PLAY blues • rock • jazz • acoustic • lead • rhythm • AND MORE! 265 FEBRUARY 2017
MAKING YOU A BETTER PLAYER SINCE 1994
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PENTATOnIC variations! New notes to reignite your playing Sound great with minimum effort Awaken the super soloist in you!
more music than any other guitar mag!
New Guitar for Christmas? Learn some tasty David Bowie chords to impress the folks this Yuletide!
Gorgeous Swan Serenade tabbed for solo guitar
Masterclass Award-winning UK blueser shows you how he does it
Vintage Electric Blues Clapton, Hendrix and SRV got their licks from Otis Rush, Muddy Waters, Elmore James & others. Now you can too!
Your Top Style Studies
Learn the greatest moves of the tastiest players!
Featuring: Joe Walsh, Pat Metheny, Carlos Santana & Yngwie Malmsteen
ISSUE 265 } february 2017 Just some of your regular GT technique experts... richard barrett One of the best players around, Richard is adept at most styles but truly excels in the bluesier side of rock. He currently plays with Spandau’s Tony Hadley.
Shaun Baxter One of the UK’s most respected music educators, Shaun has taught many who are now top tutors themselves. His Jazz Metal album is considered a milestone.
jon bishop Jon is one of those great all-rounders who can turn his hand to almost any style. No ‘Jack of all trades and master of none’, he nails every one with ease!
les davidson Les has worked with Mick Taylor, Rumer, Jon Anderson, Pete Townshend, Tina Turner & more. He also runs a recording studio and teaches at BIMM London.
charlie griffiths Guitar Institute tutor Charlie first came to fame in Total Guitar’s Challenge Charlie series. He’s also one of the UK’s top rock, metal and fusion guitarists.
phil hilborne The UK’s original magazine guitar tutor, Phil’s something of a legend. A great player, he’s currently touring Europe with the Champions Of Rock show.
pat heath BIMM Brighton lecturer, ESP product demonstrator and all-round busy musician, Pat brings you six cool licks each month in 30-Minute Lickbag.
aynsley lister Aynsley is one of the UK’s finest bluesrock guitarists, recording artists and performers. His new album Eyes Wide Open is a killer; we welcome him to GT!
Welcome Most months I focus this page on the main articles in the magazine - the big technique features at the front. Jason then introduces the stylistic lessons at the back - like the proverbial pantomime horse, if you will. This time, however, I’m bringing to your attention the wealth of insight contained in GT’s Intro pages. We are so privileged to have Justin Sandercoe, that amazingly successful online teacher, adding his weight to each issue. Here he ponders on whether having one ‘forever’ guitar is the real answer to great playing and tone. What say you? Then there’s Mitch Dalton. Mitch is a sublime player, a staggering reader and probably the UK’s number one session guitarist. Read this month’s wittily dry piece, where he casually drops the fact that he’s playing with the Royal Philharmonic on a tour backing Elvis Presley, who appears on video, synched to the music - well, sort of synched, as Mitch wryly tells. And how about, Tim Lerch
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- whose solo video jazz-blues masterclasses you seemed to love. In Instrumental Inquisition he offers his thoughts on what makes a great ‘non vocal’ performance. If you don’t know Ronnie Baker Brooks he’s a stunningly well-connected blues guitarist from Chicago, and son of legendary bluesman Lonnie. Just read the list of names he mentions - “Albert Collins said to me,” “My friend Eric Johnson,” etc - to understand just where he’s come from. Some great stories and advice here too. Phil Hilborne has been with GT since its launch in 1994, and although a busy player and producer he continues to offer his brilliant OneMinute Lick each month. Make sure you try this one! There’s such depth of knowledge, history and plain musical wisdom in GT every month it beggars belief. Enjoy!
Neville Marten, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t miss our amazing digital edition Guitar Techniques’ iPad* edition is now even better!
bridget mermikides Guildhall and Royal Academy trained, Bridget is a Royal College of Music, examiner, a respected classical player and award-winning blues guitarist.
Stuart Ryan Head of Guitar at BIMM Bristol, Stu is an acoustic guitar virtuoso who performs throughout the UK. His latest book/CD The Tradition is available now.
justin sandercoe One of the most successful guitar teachers ever, justinguitar.com is a mine of information, and his YouTube channel boasts almost 500,000 subscribers!
iain scott For over 25 years Iain has taught in the UK’s top schools and academies, as well as a stint at GIT in LA. He can also boast playing with the legend Brian Wilson!
john wheatcroft A phenomenal guitarist, John is a master at all styles but a legend in Gypsy Jazz. His new album Ensemble Futur is out now on iTunes and Amazon.
