John McLaughlin: Remember Shakti – Giriras Sudha

Regarded as one the worlds finest jazz fusion guitarists, John McLaughlin’s extraordinary guitar playing has inspired professional and aspiring guitarists for decades. His musical and spiritual path has led him to play in a depth of styles ranging from Jazz Fusion to Classical and Indian Music. Some of his early session playing can be heard on Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. In his dynamic career John has also collaborated with a staggering range of brilliant musicians, such as … [Read more...]

Sonny Landreth: Next to Kindred Spirit

Born in Mississippi and raised in Louisiana, Sonny Landreth is revered among guitarists as a true original. The influence of the south is reflected is his guitar playing, singing, and compositions, through growing up with Blues, Zydeco, and Rock music. Through being immersed in various styles Sonny became a sought after session guitarist and has recorded with artists such as Junior Wells, Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Buffett, John Hiatt, and Mark Knopfler. In Sonny’s latest release From the Reach, he … [Read more...]

Exploring 7/8

This piece is not meant to be a theory lesson in meter and time signatures. Rather, it is meant to help you open up some new doors and hopefully get your creative juices flowing! Most of us have grown up listening to music characterized by the familiar time signatures of 4/4 or 3/4. 4/4 is the most common time signature in rock, blues, country, funk, and pop while 3/4 is often used for country & western ballads, not to mention waltzes, minuets & scherzi! Both of these time … [Read more...]

Al Di Meola: Passion, Grace, and Fire

Al Di Meola is a Jazz Fusion guitarist well known for his advanced technical approach and Latin style. He attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music in 1971 before joining the jazz fusion group Return to Forever with Chick Corea. Extreme dedication to precise picking technique, rhythm, and melody, are key elements to Al’s musicianship. The stylistic and emotional influence of the Mediterranean is the foundation of Al Di Meola’s approach. The successes of his early solo albums, such as … [Read more...]

Mark Knopfler: Brothers in Arms

British guitarist Mark Knopfler is best known for his work with the rock band Dire Straits. Also a vocalist, songwriter, film scorer, and producer, Mark has sustained career longevity through his work in many aspects of the music industry. Between Dire Straits and his solo career he has been behind the sale of over 120 million albums. Formed in London in 1977, Dire Straits went on to have huge international success. Their album “Brothers in Arms” was one of the largest selling albums of the … [Read more...]

Improvisation: Am7 FMaj9 Progression with MP3

This is a slow and moody groove that is wonderful to solo over. Start of by working with the A Minor Pentatonic scale over this progression. Try to play it in the 3 positions mentioned in the A Minor Pentatonic lesson. Then work in these scales: (Over the Am7) A (Jazz) Melodic Minor .. Same pattern as the G (Jazz) Melodic Minor scale shown in lesson but played 2 frets higher. (Over the Am7) A (Dorian) Minor .. Same pattern as the G (Dorian) Minor scale shown in … [Read more...]

Scales: G (Jazz) Melodic Minor

More often called the Melodic Minor scale, this scale is commonly used in improvisation. This position ( personal opinion ) lends itself nicely to working up speed. Remember that these scales can be played anywhere on the neck. In the case of this scale, if you were to start the same shape (pattern) one fret higher (4th fret) it would become the Ab Melodic Minor scale. One fret lower and it becomes the Gb Melodic Minor scale. Also notice that this position DOES NOT … [Read more...]

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