Tag Archive | lesson

Rufus Philpot Visits LAMA Bass Department

rufus bass lama 1A special someone stopped by to give LAMA’s “lowenders” a lesson this week. In case you weren’t aware, Rufus Philpot is BEAST! Photos via bass department chair Jerry Watts’ Instagram (@j_double_diz)

rufus bass lama 2

Rufus Philpot BIO:

Ten years ago, bassist Rufus Philpot moved from his native land of London, England to the United States to pursue his musical vision. His first port of call was New York City. Whilst there, he rapidly became a much sought after bassist, with a reputation for his complete versatility, musicality and total command of the instrument, whether on fretted, fretless, four, five or six string..

Rufus was also invited to join the faculty of the world renowned Drummers / Bass Collective. In addition to teaching advanced classes with Tania Maria drummer Kim Plainfield, he performed regular seminar concerts with his own trio, JVR-featuring Spyro Gyra & Michel Camilo drummer Joel Rosenblatt.

In 2004, Rufus moved to Los Angeles, touring the U.S. with British Acid Jazz group Down to the Bone (acting as Musical Director), playing in a trio with Kirk Civington;s CPT Kirk, touring with Lao Tizer-and playing locally with such virtuosi as Scott Henderson, Steve Weingart, Tony Macalpine, Brandon Fields, Joel Taylor, and Mitch Forman.

Read the rest of Rufus’ complete bio here: http://www.rufusbass.com/bio.html

-LAMA Staff

Jody Fisher Guitar Video Quick Tip: “Learning Chords”

Jody Fisher grew up studying guitar with his uncle, jazz guitarist Sid Fisher, who had spent many years as an RCA recording artist. Jody has published over twenty instructional books about jazz guitar with Alfred Publishing, Workshop Arts Publications, and Mel Bay Publications. Four of his books have appeared in the Smithsonian Institute’s Folkways Exhibition in Washington, DC. Jody has also written for most of the major guitar magazines, including Guitar Player, Just Jazz Guitar and Finger Style Guitar.  Check out www.jodyfisher.com for more information.

In this video, LA Music Academy Guitar Department Chair Jody Fisher offers this quick tip “Learning Chords”:

For more great videos, tips and highlights from LA Music Academy alumni and instructors, subscribe to our YouTube channel here: http://youtube.com/LAmusicacademy

-LAMA Staff

German Schauss Guitar Video Quick Tip: “Guitar Picking”

German Schauss is a guitarist, composer, author, and educator who teaches at LA Music Academy. He performs and tours as the leader of his own band and with other internationally known artists. Schauss writes music for commercials, TV, and video games, and has been named one of the 50 fastest guitarists of all time by Guitar World magazine. He is the author of Shredding Bach (Alfred/NGW #34922) and The Total Shred Guitarist (Alfred/NGW #36573) and writes a popular monthly column “Instant Shredding” for Germany’s biggest guitar magazine Gitarre & Bass. German uses and proudly endorses: Ernie Ball/Music Man, Bogner, Rocktron, PreSonus, Native Instruments, D’Addario, Planet Waves, Maxon, Guyatone, Morley, Dunlop, Voodoo Labs, Pigtronix Pedals, DiMarzio, Zoom, Tremol-No, and Pedaltrain products. For more about German Schauss and his music, please visit www.germanschauss.com for more info.

In this video, German talks “Guitar Picking”:

For more great videos, tips and highlights from LA Music Academy alumni and instructors, subscribe to our YouTube channel here: http://youtube.com/LAmusicacademy

-LAMA Staff

German Schauss Guitar Video Quick Tip: “Tapping”

German Schauss is a guitarist, composer, author, and educator who teaches at LA Music Academy. He performs and tours as the leader of his own band and with other internationally known artists. Schauss writes music for commercials, TV, and video games, and has been named one of the 50 fastest guitarists of all time by Guitar World magazine. He is the author of Shredding Bach (Alfred/NGW #34922) and The Total Shred Guitarist (Alfred/NGW #36573) and writes a popular monthly column “Instant Shredding” for Germany’s biggest guitar magazine Gitarre & Bass. German uses and proudly endorses: Ernie Ball/Music Man, Bogner, Rocktron, PreSonus, Native Instruments, D’Addario, Planet Waves, Maxon, Guyatone, Morley, Dunlop, Voodoo Labs, Pigtronix Pedals, DiMarzio, Zoom, Tremol-No, and Pedaltrain products. For more about German Schauss and his music, please visit www.germanschauss.com for more info.

In this video, German talks “Tapping”:

For more great videos, tips and highlights from LA Music Academy alumni and instructors, subscribe to our YouTube channel here: http://youtube.com/LAmusicacademy

-LAMA Staff

Jody Fisher Guitar Video Quick Tip: “Walking Bass”

Jody Fisher grew up studying guitar with his uncle, jazz guitarist Sid Fisher, who had spent many years as an RCA recording artist. Jody has published over twenty instructional books about jazz guitar with Alfred Publishing, Workshop Arts Publications, and Mel Bay Publications. Four of his books have appeared in the Smithsonian Institute’s Folkways Exhibition in Washington, DC. Jody has also written for most of the major guitar magazines, including Guitar Player, Just Jazz Guitar and Finger Style Guitar.  Check out www.jodyfisher.com for more information.

