Solo Electric without looper: Blending rhythm and lead. Who?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by hexatonic, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. hexatonic

    hexatonic Member

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    We all spend a lot of time playing guitar alone. Using a looper fun, but it doesn't seem true to the spirit of just picking up your guitar spontaneously and making music using rhythm, harmony, and melodically interesting lines.

    Walk into any guitar store, and you hear people blowing lines, but the sense of chordal structure is lost, and lines without chords and groove lack context, making the lines sound empty.

    (Perhaps I secretly envy piano players, who with ease can play groovy chords progressions and solo over top, no band required. )

    So, if you agree that being able to combine a strong rhythmic groove while throwing in lead lines is fun, but it only sounds good if it's well blended so the groove and harmony is never lost, then I hope you can help me.

    1. Rhythm and vamps are are more fun when built on syncopated rhythm, and more interesting when you add advanced chord extensions, and suggest some bass movement underneath.

    2. Lead lines are more interesting when adding "outside playing" and syncopation that suggests the overall groove. John Scofield seems to be a master at this. He always stays very funky with driving sense of rhythm in his lead playing.

    I have trouble finding people online who play or teach this style in more of a fusion/funk style rather than straight up blues or chord/melody jazz.

    Marc Lukas from N'Stuff has some great solo electric guitar jams, but it's too complicated harmonically. Hendrix style solo guitar also abounds online, but sounds too simple and cliched to my ear. There must be a middle ground, with a more modern sound.

    Given that most of the guitar world plays alone most of the time, it's surprising that there are not courses on this. I've looked at every Truefire course, and it's not covered.

    Hopefully you can help me find some content for pure groovy solo electric jams, or suggest some players who excel at this style.

    Thank you.
     
  2. dsimon665

    dsimon665 Supporting Member

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    Not sure for that exact question in the fusion/funk style...maybe the Scott Henderson REH instructional(s)?

    Chris Buono has a few funk style instructionals on Truefire.

    Wayne Krantz did a series for GW called "All that Jazz" (there are several vids in the series...heres one).



    ok here's one more...just because its soo good.

     
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  3. hexatonic

    hexatonic Member

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    Whoa, that's really good stuff. This guy never looses the sense of groove and chord structure when he solos. Need to learn more about him

    Re. Scott Henderson, I have not seen him play just pure solo guitar without a band or backing track. Any links?
     
  4. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

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  5. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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  6. dingusmingus

    dingusmingus Member

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    One thing to look into is occasionally (or frequently) playing just the 3rd and 7th of the chord below your melody, usually on strings 3 and 4, or 4 and 5. That leaves the top two or three strings for your melody.

    I haven't mastered this, but here are two classes using that basis approach, from Steve Herberman and Tim Lerch.
    http://www.mikesmasterclasses.com/i...omp-while-soloing/Detailed-product-flyer.html
    http://www.jazzguitarsociety.com/masterclasses/tim-lerch-the-art-of-two-note-accompaniment/

    I've only bought and used the second one. These are in a more jazz-oriented approach, but the basic concept should be easily transferable to other genres.
     
  7. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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  8. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    Ben Lacy has a unique approach. He has a strong jazz background but his approach is more rhythmically pronounced and groove-heavy than the traditional chord-melody approaches used by the older jazz guitar greats, and of course he's done a lot of covers outside of jazz - rock, pop, funk, etc. hits.

    Earlier thread about his solo guitar arrangement of "Fame", with accompanying lesson on how to play it (in 3 easy steps.... j/k!)

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/bowies-fame-lesson-by-ben-lacy.1666113/
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
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  9. vintagelove

    vintagelove Member

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    If you're into jazz, start learning tunes.

    Btw, this is a style where you have to be willing to hit some clams in the beginning. That being said, it's one of the most valuable musical endeavors you can embark on.

    Alternatively you can play some classical to get an idea of how this style lays on the neck.

