Oct 7

In this sample lesson from his online guitar school, Andreas Oberg breaks down jazz guitar comping. An abbreviated term for accompanying, comping refers to playing the rhythm part while someone plays the lead melody or solo. Although it's not the main focus of the music, it's not something to be taken lightly. Comping is an integral part of any group performance.

It is very important to find the right balance when it comes to jazz comping. This means taking some space for yourself, but not too much - the idea is to back up the soloist while playing just enough… without it being too much. Good comping will enhance the lead guitarist and help to build up intensity in the music. Bad comping however, will distract from the melody and derail the soloist.

Understanding syncopation and where to land your strumming is a crucial aspect of jazz guitar comping. Syncopation is an art unto itself, so it is very important to learn how to use it in your jazz comping. If you just land your notes on the same standard beats every time, like quarter notes for example, it will sound extremely boring to the listener.

Posted in Andreas Oberg, guitar, jazz
Oct 3

martin taylor of the cover of Fingerstyle 360

"If you get too caught up in the theory you can switch your instincts off. Instead of asking if this note works with this chord just listen to it. How does it make you feel? Does it feel right? If it’s wrong ask yourself why it doesn’t work and then you can apply the theory but not before. Just use your instincts."  - Martin Taylor

Congrats to Martin Taylor on making the cover of Fingerstyle 360 magazine, featuring a nice in-depth interview with him where he talks about teaching guitar online at ArtistWorks among other things. Click here to download a PDF version of the magazine from the Fingerstyle 360 website.

Oct 2

bryan sutton imba 2014

ArtistWorks would like to congratulate Bryan Sutton for taking home his 8th IBMA Award for Guitar Player of the Year!

We are thrilled by Bryan's accomplishments as an artist and are proud to have him teaching flatpicking guitar to students around the world alongside the other Academy of Bluegrass all-stars: Mike Marshall, Missy Raines, Darol Anger, Andy Hall, and the incomparable Tony Trischka.

So much of what we do is spent focusing on the instruction that the Academy of Bluegrass artists are providing here -- and that's obviously our mission, but in the spirit of the now concluded 2014 IBMA awards, we'd like to focus for just a moment on the impressive careers of these amazing musicians. We're very fortunate to have them all here.

artistworks bluegrass instructors

Sep 30

ArtistWorks is proud to be a part of the World of Bluegrass at the annual IBMA Award Show - taking place in Raleigh, North Carolina this week! We had a chance to speak with some of our bluegrass instructors about what the International Bluegrass Music Association means to them. 

"I'm proud to be a part of this IBMA community. I'm teaching bluegrass mandolin through the ArtistWorks Academy of Bluegrass. I grew up playing bluegrass, it was my first love and it will always be near and dear to my heart. No matter where I've gone musically, I always reach back for those roots and the things I learned early on in my career." - Mike Marshall

"I love the IBMA, it's where everyone gets together. You see people that you haven't seen for a year, you jam, you hang out, it's just a great experience and it reminds us where we've been as bluegrass musicians and also where we want to go." - Bryan Sutton

"I can't even remember a time when I didn't know what bluegrass was. It feels so great to be part of what's happening today as well, and IBMA is such a great opportunity because I get to see old friends, meet new friends, and just get excited about where the music is going and what's happening next." - Missy Raines