Mimi Fox Jazz Song Practice Playbook — TrueFire — Free download

Effective Step-by-Step Method for Practicing & Learning Jazz Songs on Guitar

“Over the years that I’ve been teaching and playing, I developed what I consider to be the most effective step-by-step method for practicing and learning songs. And not just jazz songs — this method will work for any style of music. I’m excited to share that method with you here in the Jazz Song Practice Playbook. We’ll take one of my own tunes, Blues For Two and apply the entire step-by-step approach for learning and practicing that song.”

With Mimi Fox’s Jazz Song Practice Playbook, you’ll start with the melody and work through the 10 stages for internalizing the melody of a song, and mapping the associated arpeggios and scales all over the neck. Next, you’ll focus on the harmony of the song and Mimi will guide you through 9 stages for learning the changes, extensions, alterations and practicing harmony against a track.

Next, Mimi will show you how to work on the rhythm starting with Four to the Bar and Charleston. You’ll also learn how to mix basic rhythms and harmony and develop more complex rhythms. Finally, you’ll work on mixing all of the rhythmic ideas together and practice with a metronome and then an actual track. At the end of the course, Mimi includes a video of herself performing Blues for Two live in concert along with a commentary video.

SECTION 1: Learn the Melody – Overview
“The great early jazz/blues musicians were masters at playing/interpreting melodies in beautiful and soulful ways. They often didn’t improvise that much because their reading of the melody was so exquisite. Sometimes in our effort to learn all kinds of cool skills and improvisational ideas, we can neglect playing the melody creatively. Some guitar players that play in quartets with piano or saxophone neglect learning melodies and this is unfortunate. The melody is the foundation of all successful improvising. Please don’t neglect this important aspect of learning a song!”

Blues for Two: Live – Melody Excerpt
“The melody to this original blues of mine is deceptive. I think of it as fairly simple, but it has a few unusual/tricky rhythmic accents. It’s important when learning a melody to get as close to the original melody as possible before you elaborate upon it. Check out the way the bass/drums lock in with me. We’re all playing our own parts yet are very aware of each other. This is a really fun piece and I hope you enjoy learning it!”

Internalize the Melody of the Tune – Demonstration
“In this excerpt, there are some cool guitaristic ideas that you’ll learn, including slurring, hammer-ons, octave playing, harmonics and more. All of these concepts help the melody come alive and make you sound more musical/soulful in the process.”

Find Arpeggios for the Changes – Demonstration
“I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to learn your arpeggios! This lesson covers all of the basic arpeggios you will need to play through a 12 bar blues in Bb. I wrote an entire book on arpeggios and the importance of being able to outline all of your chords with arpeggios (Guitar Arpeggios on Jazz Standards, Mel Bay Publications). Without the anchor of arpeggios, one’s playing can sound a bit amorphous and rambling. Integrating arpeggios with scale tones creates the most musical solos. It also trains your ears to hear chord tones and greatly enhances your technique.”

Learn Arpeggios in One Position – One Position: Demo
“In this lesson, you’ll learn how to stay in one area of the neck and play all the arpeggios you need for a given piece. This is super important because you need to be able to learn all of the notes on the fretboard but it’s not possible to learn them all at once! If you learn your notes one arpeggio at a time, pretty soon the entire neck will start to reveal itself to you. In this lesson, I also demonstrate playing arpeggios over two chords and playing continual eighth notes.”

Practice Arpeggios Across the Neck – Entire Fretboard: Demo
“In this segment, you’ll learn how to take one arpeggio and play it everywhere on the neck. This is a great way to not only learn the notes on the fretboard but also to train your ears to hear the notes that make up the chords. It’s also a fantastic way to develop great guitar technique because you’ll learn how to connect one shape to the next in a seamless fashion.”

Practice Arpeggios with a Metronome – Demonstration
“Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune to play with some of the best drummers in the world. I have received no greater compliment than having a master drummer tell me that my time is “like a rock”. This didn’t just happen to me, and it’s not good luck! This was from years of practicing with a metronome. After a while, you’ll begin to internalize the steadiness of the metronomic pulse and it will become a part of you. Some students worry that their playing will become robotic but this is not so. Having a steady sense of time will give you more confidence and enable you to play with much greater fluidity. Please don’t neglect this important aspect of practicing.”

