Jon MacLennan Blog

Musician, Artist, Composer, Producer, Professional Educator

January Newsletter

Happy New Year! This is the first blog of the new year, and I wanted to say thank you so much for an amazing 2015! It was a breakthrough year, and I know 2016 is only going to be better.

I have been playing more music than ever, which is always great! First up every Friday night in January from 6-10:30 P.M. I will be performing at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, California. It is a beautiful venue with a great menu, and atmosphere. I have been performing with pianist Carnell Harrell, who is currently the keyboard player for the Jacksons.

NAMM 2016 is here! I will at the Fishman booth demoing Fishman products Thursday through Sunday, January 21-24, alongside monster guitar players Greg Koch, and Jennifer Batten.

The NAMM Show is the world’s largest trade-only event for the music products industry. It is every January in Anaheim, California at the Anaheim Convention Center. This is actual going to be my 10th year in a row going.

Upcoming Gigs:

Friday, January 15, at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica 6-10:30 P.M.
Thursday, January 21, at the Anaheim Convention Center Fishman Booth for NAMM
Friday, January 22, at the Anaheim Convention Center Fishman Booth for NAMM 10-4 P.M.
Friday, January 22, at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica 6-10:30 P.M.
Saturday, January 23, at the Anaheim Convention Center Fishman Booth for NAMM
Sunday, January 24, at the Anaheim Convention Center Fishman Booth for NAMM
Friday, January 29, at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica 6-10:30 P.M.

New Guitar Solo Covers:

The Thrill is Gone Part 2 - B.B. King

Round Midnight - Wes Montgomery

Misty - Barney Kessel

So What - Miles Davis

Statesboro Blues - The Allman Brothers Band

That is all for now! Thanks for listening!

-Jon MacLennan

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Here is a preview of my new record. I wrote this song and wanted to dedicate the video to all who lost their lives. Paris - November 13, 2015

It is meant to be a message of hope.

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November Newsletter

I just got off a plane from Vegas after playing the House of Blues on Wednesday night. It was a really fun show. Coming up this week I will be back at bar Lubitsch in Hollywood performing with singer songwriter Felipe Tarantino, with Josh Nyback on bass, Roland Gajate on percussion, and Reade Pryor on drums. It is going to be a fun live concert that is being filmed and recorded by a Grammy winning mix engineer. We go live at 9:30 P.M.

Remember last month I said I had some exciting news to announce? Well guess what? I just started recording my 5th solo record! It can be hard for me to find the time to write, because I am so busy doing gigs for other artists. It has been about a year since my last release “Acoustic Christmas”. I am starting to carve out some time, and really get into making the new record. If you have not heard any of my albums you can download them for free at: http://www.jonmaclennan.com/discography.php

Upcoming Gigs:

November 18, at Bar Lubitsch 9:30 P.M.
Performing with Brazilian singer-songwriter Felipe Tarantino and band
December 11, at Room 5 Lounge 8:00 P.M.
Performing with Brazilian singer-songwriter Felipe Tarantino and band

New Guitar Solo Covers:

Soulful Brothers - Kenny Burrell

Gonna Fly Now Rocky (Theme From Rocky) - Bill Conti Guitar Solo

The Walk of Life - Mark Knopfler

The Days of Wine and Roses - Wes Montgomery Solo

That’s all for now. Thanks for listening!

-Jon MacLennan

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September Newsletter

I hope you are enjoying the last bit of summer! This has been quite an eventful one for me this year! I just got back from a two-week trip to Costa Rica, with my wife for our honeymoon. It was amazing! We went zip-lining, sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, turtle watching, hiking, hot springs; we had a blast and it was a real adventure. The best part is we got married too! We had a fantastic wedding and an all-star band played for the ceremony and reception as well! I will hopefully be able to post a few clips, soon.

Now I am back in Los Angeles, working hard, and doing some really cool new gigs.

I recently had the opportunity to produce the music for a video for Bent Penny Coffee:

“Bent Penny Coffee”

I was really excited to see how great it came out.
If you like coffee you should also check out: www.BentPennyCoffee.com

Upcoming Gigs:

Friday, September 18, with Katrina Woolverton at el Camino High School
Saturday, October 3, at bar Lubitsch in Hollywood, with Felipe Tarantino
Saturday, October 24, at Room 5 with Felipe Tarantino

New Guitar Solo Covers:

For Once in My Life – Stevie Wonder Harmonica solo played on a midi guitar patch for harmonica

All Along the Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix Solo Part 3

Slow Dancing in a Burning Room – John Mayer

Gravity - John Mayer

Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd

Side Tracked – Freddie King

Sir Duke – Stevie Wonder

Can’t Buy Me Love - Beatles

And I Lover Her – Beatles

Layla – Eric Clapton Unplugged

Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton

Refugee – Tom Petty

I just started a new gig working as an arranger and transcriber for this fantastic new app and website sponsored by the Berklee school of music in Boston called: https://www.chromatik.com
It is a social website with FREE sheet music, and videos that play along with scrolling sheet music.
If you are a music student, or teacher you should check this website out it is a really great resource for accurate sheet music, and a lot of fun to play along with.

