Books Creative Matters

Creative Matters is a call to arms for all who endeavor to create beautiful, transcendent and transformational experiences in and around the Church. It’s sort of a field guide; by Creatives for Creatives.

The book offers perspective on the process, people, and purpose surrounding Creativity. It’s an invitation to live and work in a way that is both inspired and inspiring. And it’s the kind of kick-in-the-pants that we all need and will come back to again and again.

This eBook features contributions by:

  • Jarrett Stevens
  • Promise Tangeman
  • Stephen Proctor
  • The Gungors
  • Barton Damer
  • Carlos Whittaker
  • Todd Henry
  • Amena Brown

A very nice book that can be for free here >>>

I suggest you do so, even if you are not involved in creative matters in and around church, there’s plenty of goodies in there for all creatives.

Autumn Leaves Pentatonics and Blues Scale Lesson

A new free guitar lesson was posted at Renaissance Man Music here >>>

It is on how you can use your good old minor pentatonic and blues scale a new life by using them to spice up your jazz improvisation over the jazz standard Autumn Leaves. I also suggest you read this lesson >>> which deals with the same subject in general terms. Or find the chord melody arrangement (beginner level) of the song here >>>

Have fun.

Power Tab Editor: Great Freeware for Guitar and Bass

In the past period I have been trying out different ways of getting the computer to assist me in producing scores for guitar an tabs for guitar.

Being an Old Schooler I guess I still think that writing it down with a pen and paper works best for me but at the same time  do see the advantages of a computerized version to do this. Some om my previous posts with tab examples were made using this very program. So far I have been very impressed with the capabilities of this freeware program.

Power Tab Editor is a tablature authoring tool for the Windows operating system. It is intended to be used to create guitar sheet music, more commonly known to musicians as guitar tabs and bass tab. The program provides the most commonly used symbols in tablature, including chord names, chord diagrams, rhythm slashes, bends, slides, hammer-ons/pull-offs, harmonics and palm muting. A useful piece of software for people who want to learn how to play guitar, and for experienced guitarists who want to transcribe their own music and/or guitar lessons. The software can be used by both acoustic and electric guitar players alike. It has the option of writing bass tabs.

Especially attractive from my point of view is that it whilst it departs from the tabs as starting point it also shows normal music notation.

A definite recommend from my side despite some of its limitations. A very good price/quality ratio.

You can download the software here >>>

Curious how it works out: download an overview of C major scale shapes C scale shapes

Free E-Book, Exploring the Resurrection of Jesus

With Easter coming up, the resurrection story will be at the center of attention. The Biblical Archeological Review, gives away this a really worthwhile e-book on the very subject matter. All you need to do is register for their free email newsletter.

Not even the intense drama and tragedy of Jesus’ trial, passion, death and burial can prepare one for the utter shock at what comes next in the well-known story: Jesus’ resurrection. The Gospels recount varying stories of the disciples’ astonishment and confusion as they encounter the resurrected Jesus. In this free e-book, expert Bible scholars and archaeologists offer in-depth research and reflections on the resurrection story.

Some of the articles in the book include:

Emmaus Where Christ Appeared by Hershel Shanks

The Resurrection of Resurrection by NT Wright

Thinking About Easter by Marcus J Borg

To Be Continued… by Michael W Holmes

The book can be downloaded here >>>


Free guitar lesson: spice it up with your minor pentatonics

If there is one thing that is clear it seems to me that almost all guitar players interested in lead guitar use the minor pentatonic scale. There are others that will point out that they also use the major pentatonic scale but for now I will go from the premise that any major pentatonic scale will have its minor replacement, similar to what happens in modes.

As an example: some people will use the C major pentatonic scale for playing on either a C chord, C maj7  chord or a C7 chord.

When we look at the C major pentatonic scale we see it has the following notes: C D E G A.
When you start on the A note however, it will make A C D E G.

There is a reason however why I choose to approach this from the minor pentatonic perspective throughout, and that is because a.) Many guitar players start with this scale when experimenting with their blues solos and because it is so closely related to the other well used scale: the blues scale.

As beginning guitar players we will all have gone through licks like this:

Now in the following examples I have used different pentatonic scales to play over the chord sequence D min7 – G7 -Cmaj7 which is for those with a but of a theoretical background a II – V – I chord progression. In its most basic form we would be using the following minor pentatonic scales:

D minor 7 —>  D minor pentatonic scale

G7 —> E minor pentatonic scale / G blues scale or G minor pentatonic scale

C maj7 —> A minor pentatonic scale

You will find that when you play these scales over thew chord progression it sounds a bit dull.

Personally what I find attractive about the minor pentatonic scales is that they are useful to create patterns or certain repeatable fragments. If we combine that given with the idea that we may be able to use different minor pentatonic scales on different chords all of a sudden a wide array of possibilities opens up to spice up your solos. By the way I could go into all kinds of theory here but I will just say I usually use the minor pentatonic and blues scales as interchangeable. (the notes in between brackets are the additional note to the pentatonic scale to make it into a blues scale.  I am aware that more options exist but these give you a nice start.

D minor 7 (D F A C)

  • D minor pentatonic: D F G (G#/Ab) A C
  • E minor pentatonic E G A (A#/Bb) B D
    The B in this scale  makes for a nice emphasis of the dorian character of the chord (IIm7 chord) while the blue note  (Bb) provides for a nice natural minor sound.
  • A minor pentatonic A C D (D#/Eb) E G.

G7 (G B D F)

  • E minor pentatonic: E G A (Bb) B D
  • F minor pentatonic: F Ab Bb C (C#/Db) Eb
  • G minor pentatonic: G Bb C (C#/Db) D F
  • Bb minor pentatonic: Bb Db Eb (E) F Ab

C maj7 (C E G B)

  • A minor pentatonic: A C D (D#/Eb) E G
  • B minor pentatonic: B D E (F) F# A this scale produces a lydian airy kind of sound
  • E minor pentatonic: E G A (A#/Bb) B

Some Examples

Example 1

In this example only the A minor pentatonic and Bb minor pentatonic scale were used to create chromatic tension and and at the same time resolution. The A minor pentatonic over the C maj7 chord creates a 6 or 13 sound.

Example 2

I this second example we move up position by position and end up in the lydian sounding b minor pentatonic over the C maj7 chord.
The F# note suggests a Cmaj7 #11 chord.

Example 3

In this third example we have an gone from D minor pentatonic to E and F minor pentatonic so we would at least have the B note in the G7 chord. Try to avoid over emphasis of the C note in the F minor pentatonic as against G that suggest a sus chord, while at the same time chromoatically it sounds nice and we resolve this back to E minor pentatonic goes to B minor pentatonic goes to A minor pentatonic.

Cycling around for practice

I you would like to come up with other ideas and practice it us actually nice if you have a cycle that you can let go on continuously. That can be one by playing ||       Dmin7     |      G7     |      Cmaj7     |       A7 ||

Below I will list the different pentatonic scales you could use in a format that makes it easier to see how you can create nice patterns with them.

I guess you can see for yourself now that there are some good options to connect different minor pentatonic scales and keep on going round and round. Have fun!