G Minor Blues, An Intro To Django Reinhardt’S Sound & Style

This article was originally published in Riff Journal on September 24th, 2015 Throughout the evolution of popular music, there have been select artists whose contribution has represented a musical quantum leap. Django Reinhardt was definitely one such figure. Born in Belgium in 1910 to a French family of Manouche Romani descent, Reinhardt spent his youth in Romani encampments playing violin, banjo and guitar. By the age of 13, he was already working full time as a musician playing a blend of French folk songs, tangos, polkas, waltzes and early American Jazz. Django would later fuse these influences into a unique and exciting new style and sound known as “Gypsy Jazz.” Django’s dazzling virtuosity makes approaching the Gypsy Jazz style a daunting proposition for beginning or intermediate students of lead guitar. However, unlike more complicated harmonic jazz forms, many popular Gypsy Jazz numbers involve pretty straight-forward, traditional chord changes. From a lead perspective, many of the phrases and melodic elements are built off of simple arpeggios and popular chord shapes. [...]

By |2016-11-22T22:28:59+00:00November 22nd, 2016|Articles|1 Comment

Jazz Blues Melodic Pathways – Implying The-Changes

This article was originally published in Riff Journal on September 22, 2016 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 twelve-bar 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 [...]

By |2016-11-22T23:15:59+00:00November 22nd, 2016|Articles|1 Comment