Archive for June, 2008

Lesson 13: Freight Trane

Posted in Jazz Guitar on June 23, 2008 by Staff Writer

Another lesson yesterday. Master took me through the changes of Freight Trane – opening track off the Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane album that he’d lent me the week before, the head of which I’d transcribed. He zapped me off a copy of the music and I think I nailed the melody with about 90% accuracy though having some trouble ‘swinging’ at such speed, i.e. playing the swing 8th notes at 236 bpm. Working on that though and right hand is getting better.


MXR Carbon Copy

Posted in Guitar Gear on June 18, 2008 by Staff Writer

Musician’s Friend didn’t deliver the goods – they wrote to me to tell me they were out of stock so I canceled the order for this baby and bought it locally.


Tried it out in the shop and it’s got this lovely warmth without being too dark. Futzed around with it for a while till I was happy then got a small discount – picked it up for $230 SGD in the end which is slightly more than MF but probably about the same once you factor in shipping and crap.  As usual, impressed the pants off whoever was in the store with my demonic guitar playing, including this kid’s mom who was sitting there while he tried to pick out an EQ pedal. She couldn’t wait to throw her underwear at me.

Lessons 11 and 12 – more Autumn Leaves

Posted in Guitar Playing, Jazz Guitar on June 17, 2008 by Staff Writer

Forgot to post about lesson 11 – we spent more time jazzing up the blues which I kind of got bored with after a while. Oh well – we’ll come back to that.

Lesson 12 last Sunday was great. I told Master that I’d been spending too much time on theory and that I felt I needed to really nail some songs and get to know the properly. He replied that there are various levels of knowing a song, for example:

  1. Being able to play the song all the way through with just the chords without screwing up.
  2. Learning the song in a couple of keys, e.g. C and G
  3. Being able to play the melody of the song all the way through.
  4. Being able to play a walking bassline and maybe chords/bass
  5. …things kind of get fuzzy here – I think he said pop ‘n’ play and then being able to solo over the song.

Number 2 is an interesting one – obviously in jazz you need to know a song in a few keys because of those damn singers and their limited range but Master said when starting out, just learn it in those two keys since that enables you to stay within the 1st to 12th fret and just transpose by moving up and down. More on this later.

Anyway, we revisited Autumn Leaves and I learned this in both C and G. Master said a simple way to approach it is to use those chord forms with the 3rd and 7th on the third and fourth strings, possibly even omitting the root so you just end up playing diads which means you stay out of the range of a singer, vocalist or soloist.

Later he lent me a CD of Kenny Burrell with John Coltrane which has, as its opening track, the number ‘Freight Trane’ which has one of the gayest melodies/heads I’ve ever heard, yet I just felt compelled to transcribe it! Anyhoo, he explained that Kenny Burrell is quite accessible and a good listen/study for the fledgling jazz guitarist since his lines aren’t super complicated.

Hard Rock Cafe

Posted in Guitar General on June 5, 2008 by Staff Writer

This is cool – it allows you to zoom in to very fine detail on a bunch of memorabilia in the Hard Rock Cafe’s very extensive collection. 

hardrock bodidbo did 2

Guys with tiny knobs – buy this guitar

Posted in Guitar General on June 3, 2008 by Staff Writer

Yep. And I  don’t mean volume or tone knobs.

If ever there was a name for a brand (now transplanted on to a guitar) that must have been dreamed up by a guy who couldn’t get dates due to his fixation on his penis size, it’s this one – Megadestroyer. So now “Sparrow-cock” guitars are building one for the guitarist who also rides the Ninja Dominator motorbike. Limpdicks with tiny maggots can apply here.

Pat Metheny PM120-NT

Posted in Guitar Gear on June 3, 2008 by Staff Writer

Went to the Swee Lee sale on Sunday with no intention of buying anything but ended up dropping over 2 grand on a lovely new jazz box – the Ibanez Pat Metheny PM120 signature model, natural finish. You may remember my GASeous feelings towards this guitar from here.

Saw the beauty on the stand, recognized it from its cutaway ‘horns’ and promptly grabbed it – shoving aside a pregnant woman from a chair so I could sit down for an hour and play it.

When I told the staff that I wanted to buy it, one of them disappeared round the back to get the case, emerging 5 minutes later clutching it. He then said ‘oh, it comes with a cloth of some kind too.’  Being a completist and wanting everything due to me that’s included, I said ‘ok – give me the cloth’ half expecting some small monogrammed cleaning towel that I could keep in the accessories box in the case, but no – I was completely mistaken. He returned with what I can only liken to a small sleeping bag – made from black fuzzy cloth and about 5 feet in length.

‘What am I supposed to do with this?’ I asked.

‘You put the guitar in there.’

‘Huh? When?’

‘I don’t  know. That must be part of the endorsee’s request.’

You can see it next to the case in the bottom picture. The case can’t fit in the bag (and anyway, why would it want to?). Yes, the guitar can fit in the bag, but then the bag can’t fit in the case. The bag doesn’t offer any kind of knock protection to the guitar and can’t easily be carried if you put the guitar in it (I haven’t tried it yet).

So, my only remaining theories are:

  1. Pat likes drowning large numbers of kittens now and then.
  2. He sleeps in it up to his chest between sets.
  3. It’s utterly pointless.

Still – an absolutely beautiful guitar that might be a keeper. My first time with flatwounds too and I love them!

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