Lessons from the world’s greatest teachers and schools...
Music editor Jason introduces another actionpacked Guitar Techniques lessons section.
Good is good, regardless of the music packaging. One of the ‘big picture’ topics we at GT find is that the more one focuses on actually making music, the less constrained one gets with superfluous labels. Think about it: a string bend in country isn’t too far removed from a string bend in hard rock (be in tune!); alternate picking 16th notes with a neck pickup jazz tone isn’t particularly different from a bridge pickup rock tone (be in time and play with clarity); a well performed hammer-on or pull-off will do the job well regardless of one being a blueser or a funkster (it should be clearly heard); the Mixolydian mode may relish all manner of sonic dressings but it remains the scale of truth for dominant 7th environments (the scale mirrors the chord). It’s the nitty gritty, ‘how to do’ practicalities which bind us all together as evolving musicians and it’s how we maintain high quality tuition in GT.
Take this issue’s special guest, Josh Smith (p32). To my mind, he’s part of the ‘new breed’ of guitarist that blends a very broad palette of approaches, influences and genres but his technique, theory savvy and taste remains high quality whichever hat (metaphorical or literal) he’s wearing. Trading blues licks with Joe Bonamma or touring with neo-soul icon D’Angelo, Josh excels at whatever he’s involved with. After you’ve watched his blues based masterclass (one of the best theory-cum-technique presentations we’ve ever done in our 25 year history I might add), you’ll be much the wiser. It’s the same with our soloing video guest artist, Allen Hinds (p42) who draws on his admirable technique and theory knowledge to suit whatever he’s doing, be it burning jazz-fusion or southern blues. Watch and learn from him!
What I’d suggest you do this issue is look for the playing ‘truth’ in each article, even if the subject doesn’t appeal. You may not play acoustic, use a pick or even improvise much. No matter; take each article’s technique and theory advice as if you were ingredient sourcing and then use it to shape the best musical ‘you’ that you can be. Enjoy the issue!