Yesterday we hosted a live chat with guitarist Andy Wood for the first in
our new series, “Wanna explain that?” The idea is that we transcribe a
recording of an artist, show it to them and ask for an explanation of some
of the concepts behind the ideas in the transcription.
Andy is a great get for us in this pilot episode. He's got that magical
combination of being able to both demonstrate and communicate his musical
For those that don’t know Andy’s playing background, he’s toured
as a sideman with major label acts like Rascal Flatts, Scott Stapp and Gary
Allen. He’s released several instrumental studio albums, a live concert DVD
and is an award-winning mandolinist. (Yes, he plays mandolin too.)
sought-after instructor to boot. In addition to being a regular clinician, you can
find some of his instructional offerings on
Cracking the Code.
He’s also got his own
signature guitar from
In our conversation, we discuss this gut-busting, chicken pickin’
transcription we made of Andy — recorded live at the Suhr guitar company
headquarters in California. Follow along with the transcription here as you
watch the breakdown video. We recommend clicking “View full version” to
best see what’s going on. The three specific sections we drill into are
labeled A, B and C.
For more Andy
If you like what you’re hear from Andy, we highly recommend checking out his
And if you like his teaching style and general demeanor, you’re going to want
to subscribe to his new and fast-growing YouTube channel.
A big thanks to Andy for being our first guest in this format.
Yesterday we hosted a Soundslice “talent show” via Instagram Live. (We need something to do with all this indoor time!) You can watch the archived video here:
We were grateful to be joined by some of our musical friends:
Mark Lettieri — Fort Worth, TX, USA
Chris Payton — Los Angeles, CA, USA
Antoine Boyer — Chartres, France
Kaspar Jalily — Paris, France
Horace Bray — Los Angeles, CA, USA
Landon Jordan — Atlanta, GA, USA
Michael Valeanu — Brooklyn, NY, USA
The show took the form of a variety hour. We asked the artists to tell us a bit about what life is like for them in quarantine. Then each gave us a performance (or a mini-lesson) and offered thoughts about what we, as lovers of music, can do in these times for the artists we care about.
In effort to add some light-heartedness to this strange time, we asked each artist to pick their “quarantine album” — that is, the single record they’d pick if they could only listen to one record during lockdown. Their responses:
Mark Lettieri: “The Ultimate Experience” by Jimi Hendrix
Chris Payton: “Live at the Cirkus, Stockholm” by D’Angelo
Antoine Boyer: “Beyond the Missouri Sky” by Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden
Kaspar Jalily: “Voodoo” by D’Angelo
Horace Bray: “Monterey” by Milk Carton Kids
Landon Jordan: “From the Mint Factory” by Mint Condition
Michael Valeanu: “The Easy Way” by Jimmy Giuffre, Jim Hall and Ray Brown
Moving forward and supporting artists
To end each interview, we asked for the best ways to support them, or artists generally, in this time of canceled gigs, tours and other work. On the monetary side, advice was to purchase (rather than stream) music you like, consider buying merchandise, and reach out to artists for Skype lessons (even to people who don’t advertise that they give lessons — it may be a new, enjoyable venture for them.)
On the social/emotional side of things, there was a call to promote kindness and to be generally encouraging. Musicians (like all people) are social beings, and without the regular real-world interaction that we’re used to from concerts or jam sessions, it will be easy to feel down. So don’t hesitate to reach out to an artist you love and to let them know it. If you see some inspiring musical content on social media, it doesn’t take much to say something positive! Challenge yourself to not scroll past something that you enjoyed without saying so.
“Be excellent to each other.” — Mark Lettieri — Bill and Ted