October 31, 2012

Jazz : "How to improvise over a II-V-I" Sylvain Courtney

Sylvain Courtney sent me this great collection of licks. II-V-I in F. Standard notation. Sylvain is working on a book that will come out early next year. The book will give you a lot of lines and also a systematic approach to learning chords.

We also talked about his technique. No pick! Playing finger style feels more natural to him. Simple. There are quite a lot of players that use finger style. Nelson Veras, Sylvain Luc, Leonardo Amuedo, Lorne Lofsky ( with thumb pick)  and many more.

October 30, 2012

Stratus- (Billy Cobham/Jeff Beck) Intercontinental Jam


Manuel Boni/Italy, Phil Clarke/Thailand, Frank Briggs/USA and Chris Golden/USA diggin in here in this intercontinental jam.

Nguyen Le: funky effects KAOSS

Nguyen Le having fun with the Korg KAOSS III

Nguyen Le. gtr 

Hardien Feraud, bass 
Gergő Borlai, drums









Nguyen Le: Tao guitar

October 28, 2012

Tim Miller's lessons review: Sparkle your imagination.

Tim Miller's internet guitar lessons are among the best out there. Hands on exercises that sparkle your musical imagination. The lessons are clear and explained in a very relaxed manner. Everything is recorded in a studio with professional sound and picture from where your personal coach talks to you.

When you enter the site you feel like a kid in candy-store. So much to choose from. Many categories with video lessons zooming in on different topics. Some of the topics to choose from are Chords, Harmony, Improvisation, Phrasing, Technique, etc. There is also live some live footage and a two hour clinic which Tim has cut up in smaller pieces as to avoid digestive problems. A lesson from the Improvisation class may also appear in another class because it has two different tags. A search engine helps to navigate the site.

The lessons themselves are clear and relaxed. Quite often the teacher in the videos is out to impress you with their knowledge and ability to shred or burn leaving you behind completely bewildered  and the firm conviction that you should sell all your gear on Ebay. This is not the case here. Tim plays the examples slowly, explaining everything every step of the way. Most lessons have pdf's with tab. You may not be able to play everything at once with the same clarity and articulation but at least you'll know where it's coming from and how to get there.

Promo with Tim Miller playing his Canton guitar.

Tim uses hybrid picking technique, i.e. pick and fingers alternately in combined with hammer-ons and pull-offs. With these techniques combined he can create flowing but articulate lines. After having tried several picking techniques this is what works best for him. A second important component of his style is the ability to play multi-octave arpeggios like piano players do.
He does this by using three different fingerings. These fingers produce completely different sounds from the same scale because you pick out different notes to create arpeggios.  If you'd like to know a bit more about the 212121 fingerings before you sign up to become a member you can visit the forum and browse through the posts on technique there. The guiding factor in everything must be your musical ear.

Always practice in a musical way with good tone, timing and articulation. Record yourself recognizing your strengths and weaknesses. There's a lesson on how to become more melodic on a single string.
Transcribe and apply. Application of licks and lines after analyzing is important to get it into your system.  Copy and be inspired.  The chromatic lines Tim plays are not scholastic to him at all. It is what he hears because he's been exposed to it by his lessons with George Garzone  and listening to Chick Corea, Brecker etc.

Tim Miller: Internet Guitar lessons.tv

Everything looks and is top notch and there is just one thing I would change. The Wordpress format that is used is a format for bloggers. A different site format would help create an even better learning environment. The site already offers plenty of material and will continue to grow.

If you have a certain level of theoretical knowledge, scales and basic jazz chords and want to take things to a higher level in a hands on, musical way this site is definitely for you. If you are an ok standard jazz player and want to incorporate  more modern sounds to your playing this is also for you.
Questions and suggestions on the forum will be answered by Tim personally.
Highly recommended.

