Performing in the style of the Guitar Trio with the plectrum requires strict ALTERNATE PICKING for the solo lines that are picked at a very high velocity. You need to be able to “Jump” straight into the rhythmic flow. The patterns below detail the best key alternate picking patterns to gain mastery for this.
The key to all of this is to “Count Time/Groupings”and “Tap your foot” as you do so. If you count time you will play what you hear. It is the key to performing this guitar trio music.
Line 1-“16ths” Alternate Picking starting on a “Down” stroke
Line 2- Extended version of the previous line above, again starting on a “Down” stroke
Line 3-Groups of “4” with strict Alternate Picking but this time starting with an “Upstroke” creating a “Rolling” effect as the plectrum glides across the strings.
Groups of 6 VARIATIONS:
Line 4-This is a “Variation” of our very first pattern but this time played in “Sextuplets” starting on a “Down” stroke.
Line 5-This line can be heard as Triplets or Sextuplets. This time though we are starting on an “Upstroke”. Again, because we are starting our alternate picking on an up stroke there is a fluid rolling effect as we cross the strings.
Line 6-This is a key signature line of Pace de Lucia and Al di Meola. It is an ascending G major scale in double timed triplets [or Sextuplets]. We are starting our picking on an “Upstroke”and ascending passionately up the scale, The better the rhythm of the alternate picking the more clean and powerful this little lick becomes.
Line 7-Here is another variation of the 16th note line. This time we start “Upstroke and roll the line along with tight rhythmical alternate picking. The key as always is to count good time when picking and tap your foot for precision.
Line 8-“Spanish” descending 2 string line. Really it is an ascending “Down” stroke alternate picking pattern followed by an ascending “Up” stroke rolling alternate picking pattern. If you treat it like that then it is easy to play and learn.
For a closer look there is a complete transcription of “Friday Night in San Franscisco” Book available AMAZON
For instance if you start a scale on the 2nd note of the C major scale you will be playing “D dorian mode”.
THEN WHY DO PEOPLE FIND IT CONFUSING? HEY, MR JAZZ MAN!
That is because of “transposition”.
We can transpose that “Dorian mode of D” to any tonic we desire.
In the example below it is transposed to C as the tonic.
How did I do this?
Well if the note D [Tonic of D dorian] is two 1/2 steps up from C then what is the note C two 1/2 steps up from?
Answer is B flat.
So we have a B flat scale staring on the note C.
Below is a Clear explanation and diagram in music notation. Or for my free modes ebook CLICK HERE
For more information please download my free ebook “Modes of the major scale explained in detail” CLICK HERE
Why are the modes useful for the guitar player?
The modes [in this case of the major scale] open up the guitar fingerboard and it becomes easier and easier to connect arpeggios,
phrases, quartal, pentatonic and melodic lines together and create
smooth transitions across the guitar fingerboard.
The first example below consists of connecting the arpeggios contained within the modes. Here we have f major 7 to Dminor 7 to B Minor 7 flat 5 to F major to E minor 7 and finishing with B minor 7 flat 5 [or G9 depending on the bass note]. The Modal connections are smooth and open up the guitar fingerboard easily!
Below you will see how easy it is to connect together arpeggios and then create triad pairs from them.
Again, more arpeggio connections from the major modes
Below, a mix of arpeggios and triad pairs from the modes
QUARTAL HARMONY. JOHN COLTRANE 4THS DEVELOPED FROM THE DORIAN MODE. THIS IS HOW YOU GAET THAT JAZZY SOUND!
D Minor to E minor
Simple quartal dorian mode jazz/fusion vamp
Below is a simple pentatonic line from the major mode to play over a dominant G 7 chord
Finally an extended F major 9 extended line from the major mode
For more information please download my free ebook “Modes of the major scale explained in detail” CLICK HERE
A mode of a major scale is just basically an INVERSION of that scale. This means that it is the same scale starting on a different note. What would be the point of this you may ask? Well each mode has its own unique flavour and corresponding harmony.
Many Guitarists/Musicians look at the Modes through the key of C major. This tends to leave them very “Confused” when for example someone says play C Locrian. Here many musicians will just play a scale of C major starting on a note of B natural when in fact they should be playing the D flat major scale starting on the note of C natural. Why is this?
