Interview With Howard Alden, Internationally Acclaimed Jazz Guitarist
This week on FretDojo, I’m happy to share with you an interview I recently held with internationally acclaimed jazz guitarist Howard Alden.
Howard is one of the leaders of jazz guitar in the modern era. His accolades include:
- Student the Guitar Institute of Technology in 1977-78 with Herb Ellis, Joe Pass, and Howard Roberts
- Collaborations with Dick Hyman, Dan Barrett, Bucky Pizzarelli and many others
- Alden recorded the guitar performances for Sean Penn‘s character Emmet Ray in Woody Allen‘s 1999 film Sweet and Lowdown – and taught Penn how to mime the performances for the film(!)
- Recorded many albums with Concord Records as well as other labels, including four with the famed 7 string jazz guitar innovator George Van Eps
- Has been the recipient of many awards, including:
- Best Emerging Guitar Talent, JazzTimes (1990)
- Guitar Player of the Year, American Guitar Museum (2003)
- Top 75 Guitarists, Down Beat (2008)
- Jazz critics have said of Howard Alden that “He may be the best of his generation” and “the most impressive and creative member of a new generation of jazz guitarists.”
In the interview below, I go on a deep dive with Howard about his journey with jazz guitar from a youngster to where he is today. I also ask Howard to reveal his secrets for how to maximise the results you get in the practice room – there were some fantastic tips Howard gives in this interview that you should definitely pay attention to.
Interview With Howard Alden (Audio Version)
Resources mentioned by Howard Alden:
- 3 Part Guitar Compendium by the late Howard Roberts and Garry Hasberg (3 book set)
- George Van Eps Guitar Solos (book)
- Solos From “Sweet and Lowdown” – Howard Alden (book)
- Featured during the interview are tracks from Howard Alden’s recently released solo jazz guitar album ‘Guitar’ – get your copy here.
Find out more about Howard at howardalden.com
Now the exciting bit:
If you're keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.
Here's what you get when you join up:
- Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
- Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
- Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
- Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured - play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
- Members only forum - A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
- Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions - get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
- Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts - the ultimate idea "grab bag" for your solos.
- Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.
The best part:
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