3 Reasons Why Playing Guitar Is Good For You Right Now

3 Reasons Why Playing Guitar Is Good For You Right Now

3 Reasons Why Playing Guitar Is Good For You Right Now

In this episode of the FretDojo.com Podcast I want to talk about three reasons why playing guitar is good for you – especially at the moment given the impact current world events have had on our lives.

I’m recording this at the start of April, 2020 and there’s some pretty stressful stuff going on as well as facing living in never-seen-before circumstances.

It’s important at times like these that we set aside time for a calm, creative pursuit. 

And there’s some pretty compelling reasons why playing an instrument right now is a strong contender…

 

Check out the podcast here:

Join FretDojo’s online jazz guitar academy here

Transcript:

Greg O’Rourke: Hi guys, Greg O’Rourke here from the FretDojo.com Podcast. In this episode I want to talk about three reasons why playing guitar is really, REALLY good for you.

Okay, so playing guitar is obviously a cool thing to do. It’s fun, it’s creative, it sounds great, you can play with other people, you can jam. There’s a lot of reasons why playing guitar is fantastic. But specifically in this episode I want to talk about specifically the reasons in how playing guitar can help you in all sorts of ways and can actually protect you from some of the issues that come along with ageing as we all get older. So let’s talk about some specific proven things that playing music (and especially, I guess, guitar goes along with that) can help you in your life’s journey and why it is a very important thing to maintain.

Obviously, I’m recording this at the start of April, 2020 and there’s some pretty interesting stuff going on in the world right now. I don’t really want to reference it too much because that’s all we’re hearing in the news and so forth. But obviously with the pandemic as it is, people are getting very stressed and I think it’s important at times like these that we set aside time for a calm, creative pursuit.

Reason 1: Playing Music Can Make You Smarter

So reason number one, music can make you smarter. I think music is the ultimate brain game basically. I think the reason it is so powerful is because it works out a lot of different sensory functions at once, like the auditory function, the visual, the kinetic function. And I think because all these processes are involved at once, it involves a very powerful brain stimulation. I was looking at an article on inc.com about this and neuro physicist, Catherine Loveday is quoted saying here:

“Music probably does something unique. It stimulates the brain in a very powerful way because of our emotional connection with it.”

So you know when you try to play these brain games, they’ve been quite popular in recent years, like puzzles and things like that online. But there’s nothing quite like playing an instrument because it’s a very rich and complex experience. And because of the intertwining of all the sensory application when you’re playing an instrument like sight and touch and the oral sense as well, this really can change the brain in long lasting ways and it’s been proven to do so.

So it says here, “Brain scans have helped to identify the difference in brain structure between musicians and non-musicians.” And the corpus callosum, which is a big bundle of nerve fibres connecting the two sides of the brain, is larger in musicians and also in the areas involving movement, hearing and the visual abilities, they appear to be larger in the brain in professional keyboard players for example.

So the brain is significantly altered and developed by playing music and it can help protect your brain as well. So brain scanning studies have found that anatomical change in musician’s brains is related to the age when training began. But even brief periods of musical training can have long lasting benefits. So you can increase resilience to any age related decline in hearing. Learning to play an instrument can protect the brain against dementia. So Loveday says:

“Music reaches parts of the brain that other things can’t. It’s a strong cognitive stimulus that grows the brain in a way that nothing else does and the evidence that musical training enhances things like working memory and language is very robust.”

 Okay, so that’s the first point I want to make here is that music is incredibly good for your brain, okay? It can not only enhance your intellectual abilities and your sensory abilities, but it can also protect the decline of those abilities. So I thought that was a very important first point to make about why playing guitar is so good for you.

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.

Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

 

Reason 2: Improves Your Discipline and Time Management Skills

Okay the second reason I want to talk about why playing guitar is so good for you is that it improves your discipline and time management skills. Now, I’m speaking from personal experience here. When you start playing an instrument, and especially if you have limited time at your disposal, you start to realise how inefficient you can be with your time.

