iBreatheMusic ThePulse Logo
15 November 2002 - Issue 4   
In this issue

@ Introduction
@ What's New on IBreathe
@ Pulse Bites: Listening is the Key
@ Eric's Shred 101-Lick
@ Member Spotlight: Szulc
@ Sizzling Hot Topics


Hello all, and welcome to issue #4 of 'The Pulse'.

There weren't any real surprises at this year's MTV Europe Music Awards. The event was again over-the-top in the usual manner, and I can't help thinking how all this money could help new artists with embracing their careers :-).

Anyway, I'm glad to see that the Red Hot Chilli Peppers are the winners in 2 categories (ok, I'm a fan). What struck me was J-Lo getting awarded with 'Best Female' artist. Sure, one can always argue about these things, but in my opinion Shakira was far more deserving of that one. She brought in some fresh breath into the stagnating music industry. I'll never understand the rules in this business ...


New Articles on IbreatheMusic
Difficult Picking Exercises
by James B Schultz

This article was requested after several posts I made on the topic "Difficult Picking Exercises". Working on the things you find difficult is where you are going to achieve the most gain. Continue

NotationTablatureGuitar related

Greg Howe- A Profile
by Eric Vandenberg

Greg Howe is one of my main influences and, to me and many others, one of the most innovative and technically-able guitarists these days. Hereīs my tribute to him... including a bio, discography and LOTS of licks !!! Continue

NotationSoundTablatureGuitar related

Choosing a Teacher
by Tom Hess

The electric guitar has advanced far beyond the time when someone could teach himself (or herself) to become a world class player. If your ambition is to become a competent player and a competent musician, you need a competent teacher... Continue

Guitar related

The Club Date Guitarist
by Bruce Saunders

What, you may ask, is a club date? It isnít always a high profile gig at a happening, swinging club or bar-room. ("Grrrooovy! Dig this, you beatnik you!")... Continue

Guitar related

The Glue of Repetition
by Jamie Andreas

Every day you pick up your guitar and get in the ring with that new piece, or song, or something your teacher gave you in the lesson. You try to put on your best attitude, and you grab that piece with both your guitar playing hands, and you wrestle! Continue

Guitar related


 Pulse Bites: Listening is the Key

On Tuesday evening, I went to one of those open Jazz Jams. I haven't gone to one of these for ages and was quite interested on how it would turn out.

After listening to a few different acts and playing for a bit I got terribly bored. What happened? Most players had their Real Book infront of them, staring at the leadsheets although it was pretty clear that they had played the tunes before. Guys, this is a real distraction from the actual music we are trying to create. Our eyes take over from our ears and leads to an 'egocentric' behaviour, leaving more or less no space for communication and interaction between the players. This said , all tunes were played with the same dynamic level throughout.

I already mentioned this quite a few times in the forums, but one of the most powerful tools we have to create tension within music is space and silence. We don't have to play all the time. This goes for comping as well as playing lead.

So, to sum it all up: If we are familiar with a tune let's not look at the leadsheet. Let's listen to the other players and try to react on what they are doing. Be open to dynamic variations and have space and silence in your bag.


 Eric's Shred 101-Lick

In my recent article about Greg Howe, I showed you an interesting way to play an descending E Minor-Scale incorporating tapping. The lick I am gonna show you NOW has the exact same notes and fingerings, but is played in a different way. The first note is picked, then there are two pull-offs etc. When changing strings, the first note is hammered on with the left hand. This stretch-pentatonic lick has a pretty cool sound once you speed it up, a bit Shawn Lane-like.

 Member Spotlight: Szulc

Member name: Szulc
Real name: James Schultz
Homepage: www.mp3.com/szulc
Location: Nashville TN
Instrument: Guitar, Bass, Voice, Sequencer

How and when did you get started with music?
I came from a musical family. Grandfather was a violinist and teacher. Father played drums, tenor saxophone and sang. He was performing up until I was 13 or so. We inherited a nice Upright Piano when I was 6 or so. The school I went to had a music program and we had a Hammond M3 with headphones in my 3rd grade class. We each had two half hour sessions a day. Reading and playing were required, this was good for me. I played violin in 4th grade. I played alto, tenor and baritone saxophone from 5th grade until 9th grade. In the middle of the saxophone (around 11 years old), I discovered guitar. I found it appealing because it was so logical and mathematical.

How did you come across iBreatheMusic.com?
I stumbled upon www.guitar4u.com in 1998 or 1999 and submitted a couple of my ideas, which were graciously published. When I breathe was coming out I was starting to write a new set of article for the old site, I submitted them and have been hanging out in here ever since.

What styles of music do you play?
I like to play Rock, Blues, Jazz and Neo-classical.

Who are your biggest influences?
JS Bach, Nicolo Paganinni, John Coltrane, Ritchie Blackmore, Jeff Beck, Robin Trower, Mark Farner, Eddie Van Halen, Adrian Vandenberg, Yngwie, Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino, Pat Methany, Joe Diorio, Michael Firkins, George Lynch, Blues Saraceno. I could keep this up for a while!

What formal training have you had?
I took a couple of music theory classes in college to satisfy my humanities requirements. One was a jazz improv class and the other was voice leading.

What were some of the biggest breakthroughs you had in your learning of music theory?
The big epiphany was connecting mathematical set theory with music. The first break through came when I discovered the pentatonic scale, I realized that this was the basis for most of what I was hearing (early 1970's) then I was listening to 'Malaguena' and thought 'there must be a scale that sounds like this' then figured out the Phrygian mode ( and harmonic minor). I really was clueless as to what these were called but I had made the connection between improvising and using particular scales. My dad had a book about triads and I read that pretty early on.

What practice technique you use do you feel has paid off the most handsomely in its effect on the way you play?
In the late 80's I played with a drum machine and recorded simple two chord changes. I believe this really opened up my ears, and allowed me to really get a handle on mode based playing. I also believe that when practicing scales you should use mathematical based motives; this helped me a great deal with playing melodically.

How long did you play before you had your first paying gig?
I played my first paying gig when I was 14 so I guess I had been playing for 2 or three years. It was a high school dance with well over 1000 people, I was very nervous so I took my glasses off to make it hard for me to see everyone. Everything that could go wrong went wrong! We kept blowing circuit breakers... It was Friday February 13th 1976.

What gear do you use?
I have several Warmoth Custom Strats, Several Kramers, a steel String Takamine and a Nylon string Takamine. I like Rio Grande Texas BarBQ, Semour Duncan JB and Pearly Gates bridge pickups. In general I like single coils for the other pickups. I have several rigs. My main rig uses a Mesa Studio Preamp and Peavey Classic 50/50 with an ART DRX 2100 SE delay I also use an ADA-MP1 and a ground effects switching unit. For recording sometimes I use the Pandora 's Box. When I want to sound like Robin Trower I use a Mu Tron Phasor.

What are you up to at the moment?
Lately I have been trying to score a couple of short films for my niece and a friend of mine. I want to record another cd of original material soon but haven't been inspired much lately. Work....

Do you have any interests (apart from iBreathe of course!)?
I used to modify tube amps, now days I rarely use my scope. I do a lot with computers and have been experimenting with techno music using Acid Loops.

 Sizzling Hot Topics


SM 57, and SM 58's

Technical Difficulties


All About Arpeggios

  Send suggestions and comments to: ThePulse@iBreatheMusic.com

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