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Installment #8 - Pithy ideas

1. When I was younger and began to play in bands, many of the players I worked with would comment on my appetite for practice and musical study. "You think too much." "I don't practice; I just play what I feel and have a good time, and so should you." "That jazz stuff isn't going to get you anywhere." And so on. Sometimes this was couched as good natured ribbing, other times not. These days I play jazz gigs and festivals, have CDs out which have gotten national and international airplay, and I've worked with a number of well known, world class musicians. Many of the people I used to play with are still playing at about the musical level they were 25 years ago, or no longer play at all. The moral? Follow the advice and examples of people who are doing what you want to do, and ignore those who AREN'T doing what you want to do.

2. Acknowledge that musical work and study will sometimes be difficult or even tedious. Keep a good attitude and consider the less inspiring times to be a challenge, and don't slack off. Excellence is achieved only after persistent effort and clear focus.

3. If you raise any note of an augmented triad 1/2 step it becomes a minor triad, with the raised note as the root.

4. If you lower any note of an augmented triad 1/2 step it becomes a major triad, with the lowered note as the 5th.

5. If you lower any note of a diminished 7th chord 1/2 step that note becomes the root of a dominant 7th chord.

6. 7th chords can be viewed as triads over bass notes. Example: Emaj7 is G#m/E. Use your high E as a root, and play the G# minor chords on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th strings. Another example: Em7 is G/E. As my Korean karate teacher used to say, same thing do!

Until next week,