Well that is all for now! Thanks for listening and following my journey!

-Jon MacLennan

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<p>July Newsletter </p><p>I hope you are having a fantastic summer! <br/>Next week I will be a part of a few clinics with Jennifer Batten for Fishman. Jennifer has worked with Jeff Beck, and also was the guitarist for Michael Jackson in the 80’s through the 90’s.</p><p><b>Upcoming Gigs/Clincs:</b></p><p><b>Monday, July 20th,</b> at Sam Ash Music, Canoga Park, C.A. 7 P.M. clinic with Jennifer Batten<br/><b>Tuesday, July 21st,</b>  at Sam Ash Music, Westminster, C.A. 7 P.M. clinic with Jennifer Batten<br/><b>Saturday, July 25th,</b> 8 P.M. at Room 5 Lounge with Felipe Tarantino.</p><p>Here is a write up in Guitar Player Magazine about the clinics <a href="http://www.guitarplayer.com/artists/1013/jennifer-batten-2015-seminars-teach-self-empowerment-for-the-modern-musician/52718">“Self-Empowerment for the Modern Musician”</a>. <br/></p><p>I am very proud to announce this collaboration with Big Fish Audio for this new product! I wrote, recorded, and produced 20 songs for it! Then chopped all the parts in the tracks into loops and samples that can be moved around to build songs of your own! The main emphasis was an indie sound with ukuleles, mandolins, acoustics, banjo, slide and a lot more. <a href="http://www.bigfishaudio.com/detail.html?527751">Check out the project and listen to the samples here!</a></p><p>I also just wrapped up producing a six song E.P. for jazz vocalist Randy Taylor. The record is a tribute to the music of Duke Ellington. I recorded, mixed, and mastered the whole project at my studio, Suspicious Love Studios. <a href="https://soundcloud.com/maclennan-session-work/in-a-mellow-tone-randy-taylor">Check out “In a Mellow Tone” here!</a></p><p><b>New Live Videos:</b></p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqSAg4VvkiY">“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” live with Felipe Tarantino</a></p><p><b>New Guitar Lesson Videos with TABS:</b></p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGZJUH2jfQY&index=1&list=PL9t5ENlVNlEeXBht22vQPzkZh_t7DVB5Q">“Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon</a><br/><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aj5B0esCEl8">“Cheerleader” by OMI</a></p><p>Thanks for reading and hope to see you soon!</p><p>-Jon MacLennan</p>

July Newsletter

I hope you are having a fantastic summer!
Next week I will be a part of a few clinics with Jennifer Batten for Fishman. Jennifer has worked with Jeff Beck, and also was the guitarist for Michael Jackson in the 80’s through the 90’s.

Upcoming Gigs/Clincs:

Monday, July 20th, at Sam Ash Music, Canoga Park, C.A. 7 P.M. clinic with Jennifer Batten
Tuesday, July 21st,  at Sam Ash Music, Westminster, C.A. 7 P.M. clinic with Jennifer Batten
Saturday, July 25th, 8 P.M. at Room 5 Lounge with Felipe Tarantino.

Here is a write up in Guitar Player Magazine about the clinics “Self-Empowerment for the Modern Musician”.

I am very proud to announce this collaboration with Big Fish Audio for this new product! I wrote, recorded, and produced 20 songs for it! Then chopped all the parts in the tracks into loops and samples that can be moved around to build songs of your own! The main emphasis was an indie sound with ukuleles, mandolins, acoustics, banjo, slide and a lot more. Check out the project and listen to the samples here!

I also just wrapped up producing a six song E.P. for jazz vocalist Randy Taylor. The record is a tribute to the music of Duke Ellington. I recorded, mixed, and mastered the whole project at my studio, Suspicious Love Studios. Check out “In a Mellow Tone” here!

New Live Videos:

“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” live with Felipe Tarantino

New Guitar Lesson Videos with TABS:

“Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon
“Cheerleader” by OMI

Thanks for reading and hope to see you soon!

