The staple pursuit of almost all jazz guitar players. It's an art form in-and-of-itself that can immediately set the legends apart from the pros apart from the talented hobbyists apart from the early stage players. Can you sit with a guitar and make music? Not simply play a tune... or make it through the form... but can you truly bring a jazz standard to life?
Ultimately, this is a lifelong pursuit. We mature and season over time with our playing much like a great wine or bottle of scotch. But I do believe there are practical steps we can take immediately to start seeing much quicker results. Not that they will get our technique to a place where we're sounding like Martin Taylor or Tuck Andress by next year... but they WILL take us from where we are...
You may have heard the story about Miles Davis telling Herbie Hancock not to play "the buttah" notes. But did you know that he also once told John Scofield and some of their fellow bandmates that he WANTED them to "play the buttah notes"?!
Weird, right? Why would he tell Herbie not to play the 'buttah' notes and years later tell other band members to play them? And what the hell is a 'buttah' note?
Let's be honest... with Miles... sometimes things were just cryptic. Maybe he said strange things to get people out of their comfort zone so they'd try something new... who knows?
But let's look at how Herbie and Scofield both interpreted their experiences to see if we can learn something to put into the shed.
As the story goes, Herbie was sitting at the...