Archive

Archive for the ‘Jazz Theory’ Category

The power of “repeat”

June 2nd, 2010
3,052 views 1 comment

One thing I really love about digital media, and media in general, is the power to repeat.

Jazz musicians learn the language of jazz by repeated listening and transcribing of recordings. Writers learn from closely re-reading books, poems, or articles. Video editors and filmmakers learn from closely analyzing and re-watching TV commercials, short films, or movie scenes.

With basic TV, you can’t repeat – you have to blindly accept all the images that are being force-fed into your mind. Digital TV has given control to “Pause” live TV, and to some degree repeat.

Youtube is awesome because there is no limit to how many times you can repeat a video – just click the play button again.

Streaming radio annoys me because I find I really only enjoy a song once I have heard it 5 times.

Live concerts sometimes frustrate me – I find I don’t have the brainpower to remember or perceive all the complexities of a live concert, but if I had a video recording or even an audio recording I could absorb everything the artist is trying to convey.

Of course I love live music for the spontaneity and feeling the presence of the performers.

Without the ability to repeat I feel helpless. With it, I can master my role as an audience member in perceiving art and media, and truly improve my own ability to create.

3,052 views

Ear Training Lesson – key of C Major and the Diatonic System

May 24th, 2010
2,807 views No comments

My friend Marcus Emmanuel Barnes and I created a new musical ear training video as part of the series of lessons we’re making on EarPractice.com.

This week’s video is about the “Diatonic System” in music, which is where you can play a lot of different types of chords and melodies, all within one key. To keep things simple we stick to the key of C Major.

Hope you enjoy it and find the lesson useful.

Additional links:

2,807 views

Ear Training Video on Identifying Chords

September 26th, 2009
2,034 views 1 comment

My friend Marcus and I created an ear training video on identifying chords. It’s available at EarPractice, on Youtube, or by using the player below.

In the video I play a series of chords on the piano and after each one, pause for the viewer to identify the kind of chord (such as Major, minor, dominant-seventh) and the key (such as C, A, etc), before revealing the answer. This is a useful exercise and is something you can do with a friend too, once you get the idea.

2,034 views

New Recording: All I Want To Do – Angela Molineux featuring Geoff Peters

August 23rd, 2009
1,564 views No comments

My talented globetrotting singer-songwriter friend, Angela Molineux, dropped by my place today for a visit, and we wrote and recorded a new song, called All I Want To Do.

We originally started working on this song 3 years ago when we were both living in Vancouver. Since then Angela has performed and lived in Italy, New York, and London, has studied opera at Julliard, and has had many other interesting musical adventures.

All I Want To Do is a seductive pop ballad that is full of emotion and desire. The simple, repetitive harmonic structures envelop the listener in a thick intoxicating cloud that can become almost trance-like. Most of the song is made up of the chord progression Ebm Gb Fm, and the second half of the chorus alternates between Ab and Gb.

The song is now live on iTunes. Click the link below for a preview of the song, and the full version can be purchased through iTunes for 99 cents.

Angela Molineux Featuring Geoff Peters - All I Want To Do - All I Want To Do

1,564 views

Jazz piano practice: Lee Morgan’s Ceora, Melodic Minor Scale, Autumn Leaves

May 13th, 2009
5,956 views No comments

Another practice tonight. I am all fired up about attending Phil Dwyer‘s Academy of Musical and Culinary arts (PDAMCA) this summer in Qualicum Beach BC.

I worked some more on Ceora like I did the last few practices and then felt that I was playing the same sounds over and over again, and wanted to change things up a bit. So I thought I would investigate the melodic minor scale. The melodic minor scale is the same as the major scale except the third degree is “flatted” as in a minor scale. A piano friend Stephen Pong recommended to try playing the scale starting on the 7th degree, and playing the dominant seventh chord starting on this 7th note. I also tried playing fifths in the left hand and going up and around the melodic minor scale in some exploratory ways. This is a totally new sound for me, and I really am glad to finally be exploring this interesting scale.

Here is an excellent article with other chords to play with the melodic minor scale (click here).

I then brought out my vocal mic and tried playing Autumn Leaves in the key of Fminor (for a change!) while singing. I did a bit of scat soloing and stuff which I didn’t record but it was fun anyways. (Click here for Chick Corea and Bobby Mcferrin doing an amazing duo version of Autumn Leaves).

Feel free to click below to listen to my practice in Midi format:
ceora and autumn leaves.mid

5,956 views