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Jazz fusion?

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Joined: 15 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:19 pm    Post subject: Jazz fusion? Reply with quote

Hey guys Ive been getting into a lot of Jazz fusion recently but im in a lost on where to start. can someone tell me some jazz fusion scales especially the fusion scales or licks that guthrie would commonly use?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are no fusion scales.

Fusion is a genre of music and a playing style.

For example, I mainly use the A natural minor scale over the "Sunny" backing track that Greg Howe plays to on youtube, and even though the A natural minor scale isn't a scale tailored specifically for fusion, it still sounds fusion due to the notes I pick and the way I play them (when playing over that I overuse Greg Howe's "slide vibrato" waaay too much Laughing )

If you're getting into fusion, I'd suggest doing as I did (I'm still fairly new to fusion, only in the last year or so I've gotten into it) and just listen to as much as possible, learn as much as possible, read as much as possible.

Where licks that Guthrie uses are concerned...well Guthrie doesn't play using "licks", so if you want to use Guthrie sounding licks, just listen to some of his solos and take some licks from them!
Then when you're comfortable with GUthrie's style, make your own licks within his style.
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Joined: 26 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would look into altered/superlocrian scales to get that 'wrong notes that sound right' vibe. This is best learnt from real lessons though. Let me know if you want me to explain more.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fusion, like Frankus said, has little to do with any particular scales per se, but more about how you approach things. Saying that, I think a big difference between your normal “shred” and “fusion” is the use of more colors. A typical shred solo stays in one key, and plays mostly in notes (unless they’re doing some kind of diminished lick thing), where fusion tends to try different modes and approaches harmony from a more jazz like approach.

For instance if you have an Aminor vamp or something in 7/8 or whatever, you could use quite a variety of scales/arpeggiated ideas to solo over it. There’s a lot of modes that are appropriate, and a lot of superimpostitions of chords you could use for a variety of colors. There’s also techniques like side stepping, or sequencing that could be applied, not to mention more far out things like “triadic chromatic” ideas.

So saying that, be sure to learn more about modes and what scale/chord relationships work and clash till resolved can be accomplished. Mostly experiment with different notes on the chord, experiment with different placement of notes (not always starting and ending on the beat). This will all help. And as Frankus said, listen to a lot of it, it will start to absorb.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm in the same situation as you. what i heard from different people and began to believe is that one should first learn jazz to have a good grasp of theory and harmony. if you come from rock like myself and want to dive directly into fusion, it won't be convincing. take your time, listen to a lot of stuff. these things take months and years to really absorb because you actually train your ear to hear new harmonies. it doesn't happen overnight. baby steps.

another thing is to feel and understand blues. blues is great to learn phrasing ( and i don't mean blues rock cliches. people like robben ford and scott henderson play interesting stuff with a modern approach while making use of lots of things from jazz. phrasing is the key element that makes the difference, because at the end of the day it's the same 12 notes.

hopefully, we both will achieve our goal. Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's knowing that jazz/fusion is different from rock, then there's actually learning how to play jazz or fusion. Any genre of music sounds better with more thought and taste put into the notes.

While a lot of the 'grace' notes sound purely chromatic and random in jazz, some of them do have theory behind them. The best way to learn jazz is to take lessons from a professional. You'll learn all about ii-V-I chord progressions, then it will expand on the ii-V-I, introducing the ii-V-I-VI, then introducing altered chords to substitute with chords 5 and 6; discovering that there can be a key change with each chord change, then introducing a flat-5 substitution on chord 5 to help the bass line walk down, then introducing other inversions and how to play in a band by creating space in your playing. Very complicated sounding, but to be honest once you learn it it's not complicated and fun to use. However I can't explain it here it would take ages. But what I will say is that improvising should be mostly listening, so you know what you're about to play will sound good.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

go to the source. listen. a lot. learn tradition, thus WHY stuff sounds the way it does. go backwards.

if you don't get it under your ears first, it won't happen in your playing.

imho: i.e. there's no way around charlie parker, even if you want to sound like brett garsed.

there's NO WAY WHAT SO EVER around parker, miles, coltrane, shorter, monk, etc, if you're interested in sounding like henderson, maclaughlin or ford.

listen, listen, listen and make the classic sounds home turf, and predictable. if you don't like what you hear, it won't happen.

it is not about magic scales, but about huge reservoirs of idioms and conventions, that together make up a tradition.

i have a feeling guthrie would approve of my suggestion. or take it from the man himself instead:

I think it’s potentially dangerous when a rock type player hears a bit of Allan Holdsworth or Frank Gambale and then dives straight into that style of playing; not only is the technical aspect daunting, there’s also all that musical knowledge and understanding going on behind the scenes, and it’s really hard to absorb both of those aspects at once without your playing just starting to sound worse. I’m guessing that when most modern rock players say they want to get their fusion down, they don’t particularly want to learn ‘Autumn Leaves’, they want instant Greg Howe! To stand a chance of sounding at all convincing, though, I think the best way is to start chronologically. Listen to Charlie Christian, Django, Kenny Burrell, Grant Green, Wes Montgomery… find out what people were doing before all the Brecker Brothers slash chords arrived on the scene! Listen to what those guys could do over a simple blues progression. Listen to other instruments – Cannonball Adderley on Miles Davis’ ‘Kind Of Blue’, for instance, did some of the most amazing things you could ever hope to hear – if you listen to enough of that stuff you’ll start to absorb what’s happening harmonically, and after a while ‘jazz’ ingredients like the superlocrian mode or a certain chord substitution won’t sound so strange to your ears. That’s when you can start really using it!

Getting a touch of Jazz into your playing should be a gradual process – it shouldn’t be about throwing away any of the rock stuff you already have, it’s better if you can just add to it and treat the new stuff the same way you treat the things you already know and use. Try to take in a new chord or scale – break it up into little phrases or simply take one phrase or fragment at a time and really try to understand how the new notes work over the chord they’re designed for. Knowing loads of scale fingerings for a particular ‘Jazz scale’ is no good at all if you can’t hear in your head how to use those notes in a musical situation.

I mean, everyone reading this can sing a blues lick and know that every note of it is ‘right’. That pentatonic thing is part of our culture – sorry if that sounds a bit pretentious, but really there’s a bit of pentatonic in everyone, everywhere in the world. (Investigate some obscure folk music from different continents if you don’t believe me!) The thing is, if you want to assimilate a half/whole diminished scale into what you do, you have to try so much harder, because that tonality isn’t so ubiquitous – you have to seek it out, or you’ll hardly ever hear it. You can’t achieve that just by memorising a specific lick or scale fingering – it’s more about understanding rather than the technique; it’s about being able to predict what effect each note will have over a certain chord before you actually play it. If your ears get it, they can tell your fingers what to do – but it doesn’t work the other way around.

stupid good advise imho.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


I've read that before, of course, but it's so accurate that it bears repeating often.
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