Midweek Backing Track(s) - Your Choice 01.05.22

guitarsophist

Tele-Afflicted
Silver Supporter
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Posts
1,165
Location
SoCal
I'm learning that you have to change scales to cover the changes in this instance Dm Pent and A Harmonic Minor work well. Maybe I'm too literal minded but when I hear chord tones instead of scales...as if they aren't degrees of a scale! I'm not singling you out by the way, I see it phrased that way all the time.

Yeah, there's a bunch of different ways of thinking about the same assemblage of notes. You can think in chords, keys, scales, modes, tonal centers, arpeggios, etc. It's all a bunch of patterns, but if you just think in patterns, it can be kind of lifeless. The trick is to know the patterns so well you can forget them and just play.
 

Mjark

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Posts
14,810
Location
Annapolis, MD
Yeah, there's a bunch of different ways of thinking about the same assemblage of notes. You can think in chords, keys, scales, modes, tonal centers, arpeggios, etc. It's all a bunch of patterns, but if you just think in patterns, it can be kind of lifeless. The trick is to know the patterns so well you can forget them and just play.
maybe intervals
 

ASATKat

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Posts
5,598
Age
68
Location
next to the burn zone
I am slowly working my way out of the scale-wise playing I have been doing for years towards a more chord tone oriented approach. It still feels a bit unnatural, but I am making progress. As my brain shifts over, my fingers don't always follow. On that track, the A major and the Bb major chords (at least as I heard it) in the Dm context especially seemed to require going beyond the Dm scale. These backing tracks are certainly helping.

Of course, lots of great stuff is done with pentatonic blues boxes. Nothing wrong with that. I just felt like going in a different direction for a while.
That's great news, remember that for every chord tone there are two non chord tones on either side of the chord tone, for example if you played a C chord on the 5th fret,

C chord. . . . . neighboring non Chord Tones
-
-5--------------------------3----------6
-5
-5
-
-

By adding the neighboring scale tones to the chord you complete the scale. So it's like "hand in glove". One study blends into the next study, same DNA.
All that's left are the 5 non scale tones the chromatic tones, those too can be used, but not always, they're tricky and produce "out" sounds used mostly in jazz
 
Last edited:

chris m.

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 25, 2003
Posts
10,219
Location
Santa Barbara, California
I'm learning that you have to change scales to cover the changes in this instance Dm Pent and A Harmonic Minor work well. Maybe I'm too literal minded but when I hear chord tones instead of scales...as if they aren't degrees of a scale! I'm not singling you out by the way, I see it phrased that way all the time.
While it is true that chord tones are within scales, if you are thinking chord tones or arpeggios that means you are mostly skipping notes that aren't 1,3,5,7. Which yields a very different melodic sound. If you listen to classical music it often relies heavily on arpeggio patterns, but then also uses scalar-based runs as well.

But the bottom line for me is that if I'm thinking arpeggio it is going to produce a very different melodic line than if I'm thinking scales, even though the share many of the same notes.

What I like to do is think of all of these options at once, and to try and link them together in a melodic and interesting way. So I'm thinking pentatonics, octaves, scales, arpeggios, double stops, pedal movement, diminished/chromatic/exotic stuff, and trying to basically hear and then generate a lovely melodic lead that fits the underlying chords, where it all links together in an organic way that sounds really musical, not like just playing a series of canned licks. That's the goal, anyway.

David Gilmour is pretty much an icon of this approach...admittedly many of his "leads" are not really improvisation, but boy they sure sound pretty, don't they? On some of our band's originals where I play lead, I woodshed at home for hours over the changes to develop a series of melodic options. I am picking and choosing among a bunch of variations to build my solo, with key chunks of the solo pre-rehearsed. I know it's going to sound really musical...but also a bit different just about every time, depending on which options I string together in the moment.
 

ASATKat

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Posts
5,598
Age
68
Location
next to the burn zone
While it is true that chord tones are within scales, if you are thinking chord tones or arpeggios that means you are mostly skipping notes that aren't 1,3,5,7. Which yields a very different melodic sound. If you listen to classical music it often relies heavily on arpeggio patterns, but then also uses scalar-based runs as well.

But the bottom line for me is that if I'm thinking arpeggio it is going to produce a very different melodic line than if I'm thinking scales, even though the share many of the same notes.

What I like to do is think of all of these options at once, and to try and link them together in a melodic and interesting way. So I'm thinking pentatonics, octaves, scales, arpeggios, double stops, pedal movement, diminished/chromatic/exotic stuff, and trying to basically hear and then generate a lovely melodic lead that fits the underlying chords, where it all links together in an organic way that sounds really musical, not like just playing a series of canned licks. That's the goal, anyway.

