A lot of my items are handmade, by me. I spend my off-season making handmade merch for my stand. Instead of selling clichéd koozies and stickers, my stand actually features my handmade cigar box guitars, beer can harmonica mics, cool pins made from bottle caps and anything else connected to my jug band show.
Of all my musical influences, classical violinist Niccolo Paganini has to be on top of the list. Though he lived in the late 18th century (long before image became as important in the making and marketing of musicians as their actual music), his extreme personal magnetism coupled with truly mind-boggling technique made him the world’s first bona fide rock star.
Great melodies, songs and solos tend to have a “call and response” element. Some like to describe it as a “question and answer” quality. Listen to classic artists like B.B. King, Chuck Berry and Albert King for great examples of this in their vocal melodies and guitar solos.
Even more amazing is that Speed, Accuracy and Articulation was filmed in one straight take, with virtually no edits or re-takes, after a previous studio session left precisely one hour on the clock for the day. As anyone who has filmed video lessons can attest, this is simply a super-human feat of on-camera consistency and cool-headedness.
There's a certain level of pride many musicians feel when they claim they are self-taught, and I can understand why. By considering themselves self-taught, some people enjoy the fact that, by not taking “lessons,” they discovered the ins and outs of playing an instrument on their own time, their own way, through their own skills.
I begin in ninth position with a fairly compact shape that spans the ninth to 12th frets. At the end of bar 1 and moving into bar 2, the fret hand shifts down two frets and spreads out to cover a four-fret span, from the seventh fret to the 11th. Use your first, second and fourth fingers to fret the notes.
This riff-writing exercise will demonstrate how to create diatonic and borrowed chords based on a chromatic bass line while staying in key. For this example, I’m going to use the key of A minor and the harmonic minor scale as my guide for chord construction.
In this month’s column, I’d like to present a few single-note patterns that are designed to fortify fret-hand/pick-hand coordination while they strengthen your overall chops and ability to play fast and clean. In my own experience, I have found that drilling on one or two very specific melodic fretboard shapes works wonders in uncovering technical areas of weakness in both hands.
ii-Vs are some of the most commonly used and important chords in the jazz repertoire. It’s a progression you’ll see often as a jazz guitarist, so being able to confidently solo over these chords is an essential skill. When first learning to blow over these chords, we often start with the Dorian and Mixolydian modes over each chord, respectively.
We were discussing robotic guitar tuners, tuning machines that tune themselves. I first saw this on a Gibson guitar. Now I saw a new one. Then I did a search. I even saw a robotic tuning tool. It got me thinking: How may young guitarists are taught to tune the guitar by ear these days? I mean really taught, as in making it a requirement?