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Basic Swing Guitar

Dix Bruce, a musician, composer, writer and award-winning guitarist from the San Francisco Bay Area, was born and raised in the Midwest. His interests in American folk music, jazz, and original composition are blended into a unique vocal and instrumental sound. His compositions are fresh and his energetic, exuberant stage personality, along with his driving rhythm and lead guitar work, set the tone for a warm and exciting performance.

He began playing guitar at age twelve. After college, he relocated to the Bay Area where his interest in hybrid acoustic string music led him to David Grisman's, prototype quintet in the mid-1970s. Dix does studio work on guitar, mandolin, and banjo, and has recorded two LPs with mandolin legend Frank Wakefield, six big band CDs with the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, and his own collection of American folk songs entitled My Folk Heart on which he plays guitar, mandolin, autoharp and sang. Musix has also released Bruce’s second CD "Tuxedo Blues," a collection of original songs and standards played on acoustic stringed instruments.

To date Mel Bay Publications has published over thirty-five of Bruce’s instructional book and CD sets. Bruce has written for Acoustic Guitar, FRETS, Bluegrass Unlimited, Flatpicking Guitar, and The Fretted Instrument Guild of America. He writes regular columns for Flatpicking Guitar and Mandolin Magazine.

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    Hard Copy   $29.95  Item Number:  GW309

    Basic Swing Guitar

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    Swing and Jump Swing music and dancing has enjoyed a phenomenal popular resurgence in the last few years. Both the current and classic bands build their sound on swinging guitar rhythms. In this DVD lesson, Dix Bruce will teach you all the basics that you need to know in order to play this energetic music:

    • Moveable chords 
    • How to get that "swing feel"  
    • Right and left hand technique, and much more.

    You'll learn eight carefully chosen and extremely well-known songs that every swing musician plays. Dix starts you off with easy-to-learn two and three chord songs and gradually works through some of the greatest hits of the era with more advanced chord changes in the keys of G, A minor, F, Bb, and Ab. By the end of the session you'll know swing and jazz chord forms and be able transpose thousands of songs to any key effortlessly!

    When you finish with this lesson you will have the confidence and basic tools to play with any swing or jazz band.

    Titles include: Lady Be Good, Take Me Back to Tulsa, Minor Swing, Careless, Sweet Georgia Brown, Honeysuckle Rose, Blues in Bb #1, Blues in Bb #2, Rose Room and I Got Rhythm

    84 minutes - Level 2 - Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD

    Review: Dix Bruce walks the intermediate student through tunes that are fun to play and will get you entry into those "swing jams" from which you may have previously felt excluded. Starting with "Take Me Back to Tulsa," the material gets progressively more complex with "Minor Swing", "Careless", "Sweet Georgia Brown", "Honeysuckle Rose", "Blues in B-flat", "Rose Room", "I Got Rhythm" and others. Breaking things down into the two main components of movable chord shapes for the left hand and rhythm strums for the right, the lesson is well- structured, with each tune adding more complex chords and song structures. Perhaps Bruce's discussion of the basic structure of swing tunes (AA-B-A) should've been moved up to an earlier place in the lesson plan, but I give Basic Swing Guitar high marks overall for making this great genre more accessible, particularly to blues guitarists who will gain exposure to the chord shapes and right-hand feel that can make their rhythm playing more interesting. - Blues Access

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