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alternate (Tunings) Universe


TABLE OF CONTENTS

CONTENTS 5 A WORD FROM THE PUBLISHER Keeping the fire alive

6 THE NIGHT BEGINS TO SHINE

Carl Burnett takes us back as a light is shined on today’s Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans Go!

12 STEVE VAI: THE ALIEN BEEKEEPER

Getting to know Steve Vai and his presence of mind in music and life

20 LESSON: BENDING WORKOUTS

Chris Buono is swimming in a pool of ideas for bending Workouts. Hit the gym!

26 LESSON: JAZZ-BLUES MELODIC

PATHWAYS (IMPLYING THE CHANGES)

STEVE VAI: THE ALIEN BEEKEEPER What do bees and guitar have in common? Turns out a lot if you’re a guitar maestro

David Blacker shares his approach to practice by accompanying himself through a twelve-bar progression. Get inspired!

12

30 LESSON: THE ROAD TO A WHOLE LOTTA

POWER TRIO

Hone in on Kelly Richey’s essential techniques and specific elements that are used when playing guitar in a blues-rock power trio

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Carl Burnett gives us the scoop on Internet sensation and Cartoon Network fan favorite, The Night Begins to Shine

Explore James Hogans’ approach to the less used (but no less interesting) half step bends to create some really interesting colors

MUSIC UNITES THE WORLD, AND SO CAN YOU

THE NIGHT BEGINS TO SHINE

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Ravi plays a part in sharing a gift that literally will change our world.

LESSON: HALF STEP BENDS | A PATH LESS TRAVELED

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4 LESSON: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE

MELODIC, HARMONIC, AND RHYTHMIC LANGUAGE OF JAZZ Jazz Cats Unite! Ryan Carraher gives us the scoop on getting started with Jazz improvisation

46 FAREED HAQUE: WORLD DOMINATION

LESSON: THE ROAD TO A WHOLE LOTTA POWER TRIO

The guitar is a journey and Kelly shares her road map in a Whole Lotta Power Trio

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Fareed shares how it’s possible to never make a mistake playing guitar (and other Jam topics)

LESSON: BENDING WORKOUTS

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He’s back! Hit the Gym with Buono’s bending workout

52 MUSIC UNITES THE WORLD, AND SO

20

CAN YOU

Singer-songwriter and cultural diplomat Ravi travels to bring music and unite youth around the world


TABLE OF CONTENTS

BEHIND THE GLASS

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Andy Timmons - he lights up the studio, the stage, staff and students

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JON HERINGTON: JON QUIXOTE

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DAVID HAMBURGER: DARE DEVIL

Steely searing solos and striving for a life well lived

Taking chances and deep introspection with some Austin flair

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BEHIND THE GLASS

A series of studio narratives featuring guest artist Andy Timmons

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RIFF JOURNAL ARTIST DIRECTORY

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RIFFAGE: FEATURED ALBUM COMPILATION

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CLOSING SNAPSHOTS

Full listing and interactive links from the featured artists and educators

JON HERINGTON: JON QUIXOTE

The secret of life’s riches shared by Jon Herington

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Get your FREE download of featured music from Riff artists

Photos from backstage, behind-the-scenes and on the road

DAVID HAMBURGER: DARE DEVIL

Taking chances and introspective thoughts with Austin flair

66 RIFF 3


CONTRIBUTORS “To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.” - Ludwig van Beethoven

Meet the Riff Band. We can’t wait to present our edition to you and share our passion with readers each quarter. In the meantime, shout out to us anytime online with feedback, questions and tasty tidbits.

RIFF BAND

riffjournal@truefire.com

@riffjournal

ALISON HASBACH Editor-in-Chief

Ali (a.k.a. prioress of the ‘Fire) is a founding partner and chief shooting & branding officer who likewise holds a M.B.A. (master of brewing administration) in Coffee Imbibement. She is fanatical about all things artistic (especially TrueFire Artists).

BRAD WENDKOS Publisher

Born in a cross-fire hurricane to itinerant Appalachian mountain people and then sold for a barrel of gunpowder to a wandering clan of Eastern European gypsies, Brad (thankfully) found his way home at TrueFire.

TOMMY JAMIN

Studio Department Editor

Tommy Jamin is a graduate of the Recording Arts program at Full Sail University and has been crafting top-quality video and audio content as a professional digital media producer over the last 14 years. In addition to being Director of Production at TrueFire, he’s also a singer-songwriter, production gear & tech enthusiast and family man.

AMBER ROPELIS Creative Director

Amber is a easy going pixel crafter with a flair for all things typographical and music related. She holds a BFA in Graphic Design & Digital Media from the University of North Florida and has cozied into her niche as Creative Director here at TrueFire. AUTUMN 2016 | ISSUE 9

facebook.com/riffjournal

JEFF SCHEETZ

Educational Department Editor

Jeff is the Director of Education at TrueFire, has released 8 music CDs, and 6 video instruction courses. He’s been a teacher for over 30 years and brings his own method and style to students from around the world. He has written guitar columns for many magazines and conducted workshops and clinics throughout the US, Europe and Mexico.

ZACH WENDKOS

Technology Department Editor

Zach holds a real M.B.A. and scavenges the planet for the latest and greatest in online marketing and technology applications. He leads the charge in honing the student online experience at TrueFire and dreaming up the new and cool.

KYLER THOMANN Music Editor

With Creative Utility Knife skills, Kyler bridges web and print, video, and digital images and has a passion for live events and all things musical. With his finger on the pulse of the live music scene, Kyler brings a keen editorial spirit to the magazine..


A WORD FROM THE PUBLISHER

W

e’re moving! TrueFire bought an old boxing gym in the art district, gutted it completely, and we’re now building out new digs and reimagined studios. We’re way behind schedule, way over budget, and way stressed from dealing with countless issues that pop up daily over virtually every aspect of the build. As Hunter S. Thompson said, “There’s a negative side too.” I’m writing this from my home office because we had to vacate our previous space at the end of the lease and the new building wasn’t ready. I’m hosting the entire technology and client services team here at my house, Ali is hosting the creative and artist relations folks at hers, Tommy doing same with the production folks, and Zach’s got the marketing team at his. We were a little worried at first. How disruptive to the business would the move to temporary quarters be? Would we be able to maintain our level of service for students? How would we communicate with one another and move new initiatives forward? I’m thrilled to report that its been business as usual here at the ‘Fire thanks to the cloud, chat, email, voice over IP, video conferencing, and the countless other cool gizmos available to

us today in the digital world. A thought struck me the other day that has nothing to do, or maybe everything to do, with the digital age. Home is where the heart is, and TrueFire’s home is always right behind the desktop screens, mobile devices, and web-enabled TVs of our students. Naturally, we’re all looking forward to moving into the new space, sharing coffee and meals together under the same roof, and working in what will be our most acoustically sound, technically proficient, and creatively inspiring studios. In the meantime, as long as our students are banging away on TrueFire lessons, we’ll be right at home. This Riff’s for you!

Brad Wendkos || Head Smoke Jumper

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WRITTEN BY CARL BURNETT AUTUMN 2016 | ISSUE 9


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magine you were told that some day you will be a caricature in a cartoon. You would probably say “Yeah right”! Well, that’s exactly what happened to me… Besides playing guitar, I am also a music producer. Ten years ago I got an assignment to write an 80’s style pop song for a music library. This sounded like fun! Being a student at Berklee College of Music during that time, I played guitar and bass in numerous cover bands. I also had a gig as a house engineer at Perfect Crime Recording. That’s where ‘Til Tuesday cut their early demos. This whole experience helped me to get into the flow of the 80’s vibe. I brought two of my friends in on the project, Frank Enea and Billy Regan, and the song “The Night Begins To Shine” was born. It was submitted to Telepictures Music Library in Los Angeles, where it sat dormant for ten years! Chimerically two years ago it was awakened by Warner Bros. Animation’s creative team of the hit series “Teen Titans Go!”. This show takes a comedic look at the teen superheroes Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and Cyborg, showing what life is like for them when their capes come off. First “The Night Begins To Shine” was used as the intro for the episode “Slumber Party.” Cyborg lip-syncs and dances to “The Song” before saying “night night” and going to

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sleep. Already then, with its only 20 second segment, it became a big hit! The fans started to post their own loops and edits on YouTube.

Kids of all ages are posting clips of themselves performing “The Song” and downloading “The Night Begins To Shine” from iTunes.

The chimerical path continues! With the overwhelming online response, the “Teen Titans Go!” Creative Team decided to write a new episode for the next season, written around “The Song”. In this new story, “40%40%20 %”, my co-writers and I are introduced as a band from the 80’s “B.E.R.” (short for Burnett/Enea/Regan), who wrote “The Song.” In this episode Cyborg gets his strength to rescue his friends from the villain, not from his robot parts, but from his favorite song “The Night Begins To Shine.” The story’s theme that music empowers and transforms you, was picked up once again by the fans who took it to another level of online excitement, outshining the “Slumber Party”!

The chimerical path yet continues! The Creative Team of “Teen Titans Go!” is writing new episodes for the upcoming season as you are reading this. This time B.E.R.’s likeness will be animated caricatures in the show, performing our new songs and joining the Teen Titans’ adventures! As this story is still unfolding, this brings me back to the very beginning. Had I been told, that some day I will be a caricature in a cartoon, I too would have said “Yeah right”… May this story inspire you, enhance you and make you happy. You never know where your adventures will take you!

Written by Carl Burnett

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Photos Courtesy of Larry DiMarzio


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//Foreward by Brad Wendkos

One thousand years from now, musicologists will have had ample time and perspective to refine the short list of musicians and composers from our times, whose work significantly influenced the evolutionary ladder of music. Unquestionably, Steve Vai will be on that short list. They say you really get to know someone when you spend a day golfing or fishing with them. A day or two in TrueFire’s studios does the trick too, and we were fortunate enough to get that opportunity with Steve during his session here for his first TrueFire course, Alien Guitar Secrets: Passion & Warfare. Steve gave up a free weekend in-between big gigs and tour dates to shoot the course with us in St. Petersburg. During this same time, he was also working on the release of Modern Primitive and the 25th Anniversary edition of Passion and Warfare. Plus, he was juggling a million details related to the world tour that he was about to start just a few weeks away. The man certainly had his hands full and yet, the moment he walked into the studio, it appeared as if he had all the time in the

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world with a singular focus to present what turned out to be one of the most engaging and inspiring courses that we’ve ever produced. “Consummate pro” doesn’t even come close to describing Steve’s work ethic and overall vibe in the studio. The moment he took the hot seat in front of the cameras, the shoot was on and we all just buckled up for the ride. Everyone who knows Steve personally, or has worked with him, will tell you what a great guy he is. We can now chime in ourselves and tell you firsthand that this is indeed true. Besides his well-established genius as a guitarist, composer and producer, Steve is also passionate, humble, charming, savvy and everything else that you’d want your guitar hero to be. Jeff Scheetz, our Director of Education, interviewed Steve for this issue of Riff. Rather than asking him about specific licks and techniques, he explored Steve’s unique philosophical approach to life, music and beekeeping.


