Larry Carlton has been very generous to students of guitar over the course of his career. He’s given us countless solos and rhythm parts to study and emulate across his 3,000 sessions, 200 hit singles and 100 gold albums as a session player (some of us are still trying to nail that Kid Charlemagne solo!). Then he gave us the gift of 31 albums as a solo recording artist earning him 4 Grammys and 19 Grammy nominations. He’s treated us to a master series of lessons revealing his signature techniques, harmonic approaches and improvisational prowess in 335 Blues and 335 Improv. Yet over all these years, Larry’s never showed us exactly how he plays his hit songs from the first measure to the last… until now!
Larry Carlton’s 335 Hits is the first time that Larry lifts the hood on the exact voicings, melodies, fingerings and improvisational approaches that he uses when performing nine of his hit songs on stage; Room 335, Smiles & Smiles To Go, Alone But Never Alone, Hello Tomorrow, RCM, High Steppin’, Terry T, Kid Gloves and Red Hot Poker.
Using both electric and acoustic guitars, Larry performs each of the songs over the actual rhythm tracks from his Grammy-nominated Greatest Hits Rerecorded album.After each performance, Larry steps you through the song melody and rhythm parts measure-by-measure, chord-by-chord, note-by-note. True to Mr 335 form, the solos are improvised following the principles that Larry outlined in his 335 Improv course. While Larry does not break down the solos, we transcribed them note-by-note and include the corresponding tab, standard notation and Guitar Pro files in the course.
Everything in 335 Hits is transcribed, tabbed and notated. You’ll also get interactive tablature and notation (Guitar Pro 5/6 and Tux) so that you can loop any section of the song, see and hear the notation, adjust the tempo and play along to your heart’s delight.
Larry also includes all of the original rhythm tracks from the album to work with on your own. That means you’ll be playing with top session players Jeff Babko on keyboards, bassist Travis Carlton, über-drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and saxophonist Paul Cerra. Like we said… very generous!
Larry, on behalf of your guitar-playing fans all around the world — thank you, thank you, thank you!
This week, Larry Carlton was in the TrueFire Studio to shoot his upcoming course in which he will show you how to play 10 of his greatest hits, such as “Room 335″ and “Hello Tomorrow”. He had a blast putting together this project and can’t wait to share it with you. In the meantime, check out the clips below for a sneak peek behind the scenes:
August 13th – Alpharetta, GA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater – Tickets
with Sonny Landreth and B.B. King with Special Guests David Hidalgo & Larry Carlton
August 16th – Aurora, IL – RiverEdge Park – Tickets
with Sonny Landreth and B.B. King with Special Guests Rick Nielsen & Larry Carlton
August 17th – Council Bluffs, IA – Harrah’s Hotel & Casino – Tickets
with Sonny Landreth and B.B. King with Special Guests Rick Nielsen & Larry Carlton
For more information, please visit – http://framptonsguitarcircus.com/
The New Morning club in Paris presents the incredible – and long awaited – pairing of two guitar giants for their first Unplugged show. Imagine: Larry Carlton and Special Guest Robben Ford, two legendary guitarists… one stage unplugged… a guitar lover’s dream! This unique pairing of two all-time great guitar legends delivers an unforgettable evening of dueling guitar solos and an uncompromising evening of The Blues performed the way it was meant to be.
Nineteen-time GRAMMY NOMINEE, four-time GRAMMY WINNER and all-time guitar great, Larry Carlton established himself from his first recording, A Little Help From My Friends. His studio credits include musicians and groups like Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Michael Jackson, Sammy Davis Jr., Herb Alpert, Quincy Jones, Bobby Bland, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and literally dozens of others. He went on to perform with the Crusaders and then with the multi platinum jazz super group Fourplay. With more than 30 albums to his credit and having performed on over 100 albums that have gone Gold or Platinum, Larry Carlton has set a standard for artistry that spans three decades.
Joining forces with Larry in Paris is Robben Ford who at 18 he was playing with the likes of Charlie Musselwhite, Jimmy Witherspoon, the L.A. Express with Tom Scott, George Harrison, and Joni Mitchell. He was a founding member of the Yellowjackets, then went on to tour with Miles Davis, Sadao Watanabe, and Little Feat. In 1992 he returned to his roots: the blues – a genre he masters in most exquisite grand style.
