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!