Steve Herberman / Reach Music

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Contrapuntal Jazz Guitar

Over the years I've experimented with contrapuntal ideas believing that it adds another dimension to solo and group playing. Johnny Smith and George VanEps were the primary influences on the guitar which led me down this path. The real trick in using counterpoint is to make the music really speak. It may be impressive that 2 or 3 lines are occuring at the same time but what does it say musically? My hope for "Contrapuntal Jazz Guitar" is that it will help someone develop the ability to play multiple lines of their own while keeping it musical.

In the examples I've tried to keep the lines balanced. Many times all of the voices are saying something equally important. Sometimes it's just melody with chord punctuations like Lenny Breau used to do when imitating a bebop pianist. The examples are meant to inspire original ideas. They are kept short deliberately because they can be digested easier. The chord progressions are all standard yet presented in various key signatures.

examples

for solo guitar:  1  2  3  4

for guitar w/bass:  5  6  7  8

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