Monthly Archives: April 2015

Why Montessori Bells Get it Wrong (2)

“Why are those ones black?” The little girl was four years old and had asked the one question I couldn’t answer in a way she could understand. I wanted to see how children used these Montessori bells and what could … Continue reading

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A Quiet Revolution in Harmonic Theory

In my young day, your first lesson in jazz harmony was the so-called scale-tone seventh chords. This was the basis of the John Mehegan method back in the fifties. You just piled up your thirds on each note of the … Continue reading

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The Science of Licks

Continuing from my recent post on the philosophy of licks, one of the measures of a good lick is how it messes with the listener’s cognition and fries his brain. It arrives too fast for you to take it all … Continue reading

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Violin Mind and Guitar Mind or Why You Should Learn Two Instruments

Here is an exercise that builds on a fragment from John Coltrane’s solo on Giant Steps that gets you through all the major triads (4 3) and half diminished arpeggios (3 3 4). In the original context the half diminished is actually … Continue reading

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How to be a Bomber (Perfect Love Casts Out Fear)

Across the road from me is an area where the old men play their pétanque, or as the English prefer to call it, boules. And most afternoons when there isn’t a game on, one particular fellow can be found there … Continue reading

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