Books Composition Tools Melodic Construction Tetrachords Uncategorized

Three New Books!

Tetrachords for Guitar (also Bass & Flute): A Thesaurus of Four-Note Patterns for Improvisers & Composers

Tetrachords, or four-note patterns, offer various advantages over scalar or modal approaches to improvising and composing melodies through chord changes. 

A tetrachord-based linear approach is indispensable for navigating modern improvisational styles due to the general complexity, challenging tempos, and fast-moving harmonic rhythms involved.

Tetrachords: A Thesaurus of Four-Note Patterns for Improvisers & Composers, a comprehensive 219-page resource, offers clear solutions and stimulates creativity through:

  • An introduction to using four-note patterns (tetrachords) for melodic improvisation in the style of John Coltrane
  • A highly-organized 24-day practice plan for mastering 144 of the most common tetrachord permutations, in every key, and across the entire range of the instrument
  • Four etudes based on John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” and “26-2” chord progressions
  • Advice on tetrachord-based melodic improvisation, including detailed resources for creating variations in rhythm and contour
  • The book’s six appendices include comprehensive lists of all of the tetrachords possible within the altered and chromatic scales, as well as suggestions for applying tetrachords to extended harmony and “upper-structures.” 
  • (Please note: this book does not include TAB; it is presented in standard notation only.)

Price: $21.99

Available exclusively from Please click here to view samples and purchase on

Arpeggios Chords Composition Tools Melodic Construction Permutations & Combinations Scales Tetrachords Uncategorized

Complete Tetrachord Combinations: Major, Melodic Minor, Harmonic Minor, & Harmonic Major Scale Harmony

This post explores all of the possible tetrachords (four-note combinations) in Major, Melodic Minor, Harmonic Minor, & Harmonic Major Harmony.

(Download the accompanying PDF at the bottom of the post.)

These exhaustive lists may appear too information-packed to be useful. (There are 840 combinations per scale.)

I suggest dipping into them occasionally to more deeply explore the vertical (chords) and horizontal (melody) aspects of their all-important parent scales.

You’ll find every standard approach to chord voicing contained herein, as well as many uncommon sonorities.

Some structures may be impossible to play as chords unless one or more of the tones are raised an octave.

Experiment with the lists, and you’ll discover many new things about these commonly-used harmonic palettes (scales).

Below are a few examples of how the lists can be used to create chords and arpeggios (taking some liberties with octave placement and contour):

Arpeggios Chord Cycles Contour Melodic Construction Scales Uncategorized

Pat Martino’s Linear Expressions – Phase I in all 12 keys, Cycle of Fourths

One of the most important books ever written on melodic improvisation for guitar, Linear Expressions by Pat Martino, was originally published in 1989.

I have created this video to show the “solution” to the “problem” Pat suggests in the first part of the book.

The video is very helpful for “drilling” the lines.

Minor 7 and Minor 6 Drop voicings are included for context and comping. These will come in very handy later when practicing chord substitutions.

Learn this first, then take the next step to recontextualize the lines using Pat’s “minor conversion” theory.

Linear Expressions is an absolutely essential book for every guitarist’s library.

Buy the book on Amazon. Click here.