It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything mode related. So I thought I’d make up for some lost time by posting this lesson.
Those of you who have been following the licks in this blog for a while have probably figured out that one of my favorite melodic approaches is to work in the area between scales and arpeggios.
For those of you who remember all the way back to part 11 of this series – this idea works on the same approach but with triads.
Step 1: Extracting the Not-peggio
This idea uses the same 3-note-per-string / two string idea that’s behind all the visualization process here. But to review: Let’s start with a B Locrian scale pattern on the E and A strings:
Leaving a C major major triad with an added 4th which is something that intervallically lies somewhere between an arpeggio and a scale. Technically it’s a close voiced arpeggio but the “not-peggio” tag has worked better for me when I explain to people so I’ll use it here as well.
Call it scrapple, grapple or anything else that will help you remember it – the naming convention is much less important than getting it under your fingers and in your ears so you can play it.
The good news is that applying this approach to a Major scale only produces four unique qualities of these melodic devices which I’ll talk about below.
One brief technical note: I recommend either one of following picking patterns for any of the 4-note shapes presented here:
If you’re used to alternate picking, that will work as well but I find that the semi-swept approach of the first example gives me a more uniform sound for legato playing. It’s counter-intuitive but check the A minor straight ascending mp3 below to see what I mean.
Major add 4
This shape doesn’t really work that well over major chords because the 4th (aka 11) is an avoid tone over a major chord.
However they do work well over minor chords. Try playing the C Ionian shape over an A Minor but for the most part, I find the major add # 4 shape to be one I use much more often.
Major add #4
I’ve talked about this before – but a kind of cool applied theory trick is that Lydian and Dorian are relative major/minor substitutions. By that I mean that while C major is the relative major key of A natural minor related chords scales C Lydian and A Dorian both come from the same parent major scale (in this case G Major). So licks generated from this source will do double duty over both major and minor chords. A two-fer if you will (or won’t – I understand either way).
Let’s apply this idea to G Dorian.
Here’s the 4-note shape taken from F# Phrygian:
And here it is an a 3 octave form:
Here’s a more sequences lick type of approach:
Here’s the audio – with a short descend of the patten ending on the G on the 8th fret of b string.
You can try this approach over E minor for an E Dorian type sound as well.
Minor add 4
Okay a couple of quick tips here. Since you don’t get the natural 6 of Dorian or the b2 of Phrygian in these shapes – they’re not really going to give you much of the flavor of those modes.
In this case, I’ll use the A Aeolian shape over A minor and F Major chords.
In this audio example I play the 3 octave form and then play the multi-octvave sequenced idea.
Used over F Major:
Now I’ll take the same sequenced idea and apply it over an F major lick. Here’s an audio example. I slid up to the G on the 15th fret of the high E string and then descended with some tremolo bar scoops along the way.
Normally, applying an A Aeolian idea over F major would give it a Lydian sound – but the lack of the B (#4) in the pattern makes it a little more open sounding to me.
Finally – here’s the Diminished form.
Diminished add 4
Looking at the notes here (B, D, F, E) – I see the upper notes of a G7 (add 13) chord: G [Root] – B [3rd] – D [5th] – F [b7] – E . So this pattern is one I use in Dominant 7th situations.
Here’s the basic pattern:
And here’s the application over a G7 chord. It uses the same pattern sequencing idea as the other examples ascending but bends into a couple of notes including the 3rd on the B string for the final note.
Next time? Some Melodic and Harmonic Minor shapes to get under your fingers.
As always, I hope this helps!
PS – if you like the ideas in this approach – the following books will help you expand on this idea exponentially!