First lets have a look at the Modes in C major, C major [or C Ionian]
C Ionian [Major 1st degree of scale]
D Dorian starts on 2nd degree of the C major Scale
E Phrygian starts on the 3rd degree of the C Major scale
F Lydian starts on the 4th degree of the C Major scale
G Mixolydian starts on the 5th degree of the C Major scale
A Aeolian starts on the 6th degree of the C Major scale
B Locrian starts on the 7th degree of the C Major scale
SIDE NOTE: PENTATONIC SCALES WITHIN THE C MAJOR SCALE
Also within the most used scale in western music is the most used scale in Pop and Rock. The minor and major pentatonic. [Again, you could start the pentatonic scale on any other degree of the major scale].
C to D=1 tone
C to E=Major third
C to F=Perfect fourth
C to G=Perfect fifth
C to A=Major sixth
C to B=Major seventh
HOW TO REMEMBER THEIR NAMES IN ORDER
Ionian Dorian Phrygian Lydian Mixolydian Aeolian Locrian
“If Dora Plays Like Me Al Listens"
TRANSPOSING THE MODES OF THE MAJOR SCALE
If we count up one whole tone [2 half steps] from C then we have the note of D the 2nd degree of the C major scale. From this D note we begin the D dorian mode.
So if the note D is the second note of the C major scale then what is C the second note of? Answer = B flat. You can either count down two half steps from C or up two half steps from B flat. So C dorian will have the same notes as B flat major and starting on its 2nd degree note of C [see ex.1]
EX.1 C Dorian
C Dorian 2 octaves
If E Phrygian is the 3rd degree [or the Major 3rd up from C] then what is C the 3rd degree of [or the Major 3rd up from]. Answer A flat. You can either count down five half steps from C or up five half steps from A flat.
EX.2 C Phrygian
C PHRYGIAN 2 OCTAVES
If F Lydian is the Fourth degree of C [or the perfect fourth up from C] then what is C the fourth degree of [or the perfect fourth up from]. Answer is G.
EX.3 C Lydian
C LYDIAN 2 OCTAVES
If G Mixolydian is the fifth of C [or the perfect fifth up from C] then what is C the fifth of [or the perfect 5th up from]. Answer is F.
EX.4 C Mixolydian
C MIXOLYDIAN 2 OCTAVES
If A Aeolian is the sixth of C[or the major 6th up from C] then what is C the sixth of [or the major 6th up from] Answer is E flat.
EX.5 C Aeolian
C Aeolian 2 octaves
If B Locrian is the seventh of C [or the major seventh up from] then what is C the seventh of [or the major seventh up from]. Answer D flat.
C locrian 2 octaves
LOOKING AT HARMONY FOR TRANSPOSED MODES OF THE MAJOR SCALE
These next examples are played over a C Pedal Note in the bass to establish the Harmony and flavour of each mode. This is also useful for putting together little Vamps for practicing the Modes.
BEING CREATIVE WITH THE MODES
Back to Basics: To explore the “Harmony” of the modes we need to look at the arpeggios/ chords contained within them. We will look at the C major [Ionian] for simplicity’s sake.
Arpeggios contained within the C Ionian Mode [or C Major]
EXTENDING THE CHORDAL ARPEGGIOS: C IONIAN
With this in mind we can now extend the C Major [Ionian] arpeggios contained in the harmony. [Starting on the 4th degree F as it opens out the whole fingerboard for us.
This is how we start to create improvisation with the modes rather than just playing a scale over some chord or the other. In truth if you miss the harmony then you miss the value of the modes altogether both as a composer and as an improviser.
MODES AS QUARTAL HARMONY:
It is quite common to employ Quartal Harmony. This harmony in 4ths gives a very intense jazzy sound as used by John Coltrane and Mcoy Tyner. [This is only one way of harmonising this, but it is quite common amongst jazz musicians].
CONSTRUCTING SIMPLE REPETITIVE VAMPS FOR PRACTICE: From the chords of the harmony above here is a simple “‘Dorian Mode” vamp.
DORIAN MODE IMPROVISATION
Below are a couple of pentatonic ideas to get you started. If we look at these elementary examples we can already see that within this modal scale there is much creative room for pentatonic and motific development.
In this final Example [Using C dorian again] we can Exploit the Mode by Superimposing and flowing through its triads. [Starting on B flat to open up the Full finger board for us].
Note: *You can also make “Triad Pairs” From the above exercise*
C PHRYGIAN MODE
The Phrygian Mode has a “Spanish” Flavour to it. Play through the little example below and hear the semitone from the tonic to the supertonic that creates this distinctive Spanish sound.
