Right Hand Rhythm Pt. 2 | Guitargate

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Right Hand Rhythm Pt. 2

In this masterclass, Jamie McLean dives deep into the nuances of rhythm guitar playing, emphasizing the importance of the right hand in creating groove and feel. Jamie, with his extensive experience gleaned from playing with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Aaron Neville, shares personal anecdotes and lessons learned on the bandstand. He highlights how critical rhythm was in his development as a guitarist, especially in the context of New Orleans music. The masterclass revisits concepts from a previous session, aiming to refine and expand upon them, particularly focusing on right-hand techniques and their pivotal role in rhythm guitar.

Throughout the session, Jamie encourages interaction, asking viewers for their music preferences and suggesting songs and artists as references for the discussed techniques. He also touches upon the challenges of translating groove and rhythm to solo acoustic performances, sharing insights into his journey of adapting to solo gigs without losing the essence of groove. The masterclass is structured to build upon basic chord progressions, gradually adding complexity through backbeats and syncopation, aiming to equip viewers with the skills to infuse their guitar playing with more rhythm and vibe.

As the session progresses, Jamie offers practical advice on practicing rhythm guitar, emphasizing the importance of consistency and groove over technical complexity. He suggests playing along with records or with other people as an effective way to internalize rhythm. Jamie also candidly discusses his experience with in-ear monitors on stage, offering his perspective on their impact on guitar tone and live performance dynamics. The masterclass concludes with Jamie inviting viewers to share their practice videos for feedback, fostering a community learning environment. This interactive and engaging session is packed with valuable lessons for guitarists looking to enhance their rhythm playing and overall musicality.

Transcript Summary

  • Introduction and Recap (00:00:03 - 00:02:03)
    • Jamie greets viewers and recaps the previous session focused on right hand rhythm.
    • Addresses previous technical issues and confirms improvements.
    • Encourages questions and suggestions for future lessons.
  • Importance of Rhythm (00:02:03 - 00:05:12)
    • Emphasizes the significance of rhythm, sharing insights from his experience with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Aaron Neville.
    • Discusses the importance of finding the "pocket" and adapting rhythm based on feedback from bandmates.
    • Introduces the concept of steady rhythm with the right hand, highlighting its role in creating a solid backbeat.
  • Practical Application and Techniques (00:05:12 - 00:10:25)
    • Shows how to apply steady rhythm to basic chords, enhancing musicality with accents and backbeats.
    • Demonstrates techniques for muting strings and using alternate bass notes to simulate the presence of a bass player and drummer.
    • Encourages experimenting with rhythm without left hand movements to focus on right hand technique.
  • Enhancing Groove in Performance (00:10:25 - 00:15:30)
    • Discusses the transition from simple strumming to creating more rhythmic and engaging performances.
    • Shares personal experiences on the importance of rhythm in solo performances and the challenge of maintaining groove without a band.
    • Offers examples of songs and artists that exemplify effective rhythm and groove.
  • Viewer Interaction and Q&A (00:15:30 - 00:20:40)
    • Answers viewer questions about guitar playing techniques and musical preferences.
    • Discusses the use of in-ear monitors and personal preferences for live performance setups.
    • Provides music recommendations for practice and inspiration.
  • Conclusion and Future Plans (00:20:40 - 00:25:30)
    • Summarizes the lesson and encourages viewers to practice the discussed techniques.
    • Mentions a break in the lesson schedule due to spring break, promising to return with more content.
    • Invites suggestions for future lessons and ends the session with thanks and well-wishes to viewers.

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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