Cre­ative Rock

Shaun Bax­ter continues his look at the neo­clas­si­cal in­flu­ences on elec­tric solo­ing .

Guitar Techniques - - Guitar Techniques -

within a se­ries of notes, and usu­ally re­lates to one or more notes of the un­der­ly­ing chord.

For ex­am­ple, one could play an A mi­nor ar­peg­gio (A, C, E) us­ing E as a pedal point through­out (a bit like an an­chor, that helps to unify things).

Tar­get­ing is the prac­tice of in­tro­duc­ing a chord tone via a note or notes, known as neigh­bour or aux­il­iary tones. These may be­long to the par­ent scale or be chro­matic, and can oc­cur in a va­ri­ety of com­bi­na­tions. The com­mon­est method is to tar­get a chord tone from a note above or be­low it (a good way of in­tro­duc­ing non-scale notes into your play­ing).

In neo-clas­si­cal mu­sic, it is com­mon to ex­tend ma­jor and mi­nor tri­ads by adding ei­ther a 2nd or a 4th. If we do this over each of the chords in our back­ing track (Am, G and F) we can cre­ate any one of the fol­low­ing arpeg­gios (the F has a #4 added in the key of C, as it is the Ly­dian chord IV): Am add2: A B C E - 1 2 b3 5 Am add4: A C D E - 1 b3 4 5 G add2: G A B D-1 2 3 5 G add4: G B C D-1 3 4 5 F add2: F G A C -1 2 3 5 F add#4: F A B C - 1 3 #4 5

To get the most out of this month’s study, you must place ev­ery­thing you play within a clear vis­ual con­text. This means see­ing how each note re­lates to the ma­jor and mi­nor ar­peg­gio shapes that we learned last month (see Di­a­gram 1 for the Am and G shapes. For F, just play all the G shapes down a tone).

If you lose sight of the un­der­ly­ing chords, the whole thing will be mu­si­cal gib­ber­ish. You may be able to learn the piece par­rot-fash­ion,

To get the most out of this study, you must place ev­ery­thing you play within a clear mu­si­cal con­text.

but you’ll be get­ting lit­tle out of the study.

When gui­tarists try to work out the har­mony part they will of­ten try to play an equiv­a­lent melody three notes higher or lower on the same scale. This is par­al­lel har­mony, and it works be­cause it is based on 3rds, which is the ba­sis of Western har­mony; how­ever, it is of­ten only an ap­prox­i­mate way to gen­er­ate the har­mony; the true method is by re­al­is­ing how the melody re­lates to chord tones, and then trans­pos­ing that in­for­ma­tion up or down to an­other in­ver­sion of the same chord. We will ex­plore this later in this se­ries; how­ever, in the mean­time, if you an­a­lyse the chord tones in­volved, it will ex­plain why the first five notes over each G chord in bars 1, 2 and 18 re­late to each other, even though, strictly, they are not par­al­lel in terms of the scale.

This month’s Am, G, F, G pro­gres­sion is typ­i­cal in rock; and you could im­pro­vise over it us­ing any one or all of the fol­low­ing scales: A mi­nor pen­ta­tonic: ACDEG 1 b3 4 5 b7 A mi­nor blues scale: A C D Eb E G 1 b3 4 b5 5 b7 A Ae­o­lian: ABCDEFG 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 But lis­ten to how dif­fer­ent the mu­si­cal lan­guage is in the demo piece. We haven’t started ex­plor­ing phras­ing yet, by adding rests and vary­ing the rhythms (do­ing so would ob­scure the prin­ci­ples be­ing stud­ied), so rhyth­mi­cally things may sound pretty ro­botic. But the melodic vo­cab­u­lary is ut­terly dif­fer­ent to stan­dard blues-based rock, pre­cisely be­cause it’s based more around the chords, rather than one par­tic­u­lar scale. This helps to give har­monic strength to our lines, as well as le­git­imise the use of chro­matic pass­ing notes (neigh­bour tones).

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