Jazz Guitar Almanac

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The Jazz Guitar Almanac

July 2018

July 1, 2018 Sunday
Happy Birthday, Alvino Rey! [1908]

Tip of the day: When presenting a performance in which a smaller group will be joined by additional musicians, set up all stands, chairs and other equipment ahead of time. Asking the audience to wait while the stage is reset is a discourtesy and should be avoided.

July 2, 2018 Monday
Happy Birthday, Joshua Breakstone! [1955]

Tip of the day: Do you have old music books that you have promised yourself to play through someday? Do it.

July 3, 2018 Tuesday
Happy Birthday, Tommy Tedesco! [1930]

Happy Birthday, Peter Bernstein! [1967]

Tip of the day: Tommy Tedesco authored a long running magazine column about his career experiences in recording studios. His fascinating and amusing remarks were accompanied by the actual music that he played and the fee he received for recording it. He was one of the most recorded guitarists in the industry.

July 4, 2018 Wednesday
Happy Birthday, William L. Fowler! [1917]

Happy Birthday, Karl Ratzer! [1950]

Tip of the day: Declare your independence by working up an hourís worth of solo chord melodies. Doing so will improve your marketability.

July 5, 2018 Thursday
Happy Birthday, Ray Biondi ! [1905]

Tip of the day: If your guitar needs a lot of work, ask the luthier for references. Ask to see some of his finished work, too. Check with some of his customers before committing to anything major.

July 6, 2018 Friday

Tip of the day: Modifications to your guitar will generally subtract from itís resale value. Keep your instrument in as close to original condition as possible and youíll get a better price when the time comes to sell or trade.

July 7, 2018 Saturday
Happy Birthday, Tiny Grimes! [1917]

Happy Birthday, Bill Bickford! [1956]

Tip of the day: The harmonic at the twelfth fret should be the same as the stopped string at the twelfth fret. Move the bridge [or bridge saddle] forward or back until the two tones are the same.

July 8, 2018 Sunday
Happy Birthday, Dan Adler!! [1964]

Tip of the day: Jazz has been closely associated with popular music over the years. The relationship has had itís ups and downs but has at times succeeded in presenting the style to a wider audience.

July 9, 2018 Monday
Happy Birthday, Tom Lippincott! [1966]

Tip of the day: A guitar amp will often sound better on a chair or a stand. This gives the speaker better projection and allows you to turn down a little without losing audibility.

July 10, 2018 Tuesday
Happy Birthday, Serge Krief! [1962]

Tip of the day: Sonny Rollins is well known for using calypso tunes like ďSt. ThomasĒ and ďDuke of IronĒ in his concerts. These infectious rhythms are fun to play on guitar and are great to improvise over, too.

July 11, 2018 Wednesday

Tip of the day: The family tree of jazz has its roots both in the syncopations of sub-Saharan drumming and in the European harmonic tradition.

July 12, 2018 Thursday
Happy Birthday, Chuck Loeb! [1955]

   [Loeb is seen here with Pat Martino.]

Tip of the day: Various attempts have been made to ďpopularizeĒ jazz over the years. Unfortunately this usually results in a watering down of the style to the point where the hardcore fans cry ďfoulĒ. Jazz may remain an acquired taste but this insures its integrity and survival.

July 13, 2018 Friday

Tip of the day: Make sure everyone in the band knows what they are expected to wear during the performance. Such requirements vary widely as do the ideas of musicians as to what attire is appropriate.

July 14, 2018 Saturday
Happy Birthday, Dempsey Wright! [1929]

Tip of the Day: Stanley Jordanís fingerboard tapping technique is utterly unorthodox and uniquely his own. Stanley is living proof that the correct technique is the one that works for you.

July 15, 2018 Sunday
Happy Birthday, Tisziji Munoz! [1946]

   [Munoz is seen here with McCoy Tyner.]

Tip of the day: Stage fright happens even to seasoned veteran performers but try to keep in mind that the audience wants you to succeed and to put on a great performance. Donít worry, they donít want to see you bomb up there.

