The cascading waterfall of sound that is Eric Johnson's lead playing has captivated players and listeners for 30 years. In Johnson's ethereal soundscape, all the edges are smoothed away. Even the distinction between scales and arpeggios seems to blur. His patterns tumble imperceptibly through positions. And his limitless supply of sparsely voiced diatonic chord substitutions only enhances the vertigo.
One of the most common questions I get from my students and readers is, “I know what jazz chords to study, but how to I practice them in a practical, musical way?” To help answer this question, I’ve put together an exercise that uses all the inversions of any chords you are learning, while playing them in a common chord progression at the same time.
In this month’s installment of Absolute Fretboard Mastery, we’ll be going a little bit deeper into the modes by learning how to apply them across our fretboard. But before we get into that, I want to address a common misconception a lot of guitarists have when learning the modes. They think of modes as completely separate entities, as opposed to different aspects of one scale.
In this lesson, I'm going to show you a two-hand tapping workout based on the foundation of my previous lesson, “Pentatonic Workout: Increase Left Hand Strength and Produce Great-Sounding Sequences." Assuming you're already comfortable with the five positions of the pentatonic scale and the sequences discussed in this previous lesson, we'll now take it to the next level.
We are the storytelling species. It’s part of what creates and shapes our humanness. But it’s not just ourselves we surround with stories, it’s things as well. Stories enable us to humanize objects and thereby imbue them with greater personal value. When it comes to our guitars, the story behind each forms part of what we guitarists call its “mojo.”
Recently, the eternally surprising Jimmy Page streamed a track called "Ramblize" at his official website. It was an unlikely mashup of Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On" and Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize." A lot of news outlets reported that it was a new track, but it actually has been available on good ol' YouTube for more than two years—and you can hear it below.
You don’t need to go very far to find a cool-sounding scale that can jazz up your blues solos in no time. We’ll be looking into the mixed blues scale, which combines the notes from the minor and major blues scales to outline the underlying blues chord changes, while retaining a healthy dose of the blues at the same time.
This feeling of "hitting a wall" is something we've all gone through as musicians. Our initial reaction might be to quickly slap a Band-Aid over the situation and learn more licks or new scales. Sometimes that approach can help us get out of a slump. But in this situation, are we really addressing the student's concerns? No.
Malcolm's really underrated. He makes the band sound so full, and I couldn't ask for a better rhythm player. Sometimes I look at Malcolm while he's playing, and I'm completely awestruck by the sheer power of it. He's doing something much more unique than what I do-with that raw, natural sound of his. People like Malcolm, Steve Cropper, Chuck Berry and Keith Richards-they're all doing something better than the rest of us.
That whooshing sound you hear is millions of guitar players exhaling in one, collective sigh of relief. On December 30, 2014, the US Department of Transportation finally issued a final rule to implement section 403 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 regarding the carriage of musical instruments as carry-on baggage or checked baggage on commercial passenger flights operated by air carriers.