Something that I do when I practise now is that I really stringently plan all the different activities that I’m going to do in my practise for that day and I allocate 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, five minutes, whatever, and then I’ll make sure that I have a timer. And no matter what my goal is to cover the work as best as I can in that time and to stop when I’m finished.

Now this is a simple thing, but when I first started doing this, I realised how difficult it was to stick to the time limits and it kind of revealed to me that, in general, my time management was in need of a lot of improvement.

And so I think having a discipline like an instrument and having the discipline to get to it daily despite what’s going on in the world or despite how busy you are with other things, if you can put that stake in the ground and dedicate yourself to something like an artistic pursuit like guitar playing, it can really help structure your life. You start to see how you can be more efficient in other areas as well.

Reason 3: Music Can Reduce Stress – And Boost The Immune System

And here’s an interesting, quite topical one for my third reason is that playing music can reduce stress. Okay? Now I think all of us need to really work on developing a strategy for managing stress at the moment, the whole world basically is in a somewhat stressful situation to say the least.

But it’s not about the world out there. What can we do in ourselves to maintain a sense of calm and to take out minds off things?

The endless news coverage of what’s going on at the moment can bring you a lot of stress. And by having something like a dedicated hobby, maybe some sort of program that you’re working through or a course or whatever, it can really help centre your mind away from the negativities and then you start to kind of value the time that you have at home and it’s not such a big deal. So playing music, especially playing guitar, is a very good way to reduce stress.

Now here’s a little bonus one. Why is reducing stress particularly important right now? I’ve found this interesting article on a website called The Sync Project, talking about how the immune system is directly influenced by the exposure to music.

And so if you listen or play music, it can have a significant effect in reducing your cortisol levels basically. And this is a stress hormone, when there’s too much cortisol and related chemicals chronically in your body, it can lead to a reduced immune system which can make you more susceptible to things like viruses, and that’s very relevant at the moment, of course, given the pandemic. And so it can actually be… There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that it can be a very protective thing right now to play music or to have relaxing hobbies because it can boost your immune system. So we should be prioritising healthy things like this right now, things that can help our brain health, things that can help our emotional wellbeing, things that can take our minds off all this stressful stuff and things that can then lead to boosting our immune system.

Wrap Up

So there’s a few reasons today why playing guitar is really good for you. If you’re interested in some free lessons and resources, then check out my website fretdojo.com there’s a lot on there. And also make sure that you get on my email list because I often have special programmes running like short challenges that you can be involved in. It’s a lot of fun. We have students from all around the world. And especially given a lot of people are stuck inside right now with all the isolation rules and things like that, might be a good opportunity to fill your schedule is something that’s very positive and yeah, you could get a lot of benefit from that.

Well my name is Greg O’Rourke, I really hope you enjoyed this podcast today. I quite enjoyed recording this episode. Something a little different. And let me know what you think. If you got benefit from this and you enjoyed this podcast, please leave me a five star rating on iTunes and leave a short review. I would really, really appreciate that as it helps this podcast get out to a wider audience and so that other people can benefit as well.

Okay, well, without further ado, my name’s Greg O’Rourke and hope you have a good, calm, peaceful day today and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode. Bye for now.

Reference links:

Inc.com – The Benefits of Playing Music Help Your Brain More Than Any Other Activity

The Sync Project: Body in Tune: Music and the Immune System

 

Before you go…

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When was the last time you REALLY listened to jazz?

When was the last time you REALLY listened to jazz?

When was the last time you REALLY listened to jazz?

In this episode of the FretDojo.com Podcast, we dive into the topic of the true meaning behind the famous thing musicians say: “Listen to as much jazz as you possibly can.”

Let’s talk about this and see how to approach it so that it can have a lasting effect on your skills on the guitar.

Check out the podcast here:

​I’m sure you’ve heard this said by many great jazz players:

“Listen to as much jazz as you possibly can.”

But there’s a difference between having an album on in the background and listening for pleasure…

And REALLY listening to it.

Here’s the thing:

For a long time, I spent every waking available moment listening to jazz recordings by the greats of guitar – Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Barney Kessell.

And then ventured into Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Chet Baker and many others.

