Lesson Two: Improvising Hot Lead Solos
Infectious syncopations, hot soloing, lush chords....nothing captures the spirit of jazz better than swing. Mike Dowling has it down cold, and on this follow-up to "Swing Guitar: Rhythm's Where It's At," he has put together a perfect lesson for any player interested in lead soloing and improvisation.
Mike's clear instructional style is easy to follow, and you'll get great practice as you jam along with the rhythm parts he and David Hungate provide.
Starting at the beginning, Mike uses Mary had a Little Lamb to demonstrate how you can create a swing tune out of just about anything. He explains how to use chord shapes to give you the basis for moving around the neck, and how to take a basic melody and embellish it with arpeggios, riffs, pedal tones and other improvisational devices. Before long, you'll be calling it Mary had a Swingin' Little Lamb!
Mike gets further into the process with C Jam Blues, which teaches you to improvise around a short "riff," or melodic passage in various positions on the fingerboard. He plays out the chord progression and then launches into some effective blues/jazz improvisations. A classic Hot Club riff leads you into Fats Waller's great swing standard Honeysuckle Rose.
Duke Ellington's It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) is a great vehicle for you to trade licks with Mike and Dave, and you'll learn how to play it anywhere on the fingerboard. Raggin' It moves through a typical ragtime progression with simple but effective harmonies that can work in any number of tunes. Finally, Sweet Georgia Brown wraps it all up with great chord changes, color tones, ragtime syncopations, and techniques that tie in all the elements you've learned on the lesson. Mike says that "true improvisation comes from a creative place deep in the player's imagination," and on this DVD he gives you the tools you'll need to create and develop your own ideas, and swing along with the best of them.
"I have purchased several tapes in the past on various subjects and this is by far the best video instructional tape I have ever purchased. You keep getting better all the time." -- William W. Pettet
"I learned more from your demonstration of soloing 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' than all of the complex explanations of scales, modes, and arpeggios that I have tried to plod through. I want to thank you for the time and care you put into the discs and let you know how much help they have been to me." -- Bill Jensen
"...a tour-de-force video for aspiring Djangos and Djangettes. Gearing his video to near beginners and intermediate players rather than musicians with advanced expertise in jazz guitar, Dowling begins by showing how to construct easy, elegant-sounding, open-position solos in such common keys as A, G and C. Things immediately get more interesting, however, as he demonstrates how to play those solos up the neck.... For guitarists seeking an intelligent, easily grasped introduction to swing lead guitar, Dowling's video condenses a lot of great material into an excellent package." --Acoustic Guitar Magazine