Friday, October 2, 2015


The Blues Band disbanded. Tried an idea to learn improv., but I didn't  like how it was working out. Going back to the Marc Silver book, "Contemporary Guitar Improvisation." 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Little Bit of Disney Night Music

Spent just about the whole day on two Disney songs done chord melody style: "When You Wish Upon a Star," and "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes." Recorded them with crickets on a seperate track to give it an "evening" mood. 

Learned that playing single notes during the course of the song is ok; no need at this point for me to get burdened down with a bunch of chords for many melody notes. 

Learned to notate the songs in such a way that will hopefully be useful in maintaining them in a repertoire. Memorization just doesn't cut it for me. 
Will put Conti's book "The Formula!" on hold for now.

Moving towards getting into Garrison Fewell's book "Jazz Improvisation for Guitar: A Melodic Approach."

Thanks again to Robert Conti for making the world of chord melody guitar accessible to me.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Star Wishing

A great guitar day. Learning by doing. Worked on a chord melody arrangement of "When You Wish Upon a Star" mostly using Robert Conti's book "The Assembly Line." Just a great book. 

Came to good insight that might go against the general advice of some: I'm not going to memorize my chord melody arrangements, but rather I will look at my charting of them. Can't stand memorization.

Tomorrow I think I'll work on finishing the song, going over some of the Aebersold book 1 for guitar, and get into Conti's "The Formula!"

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Happy Thursday / Ted Greene

- Recently found an absolutely awesome resource and read a little about the guy's life: Ted Greene. The website is:
There's a section there depicting chord melody notes, and I'm going to try it. I think I have a good system figured out. 
- Thinking of maybe if my system works out well, I might try to make some arrangements in more complex styles utilizing Robert Conti's "The Formula!"
- Thinking about getting a book about Ted Greene's life written by who seems to have been his common law wife.
- Thinking about also getting the only album he released of solo guitar.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Great advice from a band member

Well I've been struggling with trying to learn chord melody guitar. Torture! A band member suggested that I'm trying too hard. I think he's right. I took his suggestion and just played out of a Fakebook "Yesterday." Perfect? No way. But I liked it. I think I'm going to keep doing it this way. Instead of trying to sound like Joe Pass, I think it'll be fine if I just sound like me. And I can always add new chords to the mix. And I don't have to memorize songs!
I'm going to try to use the 'not try so hard ' approach to improve.... Just learn some scales and see what happens. Hello again, Aebersold! 
Play guitar more than worry about guitar...don't hang around to long in the left brain! 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Slow But Steady Progress

- Watched parts of "Rocky." What an inspirational movie.
- Slow guitar day: slow but steady progress on the jazz improv and the chord melody song. Keeping in mind that this stuff doesn't come overnight.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Good Guitar Day

* Finished working on voicing "Do You Know What it's Like to Miss New Orleans." Need work on memorizing it. 

* Now that I think I have a pretty good idea of how to voice a chord in the context of building a chord melody arrangement, I might try to go back to using Robert Conti's "The Formula!" or the other two more recent chord melody books I bought in order to learn how to add embellishments. 

* Thinking it might be a cool idea to keep voicing songs, but making up a three ringed binder of my voicings for chords and their associated melody notes in order to get better and better at quickly arranging songs.

* Need to get back to Conti's "The Jazz Lines."

* Good band practice today, gearing up for a charity rock and roll / jazz standards gig this upcoming Saturday.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

"The Jazz Lines"

Up to Lesson 2 in Conti's book. Pleased with my progress. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Just Doin It

Continue to work on my chord melody song; I'm up to the middle part.
Up to page 13 of Robert Conti's "The Jazz Lines" book, and it is interesting for sure. 

So my two sources of instruction remain:
1) "Through Chord-Melody & Beyond" by Howard Morgen
2) "The Jazz Lines" by Robert Conti

Going well.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Robert Conti

Continue to work on my chord melody arrangement.
Started working out of Robert Conti's "The Jazz Lines" book regarding learning improv.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Chord Melody & The Blues

Good practice with the blues band today. We may alter our direction to do more upbeat rockabilly and very early rock and roll stuff.
Continue to work on my chord melody arrangement.
Need to get back to exercise, diet, and, oh yea, learning how to improvise on guitar.

Friday, September 4, 2015

New Orleans

Interesting: working on "Do You Know What it's Like to Miss New Orleans," chord melody style, using Howard Morgen's book. I like it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Two books

Going to work with:
1.Howard Morgan's: "Through Chord-Melody & Beyond." 
2. Scales and modes haven't cut it for me. I know, I know, I'm changing learning materials yet again, but I'd like to try improvising using chord tones, or arpeggios, rather than scales. Going to use Kimie Kim's "Jazz Guitar Arpeggio Soloing."