May 2017 Newsletter

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The evening began with the parish notices, what’s on at the festival and various up and coming gigs, Pat Metheny in Hull,  Remi Harris in Otley and Saltaire and Mike Walker at the Keys.

The playing began with Tom Prior who began with ‘Tom’s Medley,’ Blusette followed by the Sheik of Araby. This began gently with  some nice chord melody playing before launching into a more exuberant Sheik of Araby complete with some harmonic minor runs to complete the middle eastern feel before a reprise into Blusette to bring the piece to a conclusion. He was then joined by Jez, our very own ‘Sheik of R’n’B’ this week playing a melodica of all things and Charles stepped in on the bass. The trio played Autumn  Leaves in a very European style with some excellent playing from Jez and the boys.

Next up were Robert and Charles with a delightful medley of Hoagy Carmichael tunes. Robert began with solo versions of Lazy Bones, and Skylark, both of which he played and sang. He was then joined by  Charles for Up the Lazy River, complete with a scat vocal solo (by Robert, not Charles).

The duo of Ben and Larry were next up. They began with The Girl From Ipanema, very sweet with a really nice feel and a good playing from both parties who demonstrated a real synergy.  They then went to the ambitious Wayne Shorter piece Footprints, all very under control and generally well played and great to hear.

Colin, Dave Allen and Charles were next up with Since I Fell For You. This had a nice bluesy feel and effective comping from Dave and swinging bass from Charles.

After the break it was the jam tune, I’ll Remember April. This was played by Dave V.G, Colin, Larry, and Phil on double bass.

Dave and Phil stayed on and were joined by Chris for an almost Samba version of How Insensitive, this worked surprisingly well, the songs great harmony and a strong melody survives well in almost any treatment. They then followed with Have You Met Miss Jones, a delightful swing version with some accomplished soloing from all members.

Hayden, Adrian, Ben and a welcome visit from Al Morrison were up next for the blues Things Ain’t What They Used To Be. All three guitarists are excellent blues players so this was very special all held together by Ben who was solid throughout. They followed  this with The Days Of Wine and Roses. This began with a free tempo head played by Adrian before Al took over in tempo accompanied by everyone else. The solos that followed were excellently executed by everyone, beginning with Al, who introduced some great blues ideas. Hayden’s solo was melodic with some inspired accompaniment from Adrian who also pulled  a belter of solo out of the hat.

Steve and Larry finished off with a really laid back version of Rainy Night in Georgia, a perfect way to conclude a splendid evening.

Next months jam tune is Cotton Tail

Practising Major Scales

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Major scales form the basis of most western music and to be technically and musically proficient, it is a good idea to know how to play them in as many different positions as you can. I personally think you should be able to play any major scale in all positions on the guitar’s fingerboard.

Here are seven shapes. I personally don’t think of them as position 1, 2, 3 and 4 etc, I think of them purely from their root notes. The labelling was devised for this article.


A very useful and challenging exercise is to play through all the major scales around the keys of the circle of 5ths without moving from the area from where you begin. It should be possible (and a goal) to do this in virtually every position on the guitar.


For example starting on the C major scale using position 1 with the root note on the 8th fret on the E string.

G major could then be played using shape 3 in the same position.

D major could be played with position 4

A major could be played using position 5.

Continue with E major, B major, F# major, Db major etc until you get back to C major again. It is possible to play all these scales without moving out of that particular area of the fingerboard. Do this as a continuous exercise in quavers (1/8th notes). I like to do this with a metronome. Try the same playing C major in position 4 with the root note on the 8th fret of the E string played with the little finger and continue with G, D, A, E etc in the same position.

Run this exercise in as many different positions as you can, after a few weeks I guarantee you’ll notice a big difference in your playing.

Darren Dutson Bromley


H.J.G.S Third Annual Festival

This years festival will take place on Friday 21st July till Sunday 23rd July.


Star line-up includes

• Alan Barnes

• Remi Harris

• Cameron Pierre

• Femi Temowo

• Tom Quayle

• Dennis Rollins

• Johnny Heyes


• July 21st/22nd/23rd

Further details and full program next month


WEBSITE is under construction.

Here is a link to last years festival so you can see what it is