EXAMPLE9 Odd-TIME UNISON RIFFS
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.