Oct 12, 2020
My guest today is one of the masters of jazz guitar and jazz education, Richie Hart. He has performed with some of the biggest names in jazz including Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Don Patterson, Jack McDuff, Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws, Houston Person, Etta Jones, just to name a few and is a professor of jazz guitar at Berklee College of Music.
4:41 Where was George Benson’s career at the time you met him?
6:08 Do you remember the first tune you played together?
6:47 George Benson asking you for the names of chords he was playing
7:47 Abandoning the Berklee method
9:34 How often were you taking lessons with George Benson?
9:57 What kind of things would George ask you to work on?
11:08 Does George Benson’s approach follow a lineage that goes back to Charlie Christian?
12:11 Is his concept simple or sophisticated?
13:24 What is the problem with the chord-scale theory?
17:08 What should you do if you want to get good at the Blues?
19:11 How many transcriptions should one know?
20:17 How would you analyze a solo by a master to help you create your own lines?
21:45 Do you standardize the chords of a blues form when learning the blues?
23:36 What about Blues forms that have extra chords like played by Charlie Parker?
25:47 Playing Cherokee at 400bpm, how do you think so fast?
28:09 How do you improve your sight-reading?
31:25 Why should we listen to players like Grant Green or Jim Hall?
33:54 Do you tap your foot when improvising?
35:11 Do you practice with a metronome?
36:36 Do you hum or sing when you improvise?
37:34 What do you think about using real books?
38:43 Jazz education drifting away from the original source
41:22 Should you practice a tune in all 12 keys or focus on sounding good in a single key first?
42:05 How about Cherokee in all 12 keys?
42:58 How are you different as an improviser today vs 20 years ago?
43:46 Do you find a commonality with jazz and classical music?
45:46 Reacting to Barry Harris’ statement that jazz is a continuation of classical music
46:32 What is your theory/pedagogy of teaching jazz improvisation?
52:42 Chords and Upper extension question
54:47 Top 3 Saxophonists
55:05 Top 3 Trumpet players
55:12 Top 3 Piano players
55:37 Top 3 Drummers
56:02 Top 3 Bassists
56:12 Top 3 Guitarists
56:19 If you could time travel and play with anyone in history, who would it be?
56:37 Top 3 classical composers
56:48 What’s the first album people should check out if they want to dive into your music?
56:55 Wrapping Up