Joined: 12 Sep 2004 Posts: 21 Location: Lincoln UK
Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:30 pm Post subject:
Good question, in fact how does anybody here think about them? I'm heavily into fusion and have my own devices. I would love to hear Guthrie's. _________________ It is the height of bad manners to light one's cigar from a burning hat.
I learned everything I know about Jazz/Fusion Improvisation from Scott Henderson's first REH instructional video called...well..."Jazz/Fusion Improvisation". The points he makes about outside playing, for me, is pretty much how I think about it. I tend to go melodic minor substitutions for outside playing.
Also....I also tend to use a lot of chromatic passing notes....which, by the way I learned a lot about from a GT CD with Guthrie....everyone needs to see/hear the solo from that lesson...It'll change ya!
I find a long sleeved tee-shirt under a normal t-shirt usually suffices for playing outside
Ya.. see what I did there?
I stick to the Remler thing about super-locrian and lydian dominant, except Remler dresses it up as modes of the jazz minor, in a really simple way. I often use whole tone stuff as it's like playing a pattern on the fretboard..
I've been curious about a theory that I've been playing with whereby all the modes of the major scale can be placed under the corresponding key in a cycle of fifths.. this means fifth-wise after the ionian and lydian there's only keys without the root note for 5 steps till you come back to the locrian and back through through decreasingly wierd modes. So perhaps those keys can be used or perhaps they suck, I've not put it into practice.
I think Zak and Guthrie's solos go off at a similar tangent, is this planned? is it correct I should ask first.. , and is it to do with some be-bop theory of playing in a different key? _________________ Fabulous powers were revealed to me the day I held my magic Suhr(d) aloft and said "by the power of great scale!"
Coming from a shred/metal background, I have been into jazz and fusion for about 4-5 years ands found the whole changes/outside/altered thing quite a culture shock and found myself feeling like a beginner again!
I'm slowly getting ii-V-Is under my belt and find these sort on mnemonics interesting, the Scott Henderson video where he uses the A-Bb-B minor pentatonic substitutions over a C major ii-V-I was the first time I could really hear where I wanted to go in relation to the altered notes on the V chord. I've spent a lot of time on basic arpeggio exercises (this then-arrogant shredder didn't know them half as well as he thought! ), but I'm starting to use the arps with scale tones and chromatic notes - it's slowly starting to slip into place.
I'm finding going back to the blues a great way of re-introducing changes and outside notes into my playing in a musically satisfying way, I tend to use the humble minor pentatonic as a template, but can use arpeggio notes and melodic minor lines over specific chords.
I am now fairly confident over blues changes, slow fusion changes and a particularly slow jazz ballad, but Bop/Coltrane changes still scare me to grim death!!!
Ooops, I realise I've gone off at a tangent and not really answered the question again! Outside notes, I tend to do the "pentatonic up-or-down-a-fret-for-an-off-beat", not too hard over a minor chord, being as the minor pentatonic a semitone above the root of a Dorian is all the wrong notes! Some of the melodic minor stuff is nice, too - I'm really getting inot the maj7th on a minor chord and the #4 over a dominant. I'm less sure what to do on a maj7 chord, though...
Joined: 12 Sep 2004 Posts: 21 Location: Lincoln UK
Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:11 pm Post subject:
Flat pent minor works well over maj 7 giving you 9, maj7, 6, sharp 4 and major 3 for that lydian twang. I only found out recently that there actually is a be bop scale, however when you extend it, it's just better to remember the notes that aren't in it.......I use enclosure a lot, approaching a target note from above and below before nailing it, also I fall back on tritone subs a lot for ii V I, well why not, they work so damn well. Then there's the simple chord tone approach which works brilliantly over fast, modulating stuff with lots of extensions. You just have to be quick on your feet for that one. A good tip is to try and fall on a chord tone on the beat, it doesn't matter that much about the chromaticism off the beat.
I would go along with Jase in that a simple blues is a great workout for all this stuff, Ford makes it work a treat. _________________ It is the height of bad manners to light one's cigar from a burning hat.
Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:20 am Post subject: Outside playing - extremely random thoughts thereon
There are loads of fine books out there which cover the various devices you might use to develop those "playing outside" skills - tritone subs, sidestepping, symmetrical thirds-based stuff a la Coltrane, blah blah... and I really don't have anything new to contribute in that department. I prefer the "play whatever you like, explain it later" approach - not because that's necessarily the right approach, more because it suits the way I learned to play.
A fellow self-taught player once shared the insight; "When you're soloing by ear, a right note is never more than a fret away, wherever you are on the fretboard".