In this video, LA Music Academy Guitar Department Chair Jody Fisher offers this quick tip “Walking Bass”:

For more great videos, tips and highlights from LA Music Academy alumni and instructors, subscribe to our YouTube channel here: http://youtube.com/LAmusicacademy

-LAMA Staff

#Guitar Lesson: Shell Voicing Extensions

LA Music Academy's Tariqh Akoni

In a previous lesson, we looked at Guide Tones and Shell Voicings. The next, step is to see how we can extend these voicings. Remember, we have our basic “building blocks” of Triads, and 7th chords. Now we’re going to continue to “extend” our voicings by adding 9th, 11th, and 13th chord tones. The trick is to simply take these Shell Voicings and reach forward (above the voicing) to explore which tensions are available (the words Tensions and Extensions are typically used synonymously as we “Extend” our voicings but the notes cause more “Tension” needing resolution).. As an example, take our Cdom7 Shell Voicing (1, 3, b7), reaching ABOVE the voicing, we could grab another Root, b9, 9, #9/b3 or 3.

Example 1

Here is a list of the most common Major, Minor, and Dominant Family chords:

Major, Minor and Dominant Family chords

As we look at our Shell Voicings and how we can extend them, you’ll notice that we’ve discarded the one’s that are too difficult to finger. The following is a compendium of all Shell Voicing Extensions. You’ll see a lot of old familiar friends within these voicings. Remember, these are not “grips” to be memorized. Try to think of them as their Shell Voicings with extensions, and learn them slowly to add to your repertoire. As a side note, we’ve distinguished our dominant family chords as either Non-Functioning Dominants (those that don’t resolve down a fifth) and Functioning Dominants (those that DO resolve down a fifth). Non-Functioning Dominants can contain the #11 (Lydianb7) while Functioning Dominants have true alterations (b5, #5/b13, b9, #9).

Major Family

6th String Root

5th String Root

4th String Root

  Minor Family

6th String Root

 5th String Root 4th string Root

Dominant Family – Non-Functioning

6th String Root

5th String Root

 

4th String Root

 

Dominant Family – Functioning

6th String Root 5th String Root

4th String RootOkay… this is a LOT of chords. Now remember, DON’T BE INTIMIDATED. The goal is twofold: a) to see the application of these extended voicings and how they’re generated b) to perhaps find some voicings that are intriguing. To practice, take these through the circle of fifths or fourths and try to put them to use in an arrangement or while comping. In addition, try to “see” which CAGED position surrounds each voicing and all the available notes nearby. This is a great deal of work, but with diligence you’ll soon impress your friends and frighten your enemies.

Good Luck!!!

-Tariqh Akoni

Tariqh Akoni is Los Angeles Music Academy College of Music Guitar Department Chairman. He is a performing/session guitarist and currently on tour with Josh Groban.

Want to learn more about the LA Music Academy guitar department? Check out Tariqh’s video introduction below:

#Guitar Lesson: Guide Tones and Shell Voicings

LA Music Academy's Tariqh Akoni

Hi all you guitar fans out there in guitar land. Here is a lesson based on a powerful concept used by many improvisers and accompanists in jazz.  Let’s take a “Theory Time-Out” and refresh our memory. The Triad (consisting of a Root, 3rd and 5th) is considered the “building block” for western harmony. Jazz and Blues music typically adds (at the very least) the 7th to form 7th chords. Although this is the case, many Jazz improvisers, composers and accompanists when looking at Jazz harmony feel that the 1st and 5th are somewhat redundant (because they typically appear in the bassline and are “assumed” to be part of the chord). As a result, a chord can rely on the 3rd and 7th alone to provide the essential harmonic information. For example, if we were to take a ii V I progression in the key of C, we could outline the harmony by simply playing the 3rd and 7th of each chord:

Example 1

These notes provide what we call a Guide Tone Line. Guide Tone Lines are the essence of the harmony and are very powerful in writing background lines for accompaniment, establishing the harmony and even as the primary target notes during an improvisation. By nature, Guide Tones have smooth voice leading as the move almost chromatically. In addition, little movement is required by the left hang. Experiment with Guide Tone Lines by comping through your favorite Jazz Standards only using Guide Tones. This is a technique that has been used to great effect by guitarists like Jim Hall, John Scofield, John Abercrombie, Pat Metheney and many others.

Although this is a somewhat brief (and a bit truncated) description of Guide Tone Lines, it serves our purpose for this lesson. Beyond simply using Guide Tones for accompaniment, we can actually develop a full voicing system. Simply add the Root to our fundamental 3rd and 7th and we create a fuller sound. These “Shell Voicings” don’t have Inversions in the common sense because the Root is simply there to fill out the sound and therefore will stay in the bass. As a result, we’ll look at voicings of Root 3rd and 7th as well as Root 7th and 3rd with the Root in the bass on the 4th, 5th and 6th strings.  These Shell Voicings are a GREAT way to expand your Jazz Guitar vocabulary and once you understand the basic concept, and easy to expand upon.

***Major Family***

6th String

Example 2

5th String

Example 3

4th String

Example 4

***Minor Family***

6th String

Example 5

5th String

Example 6

4th String

Example 7

***Dominant Family***

6th String

Example 8

5th String

Example 9

4th String

Example 10

Guide Tone Lines and Shell Voicings are very useful when playing with keyboardists or in Big Band context as they are unobtrusive. The great Jazz rhythm guitarist Freddie Green (from Count Basie’s Band) based his entire style on Shell Voicings and Shell Voicing derivatives.. Later, we’ll investigate how to develop these to include extensions and altered sounds, and we’ll see that a great number of our favorite and most common voicings are derived from these Shell Voicing basics.

Tariqh Akoni

Tariqh Akoni is Los Angeles Music Academy College of Music Guitar Department Chairman. He is a performing/session guitarist and currently on tour with Josh Groban.

Want to learn more about the LA Music Academy guitar department? Check out Tariqh’s video introduction below.

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