In this post we will go one further than the last post. This time we will take a group of six [Sextuplets] and make a tetrachord and a half from it.
This will make 4+ 2 which will make us nail the changes with 4 notes on the first chord and 2 notes on the second chord with a short rest to reset our fretting hand to repeat the pattern again on the next two chords.
Alternate picking exercise warm up in Sextuplets/Triplets
Why do this?
Because the groups of six are quite easy to play on the guitar and there a heaps of variations on each pattern. They flow easily and can be alternate picked rhythmically to create musical phrasing.
The first pattern for playing through the changes in Sextuplets
The first pattern is now changed into 16ths. From 1 2 3 4 5 6 into 1 e and a 2 e
The second part of the chord sequence in sextuplets
The second pattern is now changed into 16ths. From 1 2 3 4 5 6 into 1 e and a 2 e
Finally, the full one bar alternate picking chord sequence nailing the changes
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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.