Gemstone broker Roy Whetstine paid $10 at a Tucson gem show for what his trained eye thought to be the world`s largest star sapphire, which he later valued at $2.28 million. Guess the seller didn't really appreciate what he had in his possession?! Students of jazz guitar can likewise be blind to the value of what they may already have in their possession.
Most players coming up tend to ignore the basic triads, minor/major pentatonics and blues scales that they rocked out to in the past, in favor of erudite jazz modes and exotic scales. Net result? Too much time in the shed chasing their tales searching for sounds that were already under their fingertips.
Kenny Wessel’s Shades of Jazz will open your eyes and ears to a virtually endless stream of creative and very sophisticated jazz harmonies -- all generated simply by tweaking basic triads, pentatonics and scales. Kenny will show you how take those basic scales and tweak a single note here or there, or move them up a whole step, or down a half-step, or simply work them over a different tonality to create those hip harmonies you hear in your head but haven’t yet worked out on the fretboard.
Kenny’s curriculum will appeal to players across all genres. “We're going to explore how to use some of the basic tools and vocabulary that we all have as guitarists and apply them in new ways to expand our harmonic language and open up our playing. Jazz, rock, jam, world and blues players will be able to put these approaches to work immediately in their improvisations.”
Kenny kicks things off with an insightful series of voice leading lessons in Section 1. He discusses scale tones, chord tones and then shares some valuable voice leading applications with demonstrations and a playalong.
Section 2 focuses on using Phrygian mode (built on the 3rd degree of a major scale) to craft a dominant sound. You already know a major scale and so you already know the Phrygian mode. D Phrygian, Bb Major, F Mixolydian and C Dorian -- they’re all the same exact notes! Kenny shows you how to take those same notes and shape them to work over II-V-I in ways you likely haven’t discovered yet. More demonstrations and playalongs here as well.
The Minor Pentatonic concepts in Section 3 will blow your mind. Kenny will show you how to move that most familiar of scales down a half-step to generate a Lydian sound, up a step for further extensions, up a 5th for a sus sound, and up a flat 3rd for an alternate dominant sound. More demonstrations and playalongs over a II-V-I to put it all to work in context.
Major Pentatonic is next in Section 4. Flat the 6th for altered dominant over a II-V-I progression. Flat the 3rd for a minor or altered dominant sound. Section 5 digs in to applications for minor and major triads to create lydian, sus and altered dominant sounds. Don’t put the box down -- more demonstrations and II-V-I playalongs for you to work with.
All of the demonstrations are presented over a rhythm track for context. Kenny then breaks down the application in a clear and very accessible manner. Everything is tabbed and notated, plus you'll also get all of the rhythm tracks to practice the applications on your own.
While it turned out that Whetstine’s sapphire wasn’t all he claimed it to be (very poor gem quality) that is NOT the case with Shades of Jazz -- if you improvise, you’re but a click away from the mother lode.