Released in January 2016, this Atomic Improv volume opens with my favourite of Nick’s improvisation in the series so far. It’s also the first one where he plays with a drum beat (or loop?) in the background giving even more intensity to his playing. From flowing lines to notes pulling off to open strings, there’s so many cool ideas in this one.
Next up, the 2nd improvisation is one in front of a live audience. There’s a certain kind of beauty and energy to this as Nick begins with some slower ideas and then goes into an assortment of muted to legato phrases. Breaking the lines are crowd cheers which add even more cool factor to this solo. Nick really sounds on point in this video & his improvisational language shines.
The 3rd improvisation is from his soundcheck in China (which I think is the soundcheck from the same show where the 2nd improvisation is taken from). This improvisation is shorter but again is a great document of Nick’s ability to shift and combine a variety of techniques, tonalities and phrases all in one solid performance.
All in all, every one of Nick’s Atomic Improv series is a virtual treasure trove of melodic rock improvisational ideas. This one is no different. However, based on the first four Atomic Improv volumes, this is probably one that I would spend more time studying because of a certain maturity that seems to ooze out of these great improvisations.
Pros: Great lines, great performance, amazing resource.
Cons: No Improvisational Insights PDF in this volume.
TLDR: Watch the video of the first improvisation that’s transcribed (that’s the one above). If you like it, well get this volume of Atomic Improv.
You can get Atomic Improv Vol. 4 here: https://nickjohnstonmusic.com/atomic-improv
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