In the jazz guitar tradition, legendary players such as Joe Pass, Lenny Breau, and Tuck Andress have artfully used fingerstyle techniques to expand the harmonic palette and technical possibilities of their instrument.
Sean McGowan’s Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar Survival Guide will get your own fingerstyle jazz chops up and running quickly with his highly engaging, accelerated curriculum of concept lessons and performance etudes.
”Fingerstyle is an organic and very rewarding way of approaching the guitar both technically and harmonically, allowing you play complete arrangements of songs as a soloist. It enables you to play multiple parts simultaneously such as walking bass lines, chord structures and melody or solo lines. Fingerstyle also allows you to explore textures simply not possible with a pick.”
Tuck Andress calls Sean, “The most promising young solo guitarist I have ever heard. Guitarists will weep yet laugh with delight as they try to figure out what he’s doing, and history will remember Sean as one of the most important guitarists of his generation."
Fortunately for students of guitar, Sean is also a passionate educator and currently serves as an assistant professor of music and the Guitar Program Director at the University of Colorado Denver. We’re thrilled to welcome Sean to the family with his first TrueFire course, the Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar Survival Guide.
Sean organized this survival guide in two sections. In the first section, Sean guides you through 20 essential concepts to help you develop your fingerstyle jazz technique. Each and every concept lesson includes specialized exercises designed to help you get these techniques under your fingers.
In this first section you’ll learn: Warm-up & Stretching, Thumb Muting & Shadowing, Thumb Drops, String Crossing, Speed Rolls, Thumb & Finger Combinations, Adding the Pinky, Finger Combinations, Finger Switching, Holding & Sustaining Notes, Short & Long Articulation, One-Finger Scales, The Guide Tone System, Guide Tone Voice Leading, Chord Voicing Extensions, Walking Bass & Chords, Brazilian Styles, Block Chord Voicings, Artificial Harmonics, and Extended Fretting Techniques.
In the second section, you’ll work through six performance studies, in a variety of keys and tempos, each of which will help you apply the key techniques and concepts from the first section.
There Was You - ”Based on the changes to the standard 'There Will Never Be Another You', this étude offers techniques for improvising a solo arrangement using question and answer phrasing strategies, double stop lines, block chords, and swing rhythms.”
Walking F Blues - ”This étude features four choruses of a standard 12 bar jazz blues in the key of F, and showcases walking four basslines, special rhythms and articulations, and gradually increases in difficulty by adding syncopated chord voicings on top of a moving bass part, creating the illusion of multiple players. This étude also illustrates a number of chord substitutions and turnarounds that players can use in their own arrangements of the blues and original compositions.”
Extended Fretting Etude - ”This étude explores extended fretting techniques by using the index and middle fingers to add beautiful clusters and unique textures within a solo jazz guitar introduction, featured cadenza, or outro section. It also illustrates a harp guitar effect using thumb and pinky arpeggios and strumming, which serve to outline complex jazz chords with extended range and clusters.”
Under the Starlight - ”This étude is based on the classic standard, 'Stella By Starlight', composed by Victor Young. It explores a number of right hand rhythmic figures as well as single note and double stop improvised lines superimposed over chord voicings. Cluster voicings, stacked fourth chords, and open strings are all featured in the arrangement, as well as unique chord substitutions that offer a fresh harmonic approach to a familiar chord progression.”
On the Street - ”This étude is an original solo on the changes to 'On the Street Where You Live', which is featured on the My Fair Lady for solo guitar recording. I transcribed it note for note from my recorded version, and all of the harmonic and performance notes are included in detail throughout the lesson.”
Reassuring Response - ”Based on the Charlie Parker standard 'Confirmation', and featured on my solo guitar recording Indigo, this étude combines a number of exciting harmonic concepts such as reharmonization, tritone substitution, and bitonality together with double stops and rapid fire single note bebop lines, harmonized lines in tenths, counterpoint, and multiple parts in a solo guitar context.”
All of the key examples and performance studies are tabbed and notated for your practice, reference and study purposes. You’ll also get Guitar Pro files so that you can play, loop and slow down the tab and notation as you work through the lessons.
Grab your guitar and let your fingers do the talking with Sean McGowan!