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Songs and lessons have the audio built in with a moving cursor showing you exactly where you are in the music. Simply tap the ‘play’ button then you can fast-forward or scroll back at will.
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PLUS! Get a FREE iPad/iPhone sample of GT. For full details and how to receive our digital edition regularly, go to bit.ly/guitartechniques (if you live in the UK) or bit.ly/guitartechus (overseas). * PLEASE NOTE: Only the Apple version contains interactive tab and audio. Zinio and others do not.
Disc audio Sometimes the GT CD features some articles’ backing tracks as mp3 files due to space. These will be found in a folder on the CD-ROM section of the disc, accessible only via a computer and not a conventional CD player. February 2017
CONTENTS TURN TO PAGE 28 NOW FOR THE LATEST SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS
• C ON T E N T S • F E B RUA RY 2 017 •
LEARNING ZONE Lessons Introduction
Jason Sidwell introduces another fabulous selection of lessons from the GT team.
Pat Heath has six more licks for you to play at easy, intermediate and advanced levels.
IN THE WOODSHED
Les introduces one of the most musical and gifted players of our time: the great Joe Walsh. Martin Cooper goes south of the border for a lesson in Latin licks from Carlos Santana.
The astonishing Yngwie Malmsteen comes under Charlie’s Hard Rock spotlight this month. John Wheatcroft doffs his hat in honour of perhaps the finest modern jazzer, Pat Metheny. David Bowie used his acoustic guitar and a set of brilliantly whacky chords to weave wonderful tunes that set our world to music. Shaun Baxter gets suspended this month suspended chords that is - for another CR...
Iain Scott shows how using natural harmonics can bring life to your chords and progressions.
A tasty Fender Custom Tele ’62 Reissue adorns GT265’s cover
PENTATONIC VARIATIONS New notes for a familiar scale 14 Who doesn’t love Pentatonics? They’re the backbone of so much that we play, but can also be boring and predictable. Let Richard Barrett show you the simple but musical solution!
SPECIAL FEATURE 30
Your opinions, frank and honest... Food For Thought, Session Shenanigans, 60 Seconds, Jam Tracks, Phil’s OML and more.
AYNSLEY LISTER Video Masterclass PT1
Aynsley Lister is one of the UK’s most highly regarded blues-rock guitarists. Aynsley lends an insight into his soloing thought processes.
Missed a copy of GT in the last six months?
Reviews this month cover an exciting spectrum of recent guitar-led releases...
Get more from GT by understanding our easy-to-follow musical terms and signs.
Bridget Mermikides arranges and transcribes another captivating piece for solo nylon-string guitar, this time from the Austrian genius.
Nev waxes lyrical about our Front End super heroes, Mitch, Justin, Tim and Ronnie...
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Blues’s modern ‘big guns’ may well be your guitar heroes, but where did their inspiration come from? Meet Otis, Elmore, T-Bone, Muddy & more!
FRANZ SCHUBERT Swan Serenade
VINTAGE ELECTRIC BLUES They taught Jimi, EC and SRV
Charlie Griffiths gets up close and personal with chords this month, as he uncovers the wonderful world of close voicings.
Top 10 Technique Problems Sorted! Go Latin with our unmissable primer. Aynsley Lister video, Pt2. Handel’s Largo and so much more!
Aynsley Lister: fab new album Eyes Wide Open available now February 2017
TalkBack Post Guitar Techniques, Future Publishing, Ivo Peters Road, Bath, BA2 3QS. Email email@example.com using the header ‘Talkback’.
