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Thread: So I want to play Fusion...... Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-08-2010 06:43 AM
MattyG
Re: So I want to play Fusion......

Great post DMTrans
08-07-2010 10:57 PM
DMTransmutation
Re: So I want to play Fusion......

I can't believe I missed this post. Allow me to elaborate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eviltwin View Post
Please do. Is this some sort of sorry dig at players Like Hendrix, Clapton or Page? or perhaps EvH?
It would be counter-productive to "dig" at these guys because Fusion guitar wouldn't exist without them. Half of John McLaughlin's bag of electric guitar tricks came straight from his time with Hendrix.

My thesis is that the art of phrasing is more refined in the Fusion style, where in Blues/Rock playing, phrasing is basically optional. This is because the Blues/Rock style is more textural and more about making the guitar sing and growl.

What is good phrasing? Hitting active chord tones on the strong beats and using passing tones in between, for starters. Refined phrasing takes much study, usually including studying solos on the music staff in order to better understand how the melody interacts with the active chord.

Quote:
The basis for fusion is rock+jazz and the basis for both rock and jazz is blues. In either one of those genres you will find players taking liberties with timing; that's part of these styles. Hendrix' Red House from Live at Winterland is a masterclass in timing and polyrhythms, thanks in part to a Jazz trained rhythm section. Page, Clapton (Cream) and EvH used jazz trained rhythm sections, allowing them those liberties.
I am not referring to their ability to play in time. Even in Classical music there is an unspoken protocol of when you can play behind the beat and when you should be straight. One universal rule of thumb would be that downbeats should be right on the money, where syncopated notes can be behind the beat to "dig in" more.

In my original post I am talking about the rhythmic drive of their phrases, and how they fit together to speak like a language. Blues is a wonderful language but there isn't a whole lot to it. This is why so many guys can learn blues phrasing without knowing much theory. But phrasing IS Jazz. A Jazz solo must speak like a language. That language can include notes ahead or behind the beat if it follows the rules.

Quote:
Also one of Carlton's biggest influences is Coltrane. Why rip on Rock/Blues players improvising "trashed out of their minds"
when 'Trane was just as guilty of this? Both he and Miles were addicted to heroin.
During the peak of the Rock and Roll frontier (late sixties to end of the seventies) there was an ethos within that culture that getting as wasted as possible will bring out your inner musical genius. I can tell you from my own history with chemicals that this is not true. I can conclude the same from observing the dozens of musicians that I grew up with.

Jazz does not have a reckless ethos like this. It requires a discipline and Zen-like state that chemicals do not allow. There are many Jazz players who have had affairs with chemicals, especially opiates, but they all know the inner genius comes from massive amounts of practice and studying the greats. Coltrane admitted that his addiction was an inhibition to his creativity. Miles kicked the Heroin problem but kept the Coke habit indefinitely. You can hear in Miles' playing how whacked out he was after about 1970. (Nonetheless I still love most of his whacked-out stuff.)

Quote:
What's weird too, is that I'm sure Carlton can play, but the example you've provided has to be Larry Carlton at his worst.
He sounds like a poor Albert King impersonator. Please leave that stuff to Clapton or SRV. They are much better at it.
He is playing Blues in the pocket without noodling. This is why it serves as a good example to the OP.

Quote:
The second Carlton-blues youtube I hit was even worse...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-R8Nj...eature=related
"All Blues" is not supposed to be a "Blues" song. It is a Jazz standard that calls for typical Jazz lines in a dominant-7th tonality. It has "Blues" in its name because its in a 3 feel (6/8 to be exact) and is basically a I IV V progression. His solo is absolutely perfect for the tune.

Quote:
And another poorly executed Carlton attempt, this time rock, covering Clapton:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqie9...eature=related
I will admit that SOMETIMES he will show signs of his cheesy 70's Pop Jazz roots. You can hear it here in much of his lead playing. I do not see this as a weakness though, its just what he thinks sounds good.

Quote:
This is better, but Carlton still manages to get upstaged by Robben Ford:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBS7B...aynext_from=QL
The "upstaging" here will be subjective. I liked them both. To your credit, Robben Ford would have been a better example in my original post. He is a great Blues-oriented Fusion player who knows his stuff.

Quote:
I think it is the most common error for fusion players:
they try too hard to emulate or evoke a certain style which isn't theirs, whether blues or rock or progressive.
Here is where you are dead wrong. To become a great improviser, one of the pivotal steps along that journey is imitation. Emulating a "style that isn't yours" is a skill in itself, not a mistake. Most Blues players learn to imitate SRV and Clapton. These two in particular are incredible for being the first to do what they did, but at this point it has been analyzed and copied as many times as Bach or Charlie Parker. I myself can do a really good imitation of many players including Clapton and SRV. Imitation is a right-of-passage as an improviser, putting you on the road to your own style.

Fusion guitar requires a combination of different guitar styles and techniques. Blues bends/vibratos, hybrid picking, and Jazz Lines to name a few. As an aspiring Fusion player you need to learn to imitate great players in all these departments.

This is when that "Fusion" takes place.
07-07-2010 04:46 AM
Timbaline
Re: So I want to play Fusion......

