ONCE AGAIN IN our quest to expand your knowledge and musical horizons, we’ve come up with a couple of mega-cool lessons. The first lets you measure your abilities against a series of known norms, while the other is a response to readers’ requests on how to arrange for guitar. (The latter was prompted by various GT columnists who regularly create brilliant pieces, seemingly out of nowhere.)
While we are not in a position to offer you a certificate of achievement or a GT Grade, we can give you a yardstick against which to judge your progress. So with Rockschool’s James Uings, Simon Troupe and Charlie Griffiths we have devised a plan.
Taking known areas of technique and theory we present you with a variety of exercises that will test you, allow you the opportunity to make a self-assessment and then bone up where necessary. Should you ever want to take bona fide grades (be they Rockschool or any other) this will afford you a great guide to knowing whether it’s a good idea or not. And, to be honest, most of us don’t actually know how good we really are, so taking these ‘tests’ might pleasantly surprise you - or perhaps spur you on to practising a little more steadfastly. Anyway, it’s a fun thing to do wherever your desires lay.
Moving on to article number two: I mentioned last month that there’s usually some kind of formula or system in place that underpins what seems to be natural ability. That goes for arranging too. And while of course some people are particularly blessed, we can all take advantage of certain pointers or rules that govern the art of arranging.
To that end, Jon Bishop has taken the wellknown standard Scarborough Fair, and looked at how we might arrange it in a variety of ways, from a simple solo acoustic piece, through modal tunings right up to a full jazz-blues with sophisticated chords and tasty notes and runs.
I hope you enjoy these and all the other lessons - including the tab of Brian Setzer’s awesome Rock This Town - and I’ll see you next month with more fretboard fun