Warm Up Exercises Part 1

I'm calling this post "Warm Up Exercises Part 1" because I suspect that I will come up with other warm up exercises later, so this will be the first installment. I'd like to share these because, while these are not difficult, challenging, or groundbreaking, had I known how to use them years ago, I would be a much better guitarist today.

Simplifying Chord Changes For Soloing

One of the things that overwhelmed me when I first tried soloing over changes in jazz was how fast the chord changes often pass. How could I change scales that quickly and express anything? An instructor I worked with years ago taught me a way to simplify a series of changes by looking at what key the chords are implying. Here's how you do it.

First, let's look at the A section (the head) of Line For Lyons by Gerry Mulligan:

Finding A Jazz Guitar Sound

Oddly enough, much like with the modern country tone, a basic jazz guitar tone eluded me for a long time. Now, I fully admit that I don't tinker with knobs like I should. I tend to set the knobs on my amps, pedals, and guitar where I think they should be and then just leave them as opposed to tweaking knobs and listening to the results. This is probably why a basic jazz tone eluded me for so long.

Finding A Modern Country Guitar Sound

For some reason, there are not a lot of resources (or at least not that many that I've found) that describe a general approach to getting a good modern country guitar sound. Of course, now that I've said that I'm sure I'll get a dozen people pointing me sites that I somehow missed. But anyway, I'd like to go over what I've learned from various readings, speaking to other guitarists, and from my own experimentation.


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