Warner Bros. / REH (REH 860)
Remember our big feature about Brett Garsed? We had a biography, selected discography, a review of Brett's solo-album "Big Sky", a guitar-feature and a big interview.
One thing I didn't ask Brett about was his instructional video "Rock Fusion". The video was released in 1995 and, for a while, wasn't that easy to find. Fortunately sheetmusicplus.com now has it available for purchase so you can get it too.
First of all, I know from my time at the GIT that Brett is a great instructor, and if you have listened to his CD's or the soundfiles in our Garsed-feature, you'll probably agree that he is an amazing, unique player. This comes across in the video. I think it's fun to watch, even if you ain't got a guitar in your hands.
The video starts with Brett jamming on the Garsed/Helmerich tune "A Musical Oasis Awaits Us", and you can see that the title of the video is really appropiate... Brett plays cool fusion-style licks, but with a rock-sound and attitude.
The first segment focusses on the left hand. Brett displays his amazing left hand legato-technique, and shows us a bunch of great exercises, using both regular major- and pentatonic patterns as well as chromatics.
Also included in the video are exercises for 4 note per string-runs (requiring some stretching, and very helpful to get out of the "three note per string-rut"), melodic ideas, and... Brett's equally amazing right hand-technique. He shows us his way of "hybrid-picking", a combination of using the pick and three fingers of the right hand. He plays arpeggios and sweep-picking-licks that way, and believe me, the speed is equal to what you can achieve using regular sweeping.
One thing I really liked was that Brett pointed out that NO ONE had to play the exercises and licks exactly the way he does, that it is up to you what to make of those licks. He emphasizes that he does not want to change anyone's playing-style, but wants to give the viewer some ideas he/she can work on.
All the licks can be played in several different ways, and I think it is cool that Brett reminds us of that. That way, you can get ideas regarding both technique and melodic things out of this video.
The production team did a great job with this video, the close-ups are GREAT. When Brett explains his right hand-technique, the close-up really lets you see every detail of what he is doing with that hand, very clearly. Great job!
Also, the segments are separated by excerpts from a live-performance of Brett at the Musician's Institute, jamming on stage with a band. Some really cool stuff, and you can hear him using the very techniques he explains in this video, applying them to a musical context.
If you really wanna work on your legato-technique, or get some new, melodic ideas or if you like to play rock but also wanna get into fusion-soloing, this video can really give you some great ideas and exercises, demonstrated to you by a really good instructor. It's quite inspiring, and fun to watch just for the heck of it, since there's a lot of great playing on this video.
I would recommend this to intermediate and pro-level players... to play those licks, you should know a bit about legato-techniques, modes and scale patterns.
If you're a beginner, you might wanna check it out to get some ideas and motivation, and to see what you can achieve if you work on your legato-technique.
All the exercises are included (TAB and notation) in the accompanying booklet.
intermediate / advanced guitarists