BRETT GARSED Video Masterclass
Aussie guitar legend Brett Garsed unleashes the Melodic Minor scale on the penultimate track of this fantastic series. Jon Bishop is your guide.
In instalment #5 of his masterclass series Brett unleashes the Melodic Minor scale in a piece called The Investigation Of Johnny F.
This issue we get bluesy with the Melodic (R-2-b3-4-5-6-7) Minor scale as we approach the end of our six-part video masterclass series with legato legend Brett Garsed. In part five we are going to look at another track written by Jason Sidwell, entitled The Investigation Of Johnny F.
E Melodic Minor is the scale of choice (E-F#-G-A-B-C#-D#) and the key signature is E minor. If you study some of Brett’s opening phrases it is easy to see that the Melodic Minor is simply the Natural Minor scale with a raised 6th (C#) and 7th (D#). The backing track has a swung quaver (eighth-note) feel and Brett accentuates this by using some quaver triplet and crotchet (quarter-note) triplet rhythms throughout. Brett also uses his signature semiquaver (16th-note) syncopation and sextuplet legato lines.
Compared to previous solos in this masterclass series the phrasing is more relaxed and melodic, with extra consideration to outlining the chord harmony underneath. That said, the rhythms and beat placements are still incredibly sophisticated and somewhat challenging.
If you are looking to construct your own solo we have included some fingerings for the E Melodic Minor scale and E Natural Minor scale so you can practise moving between the two. Brett also explains that he uses the tasteful concept of playing a B Major triad arpeggio (B-D#-F#) to outline the E Melodic Minor sound. The B Major triad arpeggio groups together the 5th, major 7th and Major 9th intervals of the E Melodic Minor scale and this nails the Em/Maj9 tonality in a musical and colourful way.
Brett uses a lot of arpeggios on this one, since the chords are changing almost every bar. It is a good routine to run the arpeggios and establish a fretboard roadmap before setting sail on an improvised solo. The combination of sophisticated phrasing, clever note choices and a modern sounding, overdriven tone makes this one yet another must-study piece – even if you can only manage a few licks at a time.
The backing track and chord chart are included for you to practise over in addition to a full transcription of Brett’s performance from the video and sample scale fingerings.
Once you have mastered some of the concepts in Brett’s take, why not try creating a solo of your own over the same backing track. Check out the chart for the chord changes – learn the chords before you try the solo – and use your musical ear to recognise what’s going on harmonically. See you next time.
IT’s GOOD TO RUN THE ARPEGGIOS TO ESTABLISH A FRETBOARD ROADMAP BEFORE SETTING SAIL ON AN IMPROVISED SOLO
NEXT MONTH Brett plays a slide solo over the final piece in this masterclass series, Chill Diggery
Brett Garsed in his penultimate lesson for GT
Brett solos with stunning musicality and precision