Playing the Changes: Guitar

A Linear Approach to Improvising

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  • Suggested Retail Price: $19.95
  • Format: Book/CD
  • Pages: 128
  • Dimensions: 9 x 12
  • ISBN: 0-634-02223-7
  • SKU: 50449509
  • Publication Date: May 01, 2006

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Create more expressive solos!

Effective improvisation can add fun and individuality to guitar solos. In Playing the Changes—Guitar, Mitch Seidman and Paul Del Nero present a unique improvisation strategy based on ear training and a linear interpretation of note relationships.

In this technique, improvised lines are derived from the harmonic construction of chord progressions. Learn how to choose appropriate notes by listening for the tendencies of pitches within modes and tetrachords—groupings of four notes in a scale. In Playing the Changes—Guitar, you’ll explore the possibilities of focused and linear improvisation, and develop your ability to create musically effective melodies with greater freedom and depth of expression.

Comprehensive, step-by-step instruction will guide you as you:

  • Develop an expectation of sound—an intuitive sense for which notes to choose and where your chosen notes will lead the melody
  • Master the movement of notes over modes and harmonies
  • Use and learn from the examples on the included CD
  • Become comfortable improvising over jazz standards such as “Blue Bossa,” “Tune Up,” and “Long Ago and Far Away”
  • Create your own chord pads to use as you practice recognizing the tendencies of pitches within chord progressions
  • Tablature included

If you can read traditional notation and chord symbols, have a basic understanding of functional harmony and have a basic technical capability, you can use this book to learn how to improvise and become more expressive and creative in your music making.

Audio includes demonstration and play-along tracks, with additional practice tracks available at the website  

“Very thoughtful and insightful book by Mitch Seidman and Paul Del Nero. This is geared to an intermediate to advanced level of student, but a beginner can certainly find good practice material. The tetrachord ideas are a unique way of addressing the problems of improvisation. If students apply themselves to the exercises, much progress can be made. Highly recommended!”

—Jack Wilkins, Guitarist and Educator

“Mitch Seidman and Paul Del Nero have assembled an impressive and comprehensive book of patterns, exercises, and etudes that really get inside the secrets to jazz improvisation and open up new possibilities to the guitarist at any level of their development. Complemented with a great sounding CD of many different examples, I know I. myself’, will find it helpful for a long time to come. Great job, Mitch and Paul!”

—Duke Robillard, Award-winning Blues Guitarist

Playing the Changes is a nuts-and-bolts, hands-on method for soloing. Real concepts that will yield real results. A great piece of work!”

—Joe Beck, Jazz Guitarist

Playing the Changes—Guitar: A Linear Approach to Improvising presents a great way to develop ear training, melodic and harmonic awareness, and the corresponding technique on the guitar. The clearly laid out and demystified program builds a sensitivity and understanding that will enrich any player’s improvisational skills, transcending stylistic boundaries. A great contribution to a complete musician’s education!”

—Howard Alden, Jazz Guitarist, Concord Recording Artist


Paul Del Nero

Paul Del Nero has a B.M. from Berklee College of Music, and has a M.M. from New England Conservatory of Music….

Mitch Seidman

Mitch Seidman has a B.M. from Berklee College of Music, and a Mus.M. from Boston University. He is a guitarist, and…