Remembering Derek Bailey

By Kaiser, Henry | Guitar Player, April 2006 | Go to article overview

Remembering Derek Bailey


Kaiser, Henry, Guitar Player


On Christmas day, 2005 Derek Bailey died in his hometown of London, England. He was 75 years old. Known as the father of free improvisation, he was one of the most creative guitarists ever, in terms of both his music and the innovative new techniques that he brought to the instrument. Free improvisation (conceptually something like "making it up as you go along"), was a musical approach that arose in the English and European jazz communities shortly after the birth of Free Jazz in America in the early '60s.

Responding to the rigors and demands of creating spontaneous music, Bailey developed a new guitar language and extended techniques for playing the instrument. Perhaps most obvious was his total command of harmonics. Bailey charted all of the harmonics, over and in-between all of the guitar's frets, and combined them with fretted notes and open strings to create complex voicings that western musical theory does not have names for. He also strung together lightning fast runs, combining harmonics, open strings, and fretted notes into arrangements of previously undiscovered tonality.

Bailey also mastered the use of the volume pedal. Not content with simple swells, fade-ins, and fade-outs, he could produce a dozen different dynamic levels with a single plectrum stroke, as well as producing extreme dynamic changes within rapid sequences of notes--effects unlike anything heard on the guitar before.

Bailey began as a jazz, show band, and studio musician in the '50s, and was said to sound a bit like Jim Hall. On a recent recording, Ballads: Derek Bailey, he plays jazz standards employing his unique style. Bailey was a master of space and silence, and you can hear how the tradition quickly warps beyond any other jazz player's imagination in the space of a few notes, as well as the spaces between the notes. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Remembering Derek Bailey
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.