Guitar Techniques - - JAZZ-ROCK -

[Parts 10a & 10b] It’s a good idea to view your prac­tice as ‘ac­ti­va­tion ses­sions’, mean­ing that you’re look­ing to find the var­i­ous sounds that you are al­ready fa­mil­iar with from lis­ten­ing to mu­sic when you pick up your in­stru­ment. This way at least half of the work, in­ter­nal­is­ing the sound, has al­ready been done. With this in mind, go and lis­ten to the pian­ist Her­bie Han­cock play for at least an hour. What you will have heard him do at some point in the last hour is play a phrase that goes from within the tonal­ity and gen­eral har­mony of the piece, moves ‘out­side’ for a short pe­riod of time, and then re­solves neatly by weaving back into the har­monic fab­ric of the mu­sic by re­turn­ing to our orig­i­nal 'in­side' notes There are var­i­ous ways of achiev­ing this con­so­nance and dis­so­nance bal­anc­ing act, but one of the most im­me­di­ate is known in the trade as sidestep­ping, lit­er­ally shift­ing a phrase up (or down) by a semi­tone. now there are crude ways and sub­tle ways, and I’m go­ing to show you the sub­tle way (for the crude way, lit­er­ally just play the same ex­act thing three times, once in key, then a semi­tone higher and fi­nally back down again). The best way to do this, and the way you’ll have heard Her­bie do it, is to keep the line flow­ing through the tran­si­tion, as if you’ve mod­u­lated mid-phrase to a new key and then re­solved back again. This is in­fin­itely more ‘be­liev­able’ than the crude ver­sion and al­ludes to a much higher level of har­monic and melodic so­phis­ti­ca­tion.

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