July 16, 2018 Monday
Happy Birthday, Bola Sete! [1923]

Happy Birthday, Bill Bramwell! [1922]

Tip of the day: A guitar with a neck that unscrews makes a good traveling instrument if you are flying somewhere other than a gig. Once itís apart you can put it in a bag and take it on the plane with you. These guitars donít sound great but at least youíll have something to play on vacation.

July 17, 2018 Tuesday
Happy Birthday, George Barnes! [1921]

Happy Birthday, Mary Osborne! [1921]

Tip of the day: Give your solo lines conceptual continuity by extending an improvisational motif over the chord changes.

July 18, 2018 Wednesday
Happy Birthday, Chris Hills! [1946]

Happy Birthday, Ivor Mairants! [1908]

   [Mairants is seen here with Les Paul and Burt Weedon.]

Tip of the day: Does your older guitar have a loose tuning machine? The machine opening can be re-dowelled and re-drilled for a good snug fit.

July 19, 2018 Thursday
Happy Birthday, Phil Upchurch! [1941]

Tip of the day: Keeping the chrome or gold trim on your guitar clean and dry will extend the life of the plating.

July 20, 2018 Friday

Tip of the day: A great melody has something that can be referred to as ďsingabilityĒ. This quality of natural contour and phrasing gives the line universality and appeal. Improvising jazz in this fashion is the mark of the master.

July 21, 2018 Saturday
Happy Birthday, Pierre Cullaz! [1935]

Happy Birthday, Joel Fass! [1954]

Tip of the day: A tune-o-matic bridge with nylon saddles can be used to replace a regular wooden bridge on an archtop if fine-tuning is your priority.

July 22, 2018 Sunday
Happy Birthday, Jimmy Bruno! [1953]

Happy Birthday, Al Dimeola! [1954]

Tip of the day: In a recording studio the best jazz guitar sound can sometimes be found by plugging directly into the board.

July 23, 2018 Monday
Happy Birthday, Jack Fragomeni! [1951]

Tip of the day: Some arrangers do not take the capabilities and limitations of the guitar into consideration. This can result in parts that are awkward and difficult to play.

July 24, 2018 Tuesday
Happy Birthday, Clarence Holiday! [1898]

Tip of the day: If you are called upon to play open air gigs in the summer get a large tarp and keep it close at hand. Donít let a sudden shower ruin your expensive equipment.

July 25, 2018 Wednesday

Tip of the day: There is a shortcut in learning to play jazz guitar that should not be overlooked: Donít waste your time looking for shortcuts.

July 26, 2018 Thursday
Happy Birthday, Wayne Krantz! [1956]

Tip of the day: The perspiration factor is considerable when playing in the summerís heat. The neck gets sticky and wet causing you to stick and slide. The problem becomes: will I stick, or will I slide? Keep a dry towel handy under these conditions.

July 27, 2018 Friday
Happy Birthday, Deirdre Cartwright! [1956]

Happy Birthday Michael Sagmeister! [1959]

Tip of the day: A straightedge placed on the frets in line with the strings should lie flat. If you are able to rock it up and down at all a raised or loose fret may be to blame.

July 28, 2018 Saturday
Happy Birthday, Ikey Robinson ! [1904]

Happy Birthday, Mike Musillami [1953]

Tip of the day: Solid state amplifiers are preferred by many jazz guitarists. A good one will deliver enough power for a clean, tight sound at moderate to high volume levels. Not having to replace expensive power tubes periodically is another big advantage.

July 29, 2018 Sunday
Happy Birthday, Charlie Christian! [1916]

Happy Birthday, Joe Beck! [1945]

Tip of the day: Artificial harmonics are played by touching the string with the picking handís index finger exactly one octave above the stopped tone and then gently articulating the string. This effect is dramatic when used on chords.

July 30, 2018 Monday
Happy Birthday ,Dick McDonough! [1904]

     [McDonough is seen here with Karl Kress.]

Tip of the day: The left thumb can be used to hold down bass tones on the low E and A strings. Many jazz players including Wes Montgomery employ this trick to achieve unorthodox voicings and textures.

July 31, 2018 Tuesday
Happy Birthday, Kenny Burrell [1931]

Happy Birthday, Stanley Jordan! [1959]

Happy Birthday, Barry Greene! [1961]


The Jazz Guitar Almanac

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on the first of each month.

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