This month, I’d like to delve deeper into concepts for expanding scalar ideas across the fretboard. As in the previous columns, I’ll demonstrate how to move diagonally across the fretboard to connect scale positions, an approach that I employ to a great extent to play melodic phrases and solos.
One of the biggest hurdles many jazz guitarists face early in their development is being able to connect chords, scales and arpeggios in their playing without having to jump all over the fretboard between shapes. When I was first learning how to play jazz, one of the best lessons I ever learned came from a comment I read from Joe Pass.
Something major happened on the two-hour drive back home that evening: Instead of wringing my hands and lamenting the gig (as was usually the case), I started asking myself, "What are the specific details that went into my bad performance?" I turned off the radio, set the cruise control on the car and went through my whole act, song by song.
Until I had to move to England, it was easy to justify having lots of guitar stuff as (A) I bought it years ago, (B) I didn’t spend that much buying it in the first place (my entire outlay was probably equivalent to a single nice vacation) and (C) storage wasn’t a problem, as I was a homeowner with a garage that managed to contain everything except the car it was intended for.
Nearly all of the greats use arpeggios. Yet, if you're like a lot of guitarists, you might be shying away from them because you fear being overwhelmed by the "Twin Ts": theory and technique. If you have a basic understanding of how chords work, though, it's high time to get your feet wet.
This is one of the easiest homemade guitars I have ever built, and it only took me one hour to make. This lap steel was made from an extra 2x4 I had in my shed and just a few saw cuts to the wood. I even used a pre-wired acoustic soundhole pickup so there was no wiring needed. Anybody can build this lap steel!
Below, check out a recently posted demo video for the ServoBender guitar. What is it? It's the latest — and perhaps the most successful — attempt at replicating the sound of a 10-string pedal steel guitar using the six-string variety (You know, the thing most of us play).
Our recent story about Jimmy Page's five best guitar solos as a member of the Yardbirds got us thinking about another legendary pre-Led Zeppelin recording featuring Page. This project, however, features all four members of Led Zeppelin — Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham — recording together before there even was a Led Zeppelin.
We all have busy lives and responsibilities that distract us from our playing. For this reason, I've developed a quick, intensive guitar "workout" that can be completed in 30 minutes. You can use this by itself as a quick practice when time is limited or incorporate it into a longer practice session. Either way, this workout will help develop your playing in a number of important areas.
These lessons are aimed at breaking through barriers that might be preventing you from improving on the guitar. Some of these lessons will simply give you some good food for thought, and some will be more hands-on. Written to help you get past that plateau, these lessons are here to help you mix things up and keep your relationship with the guitar an interesting one.