Have a Look : internetguitarlessons.tv

October 27, 2012

Freedom Jazz Dance (Tabs of theme) Sylvain & Bireli

This is how I finger it. Suggestions are welcome.
Freedom Jazz dance Eddie Harris

Miles Davis (with Robben Ford) - New Blues & Maze

That space between blues and jazz where Robben Ford is at his best. Phenomenal playing, IMHO. Owh, and Miles was good too. ;-) RF rips between 2:50 and 5:50

October 26, 2012

Træben - Jens Larsen/ Top Dog

My buddy Jens is doing really well with his jazz quartet Traeben. More and more international magazines are noticing them. They were on dutch national tv recently with this great tune. Jens sent me the sheet music to share with you. Thanks Jens!
Jens's gear:

Traeben: Push (2011)

By  Published: July 22, 2012
Traeben: Push
The sound of Netherlands-based Traeben is one of unity. While guitarist Jens Larsen and saxophonistSøren Ballegaard unmistakably form the frontline, the chemistry and interplay between these four young musicians is key to understanding Traeben.
The quartet's first album, Nordic Project (O.A.P., 2008), was recorded after the four members got together at Hague Conservatory. Nordic Project provided a platform for exploring the ground where Scandinavian melody and jazz rhythms meet.
Traeben's second offering is Push. The album opens with the delightful and aptly named "Top Dog," where delicate percussion and a tenor saxophone melody set the tempered mood for the rest of the album. Following Larsen's cadenced guitar intro, Traeben gets promptly into the groove with a layered guitar passage weaving effortlessly in and out of the rhythm section. Larsen's previous collaborations with saxophonist Michael Brecker, trombonist Slide Hampton and guitarist John Abercrombie have provided him a confident style, and an ability to shine during even the briefest passages.
Throughout the ten original songs on Push, Ballegaard is constantly and consistently searching, building and creating. The rest of the band supports his excursions with grace and, as each solo comes to an end, the reassuringly delicate harmony returns to the fore and everything is as it was. Life is good.
Clocking in at nine minutes, the challenging "Can You?" offers Traeben a wide canvas upon which to stretch out. Initially plodding along with melancholy tenor saxophone and guitar lines, the song unhurriedly creates a complex mood that leaves a lasting impression.
"We'll Let You Know" is at once fresh and noir. Elegant opening chords give way to a darker, defiant presence at the two-minute mark, when a chorus of weighty guitar chords and heavy hearted tenor saxophone indicate an element of discontent over a missed opportunity.
On Push, Traeben is consistently playful, spacious and dynamic. The band treats each song as if it were a story, with a beginning, middle and end. Solos and improvisations form the building blocks that unfold the plot. While tempered and occasionally overcautious, the restrained, relaxed and often reassuringly groovy collection of songs on Push is extremely easy on the ear.
Track Listing: Top Dog; Try to Remember; God Makes Backups; Can You?; Catatraffic; All It Needs; We’ll Let You Know; Simple Things; Nothing Or Nothing At All; Mi Hijo.
Personnel: Jens Larsen: guitar; Søren Ballegaard: tenor saxophone; Olaf Meijer: bass; Haye Jellema: drums.
Record Label: Jarr Records | Style: Modern Jazz

October 25, 2012

Robben Ford Using Pick vs. Fingers

A lot of guitar players are using both, pick and fingers. Robben, Scofield, Holdsworth and many many others do. Some only use them alternating i.e. just the pick and then fingers. (pick in your mouth). Others use the hybrid picking technique like many country players or Jazz/ fusion players like Tim Miller. Here's how Robben uses pick and fingers.

October 23, 2012


Late November and early december 2012 Mike and Lee will be touring the US.
Lee Ritenour with very Special Guest:  Mike Stern, featuring Melvin Davis and Sonny Emory
A guitar prodigy, Lee Ritenour was working with top recording professionals while still in his mid-teens. Nicknamed “Captain Fingers” for his guitar skills (also the title of his third album), Ritenour rode the electric jazz/fusion wave of the late ’70s. He continues to champion the smooth, melodic style that he is renowned for. Guitarist Mike Stern earned his stripes in Miles Davis’s comeback band of the early ’80s. He went on to co-lead a group with saxophonist Bob Berg before leading his own bands. Accompanying the two stellar guitar-slingers are an ace rhythm section of bassistMelvin Davis and drummer Sonny Emory. Lee’s latest recording is Rhythm Sessions. Stern’s latest release is called All Over The Place (Concord Records). Listen and watch HERE

All That Jazz with Wayne Krantz: How to Practice with a Metronome

If you want to learn more you should go to Wayne's website. There you can find long lessons on time, phrasing etc. It's going to cost you a small amount but worth every penny, euro, yen etc.

