Tag Archives: Jazz Guitar

From Doodle to Music



Doodling is the act of just playing with abandon not really focused on being musical. Most of the time its at best relaxing, it can be exploratory if one is doing it over a changes i.e a chord progression but too much is a waste of time. Practice needs to be structured if one in going to progress so doodling in general is contrary to a serious musician’s objectives.

However, one area where a bit of doodling can be beneficial is in composing. Often , ideas come when one just let’s go and is free from the stress to produce. The key of course then would be to record your “doodling” and go  back and try to glean some musical lines.

For a recent doodle which like most of my doodles pretty much crappy run of the mouth line I went back and tried to salvage the underlying musical idea that was lurking in my subconscious at the time. What you see above is the notation of it and below is the audio for the midi playback.

It sounds better on the guitar. The performance includes slides and minor nuances that I can’t be bothered notating i.e. too difficult. Perhaps the transcription is not totally accurate though I think its quite close. You would not turn a lead sheet with all those rests but the cleaner lead sheet would have misleading playback i.e. more legatto than what I intend.

I’ll share a recorded guitar line later.

from doodle

Updated April 24th, 2013



The above is a more accurate transcription of what I intend the line to be. This is amounting to the start of a solo as opposed to a melody.

Here’s the audio for it:

from doodle v2

The audio is just the midi playback for the scored line , the performance includes stylistic innuendo in the form of slide approaches which I will share.

Updated : 4/26/2013

Recorded guitar line:

from doodle v3 w guitar

Deconstructing Metheny

One of my long term goals which I think I have mentioned is to come up with my rendition of Pat Metheny’s So May It Secretly Begin. The attempt is to perform whatever parts I can i.e. guitar , bass, sometimes keyboards and sequence the rest. Drums will probably be scored in with perhaps fills and breaks recorded via my Roland Handsonic or keyboards.

The effort is not only a music learning experience but its also about a recording engineering experience.

Today I added what I figured out to be the chord swell over the cm7 intro vamp, I think I have the right voicing. I have not yet added the flute – ish trill . Also for fun I found myself just musing on the guitar over the vamp with my newly added cm7 swell and to that I dropped a line on the guitar. Its raw and frankly crappy but it was just a first rough take of something that popped out of my head.

This blog is for documenting my journey and about not taking myself too seriously and having fun.

Check it out:

swell with riff 2



Scaffolding Metheny

I like notating music that I’m working on i.e. sequencing with the goal of switching out the parts for live performances by no other than me and where I can. That means mostly bass and guitar but depending some keyboards and sequenced drums.

Here’s an initial bass and guitar sequencing of two passes through the melody of Pat Metheny’s So May It Secretly Begin.


melody 2 ends

So may it secretly begin

still life talking

This is a great beautiful tune by Pat Metheny from one of my all time PM favorite albums.  My goal is to first learn the melody and then learn the solo. Secondly , I want to somehow clobber it into a Logic project i.e. come up with an adequate groove track, forget the piano solo , but put it all together into something that can make sense.

The best way for me to learn the head to a tune is to internalize it by trying to sing it back. Once I nail it by vocalizing it then I can proceed to the guitar.

Here’s my first crack at it, don’t have the full melody line down and frankly I think that some of the notes are beyond my range but perhaps for going into a falsetto.