￼￼￼￼￼1. NM Blues 08
2. That Road
4. Cold Gold
5. Hand In Hand With The Blues
6. Amen AC
7. I Put A Spell On You
8. Rio Samba
DVD features: Before the Show
CD – $18.95
DVD – $24.95
Q: You have a very nuanced style; you seem to use every available technique to give your solos their expressive quality. How much of that is down to your jazz background?
“I think a lot of that comes from the jazz guys I listened to in my younger years. I think most of us, whether guitar players or other musicians, we try to emulate what has touched us emotionally as we’ve listened to other players. And the things that you’re hearing, that you’ve described as nuances in my playing, obviously I heard those some place and responded emotionally to them. So you try to emulate that and pretty soon, as your technique gets better and you gain more experience, you’re able to show your own emotion because you’ve heard those kinds of nuances [in other musicians’ playing]“.
Q: How old were you when you started studying jazz?
“I was around 14 when I became interested in jazz. I never took jazz guitar lessons. I learned the jazz stuff by listening to records and copying – and analysing. That’s the bit I like to focus on when I’m talking to students at clinics. I didn’t just learn a passage by Joe Pass. I learned it, but then I analysed it: ‘Why did he play those notes right there against that chord?’ That’s where the knowledge comes in. You can cop a lick or cop a solo, but to understand how or why it could work against those changes… that opens it up for you to play over changes yourself because you have a knowledge of it.”
Q: You have said that you think like a composer and arranger even when you are improvising. Can you describe how you came up with the solos on our tracks?
“I think it’s my basic approach. Normally I start with some kind of a motif and it’s usually simple. So then I have the opportunity to develop that motif and not just play a bunch of notes. I’m aware of the first [musical] statement, I usually emulate that first statement again and that leads me down the path of making a composition out of something rather than just playing a bunch of notes on the guitar. That’s a compositional technique that the classical composers used years ago. They always started with a motif then a reiteration of the motif, and they would play the motif backwards sometimes after they’d developed it a little further and it became a composition rather than just some piano notes.”
Q: Did you use your original ’69 Gibson ES-335 or your signature LC model on our tracks, ‘Striped Shirt’ and ‘Mind The Gaps’?
“I used my original. That’s the one I had in the studio on the days I was working on those. I take it with me on the road still. I was given a gift by a fan, maybe five years ago now. A fan contacted me at my office and said that he had a 1968 ES-335 that had been sitting in a closet at his grandmother’s or his aunt’s house. 17 years untouched. In his note he said, ‘You’re my favourite guitarist and I would like to give you this guitar as your backup if you like it.’ It was basically a virgin 1968 and it sounded and played wonderfully – so I accepted his gift! Sometimes over the last three years I’ve taken that out on the road just for a change of feel.”
Q: Can you confirm, is your original 335 a ’68 or a ’69? There seems to be some disagreement online.
“I believe it’s a ’69. Although I always thought it was a ’68, but I think I’ve learned from my [guitar] tech over the years… I don’t pay much attention to that stuff! [Laughs]”
Q: Which amp did you use to record?
“I used my Bludotone. I stopped using Dumble about three years or so ago. My Dumbles were getting very tired and Mr Dumble has some health issues. It was getting harder and harder to communicate with him as far as getting my amps to him and having him keep them up to date. So I met [Bludotone’s] Brandon Montgomery, a small, custom amp maker who knows exactly how to copy a Dumble. I gave him my Dumbles and he matched the tone, all the components… I’m very happy with my Bludotone, so that’s what I used on those tracks.”
Q: We’ve worked hard to make our exam pieces as credible as possible. Can you give us your impression of them in terms of composition and production?
“I immediately noticed how each composition encompasses many techniques as opposed to just a song with certain techniques. You have to be able to play 16th notes, you have to be able to slide, you have to be able to bend, you have to be able to change time signatures – ‘Mind The Gaps’ was straight eighth notes until the solo then it was a shuffle. All of those things will be great tools for students to work on and I think these compositions will really challenge them and open doors for them because they have to play those different kinds of styles.”