Mick Dennis Guitarist

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Jazz Improvisation

This video is a continuation of 
a "NO HOLDS BARRED" tutorial showing insight into many of my personal devices, tricks and secrets using "modal pentatonic" patterns to improvise over the jazz standard "Fly Me To The Moon". 
Please refer to one of my earlier videos for more information! 
I start off at 0:58 by outlining some of the basic patterns using octaves shapes. At 2:08 I demonstrate a device that is similar to an octave lick that Stevie Ray Vaughan uses in "Chitlins con Carne"! The first time at 4:04 I am playing through the basic modal pentatonic patterns for each of the chords using octaves. The second time at 5:38 I am embellishing the basic patterns with blues notes and chromatic passing tones using octaves. For the backing track (metronome setting mm=88) I'm using the iReal Pro app with an iPhone being played through a Jawbone BIG JAMBOX. The equipment being used is: Gibson Super 400, Custom Billm Modified Fender Blues Junior, Road Hog cable, PICKBOY Exotic Pick-ebony. The video was shot with an iPad Air using a Tascam iM2 stereo condenser microphone.

This video is intended to be a "NO HOLDS BARRED" tutorial showing insight into many of my personal devices, tricks and secrets using "modal pentatonic" patterns to improvise over the jazz standard "Fly Me To The Moon". The video is continued here: 
Please refer to one of my earlier videos for more information! 
I start off at 0:47 by outlining the basic patterns through the chord progression. There are some important points about using "blues notes and chromatic passing tones" at 4:44.
The first time at 6:20 I am playing through the basic modal pentatonic patterns for each of the chords. The second time at 8:28 I am embellishing the basic patterns with blues notes and chromatic passing tones. For the backing track (metronome setting mm=88) I'm using the iReal Pro app with an iPhone being played through a Jawbone BIG JAMBOX. The equipment being used is: Gibson Super 400, Custom Billm Modified Fender Blues Junior, Road Hog cable, PICKBOY Exotic Pick-ebony. The video was shot with an iPad Air using a Tascam iM2 stereo condenser microphone.

In this video I am demonstrating the use of "modal pentatonic" scales to improvise over the A section of "Autumn Leaves" in the Key of Em. I am using the iReal Pro app on my iPhone through a Blackheart Killer Ant amp and "2" Blackheart BH110 speakers to provide the background Jam Track. The equipment being used is: Gibson Les Paul Historic, PICKBOY Exotic pick - ebony, Road Hog cable, Custom Billm Modified Fender Blues Junior, Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. The video was shot with an iPad Air using a Tascam iM2 stereo condenser microphone. I am using "2" PBL VL-1000 SOFTBOXES (80cm x 80cm) for lighting.

In this video I am showing some of my favorite chromatic devices to use with an A minor pentatonic scale. The equipment being used is: Gibson Les Paul Historic, Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, 18ft Road Hog cable, Golden Gate pick. The backing track is being played through a Jawbone BIG JAMBOX. The video was shot with an iPad Air using a Tascam iM2 stereo condenser microphone.


C7 chord-improvising tutorial-Canon 7D-DXA-SLR PRO-March 9, 2013


In this video, I show how to take "2" basic dominant seventh voicings and add notes on the 2nd and 1st strings to create b9, #9, #5, 9 & 13 chords. Unfortunately, my video camera ran out of batteries at about 10 minutes so the video stops abruptly. However, there is still plenty of material for the intermediate guitarist to ponder. I have given quite a bit of theoretical analysis of all the chords that I am showing in this video lesson. Hope this helps to demystify the construction of complex jazz chords.

In this video, I am expanding on the concepts that I presented in my video entitled  "Targeting for Chord Tones-Key of Am-New Year's Day 2012". Here I am adding "1" extra note per string to create a "4 note per string" chromatic scale approach to the chords: Am, Dm & Em from the Key of Am. Note: that I am using "A natural minor" as my basic scale choice. Another interesting choice would be to use the "dorian mode" for each chord. If you applied the fingering patterns from the Dm, Dm7 chord at the 10th fret to each of the other chords, that would give you the "dorian mode/sound" for each chord. Perhaps, this is a "jazzier" sound! 

    The notes that I am targeting for across the 5th fret can be thought of as: Am, Am7 or Am7sus4 chord or Am pentatonic scale. The notes that I am targeting for across the 10th fret can be thought of as: Dm, Dm7 or Dm7sus4 chord or Dm pentatonic scale. The notes that I am targeting for across the 12th fret can be thought of as: Em, Em7 or Em7sus4 chord or Em pentatonic scale.


