Clark JM Jazz Mandolin
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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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May 24, 2006 | Affirmative Action

Accomplishing Chromatic Equality and Justice for All (Keys).

It gets preached ad nauseam around here; in jazz, you must get over the fear and apprehension of those gnarly enharmonics and learn all 12 keys! A recurring strategy in our own quest manifests in the way we've construct many of the Jazz Mandology exercises. Rather than ascending or descending in steps, we like to move around the Circle of Fifths. You can follow this trek yourself even outside of the exercises by taking your own freshly discovered passages or great licks and transposing them in all keys moving them through the Circle of Fifths.

If you're not that creative yet, here's a jump-start; some of the exercise around here that implement the Circle of Fifths:

Guides and Gravity (4-3, 7-1 pulls)

Bebop Mandology (Altered Scale study)

Three Four Pull (more stretching)

Minor Pull (minor 4-3, 7-1 pulls)

Of course, it's best if you can memorize as many of these as possible, and a great visual aid and memory jog is to throw one of our Circle of Fifths Polish Cloths over your music stand (or case) and cycle on through. Clean up your playing, and your mandolin.

It's all part of our 12-step program.

Posted by Ted at May 24, 2006 9:23 PM

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