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  • Writer's pictureJay EuDaly

John Elliott Material From the 1950's!?!?

If you don't know about John Elliott and the impact he had on so many great Kansas City players you can read about him here.

When my good friend Rick Hendricks passed away last year his widow Denise gave me a bunch of his music books. Among them was Rick's lessons with John. There was material there that I didn't have. You can read that story here.

Denise came in to BBs this last Saturday. She had found more stuff. There was some of the same stuff I've already got. There was a bunch of scale/modal stuff that I don't have, but most of it isn't new information to me.

The most fascinating thing was a bunch of stuff labeled "By John Elliott 1950's." It's done on a typewriter with spaces left where John would draw in a staff for notation or other graphics.

Here's a couple of examples:

It's fascinating to compare this material with the material I got from him from '79 - '86. You can see an evolution in the thinking as well as the presentation - the later stuff is more concise and not as much explaining; he did a lot of the explaining verbally to me that is written here. It's also fascinating how fully formed the basic method is here. Even the guitar stuff. John once told me, "Don't tell anybody this, but I used my guitar students as guinea pigs to figure out what was and was not possible on the guitar." Apparently that was early on - everything is voiced for the guitar. Plus there's stuff here that he never gave me like this, "Guitar Chord Symbolism";

Not that I didn't already know this stuff - it's just interesting to see how he explained it. Has anybody out there studied with John in the '50's. Was this his modus operandi back then?

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