Jazz and nylon string guitar
( a finger picking steel string acoustic or
electric guitar player might pick up ideas as well!)
nice to use the pure sound of the nylon string guitar. I guess that when we use
it, we aim for this warm natural sound. We can not impress like we can with electric
guitar with it´s big sound and the possiblities to borrow easily from heavy metal or rock.
but it has to be more subtle. We can "impress" though with many subtleties. We
can colour the sound, we can be very conscientious about what strings to
resonate, we can use the sound board and we can easily adapt ideas and
techniques from flamenco and classical guitar.
improviser it’s really great to have an understanding of blues and jazz and even
funk and rock / heavy metal. We can get many ideas from that world. Also it
makes it easier to find people to improvise with. Most improvisers come from the
We have to
study at least some jazz standards in different styles and also know how to play
blues. It’s a very rich tradition and it takes quite a lot of afford and time to
feel comfortable playing well jazz. First we have to listen a lot to it and like
For a nylons
string finger picking guitarist I think it is good to study jazz - guitar as
well as jazz-piano. We can think much more in depended voices and choose chords
with separated strings the when using a pick for example. We can use one line
melody playing like most electric rock and many jazz - guitarists do, but one line melody,
especially in solo playing is not as effective as on electric guitar, since the tone
stops so quickly.
To get practical: (practical exercises will follow)
- Ralph Towner wrote a great study book, where he
proposes great exercises, especially concerning rhytm and right hand techique.
Listening to him, solo or in his group Oregon is a great source of inpiration.
- Study finger pick style, blues and jazz, wit
the tipical walking bass. Arrange jazz standards or invent blues pieces
involving a walkin bass.
- Play chord melody, (there are many online
lessons about the subject to be found in internet)
- Arrange soloing in a way that you combine one
line melodies, bass lines and chords in an interesting way. Examples you find
- memorize jazz standards, which you like and
listen to versions especuially with piano, to get ideas.
- study existing licks and compose new ones and
make play along recordings and practice along those. which will help to be
prepared to play with other people
- find other musicians to play with and compose
and / or arrange in a way the classical guitar fits well.
- study different kinds of scales (major, minor,
blues, modes, bebop) in a creative musical way