How is your guitar playing? I have a lot of time and am making slow, painstaking progress... but VERY satisfying.
I looked at some tabs from Jason Mraz and they opened up some new lines... esp. use of Maj7 chords and major progressions. (As a blues guy, I find major scales and progression difficult. My approach has been: a) to use the Greek modes to get to major=Iolian and Lochrian (very similar, easier for me to understand) from other modes and b) to think in terms of nursery rhymes, as in *Now Ive leaned my ABCs, tell me what you think of me* -- a classc of the major scale. LOL. That great piano tune *Chopsticks* is also a classic of Major proportions! LOL! Now you know my level of playing. LOL
Then I went back to my copies from the Real Book and noticed how important the Maj7 is to Jazz... Bill Evans is considered one of the true innovators... every other chord is Maj7.
Have I mentioned that I like disco music? FULL of Maj7 chords.
I love Maj 7th. Yep, it is one of THE chords when it comes to jazz. I've got a few chords shapes that I improvise around. For years it was all pentatonic, but for 5 years or so I've played around with jazz and maj7th's are very important. I guess I use about 4 different inversions of the chord. Of course my fav is just the standard root on the the low E string.
I'm still quite a novice when it comes to theory. I want to get Jimmy Bruno DVD's. He seem's to have a good system, very economical use of fingering and scales. That will be my next step. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DYTsdPQF4U
I've been working on raking/sweeping techniques in my spare time. Not much spare time lately. I almost lost my calluses when I didn't play for a couple of weeks.....ouch!
Watched the video... Jimmy seems to have a good system, a version of the Greek Modes where the modes are each played from one position. (At least, thats what I got from the clip.) I like the attitude: Why mess with complex stuff when something simpler will do ya better?
I also was in an extended pentatonic rut... like 20 years! The Greek Modes broke the whole thing wide open for me.
Sadly, I cannot get better on less than 2-3 hours/day. Real progress happens at 5 hrs and if I dont play every day, I forget how to play. Maybe its just the Alzheimers.