David Gilmour is pretty much an icon of this approach...admittedly many of his "leads" are not really improvisation, but boy they sure sound pretty, don't they? On some of our band's originals where I play lead, I woodshed at home for hours over the changes to develop a series of melodic options. I am picking and choosing among a bunch of variations to build my solo, with key chunks of the solo pre-rehearsed. I know it's going to sound really musical...but also a bit different just about every time, depending on which options I string together in the moment.
Seven - ionian
Six - hexatonic
Five - pentatonic
4 note "7th chords"
3 note triads
2 note intervals

One is not more important or fundamental than another.
Compartmentalizing the bits and pieces of the whole makes me think it must be different. Right there confusion can set in. But looking at the whole as "one" makes me feel I already have the answer and it's not different or difficult, it's all connected.

And getting this reality in our head as soon as possible is the way to go in my opinion. It just makes more sense. No need to "wait till I can handle it". Honestly nothing here is difficult, in fact it's all easy. and you will realize that more as time goes on. But then that's what they said about math.
 
Last edited:

chris m.

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 25, 2003
Posts
10,219
Location
Santa Barbara, California
Seven - ionian
Six - hexatonic
Five - pentatonic
4 note "7th chords"
3 note triads
2 note intervals

One is not more important or fundamental than another.
Compartmentalizing the bits and pieces of the whole makes me think it must be different. Right there confusion can set in. But looking at the whole as "one" makes me feel I already have the answer and it's not different or difficult, it's all connected.

And getting this reality in our head as soon as possible is the way to go in my opinion. It just makes more sense. No need to "wait till I can handle it". Honestly nothing here is difficult, in fact it's all easy. and you will realize that more as time goes on. But then that's what they said about math.
While there are only 12 tones, you can’t create interesting melodies with a chromatic mindset. The analogy I would use is that you can’t write sentences by knowing the alphabet. You need to know the words, and how they go together in ways that are pleasing or at least comprehensible to the reader.

It is all connected, but in order to become fluent you have to start somewhere and build from there.
 

ASATKat

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Posts
5,598
Age
68
Location
next to the burn zone
While there are only 12 tones, you can’t create interesting melodies with a chromatic mindset. The analogy I would use is that you can’t write sentences by knowing the alphabet. You need to know the words, and how they go together in ways that are pleasing or at least comprehensible to the reader.

It is all connected, but in order to become fluent you have to start somewhere and build from there.
Really? I can't create interesting melodies with chromatic? Not in my experience. There is design behind making chromatics work. It's not just random non chord tones.
 

ASATKat

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Posts
5,598
Age
68
Location
next to the burn zone
While it is true that chord tones are within scales, if you are thinking chord tones or arpeggios that means you are mostly skipping notes that aren't 1,3,5,7. Which yields a very different melodic sound. If you listen to classical music it often relies heavily on arpeggio patterns, but then also uses scalar-based runs as well.

But the bottom line for me is that if I'm thinking arpeggio it is going to produce a very different melodic line than if I'm thinking scales, even though the share many of the same notes.

What I like to do is think of all of these options at once, and to try and link them together in a melodic and interesting way. So I'm thinking pentatonics, octaves, scales, arpeggios, double stops, pedal movement, diminished/chromatic/exotic stuff, and trying to basically hear and then generate a lovely melodic lead that fits the underlying chords, where it all links together in an organic way that sounds really musical, not like just playing a series of canned licks. That's the goal, anyway.

David Gilmour is pretty much an icon of this approach...admittedly many of his "leads" are not really improvisation, but boy they sure sound pretty, don't they? On some of our band's originals where I play lead, I woodshed at home for hours over the changes to develop a series of melodic options. I am picking and choosing among a bunch of variations to build my solo, with key chunks of the solo pre-rehearsed. I know it's going to sound really musical...but also a bit different just about every time, depending on which options I string together in the moment.
I'm confused, Gilmour does not use chromatics beyond common blues chromatics. I think of people like John Scofield and Julian Lage for clever and interesting usage of chromatics. And they are jazz musicians, so chromatics are common in jazz.
 

chris m.

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 25, 2003
Posts
10,219
Location
Santa Barbara, California
I'm confused, Gilmour does not use chromatics beyond common blues chromatics. I think of people like John Scofield and Julian Lage for clever and interesting usage of chromatics. And they are jazz musicians, so chromatics are common in jazz.
I meant exclusively chromatic. As a component they’re indispensable. Like salt on a steak.

And you’re right about Gilmour. My point on Gilmour is that he constructs really melodic solos. Which is my goal, too.
 

Alan L Cole

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 23, 2017
Posts
3,036
Age
68
Location
NY
Though i had posted #3, but can't find it ? Strange things happen... well, here it is

Schecter NJ signature + AxeFx3

Sounds like you just let it rip on this one Miguel. Nice technique on those runs and very wah-whamtastic.
 
