Creati ve rock

This is­sue Shaun Bax­ter en­ters quar­tal ter­ri­tory as he ex­am­ines us­ing Mixoly­dian mode to play medium-paced blues-rock licks in 4ths.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Shaun Bax­ter with an­other les­son in as­pects of blues-rock’s favourite Mixoly­dian mode.

In this cur­rent se­ries, we’ve been look­ing at ways of us­ing var­i­ous scale in­ter­vals to cre­ate a va­ri­ety of medium-paced ideas to fit in with your Mixoly­dian vo­cab­u­lary. So far, we’ve stud­ied 2nds and 3rds; so, in this les­son, we move on to the next log­i­cal step, 4ths. Within the modes of the Ma­jor scale, each 4th in­ter­val will be one of two types:

• Per­fect 4th = two and a half tones • Aug­mented 4th =three tones

To il­lus­trate this, have a look at Di­a­gram 1, which rep­re­sents the notes of D Ma­jor (and any of its modes, of which A Mixoly­dian is mode V). If you start from any note, and then move in any di­rec­tion (clock­wise or an­ti­clock­wise) to an­other note three notes away (in other words, with an­other two scale notes in be­tween), the dis­tance is usu­ally ei­ther a per­fect 4th or an aug­mented one (in this case, only be­tween G-C#).

Per­fect 4ths pro­duce an open and con­tem­po­rary sound. The wave­forms cre­ated by 4ths, 5ths and oc­taves are more sta­ble and less dis­so­nant than other in­ter­vals when used with dis­tor­tion; con­se­quently, they work well when played as dou­ble-stops, and form the ba­sis of many clas­sic rock riffs, such as those used in Smoke On The Water, Burn and All Night Long by Ritchie Black­more of Deep Pur­ple and Rain­bow.

When played on ad­ja­cent (neigh­bour­ing) strings, per­fect 4ths oc­cupy the same fret (apart from when they are played across the third and sec­ond strings, which are tuned a 3rd apart, rather than a per­fect 4th apart).

In terms of tech­ni­cal ex­e­cu­tion, per­fect 4ths can be played us­ing a barré roll technique, whereby one the fin­gers of the fret­ting hand is laid across two or more strings, and the weight of the fin­ger­print part (or more of the un­der­side of the fin­ger if there are many strings) is re­dis­tributed from string to string (note to note), so that only one note is held down at any one time. This is achieved us­ing an arm and wrist ac­tion rather than dis­tort­ing (chang­ing) the shape of the fin­ger. Al­ter­na­tively, some play­ers, like Amer­i­can fu­sion gui­tarist Scott Hen­der­son, pre­fer to play per­fect 4th in­ter­vals on the same string, even though the stretch is quite wide.

By this stage in our study of in­ter­vals, you should aim to ex­e­cute all of the fol­low­ing ba­sic per­mu­ta­tions both up and down through each shape of a scale: • A se­ries of as­cend­ing in­ter­vals.

• A se­ries of de­scend­ing in­ter­vals.

• A se­ries of in­ter­vals that al­ter­nate be­tween as­cend­ing and de­scend­ing.

• A se­ries of in­ter­vals that al­ter­nate be­tween de­scend­ing and as­cend­ing.

Also try other per­mu­ta­tions, such as:

• Up, up down, etc.

• Var­i­ous con­fig­u­ra­tions of the same in­ter­val: Low note, high note, low note; High note, low note, high note (three-note mo­tifs).

• Play­ing ideas that are a mul­ti­ple of 2 (2-4-8) to a triplet count.

• Play­ing ideas that are a mul­ti­ple of 3 (3-6 etc) to a du­ple count (eighth-notes, 16th-notes and so on).

Try record­ing your­self play­ing each and make a note of the most ear-catch­ing re­sults. Then why not try:

• Wan­der­ing around the fret­board us­ing each idea or fig­ure, in or­der to make sure that it is por­ta­ble or adapt­able.

• Ap­ply­ing each idea ex­pres­sively: if you can’t do this with any piece of the­ory or technique that you learn, then it’s use­less to you.

You should also prac­tise shift­ing ideas up and down the length of the neck (lat­eral mo­tion), as well as stay­ing within the same neck area (ver­ti­cal mo­tion).

Dur­ing this se­ries, the ob­ject is to build up a va­ri­ety of in­ter­val-based ap­proaches over the same dom­i­nant back­ing track us­ing A Mixoly­dian in con­junc­tion with A Mi­nor Blues

wave­forms cre­ated by 4ths, 5ths and oc­taves are more sta­ble than other in­ter­vals so work well as dou­ble-stops

scale (that’s why the ex­am­ples have been writ­ten out in the key of A rather than D). All of the 4ths that have been high­lighted in this les­son’s ex­am­ples, are taken from A Mixoly­dian, and each of these sec­tions is flanked by A Mi­nor Blues-ori­en­tated ideas. Note that, al­though var­i­ous 4th in­ter­vals might also be played within sur­round­ing Mi­nor Blues-based ideas, we are go­ing to ig­nore them, as they are purely in­ci­den­tal, and not part of the main con­cept.

Re­gard­ing the back­ing track, most mu­si­cians would write out this in 12/8 time; how­ever, for ease of read­ing on gui­tar, I have stuck to 4/4, view­ing the bass drum pat­tern as a quar­ter-note triplet rhythm. If your rhythm read­ing isn’t great, don’t worry about it: just read the tab and use your ears.

Fi­nally, once you have ab­sorbed the con­cepts stud­ied here, you should ap­ply the same prin­ci­ples to other scales that you know in or­der to de­velop use­ful reper­toire for im­pro­vis­ing. For ex­am­ple, you can also pro­duce A Do­rian equiv­a­lents for each of the GT ex­am­ples ideas (or your own) sim­ply by re­plac­ing any C# notes with C notes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.