Jazz Guitar Almanac

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The Jazz Guitar Almanac

August   2017

August 1, 2017   Tuesday

Happy Birthday, Rich Raezer!!  [1931]

Tip of the day: There are certain things no instructor can teach you. Dedication, motivation and the willingness to work hard are up to the student to discover alone.


August 2, 2017   Wednesday

Tip of the day:  Reharmonized melodies are beautiful to behold. Take a familiar melody and experiment with new chord patterns. You may hit upon something worthwhile.


August 3, 2017   Thursday

Tip of the day: Many first generation jazz guitarists were converted banjo players. They include: Dick McDonough, Allen Reuss, George Van Eps and Carl Kress.


August 4, 2017   Friday

Happy Birthday, Herb Ellis ! [1921]

Tip of the day:  Measure the distance from the top of the twelfth fret to the bottom of the high E string while playing F in first position. A distance of 2/32nds of an inch is a good low action.


August 5, 2017   Saturday

Happy Birthday, Lenny Breau! [1941]

   [Breau is seen here with Pat Martino.]

Happy Birthday, Sigi Schwab!   [1940]

Tip of the day: The  “Velvet Touch “ of today’s birthday boy is evident in his way of articulating artificial harmonics. Lenny would hit the touch point with his index finger in the usual way and then articulate with the thumb.


August 6, 2017   Sunday

Happy Birthday,  Eddie McFadden! [1928]

   [McFadden is seen here with Lou Donaldson.]

Happy Birthday, Joe D’Orio ! [1936]

Happy Birthday,  Philippe Deschepper [1949]

Happy Birthday,  Baden Powell    [1937]

Happy Birthday, Andreas Oberg!!  [1978] 

Tip of the day: Flatwound strings are easier on the fingertips and produce less fret wear than round wounds. Their dark, beautiful tone is preferred by many jazz players.


August 7, 2017   Monday

Happy Birthday, George Van Eps! [1913]

Happy Birthday,  Sid Jacobs!!!    [1954]

Tip of the day:  Transcribe songs by your favorite guitarists to discover their concepts, not to imitate them.


August 8, 2017   Tuesday

Happy Birthday,  Edward Ellington, II  !!!!   [1944]

Tip of the day:  Augmented chords are symbolized by + or aug and consist of  an augmented triad [1-3-#5] a minor seventh and color tones. G+7#9 is therefore spelled G-B-D#-F-A#.


August 9, 2017 Wednesday

Happy Birthday, Mike Bryan!!   [1916]

   [Bryan is seen here with Cozy Cole.]

Tip of the day: A pivot chord is a voicing used in modulations that gets you from the first key to the next. It frequently has a harmonic function in each of the two keys.


August 10, 2017  Thursday

“My father broke my first guitar. He got tired of hearing me play the  open E chord in some idiotic fashion. He wanted me to do my school work, have a profession and grow up and have a family.”  [Barney Kessel]

Tip of the day: The best tip of all: Turn off the computer and go play the guitar.


August 11, 2017  Friday

Happy Birthday, Johannes Rediske!    [1926]

Tip of the day: Learn to solder at least well enough to repair your guitar cable. This is an easy skill to acquire and the tools are inexpensive. As long as you don’t burn yourself, you’ll be way ahead of the game.


August 12, 2017  Saturday

Happy Birthday, Roy Gaines! [1934]

Happy Birthday, Pat Metheny! [1954]

   [Metheny is seen here with Gary Burton.]

Tip of the day: Spend an hour or so every day preparing for your next engagement or rehearsal. Preparation is the hallmark of professionalism.


August 13, 2017  Sunday

Happy Birthday, Joe Puma!  [1927]

   [Puma is seen here with Chuck Wayne.]

Happy Birthday, Rick Stone!  [1955]

Tip of the day: Joe Puma is well remembered for his great collaboration with Chuck Wayne. They set a high standard of technique and musicality for all future guitar duos to live up to.


August 14, 2017  Monday

Tip of the day:  The sun is warm enough to soften the glue that holds your beloved instrument together. Do not leave the guitar in direct sunlight.


August 15, 2017  Tuesday

Tip of the day: When the humidity in your house drops below 40% consider a humidifier to prevent your guitar from drying out too much.


August 16, 2017  Wednesday

Happy Birthday, Howard Lucraft!  [1916]

Tip of the day: “Humbucking” pickups feature two bobbins wound in opposite directions. This design cancels the humming which is prominent in single coil designs.


