Jamie McLean | New Orleans Chords & Rhythms | Guitargate

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Jamie McLean | New Orleans Chords & Rhythms

This masterclass features guitarist Jamie McLean giving a lesson on New Orleans rhythms and chord shapes. Jamie introduces himself and his background playing with Aaron Neville and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. He is joined by Michael, who helps introduce the live stream format.

Jamie dives into common chord progressions and rhythms used in New Orleans style music. He explains that standard barre chords don't always work well in a full band context with other instruments playing. Jamie demonstrates that smaller chord shapes using the root, third, fifth and flat seventh notes allow more space in the mix.

Jamie then shows four different Bb7 chord shapes that use these smaller fingerings for variation. The shapes are played in different positions on the neck. Jamie plays through each shape to demonstrate their sounds and how they can be moved around.

Questions from viewers are addressed, such as sliding between the shapes and muting techniques. Jamie plays along to a backing track to demonstrate how the shapes can be used over a rhythm. He incorporates approaches from half steps above and below.

At the end, Jamie thanks everyone for attending and invites viewers to check out upcoming tour dates on his website. Michael provides information on how viewers can post video responses to the lesson online. This serves as an introductory masterclass on essential New Orleans guitar techniques.

Transcript Summary

Introduction [0:00:03 - 0:01:50]

  • Jamie McLean introduces himself and his background playing with Aaron Neville and Dirty Dozen Brass Band
  • Michael Palmisano introduces the live stream and thanks Jamie for participating
  • Jamie expresses excitement for the lesson and learning experience

New Orleans Rhythms and Chords [0:01:50 - 0:06:29]

  • Dominant 7th chords are commonly used in New Orleans style
  • Standard barre chords don't always work well with full band
  • Jamie demonstrates smaller chord shapes using root, 3rd, 5th, and flat 7th
  • These shapes allow more room in the mix for other instruments
  • Jamie will demonstrate shapes that can be used instead of standard barre chords

Demonstration of Chord Shapes [0:06:29 - 0:11:20]

  • Jamie demonstrates 4 different Bb7 chord shapes in different positions
  • Shapes use different fingers and notes to create variation
  • Shapes can be moved around the fretboard
  • First shape starts on 6th fret with flat 7th, 3rd, 5th
  • Subsequent shapes move the root note up the neck in sequence

As the Axe man for The Dirty Dozen Brass Band for years, and working with all the heavy hitters including Aaron Neville, Dr. John, Taj Mahal, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Trombone Shorty, Los Lobos, Blues Traveler, Marc Broussard, and so many more… Jamie is the PERFECT window into what it takes to thrive with the very, very best.

(IMHO, The level of musicianship in NOLA is probably the best in the country - if not the whole world.  THE RHYTHM. THE SWAGGER. THE VIBE!!)

Jamie is a spectacularly tasteful guitarist - but that’s not the whole story:  He’s an equally Incredible singer and songwriter.  As you know, I’m obsessed with understanding WHY things get stuck in your head, WHY hits are hits, and HOW rhythm, harmony, and wait for it - MELODY - work together to craft something moving and unforgettable.  Jamie is uniquely able to take us on a journey beyond the fretboard, and go deep into the craft of making great music & being an even better storyteller.

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