Last edited:

ASATKat

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Posts
5,598
Age
68
Location
next to the burn zone
While there are only 12 tones, you can’t create interesting melodies with a chromatic mindset. The analogy I would use is that you can’t write sentences by knowing the alphabet. You need to know the words, and how they go together in ways that are pleasing or at least comprehensible to the reader.

It is all connected, but in order to become fluent you have to start somewhere and build from there.
Are you talking about no chord tones at all, that would be something I've never done lol. I think it would fail as you said.
 

chris m.

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 25, 2003
Posts
10,219
Location
Santa Barbara, California
Are you talking about no chord tones at all, that would be something I've never done lol. I think it would fail as you said.
Not exactly. The chromatic scale technically contains all of the chord tones. So if you are playing chromatically you are inevitably going to hit some chord tones....although perhaps not on the right beat. My point is about how our brains work. For me, the only way I can successfully emphasize chord tones in a lead line is if I am consciously thinking about them. For me, anyway, if my brain is thinking chromatic it's harder for me to think about chord tones vs. when I'm actively focused on chord tones, such as having my brain in arpeggio mode.

There is something called the "goal note method". This is where you think about/hear in your head a chord tone that you want to land on, and for short runs you can play just about anything as long as you land on a chord tone on the right beat at the end of the run. Brad Paisley uses this technique a lot, IMO.

Really, this is all about "breaking out of the box". If you hear someone noodling away in minor pentatonic, that's exactly what it sounds like-- noodling away in minor pentatonic. Ditto for noodling in chromatic or any scale you choose. If you have arpeggios, scales, modes, pentatonics, and licks all at your disposal, and a good ear, hopefully you can string melodic notes together that actually sound like music.....and hopefully doesn't sound like everything you've ever heard before-- trite cliches.

I think the very best soloists get well beyond consciously thinking about any particular structure. They are hearing melodic lines in their head, and if they can hear it they can play it, at any speed. Charlie Parker comes to mind. But those lines didn't come from nowhere. They come from years and years of woodshedding scales, arpeggios, licks, etc. They probably are perfectly aware of the underlying theory, and notice it as they go, but they have fully transcended it long before. They are just "singing" with their instruments, completely free of any restrictions other than perhaps muscle memory and the totally human tendency to fall into the same comfortable sequences. Some guitarists that are more visual describe it as good notes and lines across the entire fingerboard kind of lighting up for them over any given chord.

People like me who aren't there yet are still trapped in structured boxes to some degree, but at least we know a whole lot of different boxes and are rapidly switching among them in a fluid way, hopefully.
 

ASATKat

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Posts
5,598
Age
68
Location
next to the burn zone
Not exactly. The chromatic scale technically contains all of the chord tones. So if you are playing chromatically you are inevitably going to hit some chord tones....although perhaps not on the right beat. My point is about how our brains work. For me, the only way I can successfully emphasize chord tones in a lead line is if I am consciously thinking about them. For me, anyway, if my brain is thinking chromatic it's harder for me to think about chord tones vs. when I'm actively focused on chord tones, such as having my brain in arpeggio mode.

There is something called the "goal note method". This is where you think about/hear in your head a chord tone that you want to land on, and for short runs you can play just about anything as long as you land on a chord tone on the right beat at the end of the run. Brad Paisley uses this technique a lot, IMO.

Really, this is all about "breaking out of the box". If you hear someone noodling away in minor pentatonic, that's exactly what it sounds like-- noodling away in minor pentatonic. Ditto for noodling in chromatic or any scale you choose. If you have arpeggios, scales, modes, pentatonics, and licks all at your disposal, and a good ear, hopefully you can string melodic notes together that actually sound like music.....and hopefully doesn't sound like everything you've ever heard before-- trite cliches.

I think the very best soloists get well beyond consciously thinking about any particular structure. They are hearing melodic lines in their head, and if they can hear it they can play it, at any speed. Charlie Parker comes to mind. But those lines didn't come from nowhere. They come from years and years of woodshedding scales, arpeggios, licks, etc. They probably are perfectly aware of the underlying theory, and notice it as they go, but they have fully transcended it long before. They are just "singing" with their instruments, completely free of any restrictions other than perhaps muscle memory and the totally human tendency to fall into the same comfortable sequences. Some guitarists that are more visual describe it as good notes and lines across the entire fingerboard kind of lighting up for them over any given chord.

People like me who aren't there yet are still trapped in structured boxes to some degree, but at least we know a whole lot of different boxes and are rapidly switching among them in a fluid way, hopefully.
Very interesting, I think we may have derailed the thread and I do apologize.

Continue in the theory section?
 




New Posts

Top