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Track 1 explained in jazz terms using the rSoG method ::

 
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:13 am    Post subject: Track 1 explained in jazz terms using the rSoG method :: Reply with quote

The following post is, again, taken from a bit of coorespondence I had with "Bob"::

Hi Bob,

Wow! I love hearing what you're going there! Yeah, when you pointed out that you're playing it, skipping every 4th note, I got excited. I went to look at the pattern and saw what you meant. It is a "way of looking" at the pattern that I hadn't really thought of before. Then I realized that playing that way is like traveling in 5ths, which is what you get if you move up the strings, one after the other, only you are moving down. That's awesome! I'll have to share that with my students. I'll call it the "Dorris Ascension"! Or "Dorris Jumping" What do you think? : )

You ponder whether that sort of thing is what I intended for you to get out of this method...well, what it really boils down to for me is just "seeing" the pattern. If you can see it, you can do anything your imagination wants to with the combinations of notes and subtle treatments, pathways through it, etc. It's like, all I want to do is show people the dance floor. I'm not as interested in showing them how to dance, although I do desire them to be able to. And that's the harder thing to pass on to people...independence. This method fosters independence way better than a book on how to play "This Land Is Your Land" or every Led Zeppelin song ever written. Yet, it's still hard for many people to start finding their own things to do with the pattern. So, I'm impressed with how you're making it more yours than most seem to.

Yeah, your second point is very cool...about being able to play melodies/riffs off a spot, if you are aware of where you are in the pattern. That really sounds like one of the great gifts of the method to me. And you know, I can just imagine how hard it is to get someone to find that kind of freedom without this method. I mean, most teachers just cop out and say "Man, you just gotta learn to read music...learn to read and so much stuff will start making sense!" I've heard that plenty. And I've tried, over the many years without this method...tried to get people to start seeing what I was seeing (which, in retrospect wasn't even a very clear picture at that time...because I, myself hadn't yet had this revelation) and it was just too frustrating. I couldn't do it. Finally, after working out this method I started to make progress with people. I taught one of my life-long friends, the singer of my band. It still wasn't entirely easy, but it became possible...and, after much chipping away...he finally got it. I tell you, the moment he realized how simple it was, he almost down right cried! Yeah, it was quite a feeling for me too.

Anyway, I'm all hyped up now...I'm excited, and rambling (forgive me)!

I can see how the 6 string thing would be beneficial...

As far as how it applies to jazz...Well, I can be playing through a progression where the keys change a few times and still think of rSoG. Let me use an example from my humble collection of improvisations that can be found in the lower right corner of the rSoG program window. If you press play in that IMPROVISATION window, the first song you get will go through the chords like this:


Papa on the 5th fret for about 2 measures

Papa on the 9th for another 2

then that minor chord sort of descends two frets and it should then be thought of as YBro on the 7th fret

Next it's OSis (as a dominant 7th chord...which is perfectly natural for her) on the 7th fret of the A string. Which, if you think about Familial Heirarchy, that's not a key change, because OSis is naturally found under YBro

Now, the next move is the preview of the major topic of the next volume of rSoG...it's something I call #OSis. What I do is simply sharp the root of OSis one fret. It only happens momentarily, but for that moment it gives the music the sound of Harmonic Minor, which is a scale that is exactly the same as the normal pattern except for that one note. So, for that moment, you'd want to play the same pattern, but every time your finger tip wants to hit that note that is the root of OSis, you'll want to just move it up one fret. So, you should be able to still move freely though the shapes, but alter that one note.

Here is a quick run down on how that one note effects each row in the pattern:
Bridge Sets :: no change
Head Sets :: 2nd row becomes "super head set"
Triple Block :: first row becomes what looks like a head set (but it should be kept in your mind that it is really an altered 1st row triple block) :: Also the 3rd row becomes what I call a "super bridge set" (but again, it should be kept strong in your mind that it is really just an altered triple)

If, you can start running through the pattern and then suddenly make that change, you will be able to weave easily in and out of the two scales.

Now, back to the chord progression:

That alteration then settles back down to regular OSis

Next it's over to Mama on the 5th fret of the top string. (So, now, if you consider where the last three chords have been YBro, OSis and Mama [for now ignore the complication of #OSis] you should realize that they are all in the same key. I'm pretty sure jazz players would call that set of chords "vanilla" because there's no trickery involved (aside from the #OSis move). In addition to that, moving from YBro to OSis and then Mama could be called a 2-5-1. Are you familiar with that concept? It's really one the sort of hidden agendas I had in mind with the chapter on Familial Heirarchy. It's essentially moving "straight down" though the chords.

