One of my favorite things to do is take a classically flavored chord progression, like the one shown in FIGURE 1, and use it in a rock guitar context. This particular progression is based for the most part on what is known as the cycle of fourths, in that the root note of each of the first five chords is the interval of a fourth above the previous root note.
I’d like to focus on an approach to chord playing inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach’s chorales. The chorale originated as a vocal hymn of the Lutheran church, often constructed in four-part harmony wherein the top voice is the melody. Bach composed many chorales of incredible beauty; the way he harmonized for four voices was impeccable, and his chorales served as the textbook for studying Western harmony for over 100 years.
One of the most common alterations you will come across as a beginning and intermediate jazz guitarist is the 7#11 chord. Built by taking a normal dominant 7 chord, R 3 5 b7, and lowering the 5th by a 1/2 step, R 3 #11(b5) b7, these chord symbols come up time and again in big band charts and standard tunes.
Hey, this is Gabe from Reggae Guitar Lessons. Here's a beginner lesson on a few basic reggae guitar strumming patterns. The video lesson covers how I learned to play reggae guitar in New York City, then gets into right-hand and left-hand technique and some strumming exercises in 4/4 time.
When learning how to play jazz guitar chords, one of the first voicings many of us explore are three- and four-note 4th chords. Built by stacking 4th intervals, these chords have a modern, “open” sound that has been a favorite of players such as Lenny Breau, Mike Stern and Kurt Rosenwinkel, helping to define their chordal approach to jazz comping and chord soloing.
This month, I'd like to talk about a cool, useful technique I sometimes use called “double picking,” which involves repeating each note in a melody twice using alternate (down-up) picking. A good example of this technique can be found in the first solo I play in “An Infinite Regression,” from Animals as Leaders’ latest release, Weightless.
Sooner or later, guitarists in every genre of music begin to wonder about the modes: what they are, how best to learn them and how to use them effectively when improvising. In this edition of In Deep, we’ll take a look at the theoretical basis for the modes and cover a few useful ways to apply a modal approach to soloing over commonly used chord vamps.
While learning to play George Benson’s licks can be a great way to dig into his sound and bring some of his lines into your solos, it can be much more beneficial to dissect his licks to see what concepts he was using to build these great-sound lines.