Thursday, August 16, 2012

Learn New Styles - Brazilian

You can never have a basic knowledge of enough styles. Comes in handy for sessions or you can import ideas from other genres into your genres of choice to make yours more interesting and unique.

Loving this book....

The Brazilian Guitar Book

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Don't Just Listen to Guitar Music (part one)

This is a huge subject. In fact, I would suggest dedicating a year to not buying guitar CD's but recordings of other instruments. Sax, piano, trumpet, xylophone, zither. Part of what will make you stand out as a guitarists among other guitarists is if you don't sound like all the other guitarists. Great rhythm ideas can be found in trying to emulate piano players. Out of the box phrasing ideas can be found in transcribing sax solos.

Case in point, when I was in high school I spent hours and hours (and hours!) transcribing Charlie Parker solos off of LP's. A tedious undertaking of lifting the needle off the vinyl, writing down a note or two and then trying to get the needle back in the groove right before the next phrase. I'm sweating now just thinking about it. I didn't know about the Parker Omnibook, but a book of transcriptions wouldn't have provided the same intense lesson as creating a book of transcriptions.

Writing out sax solos worked my ear and my reading chops and saved me money on the book! I did however get one major thing wrong and that was tempos. I could fathom tempos of 280-320 so I wrote everything at half tempo and thus all the 16th and 32nd notes. See a page below...

I called it "The Parker Tomnibook."

I transcribed piano solos. Synth solos. Jean Luc Ponty and Stephane Grapelli violin solo. Any solo that moved me and made me think, "how did they do that?"

In order to understand how "they did that" it's also important to figure out the harmony, or chord progression. too. That way you can see the relationship between the phrases and the harmony so you can more easily replicate it yourself.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Reading in the Studio

Here's page one of a chart for a film. Now while it says "Gtr Part" it was really intended to be played down an octave and on baritone electric. I used my Danelectro for the job.

A couple issues.

One, I don't read for baritone very often. So I was kind of double transposing twice to play this chart. Down an octave and then up a fourth. Not really up a fourth, but for example that first note, D, is really the D an octave below that and on the baritone it is played on the 3rd fret of the sixth string. So kind of like a G note on a normal guitar.

There was a lot of baritone on this score so I was quickly able to get my head into the bari-game. Generally I think of that first note not as G but as D right where it is. Just as it is. And then I just read the intervals instead of the notes. So D, then two more D's, up a minor 3rd, up a whole step. Hit that again. This trick will get me through many tricky transposition situations.

The second issue was with the length of the neck. My left arm was getting tired. I don't know how bass players do it. I have no tip for this except play more baritone.
Here's a video on the subject...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Just Amazing...

This version of Giant Steps as played by Kenny Garrett is humbling.

One takeaway? If you are a guitarist, don't just listen to guitarists.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cool Tool - The Lap Steel - Part Two

Chord progression - C G D Em  Played -  
   C       G      D        Em