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Photos Courtesy of Larry DiMarzio


T H E

JS: As a player you appear to have a deeper philosophical understanding of

music than most musicians. Obviously you also have an incredible technical ability. When you started out playing, did you have that deeper philosophical approach from the start – or were you just a technique-obsessed teenager like the rest of us?

SV: I believe I was mostly a technically obsessed teenager when I started

C O N N E C T I O N AUTUMN 2016 | ISSUE 9

playing the guitar, but with a deep, but unconscious passion and interest in music and the instrument. I don’t believe I possess a more philosophical understanding of music than many others; it’s just that through the years, although music was a passion, I was also one of those people who was trying to figure out and understand the nature of humanity. That led me through many different kinds of studies in the field of esotericism and spirituality. This just causes me to speak somewhat differently about things.

JS: What advice can you give a student in order to help them gain more insight and a better understanding of the “big picture” of being a musician?

SV: I believe the most important aspect of being a musician, or in being or

doing anything, is to identify with what it is that you want. That’s really the big picture. Sometimes this can be more elusive than it seems. The challenge is that sometimes people don’t know what they are really interested in because the clarity of their passion is obscured by insecurities, egoic desires, and conditioning. I always try to recommend looking within yourself for the feeling of enthusiasm and excitement when contemplating what it is you would like to do. It may start out as a very subtle feeling of interest and joy. Many times an exciting idea pops into your head, but it can be followed by a ‘but.’ ‘But I can’t because…(fill in the blank)’. This is when a person really needs to cut through the mind chatter and just follow their bliss without any excuses why they

I BELIEVE THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF BEING A MUSICIAN, OR IN BEING OR DOING ANYTHING, IS TO IDENTIFY WITH WHAT IT IS THAT YOU WANT. THAT’S REALLY THE BIG PICTURE. can’t. Your bliss is accompanied by feelings of well being, enthusiasm, clarity and simplicity in your now. And if you are in that mental ‘Ultra Zone’ you have access to your instincts and those instincts will arise in you as inspired thoughts and impulses to take various actions.


THE CONNECTION YOU HAVE WITH YOUR INSTRUMENT IS BASED ON THE DEGREE OF PRESENCE YOU HAVE WITH IT AND IF YOU ARE VERY PRESENT WHILE PLAYING, THEN IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT ANYONE IS DOING AROUND YOU.

Once you have a relatively clear picture of what it is you would like to do, then the thoughts of what to practice will be clearer. Some people may find themselves more interested in scales, riffs, technique, theory, and honing their skills, while others are more interested in writing songs right away. In any event, there is no wrong way to do it. If you know what you want, then your instincts will guide you.

there’s no wrong in anything you do. Ultimately there’s no wrong in anything you do anyway, but perhaps that’s another discussion.

But there needs to be some kind of balance between technique and going deeper than the technique. It’s difficult to get deep if you have very limited technique, but only you know how much you need to fulfill your desires. If a person decides they really want to be a virtuosotype guitar player, then there will be no resistance in the process of practicing your ass off. You will naturally gravitate to that and you’ll know it’s the right thing because it’s exciting to you.

SV: Not really. When I look back it seems

Some people dread doing scales and exercises, learning theory and things that develop a fierce technique. If that’s the case, then ultimately being a virtuoso is probably not for you, and that’s fine. In any event, knowing what you want, ‘the big picture’ will guide you and then

JS: How is live playing different now in

JS: As you look back on your career as

a player – is there any moment or even an “era” that stands out to you where you started to have a deeper appreciation for guitar?

as though that appreciation was always there and if anything it grows a little everyday.

JS: What is more important to you for your

sound and playing your best – your guitar, or your amp/effects?

SV: Obviously they are both important

and they are joined at the hips, but perhaps I would reach for the guitar first.

the age of everyone having a phone and recording every moment? Do you think that has changed the mystique of “live” for the worse? Or maybe made it better in some way?

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SV: Perhaps it’s a matter of perspective, but ultimately when

you’re in the moment of playing live there’s usually no thought about any of this. The connection you have with your instrument is based on the degree of presence you have with it and if you are very present while playing, then it doesn’t matter what anyone is doing around you. But I will say that to some degree there is more of an awareness that anything I do on a stage is going to be recorded and possibly uploaded to social media, so maybe it keeps me on my toes a little more. In that regard it helps.

JS: As a teacher, what is the first thing you think about when you are

trying to take a student from where they are, to where they want to be?

SV: Perhaps first I’m trying to identify with where they would like

PRESENCE OF MIND

to be or a goal they may have. Then I try to get them to understand that where they are right now is fine, because sometimes people can be very frustrated with where they are at and this can cause a lot of resistance. Then I’ll poke around by asking questions about where they would like to be, but the most important technique I can use is to get them to actually feel what it would be like to be where it is they would like to be. If you can feel it then it must follow. If you can actually imagine what it feels like to have already obtained the goal, then the path to it will reveal itself to you naturally. It must. Reaching any goal or manifesting anything is a three-step process. First it has to arise in you as a thought, second is the visualization of it where it transcends from being a thought to an inner visual picture complete with the feeling of it. The third step is to align yourself with your goal. That basically means having positive expectations of the manifestation. Then the path will be clear in a step-by-step, in your now, forward momentum.

JS: As a beekeeper for many years, has beekeeping shaped your guitar playing philosophy in any way? Are there any lessons learned there related to guitar or has it been more of an escape?

SV: They are fascinating little creatures, and they make HONEY!

How cool is that? When I’m with the bees, I’m very present and perhaps that somehow flows into my musical creativity. You need to be present when you are playing with bees. I also notice what an amazing social structure they have and how they work together so well. It’s inspiring.

www.vai.com

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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - ADVANCED

UNISON BENDS WHOLE STEP BENDS

BENDING TECHNIQUES VIBRATO TIPS

BENDING WORKOUTS Written by Chris Buono

Greetings from the Jersey Shore! Last time we met in Riff was the debut issue where I served up a lesson on some cool encounters with the 7#9 chord. All three examples were inspired by fun times with amazing players I had recently shared a stage with including Bob Lanzetti (Snarky Puppy), Rob Compa (Dopapod) and our own resident blues twister Oz Noy. The truth is delving in the minds of other players is a great source for your own ideas. Such is the case with this lesson on bending, which was inspired by a recent episode that involves one all the all-time greatest players and one who is a personal hero and big-time influence on me: Steve Vai. I’ve wanted to do a Guitar Gym Course Series installment on bending for a quite some time, but until recently I had yet to come up with a starting point for Workouts that felt right. During the pre-production process for Steve’s debut TrueFire course Alien Guitar Secrets: Passion & Warfare I was asked to deeply probe the course’s namesake album for the studio team so they had a reference of key points to use during the session. Not able to resist plugging in my ’87 Jem 777DSY and re-visit all the completely awesome licks that pepper this record from start to finish, I quickly found myself swimming in a pool of ideas for bending Workouts! Below is a trio of examples that are work-in-progress candidates for what will become Guitar Gym: Bending. These are what I would likely use in Level 3 so they’ll be listed at the usual starting tempo of 60bpm.

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STEVE VAI


EXAMPLE 1

Example 1 is based on unison bends – a bending approach I always like to start with when introducing the technique as it helps to get across the importance of bending in tune. The vibe and the phrasing is reminiscent of the opening idea from “Greasy Kid Stuff” right after Steve talks down some production notes.

EXAMPLE 01 Riff Lesson // Chris Buono

Whether you’re playing bars 1-2 on the B and E strings or bars 3-4 on the G and B strings you should approach fingering the unison bends the same way by fretting the starting point note (the note you’re bending) with your fret hand 3rd finger supported by the 2nd finger right behind it on the next lower fret. The 1st finger need needs to hold down a unison note on the higher adjacent string relative to the note you’re bending to. The goal is to have both notes ultimately sound in tune producing a thick, doubling effect. This is a great way to monitor what I call “bending intonation.”

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Take note: The distance between the two notes you’re fretting simultaneously on each string set are offset by one fret due to standard tuning. The higher string set fingering spans three frets as opposed to the two fret span of the G and B string set.

EXAMPLE 2

Example 2 works off some ideas from the opening main melody heard in “Blue Powder” and sets them in a four-bar I-IV-V scenario. Check it out:

EXAMPLE 02 Riff Lesson // Chris Buono

Bar 1 sets up the general approach to the bends with the first bend at beat 2 going up a whole step by way of your 3rd finger supported by your 2nd finger one fret behind much like Ex. 1. The difference is the 1st finger is free allowing you to use it as a way to cut out unwanted string noise by gently laying it over the lower adjacent strings. An added bonus as a result of that approach is the ability dig in or “rake” the lower adjacent string(s) on your way to picking the string you’re about to bend. I always go for a little extra attack on a string I’m going to bend given the fact I’m about to stretch it thus dulling the vibration potential of the string as a result.

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Continuing to look at bar 1 the 4th fret half step bend-and-release on the upbeat of beat 3 should be played with your 1st finger. A tried-and-true method for 1st finger bending is pulling the string towards the floor – try it! Be aware the same bend at the upbeat of beat 3 in bar 3 at the 11th fret is held over through beat 4 and, when you’re ready, would do well with a little vibrato applied.

EXAMPLE 3

The final example pays homage to some choice moments in a solo break heard in “The Animal.” The Workout stays exclusively on the B string for all four bars, but throws a curveball with regards to phrasing and bending distance in bar 4.

