Pat Martino's "Sacred Geometry"

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by moosie, Jul 31, 2016.

  1. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    15,477
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Western Connecticut
    When Truefire released Pat Martino's course a while back, I glanced and passed, partly based on price, partly the droning guy on the video (Pat). Today, I just read this blog article synopsis of what I assume is THE – or one of the – primary nuggets of the course. Just reading the article... well, I had a minor (not major, not augmented, and definitely not diminished, har har) epiphany.

    The idea of the 7+5 note/scale system originating with the single-axis piano, and the 3x4 cluster system for the double-axis guitar fingerboard... very nice. Now I just need to unlearn everything. o_O:confused::p

    http://truefire.com/blog/guitar-lessons/pat-martino-guitar-lesson-sacred-geometry/
     
    middy likes this.
  2. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,969
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    Location:
    Nashville
    I never delved deeper into it than a quick glance, but from what I remember it was basically the system of learning chord inversions by branching out from the static augmented & diminished shapes. It looks real complicated at first with all the triangles and philosophy, but I think just sitting down & working through the shapes with a little theory knowledge then adding your own exploration/creativity you can get to the end of the same path without the mumbo jumbo.
     
  3. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    15,477
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Western Connecticut
    Yes, and maybe no. I agree about the mumbo jumbo, the 'sacred' philosophy. I don't need that stuff. Just an edited transcript, please. But for me, at least, it's way more than learning inversions. It appears to tie in with, and bring together, a lot of my own (some half-baked) thoughts on theory. A useful mental model, with inversions as one useful effect stemming from this view.

    Anyway, it's given me something to think about. I'm just glad I was able to get this information without buying the course, which really seems to be vastly padded with boringness and BS.
     
  4. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Posts:
    16,389
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    I remember him talking about this stuff in a GP interview in the early 70s. After all this time, I wonder why no one clued him in to mathematical group theory. While it can be a fearsome thing to learn, the patterns and symmetries that I have observed in his teaching methods are pretty basic. He has clearly encountered some of the properties of groups, which can be expressed in non-mystical ways. The sacred stuff acts to shroud the meaning of these patterns, which is the exactly wrong thing to do if you want to explain these structures with clarity, consistency, and generalizability. The result is that the student is forced to learn his idiosyncratic method and is blinded to the mathematics of a well-established system that shows how his patterns are related. He is not alone in doing this, by any means. Schillinger's system is another ad hoc application of the principles of group theory, as is, to some extent, Slonimsky's Thesaurus.

    So, yeah, I agree that the mumbo jumbo is ill-advised and unwarranted.
     
    xafinity, slowpinky and Teleka like this.
  5. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    15,477
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Western Connecticut
    I'm content to ignore Pat's philosophy, while giving him a pass for presenting it that way. After all, according to the story, he's recovered (recovering?) from some serious brain damage. May be the only way he sees it.
     
  6. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,969
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    Location:
    Nashville
    I think all the connections behind what or why these patterns exist is great stuff to think about but more so after learning the basic concepts in a dry manner. Presenting things like that to those who are looking to learn makes for murky waters.

    Back to Pat, holy smokes though, it's been at least a decade since I transcribed anything of his but I was a Pat-Head for a few years and own most of his catalogue pre-1980. The one solo that I still hear in my head is from "Lazy Bird" on East!





    The man can augment, diminish, chromaticize anything and it sounds perfect. Kind of like how Bird could substitute the major over anything he wanted with brilliant results. The better your sense of swing/rhythm/phrasing/confidence is the more you can just play whatever.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2016
    heyjamesguesswhat and songtalk like this.
  7. stringslinger

    stringslinger Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    741
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    True, if you don't already understand harmonic functions and chord/scale relationships, then the concept of augmented and diminished shapes as "parental" forms is nonsensical. I don't recall this as his approach though, so I wonder if it's somewhat newer. If I'm not mistaken, Martino's thing was seeing everything as the relative minor. If you are playing over say G7, then he'd see Dm. For CMaj7, he'd think Am.

    And yes mossie, Martino had serious brain damage. He RELEARNED the guitar by listening back to himself!
     
    McGlamRock likes this.
  8. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,202
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I have also heard that Pat's method was visualizing everything as minor
     
  9. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,624
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    to avoid confusion, do you mean Em?
     
  10. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    50,368
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    No, Dm. Think of a ii-V-I: Dm7 G7 CMaj7. Joe Pass, for example, says he things G dominant over both the Dm7 and G7. Pat says he thinks D minor over the Dm7 and G7.
     
  11. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    50,368
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    The other think he does is take the circle of fifths and start connecting chords in triangles and squares.

    For example, dominant chords get related by a diminished chord, so G7, E7, C#7 and Bb7 are interchangeable. This is common in jazz. He also relates major chords by an augmented chord, so CMaj7, AbMaj7 and EMaj7 are interchangeable. This is more a Coltrane thing.
     
  12. LoveHz

    LoveHz Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    686
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    "to avoid confusion, do you mean Em?"

    ndcaster: I was going to ask that too — thought I'd let someone else have first bite! Goes to show just how much of all this I've taken in. I do have a number of Pat Martino albums and all of them leave me enthralled. That solo on Lady Bird is terrific.

    For me it's a bit like listening to late Beethoven string quartets — absolutely wonderful, but if only I could understand why!
     
  13. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,624
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    ok, if we're in C, over ii>V Pat just plays ii (Dm)

    right?

    the relative minor of G major is E minor
     
  14. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    50,368
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    Right.
     
  15. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,602
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    NELA, Ca
    Pat had an aneurysm and the operation to save him left him not remembering how to play guitar or even that he did play the guitar.
    It all slowly came back with the help of many guitarists both novice and famous who took the time to show him and re-teach him how 'he' played.

    *I'm sure he knows about group theory or at least has been clued in to it but he likes talking about music/theory in that 'mystical' way. Not at all uncommon for artists to do that.
    His playing speaks for itself ...
     
  16. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    11,810
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    victoria b.c. CANADA
    I've always loved his articulation (if that's the right term).....so precise, so clear....it's fantastic and to my ear a foundational ingredient in his very identifiable sound.....not to mention how he absolutely drives the feel....he's an unstoppable monster!
     
  17. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    50,368
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    He really is "El Hombre".
     
    boneyguy likes this.
  18. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,602
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    NELA, Ca
    A friend of mine once likened his attack (articulation) and rhythmic drive to a brush fire coming over a ridge.
     
    boneyguy likes this.
  19. slowpinky

    slowpinky Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,957
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne ,Australia
    And a consummate ballad player with all of that too - We'll be together again - (duos with Gil Goldstein) is an absolute favourite of mine..
     
  20. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Posts:
    16,389
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    Man, that song just laid me out when the record first came out. It was one of the most complete performances I had ever experienced.

    You're surely right that he knows about groups, as his patterns are virtually textbook examples of Z12 and its subgroups (just showing off my terminology). But which is the better book title: Sacred Geometry or Z12 and its Subgroups in Jazz?
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.