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All That Jazz: Unconventional Blues Connotations, and How to Play "Jeff Beck"

All That Jazz: Unconventional Blues Connotations, and How to Play

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I wrote the song “Jeff Beck” with the intention of submitting it to Jeff Beck for inclusion on an album of his. The song didn’t make it onto the record, unfortunately, so I recorded it myself for the 2009 Krantz Carlock Lefebvre album.

I used Beck’s name as the title because it was inspired by his style of blues playing. He has such a distinct way of expressing pure individualism within many different variants of the blues form, retaining the integrity of the idiom while, at times, going about as far out as anyone could imagine. Likewise, this tune is an abstraction of the blues, because I allow my ear to follow whatever it’s attracted to.

If I hear one of those weird open-string chords that is undefined, harmonically speaking, it adds balance to the “muscle” of the tune, which is provided by the unison figures played together by guitar and bass. There are hard-edged groove elements that are blended with open-ended suspended chords, and that type of mix is really attractive to me. This also fits into my musical impression of Beck, who plays a lot of stuff that is outside the standard vocabulary but often does so within the context of straight-ahead blues and rock.

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