Interview with Mark Whitfield, The Man Himself

by | Mar 30, 2017 | General Updates, Interviews, Podcasts, Videos | 4 comments

It’s finally here:

As the final post in the FretDojo.com series on jazz blues guitar I’ve featured this month, I’m honored to welcome critically acclaimed jazz guitarist Mark Whitfield, in this exclusive interview.

Simply put, this was one of the best conversations about jazz guitar I’ve ever had, and I was thrilled that Mark had time in his busy schedule for our conversation.

mark-whitfield-graceThis interview also includes the title track off Mark’s brand new album, Grace  his 15th album as a bandleader and first release for 7 years.

A truly family affair, the new album features his two sons, Davis Whitfield on keys and Mark Whitfield Jr. on drums, as part of the Whitfield Family Band. I highly recommend checking it out! Get the album here>>

Interview: Video Version

 

Interview: Audio Version

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

Special Offer: Get 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 my entire collection of online jazz guitar video courses (no credit card required): https://www.fretdojo.com/free-trial

 About Mark Whitfield

Mark Whitfield is one of the most highly regarded jazz guitarists alive today.

Throughout his career, he’s collaborated with legendary artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock, George Benson, and many others.

In 1990 the New York Times dubbed Whitfield “The Best Young Guitarist in the Business”. Later that year, Warner Bros. released his debut album The Marksman.

I reached out to Mark after working on a transcription from one of the tracks from this album: The Blues From Way Back, a jazz guitar blues I’ve been featuring lately on this website.

(Check out the full transcription I did of Mark’s solo from the Blues From Way Back here and a breakdown of essential licks from the solo here.)

 

In the interview, you’ll learn about…

  • Mark’s special relationship with the blues, and how he’s naturally been drawn to incorporating it into his jazz style.
  • Mark’s journey with jazz guitar, studying at Berklee College of Music, sessions at the Blue Note in New York, and beyond
  • Mark’s thoughts on how to learn jazz guitar to make solid progress, regardless of the time you have for practice.
  • The essential ingredients of an effective and rewarding jazz guitar practice session
  • How Mark met Joe Pass as a young man, leading to one of the most important (and unusual!) jazz guitar masterclasses he ever had.

 

Album’s and Resources Mentioned By Mark:

 

Thanks for Checking This Out!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Share this show on Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere else you hang out online.

Special thanks to Mark Whitfield for joining me this week. Find out more about Mark Whitfield via these links:

Until next time!

 

4 Comments

  1. Shorty Garcia

    thanks Mark and Greg. the solo transcription is tasty indeed, working on that now in the woodshed. the interview didn’t cover Mark’s gear or preferred rig. in one photo Mark is playing a bright red archtop – is that possibly a Martin CF-2 made by Dale Unger?

    Reply
    • Greg O'Rourke

      Not sure Shorty – might be worth checking out Mark’s website as he might detail his gear there – markwhitfield.com

      Reply
  2. Ken Niehoff

    Great interview. Loved the Joe pass story and new album story. A long time ago I was privileged to hear Joe Pass at a small venue. At one point he looked at the audience and ask how many of you are guitar players. Just bout the whole audience raised their hands. Joe said “Iam going play a piece for you and I will just use one cord”. What! He proceeded to play a complex sounding short piece. It was mind blowing.
    Thanks to 2 very generous players.

    Reply
  3. Paul Harty

    What a wonderful interview. The generosity of Joe Pass, Mark Whitfield and you Greg is apparent. Joe is my favorite jazz guitar player. I once recognized Joe Pass in the airport parking lot in Boston. He was inbound, I was outbound. I told him how much I admired his playing, he was very gracious.

    Thanks

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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!

Pin It on Pinterest