Thursday, November 20, 2008

Listening Beyond the Guitar

Lately I've been discussing non-guitar influences and the list is long...

For the lead guitar player, horn players are an obvious choice, because of the single note nature of their instruments. Trumpet players, saxophone players, all the wind instruments have their natural tendencies which are different from the guitar. Learning from the great players on those instruments will expand your playing beyond the fretboard.

For the composer in you, listening to writers that do not begin with a guitar in their hand will lead you towards new chord progressions, new chord voicings, and new rhythms.

Suggested listening: Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderly, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The essence of music

Cussin' & discussin' the merits of different styles in another venue, I was drawn into writing this:

Actually, all music is about connecting emotionally through melody, harmony, and rhythm. Different melodies require different approaches to playing the instrument, but the hardest part is connecting emotionally with the listener through the shared experience of the music.

If you are thinking "I'm shredding up and down the fourth mode of a G melodic minor scale" or "I'm arpeggiating the upper structure triad of available tensions to the C major 7 chord", you are probably not connecting to the music emotionally, to say nothing of connecting with the listener.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Welcome to the world, blog

So this is my first blog post, just in case anyone happens by before I can start posting the real content.

My feeling is that a lot of guitar players fall into doing things with a guitar oriented mindset, instead of a broader musical and artistic mindset. I'll be writing about how to make yourself a better guitar player by using music theory, and other concepts not specific to only guitar.

Hopefully I will keep you readers and myself exploring music, breaking out of ruts, and playing better on stage and in the studio.