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Guitarist Molly Miller On Harmony, Melody, Dynamics And Time



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In this video podcast, Dr. Molly Miller talks to JGT’s Bob Bakert about what inspires her playing and what’s been keeping her busy…very busy.

Since Dr. Molly Miller picked up a guitar at age seven, she’s been captivating audiences with her sophisticated and raw style. She’s one of Los Angeles’s most sought-after musicians, recording and touring with artists such as Jason Mraz, Black Eyed Peas, Donna Missal, and Morgxn, at venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, Royal Albert Hall, and Coachella.

Please join Jazz Guitar Today for this exclusive interview with Dr. Molly Miller.

Above photo credit Anna Azarov

Excerpt from video interview

JGT: There’s the other thing about your playing…you always know where the melody is when you listened to you play.

MM: For me, the brain is an insane thing. There’s so much going on at once. But sure, whenever I’m playing, the melodies are there in the song when I’m improvising – wherever exist in my brain. And then there’s definitely another melody getting created on top of that – being informed by the melody of the song.

JGT: So where does this approach come from?

MM: I think it’s the music that resonates with me. I’m into a wide variety of genres, people, and players. It’s the people who I’m drawn towards. I feel, hopefully, ideally, just like an amalgamation of them. All the different things that I love is what I try to take on and put out – and it has a mix of those people. That’s what I am, because I grew up playing music. My brother’s a drummer too. So I think I’m always into something that needs to feel good. It’s like the pyramid of music, time and tone, and melody. I say melody is king or queen, it’s the biggest part of the pie. There’s a lot of other things that inform it – but I think of this musical pyramid. 

MM: I’m drawn towards people that tell stories that are playful. They bring you in so that you want more. That’s why a lot of my songs are kind of short. When I have my trio with Jen and Jay, we are on the same page of creating a story. Much like old records when they only had a couple of minutes to say something and that was really enough time. I spent a lot of time studying jazz. For me, there was something so thoughtless about going to gigs, (which I still do sometimes) and say, let’s play a tune, I’ll play the melody. I take a solo, you take a solo, you just we’ll trade fours. And that’s the end of the song. No that’s not the song. That’s just like wanking over a song. A song is like the story – with or without lyrics. What’s the intent and how do you express it?  So, yeah, that’s what I think of the thought processes.

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