April 23, 2013
Hello everyone, Hope you're all in good health and spirits. Getting ready for E St shows in Europe. Should be beautiful! I'm honored to have that journey ahead of me.
Amy has been coaching me on twitter and I hope to continue on tour with informative, fun tweets (@nilslofgren)
On another note, (or thousand) I've finally completed the Youngstown Solo, Intermediate Guitar School lesson*. Wow! What an adventure for me. It's an intense, fun, three hours and forty minutes. (Sounds like an E St concert!).
First, I perform the solo for you to a backing track I recorded in my home studio. Then, note by note, lick by lick, I slowly, with great detail, illustrate the entire solo, front to back. Even if you are a beginner, it is detailed enough to be useful if you take it in small segments.
Dick Bangham is editing it all together now and we have the intro performance on YouTube. If it seems too advanced, I recommend the Beginner's School Blues package to teach you where all the Youngstown Solo licks come from. But if you have the patience and desire, jump in and I predict you'll do fine.
I taped it on hour long tapes and have asked Dick and Linda to get the whole thing into three lessons which will be well over an hour each. Thus, there will be some funky edits where I talk about changing tapes and then carry on, stopping without notice, to be continued on next lesson. Regardless, homegrown as it may be, the learning and knowledge is extremely clear and in your face. Much like the Because The Night Solo lesson which is similar in length.
This solo has been a work in progress for 12 years, from the Live At MSG performance to the more recent London Calling performance, you can see it evolving. Even recently in Australia I've still been working on small improvements which are significant to me and included here.
It remains a great honor and opportunity to walk out in front of the great E St Band and Bruce, after he finishes wailing this brilliant, tortured lyric of pain and fury, and be given 2 minutes plus to wail on my favorite 1961 "wood Strat", with Bruce and E St pounding this solo home as only they can.
The lyric; "seven hundred tons of metal a day, now sir you tell me the world's changed, once I made you rich enough, rich enough to forget my name". Intense right? The rage, cynicism, resignation, hopeless fury, it's all there, frighteningly clear. I've tried to project those tortured feelings in my solo. The themes I move through combined with the rhythms are the heart of the solo. The harmonics, finger picking and other techniques are secondary to the rhythms of the notes. You can add your own styles and ideas inside the themes and expand on them to play your own style into it or simply learn what I do and incorporate it into your playing.
Please spread the word to your guitar player friends that may be interested in learning this solo piece. A lot of time, love and respect has gone into it's creation.
I look forward to seeing many of you in Europe, hopefully with Amy along for as much as possible. Until then, thank you all for your continued interest and help in spreading the word about my own music and journey, also. Peace and Believe - Nils
* * * CD's are now back online at the store, posters and tees coming soon! Thanks! * * *
"DREAM BIG" OFFICIAL VIDEO
"MISS YOU RAY" VIDEO
May 4, 2011 - BLIND DATE JAM!
Now on to a brand new musical project we're ready to share with you. I've had this idea for a few years and have finally gotten around to trying it. Let me attempt to explain it. Over the last 42 years, I've been involved with many different musical productions for TV , video, and film. Traditionally and appropriately there is always a great degree of organization, rehearsal, preparation and pre-production detail that goes into these endeavors. All of us continue to enjoy a well crafted live, musical performance on TV, video, film, etc.. During the rehearsals for these musical productions there are inevitable breaks and down time while technical issues are sorted out. Often these require the musicians to stay put on the set, instruments in hand and wait. Occasionally one of the players will start a cool, off the cuff riff and others will join in, in an impromptu jam session that can be quite inspired. Of course, the audience never hears or sees this. Not burdened with arrangements, beginnings, ends or any type of required structure, these jams can be inspired, free, reckless and fun. A few years ago I was in a fantastic band that Patti Scialfa had put together to do some live TV show performances. We were promoting a great album of Patti's songs that we had recorded with her. I was playing some B-3 organ which was big fun for me. Along with Steve Jordan, Willie Weeks, Mark Stewart and Cliff Carter, all fabulous musicians, we seemed to be quietly jamming a lot on TV sets while waiting for the next run-through. I was thrilled to be a part of such impromptu, special musical moments and it reminded me of many other moments like these, gone un-recorded and never shared. I kept thinking in the back of my mind that music fans would enjoy seeing this kind of interaction amongst great players.
So I started planning the "Blind Date Jam" sessions in the back of my mind. Where players get together with no rehearsal, no plan, no pre-production, and challenge themselves to jam on the spot and rely on years of musical experience and instinct to create something special. Just show up with your instruments, no plan but to improvise inspired music with friends for a couple hours, play free with no rules but to be your creative self, enjoy and express your musical gifts and go home. Not all musicians are comfortable with that type of jamming but I know many who are, including me.
So, I finally got it together to start this "Blind Date Jam" project out in our home garage studio in Arizona. I did some demos years ago with Mike Smith who is an extraordinary musician and has remained a good friend. Mike's pedal steel playing is magnificent. During these old demo sessions I had challenged some local players to learn and play some new songs quickly (which they all did well) and it seemed like Mike might enjoy the "Blind Date Jam" format. We discussed it in advance of course and he seemed open and excited about it. The "no homework or rehearsal" aspect of it is bound to appeal to almost any musician, myself included! Anyway, I put a team of friends together to do a basic home recording and video taping of two impromptu hours of jamming with Mike. Jamie Weddle and John Ramirez handled the recording and Tony Hartman did a three camera shoot and the digital editing to put it all together with Jamie's mixes. I bounce between acoustic, piano, electric and singing while Mike jams along on his pedal steel. I had hoped to get 40 to 50 minutes of inspired playing and interaction to present to you, the audience. Turns out we got an hour and 20 minutes of what I think is inspired, impromptu musical jamming that represents the concept as I've explained it.
You'll see me presenting ideas on the spot to Mike, talking through the chords briefly and launching in to each piece. It's primitive, rough and inspired jamming that I feel and hope you as music fans will enjoy. I hope some of you decide to check it out. I'm very proud of this first, "Blind Date Jam" session and hope it leads to more of them. If you try it and enjoy it, please spread the word for us as this is an extremely grass roots, homegrown endeavor. Thanks again to Mike Smith, Tony Hartman, Jamie Weddle, John Ramirez and Dick and Linda Bangham for their great help in getting this idea from my musical mind to our website to share.
CHECK OUT THE FIRST BLIND DATE JAM SESSION HERE
Peace and Believe. - Nils
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