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Sage Wisdom

"Good improvisation communicates harmonic progression melodically. Effective melodies manipulate harmonic content through the use of guide tones and preparatory gravity notes, masterfully woven in systematic tension, release, and transparent harmonic definition."

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September 18, 2006 | Ralph Patt Website Resources

If you haven't found this already, we recommend checking in on Ralph Patt's web site. His Vanilla Book covers chord changes to over 400 of the most commonly played Jazz Standards. It's an incredible starting point for these treasured tunes, allowing the player to jump off with chord substitutions, embellishments of chord extensions (9ths, 11ths, 13ths, etc.), without starting terribly complex.

Ralph is a veteran studio guitarist working in New York in studios, Broadway theatre shows, and as a staff musician at ABC in the 60's & 70's. Thirty years ago, he switched carreers, as well as coasts and resides in Portland, Oregon where he's a consultant in hydrogeology for the U.S. Department of Energy on nuclear waste ground water contamination issues.

Wow, from Jazz guitar to nuclear scientist... Good thing he didn't play banjo.

Another amazing section of his site is on Tonal Centers. He explains and categorizes common chord progressions and temporary tonal shifts, citing specific examples in tunes you know and love. Exhaustive and fascinating at the same time, you'll find this a terrific resource in uncovering the secrets of Tonal Centers.

Check it out: Tonal Centers

Home Page: Ralph Patt

Song Index (alphabetical): Vanilla Book

Posted by Ted at September 18, 2006 6:00 AM

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