So you’ve spent time learning some arpeggio shapes. Now what? Arpeggios are a great musical tool that allow you to make melodic statements using harmonic (chordal) information. When playing over chord changes, using arpeggios is the quickest way to navigate your way around them.
Think about the minor pentatonic scale; almost immediately, the mental image of that familiar box shape is probably conjured in your mind's eye. The fact that we can instantly recall various patterns due to their spacial layout over the fretboard is a great thing. But what if we're relying too heavily on existing scale shapes?
When learning how to play jazz guitar, one of the most commonly asked questions is, “How do I add chord extensions to my soloing ideas?” To help answer this question, in this lesson we’ll be looking at an easy, fun and effective way to bring extension notes into your jazz guitar solos — upper structure triads.
With no thirds, sevenths or other notes included in the backing power chords, I have the freedom as a soloist to inject minor or major thirds and sixth and sevenths into my solo lines without them clashing with the chords. In this month’s column, I’d like to focus on two of my favorite scales for soloing that include the above-mentioned intervals: harmonic minor and its fifth mode, Phrygian dominant.
The goal this month is not to talk about the theory behind them, although I will be doing that in the next month or two. It’s to get you adding the pitches, and exploring these notes, aurally, as well as using them in your phrasing. So let me show you what I’m talking about.
Delta blues giant Robert Johnson is one of the most fascinating and mysterious performers in music history. He created an essential body of blues guitar music, recording 29 songs in 1936 and 1937 that would exert a powerful influence on the likes of Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Johnny Winter and many others.
There's nothing new to this approach. Blues players have been adding these notes to the basic pentatonic for eons. But the difference here is that I apply this system to a heavy/hard-rock style of playing. I do this with a combination of sweeps and legato, which creates a very hard-edge modern sound while still keeping the blues tonality.
The minor scale is the most commonly used scale in metal. This month, I’d like to detail the most prevalent minor scales in metal: natural minor (also known as the Aeolian mode), the Dorian mode, the Phrygian mode and the harmonic minor scale.
In some of my previous columns, I've discussed arpeggio inversions, but in this installment I'd like to discuss chord inversions and how they can add some color to a typical chord progression. First, we need to define what a chord inversion is. An inversion is a chord in which a different note is at the bottom of the chord besides the root.