Nev talks about this issue’s main features.
WE OFTEN GO on about playing ‘intervals’, or ‘targeting chord tones’? We do it because it’s a fine way of outlining the chords beneath a solo and giving it ‘shape’. Well, you’ll see a lot of it in the magazine this month. Jason will tell you all about John Wheatcroft’s ‘Django Legacy’ but, essentially, back in those days solos were ALL about chord tones and nothing about blasting a scale or two through the middle of them which is, without putting too fine a point on it, what a lot of blues and rock players do.
My focus here though, is on Jon Bishop’s look at nailing the intervals within a blues context. The lesson’s pay-off is six solos where Jon shows ways to target specific intervals - 9th, 3rd, 7th etc - with a final piece where he mixes them up to create a solo that shows just why we should all get in on this particular act. Although the lesson is built around 12-bar blues so you hear all intervals in the same context and therefore the differences in their sound, the concept applies to any style.
I mentioned the Django era and a music form whose star was on the rise when another’s was waning. I’m talking about ragtime. There are really close ties between early blues, New Orleans jazz and ragtime. And while pianist Scott Joplin always springs to mind when discussing the genre, a host of amazing ragtime guitarists also jumped pretty quickly on the wagon. Some were frightening technicians, too.
Our old friend Tristan Seume has put together a stunning ragtime lesson that will appeal to all fingerstyle lovers. He looks at the techniques used to play this endearing style and offers some fantastic workouts for you to try. Thankfully it’s not all Blind Blake and Rev Gary Davis level - pretty much anyone will be able to have a go. But of course it wouldn’t be right to ignore those that DO have the chops to really get picking, so there’s some tricky stuff in there for you too.
Muse are massive these days, and Matt Bellamy is now a true guitar star. With Matt and the band hitting the road again we thought we’d tab a track: the amazing New Born from their huge selling album, Origin Of Symmetry. Do enjoy it!
And I’ll see you soon.