1. #1

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    Man, oh man. I really enjoyed this video. It was timely for me in several ways. Mainly, I am turning into a horizontal player when I solo, just using the G, B, and E strings, with the D string sometimes thrown in. George shares some of his thoughts on this. Also, I am finding that I really like to use slides - to my ears, it makes the guitar have more of a "singing" quality. I ended up getting a slice in one of my fingers from using old strings. George also gives his thoughts on sliding.

    Anyway, take a look if you have a moment - you might find it interesting. And, in case you don't know, Jody Fisher is a prolific player and author of Jazz studies and does a nice job of interviewing George. Man, I like the way Benson comes across - he seems so genuine.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    I was hoping George Benson would be interviewing Jody Fisher. "What's with those fiendishly difficult chord patterns in your beginners' book, Jody? And why those guys on the cover playing on a staircase?"

  4. #3

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    I did not realize until later that this was from an NGW workshop in around 2008. Apparently, the company is now out of business, and offered workshops with various great musicians. I guess video from that lesson series is just now getting posted on Youtube some 10 years later.

  5. #4

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    I find George Benson is an interesting case where asking him directly about what he's doing seems far less useful to understanding how he thinks. That might sound controversial so I'll try to explain.

    My understanding is that George has perfect pitch (which would also help to explain why he's such an incredible singer) and I think this means he conceptualises music differently than most people. Instead of having labels for everything (this is diminished, that's altered etc.) I think he can just relate to the sounds they make in a very direct way without needing to analyse them too much. As an example there's a story I heard from a very high profile teacher, who already knew a lot of theory, who studied with him - George ended up playing loads of chords to him and asking him what they were called. This suggests to me that GB already knew everything but that he'd figured it out using his ears without reference to much else.

    When it comes to his command of the fretboard and picking hand, that's a different thing although I think it was probably helped by having good ears initially. Again though, the style he's created is totally natural to George - I don't think he had to struggle or take advice from other people - which means that it must be hard for him to describe what he's doing in terms that most ordinary guitar players would understand.

    I took the Peter Farrell private online lessons for a couple of years. Peter studied with George over several years and he's done an amazing job (in my opinion) of breaking down the technical and harmonic aspects of George's playing. He's put a ton of free stuff on YouTube which is great, but he hasn't published much on the foundations from the first few lessons which is where the most valuable stuff is. You can get some idea by checking out the picking lessons and what he calls "scale arpeggios" which are a bit like GB's version of the CAGED positions. The biggest revelation for me was the picking - GB tends to sweep pick from low-high strings and then alternate pick on the way back down *but* he keeps the alternate picking in multiples of two for each string (2,4,6,8 etc). If he wants to play three or five notes on a single string when descending he'll use slurs, slides or pull-offs to make the picking work. It's actually really beautiful when you get used to it. If you're interested Peter does a much better job of explaining it than I do

  6. #5

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    you can find almost 2000 posts on this subject here:

    Benson Picking technique on Gibson L5 Wesmo