October 21, 2012

John Scofield trio on fire live in Groningen Oct 20 2012

Last night I visited John Scofield trio. They were on fire! Never seen Sco like this. They were more than welcome. Apparently a lot of people hadn't seen there were two supporting acts. Firstly a modern classical performance. 45 minutes!!! Then Ray Anderson quartet. Trombone party.

Finally Scofield trio! They were more than welcome. Greeted like heroes they were kind of overwhelmed by the applause and cheers as they walked onto the stage. This is what everybody had been waiting for. The enthusiasm was greeted by the trio with extremely intense playing. Scofield used his trusted Rat distortion a reverb and a tremolo pedal by Molloon. Every now and then the Boomerang looper. The set included songs like Chicken Dog, Lawns and Eiderdown by Steve Swallow. Scofield was also joking around a lot too. Pretending to be rather envious of Swallow's writing skills. Steve's curtsy was corrected jokingly by Sco: "We're men Steve! We bow, no curtsey"  You could see Bill Stewart think:' What is happening tonight?"

Scofield gear 2012

John Scofield playing Lawns

John Scofield trio live 2012

John Scofield pedalboard 2012: G-Lab, Molloon, Rat, Korg

John Scofield Vox amps

The encore!!

October 20, 2012

Recuerdos de la Alhambra- jazzy Sylvain Luc style

Here are the chords and part melody which I transcribed and changed for personal use. I play freely over this magnificent piece. Every time rhythm or chord voicings are somewhat different although the transcription is the basis.
This version is the first I recorded and far from perfect but hopefully an inspiration.

I used the version of the great Sylvain Luc for inspiration. It's from the Trio Sud cd.
Recuerdos de la Alhambra p 1
Recuerdos de la Alhambra p 2.

October 19, 2012

Private Jack - Interview Pat Metheny

Now this interview is way older than the etudes book that came out this year. Is Pat giving us reasons not to buy the book? 

Sylvain Luc jamming with 8 year old in Brasil.

4 de Setembro de 2012 no Conservatório Pernambucano de Música

The amazing Sylvain Luc jamming with an 8 year old in Brazil. The kid is great. They start of with My Way. Sylvain picks it up immediately and plays a beautiful accompaniment. Then they move into rhythmic variations. The kid follows greatly by ear! All of a sudden Sylvain starts to play Mas Que Nada. Again the kid follows but in a different key. Sylvain changes on the spot in the correct key!!

Mas Que Nada- Jorge Ben from iRealbook

Sylvain Luc watching saxophonist Mirim in frevo Brushes. He said he only knew Frevo style vaguely , imagine if he knew it for real!

October 18, 2012

Pouki Pouki - Airelle Besson & Nelson Veras live at France Inter

Great musicians playing live for french radio. Unfortunately the people are talking through it but you can still hear the high quality of the music.