Bridget Mermikedes: recorded some video lessons
CLASSICAL DVD PLEASE The reason for my enquiry is to ask if you could reissue or redo a transcription of Rodrigo’s Concierto De Aranjuez, 2nd Movement, Adagio. I know from the Guitar Techniques index it was done many years ago. Incidentally, I have a copy of GT Feb 2007 with a transcription of Tarrega’s Recuerdos De La Alhambra by Bridget Mermikides. Bridget gives a lesson and plays the piece on a DVD that came with that issue. I know you don’t issue DVDs now but it would be fantastic if Bridget
After a long hiatus I returned to playing two years ago when my daughter wanted to learn. Being self-taught I had no idea where to start so contacted a local tutor to arrange lessons. Wanting to know what sort of level I was at I also took lessons. Since then I’ve gone from a grade 4 level chord knowledge but not even grade 1 level scale knowledge player, to now working on grade 7-8 work. But one thing still confuses me! I was interested in the Mixolydian Masterclass article, as the modes have always been a mystery to me. In the past they were never explained to me properly, but since finding out they are related to a parent Major scale it makes so much more sense. The thing that baffles me is, as in your article, you say that the example pieces are in the key of A Major
thirteen years ago gt decided we would conform to traditional music conventions agreed to transcribe it for us and play it on video which you could possibly make available for download from the Vault. Thanks for listening, love your work. Bob Lyndon, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
but because the Mixolydian mode has a flat 7th the G is shown with a natural incidental. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the key signature of D Major instead as A Mixolydian is the fifth scale degree of D Major? Matt Chambers
The original transcription would have been by our then Classical columnist, Richard Stokkereit. Yes we did a few video magazines including a Classical one that Bridget filmed for us, plus a couple of regular GTs with DVD covermounts and I think it’s one of these to which you’re referring. There are no plans to do more of this (it seems these things are no longer deemed viable). I wish all our lessons could be done on video, as the format is perfect for guitar tuition. But the costs just don’t stack up – we’d probably have to double the price and in this day and age of everyone expecting music for free, 06
Senior music editor Jason Sidwell replies: Thirteen years ago Guitar Techniques, along with our sister magazines Total Guitar and Guitarist, decided to universally conform to traditional music conventions (founded in classical music) in that all key signatures would either be Major or (Natural) Minor keys. When dealing with modal music we would show either Major or Minor in the key signature with the modal note variations (‘accidentals’) shown in the music notation. For further clarity, we make numerous references to harmony
information in the article’s text. So with a key like A Mixolydian (a Major orientated mode) we would show A Major as the key signature (three sharps; F#, C# and G#) with the Minor 7th (G) being shown as G Natural in the notation. You can see that this issue, in the Pentatonic variations article starting on page 14 (look at the Major Pentatonic examples). This approach has served Minor keys in classical music very well; if a piece leans towards Harmonic or Melodic Minor, the standard Natural Minor key is shown with accidentals in the music notation. So instead of showing, say, E Harmonic Minor as a key signature of F# and D# notes (urrggh!), E Natural Minor is shown (one sharp; F#) with the D# ‘accidental’ shown in the notation. By maintaining this standard Major/ Minor key signature presentation we 1) don’t alienate ‘trained’ musicians and 2) it’s a simple enough rule for new musicians to learn and understand. Returning to your original example) a two-sharps key signature (F# and C#) in a modal world could imply (obviously) D Major (conventional) but also E Dorian, F# Phrygian, G Lydian, A Mixolydian, B Aeolian (Natural Minor) and C# Locrian. Lots more options that would require a longer look at the music notation to decide what the key actually was (what seems the most prevalent notes throughout the music to create a ‘home key’?). Our system the standard system - simplifies this; look at the key signature and a little of the music to quickly see if it’s a Major or Minor key, then if it’s strongly associated to a mode.
LATECOMER TO BLUES My love of guitar encompasses almost all strands of music. So, a bit of jazz, a slice of rock, a touch of acoustic strumming and even classical fingerstyle get their moments in my practice studio. The thing is, I don’t really like blues. Now, I know it forms the basis of many styles I do like, but generally I find in its undiluted form, it leaves me cold. Until, that is, last month’s Texas Blues
feature. I was doing my usual ‘stick the disc in and jot down which tracks I’m going to try’ thing, when I was suddenly captivated by the sounds I was hearing. It’s silly really, as I’ve obviously been aware of these players before; and yet at that moment I suddenly felt a connection. I’m only in my late ‘40s so it could be a simple thing like I wasn’t yet ready for this dark and earthy style. I’ve gone through several of the examples now and can see why blues is so popular among guitarists, as these licks not only fall nicely under the fingers, but also bring a huge sense of power to the player. My wife and son paid my playing a compliment for the first time in ages, too, so thanks for awakening one middle-aged soul to the delights of a style he should have got to grips with years ago. Nigel Taylor, Northants
Interesting, Nigel. In my experience players and indeed listeners often come to sophisticated forms such as jazz, prog and classical music later in life, after flirtations with simpler styles like pop and blues. But clearly that’s not always the case. Jon Bishop did a great job on the text and the recording, which could have been what drew you in; so I’m glad our piece left its mark, and hopefully you can now go back to past issues and glean a whole new lickbag from features you’d previously ignored. Freddie King: one of our Texas Titans
DALLE / IDOLS / PHOTOSHOT
that simply wouldn’t wash. Unless your letter prompts a deluge of reaction in the positive, Bob.
