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Guitar Learning & Teaching Publications Stuff to Buy

Chicago Blues Instructional DVD

 

 

My instructional DVD on Chicago Blues is now available in newsagents and online. The early Chicago Blues players – hugely influential on Hendrix, Clapton and the rest – are incredibly important in shaping much of what is now standard practice in all contemporary electric guitar playing. Researching these players was hugely instructive and I worked hard to distill and communicate some of these powerful elements on the DVD. And I have new guitarists in my pantheon of inspiring players Jimmy Dawkins and Magic Sam

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Categories
Guitar Research Science

What’s Growing on Your Strings?

GuitarMacTotal Guitar Issue 243 includes an article by me and the eminent microbiologist Dr. Simon Park (with whom I collaborated on the Microcosmos project and does many other beautiful things). Here we took a rather nasty set of strings from the Future Publishing offices and endeavoured to discover what constituted the invisible audience to our noodlings. Get it at all good newsagents. Wash your hands before and after.

Images ©2013 Milton MermikidesGuitar gunkGuitar swabVery cultured
GuitarMSA
GuitarPCA

Categories
Guitar Learning & Teaching Music Theory Science

The Maths Behind Music

Here’s a short educational video explaining some fundamental concepts of maths and tuning. Nice production by frequent collaborator Anna Tanczos of Sci-Comm Studios.

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Guitar

Alexia Coley on the Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show

Great to hear Alexia Coley played, interviewed – and majorly bigged up (embiggened?) – by Craig Charles on BBC Radio 6. I really enjoy playing with her, great singer, great performer and a good, good person. Album on Jalapeno Records out in the autumn.
Listen (from 1:37 here

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Concerts & Gigs Guitar Jazz & Improvisation

Spiked

Out of nowhere (well somewhere obviously) I’ve been asked to step in the guitar shoes with The Spike Orchestra. I’ve not heard of these people before, but I’m glad I have a quick listen reveals a sophisticated, witty, complex and satisfying original blend of Naked City, cartoon composer Carl Stalling, Kenny Wheelery contemporary jazz, rock and something unnameable. My first concert with them will be Sept 13th 2013 at the Forge, Kingston and I can’t wait to get stuck into/get roasted by the spaghetti charts.

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Categories
Guitar Music

Voodoo Slight Return

After a slight hiatus while half of the band reproduced themselves the VTQ are back in the studio, reroasting chops for some summer gigs. I love the people, (Paul Thorpe, Nathan Thomas, Richard Watts, Pat Symes, Liz Mitchell, ‘Frank’ Watkins and Mat Duke) and am moved by the ego-less humour and creativity of the music.
With 3 Albums down, festival gigs and a bucket of TV syncing it’s infectious, eclectic and irresistible music, and I’ll continue playing with them until they find me out.

FrankPaul & MatFingersPaulGearLiz Pat Milt

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Audio Production & Engineering Guitar Music Technology

John Williams Recording

It’s wonderful to be involved in classical guitar virtuoso John Williams’ latest recording project. Details to follow, but the energy, enthusiasm and skill he continues to deliver after 200 CDs, all the accolades and well over a half-century of professional musicianship is astonishing and inspiring in equal measure.

faders

Categories
Guitar Guitar Lessons

Back to the Future Publishing. New Guitar DVD commissioned.

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…

Ooh

*possibly buy

Categories
Audio Production & Engineering Guitar Portfolio

Bridget’s Guitarrista

I can say without bias that Bridget‘s classical guitar playing and arranging is exquisite and widely admired by musicians from Julian Bream to Tim Minchin. It was an absolute pleasure to record and produce her debut solo album, and the next is just around the corner.

 

Categories
Guitar Guitar Lessons Jazz & Improvisation Learning & Teaching Publications Stuff to Buy

Jazz Guitar DVD released

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

Available here:

 

Categories
Guitar Portfolio Stuff to Buy

Dress Down Friday – The Voodoo Trombone Quartet

The Voodoo Trombone Quartet’s latest album is OUT. Lovely, lovely post ska eclectica. http://open.spotify.com/album/3ViPhvhno2st63A6tSAVSn Personell:

Paul Thorpe – Keys, Vocals

Milton Mermikides – Guitars

Matt Duke – Bass

James ‘Frank Watkins’ – Drums

Liz Mitchell – Baritone Saz

Nathan Thomas -French Horn

Pat Symes – Trombone

Richard Watts – Trumpet

Categories
Guitar Guitar Lessons Learning & Teaching

Harmonic Literacy for Guitar XI: Triskaidekaphilia! 13th Chords Everywhere!

