What’s happening, Premier Guitarist! Welcome aboard people. That’s right folks, same great mag but with a new name. I personally like the title much better, and I’m sure many of you will concur.
Wow, apparently many of you have been enjoying our discussion of “exotic” scales and modes in the last few issues, ‘cause you’re asking for more! I’ve received a ton of email from readers wanting more scales to “mess with.” So I’ll grant your wishes by throwing in a few more scales and patterns to check out.
Keeping with our Oriental theme, I’ve chosen two more Japanese Pentatonic based scales. They are Pentatonics because the scales are 5 notes to the octave, therefore making them Pentatonic-based scales. These next two scales we’ll look at are the Kokin Joshi and the Iwato scales. Both scales are “decedents” of two scales we have previously looked at: the Kumoi and the Hirajoshi scales. You can find the previous scales at premierguitar.com.
Now, by simply starting on a different fingering as our root scale we can conceive a completely different feel to these fingerings/ tones. Let me be more specific. If you look at last month’s Kumoi scale, you’ll notice that fingering #2 of that scale is the same as this month’s #1 fingering of the Kokin Joshi scale. By simply changing our root scale fingering we can derive a different tonality than we had heard.
Another example of this in “Western” music can be viewed as taking our minor Pentatonic (in E minor) with its formula of 1, b3, 4, 5, b7- 8va (E, G, A, B, D - E) – our root scale – then playing our same scale but starting on the G (b3) and shifting that to the E note and playing the scale from there. In other words, you would be playing in Db minor, but if you start on the E note you are playing E Major Pentatonic. Those notes now are E, F#, G#, B, C# - E. Understand?
Try this. Play the E Minor Pentatonic against an E drone note. Then play the E Major Pentatonic against the same note. The minor has a much “darker” sound to it than the “happier” sound of the E Major Pentatonic. If you have learned the fingerings for E Minor Pentatonic then you are also ready to play in E Major Pentatonic. The Kokin Joshi scale can be viewed the same way in its relation to the Kumoi scale; it’s within the scale, we’re only shifting what our root note is.
The same goes for the Iwato scale. If you take a look at fingering #1 of this scale, you’ll see it’s the same as fingering #2 of our Hirojoshi scale fingerings. We’re just shifting the scales to different areas to get another “color” or tonality.
You’ll notice that in fingering #2 of the Kokin Joshi I’ve included two different fingerings. This is because the fingerings I have written are that of “suggested” fingerings, and are not set in stone. Keep in mind, some of the fingerings may seem a little difficult to execute. This is because they are to expand your playing ability. Not everything you play should be easy for you; if it is, you are not improving as a player. The only way to improve is to push yourself and do things that are out of your norm.
Again, the same for the Hirojoshi and Iwato scale fingerings. Try playing the Kokin Joshi over a power chord of the same name. As for the Iwato play it against a single note of the same root.
Well, that about wraps it up for this premier edition of “Intense Guitar!” Thanks for tuning in and you can always get in touch with me with questions or topic suggestions at Toshi@TOSHIISEDA.com
. For those of you on MySpace, I can be contacted at www.myspace.com/toshiiseda
. Always remember, “Who dares wins!” See ya next month.
(c) 2007 Toshi Iseda!