NAIL YOUR IN­TER­VALS!

Jon Bishop looks at an in­ter­est­ing way to break out of the boxes and free up your im­pro­vi­sa­tion skills by us­ing and un­der­stand­ing in­ter­vals.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Jon Bishop ex­plains how to use dif­fer­ent in­ter­vals in your solo­ing and how you can use them to add more va­ri­ety to your lines.

For this les­son we aim to im­prove your solo­ing and im­pro­vis­ing skills by in­tro­duc­ing you to the con­cept of intervallic tar­get tones. tar­get­ing par­tic­u­lar in­ter­vals can lead to a more con­sid­ered ap­proach that is far more likely to out­line the sound of the un­der­ly­ing chord. A popular ap­proach is to start or end a phrase us­ing tar­get tones, but we can also stress a tar­get tone on one of the strong beats within the phrase.

to keep things as sim­ple as pos­si­ble, we will begin by us­ing a 12-bar blues in G as a familiar can­vas. of course all the con­cepts dis­cussed will work in other mu­si­cal set­tings once mas­tered.

Be­fore we get crack­ing let’s re­cap the name of the in­ter­vals from the chro­matic scale. root, mi­nor 2nd, ma­jor 2nd, mi­nor 3rd, ma­jor 3rd per­fect 4th, di­min­ished 5th per­fect 5th, mi­nor 6th, ma­jor 6th, mi­nor 7th, ma­jor 7th and oc­tave.

For the pur­poses of this fea­ture we are go­ing to fo­cus on six of the more use­ful in­ter­vals for solo­ing over a dom­i­nant blues, which are...

the root note (G) which acts as a home base and per­fectly de­scribes the tonal­ity of the key, and is an ex­tremely safe choice on which to start and fin­ish phrases.

Some new solo­ing ideas are guar­an­teed for even the most sea­soned lead gui­tarist.

the ma­jor 2nd (A) is the sec­ond note of the ma­jor Pen­ta­tonic and is good for adding colour. it is also a good note from which to bend when tar­get­ing the 3rd.

the ma­jor 3rd (B) is very de­scrip­tive of the tonal­ity and is a po­tent note to tar­get.

the per­fect 5th (D) is an­other safe choice and is good to start and end phrases on.

The ma­jor 6th (E) is the fi­nal note of the ma­jor Pen­ta­tonic and is a nice colour tone. it also pro­vides a good bend­ing point when tar­get­ing the mi­nor 7th.

Fi­nally the mi­nor 7th is in both the Mixoly­dian mode and the mi­nor Pen­ta­tonic scale and fits in with any un­der­ly­ing dom­i­nant 7th tonal­ity.

there are six 12-bar so­los to study, com­plete with no­ta­tion, and each ex­am­ple fo­cuses on one of our in­ter­vals. ob­vi­ously th­ese so­los are for study pur­poses and are of­ten over the top in terms of tar­get­ing the same in­ter­val through­out. You prob­a­bly wouldn’t choose to solo like this, but it is good prac­tice to try and make a func­tion­ing solo work with such con­straints.

Fi­nally, we have a two-cho­rus (24-bar) blues jam track that puts some of the ideas from the ex­am­ples into a more re­al­is­tic sound­ing solo. As ever there are back­ing tracks sup­plied for you to prac­tice with, so have fun and see you next time.

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