Lesson 84: Jim Hall/ Stella by Starlight -DECONSTRUCTED

So this video is divided into two parts. In part one I am taking different articulation exercises to the extreme. Which was fun for me. Okay that sounds a little egocentric. But honestly!! Did you ever hear guitar players discussing articulation? See!! So go ahead and give it a try:) In part two (starting at 3:53) I am taking a look at the lines Jim Hall is playing. And one thing that I discovered is that you can actually very often !! see a chord shape in the line. Yeah yeah I know one wants to see what one wants to see...but anyway! it´s a really great help for improvisation. Just take one of your fancy chords and play around with the actual notes of that grip. And then you can approach them chromatically from above or below (the possibilities are of course again endless!) and you don´t even have to think about a scale.

Read More
Lesson 82: how to get from good to great

Sometimes it can be especially tricky to get better at something that you can already do pretty well. It feels like you know just about everything about everything. And then the things you don´t know are just not interesting enough! and you don´t want to spend any time with them. And in this way you get yourself into a dead-end street. You don´t learn anything really knew anymore hence your guitar playing doesn´t develop anymore. And that is such a shame.

There is always so much more to learn and to investigate.

My favorite way of investigating new things on the guitar is to transcribe. I listen to a solo - it doesn´t have to be a guitar player - and when I hear something especially appealing I stop the track. I sit down with my guitar and try to understand what is happening. Which notes over which chord is being played? how can I play it on the guitar?

And the I just play the line over and over again. Like 30 minutes. The same thing. The same tempo. The same line in the same position. It´s sort of a meditation.

As the very last step I transpose the thing through the cycle of fifth. That I can really hear it.

I don´t worry about the line appearing in my solos. It´s not the goal. The goals is to digest it and let it marinate. How it influnces my playing? I don´t know. I don´t care. I just work on it.

Read More