CARL VER­HEYEN Blues-fu­sion master­class

Ses­sion vir­tu­oso Carl Ver­heyen demon­strates some great fu­sion ideas over Ja­son’s ex­cit­ing track, The Flow. Jon Bishop is your guide.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

This stun­ning rock-fu­sion gui­tarist im­pro­vises a solo over Ja­son Sid­well com­po­si­tion, The Flow, then ex­plains his ap­proach in de­tail.

We con­tinue our video master­class se­ries with a mi­nor key rock track com­posed by Ja­son Sid­well and im­pro­vised over by Carl. Look out for ear-grab­bing in­ter­val leaps and top in­stru­men­tal rock vo­cab­u­lary. As Carl ex­plains, the track is mostly in D mi­nor so he plays D Do­rian mode (D-E-F-G-A-B-C) through the verse sec­tions.

One of the key con­cepts in this solo is Carl’s trade­mark use of wide in­ter­vals. He likes to break up scale runs with in­ter­val­lic leaps, as a sim­ple ‘up and down the scale’ run is the last thing he wants to hear. (See lick 1, at 3:40 on the video).

An­other con­cept Carl demon­strates is the use of a pre-com­posed mo­tif that can be used as a jump­ing-off point for im­pro­vi­sa­tion. This use of a mo­tif in­sures a strong ini­tial state­ment and al­lows for de­par­tures into other ar­eas, such as the blues. (See lick 2, at 5:00 on the video).

For the cho­rus sec­tion Carl ‘out­lines the changes’ us­ing arpeggios from the chord. This in­sures that a melodic line is main­tained.

Eb­maj9 When we get to the chord, Carl uses Eb (Eb-F-G-A-Bb-C-D)

Ly­dian mode to get an ethe­real, float­ing sound in keep­ing with the track’s ti­tle, ‘The Flow’.

F Ma­jor Pen­ta­tonic comes in handy in the cho­rus sec­tion and Carl demon­strates the im­por­tance of know­ing the Pen­ta­tonic scales from the bot­tom of the fretboard to the top and back down in one pass.

Carl has a very ex­pres­sive style and uses plenty of ar­tic­u­la­tion to make the phrases come to life. As well as fin­ger slides, string bend­ing and fin­ger vi­brato the whammy bar is utilised to great ef­fect.

Carl has a par­tic­u­lar whammy bar set-up that he favours. The springs are set so when the bar is pulled right up, the first string raises by a semi­tone from E to F, the sec­ond goes up a tone from B to C# and the third goes up a mi­nor 3rd

Bb. from G to This pre-set­ting of the raised pitches al­lows for good in­to­na­tion and con­fi­dence when bend­ing pitches us­ing the bar.

An­other thing that may strike you when you watch Carl’s per­for­mance is the amount of pickup changes there are. Many play­ers leave the pickup se­lec­tor where it is for the du­ra­tion of a solo. Here Carl switches to get the op­ti­mum sound for each phrase and some­times even changes mid phrase.

Hope­fully there will be a new tech­nique, lick or phrase some­where in here for you to per­fect. If you find one you like then mem­o­rise it and use it (or tweak it) for fu­ture so­los, es­pe­cially if a wide in­ter­val or whammy bar tinged phrase is what you’re af­ter. Once you have mas­tered some of the con­cepts in Carl’s solo, why not try cre­at­ing a solo of your own over Ja­son’s rather in­volv­ing back­ing track. Check out the chord chart and learn the changes be­fore you start work on the licks. Have fun and see you next time.


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