This a short guide about how I think about harmony. It’s a way of simplifying all the chords derived from a major scale into just 3 types/functions: Major I, Minor ii and Dominant V. This has helped me navigate complex chord progressions and also is a great tool for discovering different chord options while composing. […]
Joe Pass is one of my favorite guitarists. One reason I love his playing is that he does so much with so little. There’s a great teaching video series in which Joe explains the importance of not overthinking in music. He wants to make it as simple as possible in his mind. Here’s my favorite quote from that video. I don’t […]
I create a lot of charts. I make them when I’m preparing for gigs or for other musicians’ recording sessions or live shows. It’s something that I have come to enjoy because it’s such a great way of improving your ear. And there’s just something special about having beautiful looking charts of your music printed out, taped […]
One of the single best exercises I’ve engaged in as a musician has been learning by ear. Whether it’s a chord progression, a rhythm, a song, an improvised solo, or a cool riff, the act of figuring something out by ear causes you learn and understand at a much deeper level. Musicians who have developed great “ears” have transcribed a […]
This is Part 2 on how to break free of “position” playing on guitar. If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here. Here’s a quick recap. Part 1 was all about becoming intentional about breaking through that stuck feeling created by relying solely on positions and patterns. To do that, I suggested ignoring positions and patterns altogether, limiting […]
Have you ever seen those guitar chord dictionaries at guitar center? You know, the ones titled something like “3,001 Guitar Chords.” I always cringe when I see these because there’s such a more valuable way of learning about chords and harmony on guitar.
One night in college during a jazz improv class, I had a mini-breakdown in front of my teacher and some fellow students. I was discouraged and frustrated that despite all my practicing, I was still struggling to get the music I heard in my head down to my fingers and onto the fretboard.
One of the most important skills I believe we can develop as musicians is learning how to internalize new songs quickly. One of the best ways I’ve found to do this is to create solo arrangements. This is especially useful for guitarists who don’t often perform solo. Creating a self-contained arrangement can really help engrain […]
Feel free to download and print these. Great for composing and practicing. Printable Single Stave Treble Clef Printable Double Stave Treble Bass Clefs Printable Guitar Grids And feel free to share!
I started getting into Brazilian music in college. Like a million other jazz students across the country I was playing really bad versions of Blue Bossa, Black Orpheus, and Girl From Impanema.