Tag: Vocabulary

Phrasing – Build your own vocabulary of melodic material

This is where things get quite interesting. In this video I will show you how to use material from other solos you might already know, or you want to learn. All this will build your vocabulary of musical ideas/ knowledge of styles if you do it the right way:

1. Learn a phrase (=musical idea from a solo, in the video I use the very famous pickup from ‘Another brick in the wall Pt2’ by Pink Floyd as played by David Gilmour on ‘The Wall’)

2. Analyze the phrase…how is it built? from what scale? What Key? In the example the phrase is based around the D minor pentatonic.

3. Learn it in every key so that it becomes available to you in every key.

4. Use it adapting it to the song you are playing on. In this case I had to transpose it to G minor pentatonic, using it to give a ‘bluesy’ sound to the track. I also used it in E minor pentatonic as E minor is the relative minor of G major, which means that this phrase can also be used as G major pentatonic. Furthermore I had to adapt its rhythm as the original is in 4/4 and the track is in 3/4.

Again, the backing track can be downloaded >HERE<

Open Strings Voicings

I am quite into open strings voicings as I think they are one of the few things you can only play on guitar and no other instrument, and I would compare the sound to that of a piano when the sustain pedal is used: the sound is fuller, sustained, rich in harmonics. in this video I will show you how to find more interesting sounds from the most basic chords, you’ll see it is very easy. I am sure you’ll benefit from this whether you are a songwriter, a jazz guy or into speed metal. In the PDF file you’ll find some of the chords I show you in the video.

Printable PDF: Open String Voicings

Modes of major scale pt2

Modes of the major scale Pt2.

In the first video I showed you all the modes from one scale (C major), where all the modes shared the same notes, each one starting from a different note. Here I’ll do something different: all my modes will start from the same note (C). Of course all these modes will belong to different major keys. This allows me to understand the structure of the modes, comparing them in a key (C) where it easier to calculate intervals. This is called the ‘parallel approach’.

C Ionian


C Dorian

C D Eb F G A Bb

C Phrygian

C Db Eb F G Ab Bb

C Lydian

C D E F# G A B

C Mixolydian

C D E F G A Bb

C Aeolian

C D Eb F G Ab Bb

C Locrian

C Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb

And, as usual, this is the nice printable PDF for you to hang on the wall: Modes of The Major scale: parallel approach


Expand your vocabulary Pt2

Expand your vocabulary Pt2

After I have learnt my phrase in every key I will now use it in context. Here I am using it on ‘autumn leaves’ every time there is a 2-5-1. of course I use it in the appropriate key, and I fill the rest of the tune with material stylistically similar. Here you’ll find the two files you’ll need to do this exercise:

Printable PDF: 2-5-1 Example Phrase Exercise

Printable PDF: Chords for Autumn Leaves