Reminds me of the phrase, "fishing for the right note", which is what "ear" players have to do when jamming over unfamiliar chords. You're constantly trying stuff out, and monitoring how it sounds over the chord of the moment. The difference between a good "ear" player and a lousy one is just a matter of latency (in the nerdsome, computer recording sense of the term) - how much of a delay is there between when you start playing wrong stuff and when you realise that it's wrong?
I've always been interested in the mental processes that happen when someone has to solo completely "blind", over chords they've never met before, with no chart to guide them. (Most of the practice I've ever done falls into that category - jamming with the radio, or with people I've never met before, etc...) Everyone will make mistakes, but the convincing-sounding players tend to have quicker reflexes and know how to bend or slide their way to safety before anyone notices that they've played anything offensive!
ANYWAY... I think the converse applies - whatever predetermined shape you're using as your soloing "template", you're never more than a fret away from one of those wonderfully hideous Scofield notes. Simplistic, I know, but the outside notes we crave are more accessible than we think - they're just lurking in the cracks between the "right" notes in the scale shapes we memorise. To make it sound convincing, I think you just need the ability to respond to the effect of each note you play, as you play it - can you afford to continue playing bizarre notes, or have you pushed your luck as far as it will go?
I reckon one way to approach that kind of playing is simply to explore how far you can wander off the beaten track before you get lost; maybe you'd start by trying to sneak in just one wrong note at a time, then gradually become bolder, grouping those wrong notes in larger chunks - and constantly monitoring the sound just the way you would if you were listening to anyone else's playing. Seems to me that pretty much anything is acceptible as long as you don't lose sight of how to resolve at the end... (Buckethead and Eric Dolphy spring to mind as very different players who have illustrated that it works!)
Sorry if all that sounds like someone trying to avoid the subject or withhold "trade secrets" - it's just a reflection of the random way I play. In defence of this approach, think about how you learn languages. I'm guessing nearly everyone on this board learned English as a first language, and developed an understanding of how every sentence needs a verb long before learning what the word "verb" actually means.
I remember learning French at school, and the approach was very didactic - we were told all about how verbs behaved long before we were taught to say "two beers, please". When I go to France nowadays, I can muddle my way through the daily papers, but in terms of a real-time conversation with one of the locals - the average French 2-year old can do it a lot better!
As most people from the Guitarist/Guitar Techniques forums will testify, I probably do too much thinking about theory. I attribute this to three things:
1) I've been a computer scientist since 1988 and as such I like to reverse engineering anything and everything.
2) I used to have a four hour commute each day... and my wife forbade me getting a Steinberger Spirit to practice on the trains
3) Ted Greene's book Chord Chemistry ( and subsequently his music ) showed me there was merit in using applied thinkology to the area of music as long as what you created was a framework for research, rather than a solution to a problem .. music isn't a problem domain it's a playground so building new climbing frames is okay
Besides chicks love it when you can do all sorts of wierd shit with a cycle of fifths .. not
Most of the stuff I figured out sits on the cycle of fifths and probably is of neither interest or merit but I reckon it'd make great installation art all the same
First off, you know when you figure out all the modes for the same major scale you end up with scales describing different major keys (no surprise there) and that they all sit next to each other in a cycle of fourths starting Lydian and ending locrian and that between the lydian and locrian are 5 scales where the root note isn't there.
I kinda thought of that as a near complete circle where the two ends are seperated, in time I'd think of the locrian as being lower than the original scale and the lydian end being higher than the original scale.
At this stage I also mapped the chords for the modes and you find that there's a tendency to drop a note each mode and therefore one chord would have a flat root. This pattern ran so: Minor, Minor, Diminished, flat Major, Flat Major, Flat Dominant, Flat Minor and so on.. so it was fair to assume when you extended the trend that the next step would be another major a semitone down and when you figure out the chords for this you end up falling out of the current diatonic pattern based upon C major perhaps and into another slightly offset where C locrian is closely related to the lydian mode (well it would be the lydian mode of something) but it might be a fourth or fifth out from where it should be.
To find exactly where it should be I used the Melodic minor and Harmonic minor to provide more granularity to the cycle of fifths/fourths especially around the the end points to see if they gave a more distinct indicator as to where the spiral should go to next. What I reckoned at this point was that I'd end up with a spring shape with both ends connected kinda like getting the spring from a pop up pen and getting both the ends locked together. Anyway bored now
If you think this is pretty sad and pointless, it's worth noting if you get a torroidal helix and place it inside a 4 sided pyramid you can project the alphabets of 7 arabic tribes. Most of the modern character based languages inherit from those 7. Maybe it's a reflection of a physical aspect of the brain or laser beams from aliens, it's interesting all the same _________________ Fabulous powers were revealed to me the day I held my magic Suhr(d) aloft and said "by the power of great scale!"
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