Tal Farlow's USX Motion

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Are you stuck in a rut and looking to inject some creativity into your vocabulary? Try some Tal Farlow:

Amazingly, Tal was an upstroke escape, aka “downward pickslanting” player, but you’d never know it. He came from a time before pentatonic licks and Yngwie six note patterns, so he had no baggage. The stuff he played was adventurous for jazz, then, and arguably even now. Free tablature in the linked blog article for this one.


Troy - congrats on getting a hollowbody guitar! What is it?

Worth remembering that Jazz players like Farlow, McLaughlin and Holdsworth (if you want to call him that), were particularly influenced by non-guitar players. If you’re copying sax runs, you’re likely to develop a ‘not-typically guitaristic’ technique. Phrasing will be part of it.

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After a little googling, I may have jumbled up my Tal Farlow history. But he did start learning guitar in an unconventional way, playing on a mandolin tuned like a ukelele.

And I’m pretty sure his first “real” guitar was homemade, either by him or with assistance from his father. And at least one source says he dabbled with electronics like his father did, and from hearing Charlie Christian on the radio, was inspired to build his own guitar pickup from coils of wire and an old pair of headphones.

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This is cool. I can’t find the link for the tablature though?


You can just hit the homepage and go to “Channels” -> “Music” and look for “Tal’s Rhapsody”. Alternatively, you can click through from the video player in the blog post. Let us know if that’s not working!