February 9, 2013: Carl Orr

Many thanks to Carl Orr for one again providing an entertaining session in which we covered the following tunes:

“Afro Blue” by Mongo SantamarĂ­a
“Beautiful Love” by Victor Young

In a well attended session containing a few new faces, we started with a rendition of “Afro Blue”; Carl chose this piece because the 6/8 time signature tends to force the player to come up with fresh ideas rather than relying on tried and tested licks. In this composition, the soloing takes place either over a static F- or as in this case a minor blues in F.

Carl talked about the importance of rhythm and we clapped and played through a few exercises that should help improve our appreciation of it. In one exercise, each member clapped a short rhythm and then made a short improvisation over an Fm utilizing the same rhythm. In another exercise, Carl clapped a rhythm and got us to repeat it whilst tapping our feet; initially the rhythm started on the first beat (the one) of the bar, but then it moved to the two, three and four before changing to the “and” of the one, two, three and four.

To end the session we performed “Beautiful Love” as a Bossa Nova. In this style Carl suggests that the guitarists should consider themselves part of the rhythm section and provide straightforward simple backing to the soloists.