Comments on: Todd Johnson in Music and Harmony http://bassguitarblog.com/2009/05/todd-johnson-in-music-and-harmony/ The Blog for Bass Players - Covering all the basses! Thu, 13 Feb 2014 13:03:27 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 By: Chad Grimes- Comment on Bye Bye Blackbird http://bassguitarblog.com/2009/05/todd-johnson-in-music-and-harmony/comment-page-1/#comment-7670 Sat, 15 Aug 2009 20:26:31 +0000 http://bassguitarblog.com/?p=705#comment-7670 Hi Bass World, does anyone know how to change the picture that goes with a members name? I do not like my frown face icon and want to change it. Next I reviewed Todd Johnson’s excellent playing on Bye Bye Blackbird and just wanted to state that this is a great example of what I have been trying to say, and that is Todd is playing “ON and Around” the chord change and NOT scales. Notice the way Todd plays chords and weaves the melody line in between and creates tension with non chord tones. One is not doing that by seeing scales but rather he sees the chord change and understands the notes “ON and Around” the chord changes. Even when Todd is soloing more melodically, there is shape and movement to his playing and it is built off the understanding of the chord changes. Here is a link for anyone that is interested and demonstrates soloing off Scales. Joel Xavier Jazz guitar. Notice how the soloing is too sterile, too square and boxy, and goes no where. It is too repetitious. The bass player and the guitarist are off rhythm with each other at times because they are not listening to each other. This is an example of why one should NOT be soloing from a scale perspective. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujoNZGmt–M

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By: Chad Grimes, graduated Cum Laude From Berklee http://bassguitarblog.com/2009/05/todd-johnson-in-music-and-harmony/comment-page-1/#comment-7631 Fri, 14 Aug 2009 19:14:41 +0000 http://bassguitarblog.com/?p=705#comment-7631 Hi, Ben. I think you misunderstood my comment. First let me state that I graduated Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music. I had a great time at Berklee College of Music and learned a lot. Now let me clarify a bit of what my comment was on Todd and his scales. I do want to say that I think Todd is a great player and do not doubt his accomplishments. I just am trying to point out that the great professionals do not see it in terms of scales. I did very well in music theory and have no problems understanding it. I know scales, modes, key signatures, etc., very well. However, when I think of scales it is from a compositional standpoint only, not during a performance. I disagree with your comment that states the professionals know the scales so well that it is apart of them. I say this because most of the great players do not know scales. Now before I am misunderstood, I want to say that I believe “EVERYONE” learning their instruments should learn the standard notation but see the playing around the chord changes. I was wondering if you realized that Berklee College of Music changed their philosophy on this same matter. The guitar dept. now stresses reading on and around the chord change. Ex. Take a look at this progression in the KEY of G Major: G Maj 7 / C Maj7 / A7/ Dm7/ Ab Maj7/ Db7/ Cm7/ F7….. Do you see how that even though the tune is in G Major, there is chords borrowed from other keys (A7, Dm7, Ab Maj7, Db7, Cm7, F7). The A7 chord has a C# in the chord. The Dm7 has a F natural, the Ab chord has an Ab and Eb, the Db7 has a Db, Ab, F natural, the Cm7 has an Eb, and the F7 has an F natural and an Eb. The G Major scale has one F#. No great player is going to compensate all of those accidentals over all of those chord changes. What I am stating is that Bass Guitar players and Guitar players understand the chord tones and the non-chord tones around the harmonic changes. This is the way any great jazz musician reads music and for you guitar players out there, this is the way Clapton, Page, Young, Van Halen, etc., reads. In closing, you have to remember that scales were invented by music theorists. They come “after” the players and organize things into nice neat interpretations. I would Ben, like to hear your views on 95 percent of new musicians refusing to learn standard notation and instead, at best learn a tab number system of reading. I do not understand how these new players feel scales are so important and yet refuse to learn standard notation? Scales are all about understanding notes, and is important, but just from composing melody lines and compositions, not during soloing on the spot or reading music. Hope this clears up a bit of what I am trying to say. I can go into more detail of the actual playing around the chords if you like?

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By: Benjamin http://bassguitarblog.com/2009/05/todd-johnson-in-music-and-harmony/comment-page-1/#comment-7614 Fri, 14 Aug 2009 10:59:03 +0000 http://bassguitarblog.com/?p=705#comment-7614 Hi Chad – Sounds like you had a tough time at Berklee!

From what you’ve said, it doesn’t sound like you’ve seen the DVD and what’s on there. You’re right, great players don’t “think” about scales when they play, it’s so burnt in to them that they just do it, but they got there by learning them. Check out Todd’s credits, not only is he one of the greats, he is the player of choice for the greats and has taught some of the greats. Seems like a pretty good record to me!

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By: Chad Grimes http://bassguitarblog.com/2009/05/todd-johnson-in-music-and-harmony/comment-page-1/#comment-7568 Thu, 13 Aug 2009 08:59:51 +0000 http://bassguitarblog.com/?p=705#comment-7568 I reviewed the short Todd Johnson’s youtube videos on major and minor scales. As a long time musician and music educator, I want to state that the great musicians do not think in terms of scales when they play. Playing Bass Guitar or Guitar, whether it be playing melody lines or soloing, has ZERO percent to do with scales and 100 percent to do with playing “ON or Around” the chord change. No great player thinks about scales when they are playing or soloing. Take a jazz composition in the KEY of G Major for example. If a musician tries to solo over the Jazz composition with a G Major scale they are going to most likely sound out of tune in numerous areas. This is because most likely that jazz composition is borrowing many different chords from other Key signatures. I guarantee that in a Jazz composition all of the chords will NOT be diatonic to the key signature. No way is any great player going to think in terms of scales and say to themselves, “I have to sharp this note here and flat this note hear!” The great players understand the “chord changes” and the notes that make up those chords. They understand the chord tones of the chord and the non-chord tones around the chords. So for example, if a musician reads a C Maj 7 chord over a measure, he should know where all of his C major voicings are on the guitar or bass guitar and can solo on and around all of the different C major voicings. If the chord goes to Ab Maj 7, the musician should know where all of the Ab Major voicings are and be able to solo around or on the chord voicings. Notice how I stated an Ab Major 7 chord. That is NON-diatonic to the key of C major. The great players know the chord changes and create “Tension and resolution” with the non-chord tones and the chord tones.
In conclusion, if anyone looks at the hands of any great Bass guitarist or Guitarist, you will see their hands moving along the neck from the head to the body, NOT up and down in some sterile scale pattern. Also, as my final comment, I find it fascinating how many guitar teachers will teach their students scales and yet most of them read only tabulature. Tab is a number based system of reading that most of the time does not even have rhythm duration. A number based system does not allow students to understand standard notes, therefore, comprehension of the scale cannot happen. A student learns to do major and minor scales without ever having the ability to make the connection on how it works in the real world. The kicker is that scales should only really be used for understanding of theory and writing melody lines when composing. However, during performing of songs, one should never think in terms of scales.

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By: The Electric Guitar Tutorials | Guitar Instruction Book http://bassguitarblog.com/2009/05/todd-johnson-in-music-and-harmony/comment-page-1/#comment-5704 Thu, 28 May 2009 03:52:34 +0000 http://bassguitarblog.com/?p=705#comment-5704 [...] Todd Johnson in Music and Harmony | The Bass Guitar Blog [...]

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