Curricular Menu

A) THE BASICS:

1) The Master (AKA ‘Grand’) Staff


2) Scales, key signatures, modes

3) 3rds and 7ths in Chords; how chord symbols work

4) Rhythmic Note Values

B) BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE UNIVERSE MUSICAL—HARMONY:

(This is an in-depth look at all eleven harmonic structures in conventional Western harmony, including all of the chordal functions, interior 3, 4, 5 and 6-part chords, some special voicings, improv tricks, stylistic considerations and the trouble-shooting of faulty chord symbols.)


 

1) The I MA13(#11) chord in Major


2) The ii mi13 chord in Major

3) The V 13 chord in Major


4) “ii-V-I: What is chordal function, REALLY?”


5) The i mi MA 13 chord in minor

6) The ii mi7 (b5) in minor


7) The IV 13(#11) chord in minor


8) The V13(b9) in Major and in minor


9) The V7(b9 b13) in minor


10) The altered dominant / tri-tone subs


11) The so-called diminished structure and the 8-note dominant scale


12) The V9 (b13) in Major and in minor

 

C) BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE UNIVERSE MUSICAL—RHYTHM
:

1) Basics of time signatures


2) Polyrhythms


3) Rhythmic sightreading


4) recommendations on how to become fluent in Rhythm


5) Metronome practice techniques

6) Klaves! They drive everything!

 

D) COMPOSING AND ARRANGING:

1) The Score

2) The ‘Envelope’

3) Thematic development


4) The Arranger’s toolbox (klaves, entrances, pads, harmonizing the melody, obligato, ostinato, pedals, alternating triads, distilling melody down to its truth, target notes, counter-melody, thumb lines, bass line 101, master rhythm charts, etc.)


5) Stylistic considerations to applying the 11 chords in arrangement


6) Special harmonic techniques—12-tone, reharmonization, parallel, etc.


7) Stylistic considerations of applying Rhythm to arrangement

8) Music Copying / Transcribing / Notation

 

E) ORCHESTRATION:


1) Introduction to the instrument families


2) Writing for Woodwinds


3) Writing for Strings


4) Writing for Brass


5) Writing for Mallets, Percussion and Rhythm Section

6) Developing an ‘orchestral ear’

 

F) PRODUCTION:

1) Pre-Production; midi, the DAW and such

2) Signal flow theory

3) Gear

4) The Mix

 

G) IMPROV:

1 through 11) An in-depth look, chord-by-chord, at how to fly with the 11 harmonic structures

12) Superimposing tonalities; polychords


13) Composing a solo; more on the ‘envelope’

14) Comping (Accompaniment—if you’re a guitar player, this is the most important skill set you’ll ever build.)

 

H) PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF PLAYING GUITAR
:

1) Litany on motor skill development; building motor engrams; exercises for building independence, synchronization, speed & accuracy


2) Tuning; string winding / headstock 101; instrument care and feeding


3) Care and feeding of the forearm flexor / extensor muscle / tendon / ligament machinery

 

I) TIPS ON APPLYING GUITAR IN THE WORKPLACE
:

1) Understanding your function


2) Studio protocol / stage protocol


3) Tracking Guitar—the basic track, overdubs, obligatos, ostinatos, the fill track, the solo track, the acoustic track, engineer psychology 101, producer psychology, FX theory

 

J) PLAYING DIFFERENT STYLES ON GUITAR:


1) Classical


2) Straight-ahead Jazz


3) Funk


4) Fusion


5) Blues


6) AAA (that ‘polished’ sound)


7) Hard Rock


8) Old school rock


9) Psychedelic tricks


10) Finger-style / Travis Fingerpicking


11) Slide


12) Scatting / singing harmony with your guitar

 

K) MISCELLANY
:

1) Listening and responding to the music around you

2) Ear training tips


3) More polyrhythms

4) The science—and love—of stupid, inane parts we must play


5) Bandleader psychology


6) Audition strategies


7) Packaging yourself

This is how we make music happen…