CARL VER­HEYEN Blues-fu­sion mas­ter­class

The LA ses­sion gui­tar vir­tu­oso plays rock blues lead over Ja­son Sid­well’s up­beat track Roll With The Green. Jon Bishop is your guide.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

This stun­ning rock guitarist im­pro­vises a solo over an­other Ja­son Sid­well com­po­si­tion, then ex­plains his ap­proach in me­thod­i­cal de­tail.

This month we set sail with the first in a two-part fea­ture with rock-blues solo­ing mas­ter Carl Ver­heyen. There are plenty of ear-grab­bing in­ter­val leaps and in­stru­men­tal rock vo­cab­u­lary to learn so let’s get crack­ing. As Carl re­flects, this month’s track is ba­si­cally in the key of A. If you use the A Ma­jor scale (A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#) over the chords A, Bm, D and E their modal flavours will au­to­mat­i­cally be pro­duced. The song has a 12/8 time sig­na­ture so the pulse is counted 1 and a, 2 and a, 3 and a, 4 and a. Carl uses some spe­cial ef­fects such as the ar­ti­fi­cial sweep har­monic. This tech­nique uses a com­bi­na­tion of strum­ming with the pick and sweep­ing the first fin­ger of the pick­ing hand across the strings’ node point to re­lease the har­monic. Carl demon­strates this tech­nique in the tu­to­rial part of the ac­com­pa­ny­ing video. For non-di­a­tonic ma­jor chords Carl uses the clas­sic trick of play­ing G Ly­dian mode. This works as the Ly­dian mode gets rid of the harsh dis­so­nance (the per­fect 4th ‘avoid’ note) found in the Ma­jor scale and re­places it with a raised 4th (#4 or #11). One of Carl’s trade­mark con­cepts is his use of in­ter­val­lic lines and phrases. In the video he ex­plains how he tries to steer clear of ob­vi­ous sound­ing scale runs where all the notes fol­low each other in se­quence. The in­ter­val­lic ap­proach breaks up the lines and pro­vides an in­ter­est­ing ear-grab­bing qual­ity. The track switches to a D mi­nor tonal­ity in the cho­rus sec­tions. Here the D Dorian mode (se­cond mode of C Ma­jor: D-E-F-G-A-B-C) is the scale of choice (see fea­ture on p30). Carl ex­plains that all of his vi­brato-equipped gui­tars are set up in a spe­cific way. When the bar is pulled up as far has pos­si­ble the first string raises by a semi­tone, the se­cond string raises by a tone and the third string goes up a tone and a half. This makes the var­i­ous whammy bar in­fused lines eas­ier to play due to the guar­an­teed in­to­na­tion. For the bridge sec­tion Carl switches to a chord based idea to break up the solo­ing. Here uses open-voiced tri­ads where the 3rd of the chord is placed up the oc­tave (Eric John­son also favours this ap­proach). It cer­tainly cre­ates a spa­cious sound and is a very ef­fec­tive way to add so­phis­ti­ca­tion to these ba­sic in­gre­di­ents. Learn­ing this solo note for note will cer­tainly be a chal­lenge, but well worth it. Once you have some of the key con­cepts un­der the fin­gers why not try cre­at­ing your own path through Ja­son’s track, which is avail­able on the GT au­dio.

Carl cre­ates a stun­ning solo over Ja­son’s ‘Roll With The Green’

Carl Ver­heyen treats us to a cool les­son in solo­ing

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