Taking techniques from different instruments and applying them to the guitar can open up a whole new approach to the instrument and add freshness to your playing and ideas. In this lesson, we will look at approaching the guitar in the style of a sitar and Indian mandolin. A sitar has many strings (up to 20, to be exact). Ironically, out of all of these strings, most of the time only one of them is used to do the actual playing.
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.
The focus of this lesson will be on ornamentation in Celtic music. Most ornamentations are notated as grace notes. A grace note is performed by playing the note(s) as fast as you can, ending on the target melody note. Grace notes are notated as smaller notes preceding the target note.
Today, we will continue to work with a scale we covered in my June 2013 column. We will explore that same scale, the Phrygian dominant, in a two-note-per-string sequence. We'll also add a sitar-style bending phrase. The notes of the scale are as follows: E – F - G# - A – B – C – D – E