john coltrane

The Akai MPC2000.

The use of samples by hip-hop producers is part of a much longer tradition that goes back to the roots of jazz.

A lot has been made of the fact that a large portion of early hip-hop was based on “taking” pre-existing songs and recordings, created decades before, and presenting them in a new, different light. This process was known as sampling, named for the sampler, which could literally record chunks of time as digital audio and allow users to manipulate it at will via keyboards or drum pads.

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The Roots live, in 1999.

Photo by Mika Väisänen

A Philly jam session with the Roots crew helped bring performing musicians into the fold.

Hip-hop officially turned 50 this year. And since its entire history is a book’s worth, I’ll just talk about what hip-hop did for live music, based on my own experience.

Though not many people know it nowadays, some of the finest and most important moments in hip-hop history actually occurred in Philadelphia during the turn of this century, at a jam session called the Black Lily. I was there, so take my word for it: None of us realized how important this would become in the future, or what it would do to transform live hip-hop. Photo by Mika Väisänen

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Guitarists can learn a lot by dissecting the art of articulation.



• Develop a more fluid jazz time-feel by using hammer-ons and pull-offs.
• Create flowing, legato-based lines.
• Understand how to navigate tricky harmonic passages.

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John Coltrane was a titan of jazz saxophone and an improvisor of unparalleled genius. Every jazz musician since has had to confront his instrumental prowess and musical legacy. In this lesson, we'll relate elements of his improvisational material to the guitar. His note choices are frequently addressed and much of his music is available in transcriptions, but authentic phrasing is not often attempted by guitarists. After all, jazz isn't just about what you say, it's how you say it.

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