Swing Guitar

Dedicated to pre-bebop jazz guitar.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Chord Melody works in progress

Here are some chord melody sketches I've been working on. These are all played on my 805 using a 5mm Wegen pick, 13-56 Martin SP 80/20 strings. The mic is my Rode NT-3 into an M-Audio Fasttrack USB interface, recorded with Audacity. I just added a touch of 'verb, and compression.

I'm Confessin' - mp3
I Can't Give You Anything But Love - mp3
All of Me - mp3

(update: the samples are now fixed)

New Gear, pt.1

So, I went over board on ebay a while back and got a 1947 DeArmond Guitar Mic pickup and a 1937 Gibson EH-150 amp. Well, I'll tell you - you get what you pay for! The EH-150 had a blown speaker, the cabinet is falling apart, and the handle is completely shot. The good news is that I just took the speaker in to Orange County Speaker. I'd heard that it's the only place to go, and they knew exactly what they were looking at and what to do with it. I'm picking it up in week - we'll see what happens.

As for the DeArmond, it worked great when I got it, except for an intermitent short in the cable by the jack. So I fixed that. But then a problem developed where the pickup only put out a quarter of its output. This happended on-and-off, but eventually stayed muted all the time. So, I have to crank my Peavey Classic 30 all the way up just to get useable signal. But, damned if it doesn't sound pretty good. It really does have that old-school single coil sound!

Also, I made some changes to my Eastman 805. I had taken the guard and pickup off, and I got a really nice repro tortise shell guard from archtop.com. It's shaped like an early 30's, 16" L-7 guard, but triple bound and redish shell color. I had my tech install the guard and also do some wiring to acommodate the new DeArmond. I had him wire the pickup into the end pin jack, but put an RCA connector in-between so I can take the pickup completely of the guitar whenever i want. He's also modifying my 810 for the same thing, so I can put the pick up on either guitar. Also, I had him redo all of the pick up cabling with mogami wire, because the old wiring was pretty frayed.

Here a before and after on the 805:


Rose Room

Here's that first new lesson, on the classic tune "Rose Room". This is an example of classic swing rhythm guitar and rhythm voicings. The chords don't move that fast, but there are a few variations included. Check out the time feel - 4 beat - "chunk-Chunk-chunk-Chunk" - 4 even beats with a slight accent on two and four.

I could do an extensive play by play, but most of what's going on are the standard 3-note voicings on the E, D and G strings. Put, here are the hghlights:
1) Looking at the Eb7 & F7 chords, notice the root on the A string, moving to the 5th on the E string. Thats a pretty standard variation. Although the bass player will be taking care of the low end, movement like that helps keep things interesting (at least for yourself).
2) Also, notice the walk down from the F7 & Eb7 chords to B7 & A7 respectively. It's a classic tritone substitution, although the only note being changed is the root, so it's not really a complex move.
3) The walk up from Ab7 to Db6 is pretty standard as well.
4) Also the walk down from Ab6 to F7 is pretty standard.
5) Finally, the four-note chords toward the end are another simple way to add some variation. Also, the're good for increasing volume in louder sections of tunes with out having to play a lot harder.

Rose Room - pdf
Rose Room - mp3

Give it try, and feel free to leave any questions.

I'm back....

We'll I just finished my first year of law school, so I'm back. I'll be putting up some more rhythm lessons, and some chord melody stuff. Also, I'll be writing about my new gear - a 1947 DeArmond Guitar Mike, and a 1937 Gibson EH-150.