ExAMplES5&6 artifiCial harmoniCs/Bass-Chord CompinG
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.