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Kirk Lorange

More chord tone improvisation

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Kirk Lorange    128

Live Stone over at the PlaneTalkers' Forum posted a Sinatra-ish tune backing track, asked about chord tone improv over it, so I did this little movie to show him an example. I'd say this is 95% chord tones ... of course, there are lots of chords, but that's what makes it fun.

Here's the progression. I've loaded the backing track up for anyone who wants a go ... scotty_b? Be nice to hear a modal approach too.

Dmaj7 - Em7 - | F#m7 - Bm7 - | C#m7b5 - - - | F#7 - - - | Bm7 - - - | - - - - | E9 - - - |

| - - - - | Em7 - - - | Em7 - A7 - | D6 - - - | B7 - - - | - - - - | E13 - - - | Bm7 - E9 - | Em7 - - - | A13 - - - |

| Dmaj7 - Em7 - | F#m7 - Bm7 - | C#m7b5 - - - | F#7 - - - | Bm7 - - - | - - - - | E9 - - - |

| - - - - | Em7 - - - | | Em7 - A7 - | D6 - - - | B7 - - - | E9 - - - | Em7 - A7sus - | D69 - - - | Em7 - A7 - |

big_band.WMA

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scotty_b    16

Mate, love to have a play over that. Just swamped with doing recordings for HSC students at the moment, and my own gigs. Give me a couple of days to get this stuff out of the way and will have a play on it.

I love it when you play the nylon string over this stuff - such an good sound.

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Doug    12

That was great, Kirk.

You're right - that is a lot of chords. I'm wondering how you keep track in your mind. In this case, you probably have a chart in front of you while playing, but if you had this down as part of your gig material, would you have memorized the actual chords or would you have memorized the intervals? When you're doing chord tones over, say, an Am and the song is in C - do think Am or do you think "vi"?

Do you think iii vi ii V I or Em7 Am7 Dm7 G7 Cmaj7?

Just curious.

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jdpaz    0

Do you think iii vi ii V I or Em7 Am7 Dm7 G7 Cmaj7?

Just curious.

I'd bet he's thinking iii, vi, etc. that way you can play it anywhere on the neck.

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Kirk Lorange    128
That was great, Kirk.

You're right - that is a lot of chords. I'm wondering how you keep track in your mind. In this case, you probably have a chart in front of you while playing, but if you had this down as part of your gig material, would you have memorized the actual chords or would you have memorized the intervals? When you're doing chord tones over, say, an Am and the song is in C - do think Am or do you think "vi"?

Do you think iii vi ii V I or Em7 Am7 Dm7 G7 Cmaj7?

Just curious.

It's a bit of both, Doug. I'm very aware I'm in the key of D. For this tune, I know that the I is major but all others are dom7 (9s and 13s I just see as 7ths) or minor7; a quick scan told me that all chords were either in-key or 'majorized' in-key chords; that C#m7b5 I treat as a V chord .... easier on the brain. The main thing I'm doing is hearing the changes, though. As complex as the progression may look, it's actually pretty standard and you get to know what's coming next by what's happening right now, if you know what I mean. One chord leads to another.

But, the only way I'm able to do any of it is to see the whole neck as each chord. That's the trick. I don't see chords as little boxes, I see them as neck-long entities, so every time the chord changes, so does my (mental) fretboard. I just pick a path through that ever-shifting fretscape.

It's easier that it sounds once you know what to look for!

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eddiez152    129

Kirk,

Thats terrific, gonna figure all this out someday. Perhaps by watching and doing it over and over until I can see it.

Wonderful display of how its done.

eddiez

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Doug    12

Thanks Kirk for the explanation.

I thought it would be a combination of the two. In some cases, like a ii V I turn-around, I see the intervals, but mostly I see the chords by name. And I'm starting to see the various options on the fretboard for playing the chords. For example an Am gives me all kinds of options of where to play it - other chords not so fluent yet. I hope I'm nearing a break through where the two collide and merge.

