Hristo Vitchev is on a roll now. Fresh from his recent books, 8 Contrapuntal Etudes for Jazz Guitar & 8 Chordal Etudes for Jazz Guitar, Hristo now has a new book exploring modern melodic possibilities for guitarists.
In Melodic Symmetry Part 1: The Dominant Chord, Hristo has collected creative interpretations of dominant 7th chord “scales” or “patterns” (I don’t think either terms bring justice to what he’s done actually). Hristo calls them melodic symmetries – which is a great way of describing them.
All examples in this book are based on a G7 chord so you can compare their architecture and sound much easier. Most all patterns are constructed using different kinds of triads with a heavy emphasis on the augmented sonorities.
So what makes this different than a typical book exploring dominant chords sounds? Well for one, I’ve never seen anything like this. The closest is some of what guitarist Tim Miller does in his chromatic playing. Still Hristo is on new ground here with the way he organises the sonic possibilities.
As a fan of Hristo’s improvisational chops, this book certainly sheds light on how he achieves those kinds of lines. However, even with the keys to the door right here, there’s a lot of work to be done for the aspiring guitarist.
Personally, I got so much mileage even from the first 4 or 5 pages. I started getting different ideas & my ears kinda perked up. The danger of studying jazz formally is being stuck in common jazz scale positions and shapes. It can be restrictive if you’re not careful.
With Hristo’s 80-page book, you get more than just diagrams & great licks. What you get is the opportunity to examine new sounds that can make your playing even more unique (if you choose to).
The shapes and concepts are eye & ear-opening. It’s a very playful way of looking at dissonance especially with the dominant chord, since it’s the chord that is most open for these kinds of sounds.
In conclusion, Hristo has once again created a unique book. Although it explores a guitaristic concept – the results and possibilities are immensely musical. I’m sure that this will become a landmark book for improvising & creative guitarists worldwide. Congrats Hristo!
Pros: Great book with a lot of original melodic ideas for the improvising guitarist.
TLDR: If you’re bored of the same Mixolydian, altered & diminished lines, you need to check out this book.
This book was a gift from Hristo to me. Thanks Hristo!
You can get it here: https://gumroad.com/l/kRLwj
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