“how do you play like that?!”

i get asked that fairly often, especially by other guitarists. my answer is basically always the same, “i’m sweep picking arpeggios and horn based lines that emulate how serious jazz horn and piano players play. check out http://sheetsofsound.net/ and music theorists / authors that jazz saxophone and pianists study like yusef lateef and nicholas slonimsky.”

the question i’m usually asked after that is “why did you tell them?” it’s because i remember what it was like trying to find useful info on how to really improve my playing. many musicians like to keep secrets about their playing or sound because they fear that they’ll be less unique. thus a lot of folks don’t reach their potential because no one will help them grow and achieve it. i’m very fortunate to have had a LOT of help and great teachers over the years and i want to do my part too.

my view is that even if you know every single thing another player knows, you still wont sound the same. sure there will be similarities, but much like our speaking patterns and voices, we still sound like individuals. even siblings raised in the same environment don’t talk exactly alike, and so it is with music. for better or worse, i’ll always sound like me, and the next person will always sound like themselves too. so why not share and grow? maybe that person you help will find something really cool and share it with you!


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