In this lesson, using “Out of Nowhere” as a learning vehicle, Jake Reichbart offers a straight forward approach to performing solo jazz guitar.
While every aspect of jazz guitar is covered, from bebop phrasing through countless chord substitutions to walking bass, the most important message in this lesson is “keep the rhythm going”.
The lesson is not intended to offer a specific “method”, such as drop chords or inversions. Instead, the student is encouraged to start performing with whatever chordal and melodic vocabulary they already have!
Jake Reichbart’s approach is accessible and done in a light conversational style that will immediately engage the student.
Jake creates one of the most in-depth song workshops available anywhere for solo guitar in this video.
“Out of Nowhere” is a popular song composed by Johnny Green and Edward Heyman first recorded in 1931 by Bing Crosby and later the same year by Al Bowlly.
The chord progression has been used in several later songs, such as Alexander Courage’s “Theme from Star Trek”, Tadd Dameron’s “Casbah”, Fats Navarro’s “Nostalgia” Gigi Gryce’s “Sans Souci” and Lennie Tristano’s “317 East 32nd Street.”
“Out of Nowhere” has been recorded by artists ranging from singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne and Frank Sinatra, to instrumentalists such as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Django Reinhart and John Coltrane.
Jake is a prolific recording and YouTube guitarist with a vast repertoire of fingerstyle instruction tunes available online.
In this video he explores a range of approaches applicable to any song, including:
- Melodies + basslines = harmony
- Rhythmic ideas
- Intervallic ideas
- Fills between lines (‘micro-improvisations’, as he calls them.)
- Arrangement approaches.
No tablatures are offered as Jake improvises arrangements each time he plays.
He takes a different, more functional approach – showing you how to play melodies using specific voices to get through the tune.
He introduces rhythmic tool simply by playing a simple root notes bassline against the song’s melody. This creates an instant basic fingerstyle arrangement.
To expand, he demonstrates setting up pre-planned, arpeggiated basslines that can be used over any song. Jake suggests having about six to a dozen pre-planned bassline patterns. This idea provides the player with countless variations to play any song multiple times without ever sounding the same. This is an invaluable advice that enables the guitarist with fresh arrangement ideas for each chorus.
Jake demonstrates many good thumb / finger independent exercises to provide arranging ideas using two melodic lines.
Harmonically, he demonstrates how combining two simple parts can give the illusion of something complex happening. This approach can also be useful for generating harmonies, as Jake explains that notes played closely together can create harmony over time – as opposed to stacked-note (vertical) harmony.
Another rhythmic idea is setting up a mental grid so you commit to a rhythm for the song.
Jake also describes different intervallic approaches that will help the viewer to generate their own arrangements. He does this while minimising unnecessary music theory, which makes his ideas immediately accessible.
Jake offers a wealth of playing approaches that can help each player generate many variations within any given song.
‘Out of Nowhere’ is a beautiful song to work with, but this video is actually a masterclass in solo fingerstyle playing as well as tune arranging. Highly recommended.