Killer Comping: Kevin Eubanks on the Fine Art of Accompaniment By Jude Gold
Lets face it: Harmonically, dynamically, and rhythmically speaking, if youre a rock guitarist stepping into a jazz ensemble for the first time, you carry with you nearly as much damage potential as a bull trotting through the front door of a china shop. Luckily, when youre ready to open your eyes and ears to higher level of musical interaction, help is available from one of the most experienced, versatile, and gifted guitarists on the planet, Kevin Eubanks...While Eubanks may be best known for his monstrous Wes Montgomery-meets-Jimmy Page lead guitar chops, if anything, its his ability to accompanythat is, to compthat has been the bedrock of his remarkable career.
When you comp, you want to give the music some lift so its that much easier for soloists to get their ideas out. Youre putting air under their wings. If you get too heavy beneath them, then youre directing them when they should be directing you. You have to get in there, yet you cant get in the way. How do you do that?
Eubanks is about to answer his own question. By focusing on a hypnotic chord progression from his entrancing new acoustic album, Angel [InSoul, available online at kevineubanks.com], Eubanks will share some ways you can become a better accompanist and, by extension, a better soloist.
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EZ Street - Demystifying Artificial Harmonics By Andy Ellis
We explored natural harmonics last month, so now lets explore the world of artificial harmonics. Like their natural siblings, artificial harmonics are bell-like overtones that add sparkle to your sound. But because they can be played anywhere on the fretboard, artificial harmonics are even more versatile. Once you get the hang of how to set up and attack artificial harmonics, youll find ways to weave their chimey timbres into lead lines, arpeggios, and even chord voicings.
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Rock Guru - Steve Morse - Melodic Harmonics As told to Jude Gold
Many guitarists know how to play harmonics, but far fewer realize how easy it is to create fully developed melodies using them. Distorted or clean, few sounds on the guitar are as pleasing to the ear as a melodic string of harmonics. The hypnotic effect of successive harmonics is further amplified when each new pitch is sounded on a different string from the previous one, allowing the earlier harmonic to remain ringing. When harmonics overlap in time, you can get majestic sounds such as these three examples...
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How to Play Like... Duane Allman By Andy Ellis
In the late 60s, Duane Allmans blazing slide work with the Allman Brothers Band inspired a generation of rockers to explore bottleneck guitar. While he may not have been the first to slam Delta blues licks through a cranked 100-watt Marshall stack, he certainly exposed more ears to that fat, squawky sound than any guitarist before him. Todays slide-wielding rockers, including Derek Trucks, Sonny Landreth, Eric Sardinas, and Warren Haynes, all owe a debt to Allman. Skydogas he was known to his bandmates, friends, and fansrelied on open-E tuning for much of his incendiary soloing. Check out his formula...
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Blues Guru - Popa Chubby - Busking the Blues As told to Jude Gold
I bring lots of styles to the blues, probably because when I started playing guitar, I wanted to be able to play every genre well enough that Id always have a gig of some kind. I never wanted to be chained to a day job. Theres even a country influence in my playing, and Im from the Bronx! Figure that one out. Theres also some rap, hardcore, and dub reggae in there too, so I guess Im all screwed up. Like many guitarists, I got my start as a sideman. My first solo gigs were probably when I was busking in the subways of New York, playing a beat-up, pink B.C. Rich acoustic that I bought for 99 bucks on sale at Sam Ash. Busking can be a great learning experience, because when youre playing for the general public, the results are immediate: If youre good, you get money. If not, you dontsimple as that.
When youre busking, it doesnt take long to figure out which songs work. Id play blues tunes, Beatles songs, folk songs, bluegrass, and country, but right away, I discovered that people liked high-energy flatpicking grooves like the one in this lesson...
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Acoustic Guru - Peter Huttlinger - A Dash of Flash As told to Andy Ellis
Heres a cool lick Chet Atkins used in Cascadea tune he first recorded on his 1977 album, Me and My Guitar. I like this repeating phrase because its fairly easy to play, yet it sounds deceptively tricky. Featuring a recurring pull-off, it also contains a chromatically descending melody line and some snappy fingerpicking. The lick is a head-turner that offers a musical way to improve fretting- and picking-hand coordination.
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Hip Grips - David Bloom's Minor-Blues Magic By Jude Gold
Chicagos innovative Bloom School of Jazz was founded in 1975. What better way to celebrate the acclaimed institutions 30th anniversary than with an inspiring blues lesson from the schools founder, David Bloom? In just 12 measures of music, Bloom demonstrates how colorful minor-blues changes can be on guitar. Progressions like thiswhich are, as Bloom puts it, studies in melodic chord linkageare sure to increase your command of harmony, inspire new chord-melody riffs, and make you a better accompanist.
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Metal Guru - Rusty Cooley - Hellacious Arpeggios As told to Jude Gold
When it comes to arpeggiating chords, few approaches are more efficient than sweeping. On a standard 6-string, you can hit six notes in a row with blinding speed by simply raking the pick across the strings. Not much different from a single strum, a sweep takes a minimal amount of energy from your picking hand. The challenge lies with your fretting hand and how well it can keep up with your picking hand.
As with all sweeps, your brushing motions should be connectedalmost as if youre painting a fencerather than delivering individual strokes of the pick. Dont force your sweeps. Take a light approach and let the pick do most of the work.
Hot Guitarist Alert - Goncalo Pereira By Jude Gold
It is Pereiras knack for seamlessly shifting gears from soothing, diatonic, cruise-control riffage to unpredictable, harmonic off-road rage that makes him such a mesmerizing player. Warm up your hands and try the whole-tone sonic mania created by Pereiras exercises in this lesson.
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