Skip to content
norman brown jazz -...
 
Notifications
Clear all

norman brown jazz - archtop only?

19 Posts
7 Users
0 Likes
6,801 Views
pab
 pab
(@pab)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 103
Topic starter  

i think i just found my new favorite guitarist. norman brown. while i know that this will not be everyone's cup of tea, i hear his version of this song and just love the solos:

a few questions here. question #1 is what i really want to know, and the other 2 or merely curiosities at this point in my guitar "career":

1. can i get this type of sound with a regular electric and the VOX DA5 amp that i have (i just have a squire 51). when i say this type of sound, i guess i mean the type of tone that is coming from the archtop guitar, as i obviously cannot duplicate his sound at this point (just 1 year of playing).

2. my teacher has told me that he can spot the difference in a solo between a pentatonic solo and, what i think he called, a diatonic solo. he indicated that there are more notes in the diatonic solos and, as he has been playing professionally for about 30 years, he can spot the difference. i'm working on pentatonic scales right now and it is a lot of work learning them well, including being able to find the tonic notes as well as identifying the others for each pattern, along with just getting the logistics of the fingering down. would this type of jazz solos be using either of these types of scales, or something different altogether?

3. just curious, for those of you who have knowledge of this, when someone's playing like this and recording, are they most likely just improvising and taking what they like the most, or do they usually work out beforehand what sounds good and then record it as it was planned out?

thanks!

paul


   
Quote
southpaw_pete
(@southpaw_pete)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 27
 

Hi

You'll get close to the tone with the gear you have, although obviously not spot on. Use both pickups on your 51, and go for something like a clean Fender tweed amp setting on the DA5 (not sure exactly what models its got). Add a little compression if you have it, a touch of reverb, and back off the tone control on the guitar just a fraction - you don't want it too bright, but you don't want it muddy. At the end of the day, use your ears to hear when you're getting close to the sound.

I'm rubbish at music theory, but I can tell there's some pentatonic stuff going on in those licks - with lots of other clever stuff too! The trick with these things is not to get too tied down with scales. Use the scales to learn where notes can be found, and how to get to and from them. Think of it like speech: you could spend the next 5 years reading books about correct grammar, but if you're not actually going to construct a sentence and talk to someone, there's not much point.

As for recording, every artist is different, but yes, there's usually an element of improvisation (making it up!) involved, and then some clever cut and paste work to construct the finished version. Some artists improvise but keep just one take for a "live" feel, whilst others write it all our first. Depends how they've learned to do it really.

Good luck working at it - post us some sound clips so we can hear how you're doing...

Pete


   
ReplyQuote
pab
 pab
(@pab)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 103
Topic starter  

thanks pete! i'll give the electric a try with the settings you suggest. i just realize that the archtop is basically a "jazz guitar" and as i'm still relatively new i don't want to get something that is only going to be used for one style, especially considering i haven't really started on that style yet (i spend 99% of my time with fingerstyle with an acoustic).

thanks again.

Paul


   
ReplyQuote
southpaw_pete
(@southpaw_pete)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 27
 

Archtops are often used in blues, jazz, rockabilly, even straight out rock - they're certainly versatile instruments. They're also a great way to transfer your acoustic fingerstyle techniques to electric. However, you're right not to blow a fortune on a guitar if you don't know if its the right one for you yet.

If you find yourself in the market for a new guitar though, I really can't recommend the Line 6 Variax enough (no, don't work for them!). I'm always sceptical about these kind of things, but its got a couple of great archtop jazz models, as well as all your regular strat/tele/les paul sounds. It's a handy way to see which kind of sounds you like.

Check out my Whitish Christmas track at http://www.myspace.com/petejfowler for a soundbite. That's the Variax on a Gibson L5 model, played through a clean fender setting on my Vox Tonelab LE.

Cheers

pete


   
ReplyQuote
BmanCV-60
(@bmancv-60)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 135
 

Southpaw_Pete is right, you can coax a good approximation from the amazing DA5. I have one with a Jay Turser JT-133 (ES-335 clone)which I selected for the range of styles you can play. I'm practicing chords on the Vox Clean 1 setting and it sounds great. I want to learn the blues style and have fiddled with the settings enough to sound very similar to the DVD I got from Guitar Player mag. Also a big fan of classic rock and the Drive setting can cover both if you play with the Gain, I'm gonna have to write the settings down for combinations I like. Haven't tried for a jazz tone yet, but let us know how you make out! :D

"...I don't know - but whasomever I do, its gots ta be FUNKY!"


   
ReplyQuote
Voodoo_Merman
(@voodoo_merman)
Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 368
 

i think i just found my new favorite guitarist. norman brown. while i know that this will not be everyone's cup of tea, i hear his version of this song and just love the solos:

Wow. His tone sounds like he strung his guitar with angel hair.

Hes got that spot-on crystal clear jazz tone that so many people want so badly.

At this time I would like to tell you that NO MATTER WHAT...IT IS WITH GOD. HE IS GRACIOUS AND MERCIFUL. HIS WAY IS IN LOVE, THROUGH WHICH WE ALL ARE. IT IS TRULY -- A LOVE SUPREME --. John Coltrane


   
ReplyQuote
gnease
(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

Have you checked out George Benson? Norman Brown seems to be a strong emulator of his. It even looks as if he plays something very similar to the Ibanez George Benson signature model. Wes Montgomery would be another to check out. Certainly Wes made famous the octaving that Brown and Benson both use.

That timbre may be approximated on many guitars. Since the '51 doesn't have a tone control, you will need to use the tone shaping on your Vox DA5. I think you also should try just the neck pup instead of both, as bridge (in either bucker or tapped mode) may add too much edge. Though the '51 neck pup is a bit thin tonally, maybe it does need a little bridge pup help as Southpaw_pete suggests. Try it both ways. On the DA5, boost the midrange (and low midrange, if possible), back off on the treble and bass. You may want to consider upping your '51's string gauges to 10s or 11s if this is to be your chosen style.

