Monday Music Quote: John Scofield

Monday Music Quote

"I don't have a 'method' for teaching; I don't believe in that."

 John Scofield's rock and R&B influenced approach to jazz guitar has made him one of the most prominent voices on the instrument for decades. I recently read an article about his approach to teaching young students the guitar and what suggestions he offered to teachers in terms of overcoming some hurdles. Here's what John Scofield had to say:

" I think I have to really slow down for younger students. Most guitar players start out by playing simple blues lines in the pentatonic shape. If you can,  somehow, show show somebody that improvising over a jazz tune at a medium tempo in a lyrical way can be almost the same as playing blues in that you get the lines in your ear and you can sing them - they can be lyrical and not just technical..." 

My favorite part of the JAZZed interview asks the question, how do you approach helping younger players begin to understand improv?

John Scofield's answer:

" I try to make an analogy between verbal conversation and improvising. When I'm talking to you, I'm talking in sentences, but I'm trying to express a larger idea that may ultimately be a couple paragraphs long or something. I go from one idea to another. Improvising with melodic phrases is the exact same thing. I'd start to explain it like that - you develop a vocabulary and then you start to form sentences and paragraphs and, on a good day, maybe you can conceive of a whole page of ideas in a larger musical conversation."
For licks, tricks and riffs, check out Jairus Mozee,  Advanced Guitar 301 

Do you have a favorite jazz guitarist musician? We have a local artist, Peter Sprague, that I greatly admire. He grew up in Southern California and is quite mega-talented. I have many of his CDs and have been to several of his concerts.

All the best,

"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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