ExAM­plES5&6 ar­ti­fi­Cial har­mon­iCs/Bass-Chord Comp­inG

Guitar Techniques - - LESSON: JAZZ -

Whilst the note se­lec­tion is def­i­nitely in­ter­est­ing and wor­thy of study in its own right, the prin­ci­ple is­sue here is es­tab­lish­ing a clean tech­nique for ex­e­cut­ing ar­ti­fi­cial har­mon­ics through­out. Th­ese are best pro­duced by point­ing at the string 12 frets higher than the regular fret­ted notes with the first fin­ger held straight and twist­ing the pick to connect with the string with a turn­ing mo­tion held be­tween thumb and sec­ond fin­gers. You may wish to check out the many ver­sions Django Rein­hardt recorded of his tune Nuages to wit­ness the ori­gins of this tech­nique in jazz styles, while of course clas­si­cal gui­tar play­ers have had their own take on this idea for cen­turies. As if the piz­zarelli fam­ily couldn’t get any more mu­si­cal, John’s sis­ter and Bucky’s daugh­ter Mary is a fine and ac­com­plished clas­si­cal gui­tarist. Bucky cre­ates in­ter­est to his comp­ing here with a fin­ger­style ap­proach that mixes in­di­vid­ual bass notes, arppe­giated and block chords. No­tice how he al­most never em­ploys tra­di­tional barre shapes, favour­ing smaller cell-like voic­ings with just the key in­gre­di­ents such as root, 3rd and 7th. The other thing you’ll of­ten find with jazz voic­ings is the com­plete ab­sence of any oc­tave dou­bling, so never two of the same note in the same voic­ings. While ex­cep­tions do oc­cur (and of course with voice lead­ing oc­ca­sion­ally we ac­tu­ally want the same note in con­sec­u­tive chords), this is a good rule of thumb to stop the sound be­come clumply, as in­di­vid­ual notes mean we can add colour with­out be­com­ing over­bear­ing and leaden.

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