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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July 2, 2009 | Arpeggios and Crossword Puzzles

There is a spectrum of player that runs from the die-hard, "drill sergeant" devotee, one who likes to pound out scale after scale, arpeggio after arpeggio, and all kinds of physical calisthenics, to the other end, the "Freebird Jammer," one who just wants to play--no rules no boundaries, just willy nilly what comes to the fingers. Between the Boot-camper and the Blower, there resides a happy medium midst this continuum we'll simply call the Crossword Puzzler.

Think about what goes on when someone attacks a crossword puzzle. It's a game, a pastime, but hardly a mindless activity. Anyone who tackles the challenge of word variations required to master a good puzzle ultimately builds personal vocabulary, as well as verbal skill. It requires imagination in hub and spoke of the wheel of context. It's an exercise of the mind totally driven by application.

The best music exercises are ones written with a purpose that transcends physical and sets up the brain for the aesthetic. We try to take this approach in all our drills throughout the JazzMando site and hope you are able to match measure with musical relevance. We explored this in last week's "Math, Eggs, and Mandolins" article, the notion that it's the small, rudimentary math processes that ultimately tie the neurons of the brain into the higher functions of science.

There is a connection and you'll enjoy your practice so much more when you see it.


An eight letter word for "spontaneously invent."


Chromatic Mastering
'ii V7 I' Major Patterns
'ii7b5 v7 I'minor_patterns
Start your day out with a song
Bringing it home

Posted by Ted at July 2, 2009 7:12 AM

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