The Course and Modules

The BA (Hons) Creative Music Performance course provides you with an opportunity to specialise in JTC Guitar. The course has been developed with the technical guitar player in mind, and is focused on the development of high-end musicianship. A commitment to redefining the boundaries of the electric guitar is central to our teaching and learning.

Contributors Jam Track Central will reinforce your studies with video demonstrations. Martin Goulding is Head of Course and has written the outstanding Technical Development & Improvisation Modules, which are designed to give you an in depth knowledge and guide you to becoming a top-level player with an expansive versatility. It aims to empower learners by equipping them with a high level of instrumental skill and the ability to develop an authoritative, individual approach to the performance and creation of music. On completion of the course you will have established a varied portfolio of creative work and have an understanding of how to develop your own unique approach to your specialism and the wider industry.

Stage 1: Level 4

Technical Development 1 & 2

These modules will consolidate your existing technique and create the foundation for the advanced technical and improvisational concepts that will be covered as the course progresses. This is achieved by providing a solid theoretical and practical understanding of the diatonic major scale system, including its relative minor and modal perspectives. The Technical Development modules are fully integrated with the Improvisation modules to provide a structured and progressive course of study in guitar-based musicianship.

From the construction of chord and scales using the CAGED system, to the study of triads, arpeggios, pentatonic scales, blues scales and development of modern vocabulary the emphasis is on developing harmonic knowledge and intervallic recognition alongside the building of key technical skills. The lesson content of the modules contains an extensive and highly detailed combination of colour-coded diagrams, notation, tablature, text and video.

Improvisation 1 & 2

The Improvisation modules take the concepts covered in Technical Development 1 and 2 and apply them directly to improvisation. The aim of linking these two modules is to further consolidate your technical skills and contextualise back into a practical format.

These modules develop a range of concepts and approaches to improvisation, including the identification of chord tones and extensions, sequencing and transposing melodies, major and minor pentatonic improvisation, major and minor blues scale improvisation, superimposing triads and arpeggios and much more. In addition to containing unique colour-coded diagrams, notation and tablature, the lessons will feature backing tracks that provide a context for the concepts studied. To illustrate key points in the lessons, there will be video contributions from key members of the Jam Track Central artist roster.

Artist Studies

In this module you set the direction of your studies by choosing important guitar players to study in detail as negotiated with your tutor. The choice is yours, but you will be expected to nail several tunes by your chosen artists to the highest standards. This will include generating an authentic tone, fully committing to the performance with accurate execution and showing solid timing and groove. In addition to learning a representative portion of their repertoire, you will be asked to provide a critical analysis of your chosen artists that demonstrates a contextual understanding of the historical, social and cultural factors that shaped their unique sound and style.

Rhythm Studies

Developing consistency and control of timing is the single most important aspect of your playing if you want to be a truly excellent musician. In this module you will work with full chords and partial chords to firm up your riffs, tighten up your band sound and make your leads more exciting and dynamic. A wide variety of genres will be covered to inspire you and make you a more versatile musician.

Stage 2: Level 5

Advanced Techniques 1 & 2

The Advanced Techniques 1 & 2 modules further develops the concepts covered in Technical Development 1 & 2 using the CAGED/EDCAG/octave-system to visualise chord- scale-arpeggio relationships. Harmonic minor, melodic minor and symmetrical scales are also studied along with chord substitution, extended harmony, superimposition, drop system chord inversions, turnarounds and jazz line development.

These modules also look at the modern rock style developed from the late 1970s to the late 1980s. This specialised and highly technical style is presented in a series of lessons focussing on subjects such as 3-notes-per-string scales, legato, tapping, alternate and economy/sweep picking styles and with reference to players such as Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, George Lynch, Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, Tony Macalpine, Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Reb Beach and Greg Howe.

Advanced Improvisation 1 & 2

The Advanced Improvisation 1 & 2 modules build on your work in Improvisation 1 & 2 and continues with the study of improvisational skills and methodologies that are ultimately designed to enable creative musical expression in your specialist area. The skills and vocabulary learned in these lectures will be applied and contextualised within performance scenarios at the next level of study. You will be encouraged to develop your own learning methodologies to enhance your technical abilities, and to apply these skills to a broader musical context and develop an individual approach to your area of specialism.

Artist Analysis

The Artist Analysis module builds on your work in Artist Studies and continues to examine the techniques, methodologies and repertoire of iconic artists. The concepts examined in this module are intended to support you in the development of your own individual approach and should ideally be applied to a broader musical context.

In addition to learning a representative portion of their repertoire, you will be asked to provide critical analysis of your chosen artists that demonstrates a contextual understanding of the historical, social and cultural factors that shaped their unique sound and style. You will extend your critical analysis through the inclusion of musical notation, commenting on how the unique voice of the artist is evident within the transcription.

Composition and Arrangement

The Composition and Arrangement module provides you with the opportunity to study and apply methodologies for composing and arranging original music. The outcomes of the module will see you producing original compositions to a specified brief. The concepts examined will provide an integrated understanding of the broader musical context and will support the development of your work throughout the course.

Stage 3: Level 6

Developing Your Own Style

Developing Your Own Style asks students to amalgamate and apply concepts studied throughout the programme in the development of their own unique sound and style. Additionally, you will apply a critical approach to the developmental process and explain and demonstrate your individual approach to the instrument.

Applied Techniques

The Applied Techniques module builds on the material covered in the Advanced Techniques and Advanced Improvisation modules and continues with the intensive study of specialist skills, techniques and methodologies. The content of the module will play a key role in the continued development of your artistic voice and in providing creative direction for the Solo Performance module.

Solo Performance

The Solo Performance module is the culmination of your time spent on the programme developing technical and musical skills. Through self-directed study predominantly (supported by tutorial and group sessions), you will be guided through the process of staging a solo performance that demonstrates the totality of your musical skills and expresses your own unique voice as an artist.

Professional Practice Portfolio

The Professional Practice Portfolio module requires you to research and report on the career opportunities available within your specialist area. You should also comment on how your craft can be contextualised in professional opportunities that will monetise your skills and inspire entrepreneurial practice and artistic excellence. Your Portfolio will also include a personal website and various forms of social media to support your professional work.

 

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