George Howlett is a London-based musician and writer. I focus (loosely) on jazz, rhythm, and global improvisation, drawing on my study of guitar, sitar, santoor, tabla, & more. Above all I seek to enthuse fellow sonic searchers, connecting fresh vibrations to the voices, cultures, and passions behind them.
“An intrepid guitar researcher…”
Projects: I‘ve worked as a raga musicologist for Darbar, and written articles for Jazzwise, The Wire, and JazzFM on topics from Coltrane and Hendrix to West African polyrhythm and animal musical capabilities. I also teach online, and create sounds as Rāga Junglism. See my site for more!
Exploring how we can get the most out of our peg-twisting rituals, examining tuning horizons from multiple musical angles: practical, harmonic, historic, social, scientific, spiritual, and so forth…
Menu of Tunings (100+) • Altered-tuned artists • Divine Indian drones • Global instrument tunings • Joni’s stringed canvas • Alpha-melodic word-games • Double-siding: capo-harp hacks • Tales & quotes • Megatable: hidden relations • Glossary: tuning terms • Feedback
“There’s perhaps no better guide to alternate tunings than George Howlett’s ‘World Of Tuning’: with its compendium of 100 tunings, each helpfully accompanied by recorded samples, details on the intervallic relationships between strings, and bios of the guitarists who invented or popularised them…” (The Wire: Unofficial Channels, Aug 2022)
• Other Projects •
- ‘Living Traditions’: 21 articles for 21st-century Indian classical – in-depth Darbar collection exploring how music with ancient roots is adapting to a modern, interconnected world
- ‘Fresh Repertoire’: Guitar World series – new perspectives on the fretboard inspired by music from around the globe: Saharan harps, Ewe polyrhythm, Javanese microtonality, etc
- No Kanjira (with Jesse Bannister) – guitar, sax, samples:
• Articles •
- Shahid Parvez interview: ‘What you play spontaneously should be perfect’ – discussing intuition, bounded innovation, and hyper-discipline with the world’s leading sitarist (Darbar)
- What is it about drummers? Rock mythology vs. tales of the tabla – why have disparate societies of the East and West built such similar stereotypes around their percussionists? (RJ)
• LESSONS •
- West African music for the fretboard – reworking Ewe polyrhythms and Malian kora harps, and learning about the human lives, routines, and cultures behind them (Guitar World)
- Jazz walking basslines: making them really groove – turning to the low end for harmonic-melodic inspiration, and adapting some ‘bassistic’ inflections for soloing (Guitar World)