EXAMPLE 03 Riff Lesson // Chris Buono

Bars 1-3 take the same syncopated approach with whole step bends from the 10th fret (A), 15th fret (D) and 18th fret (F). The trick is playing those pure starting point notes (no bend) on the preceding 16th notes without prematurely starting to push the bend up. The order of events flips in bar 4 with the bend being played first starting on the downbeat followed by the pure starting point note on the next 16th note subdivision. That’s the easy part when you compare it to the intended bending distance: Two whole steps! As you play through these would-be Workouts keep in mind these general tips on bending…

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Your top priority is playing any and all bends in tune. This is why I start players on unison bends as there’s no hiding when it comes to bending intonation! Look to support the 3rd finger that’s fretting the starting point note with the 2nd finger on the next lower fret. Whenever possible use your fret hand 1st finger to make contact with the lower adjacent strings to help cut out unwanted string noise. When using your 1st finger to bend pull the string down towards the floor. When using your 2nd or 3rd fingers to bend keep them as arched as possible throughout the bend. This will prevent the string from slipping under your fingertip thus making the bend sound flat even when it feels right. When starting to apply vibrato to your bends always be mindful somewhere in the back-and-forth of the applied pitch modulation the in-tune state of the note should be in the mix. Simply put, don’t wiggle the note in various degrees of out of tune! If you find bends a whole step or more cutting out for no apparent reason check the radius of your neck. When it comes to bending the flatter, the better. I’ve found my bare minimum is a 12” radius. Another guitar design factor is scale length. Expect bending pressure and distances to feel different on different scale lengths. The same could be said for string gauges and the combination thereof. If you’re having trouble getting a good bending technique off the ground consider the setup of your guitar. Your action could be working against you both in being too high as well as too low. Also consider the frets – the taller and wider the frets the easier bending can be. Even more so when playing with thicker gauge strings. Regardless of the aforementioned physical attributes expect bending anything more than a half step on the hi-E string below the 7th fret to be the most difficult. If you find yourself often going out of tune after playing a bend try changing your strings. If you just changed them be sure to properly stretch them. If you’re still having trouble and you’re confident your installing the strings in the tuners in a way that should result in a tight wind, consider locking tuners and/or making sure your nut is not catching the string. In regards to the latter a surefire indicator is a pinging sound when tuning. This is where a well-maintained graphite nut comes in handy! Lastly, always remember a Gibson G string loves to go out of tune after a hefty bend. Sad, but true. Have fun and see you in an Adidas tracksuit soon. The next color is blue with black stripes!

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| ONLINE LINK DIRECTORY | RIFFJOURNAL.COM/LINKS-V9


ABOUT THE EDUCATOR Chris Buono Heralded as a “multi-media guitar madman”, Chris infiltrates the modern guitar world from myriad directions. Be it on CD, in video, in the minds of gear aficionados or in book form. Through 20+ years of teaching in just about every forum a guitarist can including five years as a professor in the esteemed Guitar Department at Berklee College of Music and currently as a prolific TrueFire artist.

VIEW CHRIS’S COURSE LIBRARY

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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - INTERMEDIATE

JAZZ BLUES

PRACTICE TIPS

CALL AND RESPONSE

12-BAR PROGRESSIONS

JAZZ-BLUES MELODIC PATHWAYS (IMPLYING THE CHANGES) Written by David Blacker

The spectrum of jazz-inspired blues guitar styles is pretty wide ranging. You’ve got classic blues artists like T-Bone Walker, Pee Wee Crayton and Lonnie Johnson, who’ve developed a kind of sophisticated “uptown blues” sound. At the same time, there are more jazz-centric players like Kenny Burrell, Herb Ellis and Grant Green who color their lines with a heavy dose of the blues. Then there’s the countless shades in the middle from rockabilly, to western swing to soul jazz and beyond. What great players across all these styles have in common, is that they approach a twelvebar blues with a sense of expanded harmony. Beyond the standard I-IV-V changes, they have a wide range of options from which to create melodic ideas. In addition to learning the solos and phrases of players that you want to emulate, a great learning tool can be to simply practice accompanying yourself through a twelve-bar progression. What I mean by this is to cover both rhythm and lead playing, in a kind of call and response format. I’ve found that practicing this way

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forces me to internalize the key harmonic transitions within the progression. It also forces me to be much more lyrical and melodic, rather than just cycling through licks without a sense of context. In short, creating new melodic ideas becomes much easier, and it also tunes your ear, so that when you hear Charlie Parker blowing over an uptempo progression, you start to hear the chords he’s outlining. Implying chord changes, is one of the main concepts that runs across my two Swing Blues courses, and West Coast Blues as well. In these courses, I focus a lot on vocabulary building and theory. I’ve put this little exercise together to kind of bring some of those pieces together into a practical approach to daily practice. It’s a simple 12-bar blues, played basically as a selfaccompaniment piece (although I included a simple bass line to outline the changes). My hope is that it inspires you to experiment with a call and response style self-accompaniment practice, as it has been an invaluable tool for me.


JAZZ-BLUES MELODIC PATHWAYS

JAZZ / BLUES(Implying MELODIC PATHWAYS the Changes) Implying The Changes

Level: Intermediate

Written by David Blacker

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Jazz- Blues Melodic Pathways Audio File

MEASURES 1-4 (KEY CONCEPTS) In the first measure we open with a straight-ahead C major 6th run, into a C major 6th chord stab. As we transition into the IV chord, there are some kind of “out” passing tones, specifically notes 3 & 4 in measure #2. Let’s look at those notes, which are a G# (9th fret of B) and an E (9th fret of G). On the face of it, that E note is all wrong over the IV chord F7. But played in sequence with the G# note preceding it, it implies the top part of an F#9 chord. An F#9 chord is an excellent transitional chord on route to an F9. This is a concept I call “half-steppin’” in my Swing Blues Rhythm Survival Guide. Approaching target chord tones from a half step above or below, is a great technique for creating tension and movement within a progression. At the end of measure 4, we have more voice leading / half step ideas that lead into the IV chord, but this time, the half step moves are played as chord stabs rather than lead lines.

MEASURES 5-6 (KEY CONCEPTS) In measures 5-6 the ideas are pretty much straight ahead C pentatonic, which always work well over F7, the IV chord. The only place where we break out of the pentatonic is on the last 3 notes of measure 5, with a trill from the

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7th to 8th fret, incorporating the flat 9 of the IV chord. A IV7b9 is a common jazz-blues substitution over the second measure of the IV chord within a jazz-blues. In this case, we are using it to lead into the 2nd measure of the IV chord, which works well too.

MEASURES 7-8 (KEY CONCEPTS) The 7th measure opens with some meaty T-Bone style 9th chord stabs, into another pentatonic run, like the one over the IV chord. In the 8th measure we have a melodic sequence that implies a really important harmonic movement in a twelve-bar jazz-blues - the transition from the 8th measure into the ii-V-I turnaround. Specifically in this case, it is the chromatic movement from the iii chord down to the ii chord. So in the key of C that is Em - Ebm - Dm (another common transition/substitution to use here is to go move from the iii chord, to the vi chord, into the ii chord). The chromatic voice leading here starts on the 8th fret of the B string - moving from G to Gb, and concluding on an F for the downbeat of the ii chord. The ii chord is Dm, so that F (flat 3rd) perfectly implies the Dm change.

MEASURES 9-12 (KEY CONCEPTS) In measure 9, we are basically outlining the primary chords tones of the ii chord. The last note in measure 9 (11th fret of b string), is a chromatic passing tone leading into the major 3rd of the V chord on the downbeat of measure 10. Then we riff chromatically down to the flat 9, which creates the right tension for the resolution back to the I chord. The piece concludes with a series a descending melodic major scale intervalic riffs, which work well over the final I vi ii V turnaround. The piece closes with a G augmented arpeggio into a C6/9 chord.

ABOUT THE EDUCATOR David Blacker David Blacker is a singer/songwriter, music producer and guitar instructor. His music has been featured on numerous original albums, national television commercials, TV series theme songs, and radio spots. As a guitarist, David has accompanied award winning vocalists and top session. He is also co-founder of AirGigs.com, a global marketplace for hiring session musicians and recording engineers.

VIEW DAVID’S COURSE LIBRARY RIFF

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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - ADVANCED

HALF STEP BENDS HAMMER-ONS

AUTUMN 2016 | ISSUE 9

PENTATONIC SCALE PULL-OFFS


HALF STEP BENDS | A PATH LESS TRAVELED Written by James Hogan

Hey there everyone in TrueFire Land! I hope all is well and that you’ve been enjoying all of the great articles, lessons, interviews and podcasts provided in TrueFire’s Riff Journal. It’s been a while since I released my 50 Jazz Rock Licks and 50 All-Purpose Pentatonic Licks courses so I thought I’d drop in here and show you some tasty licks using half step bends! From my perspective, half step bends seem to be a path less traveled for many guitarists. (Though many guitarists play them unintentionally when going for whole step bends.) If used in the proper context, half step bends can create some really interesting colors. The lick examples I’ve provided in this lesson have a nice mix of half step and whole step bends, along with hammer-ons, pull-offs and various picking combinations. The licks are all based around familiar pentatonic shapes, so they should be quite useful for novices and pros alike. Let’s get started.

EXAMPLE #1

This lick combines notes from the A Major pentatonic and A minor pentatonic scales. It starts with a clichéd blues influenced hammer-on from the minor 3rd (C) of A minor pentatonic up to the Major 3rd (C#) of A Major pentatonic. From there, check out the 1/2 step bend from F# to G (6 to b7) in bar 2. Hold that bend and add some vibrato if possible. (Be sure to keep it in tune!) For the last two bends in the lick, you basically just bend the note C (b3) enough to pull it slightly out of tune and make things a little funkier! (Not quite a 1/4 step.) I’ve included pick strokes in the notation, but they’re really just a guide. Experiment and find what works best for you. Also, for tuning practice you can play the fretted note (G) at the 8th fret on the B string as a reference pitch and then practice bending from (F#) a half step up to (G) and match the pitch. That may be a good exercise to practice before even tackling this lick example if you’re new to bending. This lick sounds great over an A7 chord!

