Charlie Christian ~ Andy Aledort Page 1

front cover Charlie Christian, in the late 1930's and early 40's was credited with taking the newly invented electric guitar and expanding its role particularly within big bands. Up to that time, in a big band setting, guitar was considered merely an unamplified instrument of accompaniment. Band horn players listened to it to keep rhythm.

The guitars function was as a component of the rhythm section. Charlie, with the advent of amplification was able to play his musical ideas. Which subsequently led to the unbridled use of the guitar as a solo instrument. Hail Charlie!

All this, in his 2 brief years, with the Benny Goodman Orchestra. Charlie was from Oklahoma! Jimi Hendrix was from Oregon. It brilliant what people can do in big sky country. Unfortunately both he and Jimi died young at 25 and 27 yrs old respectively. 2 guitar revolutionaries from out West tragically passed on.

I just did a review of Joe Pass's Jazz Lines guitar lesson and for my particular guitar situation am learning more from of this Charlie Christian lesson. This one is still 'advanced' but its easier. Charlie played more recognizable figures and some blues - jazz blues. Joe, in his, just keeps playing the same old thing to my ear. He can do it 13 ways from Sunday but so what? Charlie plays 'figures' Joe plays 'lines'.

Also we are fortunate enough to have Andy Aledort as our guitar instructor. Andy explains things to us in a very business like way albeit briefly. Still, the lesson runs just over 2 hours in length and has 8 songs. Air Mail Special, Benny's Bugle, Gone with "What Wind", Grand Slam, Seven Come Eleven, Shivers, Solo Flight, and Till Tom Special.

Andy begins with his Intro and and some history on Charlie Christian. Next he begins the first tune (and every tune) with an overview and its obvious that he is reading off camera. His notation or script or whatever. He'll play us 'the head' or the 'A section' and then depending on the song the B section or the chorus and the turnaround. Its quite straight forward and well detailed but there is no pamphlet or .PDF file. A lot of these songs are Jazz Blues going over 1 iv V and then later other changes ii V I. Andy does a good job but you will need to know more than your basic music theory and be fluent with jazz guitar chords in flatted keys.

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Role Models

“To get your playing more forceful, hit the drums harder.” ― Keith Moon (The Who)