Intro Food For thought
Every month, Justin Sandercoe of justinguitar.com lends GT his insight as one of the world’s most successful guitar teachers. This month: My ‘one and only’...
efore we get started on this thought stream, I must say that I have suffered from severe GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome) for most of my life. I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t all have many more guitars than we need, but… Thoughts of guitar monogamy have been brewing in me since doing an interview with Telecaster genius Jim Campilongo about five years ago. We spent an afternoon talking about his playing, his influences and, of course, his gear. Jim plays a Telecaster, pretty much always the same one (a beautiful ’59 Toploader) through a Fender Princeton (1966) amplifier. No pedals. Jim is one of the finest guitarists around and to witness his superb playing was no surprise, but his manipulation of tone was off the scale – he knew every nook and cranny of his guitar and amp and knew exactly how to draw out an effortless fat jazz tone, a biting Buchanan twang, a thick crunch and everything in between. For a few months after this I played nothing but my Tele and my Princeton. While I never got to the tonal depths that Jim reached, I found tones I never knew were there and was able to manipulate my tone to match sounds I had in my ‘musical mind’ far faster and more clearly than I ever had before. That got me thinking about other players I loved and how most of them had an instrument that we associate with them and their sound. And I wonder how much of their sound comes from their guitar and amp choices and how much is down to really getting inside the sounds they find in them. Think of the Strat players with great tone; Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Mark Knopfler, Steve Ray Vaughan, David Gilmour, Buddy Holly, Hank Marvin, Yngwie Malmsteen. These guys all have incredible tone, and sure they have different gear combinations, but I’m sure their ‘tonal personality’ comes from
Justin: says he didn’t put his Telecaster down for months getting to know their instruments inside out. Take a look at Jeff Beck: he’s always tweaking his volume and tone knobs, and often it’s so subtle I would never have known had I not been watching; but he knows, and he knows his instrument so well that he can manipulate it ‘just so’ and make it sound how he wants to
comes from the fingers, the older I get the more I think that getting to know a few gear combinations really well, is more rewarding than being a total ‘gear slut’. So this year I have pretty much exclusively played my Suhr Classic (S-style HSS guitar) other than for sessions or lessons where a specific sound was required, and that I
perhaps hearing the same sound over many years helps define what one hears in one’s musical mind hear it. You see this kind of thing in many of the great players, and it’s worth noticing, thinking about and seeing where it takes you. I think those minor tone tweaks over a number of years can really help a player define ‘their’ sound, and perhaps hearing the same sound consistently over many years helps define what one hears in one’s ‘musical mind’. I suspect it’s a two-way street and that both parts assist the other’s development. While it’s true that a lot of tone
couldn’t draw from it. I feel I have learned an incredible amount about my tone, about what sounds I can get from the guitar, and that my fingers are able to make the guitar sound different without touching any settings. I don’t understand how that works, but it does! There’s something in my subconscious that is helping my fingers create the tone I want to hear, regardless of the rest of the chain. It’s the same with amps. Using Kemper’s Profiler recently I’ve
found that getting inside a few profiles is taking me deeper than flicking through lots of different ones for an array of sounds. My ‘real’ amp of choice has been the Lazy J 20, and having just one plugged in at the studio and always going to that, has helped me get more tones out of it than I would have been able to before. With all that said, when I got my ’70 Les Paul Goldtop out in the studio last week I was in heaven. I’d forgotten how nice it felt under the fingers and also loved how thick and woody it sounded - very different from the Strat style guitar I’d become so used to. So maybe I’m not ready to become a ‘one-guitar guy’ just yet, but I do think there is a lot to be learned about tone from guitar monogamy, and it’s something I plan to continue exploring in the coming years. Food for thought? Get more info and links to related lessons on all Justin’s GT articles at www.justinguitar.com/gtmag
Intro SESSION shenanigans The studio guitarist’s guide to happiness and personal fulfilment, as related to us by Mitch Dalton This month: X is for eXtreme stress
