Lessons from the world’s greatest teachers and schools...
Jason Sidwell beckons in yet another fun-filled Guitar Techniques lessons section.
As long term readers know, we cover a wide gamut of topics that concern today’s guitarists. Be it sounding like great players, developing techniques and learning new ones, or expanding your general playing, GT has been consistently providing fresh stimulus every month for over two decades.
This issue, you’ve already read Jon Bishop’s in-depth feature that focuses on the guitarists from one of the most sophisticated bands around, Steely Dan; taken a fresh look at how dynamic fingerpicking control will make your playing sound more professional, courtesy of Will McNicol; then delved into the ‘secret’ world of three-string sets for fretboard navigation as favoured by Wes Montgomery, Nile Rodgers et al. John Wheatcroft is your guide and he’s done a stellar job. Then you’ve the contemplative Mozart piece, Ave Verum Corpus as arranged by our classical guitar expert, Bridget Mermikides. So already you’ve had analysis, technique, harmony and repertoire; the four lanes of development we all journey on to become proficient. You’ve now a series of shorter articles to get your eyes, ears and hands into, from licks to mini solos, technique to modal application. I’d like to draw your attention to this month’s In The Woodshed, by Rockschool’s Charlie Griffiths (p92); using chord tones for Minor blues soloing. We’ve presented large articles on this in the past (more to come) but this serves as an easy entry into this hugely powerful approach. Having a solid framework will mean you should find soloing much more pleasing, with ‘good notes’ becoming more prominent in your playing. Once you start clearly seeing notes from each chord under your fingers (as important for BB King’s The Thrill Is Gone as jazz’s ‘tune of doom’, John Coltrane’s Giant Steps), you can aim for them when the band changes chord. Glue this together with your Minor Pentatonic ‘licks’ and you will sound more directional with your phrasing. Your band mates and audiences will appreciate it too. Enjoy the issue!