The Unwound Third > Other Musical Interests

Improvising

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Rivers:
Interesting. I periodically get amnesia when someone suggests starting a band. I immediately forget a few things, 1) How much work it is, 2) interpersonal relationships, that 'conflicting musical directions' thing; and 3) How crap I am at playing lead breaks with any degree of confidence, accuracy and variety. I fired myself voluntarily from the last band I was in, couldn't stand the stress playing both lead and rhythm in a three piece.

Can't do much about items 1) and 2). Item 3) is fixable with some work. It also gives me a whole new musical challenge, which I need at the moment. It is extremely satisfying opening up the fretboard and nailing some new licks. It also feeds back into my acoustic playing, so good all round.

MarkC:
Iíve been working on solo leads lately, but only on acoustic. Iíve always been terrible in jams when my turn comes around. For one thing, my thumb is so accustomed to keeping the beat, I had a hard time letting that go. (Rivers - is that along the lines of what you meant by CB fingerpicking being a bit of a crutch?)

Iíve tried pentatonic scales in the past, but now I focus on triads in chord shapes mostly on the top three or four strings. This works much better for me. I mostly look to Lonnie Johnson and guitarists playing with a piano player. I also figure out some Louis Armstrong solos (at least as close as I can get).

Rivers:

--- Quote from: MarkC on January 30, 2022, 10:47:50 AM ---or one thing, my thumb is so accustomed to keeping the beat, I had a hard time letting that go. (Rivers - is that along the lines of what you meant by CB fingerpicking being a bit of a crutch?)

--- End quote ---

That's definitely part of it but here's the whole story.
1) I never used to practice with a flatpick. I'm still drawn to playing licks finger style, but that's limited in the dynamics you can get out of an electric guitar & amp. So now I'm practicing with a flatpick, and working some hybrid picking into my "thing".
2) The other aspect of leaning too hard on fingerpicking, for me, was never having included scales and licks into my practice regime. I mean major pentatonic and minor pentatonic scales, where they occur and overlap, and how you can miraculously blend both scales when soloing over a major key. That was a major lightbulb moment for me. You just don't need to know that stuff if you're a practiced fingerpicker. Know enough chord inversions along the neck and have a good bag of tricks and you just don't need to go there, unless you want to. I want to!


--- Quote ---Iíve tried pentatonic scales in the past, but now I focus on triads in chord shapes mostly on the top three or four strings. This works much better for me. I mostly look to Lonnie Johnson and guitarists playing with a piano player. I also figure out some Louis Armstrong solos (at least as close as I can get).

--- End quote ---

Yep, triads are real important to me also. I've been using them for a long time and so know where they are. They also work in harmony with knowing the pentatonic scales in all positions. When I'm playing a phrase it's sometimes a toss-up whether I landed on it via knowing the scale or the triad; sometimes it was both. One can never have too much knowledge, especially if, after playing a lick, you want to "get out of it" seamlessly to somewhere else for a few more bars. That right there is the value of practicing both triads and scales.

I'm still practicing finger style country blues but in parallel with electric blues styles. When they overlap, which is often, that is good for both styles. All I know is I'm having a lot of fun expanding my playing in areas I was just not exploring.

I'm quite picky about my influences. At present those tend to be Jimmy Reed, B.B. King, T-Bone Walker and Freddy King for straight pick material, and Hubert Sumlin for finger style. Thanks for mentioning Lonnie Johnson, a fine player I will be exploring his style at some point. I've given myself a year to work on getting some way up the learning curve on this project. This seems realistic, after being at it for a month.

Johnm:
Hi Rivers,
A couple of other players worth looking at for fingerstyle electric playing--Magic Sam and John Lee Hooker, especially along the lines of his playing like https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=8387.msg105507#msg105507. Oh, and Freddie King played with his fingers.
All best,
Johnm

Blues Vintage:

--- Quote from: Rivers on January 30, 2022, 09:02:38 AM ---Interesting. I periodically get amnesia when someone suggests starting a band. I immediately forget a few things, 1) How much work it is, 2) interpersonal relationships, that 'conflicting musical directions' thing

--- End quote ---

I played piano, organ and guitar in a blues (rock) band. I introduced a Sleepy John Estes song (it was Easin' Back To Tennesse).
The band members were like, what? who?

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