Fusion theory or analysis sites.

Frank Prince

Member
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3,642
I realize this could be an unclear topic, but are there any sites that deal with compositional analysis of artists like the Dregs, Mahavishnu, Tribal Tech, Chick Corea, Weather Report, etc.?

It seems that there are common chord forms and sounds among these bands, but even though I have listened to an enormous amount of this music, I still have trouble "wrapping my head around the chord structures", recognizing where the key changes are heading, etc., the way I can with simpler rock, funk, jazz, and RnB tunes.

If you do not know any sites but have some tips for this kind of pattern recognition, that would also be great.
 

Swain

Member
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2,408
This site (TGP) is a pretty good start. I have a feeling, you're gonna be doing a LOT of reading, soon! LOL
 

Kappy

Member
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14,033
Not sure how active he is on the site, but Don Mock used to teach the fusion course at GIT, currently teaches in Seattle and has his own site: http://www.guitaraxis.com I can't recall specific analyses of the artists you mentioned, but he comes heavily out that school of playing and music.

Also, TheRealAllanHoldsworth.com's forum, when they're talking about music and not being another stupid guitar player comparison forum, have some pretty good info (threads, tabs, etc) in the technique section.

Best of luck!

Dave
 

jzucker

Supporting Member
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20,748
IMO, there no such thing as "fusion" theory. It sounds to me like you need some background with "jazz" theory. Pick up Mark Levine's book. I"m assuming you have a grasp of traditional music theory? If not, start there instead.
 
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Hey Frank, the great groups you listed certainly represent the diversity of influences that we loosely refer to as fusion. I bet you are well aware that the composers in those outfits are coming from correspondingly different places that influence their writing style in terms of idiom, harmony, melody, form, rhythm, etc. So, if you are interested in studying a fusion of styles, I would argue it is wise to make sure you are knowledgeable with the source idioms from conventions of harmony, melody, counterpoint and beyond. For example, before you take apart some Tribal Tech charts and solos, it would be wise to have first studied the blues and bebop phrasing, and conventions of jazz chord progressions and substitutions. This is where a well-versed teacher could be very helpful to you. Not many people will have the drive and ability to learn this all independently! Go for it!

:dude
 

countandduke

Member
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1,268
There are a couple Scott Henderson books out there and they are all good. Scott said in an interview that his style is actually similar to Donald Fagan from Steely Dan so analyzing some of those tunes might help too. Mel Bay has a book entitled "Getting into Fusion" and I found it nothing more than some scales and then chords derived from those scales. I think "fusion" encompasses a lot of different kinds of music so being well versed in blues and jazz would certainly not be a bad idea...

Chris
 

gennation

Member
Messages
7,360
Just get the John Mclaughlin DVD's, learn from the master.

They are exactly what you are looking for, and will keep you learning for a long time.

You can use the On Topic section of my lesson site too: http://lessons.mikedodge.com there's a bunch of Mclaughlin related stuff there too.
 

Frank Prince

Member
Messages
3,642
Thanks for all the suggestions, guys.

I have a lot of basic theory and have internalized the diatonic major modes, can improvise a bit over ii-V-Is, build chords up to 13 against the diatonic major modes, etc.

I think where I am lacking is on the diminished and augmented scale side, modes and chords built from the harmonic and melodic minor scales, reharmonization, and all that.

I have the Levine book, and I have started to shed on the material I am unfamiliar with. I may take a shot at internalizing a lot of of that material before I try anything else.


I also have one of the Henderson books, so I might start looking at that and reading the scores along with the CDs once I'm up on all the Levine stuff.

After that, if I haven't died of old age yet, then I might try McLaughlin's DVD's. :eek:
 

Sid

Member
Messages
3,430
Just get the John Mclaughlin DVD's, learn from the master.

They are exactly what you are looking for, and will keep you learning for a long time.

You can use the On Topic section of my lesson site too: http://lessons.mikedodge.com there's a bunch of Mclaughlin related stuff there too.
I found this to be really helpful, you're a great teacher man....that counts for a lot in my book:D...lotsa guys have a lotta knowledge but teaching is an art!!!
 




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