ow, what could be more of a doddle, eh? The opportunity to pay a few bills for a fortnight merely by kicking back and blasting through the back catalogue of The King, The Pelvis, The Dude That Left The Building. EP himself. Uh-huh. Oh my. If only it were that simple. The reality is that the business of playing to upwards of one hundred thousand Elvoholics in six arenas turns out to be a tad more involved than one might initially contemplate. Believe me, the fact that The Great Gyrator checked out of Heartbreak Hotel some years ago is but a minor challenge in the grand scheme of things. That issue is resolved at a stroke by beaming footage extracted from two different Pelvic performances onto a giant video screen. Thanks to the technowizardry of our age, the soundtrack is erased but Elvis’s voice is left in situ. All that remains is to hire The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a crack rhythm section to play the ‘live’ show on stage. I guess it is but a minor leap of lateral thinking to persuade the Presley Punters to ‘Just Pretend’. After all, it is but a small step away from seeing a microdot of Adele live but flanked by banks of mega screens. Such is the modern way of it. No. The technical issues begin to reveal themselves at 10.30am on a bleak Sunday morning, almost as soon as the Riddem Boyz assemble in a giant shed on an industrial estate in West London’s deeply unfashionable West London. We open out the music for the first tune, one of a mere 37 vinyl-tastic monster hits with which we are to carpet-bomb a suspecting audience. With but one day’s rehearsal. That’s correct. Thirty seven tunes. Six hours. Let’s just leave it there, shall we? The first issue presents itself at approximately 10.31am. There are three arrangements to choose from: the original recording, a Las Vegas
live show and the recent smash hit version of Elvis with Orchestra. Then there is the small matter of following the white jump-suited crooner on celluloid. This has been addressed by mapping his voice to a click track which we then follow with the aid of in-ear monitoring. Sadly, most singers back phrase when performing and allow the band to carry the time through the performance. The resulting clicks are thus a miasma of ever changing tempi, or no no tempo at all. The trick is somehow to smooth out the mapped vocal clicks and pull off a compromise that replicates how the original band performed. Half past five duly arrives. Good news for chemists. There is no longer a Neurofen to be purchased in Park Royal. But our new American production best friends seem happy with our efforts. As indeed they should be. Parting the Red Sea is beginning to look like a breeze, in retrospect. We reconvene the following day, this time with backing vocalists. And the following day, with orchestra. With the exception of our Principal Violin, they do not have
clicks with which to concern themselves. There then follows an entertaining six hours of adjustment and re-adjustment as 70 confused souls attempt to follow their leader who is following our conductor who is following an out-of-time click track which is following an out-of-time Elvis. There is further informed discussion as to how scary a musical near death experience we are in for
barely able to play a 12-bar blues and various associated iconic solos for the first time in my professional life. All Shook Up takes on a whole new meaning. As ever, the rest is mystery. We get through opening night. Admittedly, the Vegas ice is wafer thin and the Memphis cliff edge horrifically close. There are a number of what one might reasonably call ‘glitches’. But we
i am left in the uncomfortable position of barely being able to play a 12-bar blues at The Hydro, Glasgow on opening night, barely 36 hours hence. But who wants to quit Showbiz? My main issue revolves around the fact that The King performs a medley of ‘those’ rock and roll classics at the start of the second half of our performance. Possibly due to the fact that he might have become a tad jaded and a mite uninterested in this segment of the show after two million times, he blasts through ‘em faster than Usain Bolt with a Telecaster. I am left in the uncomfortable position of being
survive, at an emotional and psychological cost yet to be quantified. And I get to play my shiny new orange Gretsch 6120. And play the solos to That’s Alright Mama, Blue Suede Shoes and all yer favourites. And I get to meet Priscilla Presley. In the end, despite our Suspicious Minds, I... er... rather enjoyed it. And I’ll Be Home For Christmas. Sorry... For more on Mitch and his music go to: www.mitchdalton.co.uk
Mitch: one of the UK’s first call session musicians
Intro Instrumental inquisition!
Instrumentals have supplied some of music’s most evocative and exciting moments. We asked some top guitarists for their take on this iconic movement. This month: renowned solo jazz guitarist and Telecaster Tonehound, Tim Lerch. GT: What is it about guitar instrumentals that appeals to you? TL: I get the impression from the questions that the term ‘guitar instrumental’ is suggesting a particular genre of pop, rock or country guitar music, but without vocals. As a player who is primarily playing instrumental music – jazz, blues, etc - I have a perhaps slightly different view of things but I’ll try to answer the questions the best I can. I have always loved the sound of the guitar, even before I could play it. As a guitarist it has always been sound rather than lyrics that has captivated me. The guitar can be very expressive and vocal-like in the right hands. GT: What can a piece of instrumental music provide a listener that a vocal performance can’t? TL: An instrumental leaves lots open for the imagination. The listener can hear sound rather than the words and be allowed to make up their own story. GT: What are the tendencies that you aim to embrace or avoid? TL: These days almost all of the music I play is without vocals, but I’m playing songs that have lyrics and have been sung, so I respect the melody above all else and really get it to sing above the harmony.
