Tag: jazz


Jazz Improvisation for Beginners – A Set of Great…

I have recently discovered a great new resource for learning to improvise on jazz tunes. Leo Ravera has compiled a set of exercises based on the chord progression of Take the A Train. Those exercise are very well suited for the mandolin.

This is the chord progression of the song.

You can play the exercises using the sheet music on the site and play all the notes in the first position.

But there is another option. I propose to use the first finger for the root of every chord. You will need the following root notes: C, D G, F. The first finger needs to jump between the notes. You can play those notes on the 3rd and 5th frets of the D- and A-string. Or you can play the notes on the 5th and 7th fret of the G-string and the 3rd and 5tf fret of the D-String.

If you do it like this you can play the same sequence of fingers again and again.

Finger positions for major chord / scale (from C)

Finger position for minor chord / scale (from C)


leoravera.it Jazz Improvisation

Read more “Jazz Improvisation for Beginners – A Set of Great Exercises and Playalong Tracks – Take the A Train”


Hamilton de Holanda – The great Brazilian Bandolim Player…

I have compiled a new playlist with Hamilton de Holanda and listened to this great Brazilian bandolim player during the last weeks. Hamilton plays alone, with piano or with bigger ensembles. He plays his 10-strings bandolim which has become very popular in Brazil during the recent years.

Hamilton plays traditional choros, Brazilian Jazz and many of his own compositions. He is a fantastic, creative musician and composer, and he is travelling around the world with his music.

Enjoy the music of Hamilton de Holanda!

Additional information

Interview with Hamilton de Holanda – a geat way to hear about his music and the bandolim:

Website Hamilton de Holanda

Wikipedia about Hamilton de Holanda

link collection Hamilton de Holanda – reviews, interviews, etc.

Interview with Hamilton de Holanda (German)

“Gute Musik braucht keine Etiketten, um zu existieren”, sagt Hamilton de Holanda, der schon seit 33 Jahren vernarrt in den Bandolim ist, eine Weiterentwicklung der Mandoline.


Laurindo Almeida – The Master of the Brazilian Guitar

Laurindo Almeida was a Brazilian guitarist who was active in the USA after 1940. He worked in Hollywood as a studio musician and has played the guitar part in many movies. For his record Girl von Ipanema he won a Grammy in 1964. Laurindo Almeida is also seen as the father of the Bossa-Nova. He played together with the Modern Jazz Quartet, but he has also arranged many classical works for the guitar.

I had several books with sheet music by Laurindo Almeida for years, and I have recently worked on some of the pieces. Almeida arranged some famous Jazz Standards for the classical guitar, like Blue Moon,Over the Rainbow, Mamselle, My Funny Valentine – some great arrangements for guitar.

This is an English Air by Almeida in my version. I have found other videos of this tune which obviously play it from a different score which contains some errors. I think that my version must be the original version of this piece.


I have recently compiled youtube videos with recordings by Laurindo Almeida and Works composed or arranged by Almeida and played by other guitarist in two large playlists.

Playlist 1 – Original Recordings by Laurindo Almeida

Read more “Laurindo Almeida – The Master of the Brazilian Guitar”


Julian Lage – Toast of the Nation – NPR…

I have recently discovered a concert with Julian Lage which had been given on the 1st of January 2012. Julian Lage is a very successful young  jazz guitar player, I have already written about him some time ago.

I like the playing of Julian Lage very much, it’s fun to listen to his guitar. He plays a great selection of jazz standards and mostly his own compositions.

The concert was given by the following Julian Lage Quartet:

  • Julian Lage, guitar
  • Larry Grenadier, bass
  • Eric Harland, drums
  • Dan Blake, tenor saxophone

The program was composed of the following pieces, all of them compositions by Julian Lage except for the 3rd piece:

  • “233 Butler”
  • “Grey Lightning”
  • “The Best Thing for You” (Berlin)
  • “Up from the North”
  • “The Time it Takes”
  • “However”

You can find the complete concert on the NPR site:

NPR: http://www.npr.org/event/music/144532044/julian-lage-trio-live-in-concert

A review of this concert can be found on jazztimes.com

Review: http://jazztimes.com/articles/29307-julian-lage-trio-in-boston-dec-31-2011

The second piece of the program – Grey Ligthing – is one of my pavorite pieces. This is a video of the same piece played on the day before the New Years concert by the same quartet – this was the first time this group played togeteher:

Julian Lage Trio – Harland , Grenadier(Greylighting)

The following playlists can be used to listen to many videos with Julian Lage:

Playlist “Julian Lage” by Otto90125:

Playlist “Julian Lage” by Daysofjazztripps:

Related Article:

German version of this article can be found in my blog gezupftes.de: