Saturday, January 31, 2015

Down and Up and Uncertainty

•Did my 1/2 hour on exercise bike; eating wasn't super nutritious today.
•Practiced with the rock band today. Went ok, I guess, but was like going through the motions.
•Wondering what the heck I should be doing music wise. Piano flew in and out of my mind. Not in the mood to do chord melody guitar. My leads in genres other than 50's and some 60's stuff are difficult. Looked through Aebersold's first book and I'm not just sure about that. Used a "pattern chart" that I think uses the pentatonic scale with a song and it didn't sound too horrible. But also did the same with Silver's patterns and that didn't sound too bad either. 
The "pattern chart" seems easier in the short run, but Silver's patterns are also ok. What seems to be helping is using some melody notes during the improvs. Maybe combining Silver's patterns with the  pentatonic scale somehow would be cool. Not sure what to do with regards to improvising. But I better not buy another book :)

Friday, January 30, 2015


•Trying to get back to being more healthy. Did 1/2 on exercise bike and so far have eaten better today than yesterday.
•Practiced with the old style jazz band tonight. Felt like our timing was off.
•I am going to go back to the Aebersold book. Improvisation to me seems to be really dependent on having a good ear. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Ok so I ate horribly today off my diet, and I didn't exercise. 
But I did practice more of Silver's patterns in the context of a song. I think it's just going to take time to know those patterns inside, outside, inside out, and sidewise. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Change

Going to go back to the Aebersold book 1 for guitar. Did my 1/2 hour on the exercise bike. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Learning By Doing

Improvised a solo to a song. It sounds, well, elementary yet passable. I need to go back to the Silver book and go slower. If you view today's solo at face value it won't be worth much; however, I can learn from it as to what I need to work on. So it was in the doing that I realized I have to go back to the drawing board on some things. That's ok.
Did 1/2 hour on exercise bike.

Monday, January 26, 2015

G minor Monday

Did 1/2 hour on exercise bike; lost 12.6 pounds since Jan 5.
Did an interesting experiment today and I must say that I was pleased with the results. I made a two track recording: one track consisted of me simply vamping on G minor type chords. On the other track, I actually improvised yes improvised using Silver's 5 patterns. Not bad! I do realize that things will get complicated doing this in the context of playing a song with chord changes, but I am pleased as to where I'm going. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Gypsy Jazz

Had a good time tonight playing a set of songs with the Gypsy Jazz band at a gig. I played rhythm only. At home, practiced those first 4 of Silver patterns and I'm really trying to get them internalized.
Did at least 1/2 hour on the exercise bike. Getting ready for some snow. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015


• traded my Joe Pass for an older Casino that I love (picture below)
• went to deceased cousin's funeral. These things, as terrible as they can be, can be inspirational. Reading the obituary can inspire.
• practiced with the Gypsy Band last night. Challenging material! Gig with this band tomorrow.
• continue to use exercise bike and practice good health
• loving the Silver stuff. Today I worked on learning 2 of the 5 patterns inside and out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Patterns Patterns Patterns Patters

I think again the key is to really be able to move those patterns around. Get them ingrained. Get the ability to effortlessly shift from pattern to another pattern on a different fret and start any place within the patterns. Practiced this a bit today. Working still on "My Funny Valentine" and it's difficult to quickly shift patterns for me  at this point. Getting there! Figured out also that I was incorrectly determining what pattern to use. Another challenge will be to try to make the patterns sound melodic. 
Did my 1/2 hour on the exercise bike and continue to eat well. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


If anyone reading this believes in God, please send up a prayer for my cousin and his family; he passed away from cancer. He was one of those cousins that I never really saw a lot of, but when I did see him, he was always so kind. Thanks. 

Started working on my first improvisation today, and although it is difficult, I think I'm headed in the right direction. It's to the song "My Funny Valentine," and I'm of course using Silver's guidelines. I keep repeating this, but I think it's true: getting those patterns ingrained in my hands is key.

Did 1/2 hour on exercise bike.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Went on exercise bike this morning but the stupid timer stopped keeping time as I was riding. So I started over and put in more than 30 minutes. Lost 3.2 pounds since last week.
Well it looks like I rejoined the "Gypsy Jazz" band (at least temporarily). Anyway, today focused just a little on ingraining Silver's patterns 1 and 2.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

"Slow down, you move to fast."

Spent most of yesterday and today on the road or visiting my dad who lives over 2 hours away. I brought the Silver book, and I think I just need to slow down with my reading of if, and do more on my guitar with it! 
Got home, did 1/2 hour on exercise bike, and then decided to really get into Silver's first pattern so I don't have to always start a pattern on its first note. I think it's a good idea to keep doing this with the other patterns, but also its time to start improvising using his techniques with an actual song (with guitar in hand).
Time to stop the left brain emphasis and start improvising while internalizing the patterns in my brain more and more.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Going to read a little Edgar Allen Poe before bed tonight


Traveled a couple of hours or so to spend the day/night over with my dad. Today was nice spending time with him; on the way, listened to some of Silver's CD as well as one talking about the importance of being in a relationship with God. Went to Mass today with dad at the same Church in which I was baptized. Maybe I'm hearing Jesus? Interesting how one Scripture reading talks about the Lord calling.
Worked a little (without guitar in hand) on the steps to making a solo to a song.
No exercise bike today but I did manage to fit in a 1/2 hour walk.