Veil of Maya released their latest album, Eclipse, back in February on Sumerian Records. Just in case some of those guitar parts have you scratching your head, we're continuing our series of exclusive lessons with guitarist Marc Okubo to show you some key cuts off the album.
Last time we learned how to combine two completely different triads (three-note chords) to create a six-note hexatonic scale. Using E major and F# minor triads to illustrate, we generated the blissful, gospel-flavored E major hexatonic scale (E F# G# A B C#) and looked at some neat examples of the many things you can do with it. As I mentioned at the end of the lesson, there’s a virtual mother lode of cool and unusual hexatonic scales waiting to be unearthed. All you have to do to find them is combine any two triads that don’t share any common tones (hint: combining E major and E minor won’t give you six different notes because both triads contain E and B).
In this Sick Lick, I'm using the A Minor Pentatonic Scale. The lick is played high on the neck, which makes some of the transitions very difficult, but the results are worth it. We start this lick with a five-string arpeggio, then slide up to the 22nd fret and start moving back down the neck. You'll notice most of the really fast sections are created with three- and five-string arpeggios.
Anyone who’s ever made an effort to learn some music theory knows that one of the biggest turn-offs is the sound of the major scale harmonized in triads (three-note chords). But before you dismiss the intellectual approach to learning music as being hopelessly tedious and uninspiring, realize that it doesn’t have to be that way.
One of the first progressions many guitarists tackle when learning to improvise in the jazz idiom is the ii-V-I. This common three-chord progression can be found in countless jazz tunes, and improvising over these chords in a convincing fashion is a must-know skill for any budding jazz guitarist to have under their fingers.
Veil of Maya released their latest album, Eclipse, back in February on Sumerian Records, and just in case some of those guitar parts have you scratching your head, we're kicking off a series of exclusive lessons with guitarist Marc Okubo to show you some key cuts off the album.
In this Sick Lick, I use a combination of the blues scale (Pentatonic flat 5) and the Diminished Scale in the key of E Minor. These two scales are, by far, my favorites. They create very aggressive sounds and are adaptable to all kinds of music. I'm incorporating the use of my left thumb to actually fret notes on the neck. Now I'm not doing this in the traditional form where we may use our thumb to play bass notes; rather, I'm bringing my thumb from around the back of the neck to fret on top of the fretboard.
Last month, we analyzed the densely layered rhythmic blend of tresillo, backbeat and triplets that powered many classic New Orleans-based R&B hits. This month, we'll look at the city's unique spin on one of the fundamental grooves of humanity itself: the two-beat.
Before Dream Theater took off I used to teach a lot, and one of the things my students often asked me was how to apply the chromatic scale to practical playing situations. You see, their other teachers would give them chromatic warm-up exercises without providing any explanation of how important and versatile this scale actually is. For the next few months, I'd like to show you how to use the chromatic scale, not just as a tool to build chops but as a melodic device to add color to your playing.