Today was the first full day of my residency at theMarshall University Jazz Program, which was going to be a mixture of lectures, performances and workshops with the music and jazz area students at the school.
Unlike yesterday, which was spent mostly in airports and didn’t give me a lot of time on the guitar, today I was able to get more than an hour of practice in before I started the workshops, and worked with the students.
It was a long day full of teaching, but it was a fun and productive day that allowed me to work closely with the jazz studies majors at the college, as well as meet and chat with a number of faculty members as well.
To see the other entries in this series, check out my Guitar Practice Routine Page for the complete list of articles.
Since my first class wasn’t until noon, I had time in the morning to get my fingers on the guitar and run through some of the material for the concert that was scheduled for the next day.
I started the day by running through the melodies for the duo tunes I would be playing, as well as playing through each of the solo tunes that I had prepared for the concert.
At this point I wasn’t sure if I would be able to play all of the solo tunes I had worked up, as we were just putting the final touches on the concert program, so I wanted to have them all ready to go in case they were needed.
After working on this material for about an hour, I spent about 30 minutes running through “Corcovado,” which I would be playing later that day in a duo with pianist Sean Parsons in front of all of the school’s music majors during their weekly gathering of students.
It was a relaxed morning with my guitar. I didn’t dig too deep on new material, and I was conscious not to play too much or go too hard in the woodshed as not to tire my hands out before the performance and workshops later that day.
All in all my hands felt good, and I was glad that I had put the time in before hand to get ready for this residency and wasn’t trying to cram in learning tunes at this point of the trip, which would have been hard to do with my time commitments during my stay in Huntington.
The rest of the day was spent working with music and jazz studies students in different capacities.
I started off by giving two private lessons to jazz guitarists in the program, one in second and the other in third year.
Both students were very nice players and they had a lot of material already under their fingers, so we picked one area that they felt they were having trouble with and dove into that during our hour lesson.
For the first student, we focused on learning Chord Substitution for Jazz Blues Progressions, looking specifically at techniques used by John Coltrane, Pat Martino and Jake Langley.
During the second lesson, we worked on the classic standard “Beautiful Love,” focusing mostly on How to Solo over Minor ii V i Chord Progressions.
After the lessons were over, I took to the stage with Sean and we performed a duo version of “Corcovado,” which I felt went very well, and then I spoke to all of the music majors, about 200 students, about making a living as a musician in the modern world.
We talked about career paths, how they could prepare for different jobs such as writing and arranging, producing, music production, teaching and performing, before finishing up the lecture/performance and moving on to the next class.
The last class of the day was an hour long workshop/rehearsal with one of the school’s jazz combos, which would be performing with me on the concert the following evening.
We picked the tune “Solar” to perform, and set about coming up with a nice little arrangement that we could play on the concert, including a Baiao rhythm that we used for a vamp to end the tune.
All in all it was a fun and productive first full day at Marshall. Tomorrow would be just as busy and would end with the concert that I had been preparing for over the past month.
Looked to be another fun day of music, guitar and workshops.
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