Jazz Guitar Almanac

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The Jazz Guitar Almanac

June   2017

June 1, 2017   Thursday

Tip of the day: Nick Lucas, George Benson, Tal Farlow, Barney Kessell, Pat Martino, Les Paul, Howard Roberts, Harry Volpe, Mark Elf, Johnny Smith, Joe Pass, Jimmy Bruno, Jim Hall, Henry Johnson, George Barnes, Kenny Burrell, Jack Wilkins and Herb Ellis have each had a guitar named after them.


June 2, 2017   Friday

Happy Birthday, Ernie Hood!  [1923]

Happy Birthday, John Morrell! [1946]

Happy Birthday Sonny Kenner! [1933]

Tip of the day: Every musician faces criticism. The beginner is criticized by his teacher. The sideman is criticized by the band leader. The leader is criticized by everyone and sometimes in a very public way.


June 3, 2017   Saturday

Happy Birthday, Jack Wilkins!  [1944]

Tip of the day: If you take a day off, youíll know it. If you take a second day off, the other guys on the bandstand will know it. If you take a third day off, everyone will know it.


June 4, 2017   Sunday

Happy Birthday, Andor Kovacs!        [1929]

Happy Birthday, Fred Baker!  [1960]

Tip of the day: Jazz festivals are a great celebration of our musical heritage. Support them by attending as many as you can either as a listener or as a performer.


June 5, 2017             Monday

ďIím considered a jazz guitarist, although thatís merely what appears on the surface. That particular instrument has proven successful as a valid tool for survival, but itís also been my scepter.Ē    Pat Martino


Tip of the day: The parentheses in chord nomenclature generally indicate tones that are optional. For instance C7(9) would be spelled C-E-G-Bb with the option of including D being up to the instrumentalist.


June 6, 2017 Tuesday

Happy Birthday, Grant Green! [1931]

Happy Birthday, Paul Bollenback!   [1959]

Tip of the day: Find a good teacher. You can become a good guitarist without one but the right teacher can save you from taking the long way around.


June 7, 2017   Wednesday

Happy Birthday, Tal Farlow!  [1921]

Happy Birthday, Royce Campbell! [1952]

Tip of the day: Certain people are able to play great jazz without knowing much about reading or music theory. Highly developed psychomotor skills and great ears seem to go a long way. Donít ignore this aspect of your musical development.


June 8, 2017   Thursday

   [Chuck Wayne and Joe Puma]

Tip of the day: Certain archtop guitars feature a floating pickup with a jack and potentiometer mounted to the pickgaurd. This design ingeniously prevents the need for the sawing of holes that would hurt the guitarís resonance.


June 9, 2017   Friday

Happy Birthday,  Jimmy Gourley!  [1926]

Happy Birthday, Mick Goodrick! [1945]

Happy Birthday, Les Paul!  [1916]

Tip of the day: Working through a sight-singing book is a worthwhile endeavor. This will improve your sight-reading and musicianship. Itís great  ear training, too.


June 10, 2017  Saturday

Happy Birthday, Joe Negri!   [1930]

Happy Birthday, Joao Gilberto!!    [1931]

Happy Birthday, Gray Sargent!  [1970]

Tip of the day: Big band guitarists must go beyond the written accents and rests. Comping behind the soloist or ensemble often means playing unwritten accents that are consistent with the style of a given arrangement.


June 11, 2017  Sunday

Happy Birthday, Bob Roetker! [1948]

Tip of the day: The formula for the half diminished seventh chord is 1-b3-b5-b7. It is also commonly referred to as minor seven flat five.


June 12, 2017  Monday

       [Jim Hall]

Tip of the day: The seventh chords in the key of F minor are: Fmin7, Gmin7b5, Abmaj7, Bbmin7, Cmin7, Dbmaj7, and Eb7.


June 13, 2017  Tuesday

Happy Birthday , Attila Zoller ! [1927]

Tip of the day:  Playing along with recordings or accompaniment software is helpful, but there is no interactivity. Besides, playing with people is more fun than playing with machines.


June 14, 2017  Wednesday

Happy Birthday, Joe Cinderella !   [1927]

Happy Birthday, Nappy Lamare ! [1910]

Happy Birthday, Tiit Paulus!     [1945]

Tip of the day: Always loop your cable over the end pin between the strap and the instrument. Even if you trip over it , it is unlikely to become dislodged. Your guitar generally sounds better plugged in.


