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by Christian Triola
This method book is designed for anyone who has successfully completed any guitar method book and can read notation in open position. It explores the middle region of the neck, allowing you to practice reading and learning the notes beyond the open position. It also gives you the opportunity to practice reading notes in all 12 keys.
This book is broken down into two sections. The first section teaches you how to read the notes in the middle region of the neck. The second section explores the second region of the neck by allowing you to practice it in all 12 keys. You can follow me on:
Twitter: @GuitarMethodTri or Facebook:facebook.com/TheMissingMethod
I have been playing guitar for 25 years and teaching it for the past 15, and during that time I have studied both classical and jazz at the University of Akron, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree, have played in various bands, done many solo gigs, and played plenty of weddings. On top of that, I have written a guitar method book called The Missing Method (with a second one in the series coming soon). My first love was for alternative rock and punk, but over time I have come to love playing and teaching many, many styles, and among my favorite to explore is jazz.
In my other life, I teach writing at Stark State and the University of Akron (I have a MA in English Education), have co-written 4 novels, one of which was an Amazon Best-Seller. I also co-own my own publishing company, Tenterhook Books, as well as a new events company called Ohio Expos. So, I’m kinda busy.
I specialize in guitar and bass, and can teach just about any style.
When I teach, I like to adjust for students’ needs and wants as much as possible. I like to take a classical approach whenever I can because it helps the student to not just play an instrument, but to understand the music so that one day they will be able to teach themselves how to conquer the difficulties of any new song or musical challenge. However, I can, and have taught, students to play from TAB, by ear, and a combination of all of these.
The instruments I teach: guitar, bass, uke, mandolin, banjo, piano. I can also play drums, but I’m not yet comfortable teaching those.
I prefer teaching jazz whenever possible, but love to teach just about anyone really. I enjoy playing guitar so much that even songs I don’t enjoy listening to, I’ll still teach and play, and I usually have fun doing it. As far as listening goes, I love jazz, alternative rock, 80s rock, metal, classical, rockabilly, blues, and punk. But I’ll listen to anything that catches my ear.
by Christian Triola
" The first thing you should know about Jazz:
Jazz is best live! "
I had been playing guitar for six years before I bothered listening to jazz. I’d heard about it, and had a vague idea what it was all about, but it wasn’t until I heard a big band play live did I think about listening more closely. I was already majoring in classical guitar at the University of Akron when it happened.
I was required, as part of my major, to attend several concerts a semester for credit. And a friend of mine, a sax major who was playing in a ska/punk band at the time, invited me to come see him play with the University of Akron Jazz band. And so I went, and I was blown away.
The huge sound, the energy, the harmonies, the solos. I couldn’t get enough. The funny thing is that afterward, he admitted that they didn’t sound as good as they could of. But having no point of reference at the time, I loved it. And I discovered something. The first thing you should know about jazz: jazz is best live.
After that day, I went to the library and raided their jazz collection. I went home with albums by Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel, Frank Sinatra, and Django Reinhardt. I liked what I was hearing, but I admit, I didn’t entirely understand what was going on. And I’d imagine I wasn’t alone. Ask any music lover and they may name a few hip sounding albums they love from Miles Davis or Ella Fitzgerald, but even then they still may not fully understand what it is they are listening to. So I looked into further and even changed my major from classical guitar to jazz guitar and then everything I was hearing started to make sense.
Among the first things I learned was that a jazz tune is usually a pop tune, show tune, or some other famous song that is then turned into a vehicle for soloing. So that’s why it starts off sounding like a familiar tune, like let’s say, “Fly Me to the Moon,” and then moves off into something that no longer sounds like the same song. What’s happening is that the harmony or background of the song basically remains the same, while the instrumentalists each take a turn making up something that expresses their interpretation of the song. And once the solos are over, the band comes back together to play the familiar tune again, often with some variation just to keep things interesting. So to recap: the band plays a familiar tune (this is called the head), solos are taken (called improvisation), and then they close with the head again.
Wes Montgomery posing with his Gibson L5 CES, Cutaway Electric Spanish guitar.
Now this isn’t the only way to play jazz, but this is the most common, traditional approach. It has grown and changed and adapted all sorts of variations, from adding rock elements, strange instruments, the avant garde; it has included loops, and all sorts of experimentation. But that’s what makes jazz so incredible. It’s like taking an established story, let’s say the story of Superman, and allowing you to reinterpret it for yourself. In jazz you can reinvent a song, just like giving a fresh take on a story, using complex harmonies and any other cool sound you can think of. It allows for musical freedom and an emotional release unlike any other type of music, both for the players and the listeners.
Django Reinhardt played all his guitar solos with only two fingers, and used his two other partially paralyzed digits for chord work.
Barney Kessel was an early member of the studio hit factory, The Wrecking Crew!
Christian Triola is an accomplished guitarist with a complete mastery of Music Theory as it pertains to complex chord and exotic scale combinations. He is available for those of you who are in search of new insights for your own mastery of Theory. Anyone considering music educaton at the collegiate level should contact Christian for lessons.