Hi, gang! This week I am going to challenge all you aspiring session guitarists with a series of questions. Allow me to preface this by telling you that we are all session guitarists today. If you record at home or in a professional studio, you're already one. But I am speaking about session guitar as a career. Here goes!
Creation is all about new life. Music is all about creation. When we write songs and jam in a progressive way, we are essentially moving forward. We take bold new steps with our guitars, our voices, our pens and papers. As musicians we want to strive for originality and breath fresh life into the sounds and atmospheres we create. Yes we push on through and break down walls and barriers with our music, but as we move forward let us not forget the importance of looking back.
Prepared guitar involves attaching objects to the strings, causing exciting artificial overtones. Objects can include sinker weights, felt, pipe cleaner, etc. Here, in my new video, "Bend Me," I attached a prepared wooden mute across the bridge of my Republic Highway 61 Fretless resonator.
It looks like Chuck E. Cheese, the kid-friendly national pizza chain, has officially ditched its longtime, retro-rodent mascot in favor of a younger, Les Paul-playing mouse. (You can even see what looks like a tiny Gibson logo on the guitar's headstock if you look closely.)
Finally, somebody came out with a beginner instructional guitar method book series for adults and teenagers that’s not an outdated, depressing turn-off that makes you want to throw your guitar off a cliff after having struggled to learn embarrassingly unsatisfying versions of the audience favorites “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Three Blind Mice.”
So you've built a cigar box guitar, eh? Want to add some vocals while you rock the box? Then let's build a beer can mic. I've built several of these, and they have a great, old-time sound that's even better with a little gain.
More often than not, notes are picked, plucked, slapped, popped, tapped, slid in to, pulled off to or hammered-on to from another note. But there is another oft-overlooked technique that can add slippery finesse, intervallic interest and muscular, musically arousing power to your playing: the “hammer-on from nowhere."
Although we may not have a definitive scene like Detroit circa 2000, there are still several cities hosting their own take on high-decibel garage rock. Since summer (travel season) is giving us almost no music news, why not check out some great bands from different cities across the US?
When learning how to play jazz guitar, one of the most common progressions guitarists check out is the jazz blues progression. Since it is a fundamental form in just about every genre of modern music, the blues is a natural first step for guitarists who are moving into jazz from a rock, blues or pop background.
In this Sick Lick, I'm using the Whole Tone Scale. You have to be careful with this scale when adapting it to rock, as tonally it is way outside what the listener would normally be used to -- so it's important not to get lost in this scale! Make sure you are always mindful of where you are on the neck and that you are thinking about what other scales you can switch in and out of if you start to get too far outside the tonal core.