The Ventures – Walk Don’t Run

The Ventures Walk Don’t RunThe roots of instrumental rock and surf music sprang from this immortal 1960 cut from the Ventures. This is one of those recordings that changed history, and the way a guitar sounded and was played. It marked the end of the 50s, and anticipated the larger role for rock guitar in the 60s and beyond. In the tradition of countless groundbreaking rock records made since, it’s a true hybrid combining some pretty unlikely sources. Back then, jazz, country, and rock ‘n’ roll did­n’t have much in common. Not much, that is, until the Ventures tackled Walk Don’t Run. Written by virtuoso jazz guitarist Johnny Smith, it came to guitarists Bob Bogle and Don Wilson by way of Chet Atkins, who did a simplified version on his Hi Fi In Focus album. (more…)

21 Jan 2013

Robert Cray – Phone Booth

Robert Cray Phone Booth TabGet in to the phone booth and dial up some serious blues guitar… It’s the phrasing that might trip you up here, plus those occasional staccato notes… Robert Cray started to play guitar when he lived in Seattle as a child. Seeing the Beatles on TV had influenced him to pick up the instrument in the first place – along with just about every other kid in the neighbourhood. Then his folks moved to Virginia and the young Cray was exposed to soul music for the first time and, after a succession of high school bands, headed off on a rhythm and blues route which launched a very successful career. All this goes a long way towards explaining the pop and soul influence over the Cray blues style – add to this an obvious and self-confessed Albert Collins influence and you’ve covered his stylistic base pretty much completely. (more…)

C, R
6 Jan 2013

Comping Study. Rhythm Guitar Lesson Part 2

Rhythm Guitar LessonContinuing with our rhythm guitar extravaganza, here are a couple of tasty examples – one strummy, the other thumby! Rhythm playing comes very easily to some people while others find it awkward… The stuff on offer here is technically quite straightforward, though. This lesson’s music, like previous Part One, is essentially a fairly slow blues shuffle, though the chord progression is fairly sophisticated – the sort of thing you might associate with Robben Ford, for example. Okay, I know he’s not Country but the objective here is to conjure up some groovy rhythm parts – and who cares where we find our inspiration, eh? (more…)

Rhythm Changes Lesson. Part Two

Rhythm Changes LessonIn the part two of this rhythm changes lesson, we’re speaking about soloing ideas. The easy tempo keeps this within range of most players. In previous lesson, we looked at one of the more common chord arrangements in jazz. To recap, it all started with Charlie Parker’s fascination with the Gershwin song ‘I Got Rhythm’. He enjoyed playing over the changes so much that he based several of his own compositions on the same series of chords. In this way, this set of chord changes has entered jazz lore to almost the same extent as I-IV-V changes have entered rock’n’roll and blues. I suppose we’re operating a buy-one-get-one-free policy here: learn these changes and you’ll be able to play over loads of jazz tunes. (more…)

Marilyn Manson – Sweet Dreams

Marilyn Manson Sweet Dreams Tab SheetA re-make of the classic Eurythmics hit, performed by the gods of shock rock… This track contains fairly straightforward rhythm parts and riff ideas. The solos are also pretty simple and should not produce too many problems. This tune is a great example of how a song can be adapted for a different style. Hailing from Florida, Marilyn Manson were discovered by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, who produced and released their 1994 debut album Portrait of an American Family. The band began to develop a large cult following which was helped with the release of the 1995 EP Smells Like Children, yielding the band’s first big MTV hit: a dark and disturbing version of the 80s Eurythmics hit Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This). (more…)

29 Dec 2012

Flatpicking for Beginners. Part Two

Flatpicking for BeginnersFed up with getting sore fingertips from practising the guitar? Are those unsightly calluses depressing you? Or maybe you just can’t bear to cut those nice long fingernails… Whatever it is, we may have the cure. Most of the piece is pretty easy but the ‘fretting behind the slide’ techniques can take a while to master. In case you don’t know, slide (or bottleneck) guitar playing is a term used when the notes are produced with the aid of a (usually hollow) cylindrical object held or placed over a finger of the left hand (the hand that you usually fret with). Originally, this cylindrical object would be the narrow end of a broken bottle (hence the term bottleneck), a knife (not recommended!) or a piece of metal tubing. (more…)

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