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EXAMPLE #2

Here’s a killer pedal steel-styled lick combining A Major and A minor pentatonic with a bit of hybrid picking and some tasty 1/2 step bends. The trick is to bend the note F# (natural 6 of A Major pentatonic) at the 7th fret on the B string up 1/2 step to G (b7 of A minor pentatonic) with a picked downstroke and then hold that bend while playing notes (B) and then (A) on the high E string with the middle finger (m) of your picking hand. Then release the 1/2 step bend back down to (F#) while letting the note (A) on the high E string ring out. This lick sounds great over an A7 chord, but it could also be used over an Amin chord for a wicked pedal steel-influenced Dorian lick. I love playing this lick with an overdriven guitar tone, though it sounds great clean as well.

EXAMPLE #3

Gary Moore has always been an influence on my playing. Time, tone, touch, technique, Gary had it all! This lick is influenced by Moore’s use of half step bends. You can visualize this lick around A minor pentatonic, or A natural minor (Aeolian) if you wish. It features a half step bend from the note B (Major 2nd) on the high E string up to the note C (b3). Add some vibrato to those bends and make sure to keep the pitch. Again, give yourself a reference pitch and practice bending into it as a bending/tuning exercise. Check out Gary Moore’s Still Got The Blues and The Loner for some of Moore’s classic half step, blues-inspired bends. This lick sounds great over an Amin chord - especially with a 6/8 or 12/8 feel.

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EXAMPLE #4

I had the opportunity to share the stage, trade licks and teach alongside legendary country guitarist Brent Mason this summer at the Crown Guitar Fest in Montana. Here’s a really nice country-styled lick I heard Brent play that’s based in A Major pentatonic. Although, it does get a little gritty with a half step bend from B (Major 2nd) to C (b3). For fun, I transposed the lick into four octaves for a nice variation. You can sequence all four octaves of the lick together as transcribed, or feel free to stick to one or two octaves if you’d prefer. Brent played this one with a Telecaster using the bridge pickup, but I like it with my Les Paul and a little dirt too. This one sounds great in A Major.

CONCLUSION

I hope you enjoyed this lesson on half step bends. If you’re looking for more licks like the lesson examples I’ve provided (along with a wide variety of others), please check out my TrueFire 50 Licks courses or pop by one of my group masterclasses sometime. More importantly, try to come up with some of your own great licks using half step bends and have some fun.

ABOUT THE EDUCATOR James Hogan James Hogan is an artist who is regarded highly by his peers and is in constant demand as a touring sideman, studio musician and producer. Hogan is admired worldwide for his musicality, his soulfulness and his rare ability to play authentically in virtually any style of music. James is a senior instructor at The National Guitar Workshop’s Mc Clean, VA and SUNY Purchase, NY campuses. James Hogan is also the guitar instructor at Florida State College in Jacksonville, FL where he has been on staff since 200-James Hogan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Performance (Summa Cum Laud-from the highly acclaimed University Of North Florida jazz program, where he was a collegiate Downbeat Award winner, and student of jazz guitar virtuoso Barry Greene.

VIEW JAMES’ COURSE LIBRARY RIFF

33


LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - BEGINNER

POWER TRIOS

RECORDING TIPS

BLUES ROCK

RHYTHM TECHNIQUES

SOLOING

Photos courtesy of Scholle Images

THE ROAD TO A WHOLE LOTTA POWER TRIO Written by Kelly Richey

Many of the world’s most popular guitar players, such as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, played in what is called a “power trio.” In my latest TrueFire course, Focus On: Blues-Rock Power Trio, I hone in on the essential techniques and specific elements that are used when playing guitar in a bluesrock power trio. I discuss rhythm and lead techniques and how they overlap, working together seamlessly to create a powerful wall of sound. I also talk about the importance of creating musical “holes,” creating space, and how to work with a drummer and bass player to

AUTUMN 2016 | ISSUE 9

craft a unique sound that best supports your guitar style. Jimi Hendrix was my first influence and from him I learned the importance of sustain, distortion, tube amps, speaker configuration, delays and the use of other effects for live performance and recording. Billy Gibbons taught me articulation, tone, precision and how to be an essential part of a three-piece rhythmgenerating machine. Led Zeppelin opened the door to power chords, as well as riff-driven, groove-based


rhythms and leads. They showed me the importance of creating musical space, articulation and speed - as well as methodical chaos - all of which they joined in forms of syncopation and rhythm I’d never before experienced. Eric Clapton (and Cream Live) was where I learned to jam with others and interact in a more tightly woven connection with a band, allowing a more complicated drummer approach to be my foundation rather than something I had to play to (or with). Eddie Van Halen took everything I had learned about simplicity and added a layer of technical ability that no one had ever seen. I was heavily influenced by Eddie’s guitar tone and loved how Ted Templeman mixed his guitar – the dry sound panned hard left and then reverb added and panned hard right – for that live stadium sound. This was a drastic departure from the psychedelic sound of the 1960’s as well as the early 1970’s guitar sound. I’ve never done a lot of tapping like Eddie, but I did begin to pull in pinch harmonics, like I discovered being used by Billy Gibbons, early on in my playing. Another big influence was Joe Walsh and the James Gang. The song Funk #49 is a powerful riff-driven song with a groove that pulls from blues, rock, and funk. It taught me about getting back to the basics of guitar tone - and that tone starts in your hands and the neck of your guitar first - and from there the sound is amplified rather than trying to create a great sound with effects first. SRV had the biggest overall impact on my playing, by influencing my right hand. By the time SRV hit the scene, I had developed all the speed I was going to develop. His right hand technique helped me take my playing to a whole new level by adding a left and right hand muting technique for either a funky sound or a “flat tire” approach, when playing with a shuffle. SRV’s ability to bend strings and command a righteous tone out of each and every note, was something that sent me on a quest - for the perfect tone, maximum amount of sustain and an overall groove that would rock

people to the edge of their chairs. His ability to emote drew me in. And then there’s Roy Buchanan - quite possibly my favorite guitar player. I saw Roy play live three times and all three times he played as a three piece. Roy played with a level of emotion and precision I’d never experienced before and he raised the bar even higher in my search for the ability to take a “journey” with my guitar and create a conversation with music alone. Jeff Beck’s “Wired” and “Blow by Blow” were woven in along the way, showing me great examples of a player who used his fingers instead of a pick. Jeff also used his whammy bar differently than any other guitarist I’d seen. Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush sprinkled in an influence as well, and...I almost forgot: Alex Lifeson of RUSH. This history of influences would not be complete without mentioning the major impact that both the Black Keys and Jack White of the White Stripes have had on my playing, songwriting, and recording approach. I now write and record demos to basic drum loops without a bass. I give the drummer and producer of each project these demos for preproduction and use the drum loops as a metronome when recording. I then set up live in the studio and record guitar, and then add bass and any additional tracks as needed. Ironically, these 2 piece bands reminded me of the power of simplicity! Learning to play guitar is a journey and the power trio is just one roadmap, with each influence a stop along the way. A power trio grants me the freedom to express myself, while forcing me to fill the space - and sometimes that space is filled with silence, sometimes with a wall of sound. Check out this example of how I’ve taken a classic idea and made it my own in a performance study from my latest course. Here’s a “Whole Lotta Power Trio.”

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WHOLELotta LOTTAPower POWER TRIO Whole Trio Performance Performance

Music by Kelly Richey by Kelly Richey Transcribed byMusic Glen Morgan Transcribed by Glen Morgan

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Copyright ©2016 TrueFire Inc. & Kelly Richey All Rights Reserved - International Copyright Secured

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ABOUT THE EDUCATOR Kelly Richey Kelly Richey is a master blues guitarist who has been playing and touring worldwide for over 30 years. Richey has been a guitar instructor just about as long as she’s been playing, with over 1,000 students, to date. With nearly 4,000 shows under her belt, Richey is a seasoned pro, who has a solid understanding of blues and blues-based rock guitar techniques. Richey is an outgoing, deeply dedicated guitar instructor.

VIEW KELLY’S COURSE LIBRARY

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LESSONS

SKILL LEVEL - ADVANCED

RHYTHM

IMPROVISATION HARMONY

SCALES

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE MELODIC, HARMONIC AND RHYTHMIC LANGUAGE OF JAZZ Written by Ryan Carraher

The world of jazz is an interesting world comprised of a complex, dense musical language. For someone looking to start learning jazz it is often very hard to sift through all of this information and find a good spot to start his or her journey down the rabbit hole known as jazz. This article is for those new “jazz cats” (if you’re learning jazz, get used to all of the jazz slang terms!), or in this case “jazz kittens” as it contains an introduction to the basic melodic, harmonic and rhythmic elements of the jazz language. Let’s get started!

MELODY One of jazz’s defining traits is the use of improvisation. Being able to spontaneously create and/or alter melodic material in a live setting is paramount to being a jazz musician. The world of improvisation is a very tricky world to navigate because there are a myriad of different devices and languages to absorb. Also, improvisation is a very individualistic thing so everyone has a process unique to themselves; different things work for different people. At its roots, improvisation is simply creative control of melodic material so a good place to start is with some simple, raw melodic material that you can use in your improvisations so let’s take a look at four common scale choices and what chords they can be used on. These scales will act as creative tools that you can use to improvise melodies.

1: MAJOR SCALE (1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Ah the good ole’ major scale! It’s very common in jazz improvisation and is typically used over Major 7 chords (more on Major 7 chords soon!). Here is C major (C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C). Be sure to practice in all 12 keys!

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2: DORIAN (1-2-B3-4-5-6-B7) This is the second mode, or variation, of the major scale. Commonly used on minor 7 chords. Here is C Dorian (C-DEb-F-G-A-Bb-C).

3: LOCRIAN (1-B2-B3-4-B5-B6-B7) This is the seventh mode of the major scale and is commonly used on minor 7b5 chords. Here is C Locrian (C-Db-EbF-Gb-Ab-Bb-C).

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4: MIXOLYDIAN (1-2-3-4-5-6-B7) The fifth mode of the major scale and is commonly used to solo on dominant 7 chords (very common in the blues!) Here is C Mixolydian (C-D-E-F-F-A-Bb-C).

Chord Scale Theory

HARMONY Jazz is a very harmonically-varied music and as guitar players we usually play a ton of chords when playing jazz! A good way to enter the world of jazz harmony is by learning the basic seventh chord shapes. For those of you who haven’t encountered seventh chords before, they are simply a triad with a third above the fifth so all of the formulas are a variation of 1-3-5-7. Here we will be talking about the most common seventh chords: Major 7, Dominant 7, Minor 7 and Minor 7b5.

