(B♭), E♯(F), B♯(C). Thus the Lydian Chromatic Scale and all its derivatives contain only Pythagorean intervals.
LYDIAN PENTATONIC ASCENDING SCALE THROUGH THE CYCLE OF 5THS.
As an “Afterthought” for any guitarists here is my fingering always leading with the 1st finger on George Russell “Vertical” scales.
In this blog we will look at the Jazz Melodic Minor scale and its harmony and how to exploit it for jazz/fusion and melodic pop/rock usage. The melodic minor is an exotic and beautiful sounding scale that compliments its corresponding harmony.
If we take the basic C Major scale and play through it we can create a new scale by changing just one note. This is the 3rd note E.
If we flatten this E natural to an E flat note we have the C melodic “Jazz” Minor scale.
Here are the arpeggios for the C melodic “jazz” minor scale in 7ths
Upper Extensions: We can add a “triad” above the arpeggios and create an upper extension on each of the melodic minor’s arpeggios.
It is a good idea to extend the tonic C minor/maj7 Arpeggio to get a good fluid fingering for it as it is a really beautiful exotic sound and can also be used over an altered dominant chord.
Another important point is to get a good fingering by using easier fingerings like the example below. [The easier the fingering the better the intervals sound on the guitar].
It is also a good idea to employ “triad pairs” that exist within the melodic minor scale. Here we have E flat augmented, F major, Cmin/maj7, and Dm7
We can also make Pentatonic’s from the melodic minor scale which fit easily in the guitarists fretting hand. Below is an example that could be played over an A minor 7 flat 5 chord [Chord 6 in C melodic “jazz’ minor scale].
Lastly, we have the dominant chord of the C melodic minor scale being G major [Chord 5]. This would normally make G seventh but due to the E flat note in the scale we can now make an “Altered” Dominant chord [G9 Augmented]. We have the note of A for the ninth and the Eb flat note for the sharpened 5th.