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Brutally Honest Critiques, Please


Senior Member
The second tune, the solo starts around 1:58

Also, if you have time, check another tune here

Playing, Feel, Tone, etc . ..


Silver Supporting Member
Yo Geoff ..
Ya know I'm a fan of your playing ..
You'll get no critique from moi ... :)

(Welcome back)


NIce to hear you putting stuff out there Geoff! Sounds great. Some nice linear lines dude! Maybe the only mild critique could be that you repeated a lot of those mock/martino sounding phrases. Just sayin' since you asked.


Some nice resolutions going on there. I'm working on a similar blues style myself, I think I'm going to have to steal some of your licks:)


Senior Member
you repeated a lot of those mock/martino sounding phrases. Just sayin' since you asked.
Just alot ? I thought it was Waaaaayy toooooo many.

I shouldnt've memorized the Linear Expressions book, because it can have retoractive effects if you let it, due to it being straigth time w/no real phrasing

Folks, Scott Lerner is on da monay, fer sher

Thanks, man

Some nice resolutions going on there. I'm working on a similar blues style myself, I think I'm going to have to steal some of your licks:)

Good artists copy, GREAT ARTISTS STEAL !!

Get Pat Matino's Linear Expressions, The Omnibook, and recordings associated with such

Practice the crap out of that, but still listen to lotsa albert collins, Johnny Winter, Son Seals, Roy Buchanan, etc . . .
Hey Tampa Guitar Bro, I know many of your teachers very well. Al, Barry, Jack.

First time I met Barry, he was attending USF getting his Masters degree.

Funny, in a conversation we once had, He mentioned that Pat Martino book to me as well,

I checked it out

Although theres so much to be gained from it, I feel it can also become a technical crutch.

I think Martino is the only guy I 've ever heard who can consistantly pull that stuff off, since its so much his style.

Your playing is so very good . By listening, I can tell how much you love and live it.

My only observation is about your phrasing.

I say this because, when I play, I'm always trying to think about this myself.

Its said so many times, but so true, that it's not what you play but you don't play.

Listen to horn players. There phrasing comes so natural since, there breath runs out and there forced to leave space until there next phrase begins.

Guitar players sometimes tend to run ideas and phrases into, [and over] each other, many times due to the fact that fingers can keep moving and moving, not as affected by our breathing patterns, like woodwind and brass players.

Play a motiff or series of notes, then pause and conscience'ly leave space.

In my humble opinion, It will tend to draw your audience much further into your all ready accomplished improvisations.

also, thus creating suspense about what your next idea might be.

Don't give away to much to soon. Draw your listeners in by using space's within your playing.

That's my only critique, and I mean that in a loving way.

Man, we gotta hook up, I'm right across the bay from ya.



First let me say I wish I could play as well as you.

I'm listening on computer speakers so that may make a difference but I thought your tone was too overdriven and that took some of the dynamics out of your playing. The tone thing is probably just personal preference but my ears definitely wanted to hear more dynamics both in volume and speed.

My ears also liked it better when you were looser. There were times when it seemed like you were playing to a metronome rather than to a song, almost like a mechanical feel. In the Shotgun groove, I loved it when you loosened up about 1:30, same thing on the Chicago one about 1:15.

Thanks for posting a clip. I've been wanting to hear your playing for a while after hearing you talk about your influences, etc.


Silver Supporting Member
Hey man, nice playing.

Are you playing out in Tampa? I work for USF and live in New Tampa. Have played off and on in Tampa for the past 12 years. Would like to check you out.


I really enjoyed listening to your playing. Sorry, but I really couldn't find anything to criticise!


maybe get out of 8th note mode a bit more, mix it up with some space to breathe & some riffs not on the 4


Some really nice playing Geoff!
Sweet tone as well
Regarding the worked out lines... Over time they will evolve and morph into something else... if you allow them to. By that I mean make an effort to slap your hand every time you hear yourself play a recognizable phrase from another player for a while.

