Where ideas come to die.

Shoebox in a Closet

I have my own ideas about the way the guitar can best be practiced and technical proficiency acquired and maintained. The content of our practice, whether good or bad, sloppy or refined, will represent us in our playing. Some don't practice, they simply work at playing specific songs. When they perform, they do the same thing. That's another approach.

With the intent of developing expansive technique, you have to chop a lot of wood. Pablo Casals on cello, Segovia on classical guitar, Itzhak Perlman on violin, Bird on alto, Diz on trumpet, Coltrane on tenor--all acknowledged they practiced mechanical devices through etudes ("studies") which addressed the difficult parts of playing their instrument. Most of them played for many hours a day to acquire these skills, and continued through their lives in order to maintain them.

Modern jazz guitarists are frequently encouraged to study the methods of other instruments as there are no comprehensive methods specifically for our instrument. The etudes I've developed were intended to address specific aspects of guitar positioning and chord forms across the full range of the instrument. I've never seen these explicitly addressed in guitar method books. Instead they say "do this in all keys" but provide no organized approach. Additionally, because of its unique construction there are only 7 unique position, which encompass all 12 keys.


     General Ideas

     General Rules

     Etude 1 - Picking

     Etude 2 - Four Arpeggios in Seven Forms

     Etude 3 - II-V Arpeggios in Seven Forms

     Etude 3b - II-V Arpeggios on Top 4 Strings