Stax : Memphis Riffs + Grooves Pt. 2 | Guitargate

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Stax : Memphis Riffs + Grooves Pt. 2

In this masterclass, Jamie McLean dives deep into the essence of rhythm guitar, specifically focusing on the soulful sounds that have influenced his playing. Jamie kicks off the session by sharing his recent experiences with the Jamie McLean Band, including recording a new record and hitting the road for some touring. He reflects on the previous lesson on stacks and how it ties into the Memphis and New Orleans styles he adores. Jamie also addresses a viewer's concern about struggling with the rhythm, setting the stage for a detailed exploration of right-hand rhythm techniques.

Throughout the masterclass, Jamie offers a practical guide to mastering rhythm guitar, taking viewers through various songs to highlight specific techniques. He demonstrates playing along to Otis Redding's "Mr. Pitiful," emphasizing the importance of a tight pocket and rhythm. Jamie meticulously breaks down the guitar parts, focusing on the right-hand rhythm, and encourages viewers to pay attention to the guitar's quarters and the sharp, straight rhythm. He also touches on issues with the video feed but ensures the audio clarity allows for a seamless learning experience.

In further detail, Jamie explores other songs, including "Green Onions" by Booker T. & the M.G.'s, and discusses the unique aspects of playing rhythm guitar in these classic tracks. He shares insights into his approach to muting and achieving a funky sound, emphasizing the role of the right hand in maintaining rhythm and groove. Jamie wraps up the masterclass by encouraging viewers to practice along with the songs and shares his openness to covering more topics, like songwriting or diving deeper into stacks, Motown, or New Orleans music, based on viewer interest. The session is filled with practical advice, demonstrating techniques on guitar, and is aimed at players looking to refine their rhythm playing in the context of soulful music.

Transcript Summary

  • Introduction and Announcements (00:00:00 - 00:02:29)
    • Jamie welcomes viewers and checks in on audio and video quality.
    • Mentions recent activities with the Jamie McLean Band, including recording and touring.
    • Recaps the previous lesson on stacks music, highlighting the fun and overlap with New Orleans style.
  • Addressing Viewer Questions (00:03:20 - 00:05:29)
    • Jamie addresses a viewer's question about struggling with right hand rhythm techniques.
    • Decides to focus on right hand rhythm starting with Otis Redding's "Mr. Pitiful."
    • Explains the tight pocket and rhythm of "Mr. Pitiful," emphasizing the importance of listening to the horn and guitar parts for rhythm practice.
  • Technical Difficulties and Solution (00:07:00 - 00:12:29)
    • Encounters video freezing issues and attempts to troubleshoot live during the stream.
    • Switches browsers to improve stream quality, successfully resolving the video issue.
    • Continues the lesson focusing on "Mr. Pitiful" after resolving technical difficulties.
  • Lesson on "Mr. Pitiful" (00:12:30 - 00:24:45)
    • Jamie demonstrates the guitar part for "Mr. Pitiful," focusing on straight quarter notes and staccato playing.
    • Discusses the importance of keeping the rhythm tight and not sliding between frets unnecessarily.
    • Provides visual demonstration of chord voicing and right hand muting techniques to achieve the desired sound.
  • Introduction to "Green Onions" (00:24:46 - 00:33:25)
    • Jamie introduces "Green Onions" by Booker T. & the M.G.'s as the next song for rhythm and riff practice.
    • Breaks down the iconic guitar solo and bass line, emphasizing the use of the F minor pentatonic scale.
    • Demonstrates the opening part and discusses the unique stabs and solo techniques used in the song.
  • Closing Remarks and Q&A (00:33:26 - 01:08:56)
    • Jamie wraps up the lesson with a quick recap on "Mr. Pitiful" and "Green Onions."
    • Encourages viewers to practice along with the songs to improve rhythm and timing.
    • Opens the floor to viewer questions, providing additional tips on practicing and mastering the techniques discussed.
    • Concludes the stream by thanking viewers and hinting at future lesson topics based on viewer interest.

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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