August 17, 2017  Thursday

Happy Birthday,  Arv Garrison! [1922]

Happy Birthday, Howard Morgen!!  [1932]

Tip of the day:  If you ever have the occasion to install an end pin in the heel of a guitar’s neck, be sure the pin’s position is centered before drilling a pilot hole to accommodate the entry of the screw.


August 18, 2017  Friday

Tip of the day: The guitar is like a barometer. In the summer it will swell up with the additional moisture in the air and in the winter the opposite will occur. This is to be expected. Learn to adjust the instrument to compensate for these seasonal changes.


August 19, 2017  Saturday

Happy Birthday, Eddie Durham!  [1906]

Happy Birthday, Ron Eschete! [1948]

Happy Birthday, Marc Ducret!     [1957]

Happy Birthday, Peter Leitch!  [1944]

Happy Birthday,  Adam Rogers!  [1965]

Tip of the day: Rubber f-hole inserts dampen the top’s vibrations. The guitar will not resonate fully resulting in poor acoustic tone but higher volume levels without feedback will be possible. This can be important when playing a large venue.


August 20, 2017   Sunday

Happy Birthday, Jimmy Raney! [1927]

       [Raney is seen here with Herb Ellis.]

Tip of the day:  Although his single line solos were played almost exclusively with down strokes of the thumb, Wes Montgomery achieved blistering up-tempo 16th note lines with various left hand articulations.


August 21, 2017  Monday

Happy Birthday, Bruce Eisenbeil! [1968]

Tip of the day: High summertime humidity levels can harm a guitar. Consider placing a silica gel packet inside the guitar case to absorb extra moisture.


August 22, 2017  Tuesday

Happy Birthday, Brick Fleagle! [1906]

Happy Birthday, Claude Barthelemy!     [1956]

Happy Birthday, Nick Lucas!  [1897]

Tip of the day: One modern production technique that has been applied to guitar construction is the use of laser-guided saws. The result is a very high level of consistency regarding fit and finish.


August 23, 2017  Wednesday

Happy Birthday, Terje Rypdal ! [1947]

Happy Birthday, Nathan Page!!  [1937]

Tip of the day: At some point you may be facing the dilemma of having broken a string in performance. You will have to finish a song or even a set playing the “Five String Blues”. It’s probably impossible to prepare for this eventuality so just try to take it in stride and don’t panic.


August 24, 2017  Thursday

Tip of the day: Modulating directly to a new key on the final chord of a tune can be a dramatic harmonic device. Try ending a C major piece in A major or ending a Bb blues on E7#9. The possibilities are endless so experiment and be creative.


August 25, 2017  Friday

Happy Birthday, Pat Martino! [1944]

Tip of the day: Today’s birthday boy reclaimed his career and his life after surgery for a potentially fatal arterial venous malformation left him with extensive amnesia. The strength he displayed in his recovery stands as an inspiration to guitarists everywhere.


August 26, 2017  Saturday

Happy Birthday, Mordy Ferber!  [1958]

Tip of the day: When you pull “Wedding Duty” it is inevitable that some happy celebrant will want to sit in with the band after having bolstered his confidence with champagne. This is a blueprint for musical disaster but try to be gracious and always follow a singer’s lead.


August 27, 2017  Sunday

Happy Birthday, Sonny Sharrock!  [1940]

Happy Birthday, Rudolf Dasek!    [1933]

Happy Birthday, Rez Abbasi!      [1965]

Happy Birthday, Roland Prince!       [1946]

Tip of the day: When you are playing an evening concert outdoors on a hot August night the lights will attract millions of bugs to you as you sit profusely perspiring in your tuxedo. You will then know what it truly means to be a musician.


August 28, 2017  Monday

Happy Birthday, Nate Najar!  [1981]

Tip of the day: A dominant chord is symbolized by the number 7, 9, 11, or 13 and consists of a Major triad [1-3-5] a minor seventh and color tones [9-11-13 etc.]


August 29, 2017  Tuesday

Happy Birthday, Doug Raney!    [1956]

Tip of the day: Summer jazz camps offer great opportunities for players of all ages and abilities to work together under the guidance of top instructors. This experience is certain to bring your playing up a level or two.


August 30, 2017  Wednesday

Happy Birthday, Rodney Jones!  [1956]

Tip of the day: The capo and bottle neck slide, so popular among country, blues and folk guitarists, are devices that are virtually unheard of in jazz.


August 31, 2017  Thursday

Happy Birthday, Laudric Caton!!  [1910]

Tip of the day: Transposing instruments produce a sound at a fixed interval above or below the written note. This allows a player to switch easily from among various sized instruments of the same type like alto and tenor sax.

The Jazz Guitar Almanac

is published in monthly installments

on the first of each month.

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