    Best wishes,
     
  10. hexatonic

    hexatonic Member

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    This is straight swing, 4 to the floor. No driving syncopated modern sound here. I guess I didn't explain well enough what I was looking for. :(
     
  11. SecondFloorTones

    SecondFloorTones Member

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    Mike Landau has a style that sounds self-contained, for lack of a better term. I also like that his playing isn't so technically advanced that it's impossible to comprehend what he's doing. Musically, though, he's off the charts.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
  12. hexatonic

    hexatonic Member

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    Yes, interesting approach: He explains his approach here:

    No, not modern or funky or syncopated, straight up jazz. And way too hard.
     
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  13. hexatonic

    hexatonic Member

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    WOW, loving Wayne Krantz! Now this explains perfectly what I had in mind, and sounds very modern, and to my ears, devoid of common jazz or blues cliches.

    Need to find more stuff like this. I mean, if it's not this, how to people "jam" when they are alone? This must be such a common challenge, e.g. to keep it interesting and inventive, instead of just blowing blues lines.

     
  14. phillygtr

    phillygtr Member

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    Thanks for posting this. He makes a lot of sense. Great player.
     
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  15. dsimon665

    dsimon665 Supporting Member

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    no links...but there's probably some out there.
    Henderson seemed to be in the right ballpark to what you were asking re: fusion, though he does a lot of blues. I was thinking he might describe it on the REH instructional videos (he made a couple fusion type instructional videos in the past)

    Plus as Krantz explains - even in a trio setting the guitar might have to take on those types of roles - holding down melody and rhythm at the same time.
    So it'd be good to look at guitarists in trio settings as well (but yeah, solo guitar is a little different setting)

    I think part of it is organization - instead of "jamming" think of it like performing - IOW making a coherent statement. If you notice Krantz has some organization going on - metronome, and written out parts in some cases (or at least a form or framework to work in)
     
  16. hexatonic

    hexatonic Member

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    Thanks for the help. What i don't get is why is it so hard to find this type of material, given that a) that there are millions of guitar players who mostly play alone, not in a band. and 2) there are many thousands of instructional videos and materials with backing track soloing only.

    Is it because it's hard to play this way? Or the educators are just not putting 2 and 2 together because they mostly play live or rehearse in bands? Or is simply that there are an awful lot of players who just don't mind all the worn out blues cliches, so the demand is not there?

    Very curious, since finding "modern solo electric guitar" is becoming a bit of a hopeless obsession.

    PS. Chris Buono doesn't appear to have any videos that combine chord/lead improvisation without drumbeats / backing tracks.

    Perhaps it's better to search for R&B / Gospel style guitar
     
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  17. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    Try Ben Lacy's TrueFire course. He teaches the basics of playing "drums" (in his style) with the right hand and covering other parts with his left hand with reasonable detail. His course places the most emphasis on rhythm, particularly getting a good groove - you don't have to worry about jazz stuff that may not interest you.
     
  18. dingusmingus

    dingusmingus Member

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    No, I didn't really explain myself sufficiently. I was thinking that the general harmonic approach was widely applicable to funk, rock, blues, whatever, by playing different melodies and rhythms.

    But others have since made lots of cool suggestions that are more directly applicable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
  19. hexatonic

    hexatonic Member

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    Hmm, this is basically a course on how to play slap bass like vamps on guitar, but no mention of how to play chord progressions intermingled with lead lines.

    Perhaps I'd have more luck in the acoustic guitar world...?
     
  20. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    Well, to play his style you have to get the basics of playing the drum parts, bass parts, and chords simultaneously. The course is focused on getting you up to speed on all those fundamentals. Since I have little talent, it's hard work for me, but fun nonetheless - I've progressed to being able to play a simple drum part and simple bass line at the same time.

    Without those fundamentals, you have no hope of playing like this:







    Not a bad idea. Adam Rafferty's Stevie Wonder tunes DVD course and the Jackson 5 one are both good.

    Carl Verheyen's SWAT Rhythm Guitar course on TrueFire has a "solo blues guitar" thing at the end that is nice, but not sure if there's enough overlap of interests there for you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
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