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Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by lukebluesboy, Aug 7, 2016.
Hi, anyone knows which scale Tim Renwich uses on his solo in this song?
Thank u so much
You can work in Em natural and cover what is needed there. The only difference between the Em natural and the D major is the C# as the D's 7th versus the C as the 6th in the Em. The C note in the Em scale is the dominant 7th for a D chord....and that works better for this song than does the C#. For my money, I would not personally want to do what the second guitarist is doing there...ymmv. I don't care for some of his note choices. The flatted fifth out of the blues pentatonic might be useful at some point there.
He's mostly in E major pentatonic, but he throws some Em penta in there too.
I had the VHS tape of this concert, and I always used the E major scale (instead of the minor that Clapton employs) to get pretty close to what Renwick was doing.
Maybe that major pentatonic is what I don't like about what goes on in the Renwick passage. I find that the 6th from the major pentatonic/major scale does not work anywhere in the structure. J.J. Cale does it in D...and I just played along with his original version.
IN D, I can use these notes....D,E,F,F#,G,A,C....I find no use for the B which would be the 6th in that D major scale/pentatonic major. I can use the major third...F#...but I have to be careful or I upset my ear. Imho, Clapton knows what is needed there.....Renwick is searching and I don't like what he finds at certain times.
AS always, though...people can do what they want.
I think Clapton is the master of mixing minor and major pentatonic. Very tasty stuff.
I actually prefer what Renwick is playing over what Clapton is playing. Clapton stays with the same 5 "safe" notes; Renwick breaks out of the box. I saw him three times performing with Pink Floyd several years ago, and he sounded good then too. Only played lead on one song, though.
Thanks for posting that clip.
I saw that Clapton tour back in Edinburgh in 1985 and was thrilled to see Tim Renwick almost as much as EC as I loved Tim's work in Quiver and also when they joined up with the Sutherland Brothers (they were one of my favourite bands in the 70's)
He's such a melodic player and always plays for the song - not to impress people with a huge number of notes just for the hell of it.
Here's a clip of one of my favourite SBQ songs and you'll see what I mean. He could have been all over this song but what he does is just right. In many ways he's a very similar player to Mike Campbell of the Heartbreakers.
Well, to my ears, when the melody is the minor third of the I, (G note) the instruments are on a D chord the first time around. A G in the melody occurs again for the walk down, but the chord under it is still E major. When the I chord is being played, it is E major, making E major pentatonic sound perfectly fine in this song. That's the delicious thing about blues. The minor third sounds great over the I major chord, AND the major third does, too. But, if you play Em as the I chord of "Cocaine" it sounds very odd. Therefore, the major 3rd does not conflict with the melody of the song at all.
Well, there really ain't no "melody" happening during either of the guitar solos we're talking about. Besides, you have to consider the chords. If the chord being played is E major, a G# sure as heck fits. Furthermore, the video we're talking about has a guy playing a solo involving a lot of maj. pent, and it clearly works. Soloing over the changes is, to me, a mark of a gifted musician. Most anyone can wank an Em pentatonic self-indulgence, like a 14 year-old in a Guitar Center. There are pros who have made careers of it, but they are not my favorite players.
Anyway you wanna do it....
That version is in A, but that soloing is mostly A MAJOR pentatonic and a little A Mixolydian. 1:13 and 5:14 are good examples of lingering on the major third. It certainly isn't Am pentatonic.
Sounds to me like his going back and forth between the major and minor pentatonic which is a very Claptonish thing to do.
Like I said...one can play it anyway one likes. J.J. Cale, who wrote the song, has played it in different manners at different times. His early versions are nothing like this later version.
I just played along with Mr. Cale...early version. I can 'wank' it using only the minor pentatonic....or I can play the changes over the chords...whichever I please. I can go outside of the scale very briefly IF I want to....wankers can do that. OR...one could play off key as the fiddler above does.....ain't nothing right or wrong.
AS for the melody.....I have mistakenly understood that sometimes the melody can lead one to improvisational lines....bunch of B.S. printed here and there, I suppose.
I apologize to the OP for not answering the question, answering in error, and taking a side path.....I didn't mean to hijack things.
14 year old wankers like me should just shut up.
EC will approach it differently now and again.
Here's one of the many great versions of that tune from Montreaux circa, with Phil Collins and Nathan East.
Check out his solo at 3:28 - he nails the b7 and nat. 6th (key of E) just like LarryF likes to mention.Definitely changes the color of the solo.
I think the important thing to remember is that these solos are nearly always spontaneously composed on the spot. Its going to be different pretty much every time. And I'd be pretty safe in guessing that the last thing on his mind would be ' what scales will I use now?'
True enough. But I think many improvisors tend to get hung up on certain "things" from time to time. It could be something as simple as, "it worked last night, let's try it again, but with more G natural." Or, your fingers can easily get stuck in muscle memory loops. This is something that I have to watch out for. It's also connected to the phenomenon of why we sometimes sound so good after taking a break away from the guitar. My little theory is that most recent muscle memory loops die out quickly if they aren't embedded through a period of practicing them over and over.
For me, I don't approach a solo from the standpoint of trying to create something unique and atypical (I aspire to having that option, though). I'm an integrated, complete human being with certain emotions that are ascendant in a given time period, and others which have been more dormant. Same with thoughts. The thoughts I have while driving the car are not always all that different the next day, or while doing some other type of activity.
It is easy to see this in ourselves, musically speaking, but difficult to hear in others since the recordings they made have been farther apart in time.
As far as "what scales will I use now" goes, I think most of us have long had as a goal, not having to consciously think about scales. For me, scales are patterns of notes that produce different feelings. When I use a major pent, it's because I am going for a feeling. When I happen upon a good opportunity to use b3 at just the right time to create a different feeling, that's what I do. I do not mentally freeze and carefully run through the different scales that I might consider using. And, of course, it goes without saying that I do talk to myself using sentences like, "what scales will I use now." I can only imagine that a relative newcomer to improvisation would try to consciously choose which scale to play. I think that those kinds of choices are learned early in the game, and that by the time you are a gigging musician, you are guided by feelings, not abstract scale names and concepts. To paraphrase what I said above, an experienced improviser will be concerned with the feelings that given scales produce. The execution of the notes associated with those feelings is post-verbal, post-thought, and now in the realm of feeling. Not cut and dried, and every situation is different, as is everyone's preparedness to bring that feeling to sound.