-Jon MacLennan

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June Newsletter


Although we had the unfortunate passing of B.B. King last month on May 14th, I had the chance to honor B.B. by speaking with the Los Angeles Times for this story in the paper: “B.B. King dies: Generations of guitarists used ‘B.B. Box” to learn how to play". B.B. will forever be one of my biggest inspirations.

My good friend and Grammy Award winning mixing engineer Tom Weir hosted a Nepal Earthquake Relief Concert at his recording studio, Studio City Sound. I had the pleasure of performing solo as well as with Heather Youmans, amongst a number of other great artists on the bill such as Laurence Juber, Paul McCartney’s guitarist, and Tierney Sutton a fantastic jazz vocalist. See the videos below.

Upcoming Gigs/Clinics:

Saturday, June 6th, 8 P.M. at bar Lubitsch in Hollywood with Felipe Tarantino and percussionist Kiel Feher
Sunday, June 21st, 4 P.M. “Make Music L.A. Concert” with Katrina Carlson
Wednesday, June 24th, 6 P.M. “Fishman Guitar Clinic” at the Guitar Showcase in San Jose, “Guitar in the Digital Age” featuring the latest and greatest products from Fishman.

New Videos:

“Dreams”
“A Time and a Place”

New Guitar Solo Covers:

I was perusing YouTube clips of one of my favorite guitarists Larry Carlton and found this slow blues performances. I was immediately moved by his playing, and how it demonstrated so much elegance/taste. So just for kicks I transcribed the whole thing, and posted a cover of it!

“The Thrill is Gone” - B.B. King

“Slow Blues in C” - Larry Carlton

“Four on Six” - Wes Montgomery

Hope to see you soon at a show or on the road!

-Jon MacLennan

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<p>April Newsletter <br/>Happy April! I hope life is going fantastic for you. I just came back from an extremely busy week of clinics with the music company Fishman. We hit multiple music stores a day in San Jose, Sacramento, Elk Grove, and Redwood City, where I presented clinics on guitar in the digital age and performed a number of songs all with Fishman musical gear.</p><p>This Saturday night I will be performing live at 8 P.M. at Bar Lubitsch in Santa Monica with Brazilian singer-songwriter Felipe Tarantino. Here is a sample of what the show is going to be like: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CHLK0FoYuk">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CHLK0FoYuk</a></p><p>Then the weekend after I will be in Midland, Texas performing at the Drillers’ football stadium Saturday, April 18th,  at 7 P.M. with country singer Abi Ann.</p><p>I have been hard at work as well on Randy Taylor’s new jazz record I am producing at my studio. We are just about done with four songs, so I hope to get to share them with you soon.</p><p>Also a big thanks to everyone who has been checking out my new ibook:<br/>“Melodic Expressions: Chord Soloing” is here: <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/melodic-expressions-chord/id967087716?mt=11">https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/melodic-expressions-chord/id967087716?mt=11

</a></p><p>Now available for iPad and iMac. 

</p><p>Melodic Expressions: Chord Melody is an interactive guitar instructional iBook, written as a sequel to Melodic Expressions: the Art of the Line. Melodic Expressions: Chord Melody contains 101 chord melody phrases that will teach a guitarist how to navigate specific chord progressions, while implementing melody through them. 
Comprised of 5 chapters major, minor, dominant, ii-V-I in major, and ii-V-i in minor. Each example in the book contains a demonstration video close up on the guitar showing how the example is supposed to sound. Melodic Expressions: Chord Soloing is for all styles of music, and will help to expand a guitarist’s chord vocabulary.
</p><p>Upcoming Gigs:</p><p>April 11, at Bar Lubitsch, West Hollywood 8 P.M.<br/>Performing with Brazilian singer-songwriter Felipe Tarantino<br/>April 18, at the Drillers’ Stadium Midland, Texas<br/>Performing with country singer Abi Ann</p><p>New Guitar Lessons with TABS available:</p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNrvamX__Sc&list=PL9t5ENlVNlEeXBht22vQPzkZh_t7DVB5Q&index=1">FourFiveSeconds - Rihanna, Kanye, Paul McCartney</a></p><p>New Guitar Solo Covers:</p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SocsYcA-UL8&index=3&list=PL9t5ENlVNlEe3eUm4DbyqwkuWwT4ck2jE">Chitlins Con Carne – Kenny Burrell</a></p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flhqftJqocc&index=2&list=PL9t5ENlVNlEe3eUm4DbyqwkuWwT4ck2jE">Mary Had  a Little Lamb – Stevie Ray Vaughan</a></p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvwKiHIGwaQ&index=1&list=PL9t5ENlVNlEe3eUm4DbyqwkuWwT4ck2jE">All Your Love – John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers</a></p><p>That’s all for now! </p><p>-Jon MacLennan<br/></p>

April Newsletter
Happy April! I hope life is going fantastic for you. I just came back from an extremely busy week of clinics with the music company Fishman. We hit multiple music stores a day in San Jose, Sacramento, Elk Grove, and Redwood City, where I presented clinics on guitar in the digital age and performed a number of songs all with Fishman musical gear.

