Bottleneck Blues Lab
A weekly one-hour departmental lab to develop skills and repertoire in the traditional bottleneck blues guitar style.
Creative Applications for Proficiency Materials
This lab will explore creative applications for Guitar Department final exam materials with emphasis on improvisation, accompaniment, and composition in non-jazz contexts, including use of triadic and drone-based modal vamps to assist utilizing the less familiar modes in melodic minor, harmonic minor, and harmonic major; improvisation over common and nonfunctional harmony; and comping, voice leading, and voicing creation.
Standard Tune Workshop for the Guitarist
Standard tunes are prepared (melody, chords, bass lines, and improvisation) for critiqued performance on a weekly basis. Techniques for, and approaches to, improvisation, including solo transcription and analysis of chord progressions for scale relationship.
Complete enharmonic examination of four-note structures beginning with drop 2 type voicings and including various tension additions and substitutions. Different voice-leading concepts will be introduced resulting in an enriched vertical and horizontal harmonic awareness by students.
Guitar Chart Reading and Performance
Development of reading skills focusing on interpretation of lead sheets as well as performance of guitar parts. Blend, balance, and accurate performance of intermediate to advanced rhythmic materials are to be addressed.
Guitar Chord Soloing
Immediately accessible mechanical and nonmechanical techniques for the development of arrangements for solo guitar. Each week a step-by-step approach will be demonstrated and discussed. During the semester, students will produce a tape of four chord solos (two original arrangements and two from department files).
Fingerpicking Blues Guitar
Study of technique, repertoire, and improvisational approaches in the fingerpicking style of playing blues guitar.
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.