Listen to Shawn Lane and Kiko Loureiro.
07-06-2010 09:09 PM
potatohead
Re: So I want to play Fusion......

It would be wrong not to mention the genius that is Wayne Krantz. That guy has really effected my playing more than anyone else. His technique is shockingly good and his ear leads him to bend harmony in such a way that its almost wrong. But so right.

Anyone who hasnt come across him should definitely take a minute or two out to have a look on youtube.

For me, he is the embodiment of what fusion is all about.
05-16-2010 01:27 PM
Jess
Re: So I want to play Fusion......

Alex Hutchings!! hes a really awesome jazz/fusion guitarist!! check out his stuff on youtube.. :-)
05-16-2010 03:45 AM
Brosa
Re: So I want to play Fusion......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedabob View Post
This may take me a few a years to apply what im listening to onto the fretboard :P
That's completely normal. There is no easy way, just hard work to get good at playing your instrument.
05-15-2010 08:03 AM
Speedabob
Re: So I want to play Fusion......

So far my fav are Shawn Lane, Frank Gambale, Greg Howe, Guthrie Govan and Richie Kotzen.

This may take me a few a years to apply what im listening to onto the fretboard :P
05-15-2010 07:10 AM
mortenfaerestrand
Re: So I want to play Fusion......

My recomandations: Mike Stern, Frank Gambale, Pat Metheny Group, Robben Ford, John McLaughlin
05-02-2010 06:53 PM
Boombatty
Re: So I want to play Fusion......

fusion = SHAWN LANE.check him out,you won't be disappointed.
05-02-2010 05:33 PM
eviltwin
Re: So I want to play Fusion......

Quote:
Rock guitar's foundation was established by guys who were trashed out of their minds at all times, and you can hear it in their rhythms when they try to improvise. I won't name names...
Please do. Is this some sort of sorry dig at players Like Hendrix, Clapton or Page? or perhaps EvH?

The basis for fusion is rock+jazz and the basis for both rock and jazz is blues.
In either one of those genres you will find players taking liberties with timing; that's part of these styles.
Hendrix' Red House from Live at Winterland is a masterclass in timing and polyrhythms, thanks in part to a Jazz trained rhythm section.
Page, Clapton (Cream) and EvH used jazz trained rhythm sections, allowing them those liberties.

Also one of Carlton's biggest influences is Coltrane. Why rip on Rock/Blues players improvising "trashed out of their minds"
when 'Trane was just as guilty of this? Both he and Miles were addicted to heroin.


What's weird too, is that I'm sure Carlton can play, but the example you've provided has to be Larry Carlton at his worst.
He sounds like a poor Albert King impersonator. Please leave that stuff to Clapton or SRV. They are much better at it.

The second Carlton-blues youtube I hit was even worse...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-R8Nj...eature=related
And another poorly executed Carlton attempt, this time rock, covering Clapton:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqie9...eature=related

This is better, but Carlton still manages to get upstaged by Robben Ford:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBS7B...aynext_from=QL

I think it is the most common error for fusion players:
they try too hard to emulate or evoke a certain style which isn't theirs,
whether blues or rock or progressive.
It turns into something like a Chinese chef stir frying a Porterhouse.
There's nothing wrong with Chinese food, but there are certain things you need do with a big steak.
05-01-2010 02:49 AM
DMTransmutation
Re: So I want to play Fusion......

If you want to play Fusion, you have to be able to improvise in time. Your average Blues/Rock player usually has no clue of the rhythms they're playing. This can possibly be attributed to the fact that Rock guitar's foundation was established by guys who were trashed out of their minds at all times, and you can hear it in their rhythms when they try to improvise. I won't name names...

Looking at how great Fusion players approach Blues solos will help you make your transition. Larry Carlton is also a tremendous blues player because he plays in the pocket and tells a great rhythmic "story". Check out him playing a blues solo here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlUf1ppoSG4

Notice how much of a vocal quality there is to his melody, because he is leaving that beautiful space between phrases, and not constantly playing fast. When he does do that fast lick, he means it. This is the kind of discretion you need to develop to take your phrasing to the next level.
04-25-2010 12:50 PM
rubislaw
Re: So I want to play Fusion......

Just gradually move into it! Make sure you listen to some jazz and obviously guys like Guthrie Govan etc. Transcribe some solos!
03-02-2010 02:30 PM
Speedabob
Re: So I want to play Fusion......

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim777 View Post
Check out Larry carlton and Lee Ritenour on youtube. Look for 'Room 335'
Hooray for elevator music

Its absolutely amazing
03-02-2010 02:22 PM
Speedabob
Re: So I want to play Fusion......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inzane View Post
So you want to play Fusion, and yet you don't know what Fusion is?

* where's the "scratches head" smilie?
Had a broad idea of what it is, but I needed reassurance

Cheers guys for sharing all the info I'll look into it when i can
03-02-2010 02:21 PM
DEADTUNES666
Re: So I want to play Fusion......

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim777 View Post
Check out Larry carlton and Lee Ritenour on youtube. Look for 'Room 335'
I LOVE Lee Ritenour, and Larry Carlton... Good call Jim!
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