Also aside from the excellent idea of listening to horn players... I suggest to my students to listen to vocalists, and perhaps emulate some. As much as I love BB King's playing, I would study his vocals and catch some of the subtle inflections there :)

I taught with Wayne Riker for many years at the NGW... as well as Barry Greene. I noticed that you use Wayne's BT's :)

Hey great playing. As for the critique, here it goes. I think there needs to be some more definition in the style. There is no breathing between phrases and it becomes very hard to appreciate what you are trying to say. I think the biggest opportunity that any guitarist has (regardless of their style) is to realize that not every beat must be filled with note. Sometimes it is much more powerful to the overall to leave it empty to platform the next phrase or note. Its like going to hear a speaker and they are an auctioneer. A lot of words and info will be going out but how much will I, the listener get and understand and appreciate. Sometimes a single note held is much more powerful than many notes and defines the phrase before or after. You asked to be critiqued on playing, feel and tone. I think the lack of breathing and constant linking of one phrase into another really dampens your feel. Tone is so subjective to the player I would never comment on that although mabey just a tad harsh. Your a great player that just needs to look at presentation of a phrase or noe is most of the feel, not just the ability to play it. But really nice work.
Sorry for that last sentence. Correction; Presentaion of the phrase is half of the phrases impact, not just being able to play it. Maybe I should be critiqued on gRAhmnar.

dave s


I really liked your playing style as well. Listened more to the playing and note choices than the mix. Hope you weren't asking for a critique on the mix.

What I expecially like about your playing is your ability to change up from blues to jazz styles. What makes this most interesting is when your playing the inside the box stuff that people know and understand. When they are least expecting something different, like the beginning of the turnaround, is when I'd throw some of your best jazz licks into the mix.

This makes people look around and say, 'what the hell was THAT?!!' But I'd bet they'd say it with a smile. Nice stuff.

Did you see Tomo's stuff from the NAMM show? There was a link of him playing through a Fuchs amp to a jam track. Same deal--canned blues tracks, but he tossed in the wicked jazz licks that really took what he was doing to another (and impressive) level.



Silver Supporting Member
I think it sounded great. Killer

And, more importantly, I think it felt great.

I enjoyed it. Thanks for the post!


Really enjoyed your playing. Lots of great ideas and phrases. Nice tone - enjoyed the read of your site too. Certainly studied with some great guys, lucky swine.

Found the horn player analogy and breathing comments a real interesting observation - Not as a way of directing it at you (I won't critique you)- gonna try and absorb that approach me self!

dewey decibel

Hey man, I listened to all the clips, so let me start by saying I think you sound good. I'm not really a fusion/blues player, so keep that in mind as well.

For constructive criticism my first thought would be that you're really on top of the beat (which is cool), but when you hit a phrase that you've practiced you tend to rush a bit. It's pretty common (most of us do it), but because you're already so on top of the beat it sticks out a bit more. IMO, a lot of the lines you're playing would sound better a little behind the beat. Playing around with these different feels can really give some more complexity to your playing.

My second thought is I agree that you might want to vary the 1/8 note lines a bit. da-de-do-da-de-da-do-da, it's cool, but you might want to throw some more variation in there. There's many different ways to accent the syllables in an 1/8th note line- I'd recommend taking some of those lines you like and changing the accents. Drop out a note here or there. Also try starting them on different beats (especially the upbeats). Accenting the upbeats in general is important.

Those are my thoughts. Sounds good -keep it up!
Hey yZe,

So nice to finally get around to hearing your playing. I don't know if I can really add anything too profound to what has been critiqued thus far, but I can say that from your photos (as a former Frog), you really need to grow some hair and work on those pipe cleaners! :rotflmao

Seriously, feel fortunate that you appear to have your own musical voice to express. I think nearly every comment people have made is getting at that ultimately. In other words, you have something to say that is genuine, personal. Go for it! And thanks for nutting up and posting some great music.

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