Watch the The Kitchen Sink online guitar lesson by Fareed Haque from Jazz Rock Workshop
A lot of young guitarists often brag that they don't listen to guitar music, rather listen to sax players and piano players. This is all fine and good, but if you don't dig guitar music, then you shouldn't be playing the guitar. History has proved one thing. Guitar players sound best playing cool guitar stuff.
Let's start with Django. You can't really play what he plays on anything but the guitar. His bends, slides and strums, it's all about how cool the guitar sounds when played melodically. Then along came Wes Montgomery and his octaves, which only really sound good on guitar (or perhaps the vibe, or a one handed piano player).
With Pat Martino, almost all of those cool outside things he plays are specific guitar patterns. The same goes for John McLaughlin and John Scofield. Pat Metheny took all those cool blues and country licks and turned them into jazz licks.
If you try to play Pat's solo from "Bright Size Life" on piano, nope, it just does not have it. If you don't know this album, run; don't walk to pick it up, along with Pat Martino's "Joyous Lake" and John McLaughlin's "My Goal's Beyond."Let's talk about "parallelism." In music this simply implies moving anything, a scale, a chord, a lick, up or down without changing anything but the key. It is considered one of the great innovations in 20th century music. Everyone from Debussy to Stravinsky and beyond used it.But guitars players often scoff at other guitar players who take a lick and just slide it up or down 1 or 2 frets at a time. However, what they are doing is parallelism at its finest. Do you realize that the great jazz pianist McCoy Tyner had to spend hours and hours in the practice room to play parallel pentatonic scales in any key? So too did Michael Brecker or John Coltrane.
Parallelism is so hard on other instruments, and many, many musicians have spent years of painstaking practice to get some parallelism into their playing. We guitar players have that so easy. Just slide it up! It's actually one of the hippest things we can do.