-=tension & release=-


   
ReplyQuote
pab
 pab
(@pab)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 103
Topic starter  

i love george benson - not all of his stuff but some of it is great. awesome vocals too. some of my favorite songs by him have limited guitar in them (good habit, give me the night, love is here tonight), but breezin has got to be his best for guitar. often credited with starting an entire genre of music (smooth jazz).

with the squire, how do you know which pickup you're using? i believe that there are 5 (i didn't get the manual as it was a demo model at the store). i think you pull out the volume knob and that's how you get additional ones. however, i don't know which one is the bridge vs. the neck pickup. i've had it for about 6 months now but haven't played it that much. probably b/c i don't understand it that well - i play acoustic about 2 hours a day and take lessons for that, but the electric just is a different monster.

thanks!

paul


   
ReplyQuote
gnease
(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

The volume knob (up/down or out/in) determines bridge pup mode
Volume pushed in (or down): bridge is humbucking - both coils on, more output, beefier tone, minimal hum
Volume pulled out (or up): Only one coil of the bridge is active - less output, more high end, probably hums a bit

Rotary knob determines pup selection
Forward (completely clockwise from the looking from front of guitar): Neck pup only
Center: Neck + Bridge (see Bridge mode above)
Back (completely counter-clockwise): Bridge pup only (see modes above)

So the "five tones" come from the additional two combos of volume in/out in rotary switch positions center and back. When the rotary is in the front (neck pup only), the volume in/out has no effect.

These are fun guitars. Despite having quite a few guitars already, I bought three '51s for customizing.

-=tension & release=-


   
ReplyQuote
pab
 pab
(@pab)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 103
Topic starter  

thanks a lot! i'll certainly reference your post when i play with the guitar tomorrow.

paul


   
ReplyQuote
Mahal
(@mahal)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 107
 

i love george benson - not all of his stuff but some of it is great. awesome vocals too. some of my favorite songs by him have limited guitar in them (good habit, give me the night, love is here tonight), but breezin has got to be his best for guitar. often credited with starting an entire genre of music (smooth jazz).

thanks!

paul
Check out Benson's early career the late 60s, before he became CTIs staff guitarist. The problem with Breezin was that "This Masquerade" was also on that album and at that point the young jazz lion, the next Wes Montgomery, became a great R&B singer who occasionally played a lick that he scat sang in unison with. Not a guitarist who sang so he could be the frontman like Clapton, Hendrix or SRV.


   
ReplyQuote
BmanCV-60
(@bmancv-60)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 135
 

Check out Benson's early career the late 60s, before he became CTIs staff guitarist. The problem with Breezin was that "This Masquerade" was also on that album and at that point the young jazz lion, the next Wes Montgomery, became a great R&B singer who occasionally played a lick that he scat sang in unison with. Not a guitarist who sang so he could be the frontman like Clapton, Hendrix or SRV.

I agree with Mahal; I really enjoy Benson's PLAYING. His singing voice isn't bad, but I'd much rather hear him play so I've been looking for albums with few or no vocals. The George Benson Cookbook ('66) and Bad Benson ('74) are two that I've found showcasing his amazing gift with the guitar; TGBC has one vocal and BB has no vocals. I can live without the scatting :lol:

"...I don't know - but whasomever I do, its gots ta be FUNKY!"


   
ReplyQuote
Mahal
(@mahal)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 107
 

Check out Benson's early career the late 60s, before he became CTIs staff guitarist. The problem with Breezin was that "This Masquerade" was also on that album and at that point the young jazz lion, the next Wes Montgomery, became a great R&B singer who occasionally played a lick that he scat sang in unison with. Not a guitarist who sang so he could be the frontman like Clapton, Hendrix or SRV.

I agree with Mahal; I really enjoy Benson's PLAYING. His singing voice isn't bad, but I'd much rather hear him play so I've been looking for albums with few or no vocals. The George Benson Cookbook ('66) and Bad Benson ('74) are two that I've found showcasing his amazing gift with the guitar; TGBC has one vocal and BB has no vocals. I can live without the scatting :lol:
I would stay wth all of his jazz albums. And the early 70s Creed Taylor International releases where he normally would have a featured solo. In that other father of smooth jazz the songs tended to be extended, 5 minutes are more. I probably heard Benson first on Freddie Hubbard's First Light.

Stay away from the Greatest hits packages they tended to cut the guitar parts to add more songs on which George Benson sings. Even on the Live album featuring On Broadway a lot of the guitar work was Phil Upchurch, the rythm guitar player on Breezin.

The collaberation album he made with Earl Klugh might interest you.


   
ReplyQuote
BmanCV-60
(@bmancv-60)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 135
 

quote]Stay away from the Greatest hits packages they tended to cut the guitar parts to add more songs on which George Benson sings. Even on the Live album featuring On Broadway a lot of the guitar work was Phil Upchurch, the rythm guitar player on Breezin.

The collaberation album he made with Earl Klugh might interest you.

One exception I've found is 'Best of George Benson: The Instrumentals', which as the title states is all instrumental. A good portion of the songs are in the smooth jazz realm and there are some real gems featuring straight-ahead jazz included as well.

"...I don't know - but whasomever I do, its gots ta be FUNKY!"


   
ReplyQuote
Hyperborea
(@hyperborea)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 827
 

I've got the Verve compilation Jazz Masters 21: George Benson. It's pretty much all instrumental and I think it's got a lot of his better music from the late 60's. So not all Benson compilations are bad.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


   
ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2