C MAJOR 7 (1-3-5-7) (C-E-G-B)

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C DOMINANT 7 (1-3-5-B7) (C-E-G-BB)

C MINOR 7 (1-B3-5-B7) (C-EB-G-BB)

C MINOR 7B5 (1-B3-B5-B7) (C-EB-GB-BB)

Seventh Chords

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RHYTHM In addition to being a very melodically and harmonically demanding music, jazz also uses a wide variety of rhythms. Many of the rhythms used in jazz compositions and solos are syncopated, meaning that the notes are played on weak beats (or weak parts of the beat) instead of the strong ones. It is also very common for jazz musicians to utilize traditional rhythms from other cultures. One of the most pervasive and basic rhythmic concepts in jazz is “swing”.

What this marking means is that every time you see eighth notes, you play them like that triplet figure so the first note gets the first 2 beats of the triplet and the second note gets the last beat. This creates a “galloping” like rhythmic texture. Here is a scale written out in swing eighth notes. I hope you found these ideas helpful, you are on your way to a great foundation in jazz!

ABOUT THE EDUCATOR Ryan Carraher Ryan Carraher is a 22-year old guitarist, composer and educator with a unique improvisational and compositional approach. He has a degree in guitar performance from the esteemed Berklee College of Music. He has played with many notable artists including: Allan Holdsworth, Jimmy Heath, Leslie West, Grand Funk Railroad, Pete Best, Joe Lynn Turner, Adrian Belew, Sly and the Family Stone, Ours, George Thorogood, Paul Rodgers, The Fab Faux, John Wetton, and Napoleon Murphy Brock.

VIEW RYAN’S COURSE LIBRARY

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ARTIST FEATURE: FAREED HAQUE

AUTUMN 2016 | ISSUE 9

WRITTEN BY JEFF SCHEETZ


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Photo by Alison Hasbach

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AUTUMN 2016 | ISSUE 9 Photo by Alison Hasbach

MUSIC IS AT ITS HEALTHIEST WHEN IT IS CONNECTED TO OUR LIVES THROUGH SONGS, DANCE, WORSHIP AND CELEBRATION. IN THE WEST WE HAVE TRIED TO SEPARATE MUSIC FROM CULTURE...AND TO THIS END WE HAVE BEEN (THANKFULLY) WHOLLY UNSUCCESSFUL!


F

areed Haque has been voted the “Best World Guitarist” by Guitar Player Magazine. Of course, that made total sense, but it also got me wondering…what exactly is World Music? According to Webster’s dictionary, it’s “popular music that is based on musical traditions from different parts of the world and that often has a rhythm that you can dance to.” However, a report for the Music Library Association 1 declared that it “must have ethnic or foreign elements. It’s simply… music which belongs to someone else.” Hmmm. More on this later. Back to Fareed.

Fareed certainly has a multi-cultural background. His father was Pakastani and his mother Chilean. He was surrounded by music growing up and says his parents “loved music and had flamenco, Indian music, jazz, rock, and classical music always playing.” Plus, he grew up in Chicago and remembers “hearing Muddy Waters live at an early age…it changed my life!” He spent time in Spain, France, Iran, Pakistan and Chile. Those international influences had to shine through. He recalls his first intimation that he wanted to be a musician from going to a Santana concert with his parents. He remembers smelling a “skunk” in the auditorium. While that may not have been a real skunk, what was real was the way Carlos played. “The way he sang through his guitar to the entire audience was amazing. I remember thinking that I wanted to do that.” So he went home and fed his passion. “I just found myself practicing a lot. I mean a LOT. And then the phone started to ring…once I was supporting myself with gigs, I was stuck!” He studied jazz and classical guitar in college and was soon an in-demand player. His bio reads like a who’s who of world and jazz fusion music. You name them and he has played with them! His interest in Jam bands blossomed because as Fareed says; “I like the connections to dance and groove and culture or HANG! That is such a part of music around the world. Music is at its healthiest when it is connected to our lives through songs, dance, worship and celebration. In the west we have tried to separate music from culture...and to this end we have been (thankfully) wholly unsuccessful!” His love of the Jam led him to co-found one of that genres best-known group, “Garaj Mahal.” After 10 years of touring, playing nearly 200 shows a year, he left the band to pursue other adventures.

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VISUALIZE AND HEAR WHAT YOU INTEND TO PLAY, THEN TOUCH THE STRINGS WITH BOTH HANDS EXACTLY AS YOU INTEND TO PLAY. ALL OF THIS IS PREPARATION! THEN PLAY [THIS IS ACTUALLY THE EASIEST PART]. THEN RELAX, RELEASE THE TENSION IN EACH MUSCLE. IF WE COULD ALL DO THIS EVERY TIME, NO ONE WOULD EVER MAKE A MISTAKE!

What advice does he offer up to someone who has eclectic tastes in music and would like to broaden their musical horizons? How does he approach learning so many different styles? “Each style represents a musical language and a human culture. I try to study the language first, so I try to learn a bit of the spoken language, then some of the percussive language and/or drum instruments, and THEN in the cases where there is a guitar tradition established, do I study the guitar styles and techniques.” What about the best way to get started? “Listen and sing the music you love, play songs, songs, songs...and transpose! It forces you to really hear what you’re playing.” Just having an ear for it all is just the beginning. Fareed’s technique is impeccable. He moves between various styles and technical approaches effortlessly. “When it comes to technique here is the mantra: PREPARE, PLAY, RELEASE. Visualize and hear what you intend to play, then touch the strings with both hands exactly as you intend to play. All of this is preparation! Then play [this is actually the easiest part]. Then relax, release the tension in each muscle. If we could all do this every time, no one would ever make a mistake!” His world chops are keeping him busy as ever with several CDs due out. “To start with ‘In Search of Garaj Mahal’ with the Cincinnati conservatory jazz ensemble is out, ‘Tony Monaco and Fareed’ is finished, the ‘Fareed Haque Quartet’ CD is done in partnership with NIU, the Classical recording ‘Fareed with Strings’ in partnership with Chicago classical station WFMT is coming, and the ‘MERU Trio’ featuring Chilean bassist Christian Galvez

[sideman with Billy Cobham and Stanley Clarke] and Indian Percussionist Selva Ganesh [from Shakti] is complete. I’m not in charge of this project, and have no idea when it will be done... but it’s KILLIN!” Of course as many great players do, Fareed loves to share what he knows. He is a prolific teacher with several best-selling TrueFire courses and a crazy teaching schedule as well. “I am still teaching Monday through Wednesday at NIU as full-time tenured professor. Then I’m also doing some teaching at WMU in Kalamazoo (MI) this semester as a guest lecturer. For the month of October I am curating/playing a series of concerts with unique world music projects. And I’m working with my friend and Chilean compatriot Javier Sepulveda to bring his audio/visual theatrical music show ‘PULSE of NATURE’ to Chicago. It features NASA images and anthemic melodic rock with world music elements at planetariums, with 360 sound and film...awesome.” So yes, Fareed is indeed a World Guitarist, but the standard, Wiki-like definitions seem somehow superficial in their scope. Rather, his respect and openness to music from all over the globe, his willingness to share and collaborate with others, his mastery of keys and notes and their application on the instrument, all work to generate a new kind of music. He is making music that belongs to all of us, not just “others”. So while that may not have been the intent with his “Best World” award, we sure agree on this side, it’s the truth!

1 What is World Music by Carl Rahkonen|Internet Source: http://www.people.iup.edu/rahkonen/Ethno/Readings/WorldMusic.htm

www.fareed.com

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I HAD NOT UNTIL THIS SUMMER WHEN I DID, WHAT I NOW BELIEVE MANY OF US CAN DO, BRING THE WORLD TOGETHER THROUGH SONGWRITING.

WE KNOW THE POWER OF MUSIC , and most of us believe that it can lead

to world peace. Yet, how many of us use it to its potential? I had not until this summer when I did what I now believe many of us can do: bring the world together through songwriting. As a cultural diplomat for the US Department of State, I create cultural exchange programs globally that are funded by our government. This summer, I collaborated with American Voices YES Academy and the Jakarta Institute of Arts, and created a camp for up-and-coming millennial songwriters of the ASEAN nations (i.e. Indonesia, Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand, etc). It was nothing short of life changing…for all of us. Out of seventy-five applicants, I selected fifteen to receive scholarships from their US embassies and join me in Jakarta, Indonesia for twelve days. During that time, these strangers collaborated and wrote a total of twelve songs using the structure of my TrueFire course, 1-2-3 Songwriting. In addition, we gave two performances at the US Embassy cultural center in Jakarta, one private concert at the US Ambassador’s residence with distinguished guests from ASEAN nations in the audience, and a final concert for the public. My students nailed it! By day three, five songs were written and two days later, performed at the cultural center. We completed another seven songs, which were also performed at the final concert, and began another three. You will hear most, if not all, of these songs one day as I intend to bring us all back to Indonesia to record these masterpieces. What is more monumental than the quantity and quality of the music created, was the very fact that we did it together. One song was co-written and performed by a Cambodian, Filipino and two Indonesians—that translates to a Buddhist, Christian, and two Muslims. We had an amazing collaboration

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Photo by YES Academy

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between two Indonesians—one “Ex” Muslim and the other, a Muslim who defends Sharia Law. We had a Muslim and Christian write a song that incorporated both of their countries’ traditional melodies and languages, at times woven together, and a sexy duet written and performed by a conservative Muslim and a Christian. Other than bringing them together in the first place, nothing was forced; it all developed very naturally. One month later, they remain oblivious to their differences and express nothing but love and respect for each other (we have a very active Facebook group and Whatsapp chat). It is a genuine bond. They can’t wait to see each other again, record together, and collaborate on more beautiful songs. If this does not prove that creating music overcomes humanity’s greatest barriers, I don’t know what will. While not all of us can travel the world uniting people and teaching music under government grants, any one of us can do it locally with an open mind and heart. There is no shortage of races, religions and cultures in most of our communities, and music relieves tensions on every level. As musicians, we are empowered with a gift that can change the world. Use it. Learn more about Ravi on his website, RaviUnites.com, and check out his 1-2-3 Songwriting course on TrueFire.

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WHAT IS MORE MONUMENTAL THAN THE QUANTITY AND QUALITY OF THE MUSIC CREATED, WAS THE VERY FACT THAT WE DID IT TOGETHER. ONE SONG WAS CO-WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY A CAMBODIAN, FILIPINO AND TWO INDONESIANS—THAT TRANSLATES TO A BUDDHIST, CHRISTIAN, AND TWO MUSLIMS.

