Session Guitar: Shredding is Great, But Know How to Play Melodies

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Stephen Quinn

This is a great article and you touch some good points about session playing. I agree about the situation with younger guitarists. Virtuosity is great but its important to be creative and expressive too. Both of these thing can be applied together.

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RonZabrocki

Absolutely! Why can't we have both! Well some young players cannot because they only are one sided. Balance is so important. Musical/Melodic sense comes in infinite forms. But in the professional world, not necessarily a good one, there are protocols and necessary techniques! Great comment! Thankyou for that and for reading! It is appreciated!

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Mattwarnockguitar

Great article! I find this problem with my students as well, especially in jazz. I often ask students to drop their finger anywhere on the neck and play Happy Birthday and they can't do it, it's a big wake up call for them. one of the things I like to do is have the student solo with only one finger on their fretting hand, it slows them down, gets them out of box patterns and forces them to play more melodically. It's amazing how much better young players can sound when they slow down and play more from their ears than from their fingers.

Great article, very important subject, glad you addressed it!

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RonZabrocki

Great idea! Solo with one finger. Just don't let them use 2 or they'll try to be Django! LOL! But great idea and I'll try that with my students. It's just a shame how it seems tapping is more important than intervals to alot of young players.
Thankyou for reading and a great comment!

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Russtafari

Love the piece Ron. I totally understand where you coming from. Look forward to the next blog. And, I love the video clip you added. Killer!!

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RonZabrocki

Thank you OZ!!!!

Gatman

I couldn't agree more Ron, and I'm glad someone has finally said it! Out of all instrumentalists, guitar players somewhere along the line(the 80's) have lost sight of what making music is really all about, it's about "music"! I went through the whole shred buzz in the 90's and thank god I came out of it! Lol. People seem to judge guitarists on how fast they can play etc, but the irony is, many don't have any idea when it comes to melody and phrasing, and playing solo's with a rhythmical approach. When you look at solo's from the 80's, it's nearly always fast runs with notes of equal length, ie semi quavers. What made the 60's/ 70's players great, was they often improvised their solo's, and as you're finding your way, quirky bits of timing etc come into play, and actually makes it great, that's the magic, it's genuine expression and inspiration! Contrived music no longer does anything for me. I also have a gripe with 80's tone, over saturated and effected,and more often than not, thin with all mids scooped out. How can you play with expression with a sound that allows no room for dynamics. For me, it's your Ritchie Blackmore's, Jeff Beck's, Peter Frampton's etc that really had it going on, or listen to any of the fine session work on all the Steely Dan records!

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RonZabrocki

Thanks for the comment! Seems like we have the same inflences, including the Steely Dan session guys like Larry Carlton and Dennis Budimer and Lee Ritenour! I do admire the modern guys, but the tone and phrasing of the guys u mentioned seem to mean more and are way more memorable! You must be a fine player yourself. Thanks again!

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FretboardMagician

Great article Ron - and awesome playing. Really nice melodic sense, sweet tone and just enough balls. Well done sir. : )

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RonZabrocki

Thanks for the kind words!

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RonZabrocki

Would love opinions on this!

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lesmesa

Once again Great article.... You basically explained the K.I.S.S method to a gitter player (Keep It Simple Smart Guy). Common sense is SOOOOO lacking when i play with others, my job when i play weekends is to keep em dancing so they keep drinking..... You forgot to mention chicks like it when they can hum your solo's er...you guitar solo's...er never mind.....but great article non the less.......

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RonZabrocki

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RonZabrocki
April 11, 2012 at 4:17pm

In a slightly related story... I HAD a girlfriend years ago that called me an intermission guitarist...I played when the singer stopped singing! She didn't last long! But humming solo's is good! Thanks for the great comment!

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