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    Default Requested Glossary of Terms

    bazgra43 has made the following request in the Overall 335 Improv Questions/Requests thread:

    >>for those amongst us who are looking forward to the arrival of course material with a mixture of excited anticipation moderated by a dose of trepidation, would threre be mileage in a glossary of terms so that we all are singing from the same songsheet. e.g. what does the term "comping " mean; what is a double stop; what constitutes a "triad"; a simple definition of the Circle of 5ths etc. Others might have similar basic queries. Just a thought.<<

    Good thought and I will be more than happy to serve as Webster on this one. Just post your glossary requests in this thread and I will make sure there's a studious response quickly thereafter.


    Here's the initial terms requested by bazgra43:

    Comping - an essential term used by just about anyone who plays improvised-based music of any sort, "comping" or "comp" is short for accompaniment. What Larry is referring to is [mostly] chordal based playing that is meant to accompany the focal point of the ensemble, e.g. a vocalist, an instrumentalist playing a head melody, a solo, etc. Though, the term can be used to describe just the act playing of chords with varied rhythmic inflections such as a one-chord vamp as he does in Section 2:2, Shifting the Raised 9, where he lays out choices for the Db#9 (or raised 9 as Larry states).

    Double Stop - A guitarist-based term used to describe two-note harmonic or diadic events. BUT, that's not to say the two-note P4-laden "Smoke on the Water" is a double stop riff. When this term is whipped out it's usually referring to biting, lick based events where a two-note component is played on the upper 3rd, 2nd and 1st strings within a lick-like sequence--think Johnny B. Goode intro when Chuck runs down a series of 3rds and 4ths after the initial iconic motif. Speaking of, the term double stops is usually reserved for 3rds and 4ths. Smaller, tighter intervals--2nds--are sometimes nicknamed "clusters" while larger intervals like 5th and 6ths are just called out as such. In regards to the former, the term "cluster" is more often reserved for 3- or 4-note chords who's interval makeup features 2nd(s). Check out Section 6:1, I-VI-II-V Progression, where Larry shows you some sweet alternative cluster voicings for the I and II chords--very cool! For double stop supremacy check out Pat Martino, Tal Farlow and Danny Gatton as well as most any country picking monster (Brent Mason, Jerry Donahue, Johnny Hiland, Wil Ray, our own Ladd Smith to name a few)

    Triad - A three note chord formula. Seems simple, but runs DEEP especially in Larry's world--just check out Section 1:4 and 1:5 for instance. For a little more in depth study and some playing examples to boot, email me at for a PDF of my article from the October 2005 issue of Guitar One magazine on triads. I'll try to get that on my website later today for everyone to DL. It's too big to attach on the forum.

    Circle of Fifths - Ah, the circle of life. The circle of fifths is the cylindrical tell-all reference source where we can view (see the attached .GIF image) the inter-relationships contained within the western (that's us) twelve tone system and their resultant key signatures--both of the major and minor ilk. Starting from C and going clockwise (ccw will breed the circle of fourths--same deal just going the other way) the notes are the interval of a 5th part (hence the name) and will continue to go round the circle (or cycle) all the way back to the C you started from. Take note: in order to make it around the circle back to the starting line some enharmonics (same pitch, multiple names) need to be employed on and bordering the "half-hour" mark such as B/Cb, F#/Gb and C#/Db. We use the circle of fifths to best illustrate relationships in whatever it is we're doing. For a more in-depth take, Wiki has got you covered:
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    Last edited by Chris Buono; 12-15-2009 at 12:30 PM. Reason: Added information
    Chris Buono

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