1. #1

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    As many of you know, Andrew York is one of the finest classical guitar players around. There is a long interview with him in the most recent issue of Fretboard Journal, a fantastic quarterly magazine, which also features Julian Lage on the cover this time. It’s not all about jazz by any means, but more about acoustic instruments from any genre. It’s the best thing that ever comes in the mail, in my opinion. Check it out here if interested:

    https://www.fretboardjournal.com

    Anyway, York talks about the difference between classical and jazz guitar players. It’s something I’ve always sensed or intuited, but to hear this opinion from such an amazing player, who knows both genres very very well, was somehow interesting and encouraging to me. And everybody here already knows this, but it is excerpted here for your entertainment and perhaps commentary:

    “And when you say jazz harmony, what do you really mean?”

    “You know, most classical players have no idea, he says, tuning the guitar as he talks. “They… we think of harmony, if we think of harmony, and we have I-IV-V, right?”

    He plays the chords as he describes them. “And classical music kind of exists in this domain. But a jazzer will begin to extend the harmonies,” which Andy also demonstrates on his instrument. “They might add nines or sevens or raised fours, so a progression might become like this."

    He plays a much more beautiful and sonorous progression.

    “The same kind of idea, the same kind of progressions, but jazzers understand how to use much more tension. So instead of like a classical cadence like” –he plays a V-I – “you have the seven and the seven drops to the third, right? And the leading tone, the third of V chord, goes to the root of the I chord. So now a jazz player knows that if you add a flat nine, it gives you more tension, and then, maybe you raise that flat nine up to the sixth of the I chord. And you can add a sharp IV as well, and then maybe keep that as an inversion, and it’s all just V-I, but it’s way beyond what classical players or classical composers knew.

    Or some of them knew, but they didn’t go there. Jazz developed it.

    Yeah, and then I went to California at age 25 I had a full ride to go to USC in the studio program, which essentially was jazz, and I studied with Joe Diorio and Lenny Breau, two of the greatest guitar artists ever.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flat
    Yeah, and then I went to California at age 25 I had a full ride to go to USC in the studio program, which essentially was jazz, and I studied with Joe Diorio and Lenny Breau, two of the greatest guitar artists ever.
    I’m finding it really hard to imagine Lenny holding down an institutional teaching gig.

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    I'll bet his studying with Lenny was attending a masterclass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave70
    I'll bet his studying with Lenny was attending a masterclass.
    My thought as well. And we can all do that, as at least one of Lenny’s masterclasses can be purchased on dvd; perhaps it is even on youtube. By that measure I have studied with many of the greats, no matter how little I may have to show for it.

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    To be fair Andrew could have taken some private lessons from Lenny too. That masterclass dvd was recorded at USC in 1982... who knows?

  7. #6

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    Lenny was an instructor at GIT for a while, IIRC.

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    He did clinics or workshops at the school. I think they would have hired him as an instructor if he hadn't died.

    I showed up in 1983. Back then, the school was next door to the Hollywood Wax Museum. August 1984, one day I went up the stairs to the small lobby, where a closed caption TV posted news about the school, upcoming seminars and stuff. Nobody was around. The small lobby was completely empty, which seemed odd. It was usually a busy place. I stopped to read the scrolling news.

    And right there, standing in the lobby by myself, I saw the news scroll across the TV screen. Lenny Breau had been found dead in an apartment swimming pool. What?

    I looked around for my buds, the other students to share the shock of the news. "Did you read that?!?! Did that say Lenny is dead??!?!"

    But the lobby was totally empty. It was freaking eerie. Like somehow I was the only person who knew. Then I thought everybody else must already know and they are all off blue woodshedding in remorse somewhere. I'll never forget that moment.

    Here's some audio from some of the clinics. Lenny being Lenny.

    Last edited by Flat; 10-25-2021 at 12:37 AM.