One of the most common questions I get from jazz guitarists is, “How do I bring a more modern sound into my solos?” While there is no single answer, there are a few things we can do in order to inject a bit of modern jazz flavor into our lines. The first modern-jazz concept I like to explore with students is to think and play two chords at once over a single harmony.
Just memorizing this piece is a challenge in itself. After doing so, you can finally begin to build speed. You can accomplish this by playing the entire piece or break it into smaller sections and work them up to speed individually. I prefer to play the whole thing, start to finish, and increase the tempo gradually.
I forgot to tell you that in some circumstances, you might find it easier to arrange some of the notes differently than what the tab states in certain sections. As long as you are playing the exact same notes, it is totally fine to rearrange the positions on the fret board in order make it easier for you to play. The tab is just a suggestion for where the notes should be played.
In the first installment of my new Monster Licks series, I'm going to take you through my extensive pentatonic lick library. These licks are the product of many years of hard work, and I'm glad to be sharing them with you! The straight (minor) pentatonic scale often gets overlooked when soloing. I find that most guitarists tend to head to the blues scale or other variations of the pentatonic because they find the straight scale a little limiting.
I always get frustrated when I hear someone talking about sweep arpeggios. Though there are plenty of licks and examples out there, no one has ever really broken down the mechanics of the technique. As a result, guitarists have had to figure them out by trial and error.
I remember someone telling me that George Lynch once said he heard B.B. King say something that instantly improved his guitar style. It went something like this: “If you play a wrong note, play it again like you mean it and it’ll sound like the best note you played all night." The dubious origins of this gem aside, I've always found this to be an almost religious concept to strive toward, where any note can work anywhere if it is done with purposeful conviction.