Tim Lerch: “My backing band is on my lap!” GT: How useful is studying a vocalist’s approach when it comes to guitar melodies? TL: Very useful. There is so much available in our instrument if we search it out and get our fingers to comply. We don’t want to be a bunch of typists! GT: How do you start writing one; is there a typical approach? TL: I mostly arrange or improvise solo guitar pieces. So for me it all kind of happens at once - the harmony suggests melody and vice-versa.
GT: What do you aim for in your performance? TL: To make a musical statement that is beautiful, logical, and has a groovy feel. GT: Many vocal songs feature a guitar solo that starts low and slow then finishes high and fast. Is this structure useful for instrumentals? TL: There are many ways to approach things and I suppose that’s one way to go. GT: What type of guitar tone do you prefer for instrumentals? TL: Clear, round, full and creamy.
GUITAR TECHNIQUES MAGAZINE 2 6 5
This lick will work great in a jazz swing or blues setting. It’s a question and answer idea, each two bars long with a short pick-up into the first bar. Observe how the phrases are chord-tone based as opposed to the notes being drawn from any particular scale. Also, notice the frequent use of the b3-3 move, the sweet sounding 6ths (F#), the b5s (Eb) and the chromatic connecting notes. This last point particularly applies to the second phrase, which is based upon an A13 chord. Similar ideas can be heard in Roy Buchanan’s playing. Licks like this sound far more sophisticated than conventional scale-based ideas and the possibilities for developing others are endless! So be sure to come up with variations of your own.
©»¡™º ### 4 & 4 Ó E B G D A E
by Phil Hilborne
SWING BLUES DOMINANT LICK
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ONE MINUTE LICK -
Swing Blues Dominant Lick
PHIL HILBORNE’S ONE-MINUTE LICK
GT: Do you ever resort to favourite keys or tempos? TL: Nope. I have to use all variety of keys, tempos and feels to keep things interesting. GT: Do you find Minor or Major keys more rewarding? TL: No preference really; it’s all just about what makes the melody sing. GT: And what about modes - do you have any favourite? TL: No, I’d say I’m an equal opportunity modalist! GT: And what about modulations into new keys? TL: I change keys often and enjoy the adventure of finding new ways to set up modulations. GT: Do you view the backing band in a different way than you would on a vocal song? TL: Playing solo (unaccompanied), my backing band is on my lap! GT: What are your views on harmonising melodies? TL: I love to harmonise a phrase differently as the piece goes on. I love surprises and it helps keep things interesting for the listener. GT: What three guitar instrumentals have inspired you? TL: Ted Greene’s version of Danny Boy is very beautiful; and I also love Lenny Breau’s Emily and Cannonball Rag.
19 ( 20 )
Intro SIXTY SECONDS with...
A minute’s all it takes to find out what makes a great guitarist tick. Before he jumped into his limo for the airport we grabbed a quick chat with Chicago bluesman extraordinaire, Ronnie Baker Brooks. GT: Do you have a type of pick that you can’t live without? RBB: I use a custom heavy shell celluloid pick. I like heavy picks because I play hard sometimes and I like the feel of the resistance. GT: You have to give up all your pedals but three. Which ones stay? RBB: My producer Steve Jordan wouldn’t allow me to use any pedals on my new record! But for my live shows I would keep my Fulltone Deja Vibe, my Vox wah and my Fulltone Fat Boost. GT: Do you play another instrument well enough to be in a band? RBB: I’ve done shows on bass when I was in my Dad’s (Lonnie Brooks) band. I’ve even jammed with Stevie Ray Vaughan on bass guitar at a club called The Grand Emporium in Kansas City, back in 1988! GT: Do guitar cables really make a difference? What make are yours? RBB: My friend Eric Johnson said they do! I use Mogami cables. GT: Your studio is burning down: which guitar do you salvage? RBB: My ’67 Gibson SG. It’s my first guitar that my Dad bought me. We used it on many recordings. I got that guitar when I was 7 years old! GT: Who was your first influence to play the guitar? RBB: My father, Lonnie Brooks. I saw my Dad perform at the Chicago Fest in front of thousands. I became intimidated and thought I could never play like that, but my Dad would always say, “You can do it and do it better”! Then I met Albert Collins! Albert saw me playing with my father, then pulled me to the side to say, “You will never be your Dad or me, but take what you can from whoever you like and make it you.” That boosted my confidence because it came from someone else I’ve admired other than my Dad Albert Collins the ‘Master Of The Telecaster! My Dad started the fire and Albert Collins poured gas on it! I’ve looked up to my Dad and Albert like some people look up Elvis or the Beatles. Lonnie Brooks is my best friend, mentor, inspiration, and a talented, wonderful father!
