Lecon du Oud (Oud Lesson) - Anouar Brahem

I thought I'd repost some old transcriptions.  Yesterday's post of Anouar Brahem's "The Astounding Eyes of Rita" reminded me of some older transcriptions of his music that I did ages ago. 

I'd posted some of these ages ago on my…

The Whole-Tone Pentatonic Scale

This is a sound that (if memory serves) I first noticed when transcribing John Coltrane's solo on "I Hear A Rhapsody" from his 1957 album "Lush Life."  I don't think I've ever come across anyone discussing this particular scale, so…

"Zhivago" lick, Part 2

(Note: Originally published November 2009 - accidentally deleted, so reposting)

In the previous post, I put up a transcription of a signature line from Kurt Rosenwinkel's solo on "Zhivago" from The Next Step. The line is basically planing a…

Anouar Brahem - The Astounding Eyes of Rita

I've always been a fan of Anouar Brahem.  He's one of the first oud players I heard and is partly responsible for inspiring me to learn the oud in the first place (along with Rabih Abou-Khalil).  After met Simon Shaheen…

New Year - Old Posts

Once upon a time, I tried to blog about things I was practicing related to jazz.  Over the past several years, I've been much more focused on Arabic music and the oud, but I thought I'd repost my old musings…

Freedom and Limitations

I find myself thinking about this topic with some regularity.  It seems to me that “freedom” is often presented as a linear scale, with “limitations” in opposition to freedom, as if limitations are like chains that prevent us from being…

Here's where it starts

I'm going to be using this space to share what projects I'm working on, what I've been thinking about, and anything else I find interesting or cool.

I just finished composing some original music for a short documentary film, Beirut

Key-oriented perspective

It's very common in jazz education to encourage a chord-oriented perspective on improvisation. In many ways, this makes a lot of sense and can be a valuable way of analyzing the music. However, it runs the risk of one failing…

"Bill Evans"-derived Rootless voicings for guitar, part 2

Here are more rootless voicings for guitar, based on the "Bill Evans" left-hand style voicings.

These are mostly drop-2 chords, so unlike Evans's close voicings, these are open voicings. This does change the character of the sonority considerably; if the…

Added-Note Triad Applications

The uses of triads for an improviser are nearly limitless. As I hinted at in my previous post on digital patterns, adding a note to a triad to create a four-note group can create a lot of possibilities.  The…

Digital Patterns

Okay, I haven't posted in a year. Here's a little worksheet of common patterns that are often used by modern improvisers. John Coltrane was probably the first to make notable use of these kinds of patterns, which he did on…