Although I got a great deal of inspiration from these great players…

It didn’t directly move my playing forward.

This kind of ‘osmosis’ method is emphasized often in language learning. The idea is to expose yourself in daily life to as much of the language as possible, and then by absorption you begin to pick up the language naturally .

But:

In reality, it doesn’t quite work that way for jazz.

Think about the human voice for a minute:

From the day we were born we have used our voice in some way, experimenting with it in a myriad of ways.

Therefore:

It’s very familiar for us to emulate sounds and speech with our voice.

But few people (unless they are a genius level), could memorize, deconstruct and draw concepts from simply listening to a recording passively.

Don’t get me wrong, listening is very important:

  • It’s a great way to get inspired by new players
  • It’s a a way to attune yourself in general to phrasing and shaping solos
  • It’s a particularly good way to get attuned to a good rhythm feel.

But:

In and of itself, passive listening is not going to make you a better jazz player.

There is however, a better way to directly use listing to improve your jazz improvisation skills:

Working with transcriptions.

By intently listening, transcribing, learning and analyzing a solo, you develop your ear skills greater heights, and come away with a whole heap of vocabulary as well.

It’s the time-tested way of quickly building your jazz skills.

By way of example:

Wes Montgomery transcribed every solo note for note by his idol Charlie Christian – and even performed those solos note-for-note on stage in the early part of his career instead of improvising his own.

Joe Pass built up his jazz vocabulary by being directly inspired by the ‘Bird’, Charlie Parker.

In fact, I would go so far to say any notable jazz player has spent considerable time on building their skills with the help of transcriptions.

Is Transcribing By Ear The Only Option?

Not necessarily – as long as you have a process where you can eventually play along with a recording from memory.

Although transcribing by ear is said to be the best way to learn a solo (and it’s probably good to try this at least once in your jazz study) this option can often be a tedious, exacting process and hence frustrate many students.

An alternative:

Stand on the shoulders of others and learn a prewritten transcription.

This is where someone else has transcribed and notated a solo, and you get to cut straight to chase and go straight learning the solo and extracting useful vocabulary and concepts.

Some purists may consider this cheating instead of doing it all yourself. But I think it’s fine – I’ve had great benefit for my own jazz skills going down the ‘prewritten’ transcription route from time to time.

The only caveat:

You must ensure you memorize the transcription if at all possible – don’t just read it off the paper!

This is the big trap here is you may not take the extra step of memorizing it, which tends to happen naturally when transcribing by ear.

Steps To Take After Transcribing:

Ok so you’ve learned the transcription, one way or another. Now what?

Dive deep into the nuts and bolts of the solo. Look at phrases that interest you or you like the sound of. Draw out key concepts and use them as starting points for your own soloing.

If it sounds like it’s a lot of work, you’re right.

But:

Keep in mind though that working with a teacher can help you through this process and point out to you the most essential points of each transcription to work with.

For example, in my FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy, this is exactly what we do month to month – deep dives into classic transcriptions and video tutorials on the key concepts and approaches.

For example, I recently released a lesson diving deep into Charlie Christian’s soloing approaches on his classic recording, ‘Rose Room’, which the Academy members have gotten a lot of mileage from.

Hint: Want to sign up to the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy? Go here>>

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.

Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

 Results Of Working With a Transcription

You’ll have a wealth of new licks and ideas.

Your ears will be further developed.

Your technique will be pushed to greater heights through learning a solo

You’ll start to see the common ‘threads’ of effective soloing approaches after working with a few transcriptions, and it becomes clearer as to the approaches to focus on in the woodshed.

In Conclusion…

Passive listening, although enjoyable and a good way to expose yourself to the sounds of jazz, won’t make you a better jazz player necessarily.

But – by deep listening and transcribing, and then following through with a robust analysis of key concepts in a solo, very quickly you can build your skills as a jazz player. Anyone that has mastered an aspect of jazz has walked this very path.

Let me know your thoughts on this topic by leaving a comment below, I would love to hear from you!

