For Guitar Techniques Issue 240, I’ve penned a little thing about different approaches to playing over a simple blues progression. THIS WAS SUCH A CONFUSING THING FOR ME TO LEARN GROWING UP. Why? Because
1) There are several effective approaches, and humans being humans can only give advice on what they know. I received conflicting advice from different great players on what to do, leaving me befuddled.
2) Blues playing can be both very simple and intuitive, and hugely complex. Learning to use both intuitive flair and theoretical sophistical takes time (not that I’m done, far from it).
This article to which I owe much to Jason Sidwell for the underlying themes offers 4 different approaches to playing on a 12-bar, 3 chord progression. I found it very useful, I hope you might too.
Molto excited to be running a Jazz guitar course (with Bridget running the parallel Classical guitar course) in the stunning Palazzo Mannocchi in the Marche region of Italy 15-22 August 2015 with Helicon Arts. Italian food and wine, terraces, gorgeous views, 2 swimming pools, all food and trips catered and lots and lots of extended chords, guide-tome lines and tasteful phrasing.
Classical and Jazz Guitar Course in Le Marche, Italy
My article on Bossa Nova guitar is now in Guitar Techniques issue 238. Such an amazing and idiosyncratic guitar style, it was a real pleasure to put this together, and I learned a lot about the players and techniques.
No 4 in a series of Guitar Instructional DVDs is out now! Available in many newsagents worldwide, or the interamawebs here
What’s in it (besides from a nice new shirt and guitar(s)? In the words of Future Publishing –
Everything you need to know to play like your heroes – with full lessons on your DVD
- Theoretical: You will gain knowledge of scales and how to use them to make music
- Practical: This will help you gain the technique and skills you will need to create solos
- Style and Creativity: Listening to and adapting the playing of great guitarists is a brilliant way to begin developing your own vocabulary.
Play like Clapton, Hendrix, Gilmour, Page, Slash, Santana, Van Halen and many more
My 3rd in a series of guitar DVDs, Play Guitar Now: Texas Blues is now out on Future Publishing. Quite a lot of work this one trying to capture essential playing concepts of Lightnin’ Hopkins, Albert Colins, T-Bone Walker, SRV and all those other amazing Texan guitar-slingers.
You can pick up a copy in WHSmiths and other places, or online here
Well I must be doing something right – or probably not enough wrong – as the good people of Future have asked me to yet another DVD this Winter.
It’s due for release in early 2014. Topic is under wraps but this little image should give you a mighty big clue. Rather excited about this one.
Missed the others? Details here and also here
In May, I’ll be recording a second instructional Guitar DVD for Future Publishing. Not Jazz, like the last one and it will involve a lot of research and work, but am looking very much forward to it. Now I have to beg, borrow or steal* a Gibson 335…
Jazz Guitar Instructional DVD published by the good folk of Future Publishing
In their words…
From the makers of Guitar Techniques this magazine and DVD package is especially for guitarists that can play from lower to upper intermediate level. It’s for those that want to strike out on the path to jazz – or who simply fancy adding some cool jazz chords or some juicy jazzy licks to their current arsenal of chops.
- To get you started, the most useful chords and scales you can use in jazz
- Jazz rhythm styles; now you’ve learn some cool jazz chords, do some comping (accompaniment) with them!
- Learn some great lead jazz guitar licks
- Playalong tunes:
- Bossa Nova – in the style of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto and Charlie Byrd
- Jazz-Blues – in the style of Barney Kessel, Kenny Burrell and Herb Ellis
- Jazz-Funk – reminiscent of George Benson and Grant Green
- Ballad – inspired by accompanists Joe Pass and Herb Ellis
- Rhythm Changes – essential jazz progression first used by George Gershwin
Following on from the challenge in the last post – developing ii-V-I vocabulary all over the fingerboard – the following study takes a similar approach for minor ii-V-i patterns, for example Dm7(b5) – G7alt – Cm7. This will greatly enhance useful vocabulary. Furthermore all of the G7alt material may be readily used in a major ii-V context, and as ever these ideas can be broken up, restructured, shuffled, edited, sequenced and recombined for further editing. As a child I preferred Lego and Meccano to Playmobile and ActionMan. This is because with Lego and Meccano’s smaller and endlessly interconnectable units far more was possible, and the creative imagination had far freer scope; and partly because my ActionMan had missing fingers and only one of his eagle eyes moved.
One should adopt a Lego approach here, but just make sure you put them away when you’re finished.
Minor ii-V-I lines CAGED
Unlike the piano, the ability of playing a simultaneous bass line and chord progression on the guitar is hard won.
However, with some focused work on fretboard harmony, an effective, intuitively controlled and fun approach is possible.
The following document provides an introduction to the technique – and some patient practice will go a long way. Enjoy
In Two Minds: Harmonic Literacy for the Guitar IV – Walking Bass & Chords