I am one week into my second semester in SDSU's Master's program in jazz studies. I'm still loving it, and I'm on track to finish a semester early. If all goes as planned, I could be done by Christmas.

I'm most excited for a class I'm auditing this semester, Rick Helzer's final undergrad jazz theory course. I'll be in his graduate theory seminar in the fall, so this should ensure that my knowledge is where it should be. In the first two lectures, we ripped through Bill Evans's "Very Early" and the harmonic applications of every mode of Harmonic Minor and Harmonic Major. I had never touched Harmonic Major before. I knew it was 1 2 3 4 5 b6 7, but never used it, so I ran all five positions on guitar after class the other night.

I'll have private lessons with Bob Boss again. He's a repertoire machine, and helping me become one too. (See my post from last semester, Learning Standards Again.) I also signed up with bassist Bob Magnusson. My classmate, guitarist Travis Daudert, has said great things about lessons with Magnusson. I recall renting An Evening with Joe Pass last year and discovering Magnusson right up there with Pass on the Musicians Institute stage.

In addition to the above, I'm in a combo and two graduate seminars: one on classical theory and one on music research and writing. I bet the latter will give me another surplus of material to post here.