Mike Outram

Music - Gigs - Lessons - Blog

Working on some new stuff

Hello, have been practising quite a bit recently (hooray!), working on some new stuff, so thought I’d share what I’ve been up to.

I’m trying to figure out how to play this blinding Michael Brecker solo on ‘The Four Sleepers’ from Don Grolnick’s album ‘Hearts & Numbers’. The stuff at the end is super tricky :) I LOVE this track. It’s got some fabulous harmony and the melody and bass line work brilliantly. Plus this awesome solo by Brecker.


This month I have a gig with Laurence Cottle’s big band at Ronnie Scott’s doing Tower of Power music. I used to be in an amazing band in Manchester called Pocket Central which was the brainchild of Mr. Neil Fairclough (who’s now the bass player with Queen!) where we played that music, so it’s great to revisit it all. Here’s the guitar part to Get Yo’ Feet Back On The Ground. There’s tons of things going on in this part, but one thing I really like is the hybrid picked harmonics – blink and you’ll miss ’em, but they totally add to the character of this part.


I’ve got a nice little drop 2 voicings workout that’s been fun to do, basically you play the lowest drop 2 voicing on the EADG strings and then play 3 inversions on each string set so it covers most of the range of the instrument. Then go round the cycle of 4ths, and then do a bunch of voicing types: ∆, 7, m7, m7b5, dim7, ∆#5, ∆b5, 7#5, 7b5, 7sus4, maj6, min6, dim∆, m∆. Takes about 40 minutes to do it all. Nice left hand workout :)

Trying to crack Ben Monder’s epic piece Windowpane – Doing this VERY SLOW.

I’m listening to this Schumann Piano Quartet Op.47, 3rd movement. This is one beautiful melody, and the ending is marvellous. Might learn it on the guitar somehow.



I’ve redesigned my lessons site: ElectricCampfire.com and we’re using a nice new layout for all the courses, and I’ve been updating some of the lessons there. There’s a practice routine that’s got some super challenging exercises, and deconstructions of Giant Steps, Pat Metheny, Jerry Donahue, Charlie Parker, and loads more – tons and tons of guitar goodness :)

One thing I’m trying to focus on there at the moment is on making some really short lessons where you can get a creative challenge that you can do in 10 minutes or something. Most people in the site want to develop their playing but have around 30/60 minutes a couple of times a week so I really want to make some fun material for all levels to engage with.

Ok, well that’s what I’m up to at the moment :)

Back to the shed…

What are you working on?


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