Before you go…

Get my FREE Video Course:
The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation –
Instant Access

•  3 part video series – a step-by-step guide on building improvisation skills

• Learn the biggest mistakes made by aspiring jazz guitar improvisers and
what you should be doing instead

• Instant access – completely FREE!

FREE Course:
The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation

•  3 part video series - a step-by-step guide on building improvisation skills

• Learn the biggest mistakes made by aspiring jazz guitar improvisers and what you should be doing instead

• Instant access - completely FREE!

The Importance Of Learning Jazz Vocabulary – Practice Tips and Approaches

The Importance Of Learning Jazz Vocabulary – Practice Tips and Approaches

The Importance Of Learning Jazz Vocabulary – Practice Tips and Approaches

In this episode of the FretDojo.com Podcast, lets dive deep into a topic that’s critical in your development as a jazz guitarist:

The importance of jazz vocabulary – and how to go about learning it!

 

Check out the podcast here:

What made Joe Pass such an incredible jazz guitarist?

Sure, he had great swing, a tasteful sense of how to shape a solo, and could play any hundreds of jazz standards at the drop of a hat.

But for me, there’s one thing that stands out in particular when it comes to Joe Pass.

It was his complete command – and sheer amount of –  jazz vocabulary that he had at his disposal.

Which is the topic of today’s post, and why mastering vocabulary should be priority #1 when it comes to practicing jazz guitar.

Why Learning Vocabulary is So Important

Learning jazz without learning enough vocabulary is like learning a foreign language without learning many words.

The result:

You won’t be able to ‘speak’ jazz. Your musical conversation will be the equivalent of ‘Tarzan speak’.

Taking this analogy further – improvising is like having a conversation with the harmony of a jazz standard.

And if you don’t know to ‘say’ the right thing at the right time, you won’t leave a good impression!

To ‘converse’ with the harmony effectively, you need to not only know enough jazz ‘words’ and ‘sentences’ (more on this in a moment), but you also know how to use them in ways which clearly communicate your ideas.

Different Types of Jazz Vocabulary

The word ‘vocabulary’ is a pretty broad term when it comes to jazz. There are several types of vocabulary, such as:

  • Pitch Vocabulary – such as melodic patterns and phrases
  • Rhythm Vocabulary – different subdivisions of rhythms, rhythmic motives, familiarity with starting phrases on different points of the bar
  • Articulation Vocabulary – I.e. the way you play the notes on the guitar, such as slides, accents, staccato, and vibrato
  • Chordal Vocabulary – knowledge of different chord qualities and voicings.

I would also class substitutions as vocabulary as well, I.e. knowing how to apply melodic phrases in harmonic contexts different to the phrases original chord progression. But that’s another huge topic…

Anyway, a competent jazz improviser will have a large ‘stock’ of knowledge to draw from in all of these areas, that they then combine spontaneously in a solo.

If you feel like a ‘deer in the headlights’ when it’s time to take a solo, it’s likely you don’t have a large enough ‘stock’ of vocabulary – OR perhaps you do have enough vocabulary but are not familiar with it enough for it to be useful for spontaneous improvisation, as I’ll detail below…

Common Mistakes When Learning Jazz Vocabulary

Mistake #1 – Skimming rather than Diving Deep

Here’s the thing:

You don’t need to learn a lot of jazz vocabulary to be a competent jazz guitarist.

It’s far better to dive deep on just a few elements that really appeal to you.

One teacher told me once that ‘Just keep learning loads of transcriptions and vocabulary, and then see what sticks to your playing’.

But, I now don’t agree with this – it’s not an efficient learning approach, to ‘throw a heap of stuff at the wall and see what sticks’.

You are much better of selecting a piece of vocabulary that you like, and then really working on incorporating it deeply in your playing, so it firmly becomes part of your language.

Mistake #2 – Attempting to increase vocabulary just by learning full transcriptions of solos

Although learning to play a full transcription of another jazz musicians solo is an excellent way to teach you about many aspects of jazz such as overall feel, appreciation of how to structure a solo etc, it won’t directly teach you vocabulary that you can spontaneously incorporate into your own solos, in and of itself.

