Kirk's Weekly Guitar Lesson: Bluesy/Jazzy Chord Melody

Hi all ... I'm back with a new lesson.

First of all, a reminder to all Brisbane Australia readers: I'm one of 5 twangers playing the Celebration of Guitar Concert this coming Sunday evening. The others are: Michael Fix, Ewan McKenzie, Jason McGregor and Bron Ault-Connell ... all great players, all different. We will do some individual sets and also some jamming. That's at Souths Leagues Club, 7 PM, call 3844 7344 for more info. If you're into guitar, you won't be disappointed!

This week I take a look at a bluesy/jazzy chord melody, guaranteed to get those fretboard fingers nimble. I use a fairly standard 12 bar progression in E, add a walking bass line and keep the chords a changin' just about every beat, so that the end result is a sort of melody played with chords. I'd class this as intermediate, lots of fun once you've got the muscles memorized. I'll do the lesson on my brand new Maton guitar that I went out and bought yesterday! The lesson is, of course, a movie/tab/midi/commentary lesson.

Go to Guitar for Beginners and Beyond.

You will also find a new project there, dubbed Add-a-Track, where we upload a backing track, in this case a blues in A minor, and anyone who has even a cheap mic and a multitrack recording program (Audacity is a good free one) can have a stab at overdubbing a solo/improvisation. There's nothing like it to get your progress on a steep upward curve. Improvising is probably what most players aspire to; being able to invent a part on the fly has got to be the most satisfying feeling of all when it comes to playing an instrument.

There is ton of good stuff going on there ... it would have to be the friendliest, most helpful forum out there. Come and join in!

Speaking of improvising ... there is a bit of a trick to it. Contrary to what most players think, it has nothing to do with scales or modes or 'boxes' or Pentatonics. They can be very useful learning tools, but when it all boils down, solos and improvs have to be melodic to really stand out. Scales/modes will always remain just that. There is a much easier and precise way to keep melody on track, no matter what the chord progression, no matter how many 'weird' changes come into it. That 'trick' is the subject of my book PlaneTalk - The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Book, which I send out at an ever increasing rate to the World at Large. If you're stuck in a scale/mode rut, still finding it impossible to turn them into real music, drop in and read all about it.

Come to the PlaneTalk site. Read some of the testimonials here and I've also opened a forum at GfB&B with some more.

I passed the 100,000 plays of my music mark at my SoundClick site this week ... amazing that a twanger living on a hilltop in Australia can get such wide recognition without a record deal! Thanks to all who have listened and sent feedback. If you're into slide guitar, drop in for a listen.

All the best, enjoy the lesson, until next week ...


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