cre­aTive rock ...................................

Shaun Bax­ter con­tin­ues to ex­plore ways of us­ing 7th arpeg­gios to play in­ter­est­ing lines in A Mixoly­dian that shift along the fret­board.

Guitar Techniques - - GT LEARNING ZONE -

Shaun Bax­ter con­tin­ues to ex­plore ways of us­ing 7th arpeg­gios to play in­ter­est­ing lines in A Mixoly­dian that shift along the fret­board.

Most rock gui­tar play­ers are adept at pre­sent­ing ideas that are ei­ther slow but have sonic in­ter­est (us­ing vi­brato, bends, slides, pinched har­mon­ics, whammy dive-bombs and gar­gles etc) or ex­tremely fast (shred, us­ing tap­ping and sweep pick­ing); how­ever, in com­par­i­son, their medium-paced lines are rel­a­tively un­der-de­vel­oped.

So, rather than sim­ply play­ing up and down each scale, we’re going to use 7th arpeg­gios as a way of help­ing us to be more se­lec­tive with our note choice, pro­vid­ing fresh­ness, va­ri­ety and har­monic strength. Build­ing on the pre­vi­ous les­son, which dealt with the move­ment of di­a­tonic arpeg­gios along the neck, here, we’re going to use that ground­work as the ba­sis for cre­at­ing medi­umpaced lines that move in the same man­ner. Let’s start by re­vis­ing what we’ve stud­ied:

To es­tab­lish the 7th arpeg­gios within a scale (in this case, A Mixoly­dian), we sim­ply need to play every other note from each note of that scale (giv­ing us a 1-3-5-7 from each start­ing note). Us­ing ‘leaps’ like this (in­ter­vals b3rd of a or greater) in­stead of ‘steps’ (in­ter­vals of a tone or smaller) will re­sult in bolder har­monic con­tent to your lines be­cause they will im­ply chord mo­tion. See the full list of arpeg­gios within A Mixoly­dian in Ta­ble 1.

rather than play­ing up and down each scale we’ll use 7th arpeg­gios to be more se­lec­tive with our note choice

Don’t be in­tim­i­dated by the sci­ence be­hind this. When im­pro­vis­ing, things are rarely this aca­demic. Ba­si­cally, you sim­ply need to learn how to recog­nise and play a four-note con­fig­u­ra­tion com­pris­ing ‘every other note’ from each start­ing note within the scale.

As in pre­vi­ous lessons, we’ll limit the bulk of our ap­proach to four-note shapes rather than ex­tend each ar­peg­gio be­yond an oc­tave, be­cause some arpeg­gios sound less set­tled than oth­ers when played against the chord. In

C#7b5, A Mixoly­dian, the A7, Em7 and Gmaj7

arpeg­gios sound set­tled against A7; whereas, Bm7, Dmaj7 and F#m7 are tenser. We can use this ten­sion, but only fleet­ingly; con­se­quently, we need to shift through the lat­ter arpeg­gios quickly. Us­ing large ar­peg­gio shapes forces us to spend longer on each one, risk­ing long pe­ri­ods of dis­so­nance (un­com­fort­able for the lis­tener), and your lines not sound­ing right.

Ta­ble 2 shows the 24 ways in which the or­der of four dif­fer­ent pitches can be played; aim to try all 24 when ex­per­i­ment­ing, in or­der to es­tab­lish your own per­sonal pref­er­ences (what it’s all about, re­ally).

The mu­si­cal ex­am­ples in this les­son all fea­ture 7th arpeg­gios di­a­tonic to A Mixoly­dian shifted lat­er­ally on the neck; how­ever, to make them sound more nat­u­ral and less like an ex­er­cise, each has been com­bined with the A Mi­nor Blues scale; con­se­quently, you should watch out for the var­i­ous ex­am­ples of chro­matic move­ment pro­vided by the

(b3) Eb (b5): in­clu­sion of a C nat­u­ral and the only two notes of the Mi­nor Blues scale not in Mixoly­dian mode. A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G –1-2-3-4-5-6- A-C-D-Eb-E-G 1-b3-4-b5-5- –

Di­a­gram 1 shows the five CAGED shapes of A Mixoly­dian, and Di­a­gram 2 shows how all th­ese shapes link up on the neck. Most of the ex­am­ples are played as 16th-notes, so al­ter­nate pick­ing can be used through­out as the tempo is only 120bpm; how­ever, for your ref­er­ence, I have writ­ten down the pick­strokes that I used when recording each ex­am­ple (mainly us­ing econ­omy pick­ing, whereby the pick al­ways takes the most direct route to each new string).

Fi­nally, we are only work­ing with the root in­ver­sion of each 7th ar­peg­gio in this les­son (1-3-5-7), whereas it is also pos­si­ble to use the first in­ver­sion (3-5-7-1), sec­ond (5-7-1-3) and third in­ver­sion (7-1-3-5). Fur­ther­more, the same ap­proach can of course also be ap­plied to all other seven-note scales.

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