This latest volume of Nick Johnston’s Atomic Improv series was released on Dec 15 2019. This volume features 4 improvisations that range from 47 seconds to 1 minute long. This instalment is transcribed by Gabbo Puente. As with the previous volumes, you get the videos (MP4 format) & the transcription in standard notation & TAB, in both PDF and Guitar Pro format files.
I’m going to nickname (pun intended) this volume the “Bach” Atomic Improv as we get to hear Nick use some Bach-inspired ideas that blend beautifully into his lyrical melodic shred guitar style.
Improvisation #1 begins with some gnarly ideas going into a lyrical phrase that goes into muted legato, a Bach-type phrase and ending on some nice sustained arpeggiated ideas.
Improvisation #2 begins with some power chords that go into a nice chordal introduction. Then, some bluesy ideas fluidly blend into Lydian colours and finally into some Bach-like sounds at the end too.
Improvisation #3 also has some nice Bach pedal point ideas too incorporated in between Nick’s beautiful perpetual motion lines.
Improvisation #4 introduces some spaced phrases with a lot of tasteful pickup changes to bring out the sound of the lines.
I love this volume for the musicality of Nick’s playing. For me, the beauty of the Atomic Improv series is to study the threads of Nick’s style. Some elements seem to be present throughout the different volumes & some go in and out. Purely as a document of his evolving style, this series provides tremendous insights into Nick’s unique guitar style. Strongly recommended for fans of this guitar style. I for one, have learned a lot from this series & look forward to using more of what I’ve learned from Nick.
Pros: Great musical ideas for the modern electric guitarist. Beautiful selection, lots of awesome licks to digest.
Cons: This volume doesn’t include Improvisation Insights PDF to explain the solos. Not necessary but it would be amazing to still have those in these.
TLDR: If you’d like to see how to musically blend a multitude of musical influences and moods into your improvised lines, this volume of Atomic Improv is one to check out.
You can get Atomic Improv Vol. 6 here: https://nickjohnstonmusic.com/atomic-improv
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