Ronnie Baker Brooks: starstudded career GT: What was the first guitar you really lusted after? LBB: My 1988 Strat Plus. When I became my Dad’s rhythm guitarist I was able to buy that guitar myself. I walked into Guitar Center in Chicago, and that guitar started talking to me. I then picked it up and fell in love. I bought it off the wall with no set-ups or adjustments. GT: Single best gig you ever did… RBB: I always give it all I got at every gig, but I had a gig earlier this year at the Banana Peel in Belgium, six days after the bombing in Brussels. I never felt that appreciated by an audience before. The crowd was very glad we didn’t
cancel the show! It was very emotional and healing for all of us! GT: …and worst playing nightmare? RBB: While playing with my Dad, we got booed off the stage opening for George Thorogood! GT: What’s the most important musical lesson you ever learnt? RBB: First, music is very powerful. Second, stay respectful and humble to it. Third, parts are parts when playing in a band, so know your role within it. I learned that the hard way from playing with my Dad, KoKo Taylor and Jr. Wells! GT: If you could put together a fantasy band with you in it, who would the other players be?
albert collins said, “you’ll never be your dad or me, but take what you can and make it you”
RBB: On my new record, Times Have Changed. I’ve got to play with Steve Jordan on drums, Willie Weeks and Leroy Hodges on bass, Charles Hodges and Jonathan Richmond on keys, Teenie Hodges and Michael Toles on rhythm guitar, Eddie Willis of the Motown Funk Brothers, Steve Cropper, ‘Big Head’ Todd Mohr, Lee Roy Parnell and my Dad Lonnie Brooks on lead guitars, Bobby Blue Bland, Angie Stone and Felix Cavaliere on vocals with the Memphis horns, a background vocal group and String section! That’s a fantasy come true! GT: Is there a solo by someone else that you really wish you had played? RBB: Albert Collins’ Listen Here, Live In Japan, BB King’s Sweet Sixteen live in Africa, Hubert Sumlin’s on Louise with Howlin’ Wolf, Lonnie Brooks’ Cold Lonely Nights on Bayou Lighting Strikes live in Chicago, Albert King’s on Blues Power live, Freddie King on The Stumble, Buddy Guy’s on Yonder’s Wall live at Antone’s, Carlos Santana’s on The Healer with John Lee Hooker, Ernie Isley’s on The Isley Brothers’ Voyage To Atlantis, and Jimi Hendrix on The Band Of Gypsies’ Machine Gun to name a few! LOL. GT: What’s the solo/song of your own of which you’re most proud? RBB: I’m proud of the songs and solos on Times Have Changed and Old Love from my new CD. She’s A Golddigger from my first solo CD Golddigger is one I like also. My big brother and the producer of that CD, Jellybean Johnson, gave it to Prince; I’m told he said, “Hey Bean, your boy is bad”! GT: What are currently you up to? RBB: I just finished the threemonth Big Head Blues Club tour with Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Mud Morganfield (Muddy Waters’ son), Billy Branch and Erica Brown in support of the Willie Dixon Tribute record, Way Down Inside - all Willie’s songs. I’m home for the holidays then get ready to support my new record, Times Have Changed, next year! February 2017
That Was The Year...
ne s Dams, Cyclo and Screams BRIAN MOORE CUSTOM GUITARS
are finally making an appearance in the UK although the stunning MC-1 has actually been around for a couple of years. Brian worked previously with Ned Steinberger so it’s hardly surprising that this guitar has a graphite body with a thru-neck configuration. Its Super-S-style appearance is enhanced by a quilted maple top and matching reverse headstock with a 2/4 Sperzel tuner placement.
TAKING THEIR VERY FIRST BREATHS
are Harry Styles and Justin Bieber but as they pop into existence a few others take a final bow including Kurt Cobain, Danny Gatton, Harry Nilsson, Nicky Hopkins, Dinah Shore, Henry Mancini, Roy Castle and Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith (guitarist with MC5).
