Performing Solo Guitarist
This lab offers students the opportunity to perform solo guitar pieces in any style, to develop solo guitar arrangements or compositions for performance, and to exploit the harmonic/melodic capabilities of the guitar. Essential elements of solo guitar will be discussed, demonstrated, and applied to student performances. Students will learn and perform original arrangements or transcriptions of pieces by artists or composers of any genre for midterm and final projects. Jazz, pop, blues, classical, funk, and folk styles will be among the idioms to be addressed.
This lab focuses on basic to intermediate jazz blues techniques including single-note blues heads, solos, and standard dominant-seventh, minor-seventh, and major-seventh blues progressions. Weekly playing assignments; analysis of recordings by various blues artists.
Jimmy Page Lab
A concentrated course of study for guitarists based on the music of Jimmy Page. Topics will include early blues and rock influences, detailed analysis of solos and compositions, and use of open tunings.
Hard Rock/Metal Lab
Exploration of technical innovations provided by three decades of classically influenced, hard-rock players. In-depth study of the early pioneers of the style (Ritchie Blackmore, Uli-Jon Roth, Michael Schenker) and the more recent guitarists (Yngwie Malmsteen, Jason Becker, Joe Stump) who helped to redefine the genre known most commonly as shred.
The Music of Kenny Burrell and Grant Green
Students will listen, analyze, transcribe, and perform solos by guitarists Kenny Burrell and Grant Green. Material covered will include instruction on the performance styles and techniques of these artists and their approach to improvisation, with attention to fingerings, phrasing, articulation, and harmonic structures.
Jazz/Rock Improvisation for Guitar
Study and application of scales and harmony in this style of improvisation and their application to the guitar, including fingering and guitaristic devices (string bending, slides, etc.). Presentation is through written and recorded examples of contemporary artists (including nonguitarists), instructor demonstration, and student performance with taped rhythm section.
Jazz/Rock Rhythm Guitar Playing
The application of harmony as it occurs in popular music. Rhythm guitar parts presented through tapes, transcriptions, and demonstrations of jazz, rock, funk, and fusion records. Included are adaptations of keyboard parts to guitar and discussion and demonstration of various rhythm guitar techniques (two- and three-note voicings, mutings, etc.).
Rock Guitar Lab
Performance of material from Rock Guitar Styles including extensive lead and rhythm examples in all idioms of rock music from the 1950s to the present day.
Steel Guitar Lab
Aspects of steel guitar performances in exemplary styles including Hawaiian, western swing, country, blues, and jazz. Extensive listening and study of transcribed examples. Students use their own guitars with an inexpensive accessory to learn bar control and picking methods. Exploration of alternative open tunings.
Slide Guitar Lab
Study of technique, repertoire, and improvisational approaches with regard to contemporary slide-guitar performance.
Advanced Blues/Rock Guitar Techniques
Study of advanced rock and blues guitar techniques: string bending, chromatic harmony in the idiom, tone production, and repertoire. This will be accomplished through analysis of tune melodies and solo transcriptions prepared by the teacher and transcriptions completed by each individual student. Emphasis will be placed on jazz improvisation approaches and their application to rock and blues soloing.
Groove Concept for Funk Guitar Performance
This lab will break down all aspects of funk guitar styles. Students will familiarize themselves with salient concepts including phrasing, time, rhythm playing, playing the pocket, harmonics possibilities, and understanding the many roles that the guitar can play in funk settings. Funk is a dialect in the musical language. As is the case with any language, students will focus on understanding and communicating in this dialect, listening to pronunciation and how sentences are phrased, and building a strong vocabulary.