Monday, 13 April 2015

Sapphire Ng | Berklee Guitar Private Instruction - (Week 7) SPRING 2015 [Class Materials & Concepts]

Guitar Private Instruction Lesson

Berklee College of Music
SPRING 2015 Semester

Private Instruction Teacher: Sheryl Bailey

[Week 7]

Concepts covered in class: 
-Chord qualities diatonic to the Harmonic Minor scale, namely I-(maj7), II-7(b5), bIIImaj7(#5), IV-7, V7, bVImaj7, VIIdim7

-Play trades for "Black Orpheus" in 8-bar intervals and 4-bar intervals. 

-To practice an alternate dim7 arpeggio fingering pattern (that is easily portable up and down the fretboard and dissects the fretboard into 4 segments.)
           -Since the intervals between the notes in the dim7 arpeggio is the same, eg. Fdim7 is also Abdim7, Bdim7 and Ddim7. [This allows you to play fast runs across the entire fretboard using just ONE dim7 fingering pattern]
           -To play the dim7 arpeggio of the note 1/2 step above the root note of the dom7 chord, eg. Play Gbdim7 arpeggio when you see F7 chord; Play Dbdim7 arpeggio when you see C7 chord. [This transforms the dom7 chord into an altered dom7 chord, namely dom7(b9) and thus adds flavor.]

-The concept of chord groupings whereby chords under the same grouping can be substituted for another when encountered in a chord progression: Tonic chords, Subdominant chords and Dominant chords. 
           -Tonic chords are I, III and VI; Subdominant chords are II and IV; Dominant chords are V and VII.
           -An interesting and fun way my teacher put it was to say that for example, when you see the V7 chord, it is like a VIIdim7 chord in disguise; and when you see a I-(maj7) chord, it is like a bIIImaj7(#5) chord or a bVImaj7 chord in disguise. Thus similarly, you can use the substitution chord arpeggios to solo over an existing chord in a progression.

-To balance out dynamics level when comping for "G Blues" when combining the use of pick and fingers for the bossa style comping, ie when using pick for the low bass notes and using fingers to pluck the upper notes for the chords. 

-Improvising is said to equate to talking. Just as for conversations, we typically plan only the subject and gist to talk about but do not plan every single word or sentence to be said, improvising is similar. Musicians typically and probably plans scale or arpeggio choices that can be used as soloing options, eg. to have in mind the intention to play a dim7 arpeggio up a 1/2 step for a resolving dom7 chord, but do not plan exactly what order of notes to play or what exactly to play etc, and just let creativity flow.    

Class Homework:
-To practice 3 sets of resolving dom7 chord/dim7 arpeggios found in "Black Orpheus"
           -||: E7b9 | A-7 :|| where Fdim7 arpeggio resolves to A-7 arpeggio
           -||: G7 | Cmaj7 :|| where Abdim7 arpeggio resolves to Cmaj7 arpeggio
           -||: A7b9 | D-7 :|| where Bbdim7 arpeggio resolves to D-7 arpeggio

*[Start practicing the sets from 1 guitar fretboard position. Once comfortable, move on to another fretboard position and then to the next and so on.]

*[Practice in voice-leading, ie when transitioning from one arpeggio to the next, try to have a 1/2 step chromatic motion between them]

*[To practice the arpeggios in 8th notes and alternate between the 2 arpeggios in 1-bar intervals, play 8 notes of one arpeggio that fills up all the 8th notes spaces in 1-bar, and then play another 8 notes of the other arpeggio that fills up the entire next bar, and so on.] 

*[After practicing the 3 sets of resolving arpeggios separately, go back to try to incorporate the skills in soloing to the entire song.]

*[2 ways to practice the voice-leading sets: In a systematic ascending and descending manner; In any interval you like, to any note you like, but keeping in mind the voice leading in transitioning between arpeggios.]

*[My teacher mentioned that voice-leading is like the cement that hold bricks together in walls; it is the concept that cements the entire improvisation together over the changing chord progression.] 

-To further familiarize with the chord progression of "Black Orpheus" in order to better execute the 8-bar and 4-bar trades.
-To recap and refresh memory on A harmonic minor scale patterns on the fretboard for use for soloing on "Black Orpheus" 
-To recap the entire tune of "G Blues" 
-If I have the time I should practice eg. Fdim7 arpeggio throughout the guitar fretboard. 

Class Materials:

Chord qualities diatonic to the Harmonic Minor scale; 
Tonic, Subdominant, Dominant chord groupings;
Resolving Dom7/Dim7 arpeggios in "Black Orpheus"

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