Anyway, then we break from that vanilla trend by replacing that Mama chord that was on the 5th fret with a full diminished chord. Now, what Major chord in the family can be subbed by a diminished? Hmmm...well, it's another peek at volume two...because it involves that note I call "#OSis". Here's how you have to look at it, if you are to see that it really is #OSis that enables YSis to turn into that diminished chord: If you look at where YSis naturally sits in the pattern, you see that she can already get away with a tritone in her chord (the fourth note from her root is a "tritone" away), but it's the #OSis that allows her to become a minor chord. (Right? OSis is her second interval, but sharpening it puts her in position to serve as a minor interval for YSis)

Now, that all probably sounds technical, but in reality, when we reach the point in the chord progression when I'm saying that YSis is now on the 5th fret, you just position the pattern such that that would be true and play it. And the moment YSis becomes a diminished chord, you just alter the pattern by that one note, as I described above. You don't have to even understand all that mumbo-jumbo I was spilling out. (I just offered it for you amusement...and if you do understand it...all the better!)

Next, that diminished chord reverts back to normal YSis (and so, you would effortlessly put OSis back where she belongs in your solo phrasing)

Then, all of the sudden, there is a diminished chord on the 4th fret...which if you think about it in reference to that major7th that was just played on the 5th fret, suddenly it would make more sense to think of that major7th as Mama again, because a diminished on the 4th would make sense to be ABoy.

Then ABoy creeps up 3 frets and 3 more (which is totally legal if you, once again, examine what #OSis does to the map)

Speaking of #OSis...the logic of the next move also utilizes #OSis. You see, #OSis allows ABoy to appear as a fully diminished chord not only where ABoy normally is found, but up 3 frets, up 3, up 3, etc. (which of course ends up looping you around again...and can also be thought of as down 3, down 3, etc.) So, think about that relationship I described where ABoy is on the 4th and, therefore, Mama is on the 5th. Well, if ABoy can move down three, then you could just as well think of Papa as being on the 5th fret. (Right? What I'm trying to say is, all of the sudden it's not ABoy on the 4th fret, but #OSis...which would mean Papa on the 5th fret...and that's exactly what happens next)

Papa on the 5th fret and the entire cycle of chords is complete.

Wow! What a mouthful!!! I hope I didn't lose you. I see plenty of potential for that. The whole key of the method is to learn the normal relationships between the positions of family members. Get that so simplified in your mind that when the whole set starts moving, you can handle it. Then, of course, we add the excitement of #OSis to make it even more of a challenge!

I don't know how advanced you really are with your jazz playing. But, you might really want to try to play along with that sound file and try to think about the changes in the way I have described them here. I swear to you, it is the only reason I even had a chance in hell of soloing over those chords. I have been trying like crazy to do whatever it takes to break through to the other side and start playing music that sounds like what I would consider at least some form of jazz...and these sound files actually represent probably my first moment on a recording...actually finding some of those sounds. It all comes from finding key changes that aren't too hard to swallow and mixing it up with a little #OSis here and there. From this kind of thinking, I can easily see myself growing toward even more difficult stuff. And there is always a connectedness. It all stems from the one vision of the pattern. I just move it occassionally and throw in a mild scale change, like #OSis.

Let me know how this all strikes you. I have put a lot of effort in this message! It isn't the first time I've made this kind of attempt. Your progress has inspired me, though. I couldn't help myself...maybe it also had something to do with that energy drink I had earlier...and the fact that I just got back from practicing with my band!

Hey, track two is pretty interesting...another one of my favorites!

Can't wait to hear from you again,
Thanks Bob!
Fred
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply from Bob :: Reply with quote

Hi Fred,

Well, I haven't died... just been very busy.

It took a month, but I finally got to work through your jazz tune along with your analysis of it. Very nice playing, btw. I actually followed the logic in your analysis.

It was interesting to see how you weaved back and forth between major and harmonic minor harmony. The key changes sounded smooth and connected. I agree that RSOG makes it easier to do that and not get lost.

I've been working more on melodic minor harmony lately, since so much jazz is based on that, so I had to slow down and think through the harmonic minor stuff to follow what you were doing.

The A dim chord threw me at first, because in some theory books, the only scale that goes with a dim chord is the diminished scale, but you based it on a mode of the harmonic minor.

