Thursday, December 6, 2012

In Sync with the Master

Earlier I have posted videos and tabs of some blues etudes from "Joe Pass Guitar style." "Joe Pass On Guitar" is a great book too for exploring Joe's guitaristic approach. In it Joe explains his way of thinking. The book includes 50 musical examples and three complete transcriptions, all of which are contained on the included CD.

There is also a complete overview of "The Three Harmonic Families" and the lines, scales, and chord superimpositions and substitutions that comprise this view of Joe's jazz language. (By the way, the book is related to the "Jazz Lines" video that you see on the right.). It's abit more accessible than "Joe Pass Guitar Style" because, next to standard notation, it also gives tabs.

I recorded Joe's "Major Etude" that you can find on page 22 of the book. I am playing the etude unisono with him so you can hear and see us both.

This solo incorporates many of the major ideas presented earlier in the book. It's an etude on a static Cmaj7 chord. Note the use of V7 altered scale over I chords for building and releasing tension. The V7 altered chord has b9, #9, b13 etc. Especially bars 16-18 are a bitch. The 16th note run ends in bar 18 with an octotonic scale. Bars 23 and 24 feature some hip sounds in fourths.

This solo really served as an eye-opener some 10 years ago, especially on how to play altered sounds over I chords.

Now let's sync with the master!


  1. Obviously you have it memorized. What is the secret to memorizing that long of a piece that basically has no landmarks along the way. This is not normal, you know. Les

  2. The only secret is play it over and over again Les! It ain´t normal? LOL ...

  3. This is still paying dividends, years later. Thanks!