Because we generally approach the flat 5 or “blue note” as merely a passing note when we play blues or blues rock, the scale sounds incredibly smooth and even a little jazzy. My way of incorporating the flat into the licks and runs creates a slightly dissonant-sounding movement. The dissonance immediately creates the tension that is often needed when soloing to heavy, dark rock or blues-based rock.
Today we'll check out the Byzantine/Hijazkiar/double harmonic major scale. Phew! The scale of many names! Actually, most scales are referred to by several names. It depends on the country, tradition or style of music. For example, there's the Ionian or major scale, Lydian dominant or 4th mode of melodic minor, etc. The Byzantine scale, et al, has a very exotic sound, due to the flat 2nd degree, raised 3rd and raised 7th.
In today’s lesson, the third part in our series about two-note chords, we’re going to look at adding one note on top of the 3rd and 7th shapes you learned in the previous two lessons. When doing so, you begin to create a “two hands of the piano”-type feel, especially when rhythmic variation is involved — as is the case in Example 3 in this lesson.
Most of us regard changing or replacing strings as arduous and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. Depending upon the type of guitar you own, string changing can be accomplished in a matter of minutes. Constant repetition is the key — kind of like practicing — and as a guitarist, that’s what you do.
I’ve always been intrigued by the way pedal-steel players compile notes differently than electric guitarists. Whereas the electric guitar kind of technically limits—or should I say more narrowly influences—how you form chords and craft licks, the pedal steel offers the player a lot of options, what with all those crazy pedals and knee-operated levers, additional strings, open tunings and the slide.
In this lick, I'm using the blues scale in the key of E. When used in the right fashion, this scale can sound incredibly dark and even a little evil! It is the dissonant sound of the flat 5 that creates the dark feeling. In the traditional blues format, the flat 5 is used as a passing note. This creates the intensity and gives tremendous feeling to the lines or licks.
These videos are bonus content related to the October 2013 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.