Technically, I think that mode would take an Amaj #9 #11 because there is a major 3rd, a major 5th a major 7th, #9, #11 and 13. But if you play an A root, a #9, #11 and 13th without the 3rd, 5th and 7th, it is the same notes as an A dim. so playing the harmonic minor (#Osis) works on it.

And as you said, you can move dim chords up/down in minor thirds, and then take off from one of those new chords to set up a new key. That was a pretty good way to move out of the key, and I thought the key changes sounded very smooth. Nice stuff!

I gotta hit the rack...

Later,
Bob
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:36 am    Post subject: Fred writes back to Bob :: Reply with quote

Hey Bob!
Great to hear from you! Yeah, I understand busy. I am definitely with you on that one.
I was so very glad to hear that you got around to working through the jazz tune and that you followed the logic of it. That logic was the only thing that got me through the piece. I mean, I've been trying to get into jazz for a long time and have had some long and hard struggles. First of all, just knowing what makes jazz what it is. For the longest time I had to just wonder what it was that made it jazz. As I gradually learned more and more what it took to "do jazz" I also began to understand what trouble lie ahead of me as far as being able to handle the stuff. So, it's been a long time coming and I still see myself as a pretty weak player on the field of jazz, but I can finally feel like I'm starting to get it, thanks to the method. I've had to really improve my concentration and slow down my playing to be able to make sense over the chords also. But after playing over some good jazz, I always feel like I've been somewhere special. It's like a landscape that's definitely not the same old stuff.
You mentioned the importance of melodic minor in jazz. I have heard a lot about that. I don't feel I have completely grasped its significance the way I would like to though. If I remember right, though, there are a number of dominant 7th chords in the family for that scale...which would signal me as important to jazz. I have spent so much time noodling over the harmonic minor scale, I have felt that I've really gotten somewhere with it. I have played the melodic minor enough now that I should be ready to start conquering the vision for moving over it pretty freely, but I haven't actually put in the experience/time like I have harmonic. It should be pretty easy to add in now, as I have come to see it as an extension of harmonic minor. I consider harmonic minor to be #OSis. If you also add #YSis to that recipe, you have the pattern for melodic minor. I bet many of the riffs I created from harmonic in that piece would have worked equally well with the added #YSis in the mix.
So, about that Amajor7th that gets replaced with Adim...I saw that Amaj7 as Mama until I switched it with Adim. At that point I did two things to my thinking. I thought: If I switch Mama with YSis, the pattern moves straight up one string, then (knowing that YSis can turn into a dim chord if you do #OSis to the scale) I treated it as though YSis was on the 5th fret but with a #OSis in the solo pattern (which is harmonic minor). The part about bringing YSis up one string to replace Mama is very valuable in my world, because I might not always know where I am on the fret board at the moment the switch occurs. So, to know that, no matter where I am, I can just move the sets I'm on up one string and everything will be fine, is great news! Then to top it off, after the move up one string, adding in the #OSis note to my pattern isn't too hard for me to handle (as long as my focus is on and I'm not going too fast for myself).
I try to develop methods that are practical. I guess I would claim that about the whole rsog package. I mean, when I tried learning music the traditional way, with all the notes and stuff, it boggled my mind. I just couldn't see being able to handle thinking about it in those terms and being successful. Now that I know more about how it all works, and I pretty much know the names of notes all up and down the strings and frets, it doesn't seem so overwhelming. But I think that is also because of the boost this new way of simplifying the guitar has given me. At this point, I'd really love to take some serious theory classes. I think I would just eat it up. I mean, it would probably fill in some of the gaps I have from being so self-taught, and I would just being absolutely driven to learn it as thoroughly as I could. I have a lot of curiosity after going down the path I've taken.
Now, for the "Technically" section you threw in about the comparison between the notes of harmonic minor versus the notes of the diminished scale: I got out my guitar and really looked at the notes you were spelling out and YES! I follow what you're saying. And that is what I was thinking. I have developed a habit of using either a straight diminished scale OR harmonic minor, as they do have the same notes. I haven't gotten into the full dimished scale pattern yet (you know, there's the half-whole and the whole-half...) for whatever reason. The skeletal form of the diminished scale (just the minor thirds) has always had a stronger, more appealing sound to me. Do you do much with the full diminished scale? I'm also so very curious about the whole tone scale. I throw it in whenever I can, but I find it a bit hard to make sound like I'm saying something tangible. If you have any advice on how to use it in progressions...I'm always looking for those kinds of secrets.
Great talking to you again!
Keep in touch,
Fred

PS I think I'll throw this pair of messages into the forum, as there is some good stuff in here.
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