PLAY­ING TIPS

Guitar Techniques - - Play: Jazz -

[Bars 1- 40] The track star ts out in the key of C Mi­nor, with eight bars of vamp­ing on the chord se­quence, which sets the har­monic tone for the rest of the tune be­fore the guitar en­ters with the main melody at the end of bar 8. In terms of the har­mony, no­tice that the sec­ond chord (Bbm9) in­tro­duces a Db note, which is ba­si­cally an un­ex­pected mi­nor 2nd in­ter val, seen from the per­spec­tive of the tonic (at this point, C Mi­nor). This is an es­sen­tial colour, which Wes brings out re­peat­edly dur­ing the course of the tune. Take your time find­ing a clean way to ex­e­cute the oc­taves at first; re­mem­ber it ’s all about keep­ing un­wanted notes from ring­ing, by way of mut­ing with your ex­cess fret­ting-hand fin­gers. This is es­pe­cially im­por­tant when per form­ing slides, as at the end of bar 11, for ex­am­ple. I rec­om­mend us­ing your first and third fin­gers for six th/four th and fif th/third-string oc­taves; and first

and four th fin­gers for four th/sec­ond and third/first-string oc­taves. Also, make sure you play around with var ying de­grees of stac­cato as you go along – I have noted some es­sen­tial stac­cato ad­di­tions, but would rec­om­mend tak­ing the time to explore the pos­si­bil­i­ties of ex­pres­sion in that area as an ex­er­cise in it­self. As you may no­tice, the melody is ac­tu­ally fairly sim­ple from a har­monic point of view, as it is based solely on the Mi­nor Pen­ta­tonic scale, with just a few added colours from the slides and the in­clu­sion of the blue note (b5), as in bar 22. At bar 25, the melody is re­peated with ver y few changes, be­fore land­ing on a ‘home’-sound­ing C oc­tave in bar 39. Straight af ter that, though, we mod­u­late up a semi­tone to C# Mi­nor in bar 40, in­stantly climb­ing up the C# Mi­nor scale – adding a ma­jor 7th step to make a chro­matic climb at the ver y end, re­solv­ing per fectly on the high C# oc­tave.

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