Longer Phrygian Mode Line
C LYDIAN MODE
Here we will look at the Lydian mode of C. Below this is a Variation of the same exercise but in plain C major [C Ionian]. Notice the difference that the F# adds to the flavour and harmonic content of C Lydian as opposed to the F Natural of C Ionian [C major].
C LYDIAN MODE
C IONIAN MODE
MIXOLYDIAN FOR DOMINANT 7THS
This scale can be used like a modulating scale. This is the Mixolydian. This is because whenever you have a Dominant 7th chord you will need to change the scale. E,g From C major C D E F G A B – to C7 you would need the B flat [flat7 to resolve to the major 3rd of the new chord/harmony] so you would have – C D E F G A B flat or C Mixolydian. Below we can see this scalic approach in action.
C MIXOLYDIAN F MIXOLYDIAN
C AEOLEAN MODE
In this example Listen to the sound of the Harmony as you play through this simple Vamp. You will hear that the “Dominant” Chord is Minor and Not Major. I have left out the G note to create a C chord riff as you would hear in much AOR Rock/Pop Music.
Below is a simple Triplet Arpeggio idea of the above. Again listen to the sound of the Minor Dominant Chord in the last bar.
This last Aeolean example is a modern fusion-esque approach
C LOCRIAN MODE
The next example is an angular phrase as used by guitarists like Robert Fripp.
Blues through the modes of C major for improvisation practice
Record yourself playing the chords and then improvise over the top using the relevant modes for that chord.
For example,Cmaj7 use C ionian [Or even C Lydian].For Bb/C use C dorian or C Aeolean etc.
It’s amazing how quickly all of this makes sense when you practice this way. It’s also amazing how quickly you develop new and creative ideas from a modal persperspective.
The modal concepts of the major scale are really quite easy to understand when we look at their transpositions because then we can really hear their different flavours and harmonic applications. Although I wrote transposing the modes of the major scale lesson for the acoustic/electric guitar the music theory of each mode regardless if it be “Dorian”, “Phrygian”, “Lydian” etc can be applied to any musical instrument.
In this Lesson we will look at Al Di Meola’s 3/4 Plectrum “Chordal Picking” patterns as used in compositions like “Orient Blue”. This style picks the notes of a chord by employing fluid/specific picking patterns to bring out the arpeggios.
basic 3/4 pattern: “down down down up up up”
4 bar sequence of basic 3/4 chordal picking pattern
with the addition of a triplet pattern going “down down up”
chordal picking with melody notes in the treble [1st string]
Above is the “Classic’ Lennie Tristano superimposed #15 arpeggio for C Major7. The #15 sounds “Correct” because all of the 5ths in the arpeggio are PERFECT 5THS.
EXTENDING AN ARPEGGIO TO THE 23RD
If we keep stacking 3rds with superimposition and extension we create “Tertian” harmony. So, above a 15th we have a 17th, above that a 19th, above that a 21st and above that a 23rd. Hence a 23rd chord will use all 12 notes.
The 23rd chord example below has a major leaning
This example provides a 23rd chord with a minor leaning
Here we have a 23rd chord with an augmented leaning
Lastly we have a 23rd chord with a diminished leaning
Going back to our old friend George Russell and the Lydian Chromatic Concept we become aware of the shifting of tonal gravity and what is available with a 23rd chord that shifts out and how we can manipulate it to create new ideas and avoid cliches. Also going back to our 1st example of Lennie Tritano’s #15th arpeggio we hear how we can exploit the perfect 5ths to make something not right “Sound” right but fresh and new.
How to create music and improvisation with the 23rd chord
Below is a great example of my personal favourite 23rd chord creating a lovely Tertian Stack.
This example also reverts back to our 12 tone blog for improvisation and jazz heads/tunes. There are 3 sets of TETRACHORDS. Or 3 sets of 4 note groupings.
Next we can take the same 23rd chord pitches and make Hexatonic or 2 groups of 6 from the 23rd chord tertian superimposition.
Finally we can make 3 note cells to form a 12 tone line from the same tertian 23rd chord extension.
23rd chord Improvised line ideas:
Employing 23rd chord outlines in Major, minor, diminished augmented.
THE LCC BY GEORGE RUSSEL: “Lydian chromatic concept of tonal gravity”.
