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 27, 2006 | About our relationship

It's not just about notes; it's about note relationships...

The baby steps of learning the notes on the fretboard can get you into elementary playing. However, if you want to venture into the next level, on into musical maturity, you have to understand how the notes work with each other. Knowing the way the 5th of the scale relates to the 1st, how the 3rd defines the major-ness or minor-ness of the key, what the 7th or 4th likes to pull to; this is taking your playing from rote learning into creative construction.

Our FFcP approach is based on this. As we've mentioned before, we slip a little music theory into what could just be a little physical conditioning. Hopefully not only your fingers and ears are experiencing this, but your subconscious brain has picked it up, too. Many have weighed in after several months of drilling these and claimed a new dimension to their improvising. The notes just seem to come out of nowhere!

(Mission accomplished!)

Think of cross country driving. You head off in the car with a full tank of gas and you stop to refill based on the capacity of your tank. You don't necessarily care about the individual destinations, your pit stops are generally based on distance, regardless of geographic notoriety. You probably won't even care or remember the name of the towns, even if it has the Shrine of the Holy Tortilla for a tourist attraction. Your concern is the interval, not the stop.

Another example of relationships is in our 'ii V7 I' stock chord positions. These are fun to play just as written, but if you've taken the time to get them into your fingers, and on in to the next step of moving them up and down the fretboard, you've discovered a whole new tactile world of comping.

For you aspiring Mandola players, we've transposed these, basically just rewritten the names of the chords over the top of the template. Simple as that, in the world of relationships, you're not learning new chords, you're just taking what you already know physically in your fingers and placing them into new harmonic contexts.

Download 'ii V7 I' Stock Chord Progressions for Mandola

Pick up a Circle of Fifths Polish Cloth

Posted by Ted at May 27, 2006 10:45 AM

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