Written by Ravi

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ARTIST FEATURE: JON HERINGTON

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WRITTEN BY BRAD WENDKOS

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AUTUMN 2016 | ISSUE 9 Photo by Jon Gorr


CLINGING TO [HAPPINESS] IS COUNTERPRODUCTIVE, ACCEPTING IT AND ALL THE OTHER EMOTIONAL STATES AS GRACEFULLY AND GRATEFULLY AS POSSIBLE IS THE AIM.

We all have our own personal lists of favorite guitar solos? I’d bet dollars to donuts that at least one of your favorite solos was recorded on a Steely Dan record. Good odds of that being true considering the list of guitarists that Walter and Donald invited on those sessions; Larry Carlton, Jeff Baxter, Denny Dias, Elliot Randall, Wayne Krantz, Dean Parks, and Rick Derringer all made timeless contributions to the Steely Dan anthology. Jon Herington is another monster player with a very notable lineage to Steely Dan (his solo on Morph The Cat made my list the moment I heard it). Jon is the guitarist of choice for both recording and touring with Steely Dan since 1999. “Herington has provided a deeper contribution to Becker and Fagen’s music than any other guitarist since Larry Carlton,” says Robin Lynam in a review of his performance on “Weather in My Head.” Jon has recorded or toured with Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs, Bette Midler, The Jim Beard group, The Blue Nile, Phoebe Snow, Madeleine Peyroux, Rob Morsberger, saxophonist Bill Evans, the contemporary jazz superband Chroma, Lucy Kaplansky, jazz/blues organ great Jack McDuff, and The Dukes of September (a supergroup featuring Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs, and Michael McDonald). Jon also has seven of his own records as bandleader, and this is where his chops really shine. Guitar Player magazine agrees, “Jon Herington’s work with Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald qualifies him as a sessioneer extrordinaire, yet he deftly avoids both traps on his fourth record Time On My Hands, by serving up clever, tightly constructed tunes shot through with searing solos and

studded with 6-string ear candy.” I can give testimony on Jon’s “searing solos” as I was fortunate enough to attend a Steely Dan concert, at the Chicago Theatre, featuring Larry Carlton as guest artist. Larry was brilliant as always, but I couldn’t take my eyes or ears off Jon. His rhythm work was impeccable and his solos on seminal tunes like “Reelin’ in the Years,” “Bodhisattva,” and “Peg” brought the entire audience to their feet. I was also blown away by the tone he produced from his Gibson 336. Two things became crystal clear to me that night. First and foremost, we had to get Jon into TrueFire’s studios — our library was conspicuous by his absence. And I definitely had to get my hands on a 336. It took a while for Jon’s recording and touring schedule to open up, but we finally seized an opportunity to get Jon into the studio and produce his first TrueFire course, Ear IQ — one of the most popular and highly ranked courses in our entire library. Jon is also one of the most knowledgeable, gifted, and personable people that we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. It took me a year of searching, but I finally found an old 336 that I fell in love with on sight. It must be defective though, because I can’t even come close to obtaining the tone that Jon is able to produce from his. Imagine that?! I asked Jon if he would kindly answer our Proust-like questions so that our readers could get to know him a little better and he happily complied in the following section.

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Photo by Jon Gorr

What is it about the guitar that attracted you to it originally, and still fascinates you today? I fell in love with the sound of an electric guitar through a cranked up tube amplifier sometime around 1968. It was the sound of the British Invasion. For me the sound of the guitar on the live Cream recordings of that era just really thrilled and motivated me. Though I later grew to love the sound of various acoustic guitars (jazz, classical, folk, etc.), it was the vocal, or violin-like sustained tone that is only available with a good electric guitar through a good tube amp that was, and still is, the main attraction for me, on account of its unique expressive potential in that lyrical sort of way. It still feels like home to me.

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Your idea of happiness? It’s something to be taken in stride along with all the other fleeting emotional states. Clinging to it is counterproductive, accepting it and all the other emotional states as gracefully and gratefully as possible is the aim. Whether living or dead, who would you like to have dinner with? Gandhi; Bach; Stravinsky; Ravel; the Buddha; Oscar Wilde; Mark Twain. Name three things a player can do to improve their musicianship. 1. Spend as much time listening as you do practicing 2. Practice at a tempo you can control 3. Record your performances and listen critically to them; adjust as needed If not yourself, who would you be? Since I’m beginning to have serious doubts about the existence of a “self,” I’m quite unable to imagine being someone else. It’s tough enough imagining being myself! Given the changing business landscape of the music business and how tough it is to sell records etc. — what are the positives about the current evolution of the music business? Some people have been able to turn touring into a much more profitable enterprise and a viable living, which is a positive for them, but unfortunately, it’s a negative for ticket buyers since the prices are now so astronomical. And it seems to be only the older, more established acts that are able to do that as lesser known and younger bands still struggle. I suppose the greater access to decent quality recording that’s now available is a democratizing thing, which sounds good in theory, but the excess of product doesn’t seem so great, when you consider the typically small percentage of quality product that’s buried and harder to discover as a result. I do think that despite a few positives there’s been a devastating net loss, and the continued devaluation of intellectual property (and not just in music) will have catastrophic effects if we don’t find a way to change direction - no one will be able to afford to be an artist, and many great traditions may become endangered. Your favorite motto? It’s not important to live long, but well.

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IN MY FAVORITE AND INCREDIBLY REALISTIC RECURRING DREAM, I HAVE PERFECTED A KIND OF HUMAN FLIGHT - I CAN JUMP AND GLIDE ON THE AIR AT WILL, AND GO FOR LONG, THRILLING, BEAUTIFUL RIDES WITH A DELICIOUS MIX OF ABOUT 90 PERCENT CONFIDENCE AND 10 PERCENT FEAR. AT ITS BEST, IMPROVISING MUSIC CAN FEEL LIKE THAT.

What do you dream about? Literally.

read called “Eggs” by Jim Harrison.

I don’t often remember my dreams, but when I do, as Freud noted, there is always an element of something that happened the day before. It’s often twisted and co-opted for other means, but it’s there.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Wishes and fears are also regular features. I have performance anxiety dreams from time to time. My favorite was one where I was standing in the wings at a Madison Square Garden Phil Collins concert just before the start of the show, and someone rushes up to me and thrusts an acoustic guitar into my hands, shoves me on stage and says: “Phil is sick - you have to go on for him and play all his tunes!” Horrible. Perhaps as a result of those dreams and anxieties, I’m a serious over-preparer.

Oh, I think it would have to be life itself. Your favorite food and drink? Just like in music, there are too many greats - I like great coffee, great wine, and I’ve lately been on an IPA kick. I like Mediterranean food best, especially Italian and Middle Eastern cuisine, and I lean towards vegetarianism, though I don’t get all the way there. In your next life, what or who would you like to come back as and why?

In my favorite and incredibly realistic recurring dream, I have perfected a kind of human flight - I can jump and glide on the air at will, and go for long, thrilling, beautiful rides with a delicious mix of about 90 percent confidence and 10 percent fear. At its best, improvising music can feel like that.

I don’t expect to come back, and I tend not to indulge in wishes like that. This life feels richer under the assumption it’s all I’ll get.

What are your aspirations? Greater personal freedom, more acceptance, less neurosis, less judgment, less need to interpret reality.

Again, it’s very hard for me to play the “wish” game. But natural talent seems to arrive with the obligation to develop it, as was true for me with music, so I’m quite content to have learned that my talents are limited - I’ve loved it, but it’s been hard enough!

What one event in music history would you have loved to have experienced in person?

In life or in music, what is the one central key learning that you’d like to pass on to others?

The first performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

It’s certainly nothing unique to me, but I’d have to say this: There’s great power in humility and self acceptance. It’s paradoxical, but it turns out by accepting your limits you increase your capacity for making the most of what you have. Strive to see things as they really are.

Your favorite heroes in fiction? Heroes might be the wrong word, but a couple of characters that come to mind are Don Quixote and a character named Catherine from a novella I recently

The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with (other than music)?

www.jonherington.com

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Photo by Mark Maglio

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WRITTEN BY BRAD WENDKOS

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TO THIS DAY, EVERY ONE OF DAVID’S FIRST GENERATION COURSES REPRESENT WHAT I CONSIDER TO BE AMONGST OUR BEST WORK EDUCATIONALLY SPEAKING. - BRAD WENDKOS

David Hamburger was the very first artist who dared to collaborate with us back in the day when instructional books, audio CDs, and DVDs ruled the music education world. TrueFire was just a peanut of a company and our new-fangled approach for teaching folks how to play guitar with interactive video technologies was untested and unproven. That took some guts for someone who was already immensely successful authoring best-selling, award-winning instructional books and DVDs. I remember being nervous about that first session. I was such a big fan of David’s work and wanted everything to go as smoothly and professionally as possible. Naturally, everything that could go wrong, went wrong. Murphy brought the entire family to those first sessions. You have to first picture the studio we were working in to fully appreciate what must have been running through David’s mind when he first saw it. Located in a dark and dank mezzanine of the old building we were working in at the time, the “studio” was a small 12x20 foot office space with short 7’ ceilings, no sound-proofing, no acoustical treatments whatsoever, no control room, inadequate and very loud AC that we had to turn off while recording, hot oversized lights, jerry-rigged video cameras, cheap audio mixers, and a big old leather coach crammed up against one wall with an old school blackboard hanging from another. If David flinched at first sight, I sure didn’t see it. And he didn’t flinch when the bulbs blew out multiple times mid-take. Nor did he flinch when the camera’s stopped working properly, or when we had to stop to cool the room down to a manageable 90 degrees, or when one of us (OK, me!) tripped over the audio cables, which then had to be replaced, and so on and so on. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. With one exception — David’s presentation of the material and his performances of the examples were flawless. Absolutely flawless. We produced Slide Shop that very first session, and then Blues Alchemy, New School Fingerstyle, Fingerstyle Handbook, and Blues Architect in following sessions, all of them in that same studio. Never once did he bitch, moan, or complain. To this day, every one of those first generation courses represent what I consider to be amongst our best work educationally speaking. David raised the bar even further with the five additional courses that he produced with us more recently, in our current studios.

