BRETT GARSED MASTERCLASS The Race To Wonderland
Brett Garsed demonstrates secrets of his legato style by taking a solo over Jason’s track The Race To Wonderland. Jon Bishop is your guide.
Great friend of GT and master musician Brett plays and explains a sublime solo on Jason’s, The Race To Wonderland. It’s legato-a-go-go!
The difficulty level is stretched high with an up-tempo rocker to navigate as we start our new, eight-part video series with fusion maestro Brett Garsed. In this first episode Brett tackles Jason Sidwell’s composition, The Race To Wonderland.
Brett’s home scale for the verses is E Dorian (E-F#-G-A-B-C#-D: see scale diagram), with chromatic notes added for tension and an ‘outside’ fusion sound. Our key signature is Em so consult the notation to see where the alterations and chromatic tones are, including the major 6th Dorian flavour tone of C#. For extra spice the verse riff has a 7/8 feel played against the drums, which are in 4/4. An eight-bar section of just drums leaves you free to do what you want over it. Brett explains he uses the B Altered scale here (Superlocrian) and B Half-Whole scale. B Altered scale is the 7th mode of C Melodic
Minor (B-C-D- F-G-A: see scale diagram). Brett selects the B7 Altered sound for this section as it is the V chord of E minor so provides a satisfying cadence when returning to it in the following verse.
Brett attacks the ‘neo-classical’ section (chord changes inspired by a JS Bach prelude), with a very nice tip of the hat to players like Paul Gilbert using arpeggios to outline the varied chord changes.
Brett mainly uses the legato and hybrid-picking technique to articulate the lines here. Be sure to check out the video to see his exact articulations; using a ‘slow downer’ app can be most useful here.
Brett’s solo is both rhythmically and harmonically advanced and will take some time and effort to digest, but this work will be well worth it. While the notation looks pretty intimidating, the phrases are always centred around creating strong melodic phrases by outlining the underlying chords.
Overall the combination of sophisticated phrasing, clever note choices and a modern, overdriven guitar tone makes this an involving ‘must study’ piece.
The backing track and chord chart is included for you to work with, in addition to a full transcription of Brett’s performance from the video.
Hopefully there will be new techniques, licks or phrases in here for you to perfect. If you find one you like then learn and memorise it and use it in future, especially if the semiquaver, five or six duplet feel is what you are into. Once you have mastered some of the concepts in Brett’s solo, try creating a solo of your own over the backing track. In fact, Brett lays down the gauntlet and challenges you to record a version of your own solo so get recording and let us all see or hear your version!
NEXT MONTH Brett solos with his CS-336 over Jason’s emotive track The Maple River.
Brett Garsed will astound you with an amazing solo
Brett Garsed begins his eightpart video series