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Jazz and the Classical Guitar

Jim Santella By

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Ken Hatfield

Jazz and the Classical Guitar: Theory and Application

Mel Bay Publications

248 pages, softcover, spiralbound

ISBN: 0786672366

2005

Intended for serious music students, Ken Hatfield's book discusses harmonic theory in detail and offers the reader a thorough foundation for approaching jazz improvisation; either as a career, or for the pleasure of performing alone or with a group. While the book focuses on acoustic guitar, it's intended for anyone who already knows how to read music, how to play an instrument, and who wants to learn about improvisation.

The author feels that you've got to be prepared if you're to get optimum enjoyment from jazz performance. Therefore, his discussion includes scales and exercises as well as harmonic structure, song form, and numerous examples. The musical notation is included and analyzed. You come away from a study session with Hatfield's book, and included CD, armed with tools that can help produce immediate results.

A thorough explanation of the seven modes of the Major scale, the cycle of fifths, the related minor scales, chord progressions, twelve-tone harmonic theory, quartal harmony, tertian harmony, the blues, and jazz standards takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of music's universal language. A glossary of terms is included for clarification and study. Hatfield complements each topic with examples from the jazz world and illustrates his points with musical notation and analysis.

Whether the reader is a student or a professional, much benefit is to be gained by working with the included exercises. Drills and creative exercises can always help; and here, they're designed to clarify the points under discussion.

The companion CD provides suitable examples for study. While Hatfield's is not strictly a play-along book with complete notation and specific instructional tracking, it does provide the reader with written musical notation to follow the CD. You're encouraged to play along and to improvise. Most of the notes are there, but the student is required to do a little thinking. The 2nd appearance of "Prosodic Permutations, for example, supplies only the bass and rhythm parts, so that the student must supply the melody. It's a great exercise.

Even without an instrument in your hands, you can enjoy the companion CD with its relevant examples of blues changes, rhythm changes, New York blues changes, and more. Bass solos are included, drum fours are included, and the music takes off like a stellar nightclub performance. Hatfield's guitar solos turn out fluid and seamless as he makes it all seem oh so easy.

Tracks: Blues Etude 1; Pinky's Blues; Pinky's Blues; Riff for Brother Jack; Funkissimo; El Otro; Moon Over Astoria; Prosodic Permutations; Prosodic Permutations; Necessary Appurtenances; Yo Es; A Bit for Miss Fitt; Stirrings Still; Bergamo (43:46).

Personnel: Ken Hatfield: guitar; Hans Glawischnig: bass; Jeff Hirshfield, Duduka da Fonseca: drums; Dom Salvador- piano; Valentin Gregor- violin.

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