AWC Guitar

Guitarist | Guitar Tutor | Occasional Blogger

Them There Eyes – Django Reinhardt [solo]

About a year ago I transcribed this marvellous solo, but I didn’t get around to learning it and recording it until the last couple of days.  There’s some great melody here and it’s another example of Django’s brilliant musicality and gestural approach to his solos.

The main challenge is the speed of this one, particularly in the second chorus (the signature chromatic run, for instance) but the first chorus is very restrained with a focus on melody and phrasing.  You can download the TAB here:  Them There Eyes Django (Solo).

Some Exciting New Music

The Bolders

I have an 11 year old student who has just released his debut E.P.  I’m really impressed by this so thought it was worth a share!

He recently turned 11 and his parents bought him a day in a local studio where he was able to record some songs that he’d written.  Recording under the name The Bolders, he wrote the tunes, recorded all instruments and sung  – he also designed his own album cover.

Check it out!


Fun with Space Designer

I’ve recently been trying to navigate my way through a particularly tedious creative slump.   The kind where you find yourself massively bored of everything you do, and where you feel like you’ve boxed yourself into a corner… it’s the worst.

Was it Einstien that said the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results? I don’t know, but seems to make sense. So, in that spirit, I’ve begun stepping outside of my normal operating perimeters and making more use of “technology”.  Specifically, Logic and Ableton*. I know Logic well enough, but have only ever used it to record and mix audio (and do a bit of MIDI stuff when required). Now I’m making an effort to actually delve into the things that I had previously considered “not my thing”.  And, oh look!  It’s fun.

I recorded a Dmajor triad and loaded it into Space Designer (a reverb plug-in) as an impulse response.  This means that instead of the input signal (in this case my guitar) triggering a reverb, it triggers that Dmajor chord. A pretty cool effect, that sort of sounds like a phased-out synth reacting in the background.

*Ableton is still a mystery to me, but I do at least own the program now.

Gumtree Video

Gumtree got in touch with me and asked me to be part of a social media campaign – a bit unexpected, but the idea was that we shoot a short video of me talking about the SG I recently got from Gumtree… Next week we’re filming a live stream with FRiSK, so look out for that one!

Impromptu FRiSK Video

FRiSK are having a busy summer, which is a wonderful thing in itself, but the great thing about it  is that it gives us more opportunities to produce little off-the-cuff videos and things – largely for our own amusement!

Recently we were booked for a private event at Brooklands Museum, which is a fantastic place that celebrates a golden age of British racing, aviation and engineering.  Penny (one of our singers) and I felt inspired to perform this Fats Waller classic which is of the same era as a lot of the cars in the museum… A few takes and some hasty editing on iMovie and this is the result.  Fun!

Django Lick and TAB | ACM video

The 16th of May marked the anniversary of the death of Django Rienhardt, so I asked the guys at ACM if I could do a little video by way way of tribute, and here it is.  There’s a lot I wanted to talk about but it’s hard to know what to fit in a video that has to be so short, so it’s a very simple demonstration of one idea:  taking the minor pentatonic (1, b3, 4, 5, b7) and lowering the b7 by a semitone to make it a maj6th (so it’s now 1, b3, 4, 5, 6 – like a m6 arpeggio, and implying the Dorian mode).  This is one thing I found that really helped me start to build some Gypsy style vocabulary and move away from the minor pentatonic licks that are omnipresent in rock and blues improvisation. 

The lick I play is based one of Django’s phrases found in the solo of Swing 42 (click here and skip to about 1’07”).  Swing 42 is in C major , but here I’m using it in the context of a Gm6 chord.  The TAB is here: Django Style Minor 6 Lick

9 to 5 Production at The Bridewell Theatre.

This last week, I was delighted to be working for The London School of Musical Theatre (LSMT) in their annual post-graduate production.     This was the third year in a row working for the school and each occasion has been genuinely great fun.   The previous two shows were American Idiot (Green Dayʼs adaptation of their album) and Jason and The Argonauts (written by LSMTʼs in-house composer Charles Miller).    This year it was Dolly Partonʼs 9to5.  The guitar parts were quite busy in this one, and in places challenging but was a great excuse to dust off my country chops!

The cast did a tremendous job and it was a pleasure to work with such a good band.

Here are some fairly uninteresting photos!

First gig with the new SG… I know, not very Country…

My ACM Interview (Cringe)

I’m one of those people that hates the sound of my recorded voice, so you can imagine how I felt about doing a video interview with the ACM for their “Tutor Stories”!

It turned out well though… so all credit the guys that edited it!  Have a watch, I like the shakey-cam.

SG Update


I’ve had this guitar for about three weeks now (see here) and I absolutely LOVE it.  It’s the best guitar Gibson have ever made, and  (despite being an entirely subjective and untestable statement) that is the honest truth.  The only thing I’m not masively in love with is the neck pickup – it’s a bit muddy.  I’m going to swap both out for a new set…

Here’s a little video of it.  I’m messing about with some John Scofield-esque outside ideas over a great bcking track by Quistjam.  I’m going to try and put a lesson together feturing some of these ideas, it’s not a style of playing that I venture into all that often but it’s great fun!

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