3rds, 7ths, 9ths - What! Me Worry?

It is time to discuss 3rds, 7ths and 9ths extensions in the context of linear melodic phrasing for solo improvisation. Typically when confronted with the necessity of “targeting” these tones as a melodic device players look to the chord triad…

Word Sex

Can words have sex? Do certain words have an affinity for other words - maybe even like or dislike other words? Perhaps they would join together to create moods… without you having to necessarily be the writer. I mean even…

the Dark Angel

A sword is intended to divide things. A rapier to pierce. A short dagger to the heart from a place of concealment. And so it is with messengers from places of concealment. Among us arose an Angel of depravity who…

Stalking the Muse

I’d like to share a couple methods that certain bands/musicians have employed in the artistic process of music creation. This is a companion piece to the “why is so much music considered derivative” discussion. Copyright law is complex…

the Artist's Eye

    An effective symbol must portray a dilemma of opposition that requires a synthesis to solve. An argument between two ideas requiring a third idea - a resolution. This process mirrors the logic of thesis - antithesis - synthesis.  The symbol…

Mighty Pentatonic

I’ve seen all kinds of explanations as to why the minor scale sounds good, actually great, over a major chord - but to reverse that and play a major scale over a minor chord certainly does not. Common sense dictates…

Alien Queen

While reading Friedrich Nietzche's Thus Spake Zarathustra I came across a sentence (in quotes at the end of this post) that was so powerful I spent many midnight evenings thinking what kind of mythological narrative could support such a statement…

Shamanism

What sort of artifacts do we find in the toolbox of the Shaman?  It matters not what culture or century you explore. The artifacts are always the same. Symbolism of form, colors, musical instruments, costuming specific to the ceremony at…

the Bobby Cochran Experience

It is accepted that lying to oneself is part and parcel of creating the motivation to continue learning and practicing an instrument. We do this by assuring ourselves that we are better than we actually are. While we sit around…

Word World

As impressive as technology is you must never forget that language is the first and most primary of virtual worlds. Life experience is translated into language after the fact and then exists in the mind as a virtual world. But…

Americana Roots

Chords, Riffs, 12 Bar Form

The origin of indigenous Americana Country, Hillbilly, Blues, Folk styles are not an overt adaptation of the Western “Common Period” classic tradition.This predominantly rural development began and was sustained on homemade instruments with 1 to…