Even though I've been playing for many many years, I feel like an infant learning how to talk. I've learned a lot of "vocabulary" from your lessons. For example, I posted a piece called vespers the other day which drew a lot from your bossa nova piece (although they're very different). So thank you again for this site - it has really enriched my life.

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Andy S    9
But, the only way I'm able to do any of it is to see the whole neck as each chord. That's the trick. I don't see chords as little boxes, I see them as neck-long entities, so every time the chord changes, so does my (mental) fretboard. I just pick a path through that ever-shifting fretscape.

Whoa!!! an A-Ha! moment!! For the life of me, even though I've read and re-read Plane Talk, and I've watched the DVD, my brain just never caught the idea of NOT looking at chords as little boxes. I've always looked at them as such. Even with Plane Talk, I thought of them as little boxes, but sort of connected down the neck. Not as a neck-long thing. Putting it that way hit home!

Ok, back to the book & DVD and my guitar!!! Start looking at it in a new light!!

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scotty_b    16
Where are ya, Scotty_B, I would have thought this was right up your alley!

I was in a car crash, struggled to walk for some time after that, let alone pick up a guitar.Still experiencing some back pain, but can manage to hold the guitar again.

However, I have not forgotten about it. I even sang a few solos over the progression when I couldn't play.

Will be onto it as soon as I can!

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coldethyl    0
I was in a car crash, struggled to walk for some time after that, let alone pick up a guitar.Still experiencing some back pain, but can manage to hold the guitar again.

Sorry to read about your car accident Scotty. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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oki270    0
But, the only way I'm able to do any of it is to see the whole neck as each chord. That's the trick. I don't see chords as little boxes, I see them as neck-long entities, so every time the chord changes, so does my (mental) fretboard. I just pick a path through that ever-shifting fretscape.

How do you memorize all that chords neck long? I mean, you can play those notes on at least 4 or 5 "positions" on the neck for every chord??

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oki270    0
PlaneTalk... :laughingg:

Even without PlaneTalk I memorized all C, A, G, E, D chord notes (on whole fretboard) but still didn't figure out others i need. I guess I might take a look at PlaneTalk.

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hb    0
Whoa!!! an A-Ha! moment!! For the life of me, even though I've read and re-read Plane Talk, and I've watched the DVD, my brain just never caught the idea of NOT looking at chords as little boxes. I've always looked at them as such. Even with Plane Talk, I thought of them as little boxes, but sort of connected down the neck. Not as a neck-long thing. Putting it that way hit home!

Ok, back to the book & DVD and my guitar!!! Start looking at it in a new light!!

Ditto for me too! I realized they were connected, but never allowed my brain to try and look at the whole picture. Will be trying to see the forest now and not just looking at a tree!

hb

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Kirk Lorange    128

hb ... you hit the nail on the head with "The forest, not the trees". That's an analogy I've often used for the PlaneTalk way of thinking. Why get all bogged down in the minute detail that thinking scales/modes forces on you? That's like being lost in a maze of back streets and alleys trying to find a melodic path by trying to make sense of the Greek signposts. PlaneTalk is more like taking a hot air balloon ride above the town and seeing how all those pathways interconnect without worrying about what they're called or how they're classed.

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scotty_b    16

Well I finally got around to it!

I just put on the track, put down a solo and decided that whatever came out was what I was going to post.... No editing or second takes.

I tried out the Native Instruments Guitar Rig 2 software for this - have not used it before. For plugging the guitar straight into the PC, it sounded pretty good. Certainly saved me the hassles I normally have with mics, amps, neighbours and the like.

big band track.mp3

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Kirk Lorange    128

Hi Scotty ... good to see and hear that you had a go at this. Tough little sequence, isn't it? There were some nice moments in there but I must say, I do like hearing chord tones as the main strong-beat notes. I guess I've just been working toward that goal for too long to be able to hear anything else.

I'm a little shy about critiquing your take too much, but if you'd like some more feedback, just say so.

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