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Posts: 51
Reply with quote  #16 
I posted a little video of some casual improvising on YouTube today...playing a tune from a Pink Panther movie, Meglio Stasera...I had been studying some
harmony from Bach's Chaconne and found that I was playing this tune after awhile...

here's the address if you'd like to give a listen...

Thanks !


Posts: 1,585
Reply with quote  #17 
John, really, really nice!  Great sound.
Thanks for sharing.


Posts: 51
Reply with quote  #18 
Thank you Paul !
So glad you liked it...I appreciate all your posts and sharing here...nice too that you mentioned the sound...I'm playing through a little Roland Micro Cube and using string gauges 15 - 58 tuned down a whole step...sometimes I go a step and a half...Ted and George Van Eps inspired me to tune down and go for that kind of tone...
Thanks again for commenting, Paul !

Posts: 940
Reply with quote  #19 
John C McCain!! Wow! Very sensitive and beautiful.  As are all the musical insights you have so generously shared in the forums. 
Thank you.

Barbara Franklin

Posts: 66
Reply with quote  #20 
Hi John
Love the playing
Love the sound
Thanks for sharing

M Semmler

Posts: 209
Reply with quote  #21 
John, I know I already commented via FB, but I gave it another listen this morning.  Really inspiring stuff.  From the touch, to the lines, to the tone.  Absolutely amazing.  Thanks for sharing that w/ us.

BTW>>I really need to check out the Micro Cube.  I would never have guessed it was that amp.

Posts: 51
Reply with quote  #22 
I appreciate all the kind words...

It is so special to me to know you responded that way to the clip Barbara...the tender side of things is where I prefer to dwell and Ted certainly was so deep & gifted in fostering that very tender human quality in students and listeners...

Thanks Jeff !
The Micro Cube is so fun and easy...I have it set on "Brit Combo" which I take to be a kind of Vox AC30/AC15 simulation...the reverb is way up ( almost always is for me )
it also gets 20 hours on AA batteries if you can't plug into the wall !  makes me want to go sit in a subway station and play for passersby...

Posts: 117
Reply with quote  #23 
Awesome job John!
If you or Mark have any more exercises or thoughts on baroque of any kind, please post them here. I find your added explanations are great additions.

Will Kriski

Posts: 244
Reply with quote  #24 
Very nice, John.  Love your sound!
David Bishop
Tucson, AZ

Posts: 51
Reply with quote  #25 
Thank you David & Will for your kind thoughts on that little video...
Will - I will take a look through my notebooks and see if there is anything further I can post here which may be of help or interest...

one small idea that is quite powerful and useful is taking a bar or two of Bach's counterpoint that particularly appeals to you (perhaps in 2 parts...bass and soprano...I keep finding wonderful gems throughout the Art of Fugue, The Well Tempered Clavier, and more that are just 2 voices ) and, once you have your favorite bit, write it out for guitar in a register that sounds good to you and which is playable (it may be that you like to spread the voices another octave apart or reduce them into the same octave...experiment...)

and THEN take the entire phrase through systematic inversions... phrases in major keys will often work simply by moving every voice either up to its next diatonic step or every voice down to it's next diatonic step in the same fashion...

to move phrases in minor keys through systematic inversion often requires careful attention to deal with thorny intervals that result from the usage of the Harmonic Minor scale ( among others )... so it's possible ( for instance ) to write the opening few bars of the famous Bourree in E minor and then take it up through the scale in the systematic manner I've just tried to simply describe... the possibilities are truly endless...

I sometimes take inventories of primary phrases in Bach's music ( fugue subjects, themes ) and find that many of these systematically derived 'cousins' have also been used in the piece... phrases that all have the same melodic and rhythmic contours but are beginning on a different scale degree... the solo Violin works are just full of them... it is a method of taking a small amount of material and spinning it out into substantial quantity of related and usable vocabulary...

there is a fine book by Laurence Dreyfus entitled "Bach and the Patterns of Invention" if anyone is deeply curious about methods which attempt to account for Bach's creative process... please feel free to post any questions or further discussion of these topics... it's a personal favorite of mine ( which I can only hope will make some sense as I've described it...) Warm wishes from John in Maine p.s. tomorrow- Sunday March 21 is Bach's Birthday...

Hope everyone will play, celebrate and enjoy !

Posts: 71
Reply with quote  #26 
Hi John,

Thanks for the tips. That looks like a great book! I loved your playing on that clip.

Take care,


Posts: 51
Reply with quote  #27 
Thanks Andy...that book IS really interesting... if you're at all interested I encourage you to check it out...

one fun thing I meant to write about in the previous post about phrases in Bach's music that feature the same melodic and rhythmic contours is being on the lookout for phrases that have the same melodic and rhythmic contour as your principal phrase but INVERTED... (upside down ) meaning:  if 3 notes descend by step and 1 ascends a step look for instances in the same piece of Bach using a phrase where 3 notes ascend by step and 1 descends by step... in the same amount as the original... a whole step up means a whole step down same applies to half steps and other intervals... and so on... this is a very simple example but I hope it might turn a light on in your studies of Bach's music as it is printed on the page...

of course he uses other devices too: retrograde: wherein the phrase contour is backwards from the version presented as the theme (taking our previous original 4 note phrase: 3 notes descend by step and 1 ascends a step - it would then be 1 note ascends a step and 3 notes descend by step) and retrograde inversion: wherein the theme is upside down and backwards... (1 note descends a step and 3 notes ascend by step) The Art of Fugue in particular (and many other works by Bach) features all these devices (sometimes used at the same time!)

Prof Tim Smith has excellent web resource pages on these topics if anyone is interested... Laurence Dreyfus also covers these ideas and gives nice examples in "Bach and the Patterns of Invention".

Have Fun!

Posts: 117
Reply with quote  #28 
Thanks John! I'll check out the website for starters. You're right, I found some great things in Bourree in E minor and understand how the chords work so that's a great place to start. When you look at closed, open triads and all the variations and locations on the neck/different strings it can be overwhelming so focusing on one small thing is probably the best way to go.

I realy love this stuff! My problem is there are too many things I want to learn!!!

Will Kriski

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #29 
Ted's Books have influenced me since I first found Chord Chemistry at Rich Hunt's Guitar Shop in Escondido, California in 1988. Here it is 25 years later and I have just completed a book of Bach's Chorales with complete harmonic analysis for ALL 413 chorales. 

I have no doubt that my early fascination with Bach's harmony is a direct result of Ted's hearty endorsement of them contained in his books. 

Ted would dig this!

('Not sure if I ought to begin a new thread with this post ??? -My apologies to the moderator.)

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