You need to go further than this with a transcription if the aim is to increase your vocabulary, by taking the time to deliberately extract the most appealing vocabulary the soloist uses, and then work it into your own solos deeply.

See below for some practice methods which I use to get the most out of the ideas I come across in transcriptions.

Practice Ideas For Learning Vocabulary

Let’s take an idea such as a ii – V – I line I’ve studied from a Joe Pass recording. How would I go about studying this line so that it would stick into my playing?

Here’s some of the key ways I go about this:

  • Learn the line in at least a few fretboard areas (e.g. if you know the CAGED system, see if the line fits in at least 2 other positions of that system)
  • Ensure you can play the line from memory as soon as possible, rather than rely on the sheet music – otherwise you might have the illusion that you know the line better then you actually do.
  • Move the line up the fretboard one fret at a time: Play the line in the original position and key. Then, simply move it up one fret and try to play it again, and work your way up and down the fretboard at least a few frets. Yes, it sounds simple – but can be quite challenging initially!
  • Play the line around the circle of 4ths (I.e. the ‘reverse’ direction of the circle of 5ths) – make a backing track that has ii – V – I progressions in the circle of 4ths and attempt to nail the line in every key change. Why the circle of 4ths? It resolves more naturally to each key in the circle.
  • Play the line with a different rhythmic pattern: E.g. if it is in eighth notes, attempt to play it in triplets, or sixteenth notes.
  • Play along with a backing track of a jazz standard you are familiar with, e.g. ‘All The Things You Are’, and attempt to play the line (or parts of the line) as many places as possible throughout the progression.
  • Investigate the nuts and bolts of what elements comprise the line. Extract concepts you find and make them a soloing focus on a jazz standard of your choice. As an exercise, I like to extract key concepts from lines I like the sound of then compose my own original lines based on those ideas.

These ideas are particularly appropriate when studying licks. Have a think about ways you could practice rhythmic vocabulary, articulation vocabulary, etc – so the ideas firmly ‘stick’ in your solos.

Summary

Overall, the approach that I’ve found works well to broadening my jazz vocabulary is to isolate a particular idea (whether it’s pitch ideas, rhythm ideas, articulations or whatever), and make it the sole focus of my practice over a few days, using the varied practice approaches listed above. Focus is the key.

To sum up:

  • Learning to improvise in a jazz style is primarily concerned with acquiring a large stock of vocabulary, and then deliberately practicing that vocabulary to attain ‘agility’ and spontaneity so that you could potentially apply the vocabulary in any solo.
  • Select ideas from recordings, courses or transcriptions that you enjoy the sound of – aim for a select amount of ideas that appeal to you rather than thinking you need to learn every Charlie Parker line to be able to play jazz!
  • Deliberately practice these ideas with laser-like focus using ideas along the lines of what was covered in this article, until the vocabulary becomes a natural part of your playing
  • Go further and extract key concepts from vocabulary you learn, and use that as the building blocks for developing your own vocabulary and hence your own unique sound as a jazz musician.

Tip: My FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy teaches vocabulary according to this process, where every month you get to study new hand-picked vocabulary from master players and then apply them over classic jazz standards. For more info about working with me in the Academy, click here>>

I hope you enjoyed reading my musings about learning jazz vocabulary today. How about you? Do YOU have ideas or comments on this topic? Leave a comment below and let’s get the conversation started…

FREE Course:
The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation

•  3 part video series - a step-by-step guide on building improvisation skills

• Learn the biggest mistakes made by aspiring jazz guitar improvisers and what you should be doing instead

• Instant access - completely FREE!

Interview: Carl Orr and His Lifelong Jazz Guitar Odyssey

Interview: Carl Orr and His Lifelong Jazz Guitar Odyssey

Interview: Carl Orr and His Lifelong Jazz Guitar Odyssey

In this episode of the FretDojo.com Podcast, I had the great pleasure of speaking with one of the world’s top guitarists Carl Orr, who shares the deep insights gained over his long career in music and important practice tips for any aspiring jazz guitarist.

