Fret­board flu­ency

Martin Goulding looks at de­vel­op­ing your nav­i­ga­tion of the neck in the fourth part of his se­ries ex­plor­ing ex­tended har­mony.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Martin Goulding brings us more Mixoly­dian as he ex­plains a va­ri­ety of ways to use it.

This month’s col­umn is based around the Mixoly­dian mode, a sound com­mon in coun­try, blues and rock styles due to its first choice sta­tus over dom­i­nant chords. With a Ma­jor Pen­ta­tonic scale con­tained within its for­mula, the Mixoly­dian mode is also often con­trasted by the Mi­nor Pen­ta­tonic and Blues scales, with play­ers such as Jeff Beck, Eric Clap­ton, Larry Carl­ton, and Robben Ford well known for com­bin­ing ma­jor and mi­nor tonal­i­ties in their solo­ing, as well as us­ing song struc­tures based around the V Mixoly­dian tonal cen­tre.

Con­tin­u­ing from last month’s les­son, where we looked at the ex­ten­sions of the IV ma­jor 7 chord, this month we’ll move on to ex­ten­sions based around the V dom­i­nant 7 chord, in­clud­ing 9, 11 and 13 voic­ings ar­ranged in five shapes. We’ll then move on to study two ap­proaches for cre­at­ing ex­tended arpeg­gios: the first – sim­ply adding the triad from the next con­sec­u­tive scale de­gree to our ba­sic dom­i­nant 7 arpeg­gio to cover all three ex­ten­sions up to the 13th de­gree; and the sec­ond – su­per­im­pos­ing b7th di­a­tonic arpeg­gios from the 3rd, 5th and de­grees of our ‘home’ V dom­i­nant 7 chord, which as we’ll see gives us a range of ex­tended sounds. In ad­di­tion to our ex­tended chords and arpeg­gios, we’ll also be look­ing at some of the ways in which we can use th­ese ideas in our im­pro­vi­sa­tion by ap­ply­ing chro­matic en­clo­sures to cer­tain in­ter­vals, as well as us­ing se­quences to ex­tend the ba­sic V chord tonal­ity and add colour and so­phis­ti­ca­tion to our solo­ing.

On all arpeg­gio-based ex­am­ples, we’ll be us­ing our usual legato ap­proach, which com­bines ham­mer-ons and pull-offs with sweep strokes for a smooth and even tone. As well as pick­ing lightly and ham­mer­ing down firmly, the qual­ity of your ex­e­cu­tion will also de­pend on ef­fec­tive use of mut­ing tech­niques from both hands. So fol­low the rule that the first fin­ger on the fret­ting hand mutes the lower ad­ja­cent string with its tip, as well as rest­ing flat over the higher strings un­der­neath. Do this in con­junc­tion with the pick­ing-hand palm, which is used to mute any unat­tended lower strings as you as­cend, keep­ing the ex­e­cu­tion clean and free of un­wanted dis­so­nance.

NEXT MONTH Martin beefs up your fret­board nav­i­ga­tion with more in­ter­val ex­ten­sions

Jeff Beck’s Blow By Blow is a mine of Mixoly­dian songs and ideas

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