Our mu­sic ed­i­tor Ja­son Sid­well in­tro­duces this lessons sec­tion with more great ad­vice.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Have you ever been told, “You can’t do that!”? If the per­son was more ad­vanced than you (es­pe­cially a tu­tor), it’s likely you would have cor­rected your­self. The thing is though, some­times with enough fo­cus and ap­pli­ca­tion, a ‘wrong’ can end up be­ing great.

For ex­am­ple, us­ing a thumb over the neck is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able in the world of clas­si­cal gui­tar - it’s a dread­ful ap­proach due to how it po­si­tions the fret­ting hand so is ban­ished from a stu­dent’s play­ing as soon as it ap­pears. But watch jazz icon Pat Metheny and his of­ten vis­i­ble thumb over the fretboard is a big part of his chord and solo­ing play­ing (his sixth and fourth strings are of­ten fret­ted this way). Jimi Hendrix favoured the thumb too for both licks and chords (just check out Lit­tle Wing!). In the world of elec­tric gui­tar, this ‘wrong’ is per­fectly ac­cept­able, es­pe­cially for string bends and fin­ger­pad (not tip) fret­ting; but nei­ther of th­ese op­tions is hugely com­mon among clas­si­cal gui­tarists.

An­other ex­am­ple: I heard a great tu­tor state to a class, “Never fol­low the ma­jor 3rd (3) (b3) with a mi­nor 3rd when solo­ing over a dom­i­nant 7th chord. He was both right and wrong but, in the con­text of the class’s abil­ity, he was right. Why? Be­cause learn­ing the most fre­quently oc­cur­ring as­pect first is best. So in b3-3 this case the move­ment is by far the most com­mon op­tion in blues and other styles (it’s a sat­is­fy­ing res­o­lu­tion). So get those de­vel­op­ing stu­dents to recog­nise and use the pre­ferred op­tion first; then, with ex­pe­ri­ence and in­sight, ad­dress how to ap­proach the lesser used op­tion. Want to hear this ‘wrong’ in ac­tion? Check out Brian May’s solo on Queen’s Tie 3-b3 Your Mother Down; he plays a cou­ple of down­ward bends that not only sound great but present a lesser-trav­elled road in rock solo­ing. So the ‘wrong’ has re­sulted in some­thing great. As you work through this is­sue, you’ll see GT fo­cused on the com­mon, the pop­u­lar and the great. You’ll also find a few ‘wrongs’ be­ing cham­pi­oned too. Stop and dwell on th­ese as you may find they marry well with your own tastes. In­deed, they may even give you an ex­tra dash of unique­ness, and who doesn’t want a lit­tle more of that? En­joy!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.