Telemaster Josh Smith- NEW cd

CCD 11105 Josh Smith - Don't Give Up On Me
Josh Smith- Don't give up on me


NEW: Don't Give Up On Me

Release date: 2012-10-12

CD Digipac
CCD 11105
EAN 4014924111052

  1. Bad Side
  2. Made For Me
  3. Don't Give Up On Me
  4. I 've Always Been
  5. That Ain't Me
  6. Letting You Go
  7. No One But Me
  8. Carry Me Through
  9. Sneaky Jo Turner
  10. The Middle
  11. That Ain't Love
JOSH SMITH – Vocals and Guitars
CARL LEMAR CARTER – Drums and Percussion
CHARLES JONES – Hammond B3 and Clavinet, Piano on track 2 “Made For Me” and Vocal Adlibs on track 7 “No One But Me”
DENNIS HAMM – Rhodes and Wurlitzer, Clavinet on track 8 “Carry Me Through” and Piano on track 7 “No One But Me”
BJ KEMP – Background Vocals and Co-Lead Vocal on track 10 “The Middle”
MONET OWENS – Background Vocals
Trombone: ROY AGEE
Produced by Josh Smith, Lior Goldenberg and Calvin Turner.
Horns and Strings Arranged and Conducted by Calvin Turner.
Recorded and Mixed by Lior Goldenberg at The Space in West Hills, California.
Strings and Horns recorded by David Schober at Playground Recording in Nashville, Tennessee.
Mastered by Joe Gastwirt at Joe Gastwirt Mastering, Oak Park, California.
Fifteen months after the release of his remarkable, critically acclaimed, and by fans and critics alike well received CrossCut Records debut, 'I'm Gonna Be Ready', master guitarist Josh Smith is taking the next step with his follow-up album, 'Don't Give Up On Me' (CrossCut Records CCD 11105) …tightening the reins.
According to Josh, with its original approach this high-quality blues production has been made to satisfy blues lovers all over the world. 'Don't Give Up On Me' is supposed to top the American and European blues charts.
A modern and emotionally moving blues album producing an incredibly tight atmosphere, presenting great tunes, original arrangements, powered by a mighty grooving quartet, a full-grown string section and a full-blown horn section. 'Don't Give Up On Me' sounds like a journey through time bringing back memories of the days when Albert King and B.B. King were big, when mighty sounds and costly productions were part of the game, when Bobby “Blue” Bland and Al Green tore the walls separating blues and soul, and when Bland was recording his fabulous 'Dreamer' album.
A big horn section is setting a course, and velvet strings are dunking the songs in extensive, floating arrangements. The quartet backing him builds a powerful rhythm backbone, female vocals and Josh’s soul-drenched vocals are playing the game of call and response, producing an incredibly tight atmosphere while his guitar delivers sounds of contradiction: precise, bitchy, concentrated.
A surprising album …unique! …satisfying!

October 17, 2012

Donald Fagen - Jon Herington exemplary guitar playing!

Go buy it now. You won't regret it. 

Jon Herington is playing guitars on practically every track. The chordal playing and single note riffing should be mandatory listening for every guitar player.
The cd starts off with 'Slinky thing' . Fantastic bass and drum groove. Jon's wha single note riffing is what the doctor ordered. I nearly fell of my chair from groovin; along!! Wha solo, killer. 'I'm  not the same without you' is a great disco tune with exemplary disco riffing. ' Memorabilia' is played by Gary Sieger. The tremolo chords and again single note punctuation. The chords behind the trumpet solo will be homework the coming days. ;-) Jon's  solo on 'Weather in my head' is a mighty tasty.  'Out of the Ghetto' could have been a theme in Starky & Hutch from the '80.  The licks in 'Miss Marlene' are  reminiscent of the great Larry Carlton. "Good Stuff' brings us wha goodness. In 'Planet D'Rhonda' the stereo spread of the two guitar parts is gorgeous. Kurt Rosenwinkel breaks out the champagne with funky jazz solo.