Targeting for Chord Tones-Key of Am-New Year's Day 2012

In this video tutorial, I am showing how to use the C major/A minor scale to target for the chord tones of the Am7, Dm7 & Em7 chords. The notes of each of the chords are located on the 5th, 10th & 12th frets, respectively. These "target notes" also correspond to the notes of the Am, Dm & Em pentatonic blues boxes. You could analyze the notes going across each of these frets as a minor 7 sus 4 chord. I am using a "3 note per string" approach to each of the chord tones.


Impressions-laid back latin groove-recorded Nov. 17, 2010

The video starts off with a short tutorial explaining and demonstrating some of the triad shapes that I use for improvising. I am using triads from the Key of C/D dorian to improvise over the Dm7(9) vamp & triads from the Key of Db/Eb dorian to improvise over the Ebm7(9) vamp. I have included fretboard diagrams from the Key of C with the diatonic triads circled in color using "DrawFree for iPad" in the video. 

To play in the Key of Db/Eb dorian just move each of the notes of the triad up one fret - a half step in musical terms. There is extensive "music theory" information included along with my playing on the video to give you further insight into the improvising material being used. Also included at the end of the video is my laid back latin groove "Jam Track" played fingerstyle on a Jimmy Foster 7 string guitar.


A minor/Cmajor Pentatonic-Melodic & Harmonic Variations-Video #2

In this video I am using the notes GACED, which is "one" of 120 possible permutations of the notes from A minor/C major pentatonic, to create the melodic idea. Then I'm using a set of "Jazz Chords" to harmonize these notes. The chords I use are: Bb13-A7-Abmaj7-G13-F#7#5. Notice how the roots of the chords go down in a chromatic scale. 

Here is a downloadable version of the "120" permutations.


A minor/C major Pentatonic-Melodic & Harmonic Variations-Video #1

There are "120" permutations of any 5 note scale. In this video in use the notes ECADG from the A minor/C major pentatonic scale to create a rhythm riff with the Am & G5 chords. Here is a downloadable version of the "120" permutations.


Melodic & Harmonic Variations of DEFGA_Video #3

There are 120 permutations of any "5" notes. In this video I use the notes: F G A E D  to produce  "melodic & harmonic variations". The "5" notes were selected at random; so this video represents a starting point for using this material to improvise and compose your own riffs,melodies,chord progressions etc. The chords I have chosen to harmonize the "melodic motifs" with are: Cm9,F13,Bb9 & Ebmaj7. Once the melodic motif ( FGAED ) was chosen, then I simply tinkered around with some jazz chord voicings till I found something that I liked.


Melodic & Harmonic Variations of DEFGA_Video #2

There are 120 permutations of any "5" notes. In this video I use the notes: F D E G A  to produce  "melodic & harmonic variations". The "5" notes were selected at random; so this video represents a starting point for using this material to improvise and compose your own riffs,melodies,chord progressions etc. The chords I have chosen to harmonize the "melodic motifs" with are: Dm7,G7,Em7,Bb13 & Eb9#11. Once the melodic motif ( FDEGA ) was chosen, then I simply tinkered around with some jazz chord voicings till I found something that I liked.


Melodic & Harmonic Variations of DEFGA_Video #1

There are 120 permutations of any "5" notes. In this video I use the notes: D E F G A  in "12" different permutations to produce "melodic variations". The "5" notes were selected at random; so this video represents a starting point for using this material to improvise and compose your own riffs,melodies etc. The chords I have chosen to harmonize the "melodic motifs" with are diatonic to the Key of C. They can be analyzed as the ii chord - Dm7 & Dm7sus; the V chord - G7 & G13add9; the I chord - Cmaj7 and the IV chord - Fmaj7. I have included the "5" notes that are used in each short video clip example as subtitles in the beginning of each clip. Also included in the subtitles are the chords used in each short clip.



"Black Orpheus"-jazz chord substitutions & Jam Track

This video features jazz chord substitutions and extensions played over the basic changes to "Black Orpheus" by Luis Bonfa(a lead sheet is included). I apologize to the jazz purists for getting Luis Bonfa's  name wrong. I've also included chord diagrams for all the chords played in the video clips. There is a "Jam Track" played on a nylon-string guitar at the end of the video section. As a bonus there are scale diagrams from my "Guitar Visualizations" book. The audio from the video clips is straight from a Flip HD camera so the sound is a little thin but audible.
    This video is jam-packed with chord voicings and scales that should be useful to the aspiring jazz guitarist. There are downloadable pdf files of all the chord voicings from the video.
Also check out my video - Black Orpheus-Solo Guitar