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Guitarist John Stowell Performs an Original Composition, ‘Always Sometimes’



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Guitarist and JGT contributor, John Stowell provides the transcribed music and video performance for this original composition.

John Stowell: I always compose my tunes on the guitar, and the melodies seem to emerge a bar or two at a time as I put some chords into a sequence the engages my ear. I generally favor pianistic-sounding voicings that employ some close intervals, open strings, and inner voice movement.

For “Always Sometimes”, I’m using some diads/double stops in the melody, and I often employ these shapes when I comp as well. I like the space and open sound of double stops and the implied (as opposed to stated) harmony. Jimmy Wyble was a consummate guitarist, and he has been an influence in my approach to composing and comping. I was very fortunate to know Jimmy and spend some time with him. My tunes often use non-diatonic progressions, but you will find a few II-V-I and V-I cadences in “Always Sometimes”. In sharing some of my songs with you, I hope that you’ll discover some broader applications for my voicings and use my chords to find some of your own inversions.

“Always Sometimes” by John Stowell

Copyright 2017

John Stowell has two new Truefire Courses (Jazz Harmony Playbook and In the Jams) and three new CD releases on the Origin label (Trio Linguae/“Signals”, in  Scenes/“Trapeze”, “Rain Painting”w/bassist and vocalist Dan Dean). You can find info on all of John’s recordings and instructional material on his website (

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