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  Click to hear "April In Paris"

 Guitar Lesson by Steven Herron - press "Play"
Play Pause Stop 

Dear Advancing Guitarist,
    This lesson presents a pickstyle chord melody guitar solo of the beautiful song "April In Paris" arranged by jazz guitarist Chris Buzzelli. This arrangement is from the book with 2 CDs called "Jazz Guitar Standards: Chord Melody Solos" which is fully described below. It is an excellent example of how a melody can be harmonized with everything from 3rds and 10ths to  3, 4, 5, and 6 note chord voicings!

    You will also notice it is written in standard notation (for those of you who can read music) and tab notation for those of you who can't.  In tab notation, the highest line of the staff towards the top of the page represents the 1st string or the highest pitched string of the guitar, while the lowest line of the staff represents the 6th string or the lowest pitched string of the guitar. The numbers on the various lines tell you what fret to press down on that particular string.  So if you have the number "2" on the highest line of the staff, it is telling you to press down the 2nd fret on the 1st string of your guitar.

     Also, I am including a sound clip from one of the CDs that comes with this book so that you can hear exactly how the song should be played. You will also notice that due to copyright restrictions, I am only presenting the first page of the song. Here is the book description from our website:

Jazz Guitar Standards: Chord Melody Solos - Book and 2 CDs
Songs include: "Body and Soul, Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man, I've Got You Under My Skin, What's New" -arranged by Ron Berman, "All The Things You Are, April in Paris, East of the Sun, Honeysuckle Rose, In Your Own Sweet Way, Just Friends" -arranged by Chris Buzzelli, "A Foggy Day, I Could Write a Book" -arranged by Charles Chapman, "Beautiful Love, Yesterdays" -arranged by Corey Christiansen, "How High the Moon, Moonlight in Vermont" -arranged by Mike Christiansen, "As Time Goes By, Bluesette, Bye Bye Blackbird, Invitation, It Don't Mean a Thing, You Stepped Out of a Dream" -arranged by Dave Frackenpohl, "All of You, But Not for Me" -arranged by Barry Greene, "The Days of Wine and Roses, Have You Met Miss Jones, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, You Go to My Head" -arranged by Sid Jacobs, "I Love You, Watch What Happens" -arranged by Ken Karsh, "Alone Together, Lover Man, My Funny Valentine, Night and Day" -arranged by LaRue Nickelson, "I Can't Get Started, Satin Doll, Summertime" -arranged by John Purse, "The Way You Look Tonight, What Is This Thing Called Love"  arranged by Bruce Saunders, "Misty, Speak Low" -arranged by Rick Stone, "Embraceable You, Long Ago, Someone to Watch Over Me' -arranged by Jack Wilkins.
Notation & tab / Fingerstyle & Pickstyle................................................Price - $29.95

"April In Paris" is played in 4/4 time which means that there are 4 beats per measure and a quarter note gets 1 beat, a half note gets 2 beats, a whole note gets 4 beats, while an eighth note gets 1/2 a beat.  This arrangement is in the key of C major which means that all of the notes are natural unless otherwise indicated.  When an arrow points down towards the floor, you would execute a "down pick" in the same direction. When an arrow points up towards the ceiling, you would execute an "up pick" in the same direction. Wouldn't it be nice to actually be able to read music like a studio musician? Well here's your chance to start.

      Here are some tips which will help out your pickstyle guitar playing considerably. Hold your pick between your right hand thumb and the left side of your index finger tip, keeping your thumb perfectly straight so that it is tension free. The pick should be held loosely enough that there is a little give and take when you strike a string. This way you won't feel like you're digging in or dragging across the string. The pick should strike each string perpendicularly or straight on, as opposed to striking the string at an angle. You will get a fuller sounding note this way. Also, only the tip part of the pick needs to strike the string. There is no need to dig your pick down between the strings. This creates too much resistance. When you use a pick, your up and down picking motions come from your hand, wrist, and forearm at the exact same time. They move as one unit in a rotary motion and your wrist stays perfectly straight. Keep your middle, ring, and little fingers loosely held back in the palm of your hand - don't give in to the temptation of resting your little finger on the pick guard or the face of your guitar. This will only serve to glue you into one position and will cut down on your mobility and freedom of motion.
     Keep your left hand thumb perfectly straight - bending your thumb is just another tension habit that should be avoided at all costs. Your thumb will contact the back of the guitar neck slightly on its' left side, pointing towards the ceiling and in the middle of the back of the neck. Resist the temptation to hang your thumb over the top of the neck. Your left wrist should be slightly arched and directly underneath the guitar neck itself. Keep your left hand fingers arched and play on the tips of your fingers close to the fingernails, being sure that the right side of the palm of your left hand is the same distance from the fretboard as the left side of the palm of your left hand. This will balance and center your left hand so that all of your fingers have an equal and fair reach advantage. Never lift a left hand finger more than 1/2 inch away from the strings. This alone will improve your accuracy because now you have less chance of missing the next note, since you won't be traveling a great distance to find it. All of these technique pointers usually take months of focused thought and practice to get them to be habits. Be patient and read all of these pointers at the beginning of each practice session.

     Please be sure to use the 5 step "Visualization, Mental Imagery Process" that I taught you earlier.  If you have not yet received this report, here is a link that you can use to access it:

    I strongly urge you to work your way through a good series of pickstyle guitar method books such as the ones by William Leavitt, who was head of the guitar department at Berklee School of Music in Boston for decades.  It is an excellent 3-volume series of books with CDs that have lots of duets that make learning how to read music fun! You will never be sorry if you take the time to learn how to read music (standard notation), which is much more descriptive, as far as subtle nuances are concerned, than tab notation is.  This skill will enable you to not just be a guitarist, but a musician as well.

Jazz Guitar Chords & Arpeggio Patterns - Stacy McKee - This unique book includes 300 jazz guitar chord
formations and matching single note arpeggio patterns in a quick reference format that no one has ever done before! Cross indexing makes this manual extremely easy to use and regardless of what style of music you play, we know you will find this to be a valuable, "must have" addition to your library. Stacy McKee was the featured guitarist with "Les Brown and The Band Of Renown" and for a limited time only, we will include an exclusive copy of his book FREE with your first order!
==> Click here to see the Stacy McKee Chord Melody Solo Collection <==

Never B#, Never Bb, Just B Natural,
Steven Herron
Peabody Conservatory trained guitarist, performer and teacher