Welcome to another installment of Intense Guitar! For the last three installments we have been looking at intervallic sequences and playing them in three octave patterns. Before I continue, I’d like everyone to know if they have any particular questions about anything or would like to see a specific topic covered in future columns please feel free to contact me at Toshi@TOSHIISEDA. com, firstname.lastname@example.org or for those of you on MySpace, www.myspace.com/ toshiiseda. As always, I love hearing all the feedback from you, and thanks for the support and very kind words. Having said that, on with the show!
In our fourth and final installment on intervallic sequences, we’ll take a gander at another set of interval patterns. I hope by now you understand how to create your own melodic patterns. If you’d like to check out a few players to get some great examples of this kind of playing, I highly recommend listening to Carl Verheyen, Al DiMeola, Allan Holdsworth, Joe Diorio, Eric Johnson and George Lynch, to name but a few.
Our new sequence pattern for this month will be 1, 3, 5, 6. We’ll be going through the modes cultivating the same pattern. With this understanding, we’ll take that pattern and apply it to the Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Locrian modes.
Some of these fingerings can get kind of finger twisting, so be sure and take it slow when you’re first learning them. As we discussed last month, you should try combining the past sequences/patterns (as well as these new ones) into one line, therefore making it uniquely your own and more melodic than simply running them up and down in an exercise-like fashion.
Keep in mind, these are essentially arpeggios. For example, if you look at our sequence when applied to the Ionian mode, it’s a major 6th arpeggio. When applied to the Aeolian mode, it becomes a minor 6th arpeggio. This means when soloing over chord changes you could play it straight and play the same arpeggio over the said chord (fairly boring) or substitute a different chord/arpeggio over that said chord.
I’ve chosen fingerings for all these patterns that are, to me, logical to play. Feel free to experiment with fingerings that you may be more comfortable with. An example of this might be the second pattern, where the fingering of 1, 3, 2, 4 seems logical to myself but a few of my students prefer 1, 4, 3, 4.
Again, the whole reason for using these ideas is to make your soloing a bit more interesting rather than playing in a straight scalar pattern that can sound very predictable. Check the eighth and ninth examples for an idea of how to mix these sequences up. It’s a two-part “lick,” one way ascending and another descending, but all combing the patterns we’ve gone over in the last four installments. As I said before, research alternate fingerings that you may feel more comfortable with
That wraps it up for this month and this topic. Hope you get some new and cool ideas on where to go from here with this concept. As always, experiment! Eventually with enough hard work and diligence, you’ll find your own sound and style. With that said, “Who dares wins!” See you next month.
Toshi Iseda is an Alumnus of the prestigeous Berklee College of Music and the American Conservatory of Music. He has been featured in Guitar Player, Guitar World and Guitar/Guitar One Magazines, and is a former instructor at the National Guitar Workshop and former instructor at the American Institute of Guitar.