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7/14/08: Lenny Breau's Fingerstyle Jazz

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Lesson of the Day: Lenny Breau's Fingerstyle Jazz






The late Lenny Breau was known as a musician's musician, taking his place in the annals of music by blending many different styles of music, including country, classical, flamenco, and jazz. He is best known, however, for his unique use of fingerstyle techniques not often found in the jazz guitar genre.


Inspired by the picking of Chet Atkins and Merle Travis, among others, Breau took up the guitar at the tender age of eight, and by the time he was 14 he was the lead guitarist in his parents' band. He recorded his first song one year later in Westbrook, Maine, then moved to Canada with his family where they became regulars on Winnipeg's CKY radio show.


After listening to Breau on the radio, guitarist Randy Bachman—just 16 years old at the time—met Breau at a performance and the two became close friends. Eventually, Breau began giving lessons to Bachman, who later described those encounters as "... the beginning of my life as a guitar player."


In today's lesson, Bobby Howe of GuitarTricks.com gives us a few pointers on Breau's highly regarded approach to fingerstyle jazz techniques, which is essentially a unique combination of Atkins and Travis fingerpicking and Sabicas-influenced flamenco guitar music. If you've been looking to jazz up your skills, you won't want to miss out on this excellent tutorial.


Breau died a suspicious death in 1984, and many live and "lost" recording have surfaced since his death. But if you've never seen him play, click here.


And then click here for today's excellent lesson on Breau's distinct fingerpicking style >>


And make sure you check back tomorrow for another great lesson from Gibson Lifestyle!—Gabriel J. Hernandez

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Jim and Linda Payne of Orangeburg are eagerly awaiting Friday's opening of the Olympic Games, although they will have to settle for watching it on television.


Eight years ago, when the Olympic Games were in the Atlanta area, the Paynes landed coveted positions as volunteer timers for the equestrian event held in suburban Conyers, Ga.


Dr.Linda L. Payne is director of the Bamberg-Calhoun-Orangeburg Math-Science Hub. At the Olympics, her job involved monitoring horses' health and length of stay in the cool-down "vet box" between sections of the competition known as "three-day eventing."


Dr.James E. Payne is a professor of physical sciences at South Carolina State University. At the Olympics, his job was timing horses in a particular section of the competition as riders tried to stay within an "optimal" window of time. They lost points for completing the section too quickly or too slowly.


While highly popular in certain venues such as Aiken and Camden, equestrian is not a marquee Olympic event that is likely to be shown on NBC in prime time.


"It's just a fact of life," Linda Payne said. "It's good you can get it at all, on cable."


Equestrian includes dressage, show jumping and three-day eventing. The latter encompasses dressage, show jumping, steeplechase and cross-country.


Jim Payne has been enamored pet portraits with and equestrian competition since childhood, and his wife has caught the spirit. They spend much of their spare time scoring and timing various equestrian events throughout the Southeast.


Competitions are held around the world, but the Olympics is one of the very few occasions where "you see all the world-class names in one place," Jim Payne said.


So they jumped at the opportunity to volunteer.

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