Canadian Musician Magazine

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

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I'm now blogging music lessons on a regular basis for Canadian Musician Magazine at http://halrodriguez.canadianmusician.com. Some of the topics I've already written and posted include harmonizing intervals and new ways of practicing scales and modes. You can also leave comments on each post by clicking on the titles. Do you want a song or solo transcribed / tabbed out for you? Contact me at halromusic@gmail.com for info - rates are competitive and delivery is quick!


Diminished Duplicates Part 2

Monday, October 3, 2011

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Here's part two of my guitar column on improvising with diminished arpeggios, published in Canadian Musician Magazine's Aug 2011 issue. Do you want a song or solo transcribed / tabbed out for you? Contact me at halromusic@gmail.com for info - rates are competitive and delivery is quick!


Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You - Kenny Burrell Chord Melody Guitar Tab

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

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Here's a sample of my transcription of "Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You" by Kenny Burrell. To order a transcription of a song, solo, or lick, email me at halromusic@gmail.com for a quote and delivery time.

Scofield Lick #3

Monday, August 29, 2011

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Here's another head turning lick I transcribed from John Scofield's track Überjam from his similarly titled album. Starting at around 2:29, Scofield plays a Bb minor lick over a funky Bb7 groove. But rather than simply using the Bb pentatonic or natural minor scale, he includes the major 7 and major 6 to give his phrasing a modern jazz twist.
Notice his inclusion of both the major 7 (A) and b7 (Ab) in bar 1, which implies either a Melodic Minor or Dorian tonality over the V7 chord. In bar 3, he pulls off of a b6 (Gb) and slides into the major 6 (G). In both situations, these notes are played in a non-chromatic manner and are more than just passing tones. It's likely that Sco is thinking less about sticking to a particular scale, and more about intervals and the effects they have on colouring his phrases. Another notable move from this lick is Sco's deft string skipping in the last two bars. Do you want a song or solo transcribed / tabbed out for you? Contact me at halromusic@gmail.com for info - rates are competitive and delivery is quick!

Oz Noy's "Ice Pick" Guitar Solo Tab

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

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Here's a sample of my transcription of Oz Noy's guitar solo in "Ice Pick". To order a transcription of a song, solo, or lick, email me at halromusic@gmail.com for a quote and delivery time.

Oz Noy's "Ice Pick" Guitar Tab

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

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Here's a sample of my transcription of "Ice Pick" by Oz Noy. To order a transcription of a song, solo, or lick, email me at halromusic@gmail.com for a quote and delivery time.

Scofield Lick #2

Friday, July 1, 2011

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This second hip lick is from the track "Groan Man" off of "Bump" (2000). Starting at 3:27, Sco demonstrates a myriad of soloing ideas over a funky F7 groove using mostly the F altered scale (1, b2, #2, 3, b5, #5, 7) instead of the more common F pentatonic scale.
He begins by ascending with the b3, b5, #5, and 7, and then goes into a chromatic passage that mixes in notes from F natural minor. In bar 3, he briefly touches on an F major and diminished triad that ends up targeting the b9. Probably the most interesting idea Sco reveals here is how he plays off of a Gbm6 arpeggio in bar 4, a chord which can be harmonized from the second interval of the F altered scale. Finally, Sco pulls off a series of trills in the last bar based on the F mixolydian b6 scale. Experiment with some of these ideas over dominant 7 chords to expand your approaches to soloing, and take care to resolve any tension with chord tones or pentatonic licks. Do you want a song or solo transcribed / tabbed out for you? Contact me at halromusic@gmail.com for info - rates are competitive and delivery is quick!

Oz Noy's "Hey You" Guitar Solo Tab

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

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Here's a sample of my transcription of Oz's solo in "Hey You". To order a transcription of a song, solo, or lick, email me at halromusic@gmail.com for a quote and delivery time.

Diminished Duplicates Part 1

Monday, June 6, 2011

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I've written a guitar column on using Diminished arpeggios in the current June issue of Canadian Musician Magazine, on stands now. The online version is available at www.canadianmusician.com/online. Do you want a song or solo transcribed / tabbed out for you? Contact me at halromusic@gmail.com for info - rates are competitive and delivery is quick!


Scofield Lick #1

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

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Here's the first installment of a series devoted to one of my favourite jazz guitarists. I transcribed this John Scofield lick from the tune Cachaça off of his 2006 album with MMW, Out Louder. It happens at approximately 1:29 and demonstrates Sco's unpredictable approach to phrasing.
Over a Dm7, Scofield plays a provocative descending run that outlines a Gm9b5 arpeggio. This introduces the raised 7th (C#) over Dm7, effectively evoking a D harmonic minor tonality. The pull off at the end of the 1st bar is typical of Sco’s ability to jump to wider intervals while playing 16th notes. The second bar sees Sco sliding to another “out” note, a major 3rd (F#), that eventually resolves into some short bluesy moves. Experiment with some of these ideas in your own solos over Dm7, especially weaving in and out of Gm9b5 and staple D minor pentatonic licks to create interest. Do you want a song or solo transcribed / tabbed out for you? Contact me at halromusic@gmail.com for info - rates are competitive and delivery is quick!

Playing the Changes (Part 2)

Friday, April 1, 2011

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Here's another simple approach to improvising over jazz changes without using scales. In Part 1, I demonstrated how targeting the root, third, and fifth of each chord in a progression can make playing over changes easier. However, you can make your lines sound more sophisticated by superimposing minor triads in your solos. The figure below demonstrates how I would improvise over the same chord progression from Part 1 by primarily using minor triads, and is followed by a quick analysis of what I was thinking over each bar.
Bar 1: Over a minor 7 chord, play a minor triad a whole step above the root. (Eg. Fmin over Ebm7).