 

Check out the podcast here:

New Comping & Chord Soloing Online Course: I’ve recently released a brand new course entitled Comping & Chord Soloing Deep Dive, presented by Greg Stott, Associate Lecturer of Jazz Guitar at the ANU School of Music and the featured artist on today’s podcast.

Simply put, this new course is brilliant.

Greg Stott has put together a comprehensive and step-by-step methodology for building up essential comping & chord soloing skills. This was the course I wished I’d had when I was first building up my chordal techniques.

The best part:

You can access this course FREE by signing up to a 14 day, obligation FREE trial to the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy, my online learning platform for jazz guitar. Sign up here for instant access to the new course as well as my entire collection of video courses (no credit card required): https://www.fretdojo.com/free-trial

Thanks guys, let me know what you thought about this interview by leaving a comment at the bottom of this page.

Cheers,

Greg from FretDojo

Carl Orr

Carl Orr

Carl Orr has performed and recorded with some of the finest musicians on the planet including Billy Cobham, George Duke, Ernie Watts, Randy Brecker, Gary Husband and Bennie Maupin.

He is a regular at London’s legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in his own band and as a member of drummer Mark Fletcher’s supergroup “Fletch’s Brew”.

Carl has taught guitar at The Australian Institute of Music, Brunel University, Middlesex University, London Centre Of Contemporary Music and The Academy of Contemporary Music.

A prolific composer,Carl has recorded eight albums as a leader and is featured on albums by Billy Cobham, Fletch’s Brew, Geoff Eales and Nathan Haines.

His latest album, Forbearance is a dramatic departure from his jazz and fusion recordings of the past and with the aid of producer Tim van der Kuil and arranger Grant Windsor, Carl has crafted a truly unique acoustic guitar-based album exploring pop, rock, folk, Americana, and classical styles.

He regards his music as his public contribution to creating a peaceful, harmonious world.

“It is not enough for me for my music to merely be a manifestation of the chaos and disharmony of the world, but instead it must be a potent influence on creating peaceful relationships between people. My aim is to make the listener feel calm, optimistic and invigorated.” ~ Carl Orr

FREE Course:
The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation

•  3 part video series - a step-by-step guide on building improvisation skills

• Learn the biggest mistakes made by aspiring jazz guitar improvisers and what you should be doing instead

• Instant access - completely FREE!

Interview: ANU Associate Lecturer Greg Stott on the Art of Jazz Guitar Comping, Practice Tips in The Woodshed and More

Interview: ANU Associate Lecturer Greg Stott on the Art of Jazz Guitar Comping, Practice Tips in The Woodshed and More

Interview: ANU Associate Lecturer Greg Stott on the Art of Jazz Guitar Comping, Practice Tips in The Woodshed and More

Today I want to share with you a fabulous conversation I had with Greg Stott, Associate Lecturer and Resident Jazz Guitarist at the Australian National University.

In this podcast, Greg delves into:

  • The biggest mistakes jazz guitarists make when it comes to practicing
  • Greg’s thoughts on jazz online education and how it compares to more traditional university based teaching
  • A sneak peek of Greg’s brand new albums coming out soon
  • and much more…

We also talk about the latest FretDojo Academy jazz guitar comping course that Greg Stott and I collaborated on, and the reasons for why mastering comping is an essential requirement for anyone wanting to call themselves a pro jazz player.

 

Check out the podcast here:

New Comping & Chord Soloing Online Course: I’ve recently released a brand new course entitled Comping & Chord Soloing Deep Dive, presented by Greg Stott, Associate Lecturer of Jazz Guitar at the ANU School of Music and the featured artist on today’s podcast.

Simply put, this new course is brilliant.

Greg Stott has put together a comprehensive and step-by-step methodology for building up essential comping & chord soloing skills. This was the course I wished I’d had when I was first building up my chordal techniques.

The best part:

You can access this course FREE by signing up to a 14 day, obligation FREE trial to the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy, my online learning platform for jazz guitar. Sign up here for instant access to the new course as well as my entire collection of video courses (no credit card required): https://www.fretdojo.com/free-trial

Thanks guys, let me know what you thought about this interview by leaving a comment at the bottom of this page.

