Jimmy Cypher – Music Files


Live rock guitar over electronic dance music

Hear Jimmy’s original music on My Space

Jimmy Cypher is an early Atlanta pioneer in the emerging genre of “Rocktronica” which features live guitars over electronic dance music. After listening to his original guitar tracks, students are often surprised initially to discover Jimmy’s vast vocabulary of traditional rock, blues, metal, funk, reggae, pop, and country. One of the challenges of playing guitar over electronic music (and why few guitarists do it well) is that it requires an impeccable sense of timing, groove, and phrasing. The “looseness” in feel that fuels classic rock and blues simply will not work in most cases with electronica. Tighter timing is required, but it still has to dance around the beat to sound organic. Perhaps the closest comparison is Latin rhythms, particularly Brazilian percussion styles. As a result, Jimmy developed an understanding of timing that allows him to compare and contrast the varying feels in a variety of genres, put it under a microscope and explain it to his students in guitar lessons in a way that allows them to tweak their own feel for a given musical style or situation.

Guitar playing varies greatly by genre with respect to feel and groove. It is often said that you have to live the blues or live flamencoJimmy and Elecronic Music Celeb BT in order to play it convincingly. However, with modern technology and the right approach in guitar lessons, you can examine what makes one’s playing sound black, white, or gypsy and better express yourself as an artist in your genre of choice. In the end, I think most would agree that the quality of the music is what matters, not the cultural or ethnic background of the player. This can be effectively conveyed in lessons and after some work in the woodshed focusing on the right things, guitar students can start to unlock to these previously elusive grooves, and make that soul or authenticity a part of their guitar playing.

Rare is the Atlanta guitar teacher who can convey such things in lessons a product of Jimmy’s early background in classic rock, blues and shred guitar combined with many professional years spent producing, recording and performing demanding electronic, hip hop and pop tracks. Often in Atlanta studio sessions, producers will solo my guitar performance and then digitally edit the imperfections in timing. Then they play it back over the rest of the track and now it sounds perfectly lifeless. Then I ask them to undo the edits and listen again. Usually they give me a puzzled look, smile and keep the original.

The influence of Carlos Santana and David Gilmour is perhaps most on display in Jimmy’s original guitar work, as this sense of extended groove and ethereal atmosphere works well over electronica. But make no mistake, guitar lessons involving everything from Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Guns-n-Roses to today’s metronomically precise extreme metal artists, modern pop and R&B are deftly managed in Jimmy Cypher’s hands. It is his ability to transfer that knowledge to his students that make his lessons fun and rewarding for so many and have made him a “first call” Atlanta session player and guitar lesson coach.

Wearing Multiple “Hats” in the Digital Age

Wearing Multiple Guitar Hats in the Digital Age:

Players in today’s guitar market have discovered more and more that in the digital age, simply being a good guitar player is no longer enough. With the rise of home based digital recording studios, digital guitar amplifiers, duplication and so on it is now possible to have digital replications of many classic guitar amplifier tones at your fingertips. You can also produce your own music, record it, release it, and distribute it on your own record label for pennies on the dollar compared to even just 10 years ago.  This can be good and bad news for students in guitar lessons who will soon become aspiring Atlanta artists in their own right.  For with the new ability of indie musicians to do all these things, comes the expectation from your potential audiences that in fact you will.

Without record label funding (to the degree it even still exists!) it is very often not cost effective to hire out these services. However, if other Atlanta area bands have self produced and distributed great sounding recordings, people will wonder you have not?  Like the American job market as a whole, sub specialization (i.e. I am a great guitar player and that’s my one thing) is a thing of the past.  Diversification of skills is essential in today’s music industry“ whether you are in the game going for the rock star Grammy, or performing and recording as a serious hobbyist.  This frequently becomes a topic of discussion in guitar lessons and at the Atlanta studio. I am often able to demonstrate to aspiring guitar players the many helpful tips that result in great sounding demos¦ all while saving students thousands of dollars in trial and error mistakes for the price of a few guitar lessons! My lessons continually stress that using a few formidable pieces of gear with the right production techniques does not have to break the bank. In fact it is often said in the recording industry that it’s the wizard, not the wand.

I became a music producer of necessity, for at the time, I could not find anyone else who could nail the Rocktronica sound I heard in my head or if they were out there (i.e. Andy Wallace, Tom Lord-Alge), they were far out of my price range.  And when I finally did grab the bull by the horns, and literally dive into the mixes instead of relying on others, it saved me much money, frustration and headaches. And I am very pleased with how it turned out.  You can hear some of my self-produced guitar tracks on the music page.  Or go straight to My Space Enjoy!


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