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Photos by Alison Hasbach

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David and I bonded in many ways over those sessions. Professionally, we got to the point where we could finish each other’s sentences when it came to planning a new course or new teaching approach. I also learned volumes from David about artists’ perspectives, expectations, and sensitivities. These lessons helped me shape the very backbone of our artist relations mandates. Personally, I’m proud to call him a good friend and I always enjoy his company and conversation. David also dared to establish a career as a composer for film, television and advertising from scratch, all while making a living as a musician, having babies, and growing a family. Despite how near impossible a challenge that could be, I never had a doubt that he would be successful. Sure enough he was and still is. His most recent work includes scoring the CNN documentary series High Profits. His music is featured in two ongoing series on A&E, Shipping Wars and My 600 Pound Life, and his score for the film, When I Rise, debuted at South By Southwest and has aired multiple times on PBS’ Independent Lens. David is one of the most extraordinarily talented, driven, creative, and single-mindedly determined people that I have the pleasure of knowing and working with. You can get to know him better too by reading his answers to our Proust-like interview. Dig in!

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THE IDEA THAT SOMEONE HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD COULD BE WORKING ON SOMETHING I CAME UP WITH AND SHOWED THEM REALLY BLOWS MY MIND,

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What is it about the guitar that attracted you to it originally, and still fascinates you today? I came from summer camp wanting to play clawhammer banjo, and then, within the space of week, my sister played me “Sgt Pepper” and my parents borrowed a 3/4 Harmony guitar from a neighbor. Turns out you can play Beatles songs on the guitar, so that was a big part of the attraction, I guess. Plus it has frets - I’d been playing the violin since I was 8, and the guitar just made more sense from the very beginning. I liked the way it felt, to hold it and to play it. It seems like there’s always something to learn, and there’s guitar in just about every kind of music I love. I’ve gone through phases where it wasn’t my favorite thing - I got obsessed with playing bluegrass Dobro and honky tonk pedal steel in my 20s, and the guitar was just a utilitarian thing for a time - I taught lessons, and wrote songs on it, but wasn’t working on getting better at it. Right now, I’m kind of consumed with it again. I started playing electric guitar on my gigs again about a year ago, and I’ve never been more into thinking about what you can do with it and how it can sound. For the longest time, I’ve skated by in terms of gear when it comes to electric guitar - I still have one of those grey plastic Boss pedal cases in the closest, but I finally replaced it with a bunch of boutique gizmos, and I have this small hollow body Gibson that I’m totally into. It reminds me of how I felt when I began to play the Dobro - like the quest is on to figure out how to play as well as possible, to dress away everything that isn’t me and amplify everything that could be. That process - figuring out who you are as a musician that’s the fascinating thing, for sure. And I think it took me a long time to have enough internal gravity to even say, “yes - that is the point. That’s what I’m doing here, being an artist, with a set of criteria and a point of view.” Whether living or dead, who would you like to have dinner with? I’ve met a few of my heroes, and wound up wishing I hadn’t, so it’s hard to say. I’ll go with Garry Trudeau,

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the guy who writes Doonesbury. I saw him give a commencement speech at Vassar and it was pretty great. Name three things a player can do to improve their musicianship. Listen to the music you’re trying to play, transcribe it in small doses, and practice improvising to a metronome. If not yourself, who would you be? Musically? Ry Cooder, Ray Bryant or Mose Allison. Or Theodore Shapiro, the guy who did the score to the film State and Main (and St. Vincent). Although my paternal grandfather, Ed Hamburger, was pretty rad - I wouldn’t have minded being him, either. Given the changing business landscape of the music business and how tough it is to sell records etc. — what are the positives about the current evolution of the music business? You can reach a lot a people beyond your immediate vicinity - I’ve gotten emails about my Truefire courses, and my books, from Iran, New Zealand, France - that’s kind of amazing. The idea that someone halfway around the world could be working on something I came up with and showed them really blows my mind, and is good to remember on those days when I feel like I’m completely spinning my wheels. Your favorite motto? “If you’re going to do it, do it right.” I grew up hearing my father say this, and he probably got it from my grandfather, because that sounds like the kind of thing my grandfather would say. When I think about it consciously, it doesn’t really sound like me, but I know it’s ingrained in my DNA, for better or worse. It definitely affects the way I make a sandwich; just ask my wife. What do you dream about? Literally. Playing a wind instrument. Trumpet, clarinet, trombone, you name it. It’s like those dreams where you dream you’re breathing underwater. You know it’s impossible,


but it’s happening anyway. What are your aspirations? Time to make records, an audience for my work, and money in the bank. How honest do you want these answers to be?

IMPROVEMENT SEEMS TO BE ABOUT PROXIMITY - IF YOU HANG AROUND NEAR THE THINGS YOU WANT TO GET BETTER AT, IT SLOWLY BEGINS TO HAPPEN.

What one event in music history would you have loved to have experienced in person? Being at Abbey Road while the Beatles were making Rubber Soul, being in the audience for Live at the Regal or the Allman Brothers At Fillmore East, or watching Ry Cooder make Paradise and Lunch. Your favorite heroes in fiction? Jeeves. Archie, from the Nero Wolfe stories. Hobbes, from the comic strip. I guess I have a weakness for seconds-in-command who are good with a riposte. What or who is the greatest love of your life? Learning things. Your favorite food and drink? Real pizza, and Mexican lager. Seriously, what do I have to do to make this whole craft ales thing go away? In your next life, what or who would you like to come back as and why?

In life or in music, what is the one central key learning that you’d like to pass on to others? Improvement seems to be about proximity - if you hang around near the things you want to get better at, it slowly begins to happen. It helps if you can clarify just what it is about the thing you’re hanging around that interests you. For instance, I dropped out of a graduate jazz program almost thirty years ago, but when I realized all I’d ever really been interested in was how to play the changes on the blues, that gradually began coming into focus. It still took time, and I’m still sorting it out, but it helped to begin by carving away everything that didn’t look like an elephant in the first place. That focus really matters, because like most people, I don’t have a ton of time to practice, and anyway, I never had the patience to practice much, so I had to figure out how to get better in the half an hour or forty-five minutes I might manage to shoehorn into the day.

www.davidhamburger.com

I’m pretty down with who I got to be this time around. The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with (other than music)? Fixing things. Cars, in particular. And building things. I know, that’s two things, but they’re related. My family thinks I actually can fix things, but I’m talking about projects that involve more than Krazy Glue or a screwdriver.

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BEHIND THE GLASS FEATURING: ANDY TIMMONS WRITTE N : BY TO MMY JAMIN

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I

It’s late in the evening, the sun has just sunk below the horizon and TrueFire is hosting one of our traditional house concerts for local student members, friends and family. It’s an hour before show time and Andy Timmons is in the house, warming up his hands on his guitar and getting ready to go on stage. I sit with him for a few moments and he casually starts to share some of his warm-up techniques with me. He travels with a pocket-sized drum machine/guitar FX box that allows him to plug in and get basic guitar tones and some simple rhythm tracks. He’s using it now with his headphones on, so all I hear is the unamplified metallic sound of strings on frets and a fury of pick noises, but still, it’s clear how clean of a player he is. The crowd is patient yet, but the buzz for what we’re all about to participate in is coming

Expression course. He wanted to come in the day before the shoot to get setup, so when he landed in town I had him come straight to the studio. It’s a funny thing really, because he instantly struck me as a super humble, laid-back, low-maintenance guy, and yet after fiddling with his tone for just a few minutes, he just lights up this sound, instantly demanding the attention of anyone within earshot. That tone was incredible, and we knew we were in for a treat over the course of that shoot! There’s an interesting embodiment of the old anti-braggadocio saying there, “let the [instrument] do the talking”. A saying that in Andy’s case can be left unsaid. But when he’s given the chance, he’ll talk the talk too. And that’s one of my favorite parts of what we do here at TrueFire. Do you want to know how Andy Timmons perceives

I FREQUENTLY DESCRIBE ANDY AS ONE OF MY FAVORITE PEOPLE TO WORK WITH IN THE STUDIO. FOR SOME OF THE ARTISTS WE WORK WITH, THERE ARE TWO SIDES OF THEIR PERSONALITIES -- THE ON-CAMERA AND THE OFF-CAMERA PERSONALITY. WITH ANDY, THERE IS ONE. to its anticipatory head. The cameras and stage are set, and we’ll soon be treated to a night to remember. I frequently describe Andy as one of my favorite people to work with in the studio. For some of the artists we work with, there are two sides of their personalities -- the on-camera and the off-camera personality. With Andy, there is one. The laid-back, open, friendly guy you see in his courses is exactly how he is in person. He’s easy going, but spirited, with a self-assured confidence and sense of comfort that seems to come with knowing and walking your own path. It’s what makes him an excellent educator, but it’s also what makes him so likeable, and I think it’s the same energy you hear in his performances. The first time I worked with Andy was in early 2014 when we shot his Electric AUTUMN 2016 | ISSUE 9

and approaches music? Of course you do. Check out his courses, because he doesn’t hold back. Countless inspiration and insights, not to mention tons of great licks and harmony to glean there, and what’s more, his presentation makes you feel like you’re hangin’ with your guitar bud the whole time. No pretense. He’s also frankly one of the most melodic and tasteful players I’ve ever come into contact with. As a guitar fan and music industry professional, there are few guitarists that I would put into the same class. His records possess some of the most enticing soundscapes and emotionally potent melodic lines I’ve ever heard, soaring and diving in and out of my conscious mind as I listen. Check out Andy’s latest record, “Theme From a Perfect World”. It’s available wherever you get your music, and it’s one hour of songs


Photo by Alison Hasbach

that perfectly exemplify the balance that I wish more instrumental rock guitarists could maintain. Although he’s clearly the centerpiece, he plays with the ensemble and can restrain his demand on your attention as the bigger song weaves its way through your mind, spurring self-reflection and engagement on a more rewarding level. That’s what my favorite music does for me, and this latest record has got that stuff. We’ve worked with Andy on other courses too including his Blues Expression course, an in-depth look at some of the more bluesy approaches in his toolset, and he’s also played the All Star Guitar Night event on a couple occasions for us. That show is always a blast to put on, and while it usually runs pretty late for production staff, Andy is one of the few artists that joined us for late night pancakes after the show, because on top of being a top session guitarist and phenomenal artist, he’s a great guy. And great folks eat late-night pancakes together.

