Hey, give me your input on video lessons or other products that you would like to see from me.
I’d like to see a video that explains your left hand technique.
Watching you play and trying to steal licks from you 🙂 is tough because sometimes your fingers hardly seem to move.
It’s kind of awe inspiring because so much great music comes from you with what appears to be such little effort.
In contrast, I put a death grip on my neck, bend my fingers in ways they don’t want to bend, and I sound like garbage.
The reality is that I’m somewhere in between…except for the garbage part. That’s mostly trues. LOL!
Maybe an over-the-shoulder view of the neck while you’re going through a lesson would be cool to see.
I’d like to see someone do an instructional video on the guitar players who played behind Bill Haley – w/ the Comets. I think they included Danny Cedrone and Franny Beecher. I’m interested in the 50s stuff – both before and after Rock Around The Clock. The pre-1954 stuff is fantastic! Some of the song lyrics are pretty corny, but the guitar playing is often fantastic! I hear a lot of Les Paul and other jazzy influences in these guy’s playing.
Steve posted a vid of me playing calling all comets but it looks like it disappeared. I love both Frannie and and Danny. Danny Cedrone had such a killer tone. I agree with DJ, I hear those glistening lines like Les Paul. The Jodimars, are good as well. That band also had it’s share of corny lyrics but the guitar playing is cool on those as well. It’s not Frannie, but seems to have been NY session guys like Tony Matolla, George Barnes, etc. Goofin around is a real cool song as well. Might be a little over played but I never get tired of it. On another note check out Buddy Merrill. Love this tune.
Yeah, I was wondering what happened to my post – thought maybe I’d embarrassed Tommy and he’d deleted it! Going to repost it in a sec because it smokes…
OK, Calling All Comets take 2…
My favorite parts of the Buddy Merrill videos are when Lawrence Welk introduces him…….Anda now zumthing for da yunga people in our audience. Take it away a Buddy….. Priceless!
Tommy, I have an idea of something you can maybe do in your lessons. I am not sure if it would make a good video lesson or not, but it is something that will help people you give lessons to. It helped me a tremendous amount when a friend shared the concept with me. The drill is to take a chord progression and pick two adjacent strings on the guitar, and you have to solo over the progression using just those 2 strings. You can’t use any licks you learned from a Mel Book, or out 50 Blues Licks You Must Know. You can ONLY use those 2 strings, and you CAN use double stops on those 2 strings. It is difficult. The benefit you learn from it is, since you can’t rely on fancy licks stolen from records, it forces you to play melodically. You learn the neck better, but most importantly you learn how to keep the harmony of where you are at for the listener when you improvise. So if you are playing by yourself the listener can always here the harmony of the chord you are on. This makes it more engaging, and keeps it from sounding like just someone noodling around.
I attached this video of me practicing the concept one day to critic myself. I apply it to the solo section. Hopefully this will help illustrate the concept some. I do cheat in certain spots and use multiple strings in it, because I was also working on throwing in some arpeggio lines of some chord substitutions. The majority of it though is all on the top 2 strings even though I will make full chord shapes in some areas. Some mistakes thrown in there to show that I am in no way a professional. LOL. Just trying to learn like everyone else. Any critics welcome.
I think that’s a killer idea. I think any exercise to help navigate the guitar neck is really helpful. Right now as you know I’m trying to lock in my ideas and concepts using minor harmony. The big goal is for me to be as confident on a 32 bar minor form as a major form. Lookin at swing to bop and topsy right now.
Tommy, Your download for your latest lesson came thru loud and clear and it really fits what I’m trying to do right now. Swing for the blues guitarist is a great idea and I’m liking the Jimmie Rivers stuff. I’ve never been to much of a pent box player. I learned 1st position then learned pents up the neck with lots of bends and vibrato for accent around the basic 12 bar structure. They call it “Noodling” with stolen licks thrown in lol. Swing style is a whole new way of approaching the guitar for me and I’m loving it. Looking forward to Swing to Bop stuff if ya decide to put that out there. The Mary Osbourne and George Barnes stuff is great on there. I like the tune Buck Jumpin by Al Casey because he mixes a little comping with lead runs that don’t sound too difficult. Not familiar with Topsy mentioned in the above post. Thanks! Mike
In my post above; Oops, I did a little searching and found Charlie Christian’s swing to bop. That’s probably what you were referring to. Also found Topsy. Mike
Swing to Bop is basically Charlie Christian’s take on Topsy. He has a few alterations thrown into it. Topy’s structure is a good one to learn because you will come across it a lot in the old jazz standards. You will find it in tunes like “Why Don’t You do Right.” I would say it is a must know structure like Rhythm Changes, parallel movements (moving from major to minor) like “How High the Moon,” cycling through 4ths like “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “How High” also does this, and your ii V I’s like “Autumn Leaves.” If you learn to recognize those sounds it will help you navigate through a lot of tunes on the fly. These devices pop up in a lot of Tiny Grimes and Bill Jennings tunes, and non 12 bar blues standards like “Sitting on Top of the Wolrd.” You also come across them in modern players like Robin Ford, Boz Scaggs, and Van Morisson. When I get off of work I will chart out Topsy for you, and some of these others.
Hey Mike, I’m glad the video lessons are working for you. I’m starting to dig into more minor ideas, like swing to bop etc. I have been using Grant Green as a guide. I really love how interesting to my ear his lines are. Unbelievable the scope of his work for how short his life was. Lots of ideas, also technically and theoretically approachable for me.
Great job you guys. What Bill tune is this? I’d like to learn it, rhythm part first. Mike
It is Alexandria Va. I forget which Bill Jennings album it is off of. If you want to learn the rhythm check out Tommy’s Rhythm Changes lesson. That will cover this type of tune. The chord progression is the same for most of the song as the video, and I use a lot of the same voicings that he covers in that lesson. I do play some different voicings than he does in the video lesson, but if you familiarize yourself with that lesson the things I change up will be easy to pick up.
Unfortunately Tommy didn’t put the whole video up. It was late one night at his house and we were just jamming while I was in town, and starting to get punchy from being tired. We had also just figured out the tune like 10 minutes before hand and decide to record it. Well at the end I mess up on how the end of the tune goes, and mess up pretty bad. To mess with him, in a sleep deprived/giddy state, I go off on kind of a tangent goofing around but still following him. You may notice me start laughing at the end of the clip. That is when all of that started, because that is when I realized I made the mistake and was kind of screwed getting back on track with out it going unnoticed. I guess he cut it off there thinking it might offend me if he put something up online with me messing up, but it wouldn’t because it happens to all of us. I thought it was kind of funny how we kind of goof off with it in the full video and end it. Maybe we can get him to put the whole thing up one day so we can all have a laugh.
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