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Thread: Strictly Superimposed

  1. #1
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Strictly Superimposed

    The Return of The Pent

    I was very intrigued by Chris J's article and some of the posts he has made previously suggesting how the old fav minor pent shapes can be used in new ways over different types of chords.

    I asked him if I could do a "strictly" so we can have a go at putting this into practice and he was happy for me to see what I could come up with.

    I really wanted to see if we could come up with something very simple in terms of a chord progression and yet create some nice effects and different melodies by employing the minor pent shapes as Chris suggests.

    What I discovered was that by utilising the minor pent shapes and fourth or fifth interval jumps Chris gives as examples, we can create something different very easily. So much so that I was surprised and pleased with the results.

    I kind of gave his examples a bit of a tweak here an there to avoid the "computerised" sound problem of using sequences that Chris warns us of.

    Chris' article will provide the backing notation for this although I'm happy as usual to tab out anything you find useful in my example.

    www.ibreathemusic.com/article/175

    Have a look at his introduction and the next page on how minor pents might work over major chords.

    The minor pents based on the 3rd 6th and 7th of the major chord are the ones we're interested in here.

    My backing track is an acoustic finger picked backing track in G major.

    I start off by staying in G Ionian and then using the B minor pentatonic and the E minor pentatonic. I think you'll hear clearly when I go into them as the sequences are pretty obvious, but later on I found nice ways of connecting the two by sliding up and down and creating some nice yet very basic effects.

    The lead is also done on my acoustic, mainly because I was to lazy to go and get another guitar but actually I like the overall acoustic vibe

    Lets have a quick look at the theory applied to the scales I'm using.

    G major - G B D

    B minor pent - B D E F# A

    This provides the 3 5 6 7 2 tones of the scale of G major. No root but as Chris points out the major 7th is present and frankly, it sounds pretty good!

    E minor pent - E G A B D

    This gives the 6 1 2 3 5 scales tones of G major. Root present too. I think this one is a little more obvious considering the relationship between G Major and E minor but nevertheless the point here is to employ the minor pent shapes, which we all know like the back of our hands and use them in new ways.

    Chris suggests one more available based on the 7th of the scale which would be F# and I didnt use it, this is probably because I am using a basic chord and this scales seem to fit better with some nicely extended chords. Chris gives some examples of how that might operate but for the purposes of my demonstration I omitted it, but can you find a way to superimpose it? Maybe...

    OK, the task then if you choose to accept will be to use the available appropriate minor pentatonics to superimpose over the given chord progression in G Major. Have fun and many thanks Chris for the new way of looking at our old friend!

    As always...Enjoy!
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  2. #2
    Registered User ashc's Avatar
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    Nice one (again) Russ! V. mellow stuff....

    I was interested by Chris' article as well, because I was already aware of pentatonic substitution (my crappo stricto mixo take used exactly that idea). The very basic idea I had learnt was that you could use the 1,4,5 pents in minor or major. In a minorised major context that means 2,3,6 minor pents. Eg.

    Em : Em, Am, Bm pents
    G : G, C, D pents --> minorised --> Em, Am, Bm --> 6,2,3

    Am pent is ACDEG and not a bad option over G at all... So I was curious why Chris didnt mention that possibility. The 7 option is good too and undoubtedly more exotic... and I guess over the other too it only adds the C which is not great on its own but is nice bent up to the D??

    EDIT: DOH!! I checked the article again and the above is because I'm thinking in a Key and Chris is talking in respect of a Chord. The 2 option is still valid but maybe overcrowded with tensions?
    Last edited by ashc; 06-02-2005 at 10:22 AM. Reason: Doh!

  3. #3
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    That's it isn't it. The tensions.

    I found over my backing track, which isn't particularly full of extended chords, well none at all really apart from a fleeting D7, I couldnt quite make them work. Interesting to see if anyone else can though.

    I stuck with the B min pent and Emin pent and that probably kept me more "inside" which is my usual style of playing, but I really loved the effect. Like you say very mellow. Thats why I was thinking acoustic! Niiiiiice.

  4. #4
    Registered User JohnJumper's Avatar
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    This is a great backing track. I was jamming over it for quite a while last night. I got to get a recording down!! Nice work Russ!! As usual!!

  5. #5
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    Great, relaxing, upbeat music. It sounds so easy, but I know it is not. You create a very pleasing atmosphere in this one. And just as I was about to think "...or is this piece a little boring?", the ending of the song set in, and made a real impression. It sounded different, but I liked it, especially the very last part including the harmonics.

    EDIT: 2:29 and onwards, phenomenal.