Make Scale Matches for the Changes – Demonstration
“Once you’ve begun to get your feet wet with the arpeggios, it’s time to start integrating scales with arpeggios. Starting with the blues scale and minor pentatonic scale, this lesson takes you through the important process of selecting the appropriate scales for the Bb7 chord. After the blues/pentatonic scale, the Mixolydian scale is played and explained. I also discuss using the Bb blues scale over the four chord (Eb7).”

Practice Scales for the Changes – One Position: Demo
“Just as we did with the arpeggio studies, it’s important to be able to stay in one area of the neck and play the appropriate scales for each chord. I think it’s great for a blues in Bb to start at the sixth fret area of the neck. The basic Bb7 chord is there with the root on the low E string. It’s also where your familiar Bb barre chord would be, which is a handy reference. This is a very in-depth demonstration of all of the fundamental scales that you need to play in one area of the neck for a blues. Lots of great tips and theoretical info as well as hands-on playing. Really important stuff here so please dig in!”

Practice Scales for the Changes – Entire Fretboard: Demo
“Starting with the Bb minor pentatonic scale and then using the Mixolydian scale, this lesson takes you through some very important terrain. Setting a metronome at a very slow clip, I show you how to play quarter notes and then eighth notes in every position on the neck. This is super important because the guitar is played both horizontally and vertically and as you develop as an improviser, you want to be prepared to play anywhere on the neck. To this end, I also demo how to move from one position to the next with efficient fingering.”

Practice with a Backing Track – Demonstration
“Now that you’ve practiced your scales/arpeggios everywhere on the neck, it’s time to have some fun! Using a backing track, I demonstrate different ways to build your solos from just using arpeggios, just using scales, and then mixing and matching. I start with continual eighth notes and then go from there. Let’s do it!”

Play Freely with a Backing Track – Demonstration
“Just when you thought you couldn’t have any more fun…it’s time to have more! In this lesson, I just play freely and follow the music where it takes me. It’s a great idea to follow the music/tab and play along with me. It’s also great to take individual phrases that I’m playing and work them into your own playing. All of this is grist for the mill and will make you a better and more confident improviser.”

SECTION 2: Learn the Harmony – Overview
“Starting with basic chords and then moving onto extensions and alterations, the study of chordal harmony is really fun to explore and a great way to spice up your comping! I’m always a bit saddened to see guitarists idly comping or strumming and putting themselves (and the audience!) to sleep because they are bored with what they are playing. Often times, this isn’t due to a lack of interest but rather a lack of chordal knowledge. As we explore harmony in these lessons, I’m happy to prescribe the antidote for this!”

Learn the Basic Chord Changes – One Position: Demo
“As with scales and arpeggios, it’s a great idea to learn your basic chord changes in one position on the neck. If you learn one position at a time it will be a lot easier to start moving around the neck with freedom and grace. I like to think of each different position on the guitar as bite-size shredded wheat! Rather than trying to master the entire neck, which is a formidable endeavor, if you bite off a small chunk at a time you will see better results.”

Learn the Basic Chord Changes – Entire Fretboard: Demo
“This lesson takes you through two different methods of learning your chords everywhere on the fretboard. One way is to take one chord such as a Bb7 and play it in every position on the neck. You can then do this with all your other chords as well. The other way is to take all of the different chords and play them in one position…and then another position, and so on. Both of these ways are great and essential for gaining harmonic command of the fretboard.”

Find Chord Subs & Extensions – One Position: Demo
“Now it’s time to expand your harmonic palate! Following the same method that we used for scales/arpeggios, now you’ll stay in one position of the neck and start learning chord substitutions and extensions. There are many ways to color chords and lots of cool substitutions to use. There are many books on the subject but in my own study, I have found nothing beats sitting with the guitar and working things out slowly on my own. And after all, who could argue with sitting with your guitar…isn’t this what it’s all about?!”

