Party On The Fretboard


Music should humbly seek to please; within these limits great beauty may perhaps be found. Extreme complication is contrary to art. Beauty must appeal to the senses, must provide us with immediate enjoyment, must impress us or insinuate itself into us without any effort on our part.

Claude DeBussy


Viddy #1 of the day: George Lynch and Dave Navarro talking a bit of guitar technique.  Talking about it, not going over actual technique too much, still a good viddy.  One bit about the viddy.  George is factually incorrect about Allan Holdsworth.  I have some  theory books written by Allan Holdsworth, and it is damnably difficult stuff.  Allan’s head is so technical it makes my head spin, and I pride myself on being technically knowledgeable and sound as a player.


No politics for today.  Today has been about a bit of relaxation, and a fair amount of guitar playing.  I actually focused less on the technical stuff, and more on just playing music.  That is not usual for me, because I like to get my fingers around scale practice, modal practice, arpeggios out the wazoo.

Actually played more blues stuff today than I normally do, in a variety of keys, more than the usual e minor blues and occasional g minor blues stuff.  Lots of dominant 7th’s and major 9ths and suspended 4ths and the like.  I had fun with it.  The most fun was more about playing with the rhythm, and the speed of the playing.  If ever I have gotten stuck in a rut playing, it helps me to play around with the speed and rhythm of the playing before I try to do anything else.

But I tell you one of the other ways I get out of musical ruts is to practice.  I play the practice stuff to warm up, sure, most everyone who does scale practice does it that way.  Tis truly rare to find a player of any musical instrument I think who plays scales and the like for the sheer joy of playing scales.  But it has to be out of the box practice.  What kind of out of the box? I look at the fretboard and try to figure out what configurations I haven’t played before. 


Viddy #2 of the day: Julian Bream, apparently originally played sometime in the 1960’s, shown on a BBC documentary of unknown date, playing the music of Heitor Villa-Lobos.


Art is the most beautiful deception of all! And although people try to incorporate the everyday events of life in it, we must hope that it will remain a deception lest it become a utilitarian thing, sad as a factory. … Let us not disillusion anyone by bringing too much reality into the dream.

Claude DeBussy


Saturday Links:

All guitar chords chord name

Chops factory; Jazz guitar

Allan Holdsworth chordal style lessons

Classical guitar tablature (I just found this one, very good stuff, even if it is tablature)


Sometimes I play purposefully “off” stuff, try to make mistakes, try to miss, just to see if I can find some combination of notes that will spark something different.  Sometimes I play single chords, go over them, change one note, maybe two, and see what that does, and then move that around the fretboard.  Not only is that fun, but sometimes you find stuff that you have forgotten, or even better have heard someone else play but never knew how to play yourself.

That is a party on the fretboard when that happens.  And that is a party I am always ready to hit.

Other things I do is play along to the radio, along to songs that I have never played along to.  You find out exactly how good of an ear you have when you do that, because sometimes it is really really hard to do. 

Music is hard sometimes, but that is what makes it sweet, the harder the fight to make it sound right, the better it feels when it works.  And the longer you play, and the more regularly you play, the better it gets.


Jam on brothers and sisters.  I’ll catch ya tomorrow, America.


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