Courses For (Blues and Jazz) Horses

courses improvisation Feb 21, 2019

So, a couple of years ago, I taught an online course I called The Practicing Blues Guitarist. I've always thought the whole trick to getting better at playing the guitar was learning how to practice better. And since a lot of what I was thinking...

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Play The Changes With One Scale

play the changes Feb 13, 2019
 

Start Early, Bloom Late

I didn't drink coffee for about twenty-five years. Well, with the exception of two weeks in Italy when I drank espresso every afternoon, because after eating truck stop pasta and drinking red wine from a pitcher, it was the...

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Pots and Practice

creativity Feb 06, 2019

I pretty much quit performing when my kids were born. I didn't stop doing music, I just did nearly all of it in a less-than-300-square-foot room in a commercial building a few blocks east of downtown Austin. I was writing music for other people,...

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Tamp 'Em Up Solid

 

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Under The Bodhi Tree

I always thought the phrase "Once more to the Bodhi Tree" was some official Buddhist quote, but a quick search, at least, does not reveal this to be so. What I know about...

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Book And Wing Dance

recommended reading Jan 16, 2019

My old friend Paul dropped me a line this past week to ask about books on fingerstyle blues guitar. It seems he's got a student who's worked her way through all of my Fingerstyle Guitar Method book and is looking for what to do next. I wrote back...

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The Davis-Travis Home Improvement Project

It being the first post of the new year, I suppose I ought to be talking about practicing resolutions, or guitar playing goals, or something like that. In theory, I'm certainly a fan of the reboot, the dramatic plan, the epic self-styled makeover,...

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Sonny Rollins on "St. Thomas"

hard bop Dec 21, 2018

Jazz Odyssey

On some level, last week's post about saxophone giants Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane represented the antithesis of everything I imagine Fretboard Confidential to stand for. That is, it's been a long journey from baffled and insecure...

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D-Mocracy: Fingerstyle Blues in Dropped-D Tuning

Having presented a chorus of the blues in A recently (The Ninth Degree), I thought I'd offer up a chorus with some of my favorite fingerstyle blues moves for dropped-D tuning. "D-Mocracy" is a twelve-bar alternating-thumb blues combining basic...

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Statuesque

Uncategorized Oct 22, 2018

It's raining like crazy in Austin today, and rumor was they intended to open the floodgates at Mansfield Dam, above Town Lake, which is what everyone here calls the not-really-a-lake formed by damming the Colorado River as it winds through town....

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The Blues And The Implausible Truth

Uncategorized Oct 12, 2018

I've quoted this Mike Bloomfield bit before, but it captures so much about learning to play guitar it's worth repeating. Bloomfield, recounting his early days, said, "I was learning to play, you know, for a few years, and then suddenly, when I was...

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