Guitar Techniques - - CONTENT - Neville Marten, Ed­i­tor neville.marten@fu­turenet.com

Nev tells a sad tale of un­wit­ting hu­mil­i­a­tion and be­lit­tle­ment at the hands of a gui­tarist friend.

MANY YEARS AGO I was hu­mil­i­ated by a gui­tarist friend - with no mal­ice at all, I has­ten to add. He and his brother were in a well-known prog band and had moved to the town where I lived. We’d got to know each other and one day he sug­gested the two of us have a jam. While his brother was the lead gui­tarist, this chap was ‘strictly rhythm’ - al­though he did oc­ca­sion­ally like to ‘make it cry or sing’ (groan!).

Given that we didn’t know what the other re­ally did, we in­evitably ended up play­ing blues and rock stuff. He let me solo first and I wailed away on my red 335, giv­ing it ev­ery­thing I’d got. He, on the other hand was all over his blonde Tele’s neck, play­ing par­tial chords, half-chord-half-riff ideas, link lines, bass runs - the lot.

When it came time to swap roles my ba­sic barre chords were, by con­trast, leaden and un­mu­si­cal. Where he had made my licks come to life, my dread­ful rhythm was killing his taste­ful, funky chops. What a les­son I learned! That his­toric pre­am­ble was (you’ve guessed it) to set up this is­sue’s main story, which is all about play­ing com­ple­men­tary, in­ter­est­ing, mu­si­cally rel­e­vant, ex­cit­ing and re­ward­ing blues rhythm gui­tar. Jon Bishop has again come up with the goods and, whether you’re into blues or not, his fea­ture is an in­dis­pens­able source of ideas that will ben­e­fit any gui­tarist. Check­ing through Jon’s ex­am­ples - he leaves no stone un­turned - will set you up as a fine blues rhythm player and en­sure you never find your­self with the same red face that I was left with all those years ago. In tan­dem with Jon’s fea­ture you should also visit Iain Scott’s Chord Camp. It’s about CAGED sys­tem chords - ex­actly what my friend was us­ing that day and about which I had ab­so­lutely no idea (wince!). Do en­joy the is­sue, and I’ll see you again next month.

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