Gobsmacked by a genius

charlie chitlin

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So... I'll start by saying my guitar teacher is an alien.
None other than Arlen Roth.
We are both struggling with trigger finger, so we're playing a lot of slide.
Today I mentioned that I was working on a slide instrumental of Blue Bayou.
I don't think he ever played it, but he's a Roy Orbison fan and knows it well.
He immediately launched into it.
RO's note choice and phrasing are anything but predictable, but Arlen dredged up every nuance...and every place a major chord becomes a 7th or a minor.
Then he's playing double stops, letting open strings ring to imply the chord, throwing in fingered chords, using substitutions to make up for the fact that we're tuned to open E (he seldom fingers behind the slide, as I do)...suddenly the song is a freakin Symphony.
Then he starts thinking/talking about the beauty of the song...sort of the soul mood that it puts you in...and how you want to tailor your phrasing to cultivate a mood...
It was just unfreakinbelieveable to be in the room witnessing that process.
It's amazing how all-encompassing that level of virtuosity is.
It was a stark reminder of why I'm not famous.
I just hope some of it rubs off on me.
 

charlie chitlin

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Charlie, how in the world does one end up with Arlen Roth as his guitar teacher, and -- no disrespect intended -- do you think us non-alien players can really rise to the opportunity?

Thanks

Matt
Purely geographical.
I wish I could say something like, I sent him samples of my playing and he agreed to accept me as a student, but it's not the case.
My playing is totally of the earthling variety.
He lives about 90 minutes away, and twice a month, I toss my guitar in the car and drive down.
He is doing quite a few lessons with Zoom, though; and I think he still has some openings.
 

That Cal Webway

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Arlen's lesson column in guitar player magazine in the '80s and 90s definitely broadened my skills.

And I purchased many videos from his Hot Licks company. I follow him on Facebook and heard about his trigger finger reoccurring.

And it was not too long before Danny Gatton died that both of them appeared on Conan O'Brien show doing Tequila.
( from the show- Danny is too low in the mix).
.
 
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Ron R

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Purely geographical.
I wish I could say something like, I sent him samples of my playing and he agreed to accept me as a student, but it's not the case.
My playing is totally of the earthling variety.
He lives about 90 minutes away, and twice a month, I toss my guitar in the car and drive down.
He is doing quite a few lessons with Zoom, though; and I think he still has some openings.
Man, personal lessons with Arlen would be worth that 90 minute drive many times over! I'm both jealous and happy for you. What a guitar player that man is.
 
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effzee

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Oh that must have been mind blowing. It reminds me of a, totally unrelated but exactly the same, workshop I attended with a Chinese Qigong teacher. He's a big name in those circles, bigger than Arlen Roth in the guitar community, but he's really only known for medical practices. But at one point he started explaining how to move using minimal effort and imagining you're being supported by cushions of air, or balloons.

Sounds uninteresting, I know, but as he was explaining, he just kind of automatically started going through various martial arts disciplines, and saying how easy and simple it all is.

"Taijiquan, simple. Xingyi, so simple. Baguazhan, so simple. No effort".

He moved like a cloud through the room, effortlessly, smoothly, gracefully, dynamically, it was mesmerizing. We didn't even know he had studied those disciplines, but he'd been learning since virtually the day he was born.

And I think the effect on us attending that workshop was probably similar to your experience with Arlen Roth. And that kind of thing stays with you and resonates long after the actual performance has ended.
 

teletimetx

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Congrats Charlie, you’re in pretty good company - at one time, Arlen was also teaching Paul Simon (among others). I saw his stuff in magazines and it was one of his Hot Licks Videos where I learned about Emily Remler, and others.

Here’s a link to how he started the Hot Licks videos

And here’s the Emily Remler video that just amazed me - unfortunately, by that time she had already passed

 

charlie chitlin

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Congrats Charlie, you’re in pretty good company - at one time, Arlen was also teaching Paul Simon (among others). I saw his stuff in magazines and it was one of his Hot Licks Videos where I learned about Emily Remler, and others.

Here’s a link to how he started the Hot Licks videos

And here’s the Emily Remler video that just amazed me - unfortunately, by that time she had already passed


Arlen used to go to Paul Simon's office in the Brill Building to give him lessons. He has funny stories about this and a MILLION other things. He's a great story teller who falls into dialects, accents, imitations effortlessly. I bet he could do gigs just telling stories to a roomful of musicians.
 

richiek65

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Congrats Charlie, you’re in pretty good company - at one time, Arlen was also teaching Paul Simon (among others). I saw his stuff in magazines and it was one of his Hot Licks Videos where I learned about Emily Remler, and others.

Here’s a link to how he started the Hot Licks videos

And here’s the Emily Remler video that just amazed me - unfortunately, by that time she had already passed


Emily Remmler, knew the name, didn't know how incredibly talented she was till just now so thanks for posting. She passed away in my town, I just read.. very sad.
 




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