Stanley Jordan – Amazing Guitar Tapping (jazz) on letterman

https:// – Stanley Jordan (July 31, 1959— ) is an American jazz/jazz fusion guitarist, best known for his development of the touch technique for playing guitar. He was born in Chicago, Illinois. He received an A.B. in music from Princeton University in 1981. Normally, a guitarist must use two hands to play each note. One hand presses down a guitar string behind a chosen fret to prepare the note, and the other hand either plucks or strums the string to play that note. Jordan’s touch technique is an advanced form of two-handed tapping. The guitarist produces a note using only one finger by quickly tapping (or “hammering”) his finger down behind the appropriate fret. The force of impact causes the string to vibrate enough to immediately sound the note, and Jordan executes tapping with both hands, and with more legato than is normally associated with guitar tapping. The note’s volume can be controlled by varying the force of impact: tapping with greater force produces a louder note.A helpful analogy to visualize this technique is the distinction between a harpsichord and a piano. A harpsichord produces sound by plucking its strings, and a piano produces sound by striking its strings with tiny hammers. However, while notes produced on a harpsichord or piano sustain after the hammer has struck or the pick has plucked, fingers must remain on a tapped note in order for the sound to continue. This similarity is what led Jordan to attempt such a technique in the first place;[citation needed] he was a classically trained pianist before playing guitar and wanted greater freedom in voicing chords on his guitar. While the above analogy may have been Jordan’s inspiration to employ a tapping technique, it is not a sound analogy. A piano’s hammer leaves the string after hitting it, like a guitarist’s pick would normally do. A more helpful analogy would be that of a clavichord; when a clavichord tangent (hammer) hits the string, it remains in contact with the string as long as the key is held, acting as both like a guitar pick (the initiator of the sound) and a finger on a fret (becoming the clavichord’s nut). The guitar tapping technique thus is almost identical to the method that clavichords have used for hundreds of years, with the guitarist’s finger taking on the role of the tangent. Jordan’s two-handed tapping allows the guitarist to play melody and chords simultaneously. It is also possible, as Jordan has demonstrated, to play simultaneously on two different guitars. The technique generally requires a guitar with lower action and lighter-gauge strings. It is very difficult to use on a classical guitar, but possible on a steel string acoustic. The technique is the same as that employed by players of the Chapman Stick which was developed by Emmett Chapman in 1969, and later discovered by Jordan, independently. Jimmie Webster is the earliest guitarist known to have tapped on strings seriously[citation needed], but he didn’t use the right hand orientation used by Chapman and Jordan. Their approach allowed for full counterpoint with each hand as an equal element. Other guitarists have employed similar methods of playing at times, using the more conventional hand angles used by Webster: rock guitarists (though the emphasis tends to be on very fast lead guitar playing rather than polyphony) such as Steve Hackett, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, Randy Rhoads, and Joe Satriani, and many acoustic guitarists following the lead of Michael Hedges and employing two-handed tapping to play rich, percussive pieces (Clive Carroll, Preston Reed, and Justin King are examples). Jazz-funk guitarist Charlie Hunter employs a similar technique using a custom-made 8-string guitar on which he simultaneously plays basslines, chords and melodies. Another feature of Jordan’s playing is the tuning he uses: from bass to treble EADGCF (all in fourths as on the Chapman Stick, compared with the standard EADGBE). So the patterns for chords are the same wherever they are played on the fretboard. Jordan was the first artist to be signed by Bruce Lundvall when the latter became president of Blue Note Records in 1985 and, consequently, Magic Touch was the first release (not reissue) of the rejuvenated label. Jordan is currently a resident of Sedona, Arizona, where he owns Sedona Books and Music. He attends Arizona State University, working toward a master’s degree in music therapy.



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