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Posts: 28
Reply with quote  #1 
I know Ted admired George Van Eps (both his playing and his teaching), and I was wondering how he applied the Van Eps harmonic mechanisms in his playing (for example the 3-to6, 6-to-3 (etc) mechanisms in his "baroque improvisations").
I always had difficulties with Van Eps. Still somehow I feel the mechanisms are skills that are good to know for a guitarist.
Recently I tried to apply the Van Eps exercices using Mark Levines "Continuous Scale Exercice" (from his "Jazz Theory Book"). This is how it goes:
The harmony of Van Eps book is remarkably simple. We have three scales: major, harmonic minor and melodic minor. With these 3 scales we can improvise on "almost" any progression.
Using this on the beginning chords of Stella by Starlight, we have the following chord progression:

Em7b5 - A7alt - Cm7 - F7

So what I do, is record the progression and apply "The Continuous Scale Exercice", using for example 3-to-6 harmonic mechanisms on the progression. The exercice consists in connecting the scale notes from one chord to another (ascending or descending).

For the above mentioned progression, I use respectively G melodic minor, Bb melodic minor, and Bb major (for the II-V [Cm7-F7]). It sounds ok for an exercice (I still have to practice on "selectivity" to make a true musical statement, but I leave that for later...)
The trouble for me begins with the next few chords in Stella

Fm7 - Bb7b9 (resp. Ebmajor and Bb half-step/whole step diminished scale). Van Eps never mentions the diminished scale harmony in his books - Is there any reason for that?)

I hope this post doesn't sound more complex than it is. I always have a hard time trying to keep things simple, and my english is not perfect. I'm just curious to hear how other guitarists (and Ted) used the Van Eps mechanisms in actual playing situation.

Posts: 209
Reply with quote  #2 
Fabius, I am sure folks will share Ted's approach (which I am sure he had for this material), but I want to throw out a plug for Steve Herberman.  He is about as close to GVE as you can get these days.  He has several lessons on the topic available on mikes master classes that are specifically on dealing with GVE's approach to standard harmony.  Well worth the money. 

As an fyi, he is the student on Ted's baroque lesson.  I have studied w/ him directly he is stunningly good. 

Posts: 28
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks Jeff! I'll definitely check it out
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