Jon Herington 's  latest solo cd

JON's Gear

I get a lot of inquiries about gear. Here is a general description of my most frequently used gear. Electric guitars I play frequently include a Gibson CS-336, a Fender Telecaster, a Gibson Les Paul Custom, a Gibson Les Paul with p-90 pickups, and a Hamer Talladega Pro. Amps I play regularly include a Guytron GT-100 FV and a Guytron GT-100 each with a closed back Guytron speaker cabinet containing two unmatched Celestion 12 inch speakers, and a Bludotone Bludo-Drive amplifier with an open back cabinet containing two 12 inch Jensen speakers. The Guytron is a 100 watt channel switching amp with an interesting twist: it has an intermediate power amp stage with two EL-84 tubes used for overdrive tone (located in the circuit before the quartet of EL-34 power amp tubes). This allows very good overdrive amp sounds at much quieter listening levels, if needed. (Go to guytron.com for info.) The Bludotone is a 100 watt channel switching amp with a separate tube driven effects loop buffer. I use it with a THD power attenuator for lower level listening. I have three pedalboards which are set up to meet various needs, and I sometimes find myself swapping pedals in or out on each of them, depending on the needs of the music I'm playing. One recent touring pedalboard included a Vox Satriani wah; an Ernie Ball volume pedal; a Boss tuner (in the tuner output of the volume pedal); a Keeley modified Ibanez Tube Screamer; all before the amp input, then in the effects loop of the amp I have a Voodoo Labs Tremolo; an Ibanez Modulation Delay; a Tech 21 Boost DLA; a Danelectro Dan-Echo; and a Boss Reverb. Though that board has a bunch of pedals on it, I seldom use anything but a little delay from the Tech 21 Boost DLA ( a single short, dark setting) and the the Boss reverb, and at a very low effect level. I generally use the amp for all my overdrive sounds. The only overdrive pedal on there right now is a Keeley modified TS9 which I don't use for any drive, but just for the eq change and only on the rhythm pickup. That pedal just makes life a little more convenient by sucking out the excess bottom end and giving a little focus to the midrange on that pickup, and it's easier to use it than going back to the amp and dialing in all different settings that work for that pickup, since I more frequently solo on the treble pickup, and the amp is routinely set for that. I'd rather get the sound from the amp, but it's impractical, so that pedal is sort of a problem solver. I have a number of other instruments which don't get as much use, but I enjoy playing and recording with from time to time. They include a Yamaha AEX 1500 archtop jazz guitar; a Yamaha Pacifica set up as a Baritone guitar; a Music Man Axis Super Sport electric guitar; a Gibson ES-335 semi-hollow archtop electric guitar; a Guild D40 steel string acoustic guitar; a Fender Tele-Sonic electric guitar; a Sadowsky "Tele" electric guitar; an Ibanez GB-10 archtop jazz guitar; a Kalamazoo mandolin; a National Style 1 Tricone resophonic guitar; a Danelectro 12 string electric guitar; a Guild 12 string acoustic guitar; a Martin D-28 steel string acoustic guitar; a Deering tenor banjo; a Spanish made nylon string guitar; a Jerry Jones Supreme Sitar guitar; a Fender Stratocaster; a Martin ukelele. This is the most up-to-date information on my Steely Dan gear for the 2011 tour: • Gibson CS336 • Fender Telecaster • Gibson Les Paul Custom • Guytron GT100 amp • Bludotone amp The pedalboard now has these items on it: (In front of the amp input, in this order:) • xotic effects RC Booster • Vox Big Bad Wah • Ernie Ball 6166 Volume pedal • Boss TU-2 Tuner (fed from the Volume pedal's tuner out jack) • DOD Super Stereo Chorus (to split signal; one output goes to the Leeds pedal and the other goes to the amp input) • Whirlwind Selector A/B switcher (Input A gets the output of the Leeds pedal; input B gets the amp's effects loop send cable; switching toggles between the Leeds and the front end of the amp; either sound gets sent to the effects that are in the amp's effects loop) (In the effects loop of the amp, in this order:) • Voodoo Labs Tremolo pedal • Ibanez DML 10 Mod/ Delay • Tech 21 Roto Choir pedal • Tech 21 Boost D.L.A. pedal • Boss DD-3 Digital Delay pedal • Boss RV-5 Reverb pedal • A/B switch for Guytron channel switching • Switches for Bludotone Boost and Channel switching)

And here's a photo of the latest pedalboard:

Visit Jon's website:

October 16, 2012

Interview with Renegade Creation @ Los Angeles Guitar Festival 2012

Nice interview with Robben Ford and Michael Landau.

We tracked about 40 tracks. Five days in the studio and maybe 3 or 4 days tracking. Some overdubs. Not a whole lot. So it's pretty 'live'. It's better than the first CD according to Robben.
There are better songs like Nazereth, a bit of a stoney cowboy thing.
According to Robben everybody want to focus more and more on the band although each has it's own career and schedule. At the end a very quick plug for the RC booster by Xotic.

Live footage with Robben playing the Les Paul an the tele. Michael on his strat.

