From Blues To Standards In Six Chords

 

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Improvisation Manifesto

About three months ago, I was sitting around playing guitars and talking too much with my pal Bret, as I often do. Sometimes...

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Horizontal Or Vertical?

creativity practicing May 02, 2019
I've been thinking about Thelonious Monk this week, specifically an observation I once read about his repertoire. Unfortunately, I don't remember exactly where I read it. It may have been in Martin Williams' book The Jazz Tradition, which I've...
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The Fingerstyle Choice

creativity fingerstyle Apr 25, 2019

The great jazz guitarist Gene Bertoncini once observed, “I think I’m like most guitarists in that I like almost any kind of music played on the guitar.” I know I’m the same, and yet you know the snag: when there’s so...

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What's A Boogaloo?

Hard Bop And Boogaloo

I received more than one email this past week asking about where things were headed with my Practicing Blues Guitarist series. One person wrote, "Is there somewhere in all of this that addresses playing changes over jazzier...

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Play The Changes With Two Scales

 

Mission Control

February Album Writing Month is over. I'm pleased to say I "won" for the eighth year running, which means that, along with around  2,500 other people, I completed and posted my fourteen songs within the 28-day deadline. It's...

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Three Ways To Look At Swing And Jump Blues

Here's what happened. I was at the National Guitar Workshop one week back in the '90s when someone attached my name to a course listing on a bulletin board. I'd mentioned in passing that I could offer a one-hour elective class on blues...

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Courses For (Blues and Jazz) Horses

courses improvisation Feb 21, 2019

So, a couple of years ago, I taught an online course I called The Practicing Blues Guitarist. I've always thought the whole trick to getting better at playing the guitar was learning how to practice better. And since a lot of what I was thinking...

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Play The Changes With One Scale

play the changes Feb 13, 2019
 

Start Early, Bloom Late

I didn't drink coffee for about twenty-five years. Well, with the exception of two weeks in Italy when I drank espresso every afternoon, because after eating truck stop pasta and drinking red wine from a pitcher, it was the...

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Pots and Practice

creativity Feb 06, 2019

I pretty much quit performing when my kids were born. I didn't stop doing music, I just did nearly all of it in a less-than-300-square-foot room in a commercial building a few blocks east of downtown Austin. I was writing music for other people,...

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Tamp 'Em Up Solid

 

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Under The Bodhi Tree

I always thought the phrase "Once more to the Bodhi Tree" was some official Buddhist quote, but a quick search, at least, does not reveal this to be so. What I know about...

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