THE HARDEST GUITAR PARTS I EVER HAD TO LEARN: (warning nerdy music post) were playing w/ Glen Campbell & this is why. Jimmy Webb writes on piano, not guitar, so almost everything is in either B flat or E flat or not a typical D, E, A guitar thing & then every section after that ,(intro, verse, bridge, chorus, whatever), is in a completely different key. It’s like learning 3 or 4 songs within a song. In terms of writers, Webb writes as much or more sophisticated changes than any Cole Porter or McCartney or Brian Wilson piece you’ll ever hear. To compound this difficulty, Glen, who was in the LA studio session gang the Wrecking Crew, & was a jazz freak who not only reads music, but reads it with feeling, transposes all those finger bending 9th & diminished piano chords into harmonic inversions which means they work melodically, but are not the same chords at all. Sure, I’ve played some other demanding stuff like Billy Zooms parts from X which wasn’t necessarily hard, it was just weird & counter-intuitive…also brilliant I might add. Or the jazz standards I had to learn on a 18 piece Ray Price jazz record, which were standards but still had a lot of passing jazz chords. But if you can learn Glen’s stuff on guitar, with all the key changes & passing jazz chords, you can almost play anything.(ok, except maybe Segovia & some flamenco/classical pieces that are a total grind & some advanced Travis picking that incorporates jazz changes instead of 1,4, 5 chords w/ the 2 thrown in) But it took me 2 months to prep for one gig of 10 songs w/ Glen & I had to get Redd Volkhaert over to my house to help me write a chord inversion chart that was even challenging for Redd.(which is saying a lot becuz Redd is a God) But that’s how demanding Glen Campbells parts are & guitar players who play all power bar chords or cowboy Eagles strumming chords…well, it’s like learning conversational Taiwanese for them. Ok, my nerdom is done here.
PS I use that term “nerdom” w/ the highest respect. I like to live somewhere between having a nerd style intellectual curiosity, but still keep my below-the-waist sexuality in tact. All nerd w/ no sexy bores me to tears. Put me in with a bunch of brainiacs who are neutered from the waist down & I’ll be clawing my way out of that room in seconds. No matter how proficient a musician is, if their playing or music doesn’t have any sex in it, I’m out…see ya! Also took this link from Nick page.