If we look at the diagram below we see the “Overtone Series” The perfect octave and the perfect 5th. If you can think in terms of perfect 5ths then the LCC will be much easier to understand.
First we start with C Ionian [C Major in Classical western tradition].
Next George raises the 4th forming C Lydian [Raised 4th or#11]
Below we see Stacked 3rds in C major [Ionian] and then in C LYDIAN [Hence the f sharp at the top below the a note]
C ionian C Lydian [13TH]
Below we see George Russel’s TONAL GRAVITY of Stacked 5ths. Notice the flattened 5th in the first bar but the “Perfect 5th” in the second bar. [The second bar creating C Lydian].
Below is the piano layout which one can easily hear tonal gravity across the long span of the piano keyboard. We have the #11 [F#] to create stacked “PERFECT” 5THS” [which again results in C Lydian]
Below is a layout starting on the lowest F note in order to hear it all in full along the guitar fingerboard. There is also a version in the second bar that moves around with C as the tonic due to lack of span on the guitar fingerboard.
If we take the C major 7th chord and look at the C major scale we can see the “Avoid” note. The E note clashes with the F note and the B natural and the F natural produce a Dominant sound. By adding the Perfect fifth F# there isn’t any “Avoid” notes as displayed in the second bar below.
"The interval of a fifth is the building block of tonal gravity, a seven-tone scale created by successive fifths
establishes the most vertically unified harmonic order whereby the gravity falls down each fifth back to the singular
Lydian tonic". "Andy Wasserman"
F C G D A E B = ALL PERFECT 5THS = F LYDIAN
“The Lydian Chromatic Scale” The ANSWER TO ANYONE CONFUSED!
By stacking PERFECT 5ths George Russel creates a chromatic scale
[F] C, G, D, A, E, B, F♯,C♯, G♯, D♯(E♭), A♯(B♭), E♯(F), [B♯(C) = a 12 tone scale.
But “why” does he skip the interval between the Seventh and Eighth notes in the diagram in his book with the outgoing tonal gravity?
2] The answer is because the outgoing tonal gravity level goes to C# next [not F# for perfect 5ths]. Hence the 1st “Lydian scale” then goes to the 2nd scale “Lydian Augmented” with the raised 5th.
ANSWER BELOW IN DIAGRAM FORM
BELOW: AS SHOWN IN GEROGE RUSSELLS LCC BOOK
In the example diagram above we see George Russels “Tonal order” going from numbers 1 to 12. Numbers 1 to 7 being the Lydian mode.
When we go beyond the 7 notes of the lydian scale and further up the cycle of 5ths things increase in terms of dissonance.
George Russell terms the scales as”Ingoing” “Semi ingoing” “Semi outgoing” and “Outgoing” . The more we move to the right of the diagram the more “Outgoing/Dissonant” the scale will sound.
In terms of scale substitution we see a C# and not a D flat as this would be a raised 5th [Augmented 5th] and it would make no sense reading it enharmonically as a D flat as we see in the diagram above and in Georges scales.
GEORGE RUSSEL “VERTICAL” SCALES:
Basic Lydian [#11]
This could also be seen as 3rd mode of Melodic Minor
This could also be seen as 4th mode of the Harmonic Major
This could also be seen as the 4th mode of the Melodic Minor
This could also be seen as the Whole Tone Scale
This could also be seen as Octatonic Whole Half Diminished
This could also be seen as Octatonic Half Whole Diminished
Finally, Horizontal Scales. Notice the B FLAT hence the Major.
Finding a parent scale,
From E Flat 7 going to A Flat major 7th we would employ the D Flat Lydian mode due to the G natural or #11 of the D FLAT LYDIAN to modulate to A flat major 7th.
PART 2 Final Analysis
The Lydian Chromatic Scale and best explanation from “Wikipedia”
Russell builds a prototype chromatic scale starting on the Lydian Tonic by stacking fifths, skipping the interval between the seventh and eighth tones. Using C as the Lydian Tonic yields the following 12-note scale with enharmonic respellings:
C, G, D, A, E, B, F♯,C♯, G♯, D♯(E♭), A♯(B♭), E♯(F), B♯(C). Thus the Lydian Chromatic Scale and all its derivatives contain only Pythagorean intervals.
LYDIAN PENTATONIC ASCENDING SCALE THROUGH THE CYCLE OF 5THS.
As an “Afterthought” for any guitarists here is my fingering always leading with the 1st finger on George Russell “Vertical” scales.