Find Chord Subs & Extensions – Entire Fretboard: Demo
“In this lesson, we build on all of the earlier lessons by moving around the entire fretboard with chord subs and extensions. This process of exploring chords on the fretboard is really fun and invaluable for creating hip comping parts. As you really begin to learn the neck, you will be able to take chord solos just as you would single lines. Wes Montgomery was a great practitioner of this. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to play chord solos and a great feature to have in your bag of tricks.”

Practice Subs & Extensions with a Metronome – Demonstration
“Many students have asked me how I developed such a solid time feel. In addition to playing drums myself (my first instrument), using a metronome is an indispensable tool for developing a great time. In this lesson, I start at a very slow clip but I’m always mindful of being locked in with the metronome. The more that you use a metronome, the better your time will become. I have found that using a metronome liberates me because I can be confident that my time is solid. This enables me to play with greater freedom.”

Transpose the Basic Chords – Demonstration
“It’s really important to be able to take any song and be able to transpose it into any key. For guitarists, the blues is a great and easy place to start because using a slide rule concept, we can move up and down the neck playing the same chord shapes on different frets. The chords to a 12 bar blues are simple enough that you should be able to play the blues in any key. Once you have learned the blues in any key you can begin moving onto simple standards and eventually more complicated pieces.”

Transpose Your Chord Subs & Extensions – Demonstration
“Now it’s time to transpose more colorful chords into other keys. Again, using the slide rule, it’s pretty easy to move your voicings up and down the neck. If you find a chord sub that you really love, learn it in all keys so it will become a part of your musical palette. This is a great way to begin to develop your own style/sound.”

Practice Your Harmony with a Track – Demonstration
“Now it’s time to have fun and steal my ideas! In this lesson, there are many cool chordal ideas that I utilize. Take your time and try to learn one or two passages at a time. Pretty soon you’ll start mixing and matching some of my ideas with your own!”

Blues for Two: Live – Comping Excerpt
“In this segment, a live performance segment of my piece “Blues for Two” is shown so you can hear/watch how I would play an actual chord solo in a song. There’s some really cool stuff here both harmonically and rhythmically. Practice slowly and try to learn little bits of it at a time!”

SECTION 3: Learn the Rhythm – Overview
“In this section, it’s all about rhythm! Playing hip rhythmic accents can create a lot of forward motion when you’re playing and it generates a lot of excitement for your fellow musicians as well as the audience. Starting with the four to the bar and Charleston grooves, we’ll then move on to more sophisticated ideas. As always, practice slowly and really try to lock in with me as you play along.”

Basic Four to the Bar Rhythm – Demonstration
“In this lesson, we cover the most common jazz guitar comping rhythm, four to the bar. There are a lot of important basic concepts that I alert you to in this lesson. I also highly recommend that you check out the great Freddie Green and his playing with the Count Basie Orchestra. Freddie was a master of this style and listening to him propel the entire orchestra is pure joy.”

Basic Charleston Rhythm – Demonstration
“The Charleston rhythm is based on the great J.P. Johnson classic of the same name. I strongly advise that you listen to a recording of this piece and practice playing along with it. It’s a lot of fun and you will find that the rhythm is very compelling and infectious! Most of the recordings are taken at a pretty brisk tempo so fortunately for you, you can use this lesson to play along slowly with me! Take your time and be sure to follow my tips for playing this essential jazz guitar rhythm.”

Mixing Basic Rhythms and Harmony – One Position: Demo
“This lesson has some really important rhythmic/harmonic things going on. I recommend that you bite off just a little bit at a time. It’s not a bad idea to mix some of my ideas with your own ideas. Eventually, you will be able to mix-and-match freely and your chordal playing will really begin to come alive!”

Mixing Basic Rhythms and Harmony – Entire Fretboard: Demo
“Once you have gotten your feet wet by mixing basic rhythms/harmony in one position, now it’s time to extend this to the entire fretboard. In addition to using the entire fretboard to play my chords, there is some really cool voice leading happening. Take your time, practice slowly, and use your ears to follow along with what I am doing.”

