One of the greatest jazz guitarists of the 20th century Joe Pass was known for his chord melodies, walking bass lines, and, outstanding knowledge of chord inversions and progressions. New York Magazine said of him, “Joe Pass looks like somebody’s uncle and plays guitar like nobody’s business. He’s called “the world’s greatest” and often compared to Paganini for his virtuosity. There is a certain purity to his sound that makes him stand out easily from other first-rate jazz guitarists”.
Eric Roche was an awesome guitar player. Acoustic finger style, tapping, harmonics, slapping, and many other amazing techniques, but most of all some truly beautiful guitar playing. He also taught at the academy of contemporary music and wrote the brilliant “Acoustic Guitar Bible”, get it. Eric Roche sadly died in 2005 but his music and influence still live on. Head over to the official website to find out more about this amazing guitar player.
Wilko Johnson played guitar for Dr Feelgood and the Blockheads amongst others. He has an unusual style of playing particularly with his right hand, no pick, which allowed him to play an aggressive punchy style of guitar whilst combining rhythm and lead. He also had a long curly lead which allowed him to follow his guitar around the stage. Check out Wilko explaining his style to BBC show rock school and then watch him perform the whole song in the bottom video.
Eddie Hazel was the guitar player for Parliamant-Funkadelic putting down some seriously funky grooves and psychedelic guitar. Have a listen to “Maggot Brain”, recorded in one take in 1971. Legend has it that George Clinton told Eddie Hazel to imagine he had been told his mother was dead, but then learned that it was not true. Enjoy the ride.
Guitar tab is a method of getting guitar music on paper without having to read music. The advantage of tab is it is relatively easy to learn and you can be learning songs very soon after learning to read it. The disadvantage is tab has no rhythm notation so can be tricky to learn songs you are not familiar with.
The horizontal lines represent the six strings on the guitar. The thickest E string is at the bottom up to the thinnest E string at the top. You read tab from left to right so the first three notes in the above example would be played one at a time.
The numbers on the lines tell you which fret to play. The first note you would play on the above example is the 3rd fret on the A String.
A zero represents an open string, so the second note on the above example is an open D string. The third note would be the second fret on the G string.
When the notes are stacked on top of each other like at the end of the above example this means you play the notes at the same time. Hopefully if you play the last stack of notes together you should end up with an A Major chord.
There are many more symbols associated with tab but we will learn these as we go along.