The following content is related to the September 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.
A musician can express a wide range of feelings and emotions simply by changing the phrasing of a series of notes. Examples includes altering which notes are emphasized within a line, modifying the rhythmic syncopation of the melodic shape and changing the tone and/or pick attack. This month I’d like to focus on rhythmic and melodic approaches that can be easily applied when either composing or improvising a solo.
We’ll use one particular scale, E major pentatonic (E Fs Gs B Cs), which we will play over a repeating chord progression. FIGURE 1 shows this scale played in ninth position. As you play through this pattern, be aware of the note names as well as their intervallic relationships. You can do this effectively by reciting either the note name or its interval name as you ascend and descend the scale repeatedly.