"[...] Currently I like to focus on drop 2 chords on the guitar and I think "Drop two is the new Black“ for me is a comprehensive guide to develop my comping abilities. Thanks for maintaining a great website!"
- Fritz S., Austria
Learn new ways to approach jazz guitar comping to help you free yourself from the "tyranny of the root note" and make your chordal playing more fluid. The exercises in this course will teach you to comp in a modern yet inside fashion on II-V-I and standard progressions.
By breaking down the full spectrum of available drop 2 voicings on the guitar, we first look at the five important chord qualities (maj7, dom7, m7, m7b5 and dim7) all from root C. This is just an encyclopedia of all the chord shapes used in this course. And it might be a review from some intermediate and advanced players.
The next section takes the drop 2 voicings from the introduction for a spin ... using the diatonic cycle of fourths. This is also where voice leading is first encountered in this course. This is allows you to strengthen your understanding of (and technique for) the typical drop 2 chord inversions.
The next two section deal exclusively with two ways to approach the II-V-I progression. First with the "plain vanilla" approach. Then with 9th extensions. And immediately with "more modern" concepts (such as quartal, fourths-voicings and conversion of altered dominants). You'll get to fully master all the previous materials by consciously applying it to Dm7 to G7 to Cmaj7. And the cherry on top is that each II-V-I is in perfect voice leading provided for you by the author. That's really how jazz pros comp!
Then there's the interlude, and a quick lesson about pivoting. This concept has the power to transform your current stale voicings and comping into more powerful ideas almost instantly.
And lastly, the course finishes with the ultimate applications of all the previous materials on a timeless standard song progression. You've guessed it, you'll be playing those nice chords on "Autumn Leaves". First with a chord melody style study with the melody, and later with actual real-life comping examples on the same progression.
Once you can execute all these materials perfectly, you will benefit in hearing (and seeing) these new drop 2 voicings into your playing during your own comping.
Jazz guitarists comp for at least 80% of the time they spend on stage, or with other musicians. Mostly, we learn by shape, and re-use the same "chord grips" at every comping. Not anymore: the answer lies in learning drop 2 chords, their inversions, their extensions and ways to move between them with voice leading.
The author depicts a simple yet powerful methodology to go through all drop 2 (in all inversions) without you getting overwhelmed. This pragmatic way of presenting the materials has been used by Greg on his college-level students for years. The real-life applications of this course are straightforward: whenever your duty involves comping, you can use any/all chords in this course!
A native of Nova Scotia and of Acadian heritage, Greg Amirault has been active as a leader and sideman on the Montreal jazz scene for more than 25 years. He has performed with Maria Schneider, Howard Levy, Kevin Dean, Michel Donato, Dave Turner, Karen Young, Andre White, Steve Amirault, Remi Bolduc, Fraser Hollins, Don Thompson, Wray Downes and Tim Hagans. Other than performing in the Montreal area Greg is also a jazz guitar instructor at McGill and Concordia Universities.
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"I’m happy to put in the work for memorizing the various Drop 2s and 3s. I’m going on faith that at some point I will be able to transcribe simple notation of my Songbook favorites to chord melody style. Hearing the melody in this context would be VERY satisfying and motivating toward more sophisticated play. First things first for me."
- Gary H., USA
"Excellent material, very well organized. Nice job!"
- Jim M., U.S.A
"[...] Love your course... recently enrolled and have just started. Have always been taken up by jazz (the renditions of the popular numbers over the years) but never really looked at it in any depth. I have been playing guitar for over 50 years [...] I am truly enjoying the way you have presented the course. It all sort of "clicks" as you explain. I am just starting but am glad I enrolled to your course as part of my personal musical journey.... love it...Thanks a heap..."
- George C., U.S.A.