CARVIN’S AC175 IS A SLIM BODIED electro
acoustic in a range of super finishes. The hollowed out mahogany body with spruce top is presented with a single cutaway design that offers easy access to all 24 frets from the through body mahogany neck. The ebony fingerboard has pearl dot inlays and the black faced headstock has 3-a-side tuners. The ebony bridge is fitted with an active Fishman system with three surface mounted rotary controls. Colours offered include Ferrari Red, Pearl Blue, Jet Black and Natural.
GREEN DAY RELEASE THEIR THIRD STUDIO
album Dookie and it sells by the bucket load! Marmaduke Wetherell’s photo of the Loch Ness Monster is pronounced to be a hoax; Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream is stolen in Oslo; and Michelangelo’s Universal Judgement is finally reopened to the public after 10 years of restoration work.
APPLE INC RELEASES THE FIRST MACINTOSH
computers using the new PowerPC Microprocessors while Microsoft announces it will cease to sell or support the MS-DOS operating system separately from Microsoft Windows. Adobe’s graphics editing software Photoshop 3.0 is released and the Netscape Navigator web browser goes on sale. The People’s Republic of China gets its first connection to the Internet as construction commences on its amazing Three Gorges Dam at Sandouping.
BRITISH GUITAR MANUFACTURERS PALM BAY
introduces the Cyclone model as a more pocket friendly alternative to the popular Tidalwave Custom. It boasts a twincut mahogany body and a maple neck with an ebony fingerboard inlaid with an abalone palm tree behind the first fret. It features a pointy reverse headstock, 24 frets, black hardware, a Floyd Rose vibrato system and DiMarzio pickups. Master volume and tone pots with push/pull functions offer coil-tap and out-of-phase sounds and there’s a three-way selector switch. Truly exceptional colour combinations are available.
Palm Bay introduces the Cyclone model
Jam Tracks tips
Use these tips to navigate our bonus backing tracks ➊ Blues Ballad (Am) Slow Blues in A minor with an F7-E7 turnaround at the end of each cycle. Use A Minor Pentatonic scale (A-C-D-E-G) as a starting point, adding the b5 (E b) to the mix as well. The basic triads will come in handy: Am (A-C-E), Dm (D-F-A), F (F-A-C) and E (E-G#-B). You can also search for ‘A Minor Blues Copycat Jam’ on YouTube to learn some great blues licks created especially for this jam.
➋ Jazzy Funk Jam (Dm) The basic chord progression here is Dm-G, but when practising your rhythm playing I recommend trying out chords like Dm7-Dm9-Dm11 and G7-G9-G13. Start with D Minor Pentatonic scale (D-F-G-A-C) for your funky riffing and soloing and then move on to D Dorian mode (D-E-F-G-A-B-C) for a bit of class.
➌ II-V-I Jazz Practice (Eb)
This classic jazz progression goes Fm7 (2), Bb7 (5), Ebmaj7 (1). You can essentially use Eb Major scale (Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb-C-D) throughout, but the jazzy colours don’t come out till you start chasing the chord tones – Fm7 (F-Ab-C-Eb), Bb7 (Bb-D-F-Ab)
and Ebmaj7 (Eb-G-Bb-D) and adding chromatic ideas as well.
➍ A Dorian Groove Jam Here, the chords are basically Am -D7, which means A Dorian mode (A-B-C-D-E-F#-G) will work perfectly. You can also simply use good old A Minor Pentatonic (A-C-D-E-G) or add the b5 for the A Minor Blues scale (A-C-D-D#-E-G). Jam tracks by Jacob Quistgaard. For free scale maps and hundreds more tracks, visit www.quistorama.com. You can also subscribe to www.youtube. com/QuistTV to get all the latest tracks and licks. Or find Quist and his jam tracks on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
guitarist presents blues
No blues fan should miss the latest release from our sister mag. It’s packed with great stuff - cover feature is Clapton & Green (plus cool tabbed licks); there’s the Robert Johnson story; classic interviews include an ‘87 chat with Rory Gallagher, SRV from the following year and Gary Moore from the ‘90s. New interviews include Buddy Guy, Billy Bibbons, Aynsley Lister and Joanne Shaw Taylor, and there’s blues gear features and technique too. It’s out now!
hot for teacher
WHO? Daniel Udall TOWN: London STYLES TAUGHT: Rock, pop, blues, jazz. SPECIALITY: Rock QUALIFICATION: BMus in Popular Music Performance and BTECH Higher Diploma in Electric Guitar Playing. LEVELS: Casual, style-based tuition from beginner to advanced – RGT grades if desired READING: Beginner to advanced CHARGES: £30 per 1hr lesson SPECIAL: Fully-equipped music room/studio; can record lessons TEL: 07756 509951 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
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