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New York lick
October 9, 2017
2:03 pm
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MikeJ
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February 13, 2014
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Hi Tim,

I am enjoying the new CD: great playing, great tunes and a great sound, especially the guitar of course but also the other instruments.

I have a question on this particular track. It occurs at around 2:44 when you play this fantastic atonal sounding lick, which then resolves. It almost sounds like the sort of thing Holdsworth might have played, but delivered in your unique style. What were you thinking?!! (I realise you can’t answer this question about every phrase you played on the CD but I asked first.Smile)

Best,
Mike

October 10, 2017
7:59 pm
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timmiller
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Hi Mike,
Thanks!
The chords are modulating from C minor down to B minor and the line reflects those chords, but with some chromatic notes mixed in. The end of the line is very similar to a standard bebop resolution. The phrase is improvised and would be difficult to recreate, but it is a good example of something that I have never played before, but I can hear small bits of familiar melodic vocabulary. It is a tough question because I don’t think that I was thinking anything when I played it, when I improvise I am basically humming the notes, dynamics and contours in my head while I play.
Best,
Tim

October 14, 2017
9:08 am
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MikeJ
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Hi Tim,
Thanks for your reply. That you improvised this line on the fly makes it all the more impressive.
If I am allowed a followup question on that, how would you prepare for recording a guitar solo like this? Would you develop some ideas about the broad shape of it? In other words, what is the ratio of preparation to inspiration?
Best,
Mike

October 15, 2017
3:39 pm
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timmiller
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Hi Mike,
Of course you can ask as many question as you like!
I get familiar with the chord changes by playing through them many times. After this I will improvise with the changes in my mind or make a backing track or loop to practice over. If a particular section is giving me trouble I will focus on it. With “New York”, I had played it many times live so I was comfortable with the song when we recorded it.
Preparation usually leads to inspiration. When I record I am just in the moment, playing what comes out naturally.
Best,
Tim

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