The guitar is such a versatile and universal instrument that it can be applied to a whole magnitude of styles ranging from Metal to Jazz and everything in between.
I believe having a demand over multiple styles is one of the most beneficial aspects any musician can acquire and the guitar lends itself beautifully to that. For instance, a Metal player can improve his knowledge and technique exponentially by studying Jazz guitar. Just listen to Alex Skolnick!
Similarly a Jazz guitarist can master string bending and sweep picking by playing Neo-Classical Rock.
The amazing thing about all styles of music is that it is just 12 little notes. The approach to these styles however may differ vastly! It is how we string these 12 little notes together and how we approach them that make Blues sound like the Blues, Rock sound like Rock and Jazz sound like Jazz.
The basics are all the same in western music. We have chords, 12 notes, a fret-board and usually 10 fingers. I will teach you exercises that will benefit you right from the get-go and help you further your ambitions in your favourite style of music!
Indeed. And He gave us many sub-genres too!
Rock, as far as I am concerned, is the umbrella term for any song that features at least a mildly distorted guitar. There are so many styles of Rock music out there, and even more opinions as to what exactly ‘Rock music’ is, that we usually discern it by decade. We will cover the most influential guitar players of every decade and see how what may be the norm now, has been revolutionary back in the day.
We will discover how boundaries are still being pushed today and explore the techniques used by today’s most accomplished players like Andy Timmons, Steve Vai and Nick Johnston.
All music we know and love today have been born from the Blues in one way or another. Except traditional Classical music… and that’s just because of geographical differences.
Blues, when played right is like a fine whiskey, smooth and true. Honest and without frills. There are few things more real (and primal) than John Lee Hooker stomping on a piece of ply-wood to give the listener a sense of beat. Just a beat-up acoustic guitar and a man telling the truth about how crappy he feels. That’s the Blues.
To play the Blues righteously we don’t need to be down or have lost everything, but we need to know the vocabulary used by the masters to get any emotion across. It may just be a Pentatonic scale with a diminished 5th but there are so many things to say with just those 6 notes! And it sounds so good!
We will scour the immensity that is the 12 Bar Blues and the almost infinite possibilities of the Pentatonic scale upon it. There are more to life than one pentatonic scale for all 12 measures…
The Blues has evolved steadfastly in the past decades and been adopted by every Rock player worth his or her salt as a template to write groovy riffs and killer licks. The Blues note also greatly influenced Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath and we all know how that turned out…
Learn the Blues. It is the corner stone of all modern music as we know it.
True that. Jazz is all about the improvisation. Jazz is like the big brother of Blues, like the ‘going to college’ of music. And to be able to improvise over slightly trickier chords, we need a slightly more in-depth handbook.
Understanding the II V I progressions associated with Jazz is one of the first things we’ll tackle in our Jazz studies. This is not limited to learning a bunch of II V I licks, but also ‘seeing’ the chords underneath your fingers as you are playing single-note lines.
We will cover a host of Jazz Standards and see how they are constructed and what on earth to play over them!
It does not matter what style you want to master, learn some Jazz and make it a part of you. The musical world will open up with possibilities!
The brutish cousin of Rock, infused with twisted classical styled harmonic Minor and unbiased chaos… All neatly packaged in one of the most expressive and under-rated genres on this here planet.
As with Rock there are almost countless sub-genres of Metal, but at the core it is always extreme, relentless and unapologetic… Just like the guitar playing involved bringing the Steel to the masses!
Your playing needs to be constant, accurate and intense. You have to mix just the right amount of beauty with aggression, the perfect balance between the speed-of-light picking and soulful bends. This is the aim of metal, to push the boundaries but still say something worth saying. Or screaming if that is what is required.
We will explore the techniques used by Yngwie Malmsteen to play the fastest Harmonic Minor scales. We will delve into what makes Jason Becker the most gifted technician the world has ever seen. We will discover the exotic timbres of Marty Friedman.
As Metal is not only about lead playing, we will bash out galloping Iron Maiden riffs, Insane Megadeth chromatic passages and sinful Mötley Crüe antems!
Let’s turn the amps up to 11 and feel the Steel!
From the ballad to serenade one’s love on the balcony to the ferocious picking power of Al di Meola, the Acoustic guitar has a magic to it that is completely devoid of pretentiousness and clutter. The simplicity of the Acoustic guitar leaves a lot of room for error where we cannot hide behind effects or distortion. This is why it is so intimate, because we leave ourselves bare and almost exposed to make the soul shine through.
The Acoustic guitar is great to start learning the guitar on because of its affordable price tag compared to buying an electric guitar and amplifier, and also because that it plays a little harder and strengthens the hands more than an electric.
We will delve into open-string chords first and work our up to classics like ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and ‘Wonderwall’ and maybe even ‘Race with Devil on Spanish Highway’ by Al di Meola.
Let’s dig deep within ourselves and croon about Cowboys and sad songs and roses with thorns…
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