"The Al Book"

posted Nov 12, 2019, 9:40 AM by Alex Rogowski   [ updated Nov 12, 2019, 9:44 AM ]

Newly added to this site are two collections (in the form of two books) of tunes mostly transcribed and annotated in the early ’90’s. Altogether there are about 200 tunes.

Some of the more common songs are specific to the arrangements from the original recordings while some are my own arrangements but, mostly, they are facsimile transcriptions (fake book type scores). Whatever the case, at the time they were transcribed only a few of the tunes were in print and, to this day, there are a number of tunes I’ve yet to see published. 

Because this is a personal collection of tunes intended for rehearsal / jam band situations, information regarding composers, recordings, etc. has not been included. As always, if you do have questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

For The Curious: the mechanics involved paper, pencil and a variable speed Marantz cassette tape deck. The transcriptions written in Finale were copied from less legible hand written scores.

A Couple of Things

posted Apr 23, 2017, 5:25 AM by Alex Rogowski

Thing One

Dropbox has finally ended file linking. So, in case you've bookmarked files from my site, PDFs are now linked to Google Drive - which should work just fine. What hasn't worked out well is finding a means to link to my sound files. This may take some time to resolve so, for now, mp3s will take you to a broken link.

Thing Two

I've reposted some old arrangements for solo guitar which can be found via my Archive page or just clicking here. You'll find some very straight arrangements, a few tongue-in-cheek, and a few sincere attempts at arranging some more serious stuff (Bill Evans, et al). In any case, if you don't have occasion to use them in a 'real-life' setting you may, at least, find them amusing.

More on Quartal Harmonic Devices

posted Feb 2, 2017, 8:10 PM by Alex Rogowski   [ updated Feb 5, 2017, 5:11 AM ]

Because it is antritonic (no tritones), the “avoid-the-fourth” version of the Major Scale (AKA Ionian sans 4) is ideal for considering the topic of quartal harmonization. 

This scale and its inversion - Aeolian sans 6 - are hexatonic scales that can be broken down to quartal triads comprised of only perfect fourths. Two of the possible four quartal triads are mutually exclusive in construction. Additionally, the Ionian sans 4 is comprised of four traditional triads (I, iii, V, vi) - two of which are likewise mutually exclusive (V, vi). 

The examples below offer a framework of the scale harmonized with the exclusive quartal triads. 

More on these scales here:

Ionian sans 4 

Aeolian sans 6

Housekeeping note: Dropbox will soon stop allowing direct links to user files. This means in the near future I will be moving many of the files posted in the Archive section of this website and elsewhere. Temporary interruptions may result. If you have saved links to specific files they may change by the end of this coming summer.

Golden Legato Exercises

posted Nov 19, 2015, 2:55 PM by Alex Rogowski   [ updated Nov 19, 2015, 3:02 PM ]

Today marks the 50th anniversary of receiving my first guitar. It was an Airline brand (Montgomery Ward) acoustic guitar that seemed nearly impossible to play above the fifth fret. If I recall correctly, my mother paid around $13 for it and almost as much again for the cardboard case it came in. By 1970 or so I regretfully loaned it out to JG but never saw it again. His priorities clearly trumped mine as it no doubt was exchanged for an urgent quick fix. Rosebud.

To celebrate this milestone I’ve posted the following exercise. There are two approaches one can take: tapping the notes with the fingers indicated (a quick hammer-on and release - more of a staccato type technique actually) or the traditional legato style. Of course, move each “formula” to every string and position. 

Quartal Triads, Dominant Applications

posted Aug 4, 2015, 6:12 PM by Alex Rogowski   [ updated Aug 4, 2015, 6:26 PM ]

As is the case with all three note chords, a quartal triad has six basic inversions:

The addition of a C flat to the specific form(s) above result in a tetrad for which the most common usage would include a C flat major chord (R-M7-M3-M6) or a first inversion A flat minor chord (m3-M9-P5-R):

The less obvious, but very useful, application for the chord voicing above would be as the first inversion altered G dominant (M3 - (+)9 - (+)5 - m9). One possible resolution to a C major (specifically, a G / C) is shown below:

Here’s hoping that you extrapolate on the core concept presented above.


posted Nov 16, 2014, 6:01 AM by Alex Rogowski   [ updated Nov 16, 2014, 6:01 AM ]

Bad Links
Just a note to inform you that the broken links to the transcriptions have been fixed. Basically, an oversight on my part as I failed to make the necessary updates when Google went from Docs to Drive

Monster in a Box
My Scales book continues to be 99% competed. Apologies to those who have inquired about ordering it - I haven't forgotten about you. 

Big Changes

posted Jun 22, 2014, 9:11 AM by Alex Rogowski   [ updated Jun 22, 2014, 10:37 AM ]

OK. Quite a few changes around here. Most notably, The Index of Scales and the Index of Symmetric Scales have been removed . . . a few reasons for this. First, all of the text has been heavily edited, and expanded upon for my forthcoming book. Secondly, the sound files will soon be available from my bandcamp page.

The book will be somewhere around 230 pages of concise information - No TABS, no BIG NOTES, no endless redundancies or repetition of the same material in different keys.

The audio files (now uncompressed)  will be available for free downloading for those who purchase the book (or next to nothing for those who do not) from bandcamp. Additionally, the scores will also be available as a “bonus” to the "album" downloads.


I will be seeking out critical review and vetting prior to publishing. If you have street cred, university cred, or just feel that you have extensive theoretical knowledge yet are able to be objective when considering new ideas, please contact me. 

Son of the Return of the Crab

posted May 9, 2013, 8:20 PM by Alex Rogowski   [ updated May 9, 2013, 8:20 PM ]

Here are three short animated videos illustrating each set (four variations per set) of "The Crab" finger exercise variations.

Please see previous post on this topic here which provides a brief explanation of this warmup and includes a PDF of the twelve patterns (albeit in starting on the third fret whereas the animations here show the second fret as a starting point).

Set 1 here

Set 2 here

Set 3 here

Each of the exercises are, in and of themselves, painfully tedious to play and, frankly, the corresponding videos are at least as painful to watch. However, they might serve to expedite the learning of and, ultimately, mastery over the most difficult of these studies. It would be no small feat to be able to play through the twelve exercises in the three minute total of these videos.

note: in .MOV format. looping is encouraged.

Major add 9 Workout

posted Apr 10, 2013, 5:14 AM by Alex Rogowski   [ updated Apr 10, 2013, 5:14 AM ]

More "Chord Yoga". In this case a set of sequences comprised entirely of a type of chord that is as awkward as it is exquisite: the Major (add 9). 



posted Apr 8, 2013, 6:02 PM by Alex Rogowski   [ updated Apr 8, 2013, 6:02 PM ]

Here is a collection of studies illustrating a variety of potential uses of an otherwise easy to play technique: interpolated tenths. 

Included please find patterns on the Major, Minor, Harmonic Major scales and also a couple of other symmetric applications. 



Similar to these new examples is the intro on Martin Taylor's arrangement of "I Remember Clifford":  here.

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