Here are some samples of my playing. Be warned - I'm
not an accomplished jazz guitarist, I'm a learner hobbyist. I'm
collecting these samples here for myself and for friends
who may be interested in my progress. Music lovers and
those of a nervous disposition are advised not to
listen to these tracks!
lullaby.mp3 (1.05 MB)
This is the first recording I made, a mostly pre-composed solo over "Lullaby of Birdland". The guitar was a cheap nylon string classical played with a pick, miked with an equally cheap lapel microphone clipped to the sound hole and plugged directly into my computer's sound card. The backing track was computer generated, and musically I didn't really know what I was doing. So not exactly the optimum conditions for making recorded music.
Considering all that, I think it's not bad. At this time I hadn't really got to grips with issues like chord-scale relationships or arpeggios, I was just playing by ear. The only jazz improv tip I remember using was that a phrase played over the IIm chord can be repeated a half-tone lower over the V7 chord - you can hear how my timing falls apart where I'm thinking about that device. Also my execution is getting sloppy towards the end, and I never manage to put together a really long phrase. Overall: not bad for a beginning.
summertime1.mpg (1.80 MB) or summertime1.mp3 (0.25 MB)
summertime2.mpg (4.75 MB) or summertime2.mp3 (0.64 MB)
Some home movie snippets of my first ever public appearance playing jazz. It was a barbeque party with the guys at work, and my colleague Steve Doyle and I decided to provide some music. Steve's a pretty accomplished rock/pop musician but he never tried jazz before. In the spirit of the blind leading the blind, I showed him the chords to some jazz tunes and we got up and did it. I think we may have rehearsed once. We had computer generated bass and drums to help us keep time, otherwise it's just us. The two clips show us playing "Summertime". The first one shows the last few bars of my solo and the first few bars of Steve's, the second shows the end of Steve's solo and me playing the final melody chorus.
Obviously there are plenty of mistakes to hear - but I don't think that's really the issue in a first attempt at public ensemble playing. More important is - do you manage to cover up the mistakes and recover, without stopping and apologizing to each other? Do you manage the handovers smoothly, rather than ending up both playing the chords and looking confused? Do you reach the end of the piece at approximately the same time and play something that could be mistaken for an intentional ending? On those issues, I think we did OK.
Because the video clips (.mpg) are so big, I've also provided the soundtracks only (.mp3). You're probably not going to want to download that 4.75 MB clip unless you're my mother. Or possibly Steve's mother.