Janek's Diminished Exercises

Janek Gwizdala is one of my favorite players. Wait, I have been writing this blog for a week and said that like 3 times already. Hmmm. Why is that?

Oh yea, that's why, because he is a monstrous bad ass that sounds great and grooves.

Anyway, Janek has been doing video podcasts at his site and in one of them he goes over his practice routine. It's video 2 in the link the sentence above this, and in it he shows an exercise using a diminished to minor pattern he uses during his warm up. It is written out below for your harmonic enlightenment and pedagogical perusing.

It is a v-i resolution, but he plays a diminished chord (all minor thirds) on the way up, a half-step away from the i chord, and then comes back down an arpeggiated minor chord as the tonic, then turns that minor chord into the next diminished chord and goes all the way up the neck with that pattern. It sounds more complicated than it really is, and it sounds really cool. Go watch the video and then download the pdf below and sound all hip and jazzy and new york and shit.

Also, Janek is going to start doing videos every week. You can sign up for month or a quarter at a time and this is really one of the most amazing things about living when we do. For what is a really cheap price, you get to hear from someone actually doing it, how they actually do it. Direct and at the time of your choosing. In the entire history of music before us, if you wanted to learn how guys doing it in New York or Kansas City or Chicago or wherever were doing it, even 20 years ago, you had to GO TO NEW YORK. That was it, that was your only option. To even hear them you had to wait until they came through your town, IF they came through your town, and get a lesson? Yea, right. Now with the internet, the access we have to learning is some serious spaceage-flying-car-silver-jumpsuit-wearing stuff. We live in the future, man. My point being is that you have access to so much musical learning in ways that no other generation before us had, if you sound like crap, it's your own damn fault. Myself included in that indictment too, of course.

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