What’s going on Premier Guitarist? Contest time! Yes, it’s time to guess the mix-up in last month’s column. Our prize for guessing is a 25’ Spectraflex cable, in the color that you want! How cool is that? Big thanks go out to David Russell and everyone at Spectraflex for the support of the column and for making the best cables in the world. Send your answers to me, as well as anything else at Toshi@TOSHIISEDA. com or firstname.lastname@example.org. For those of you on MySpace it’s myspace.com/toshiiseda. The first person to contact me will win the cable.
Now, let’s get down to business and move on to this month’s topic. We’ve talked about intervallic playing before, but I’d like to check out another approach to playing intervallically without going over everyone’s head. A cool way to start your quest into this kind of playing is to say simply think of a scale and take out a few notes to create the intervals.
For example, let’s take an Ionian mode (major scale) and simply omit the 2nd, 5th and 7th. If we were in the key of G major those notes would be A, D and F#. This leaves us with the notes G, B, C and E. Now we can spread this out over the fretboard doing it in three octaves. Check out the first example for this.
I first heard of this kind of playing from an old guitar teacher of mine named Greg Shearer in Chicago. He turned me onto another brilliant guitarist named Joe Diorio who was really ahead of his time when it came down to this kind of playing. Joe was an instructor at GIT – Guitar Institute of Technology (before it was later called M.I. - Musicians Institute) who specialized in jazz guitar.
Another guy who used a lot of this style of playing in the rock field was Steve McKnight who was in a band in the early ‘80s named Cry Wolf. Steve was shamefully overlooked because of the then oncoming Grunge scene. I recall seeing him play live and thinking, “this guy’s like Joe Diorio on steroids … with a George Lynch-like vibrato to top it off!” Very cool.
Now if we do this for all the modes we can have something very neat. Being so symmetrical in its patterns – which in this case is two notes on a string – your picking hand never changes, just the fretting hand. Keep in mind when playing intervallically, the picking is often the most difficult thing to get a hold of. This being very “patternistic,” shouldn’t be a problem.
Let’s keep this in our favorite rock key of E natural minor and its related key of G major – E aeolian and G major respectively. We’ll go thru the modes with 7 different patterns for you to experiment with. As for practicing them, I love ascending one pattern then jumping up to the next pattern and descending down – much like the way I suggested practicing your three-octave modes. I’ll do this in sixteenth note sequences. If you get this up to a considerable speed it can sound pretty terrifying.
Okay that about does it up for this month. Good luck with this month’s lesson and the contest. Until next month, “who dares wins!”
(c) 2007 Toshi Iseda!