Develop More Complex Rhythms – Demonstration
“In my TrueFire course Jazz Chord Punches, I have a section called “think like a drummer” and really, this kind of says it all! Once you have the basic four to the bar/Charleston rhythm under your fingers, it’s time to start having fun and accenting the way a drummer might. I have all of my conservatory students playing drums and tapping out rhythms because it’s really important to feel them in your body. Another great idea is to spend time focusing solely on what the drummer is doing when you listen to a piece of music. By zeroing in on just the drums, you will learn so much. A lot of things can be picked up by listening and absorbing the music. Oh, and it’s also fun…who could argue with listening more?!”

Mixing All Rhythmic Ideas – One Position: Demo
“Now it’s time to practice all of these great ideas in one position on the fretboard! There are a lot of cool rhythmic ideas that I am demonstrating in this segment. Practice slowly and try to pick up little bits at a time!”

Mixing All Rhythmic Ideas – Entire Fretboard: Demo
“Now it’s time to mix all of the rhythmic ideas we have been learning and play them over the entire fretboard. My TrueFire courses Jazz Chord Punches and Jazz Trio Comping also have some very cool demonstrations of these concepts.”

Practice Rhythm with a Metronome – Demonstration
“In this segment, I play all of the different chords/rhythms up and down the neck with a metronome. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of working with a metronome as much as possible. When you go to bed at night, if you’re not hearing a metronome in your head you need to be practicing more with one! Seriously, it has to become second nature for you to lock into the time. Musicians that have a great time feel/groove are always the most popular. If your time is swinging and solid, everyone will want to play with you.”

Practice Rhythm with a Track – Demonstration
“Now it’s time to let it rip and play along with a great rhythm section! Lots of fun and cool ideas for you to learn here. Perhaps one of the most important things that you will take away from this segment is how much I am completely locked in with the rhythm section. Be sure that when you are comping you do the same. Remember that in a real live playing situation you only need to use a fraction of all of these cool ideas that I am demonstrating. It’s great to have the ability to play a lot of cool ideas but you only need to use a few of them in a given piece.”

Blues for Two: Live – Overview
“I hope you’ll enjoy the live recording of my piece “Blues for Two”! There are so many interesting things going on with the trio in this number. Lots of cool techniques but even more heart and soul. Remember that it’s super important to listen to just the drums or just the bass at times because you’ll hear different colors in the music. TrueFire was so generous in recording the two nights of music that make up the DVD, Live at the Palladium. You can hear the rest of the performances from the DVD in my TrueFire course, Jazz Performance.

Blues for Two: Live – Full Performance
“They say that the proof is in the pudding, and I believe this performance demonstrates the value of all of the different concepts/techniques that you will learn in this course. A big thank you to my rhythm section for this performance: Chris Enghauser on bass, and Akira Tana on drums. Enjoy!”

Blues for Two: Live – Artist Commentary
“In this segment, you’ll hear my running commentary as the piece plays. There are so many important insights here! Artists tend to be highly critical of our own playing, but in this case, I have to say that I’m pleased with how it turned out and it holds up well over time. In my TrueFire course Jazz Performance, there is artist commentary for every piece which I believe is very helpful for aspiring players.”

Mimi will explain and demonstrate all of the key concepts and approaches along the way. You’ll get standard notation and tabs for all of the performance studies. Plus, you’ll be able to use TrueFire’s learning tools to sync the tab and notation to the video lesson. You can also loop or slow down the videos so that you can work with the lessons at your own pace. All of the backing tracks are included to work with on your own as well.

Grab your guitar and let’s play songs with Mimi Fox!

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TrueFire Mimi Fox Jazz Song Practice Playbook TUTORiAL-4662T.part1.rar   (download)
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TrueFire Mimi Fox Jazz Song Practice Playbook TUTORiAL-4662T.part2.rar   (download)
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Course content: https://truefire.com/jazz-guitar-lessons/song-practice-playbook/c1441

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