æMiles Okazaki is an American musician based in New York City. He is known for his technical command of the guitar, his rhythmic approach to improvisation and composition, and his work in contemporary music theory.
æOkazaki grew up in Port Townsend, Washington, a small town near the Olympic Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. As the child of visual artists, his first expressions were with drawing, painting, and building. He became interested in music and learning guitar at age 6. When he was 12 years old, he first heard recordings of Charlie Christian, which opened the door to the study of improvisation, and music replaced visual arts as his main interest. His teacher on guitar at this time was Michael Townsend, and his studies in improvisation took place over five years at the Centrum Jazz Workshop, only a few blocks from his house. He began playing regular gigs at age 14, received many awards as a guitarist throughout his early years, and eventually placed 2nd in the Thelonious Monk International Guitar Competition.
Okazaki moved to New York City in 1997 to pursue a career in music and begin writing his own material. His teacher on guitar at this time was Rodney Jones, who recommended him for his first gig, with Stanley Turrentine. Okazaki spent four years on the road with vocalist Jane Monheit, while also writing and rehearsing the music for his first album, Mirror, which was released independently. The album received a "Critics Pick" in the New York Times, calling it "a work of sustained collectivity as well as deep intricacy." This idea was taken to a higher level on his second album, Generations, described by pianist Vijay Iyer ñthe sonic equivalent of Escher or Borges, but with real emotional heft," and his third album, Figurations, was selected as one of the New York Times top ten albums of 2012, described by Ben Ratliff as "slowly evolving puzzles of brilliant jazz logic." Besides writing the material for these albums, Okazaki also acted as producer and illustrator.
æAs a sideman, Okazaki works in many areas, ranging from Standard repertoire to experimental music. His most recent recordings and tours include Steve Coleman and Five Elements, Kenny Barron, Jonathan Finlayson, and Dan Weiss. He has been touring internationally for 15 years with various groups, and is also a dedicated educator, having taught at the Banff Institute, The New School, Queens College, The Juilliard School, Amsterdam Conservatory, and many other institutions. Currently he is the guitar instructor at the University of Michigan. Outside of guitar, his past teachers include Anthony Davis (composition), Ganesh Kumar (Carnatic percussion), and Kendall Briggs (counterpoint). His awards and grants include Chamber Music America's ñNew Worksî (2007), Chamber Music America's ñFrench-American Jazz Exchangeî (2009), the Jazz Gallery and Jerome Foundations Residency Commission (2010), the American Music Center's Composer Assistance Program (2011), the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation's US Artists International grant (2012), and the Rockefeller Brother's Fund Artist Residency (2012). He holds degrees from Harvard University, Manhattan School of Music, and The Juilliard School, and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY
When other musicians invite you to jam, do you worry that you won’t be able to keep up?
Are you a veteran guitarist who has played for years, but you’re embarrassed to admit you have no idea what you’re doing?
If you want to take your guitar playing to the next level, compose songs like you hear on the radio, and improvise your own music, then you need Fretboard Theory.
Fretboard Theory by Desi Serna teaches music theory for guitar including scales, chords, progressions, modes and more. The hands-on approach to theory shows you how music "works" on the guitar fretboard by visualizing shapes and patterns and how they connect to make music.
* Learn pentatonic and major scale patterns as used to play melodies, riffs, solos, and bass lines
* Move beyond basic chords and common barre chords by playing the types of chord inversions and chord voicings used by music's most famous players
* Chart guitar chord progressions and play by numbers like the pros * Identify correct scales to play over chords and progressions so you can improvise at will
* Create new sounds with music modes and get to know Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian
* Add variety to your playing by using intervals such as thirds, fourths, and sixths
* Increase your chord vocabulary by using added chord tones and extensions to play chord types such as major 7, minor 7, sus2, sus4, add9, and more
* Learn how all the different aspects of music fit together to make a great song
* See how theory relates to popular styles of music and familiar songs
Fretboard Theory will have you mastering music like a pro easier and faster than you ever thought possible. Plus, it's the ONLY GUITAR THEORY RESOURCE in the world that includes important details to hundreds of popular songs. You learn how to play in the style of pop, rock, acoustic, blues, and more!
This guitar instruction is perfect whether you want to jam, compose or just understand the music you play better. The material is suitable for both acoustic and electric guitar, plus it features many references to bass.
Level: Recommended for intermediate level players on up.
Fretboard Theory is also available as a 21-hour video series that is sold separately on the author's GuitarMusicTheory.com website. Visit the website and sign up for email lessons to sample the footage.
Fretboard Theory Volume II
When you're ready to take your playing to the next level, get the second book in the series, Fretboard Theory Volume II, which is also available as a 12-hour video series.
There's no denying that guitar players have cachet. The guitar is an ever-present part of our collective musical heritage, and the sound can be sensual, aggressive, or a million things in between. Whether you're hoping to conquer Free Bird, Bourée, or Bolero Mallorquin, you need to learn to walk before you can run. Even once you can run, you need something to help you clear hurdles along the way.
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Guitar All-In-One For Dummies, 2nd Edition, includes access to audio tracks and instructional videos to guide you through the lessons and inspire you to play often, which is the number-one key to success. You get advice and instruction from some of the most respected guitar teachers in the business, plus online resources, for less than the cost of a single lesson. Guitar All-In-One For Dummies, 2nd Edition, is the key to bringing your music to life.