In late 2006, Topeka, Kansas-based acoustic guitarist Andy McKee burst onto the global guitar scene with a solo acoustic video of "Drifting," a two-handed fingerstyle affair, oozing with percussive slaps, tasty taps and harmonic slaps. The video went viral on YouTube, and made him a star.
In the late Fifties, Brazilian guitarist/pianist/vocalist Antonio Carlos Jobim took his fascination with jazz harmony and the guitar compositions of Heitor Villa-Lobos, combined it with influences as varied as composers like Debussy, Chopin, Ravel and Rachmaninoff, and helped give birth to a whole new style: bossa nova. (Translated from Portuguese, bossa nova means the “new way of doing” something.) This fresh-sounding, über-groovy, guitar-centric music (typically played on a nylon-string acoustic, accompanying a vocalist) required fluid fingerstyle chops, flawless time feel, a command of seventh and extended/altered chords—what’s known as “upper-structure harmony”—and the ability to improvise.
"Jeff Buckley release only one full-length studio album in his lifetime, 1994's Grace," writes Dale Turner, "but in the 15 years since his passing on May 29, 1997, his influence endures, often cited as an inspiration by artist like Radiohead, Chris Cornell, Muse, Coldplay and a host of newer acts."
In this month's "Hole Notes," Musician's Institute instructor Dale Turned takes a look at artistry of guitar great and inventor of "gypsy jazz," Django Reinhardt. Because his famed quintet, Hot Club of France, didn't have a percussionist, the rhythmic patterns and chord choices in Django's unique brand of jazz were of paramount importance.