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Lessons


 

Study with World Renowned Guitarist/Writer

D.R. Auten

 

San Diego California

 858-336-8326

e-mail: dr@drauten.com

 

 

Send me an e-mail and lets get started.

Tell my what you want to accomplish.

 

Jazz, Country, Classical, Rock, Blues

 

 

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Below is information for some of my students as a reference

 

"Simplify your thinking and concentrate on the important things."

 

To me Jazz is not a style but an ability. Freedom to play spontaneously in all keys, everywhere on the neck. That takes a little work to learn the Matrix of the fingerboard. Originality comes from thinking for yourself. If you just pick the fruit of other players, all you will only have  their personality. Be careful not to just be a just a "lick machine" learning all the solos of the great players. Yes, it is good to study them and extract the essence. But  move on and make it your own. If you copy to much you will loose your identity. The Jazz masters of old, did not have  tape recorders, or could down load MP3's like we can. They mostly had just there instruments and guys around them. This seclusion actually helped them to developed there own style. So again, learn the essence and move on.

 

Be yourself!

 

1. The first step in playing Jazz is learning the C Major scale in all positions on the neck. By learning these notes of the major scale (C D E F G A B) on your instrument in all positions, you have learned all the sharps and flats as well with this logic: If you know where an E is you know where the Eb is.  IT IS RIGHT NEXT TO IT!  Likewise, if you what to know where D# is, just go to D and raise it a half step. Do you see, by learning just one scale you have learned all the notes on your instrument. Simplify your thinking.

 

As you work on the C major scale, try to hum along in your head as you play. It is very important that you hear each note in your head, just before you play it, then it becomes music and not just a physical or athletic expression. Speed will come later, so go very slow and feel/hear each note.

 

Look at all songs as just three chord families. Major, Minor and Dom7. That is easy to comprehend. Put all altered scales in with the Dom7 family (even though theoretically they my not go there). This is true because of the way or function of the altered stuff. Dom7 naturally creates tensions. The C Major scale becomes many types of sounds  depending on the root tone you place over it. (We will go over that when we study the Greek modes).

 

Scales are not your melody, they are everyone's. They are like the RED dots you see on the floor when learning dance steps. They are just learning aids. Once you learn the steps shown in the RED dots, then your ready to grab a girl, and go out on the dance floor and make her smile. After dancing for awhile you will forget the RED dots and just dance to the music. Scales serve the same function. They help to get your fingers and ears moving along, then scales should fade and be replaced by your own musical ideas. Realize this: when scales are played ascending and descending in order or arpeggios everyone studies, they are melodies you did not write and everybody plays them, so make up your your own melodies. Learn the essence and move on. Be unique, be yourself.

 

The three most important basic scales to learn are these below.

Just do this in the key of C to start with:

 

The Major 7th Scale  The Major 7th scale is where all other scales are built from

Minor 7th Scale  The Minor 7th Scale

Dominat 7th Scale   The Dom 7th Scale causes tension, or movement

 

  

2. The next important thing to do is learn the most important chord progression in Jazz. This is called the Two, Five, One,  or  the ii7 - V7 - IM7 pattern.  This chord pattern contains Major7, Minor7, & Dom7 chords. It provides you with a chord pattern you now can practice all the scales you have just learned.

 

   Example: in the Key of C

 

Play: Dm7 for 4 bars, G7 for 4 bars, and then C Major 7 for 8 bars

 

(Continue this loop indefinitely)

 

By Mastering this pattern, you will have 90% of of all Jazz standards covered.

You don't have to re-climb the mountain for every song. It is all re-usable.

 

I can not stress this next point enough.

 

As you play lines over each chord, and are getting ready for the next chord to come, find the note closest to the last note you played in your line, and melodically connect it to the next chord. In other words, do not jump to another location, stay where you are, and find the nearest note or notes that lead you to the new chord family of sounds.

 

When I say lines, I mean melodic phrases you made up from the scales you have learned. Scales should start to fade, spontaneous and stylistic lines start to replace them. The goal is to play from the heart and not just your fingers. There are many lick machines who know every lick they have learned from other players, or play geometric patterns fast and think that is music. I believe you need your own voice.

Read the above two paragraphs over and over again until you totally comprehend its meaning.

 

 

3. The next thing to do is to learn some altered stuff. This is where the Great Jazz guys hang out. This separates the men from the boys in Jazz. The altered scales add the tension that pulls or pushes you to the next chord. After you do the altered stuff you will be ready to take any standard song, and Jazz it up. That is what we are leading up to, right?

 

 

Altered Stuff


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Copyright D.R. Auten 2001-2007  All Rights Reserved