  6. #6
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Many thanks Apple Joe, glad you liked it...or the ending bit at least

  7. #7
    Registered User Mateo150's Avatar
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    YEah, I love pentatonics. I took out the breaks cuz It broke up my groove too much when I was trying to jam. I don't like the 5th in Bmin pentatonic, aka the maj (triangle?) 7th. It just didn't seem to fit for me. E min pent is G maj pent, I already knew that, but thinking about is as e min pent and a minor 7th arp is a good idea. I didn't read CJ's article, I just browsed it for the fun tips. Guess I should go work through it.

    Anyway, I used a couple of the minor pent licks that I know, some work, some didn't. The places where you commonly bend is different, I think that may have been a prob with me and the B. Maybe some peeps could post some B min pent licks for this type of progression? Only thing I got with Bminor pent is a Bmin7 arp... the pentatonic form is a bit tricky but the arp is a bit easier to use. I don't like the sound of the F# note when descending, but it sounds better ascending... explanations anyone?

    My take is straightforward, I plugged directly into the sound card (thanks for the tip Tucker) and wow, that makes a huge difference is sound quality. Effects was a preset called "cathedral reverb".

    P.s. - one prob with plugging into the sound card was that if I didn't completely fret a note (just touched it), a weird kinda skipping sound was recorded. You can hear it in the beginning of my take, during the metronome count in. Any ideas on how to fix this?
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    They call them fingers, but I never see them fing.

  8. #8
    Jazz Apprentice Factor's Avatar
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    Wow! nice atmosphere there Must say you have a good grip on these pentatonics.

    I also like your tone, nice and mellow. Full and round.

    I especially liked the starting riff. I took the liberty of trying to tab it. Could you check to see if it is somewhat correct?
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  9. #9
    Registered User Mateo150's Avatar
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    got the contour, were off on the rhythm. I kept my right hand moving to 8th notes @170 bpm during 90% of the song. I usually lightly pick a note while doing this. I like playing this way, more of a groove. Hehe, its funny, took me a couple min to figure out what I did. Real common stuff, but if your in a groove, common stuff can sound good and not as cliche'd IMO.
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    They call them fingers, but I never see them fing.

  10. #10
    Jazz Apprentice Factor's Avatar
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    Ah I see!

    Thanks anyway though

  11. #11
    Registered User tucker97325's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mateo150
    My take is straightforward, I plugged directly into the sound card (thanks for the tip Tucker) and wow, that makes a huge difference is sound quality. Effects was a preset called "cathedral reverb".

    P.s. - one prob with plugging into the sound card was that if I didn't completely fret a note (just touched it), a weird kinda skipping sound was recorded. You can hear it in the beginning of my take, during the metronome count in. Any ideas on how to fix this?
    Dude!!! I am so totally impressed. That sounds SOOO!!!! much better than that $18 mic job you had going. I don't have any answers about the skipping sound. But let me ask you a question. Have you noticed that somehow a lot of bass leaks in now? That's a problem I'm having when I plug in directly. I can't seem to get rid of it (yet.)
    "It ain't what you play man! Its how you play it."
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  12. #12
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Tidy playing Mateo! very tidy.

    I like the way you worked through your thoughts and what might work and what didn't and gave it all a go, 99% of the time it all fits fine and then like you noticed a couple of times the odd note sounds a bit strange or wonrg even.

    I think it might have something to do with the previous note and the interval you create.

    But that's a really nice vibe you got going on there!

  13. #13
    Registered User JohnJumper's Avatar
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    I tried to mess with the tone a bit by using bends. I would fret the note one fret below the desired tone and slowly bend up to the pitch I wanted giving a simulated slide sound (I almost always make it to the correct tone ). One of these pitches I start on id the F# to try to incoparate the concepts Russ was talking about. I pretty much stick to the Em pentonic with a few diatonic notes in there...

    There is one section that is a series of double stops that are picked using hybred picking and sliding around.
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  14. #14
    Registered User Mateo150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKRuss
    Tidy playing Mateo! very tidy.

    I like the way you worked through your thoughts and what might work and what didn't and gave it all a go, 99% of the time it all fits fine and then like you noticed a couple of times the odd note sounds a bit strange or wonrg even.

    I think it might have something to do with the previous note and the interval you create.

    But that's a really nice vibe you got going on there!
    thanks, any parts in specific that struck you as good or bad. Anyone for that matter could comment, no need for listless general praise to be nice on this one.
    Now when I try to record, I do 5 takes, and just take the best one, this was my 2nd take. Most of it was just rhythmic ideas, the occasional *try an arp*. Lost my groove at 0:58, that was a mistake.
    They call them fingers, but I never see them fing.

  15. #15
    Registered User tucker97325's Avatar
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    God I feel stupid. I have read and reread Chis' article three times, and I still don't get it. I keep going back to the same old pentatonic licks. What am I missing? Anyone?
    "It ain't what you play man! Its how you play it."
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