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Understanding there are No ‘Wrong Notes’

Mark Stefani

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Mark Stefani’s Step #4 of ‘Seven Steps to Changes Heaven’ Focuses on Reviewing Your Language Vocabulary

As your blues and jazz language vocabulary grows due to your transcribing efforts, you need to review it to the degree that it will always be accessible to you during the course of a solo. At one point in my career I used abstract scale and arpeggio study in a misguided quest, thinking that if I only knew all the “right notes” to play I would become a conversant soloist. I failed miserably with that approach and couldn’t play my way out of a paper bag. On the other hand, the core language teaches you that there are no “wrong notes” to play, since it is based on sounds and therefore not limited by the shackles of scales. 

So instead of reciting the alphabet, I used great blues and jazz licks gleaned from my mentors to break down the fingerboard, position by position. While this still left the challenge of connecting the dots and applying the language, at least I was armed and dangerous with something that represented a meaningful foundation. Gradually I saw the light and adopted my present day philosophy of only practicing something that I would actually playfor someone. I haven’t looked back since. 

Watch for the NEXT STEP in the SERIES!

And check out more from Mark Stefani.

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