Photo by Ina Behrend

All proceeds from "Lockdown Blues" will benefit the Jazz Foundation of America.

(June 10, 2020) -- The blues may be the only thing even more universal than the current global pandemic we are all operating through. With this in mind, pathbreaking guitarist and bandleader John McLaughlin has convened his longstanding band the 4th Dimension -- Gary Husband (keyboards), Etienne M'Bappe (bass), and Ranjit Barot (drums, konnakol) -- via the Internet to record "Lockdown Blues," the multifaceted ensemble's first new studio recording in five years. Although each performer contributed his part remotely from far-flung locales (McLaughlin: Monaco, Husband: London, M'Bappe: Paris, Barot: Mumbai), their deeply felt connection transmits clearly through high-speed data lines as they tackle a rigorous, propulsive new McLaughlin composition rooted in the blues, but enlivened and disrupted by his signature rhythmic intricacy.

McLaughlin convened the 4th Dimension to help raise awareness and funds for the Jazz Foundation of America, who has supported jazz music and jazz musicians for over 30 years. "The pandemic has thrown hundreds of thousands of musicians out of work," McLaughlin reflects, "and nobody knows how long." With this in mind, the Jazz Foundation of America has recently established a COVID-19 Musicians' Emergency Fund to give musicians and their families money to help cover basic living expenses.

A video of the 4th Dimension performing "Lockdown Blues" is available to view on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and the audio recording can be downloaded free on Abstract Logix Bandcamp page: https://abstractlogix.bandcamp.com. Donations can be given directly to the Jazz Foundation of America at www.jazzfoundation.org.

"As a band, we've been together so long we're family," McLaughlin concludes. "But in fact we go further back: Humanity is the only family, and we believe the only way humanity will survive is if we care enough for each other. We hope that whoever sees or hears this will care also. So, if you donate something -- even something really small -- thank you."

For more information:
John McLaughlin

Rig Rundown: Adam Shoenfeld

Whether in the studio or on solo gigs, the Nashville session-guitar star holds a lotta cards, with guitars and amps for everything he’s dealt.

Adam Shoenfeld has helped shape the tone of modern country guitar. How? Well, the Nashville-based session star, producer, and frontman has played on hundreds of albums and 45 No. 1 country hits, starting with Jason Aldean’s “Hicktown,” since 2005. Plus, he’s found time for several bands of his own as well as the first studio album under his own name, All the Birds Sing, which drops January 28.

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Diatonic sequences are powerful tools. Here’s how to use them wisely.

Advanced

Beginner

• Understand how to map out the neck in seven positions.
• Learn to combine legato and picking to create long phrases.
• Develop a smooth attack—even at high speeds.

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Knowing how to function in different keys is crucial to improvising in any context. One path to fretboard mastery is learning how to move through positions across the neck. Even something as simple as a three-note-per-string major scale can offer loads of options when it’s time to step up and rip. I’m going to outline seven technical sequences, each one focusing on a position of a diatonic major scale. This should provide a fun workout for the fingers and hopefully inspire a few licks of your own.
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