Monday, 30 March 2015

Sapphire Ng | [Guitar TAB & VIDEO] A Harmonic Minor, Played in 4 Sets of Broken 3rds

Guitarist: Sapphire Ng

A Harmonic Minor, Played in 4 Sets of Broken 3rds

Line Direction, Interval Direction:
Up,Up \ Down,Down \ Up,Down \ Down,Up


[Guitar TAB]

Monday, 23 March 2015

Sapphire Ng | Berklee Guitar Private Instruction - (Week 6) Spring 2015 [Class Materials & Concepts]

Guitar Private Instruction Lesson

Berklee College of Music
Spring 2015 Semester

Private Instruction Teacher: Sheryl Bailey

[Week 6]

Concepts/content covered in class: 
-Learning of the song "Black Orpheus"
       ~Check out the film "Black Orpheus"
             -There are Brazilian tunes throughout the movie
             -Original composer of "Black Orpheus", Luiz Bonfa's version of the tune is soundtrack for the film
             -The Partido Alto drum groove is present throughout the movie 

        ~For bossa nova comping
             -Have accents on beats 2 & 4
             -Play the 5th of the root if you can find the 5th at a lower pitch to the root on your instrument, and don't transition the bass line to the 5th only if there isn't any 5th lower than the root. 
                     ~For example, when playing a Cmaj7 chord with the root on the 5th string, 3rd fret, the root motion can transition to the 5th of the chord, i.e. the "G" note on the 6th string, 3rd fret. However, if you are playing for example a G7 chord with root note "G" on the 6th string, 3rd fret, a 5th of the root, i.e. the "D" note which is at a lower pitch to that of the root is not available on the guitar. Thus in that case, the bass motion should stay on the root note for the entire duration of the chord. 

        ~The concept of cut time, 2/4, used commonly by Brazilian composers
             -Allows composers to visually "simplify" a piece of music, which allows the music to "psychologically" appear easier for musicians. 
             -For example, notes would be notated as 8th notes instead of 16th notes; and quarter notes instead of 8th notes.

        ~There are 4 keys present in the tune: It starts off by being in the key of A minor, and then it goes to C major, then it goes back to A minor again, and then it goes to D minor, to A minor, and then briefly to B major (which my teacher said technically can be ignored because of the brevity of it).

        ~Whenever there's a dom7 chord transitioning to a minor chord, should always make the dom7 chord altered in one way or another. It is because the altered tensions/notes added into the chord would be diatonic to the minor key (the minor chord) that the dom7 is resolving into. eg. E7b9 resolving to A-7. 

        ~It is great to incorporate open-string voicings for certain chords for the song because the voicings will be Spanish-sounding and adds a flamenco flavor. 
              -For example, the E7b9 chord played in an open-string position (play an ordinary E major chord in open-string and then just shift the finger on the 4th string, 2nd fret to the 3rd fret); or the Fmaj7(#11,13) played in open-string position (have open strings for the 4th, 2nd and 1st string, and then fingers on 1st fret 6th string, 3rd fret 5th string and 2nd fret 3rd string.)

        ~Explore and google search "Surdo drum", a brazilian drum characterized by accents. Analogy given in class was with 2 feet stomping, the right foot is really heavy. 

        ~The goal to be reached is to be able to automatically and instinctively see chord variations (with all their different options of tensions) in your mind whenever you lay your eyes on a piece of music/chord progression. 
        ~To be able to bring a different and unique flavor to the chord progression especially when working with pop artists who generally play root position chords in their most basic forms. 
        ~In order to be a unique player, though commonly perceived that a player's style is shown through by soloing, chord voicings used by the musician when comping are essential to defining his style too. 
        ~Don't keep playing chords in root position if that's the habit you have and the comfort zone you are in. Should experiment with the possibilities of playing an entire range of chord voicings for the same chord. 

-The concept of comparing the basic ingredients of music to an artist's palette
        ~Similar to the 3 primary colors - red, yellow and blue - whereby every other secondary color, tertiary color or any color can be derived from there, we can see music as having 3 primary qualities as well - major 7, minor 7 and dominant 7 - whereby every other chord quality can be derived from there. 

Class Homework:
-Chord Progression for "Black Orpheus"
-Explore and experiment with adding colors and tensions to chord qualities
-All 4 choruses of "G Blues", and to play up to tempo

Class Materials: 

"Black Orpheus" Chord Progression

Revision of Tensions Available to the 3 Basic Chord Qualities

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Sapphire Ng | Berklee Guitar Private Instruction - (Week 3) Spring 2015 [Class Materials & Concepts]

Guitar Private Instruction Lesson

Berklee College of Music
Spring 2015 Semester

Private Instruction Teacher: Sheryl Bailey

[Week 3]

Concepts covered in class: 
-Harmonic Minor Fingerings from all scale degrees throughout guitar fretboard
-The denomination of Harmonic Minor scale as having b3 and b6 as compared to a major scale. 
-Drop 2 Spread Triad voicings in Root position, 1st inversion and 2nd inversion (To play up and down an entire octave during final exam)
-Four-part chords (To learn to be able to leave out the root in constructing the voicings, which allows for great versatility in constructing a variety of chord qualities from there.)
-Fingerings and fretboard positions details that are notated in G Blues (that I've never noticed previously.)
-Recap that Diminished scale is whole-half.

3 Ways to Practice Harmonic Minor:
-In 12 Key Grip
-Staying in a single key, play a complete 2-octave harmonic minor scale, and keep going up the fretboard starting on notes from all scale degrees of the harmonic minor.
-Transitioning from key to key in Circle of 4ths whilst simultaneously going up and down the fretboard [eg. Start with F harmonic minor up the fretboard in 1st position (do not go back down on the fretboard in F harmonic minor), and then transition immediately into Bb harmonic minor down the fretboard in 2nd position, and then go up the fretboard in Eb harmonic minor in 4th position, and so on.]

Class Homework:
-Harmonic Minor scales from all scale degrees
-G Blues (entire tune, and practice to the backing track/recording teacher recorded for me)
-"Out of Nowhere" by Green/Heyman

My notes:
-It's useful to remember the denominations for Spread Triads in Root position, 1st inversion and 2nd inversion [Root position 1 5 3, 1st inversion 3 1 5, 2nd inversion 5 3 1]
-(Not encouraged by teacher because she wants me to see harmonic minor along the fretboard as from different scale degrees) But I thought it will be interesting to find out the harmonic minor mode names and attach the scale shapes to its modal name. 

Class Materials/Handouts: 

Harmonic Minor Fingerings

Berklee Level III Guitar Proficiency Syllabus

Spread Triads - Drop 2

Out Of Nowhere - Green/Heyman