Harmonic Literacy for Guitar XI: Triskaidekaphilia! 13th Chords Everywhere!.

Categories
Guitar Guitar Lessons Learning & Teaching

Harmonic Literacy for the Guitar IX – Endless Lines on Static Major Chords

In addition to playing over static minor and dominant chords, the ability to play over static major chords
in all positions of the fretboard is extremely useful. This have been kept fairly neutral. avoiding too much
differentiation between Ionian and Lydian so that these can be used on most instances of static major chords.
Learning and composing Major scale patterns like these (together with the Dominant and minor examples) will greatly
enhance the harmonic proficiency in your playing, and creative freedom in improvisation. Endless Lines III on Static Major Chords

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Guitar Guitar Lessons Learning & Teaching

Harmonic Literacy for Guitar VIII – Endless Lines on Static Minor Chords

Continuing from the last study, let’s take a CAGED approach to the minor or minor 7 chord. This will involve
Dorian, Melodic Minor, Aeolian, Dorian bebop, Minor blues and other bebop devices. A Dorian key signature
is given as this is a central modal component in a lot of static minor chord playing.
These have been written as continuous studies so repeat each section and move on at will for an epic workout.
Again we focus on a quaver feel,but remember that once absorbed these can be endlessly shuffled and lego-ed
in creative performance. Note also that these can work well on there related dominant chord (F7 in this case).
Be sure to visualise the underlying chord-shapes and arpeggios, practise in various keys, styles and tempos to
make them an intuitive part of your playing.
Endless Lines II on Static Minor Chords

Categories
Guitar Guitar Lessons Learning & Teaching

Harmonic Literacy for Guitar VII – Endless Lines on Static Dominant Chords.

A real challenge in playing jazz guitar lies in the performance of long seamless lines. This of course is only
a small component of improvisation, but it’s worth working on, as the sort of motor control and brain-finger
connection has to be really developed. Using the CAGED system established previously, we’ll look at playing
over static dominant chord. This will largely use dominant, bebop dominant, lydian dominant with typical
bebop devices. Rather than runing scales, these (somewhat abritrary but effective) 4-bar phrases cover much
of each position and require a comprehensive understanding of fretboard harmony. Of course these can be
edited, recomposed, transposed, and lego-ed endlessly.
Endless Lines I – Static Dominant Chord

Categories
Guitar Guitar Lessons Jazz & Improvisation Learning & Teaching

Harmonic Literacy for the Guitar VI: Minor Challenge. iiø-Valt-i all over the shop.

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

Categories
Guitar Guitar Lessons Learning & Teaching

Harmonic Literacy for the Guitar V: ii-V-I Isn’t this a lot of fun.

The following short document uses an approach that provides 40 useful ii-V-I lines in every position of the guitar fingerboard, greatly aiding fluency of long improvised lines through jazz harmony. Hard work, but big returns. As ever, enjoy the process of practising and earn the resulting creative freedom. Yeah.

ii-V-I lines CAGED

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Guitar Guitar Lessons Learning & Teaching

In Two Minds: Harmonic Literacy for the Guitar IV – Walking Bass & Chord

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

http://bit.ly/moGulQ

Categories
Concerts & Gigs Guitar

Vrooom performed by George Hrab & Milton Mermikides

Under-rehearsed but overly fun performance with George Hrab at Surrey SkepSoc.

Categories
Guitar

Bill Oddie Hell

If you want to catch Bridget’s major TV appearance (and a dispensible one from me) watch Play It Again, BBC1, 7pm Monday May 7th 2007. It is very entertaining, Bridget comes across great, and Bill Oddie er less so. Bill managed to get paid generously, receive expert tuition, a nice guitar and amp, enviable musical opportunities, emotional support, special treatment and STILL managed to learn very little AND be the grumpiest birdwatcher in the land. Nice work if you can get it.

Who knows where this will lead Bridget, but I am picking out mansions that she can buy for us just in case.