Rodrigo Gouveia: Masterclass Q&A
Rodrigo Gouveia’s ability to fuse simple melodies into complex jazz-inspired lines has helped him become one of the most respected guitarists in Brazil.
His Neo-Soul Fusion Masterclass is an opportunity to see his process, and to learn how to approach the guitar in the same unmistakable way.
Here to give you an in-depth look at this groundbreaking release, is Rodrigo himself.
Q: What is neo-soul-fusion?
Basically this genre has in its essence a combination of musical elements of other styles as the name suggests.
Neo-soul essentially is the musical style joining elements of hip-hop, contemporary R&B and soul music of the 70s. Neo-soul fusion then incorporates all of these aspects of the styles with the jazzy language characteristic of the fusion style.
Q: How did you land on your style of playing?
I began in rock and developed my technique in this style. At that time it was more difficult for me to have access to content as it is today. I mean, I used to borrow or purchase DVDs or cassettes and study hard and focus on what that material had for me. I feel that helped me to improve my technique hugely, despite the limitations that the internet came to solve.
Just 2 years after immersing myself in rock music, I joined a funk and soul band called Groove Soul which allowed me to develop my harmonic skills. It was a big change in my playing, which helped to develop some versatility as well.
In the meantime, I was introduced to the biggest inspiration in music I have such as fusion legends Scott Handerson and Frank Gambale.
Being exposed to different genres along with my music career definitely helped to shape the musician I am today.
Q: I know you work closely with Cassias Guitars, what makes them special to you?
The Cassias Guitars fame has always been renowned in Brazil and overseas, also by the top Luthiers of the world. Honestly, I have always been attracted to the design of Cassias Guitars. But after playing one of them I was convinced by the quality and its sound. Apart from being well designed and absolutely comfortable, the guitars are also versatile. It sounds fantastic from jazz to rock.
Q: What was the inspiration behind this Masterclass?
As many are attracted to this amazing style and are interested in getting into the neo-soul fusion world, I am frequently asked about the basic principles of neo-soul fusion. To help these people to start off, I came up with the four fundamental technical aspects. I have been inspired by the students, who always make me figure out how to help their learning easier and better.
Q: What do you want people to take away from this Masterclass?
What I really want people to get from this first Masterclass is the technical requirements to improve their playing when incorporating the neo-soul fusion style. I developed this Masterclass also for those guitarists looking to create melody inside the chords, or at least to start doing so.
Before you go...
A huge thanks to Rodrigo for chatting to us. Watch below to find out more about his incredible Masterclass!