Latest Posts…

  • Resources for Jazz Guitar: three octave runs

    Resources for Jazz Guitar: three octave runs

    A lesson on diminished, altered, lydian dominant and whole tone scales for intermediate to advanced jazz guitarists.

  • Resources For Composers: Violin Pedagogy

    Here’s a list of the classics of violin pedagogy.

  • New Fiction From Writer Nora Maynard

    I really love this short story, “Back In The Tudor House” by Nora Maynard. It takes off in an unexpected direction. You can read it at Pangyrus By the time I reached my late parents’ house, the truck was gone. The nicotine-streaked walls were white now and all you could smell was paint. Every four-poster…

  • Fun With Triad Cycles

    Fun With Triad Cycles

    A quick post about cycling through major triads within a narrow range.

  • The next note is never more than a whole-tone away

    I first learned of the exercise of running different scales into each other from Barry Harris. You start near the top of your instrument, and as the chords change, you change your scale but keep going in the same direction. Relatively easy on a tune like Autumn Leaves, pretty difficult on a tune like Giant…

  • A fun way to derive the melodic minor scale

    This thought just occurred to me as I was listening to the audiobook of Frank Wilczek‘s excellent Fundamentals: Ten Keys to Reality. The melodic minor is a 7 note scale consisting of only semitones or whole tones, but with no 2 consecutive semitones (put another way, it is “locally diatonic“) The whole tone scale is…

  • The “Minor 6/9 Shape” Harmonized

    During our weekly jam session this week, my friend Tony and I got into a discussion about a harmonic topic we’ve both been looking at. It’s an intervallic shape that’s pretty useful harmonically and melodically, and has a good ‘modern jazz’ feel to it. You can see the shape in example [A] below. You might…

  • A few tidbits on the melodic minor

    Thoughts on using the melodic minor in different harmonic contexts.

  • Tidbit: Locally Diatonic Scales

    I was reading an article by Dmitri Tymoczko this morning, Stravinsky and the Octatonic: A Reconsideration, and came across a useful term: locally diatonic. This refers to a scale whose seconds are all minor or major, and whose thirds are all minor or major. This includes the following scales: major, ascending melodic minor, whole-tone, and…