Jumping back to show time...the crowd at TrueFire headquarters is lit up. Andy puts on arguably one of the most electrifying solo guitar shows they’ve seen, certainly up this close. And on top of the two cameras perched in the corners of the room, he agrees to let me attach what, in hindsight, was a monstrous GoPro mount to his headstock for his performance of “Electric Gypsy.” Mind you, this was before the beautifully lightweight Hero Session model was released. If you watch the video, you can literally see the moment he feels the weight and questions his own judgment on that call! But alas, he was a total team player, and the results were killer. It’s that lack of pretense and willingness to share that I think weaves itself through Andy Timmon’s person, certainly my impression of him anyway. It’s what makes him an educator you must know, someone you should absolutely spend an hour experiencing a record from, and if you ever get the opportunity to do so, see him play live.

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HOUSE NEWS

ARTIST DIRECTORY Artists Featured in this Edition of Riff

CARL BURNETT Carl manages to be on everyone’s A-list without the attitude that generally accompanies that realm. He has a dizzying list of credits who he has played and recorded with such as the likes of Branford Marsalis, David Sanborn, Robben Ford, Hiroshima and the late George Howard. He has also appeared on the Tonight Show, David Letterman, and The Grammy Awards. Carl continues building on the songwriting and production credits working with artists including Boney James, Larry Carlton and Patti Austin. You can also hear his music regularly on the TV shows “Extra” and “Celebrity Justice.”

CHRIS BUONO Heralded as a “multi-media guitar madman”, Chris infiltrates the modern guitar world from myriad directions. Be it on CD, in video, in the minds of gear aficionados or in book form. Through 20+ years of teaching in just about every forum a guitarist can including five years as a professor in the esteemed Guitar Department at Berklee College of Music and currently as a prolific TrueFire artist.

DAVID BLACKER David Blacker is a singer/songwriter, music producer and guitar instructor. His music has been featured on numerous original albums, national television commercials, TV series theme songs, and radio spots. As a guitarist, David has accompanied award winning vocalists and top session. He is also co-founder of AirGigs.com, a global marketplace for hiring session musicians and recording engineers.

DAVID HAMBURGER David Hamburger is a composer for film, television and advertising and a performing guitarist/songwriter whose most recent work includes scoring the CNN documentary series High Profits. His music is featured in two series on A&E, Shipping Wars and My 600 Pound Life, and his score for the film When I Rise debuted at SXSW in 2010 and aired on PBS. David is also the author of two dozen books and videos, including Beginning Blues Guitar, which has sold over 100,000 copies.

FAREED HAQUE Fareed Haque is a modern guitar virtuoso. Steeped in classical and jazz traditions, his unique command of the guitar and different musical styles inspire his musical ventures with tradition and fearless innovation. Voted ‘Best World Guitarist’ by Guitar Player Magazine in 2009, His acclaimed 2009 release Flat Planet was twice #1 on the World Jazz Radio charts. Haque continues to tour and record extensively along with documenting his unique and often unorthodox teaching methods with TrueFire video courses.

JAMES HOGAN James Hogan is an artist who is regarded highly by his peers and is in constant demand as a touring sideman, studio musician and producer. James is a senior instructor at The National Guitar Workshop. James Hogan is also the guitar instructor at Florida State College in Jacksonville, FL. James Hogan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Performance (Summa Cum Laud - from the highly acclaimed University of North Florida jazz program, where he was a collegiate Downbeat Award winner. AUTUMN 2016 | ISSUE 9

| ONLINE LINK DIRECTORY | RIFFJOURNAL.COM/LINKS-V9


JON HERINGTON Jon Herington is a longtime New York city based guitarist, singer/songwriter, producer, and bandleader. He is the leader of the Jon Herington Band and has been the guitarist of choice with the iconic band Steely Dan for both recording and touring since 1999. With the launch of Adult Entertainment, Jon now has five solo releases in his discography. His previous release, Time On My Hands, was nominated for Vintage Guitar Hall Of Fame Album of the Year.

KELLY RICHEY Kelly Richey is a master blues guitarist who has been playing and touring worldwide for over 30 years. Richey has been a guitar instructor just about as long as she’s been playing, with over 1,000 students, to date. With near 4,000 shows under her belt, Richey is a seasoned pro, who has a solid understanding of blues and blues-based rock guitar techniques. Richey is an outgoing, deeply dedicated guitar instructor.

RAVI Ravi Hutheesing (Rah-vee Hut-tee-sing) is an entrepreneur who has built his brand as a keynote speaker, writer, and musician. Having spent his life being a bridge between baby-boomers and millennials, his integrity-centric philosophies have influenced businesses, educators, and over a million people throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Additionally, the US Department of State engages Ravi as a Cultural Diplomat to create and execute programs around the world that promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding.

RYAN CARRAHER Ryan Carraher is a 22-year old guitarist, composer and educator with a unique improvisational and compositional approach. He has a degree in guitar performance from the esteemed Berklee College of Music. He has played with many notable artists including: Allan Holdsworth, Jimmy Heath, Leslie West, Grand Funk Railroad, Pete Best, Joe Lynn Turner, Adrian Belew, Sly and the Family Stone, Ours, George Thorogood, Paul Rodgers, The Fab Faux, John Wetton, and Napoleon Murphy Brock.

STEVE VAI While many musicians fit easily into a single category, Steve Vai’s unique musical vision remains unclassifiable. After more than 20 years, Vai continues to use unbridled guitar virtuosity and soulful artistry to explore the spectrum of human emotion. “I make music to push my own buttons,” explains Vai. “I’ve always been driven by an addiction to create sounds that are unique – not better than what other people do, just different.”

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Lessons COMPILATION ALBUM

RIFFAGE: VOLUME 9 Here ye, here ye! Audiophiles, guitar aficionados and enlightened children of the ‘Fire — prepare thy ears and hearts for magical music from the artists and educators featured in this edition of RIFF. Click the download button below for your personal copy of RIFFAGE Volume 9…

So Simple - Carl Burnett Thrill of the Hustle - Chris Buono Minor Swing - David Blacker & Peter Farrell Miss Henderson’s Riding Academy - David Hamburger Tune in Tokyo - James Hogan Mind Over Matter - Jon Herington Love - Kelly Richey Inside of Me - Ravi Gdansk - Ryan Carraher

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AUTUMN 2016 | ISSUE 9

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BEHIND THE MIX We can’t say it enough — the not-so-secret ingredients of TrueFire are the artists and educators that we are privileged to collaborate with. Not just amazingly talented educators, they are also brilliant composers, arrangers and recording artists in their own right. Enjoy their music and please visit their websites and social media networks.

So Simple - Carl Burnett ““Along with my TV production work, I still love instrumental guitar jams. “So Simple” is a track off the forthcoming “LIFE BEFORE MIDI III”. Along on this one are Jeff Pittson - Keys and Rocky Bryant - Drums. Enjoy!”

Thrill of the Hustle - Chris Buono ““The Thrill of the Hustle” is a solo guitar piece I composed and played on a Rick Toone Ultimate Shred Machine™ 8-String guitar. It was recorded direct from a Fractal Audio Axe-Fx II XL to Rick’s Sony PCM D50 handheld digital recorder. EL Copeland did the post-production. This is the first in a planned series of collaborations where Rick completes a build, I get the guitar for a week and we capture whatever it is I come up with. From there the guitar goes off on its journey.” Minor Swing - David Blacker & Peter Farrell ““Check out this tune by guitarist and songwriter David Blacker played with Peter Farrell. It’s a rendition of Django Reinhardt’s classic Minor Swing, who served as a deep source of inspiration for him.” Miss Henderson’s Riding Academy - David Hamburger ““This is the first track off my 2015 release Pennsylvania Station Blues on Lounge Side Records. I had just finished an eight-month weekly residency with drummer Kyle Thompson and bassist Mark Epstein, and we made the record in two and half days. It pays to warm up, I guess.”

Tune in Tokyo - James Hogan ““Tune In Tokyo” a fusion burner written by James Hogan for the Crane & Fabian Project’s 2nd album “No Limits.” It features James Hogan on guitar along with Steve Hunt on keys, Lance Crane on drums and Christian Fabian on bass. “No Limits” is available on iTunes in addition to Hogan’s acclaimed instrumental album “True Diversity!”

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Mind over Matter - Jon Herington ““Mind Over Matter is the opening track on our new record, Adult Entertainment. It’s about a down-on-his-luck guy figuring out how to cope. It’s got a bit of a pop/Americana feel, I guess, and I had fun playing some slide guitar on it. Jim Beard played a choice Wurlitzer piano solo, and Dennis Espantman and Frank Pagano (my bassist (and co-writer of this tune) and drummer, respectively), contributed the essential background vocals.” Love - Kelly Richey ““This song has a simple riff similar to Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker”, using an A minor pentatonic scale and is built on a I-IV-V progression. The lead section uses an open A string as a drone and is inspired by Clapton’s version of “Crossroads”. I’m using power chords, vibrato, and hammer-ons, with a left and right hand muting technique that comes from my SRV influence.” Inside of Me - Ravi ““Inside of Me” is about searching for what one wants, but not realizing that it is all inside the person standing in front of him/her. It’s when true love and fulfillment is overshadowed and clouded by friendship (the opposite of what typically happens).”

Gdansk - Ryan Carraher ““Gdansk” is the 7th track from my debut modern jazz record, “Vocturnal”. It is heavily inspired by the language of 20th century classical music and the expressive freedom of jazz, it’s quite the finger-twister to play!

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SNAPSHOTs

erstars orum sup h Brad f and students office along wit T rueFire La sner the home visiting Carlton and Red

Brad is thrilled to welcome Jon Herington to the family and lusts after his 336. Uhoh!

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ide ee outsareed j r e n a B F drajit ou can see, n I and t a s y ky Haque bu le won Fareed e Studio - ings a litt T rueFir is seeing th

More fun with the camera Pixelstick this time with the Riff logo over the water of St Pete


Vintage shot of Fareed in the Tr edition circa ueFire Studio Beta 2008

Fun with the camera Pixelstick superimposing Kelly Richey in downtown St Pete

Vicki Genfan and the wonder dog Lucky - saved from near death in the alley near our studios. A happy ending!

Brad is while he monkeying wit h is tryin g to sho David Hamburg the blues w us the way er to

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Riff Journal | Autumn 2016 | Issue 9