Cheers,

Greg from FretDojo

Greg Stott

Greg Stott

Greg is an Australian guitarist and teacher. He teaches jazz and contemporary guitar at the Australian National University and has been a featured performer at numerous events including the New Zealand International Jazz & Blues Festival, the Sydney Olympics Festival, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, the National Folk festival and a number of international sporting events. He has also played for Australian Prime Ministers and foreign dignitaries and performed original compositions for national broadcast on ABC FM. Greg has returned to study and is currently completing his PhD at the Australian National University but still maintains a busy performing and recording schedule.

In addition to performing with The Greg Stott Band and the Utopia Collective, Greg has performed or recorded with a range of jazz, classical and pop artists including:

Hetty Kate, Grace Knight, James Morrison, Andrew Gander, Tim Kain (Guitar Trek), Tim Strong (USA), Don Johnson, Miroslav Bukovsky, Brendan Clarke, Wayne Kelly, Craig Scott, Gery Scott, Craig Schneider, Ra Khahn, The Idea of North, John Mackey, Mike Price, Eric Ajaye, Col Hoorweg, James Greening, Dave Panichi, Ben Hauptman, Peta Gammie, Jackie Love, Rhonda Birchmore, Hayley Jensen (Australian Idol), Steve and Rae Amosa, Kirrah Amosa Gabby Birmingham, Elana Stone, Meg Corsen, Adam Sofo (The Voice, Silverchair, Guy Sebastian), Robbie Zootster, Steve Allen, The RMC Duntroon Big Band, and the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

FREE Course:
The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation

•  3 part video series - a step-by-step guide on building improvisation skills

• Learn the biggest mistakes made by aspiring jazz guitar improvisers and what you should be doing instead

• Instant access - completely FREE!

Interview With Per Olav Kobberstad, World Touring Latin Jazz Guitarist

Interview With Per Olav Kobberstad, World Touring Latin Jazz Guitarist

Interview With Per Olav Kobberstad, World Touring Latin Jazz Guitarist

This time on FretDojo, I’m excited to share with you an interview I recently had with world-wide touring latin jazz guitarist from Norway, Per Olav Kobberstad.

Per Olav is one of those young, modern Latin jazz guitarists that are a breeze of fresh air and who are bringing all-welcome innovations to the genre. Just check out his credits:

  • Per Olav is one of the few in the world playing 8-string acoustic guitar
  • Released his debut album “Os Rios, As Ligações” with some of Brazil’s top musicians in 2014
  • Album “Colonial Colors” was released together with Alf Wilhelm Lundberg in 2016
  • Per Olav recorded his latest album “Cachorro À Vista” with one of the most legendary percussionists in Brazil, Robertinho Silva (known to play with Tom Jobim, Wayne Shorter, Weather Report, Milton Nascimento, Herbie Hancock and many more).

In the interview below, I go on a deep dive with Per Olav where he reveals how he started with Latin jazz, what led him to tour the world, his time gigging in Brazil, as well as how he approaches jazz guitar and composing music. It’s time to get up close with Per Olav – I suggest you bring a notepad as there are golden tips inside this interview.

Interview With Per Olav (Audio Version)

Resources mentioned in the interview:


Stop Press – Video Workshop With Per Olav Kobberstad on Latin Chord Melody!

Per Olav kindly agreed to hold a workshop for FretDojo, all about the secrets of arranging Latin jazz standards for solo chord melody jazz guitar. Per Olav is an expert at fingerstyle techniques for jazz guitar too, so this was an excellent chance to get some top tips for your playing from a world class Latin guitarist.

Let me know what you thought about this interview by leaving a comment below…

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:

You can access this all of this and more for just $1 by signing up to a 14 day trial. Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

FREE Course:
The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation

•  3 part video series - a step-by-step guide on building improvisation skills

• Learn the biggest mistakes made by aspiring jazz guitar improvisers and what you should be doing instead

• Instant access - completely FREE!

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