June 15, 2017  Thursday

Happy Birthday, Allan Reuss! [1915]

Happy Birthday, Turk Van Lake ! [1918]

Happy Birthday, John Hart!   [1961]

Happy Birthday, Talcott Reeves!  [1904]

Tip of the day: There is no substitute for the hours spent alone in the practice room. Be prepared for the isolative intensity of the woodshed.


June 16, 2017  Friday

Happy Birthday Al Viola! [1919]

Tip of the day: The chord symbol Gb9 may seem ambiguous to some. It is the same as G9 only down a semitone. It does not indicate a G natural chord with a flatted ninth.


June 17, 2017  Saturday

     [George Benson and Pat Martino]

Tip of the day: Donít worry if you are not as good as someone else. Donít worry about being better than the next guy. Only you can travel the road that lies ahead. Worry about bringing to the music that which only you can bring.


June 18, 2017  Sunday

     [Joe Pass and Ella Fitzgerald]

Tip of the day: Someone who breaks the rules is sometimes called an innovator. Someone who breaks the rules without knowing what they are is more commonly known as a beginner.


June 19, 2017  Monday

Happy Birthday , Ernest Ranglin!!    [1932]

Tip of the day: Donít become overly concerned with the sound of your equipment. The differences between various amplifiers from major manufacturers are subtle. Train yourself to listen to the music rather than the equipment.


June 20, 2017  Tuesday

Happy Birthday, Dennis Budimir!  [1938]

Tip of the day: Learn chords in as many ways as possible. Learn the fingering, the formula, the notation on the staff, and the spelling. Internalize the sound by singing the intervals as you play them.


June 21, 2017  Wednesday

Happy Birthday, Chuck Anderson!    [1947]

Happy Birthday, Andrew Cheshire! [1962]

Tip of the day: Play a C on the first string. How many chords can you put under it?


June 22, 2017  Thursday

       [Robert Conti and Nick Brignola]

Tip of the day: Alternating bass accompaniment patterns work well on guitar. Start with a simple waltz pattern and work your way up to bossa nova and uptempo swing patterns.


June 23, 2017  Friday


Happy Birthday, Roddy Elias!! [1949]

Tip of the day: Students ask many theoretical questions that can be answered by refocusing on the repertoire. The melodies of  standard tunes illustrate what does and does not work over the harmonic background  eloquently.


June 24, 2017  Saturday


Tip of the day: Donít forget dear old Dad today. Maybe heíd like to hear ďMy Heart Belongs to DaddyĒ or ďSong For My FatherĒ.


June 25, 2017  Sunday

Happy Birthday, Johnny Smith! [1922]

Happy Birthday, Dave Cliff!  [1944]

Tip of the day: The chords you see on sheet music can frequently obscure the actual harmonic structure of a song. Lead sheet harmonies do not always represent the chords chosen by professionals on recordings or in performance.


June 26, 2017  Monday

     [Fred Guy and Duke Ellington]

Tip of the day: Many jazz guitarists prefer a small mandolin sized pick. The compact dimensions of such a plectrum make itís maneuverability superior to itís bigger cousins.


June 27, 2017  Tuesday

Happy Birthday, Jimmy McLin!       [1908]

Happy Birthday, Robert Norman!     [1916]

Tip of the day: If you record your guitar live consider using two tracks: one direct and one with a mic on the amp. The direct sound is easier to work with on the mixdown and the sound of the amp can be blended in as needed.


June 28, 2017  Wednesday

Happy Birthday, Magni Wentzel!   [1945]

ď [Jazz is]  like playing tennis: You donít start playing when youíre 25 years old and expect to reach the championship level. You have to start when youíre six.Ē    [Jack Wilkins]

Tip of the day: The touch point for an artificial harmonic is twelve frets above the fundamental tone. If you use a pick hold it between the thumb and the middle finger using the index finger to execute the touch.


June 29, 2017  Thursday

Happy Birthday, Gilberto Gil!  [1942]

Tip of the day: Fretted string instruments are even tempered. They are not perfectly in tune in any key but are pretty close in every key. Guitarists must learn to accept this compromise or take up some other instrument.


June 30, 2017  Friday

   [George Van Eps and Bucky Pizzarelli]

Tip of the day: The scale length of a guitar is measured from the nut to the saddles. Longer scale guitars require fewer bridge compensations to achieve good intonation.

The Jazz Guitar Almanac

is published in monthly installments

on the first of each month.

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