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Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to soloing, 7 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Blues Rock Guitar Soloing [DVD] [Region 1] [NTSC] (DVD)
Blues Rock Guitar
By Mat Gurman

This DVD is aimed at the beginner or intermediate level musician looking to get into the lead guitar styles of Jimi Hendrix, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, and Keith Richards. Mat is an experienced session musician and band member, as well as a great teacher. Bottom line - you're getting the real facts by a pro, not a load of flash licks out of context, or an ego-fest.

PROS - Mat demonstrates how to take the blues pentatonic scale and apply it to most musical situations. Rather than filling your head up with tons of technical information or modal scales, he preaches the value of keeping it simple!

This is a valuable lesson for everyone...you can do a lot with a few simple techniques, handling the majority of situations you'll ever come across in rock and pop.

He also demonstrates how to phrase, with his formula "Intent, Execution, Experience". This lesson teaches you what separates the professional musician from the amateur who runs scales up and down all night. If you learn one thing from this DVD, this alone will make you sound more like your heroes.

Matt preaches against merely learning licks and playing them without listening to the band, or the tune. Licks are great to give you a springboard for musical ideas, or to fill up space whilst you think of something else to play...but if all you know are licks, your solos will sound pretty samey quickly.

Mat plays notes outside the pentatonic scale, but explains how he pulls them out from the chords, or plays whatever notes sound good over the changes. In other words, listen to the band! He doesn't go into a lot of detail about this, emphasizing that your ear is the most important thing to develop, not your ability to memorise fancy theory.

Again, many professional musicians, from jazz to rock, rarely think in terms of lots of scales, formulas, or substitution rules. Instead, they choose a home base as a point of reference, (in this case, the blues scale), and add in notes that sound good to them. Experience will soon tell them what sounds good and what doesn't. Don't be afraid of mistakes - what separates a great musician from an amateur is their ability to get out of that mistake, or turn it into something cool.

After all, Charlie Parker, one of the greatest jazz musicians ever, once said "Play it once...it's a mistake. Play it twice and its jazz!". And he was no slouch!

CONS - The brief style files aren't meant to teach you play everything the likes of Clapton or Hendrix can, but I found them a little too terse. Some of the cooler jazz-based ideas from the likes of Robben Ford, or the faster Jimi phrases, could have befitted from being explained in detail.

The brevity of the examples might disappoint you, as well. Obviously, Mat is trying to keep it simple and get you out there and jamming, but he did breeze through some examples that would have been better if he went into more detail.

The tab booklet is also a little too short, too. The "In The Style Of" tabbed examples are only a few bars long, and don't always cover the coolest lines.
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Location: Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom

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