Bar 2:. Over an altered dominant 7 chord, play a minor triad one and a half steps above the root. (Eg. Ebmin over C7#9).

Bar 3: Over a maj7, play a minor triad a whole step above the root. (Eg. C#min over Bmaj7).

Bar 4: Over a ii-V, play a minor triad a whole step above the root of the V chord. (Eg. Cmin over Fm7-Bb7).

Notice that with this approach, you can play over all the changes by using the same minor triad shape built across 3 strings. Thinking of just minor triads instead of scales makes improvising a lot easier, especially at faster tempos or when you encounter quick ii-V changes as in bar 4. Furthermore, these simple triads introduce some interesting note choices to your lines. As a theory exercise, think about why these superimpositions work. What intervals or extensions do they create over each chord? Have fun practicing this approach and tune in to Part 3 for more simplified strategies for playing over changes! Do you want a song or solo transcribed / tabbed out for you? Contact me at halromusic@gmail.com for info - rates are competitive and delivery is quick!

Making Friends with Melodic Minor (Part 1)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

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The Jazz Melodic Minor scale is often used in jazz and fusion, but it takes little effort to apply it in rock and metal to add new twists to old chords. The Jazz Melodic Minor scale is simply a major scale with a minor 3rd (1 2 b3 4 5 6 7). For this lesson, we’ll use the Jazz Melodic Minor in the key of A (Measure 1) as an example. The combination of the b3 (C), major 6th (F#), and major 7th (G#) makes this scale different from the more common Natural Minor scale and can lead to creating new chords and progressions.


Let’s consider a typical chord progression in A natural minor: i, iv, and v, or Amin, Dmin, and Emin. To bring out the unique sound of the Jazz Melodic Minor, simply use the scale’s b3, major 6th, and 7th on top of the root notes of these chords. Measures 2 to 4 compare the sounds of the Natural Minor chords to the newer Jazz Melodic Minor derivatives using simple voicings in the first position. Notice that all the Jazz Melodic Minor versions sound much more sinister, including the iv and v chords which have now become major. These chords work especially well when creating darker moods and are a unique alternative to the more common Natural Minor, Phrygian, and Harmonic Minor tonalities used in rock and metal. Experiment by finding other voicings further up the neck and you'll expand your palette of minor chords to use when composing. Tune in to Part 2 in a future blog, where I discuss how to improvise over these chords to create solos, melodies, and riffs. Do you want a song or solo transcribed / tabbed out for you? Contact me at halromusic@gmail.com for info - rates are competitive and delivery is quick!

Sounding Unique in the Blues (Part 3)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

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Here’s another daring approach to blues soloing that will help you break out of old clichés and introduce new sounds to your playing. In Part 2 of this series, I discussed how to make your blues solos sound more modern and angular by targeting the #4 interval. In this article, I will demonstrate how to create a more ominous sound by adding only one new note, the b2. In a 12 bar blues in E, the first chord, E7, contains the notes E, G#, B, and D. Notice that the intervals between G#, B, and D are all minor. If you add another minor interval after D, you'll create an arpeggio that can be easily visualized as an F diminished 7 built just a half step above the root of E7 (measure 1).


This arpeggio can be superimposed over E7 because it has the same chord tones and only introduces one new note: the F, or b2. In the context of the dim 7 arpeggio, the b2 interval creates a uniquely dark and dramatic effect over its dominant chord. In measure 2 above, I start improvising over E7 with the friendly sounding E mixolydian scale, but then switch to the surprising F dim 7 arpeggio in measure 3. Notice that the dim 7 arpeggio shape can be repeated exactly a minor third up, or down, the neck. In measure 4, I end my phrase safely with the familiar sounding blues scale. For the rest of the 12 bar blues progression, experiment with using a Bb dim 7 arpeggio over A7 and a C dim 7 arpeggio over B7. By alternating between the blues scale, mixolydian scale, and these "outside" sounding arpeggios, you'll create interesting contrasts in your solos that will be sure to turn heads. Tune in to next month's blog where I introduce another fresh approach to soloing involving a scale not usually associated with the blues. Do you want a song or solo transcribed / tabbed out for you? Contact me at halromusic@gmail.com for info - rates are competitive and delivery is quick!

Revenge of the Pentatonic Scale (Part 2)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

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Just when you thought this scale had nothing more to offer, here's Part 2 of using the pentatonic scale in a brave new way. In Part 1, I demonstrated how to avoid using the typical A minor pentatonic scale to solo over an A minor chord by using a D minor pentatonic scale instead. Continuing on with the logic of treating A minor as the vi chord in the key of C major, it follows that the iii chord in this key is E minor, which contains the notes E, G, and B. By simply adding it’s 4th and 7th, you will create an E minor pentatonic scale (measure 1).
This scale works over A minor because it only introduces one new note – the B, which is a harmless 9th and welcome addition that won’t bother the listener. This means you can now use THREE different minor pentatonic scales to improvise over an A minor chord: the Amin, Dmin, and Emin pentatonic. In measures 2 to 4 above, notice how the same lick creates very different sounds when simply transposed into the three scales over the static A minor chord. With this method of pentatonic substitutions, you can get more mileage out of your old licks! A shorthand way of remembering this is to use minor pentatonic scales built from a minor chord's root, fourth, and fifth. So if you had to solo over an F#min, you could use F#, B and C# minor pentatonic scales. Tune in to Part 3 for even more possibilities! Do you want a song or solo transcribed / tabbed out for you? Contact me at halromusic@gmail.com for info - rates are competitive and delivery is quick!