“I was always one of those guys who was a seeker after truth,” Steve Vai says. “I want to know what’s going on.” True enough. Vai’s relentless quest “to know what’s going on” has enabled him to plumb the transductive, vibratory mysteries of the electric guitar and come up with tonalities and techniques never before imagined. His place of honor in guitar history is secure. After all, of all the guitarists who emerged in the Eighties shred scene, Vai is quite arguably the most innovative.
"I always thought that it would be really cool to compose an album of music in the same way that you’d score a movie," says Periphery guitarist Misha Mansoor. "In other words, the lyrics and storyline would come first and the music would be almost secondary to the plot. The arrangements are going to be very unconventional, even by our standards."
Over the next few months, I'll be demonstrating some of the techniques and approaches I rely on in the writing and performing of the music I play with my band, Animals as Leaders. Hopefully, you will find these ideas useful in your own musical endeavors.
A pedal point is a single note sustained (or repeatedly articulated) against a moving melody. It adds dimension to a melody by highlighting its "push and pull" against a central note, which is usually, not not exclusively, the tonic of the key or root note of a chord.