This Saturday night I will be performing live at 8 P.M. at Bar Lubitsch in Santa Monica with Brazilian singer-songwriter Felipe Tarantino. Here is a sample of what the show is going to be like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CHLK0FoYuk

Then the weekend after I will be in Midland, Texas performing at the Drillers’ football stadium Saturday, April 18th,  at 7 P.M. with country singer Abi Ann.

I have been hard at work as well on Randy Taylor’s new jazz record I am producing at my studio. We are just about done with four songs, so I hope to get to share them with you soon.

Also a big thanks to everyone who has been checking out my new ibook:
“Melodic Expressions: Chord Soloing” is here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/melodic-expressions-chord/id967087716?mt=11



Now available for iPad and iMac. 



Melodic Expressions: Chord Melody is an interactive guitar instructional iBook, written as a sequel to Melodic Expressions: the Art of the Line. Melodic Expressions: Chord Melody contains 101 chord melody phrases that will teach a guitarist how to navigate specific chord progressions, while implementing melody through them. 
Comprised of 5 chapters major, minor, dominant, ii-V-I in major, and ii-V-i in minor. Each example in the book contains a demonstration video close up on the guitar showing how the example is supposed to sound. Melodic Expressions: Chord Soloing is for all styles of music, and will help to expand a guitarist’s chord vocabulary.


Upcoming Gigs:

April 11, at Bar Lubitsch, West Hollywood 8 P.M.
Performing with Brazilian singer-songwriter Felipe Tarantino
April 18, at the Drillers’ Stadium Midland, Texas
Performing with country singer Abi Ann

New Guitar Lessons with TABS available:

FourFiveSeconds - Rihanna, Kanye, Paul McCartney

New Guitar Solo Covers:

Chitlins Con Carne – Kenny Burrell

Mary Had  a Little Lamb – Stevie Ray Vaughan

All Your Love – John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers

That’s all for now!

-Jon MacLennan

Posted less than a minute ago
<p>My third iBook is being delivered to the iBookstore! #guitar #guitareducation #stoked #author #thirdbooksacharm #melodicexpressions #chordmelody #chordsoloing #producing #professionaleducation #101licks #hardworkpaysoffalways #apple  (at Suspicious Love Studios)</p>

My third iBook is being delivered to the iBookstore! #guitar #guitareducation #stoked #author #thirdbooksacharm #melodicexpressions #chordmelody #chordsoloing #producing #professionaleducation #101licks #hardworkpaysoffalways #apple (at Suspicious Love Studios)

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February 2015 Newsletter

“Melodic Expressions: Chord Soloing” is going to be out within the next month. It consists of 101 chord melody guitar phrases that show a guitarists how to solo over and navigate major, minor, and dominant chords. Also, there are two bonus chapters that cover ii-V-I chord progressions in major and minor keys.

Each example in the book comes with a video!
You will be able to scroll through 101 licks on your iPad.

I can’t wait to share it with you.

In other news, the session work has been really busy. I have recently been playing on a number of tracks for a few artist’s signed to Island records. I am also about to start producing a 5 song E.P. for an artist named Randy Taylor. Randy is an excellent jazz vocalist, and the project is going to be jazz guitar, upright bass, and vocals.

New Guitar Lessons:

How to play “Thinking Out Loud” - Ed Sheeran: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs8wiNfoAj8&list=UUsXHogO0SL0jN9pvsibbj2A

Stormy Monday - The Allman Brothers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdpKHnUiFmc&list=UUsXHogO0SL0jN9pvsibbj2A

Living Loving Maid - Led Zeppelin Guitar Solo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XFLBwj0RLY&list=UUsXHogO0SL0jN9pvsibbj2A

Something - Beatles Guitar Solo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgP9DIxqcck&list=UUsXHogO0SL0jN9pvsibbj2A  

Solo Guitar Performances:

You are the Sunshine of my Life - Stevie Wonder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIxsuTaejCk&list=UUsXHogO0SL0jN9pvsibbj2A&index=2

That’s all for now! Thanks for listening!

-Jon MacLennan

Posted less than a minute ago