Guitar Techniques - - TALK BACK -

Mu­sic edi­tor Ja­son Sid­well in­tro­duces an­other packed-to-the-rafters lessons sec­tion.

I HOPE YOU’RE en­joy­ing the is­sue. Jon Bishop’s Blues The­ory ar­ti­cle (pages 16-27) should an­swer any queries about scales and chords for blues play­ing. I’d also sug­gest spend­ing time with John Wheatcroft’s su­per ar­ti­cle on im­pro­vis­ing with chro­mat­ics (2835). Many gui­tarists use chro­mat­ics solely for prac­tice (penance) so now’s your chance to use them in ac­tual play­ing sce­nar­ios. And we’ve plenty more to sub­merge your­self in.

The first is Les David­son’s Oz Noy themed blues les­son; you might won­der why a funky jazz fu­sion gui­tarist is ap­pear­ing in blues, but with two ‘blues’ al­bums un­der his belt (Twisted Blues vol 1 and 2), Oz is savvy with the ap­proaches of all the blues greats. With this un­der­stand­ing Les presents Oz’s colour­ful ap­proach us­ing blues scales, chord tones, chro­mat­ics, intervallic skips and oc­taves; it’s a won­der­ful mix we’re sure you’ll love.

The jaw-drop­ping chops of Carl Verheyen con­tinue to pro­vide a boun­ti­ful sup­ply of licks for you to learn and de­velop. Here Carl tack­les a pro­gres­sion that switches be­tween two key cen­tres (C and Eb) while still hav­ing space to un­furl lines that are full of jumps, chord tones, chro­mat­ics and string bends. There’s plenty on of­fer both from a tech­ni­cal and a har­monic view­point; check out bars 21-24 where he out­lines the changes be­tween Eb­maj7-Cmaj7 with 16th notes that jump and slide around with amaz­ing skill.

Andy Saphir’s Chops Shop isn’t de­signed to be chops bust­ing per se, but rather to present ap­proaches to main­tain and de­velop broad abil­ity when solo­ing. This is­sue, Andy demon­strates how us­ing hy­brid pick­ing can en­cour­age big­ger string skips since it of­fers more flex­i­bil­ity than pick alone. Try out Ex­am­ples 4 and 5 plus the lovely Ex­am­ple 6 and you’ll see ex­actly what I mean.

Lastly, John Wheatcroft set­tles him­self into the Jazz col­umn with a two-part ap­pre­ci­a­tion of Django Rein­hardt. If one were to iso­late the ‘mu­si­cal genes’ that make up gui­tar DNA, it would be an un­wise scholar to over­look Django. John ad­dresses his arpeg­gio pick­ing, melodic or­na­men­ta­tion, the use of the 6th in­ter­val, three-note chords and chro­mat­ics to not only high­light what Django brought to gui­tar play­ing (Ex­am­ple 4 in A is so pretty!) but also ar­eas you may like to bring to your own play­ing. En­joy the is­sue!

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