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. 

-Comping
        ~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






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