Michael Landau & Robben Ford- Renegade creation.

October 15, 2012

RENEGADE CREATION on fire ..up close!!

I came across this great clip of Renegade Creation beautifully shot and amazing sound quality if you consider that the guy who shot this must have been standing first row. Jimmy's smokin'.

A fine instrumental piece composed by Gary Novak, featuring smooth guitar work by Robben Ford, and a cool bass solo from Jimmy Haslip, when supergroup 'Renegade Creation' played to a delighted audience, at the MEZZ music venue, Breda, The Netherlands, on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012. 

Check out the band's amazing new CD.

Robben Ford - guitar, vocals
Michael Landau - guitar 
Jimmy Haslip -- bass
Gary Novak -- drums

From the band website:
Renegade Creation is the new record by veteran musical giants, Michael Landau, Robben Ford, Jimmy Haslip and Gary Novak. Blending together to create a blues-driven sound that not only will satisfy their individual fans but is fresh enough to attract a legion of new fans as well. Delivering bothrootsy, blues/rock vocal tunes and fiery instrumentals, the band draws on the unique guitar interplay between guitar giants Robben Ford and Michael Landau who inspire each other to new personal bests.

October 14, 2012

John Scofield talks about Jaco Pastorius

A Conversation With John Scofield

(This is part of an interview with the great John Scofield from the Boston rock examiner- JB)
DG: Sometimes, an artist can emerge as both forerunner and innovator - the name Jaco Pastorius comes to mind...
SCO: Yeah, I got a chance to work with him as well - not a whole lot, though. We were contemporaries. The connection between me and Jaco was Pat Metheny. I knew Pat from my Berklee days, though it happened after I'd already dropped out. I was still in touch with many of the faculty, however. Metheny was one of those - he had to be youngest guy to ever teach music at Berklee, and we became friends. I remember us hanging out one day, and Pat was telling me about this bass player who lived in Florida, whom he said was the greatest bass player in the world. Part of you wants to greet that statement with a healthy degree of skepticism, but I knew Pat wasn't the sort of person to make grandiose declarations: I said, "Really? The greatest bass player in the world? Are you sure?" and Pat said, "I know it sounds weird to say, but yeah - it's true." So Pat brought him up to Boston to play with him in 1974, the same year I was gigging with Mulligan. A year later, I got a chance to meet him, and I was totally blown away by his playing. We didn't play a lot together, but most folks know of our collaboration through Jaco's instructional music video, which has me playing alongside him and Kenwood Dennard. The video has taken on a life of its own on Youtube - I believe the tape was produced shortly before his death in 1987.

....... The man was an avatar, you know? He showed up, and was around for what seems like a minute, a flash. I remember that album with the head shot cover, too. That record came out before his stint with (jazz fusion ensemble) Weather Report. I heard it shortly after its release, and it was like - everything I ever tried to do as a jazz musician, this guy could do, and really well. He moved effortlessly from jazz to funk, even classical. And then I realized this cat was the same age as me, and was even more impressed. The later years, and his downfall - to me, was just incredibly sad. Hearing about it from afar through witnesses, while I was back in the city, was just.........goddamn. Nobody has ever played those idioms on bass like him, and no one ever will.
DG: I've had this ongoing debate with jazz artists and music critics for years: to me, the new generation of jazz musicians are all savants, so far as technical virtuosity goes, but creatively, something seems missing. To quote Keith Jarrett (from the liner notes to his album, Spirits): "Musicians can and do fool themselves every day when they say they are "making music." They mean they are playing their instrument very well. What's lacking is value, meaning..."
SCO: It's kinda like being in the NBA these days - the level has gotten so high in terms of virtuosity, but then, where do you go from there? If someone who's a genius happens to be a virtuoso, they've developed that virtuosity, and imbued it with soul, an appreciation for beauty and a sense of individual style or taste. But to be simply virtuosic, it demands you spend all your time working on the perfecting of technique, and if you do that, it's easy to lose sight of the value and meaning in the art of creation for its own sake.
John Scofield and Jaco Pastorius

Read the rest of the interview HERE