EXAMPLE9 Odd-TIME UNI­SON RIFFS

Guitar Techniques - - JAZZ-ROCK -

This ex­am­ple is based on the cre­ation of uni­son riffs, of­ten be­tween elec­tric gui­tar and Moog syn­the­siser that you might hear on ‘70s al­bums by the likes of Jeff Beck, Jan Ham­mer, Billy Cob­ham and The Ma­hav­ishnu Or­ches­tra. There’s noth­ing too com­plex from a notes per­spec­tive, as we’re ba­si­cally shift­ing from e7, with the associated e Mixoly­dian (e-F#-G#-A-B-C#-D) and the oc­ca­sional mi­nor 3rd guest (G), to A7 and a cou­ple of notes drawn from A Mixoly­dian (A-B-C#-D e-F#-G). The tricky thing here is to main­tain a sense of where the ‘one’ is at all times. First off, I wouldn’t go near the gui­tar, but just make sure you can iden­tify the one ei­ther by clap­ping or say­ing ‘one’ out loud. When you do even­tu­ally get the notes un­der your fin­gers, it’s im­per­a­tive that you at­tempt to main­tain a foot tap while you play the phrase. By ex­ter­nal­is­ing the beat you’ll cre­ate a much tighter con­nec­tion to the un­der­ly­ing rhyth­mic pulse. Once you’ve got the riff down, your next stage is to try to im­pro­vise against the shift­ing time sig­na­ture - not easy but lots of fun.

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