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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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January 1, 2009 | Chord Melody "Moonlight in Vermont" from Shelby Eicher

A couple weeks ago, we introduced you to National Fiddler Hall of Famer, Shelby Eicher in our Tips and Tricks column. He offered us a brilliant and timely example of chord melody playing of the seasonal "Christmas Time is Here." The holiday season now behind us, we thought it would be great to start off the New Year with another of Shelby's timeless audio gems, a clever Johnny Smith-like rendition of "Moonlight in Vermont," recorded on Eicher's terrific custom jazz mandola.

Shelby shared with us in an earlier correspondence, "I've been fascinated with substitutions for dominant chords. The common ones are: 5minor, augmented, 9th--more outside thinking: b9 #9, whole tone scales, b5 subs, go up a half step and play a minor scale (this makes a b9 #9 Aug). These are all used in soloing." Remaining the perpetual student, the accomplished musician confesses, "Playing electric is new territory for me. I've always been a acoustic player but I dig the possibilities that this lends me that the acoustic does not and vice versa."

The Western Swing specialist has slowed this ballad down to something you can learn yourself; he's even scratched a helpful TAB chart to give you some fingering tips. We're looking forward to hearing more of Shelby's thoughts and tips the rest of 2009!

Enjoy audio: "Moonlight in Vermont" arr. Shelby Eicher

Download TAB PDF.

Posted by Ted at January 1, 2009 5:58 AM

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