Need ideas for this backing track! (stuck)

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by waylay00, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. waylay00

    waylay00 Member

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    OK, I'm looking for new ideas to approach chords and soloing for this backing track:

    http://www.scottlernermusic.com/backings/Backing 6.mp3

    I've been using D Dorian and using the diatonic chords from that scale for the most part (except when it switches to key of F), but I'm running out of ideas to make it interesting. Does anyone have any tips?

    Thanks a million!
     
  2. guitbeef

    guitbeef Member

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    I solo over this one, too, from time to time! Sometimes I like to incorporate A (V) minor pentatonic and E (II) minor pentatonic ideas over it (the part in D, of course). I've been working on sort of "cascading" those respective arpeggios also, shifting back and forth fairly quickly, like a beat a piece. Actually, I try to work in the arpeggios of Dm7 and G9 in there also (Jack Zucker is an absolute master at that sort of thing).
     
  3. waylay00

    waylay00 Member

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    Wow, I was checking out some of your videos on Youtube, and you are a smoking player!

    Thanks for the help too.
     
  4. gennation

    gennation Member

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    This lesson is based in Lydian but if you can cop the concept it's portable to just about any diatonic mode, and the concept works for any other scale too. http://lessons.mikedodge.com/lessons/Lydian/LydianTOC.htm

    It'll show you how to take what you probably already know and crave it up into small applicable areas. It's a GREAT way to pull you into new areas for improv.

    Also, for D Dorian lean on the Am9 arps and the Fmaj7 arps. Those are dead ringers. And use halfstep approach notes, they work almost everywhere and are a very common tool in playing over Dorian tunes.
     
  5. JonR

    JonR Member

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    you mean F dorian ;)
    There are any number of ways to make it interesting without using any other scale. The above ideas are all good, of course (and chromatic side-steps, as mike suggests, are a good way of spicing up long vamps like this). But I would be looking for rhythmic and phrasing ideas. Space, repetition, changes in timing; quotes from other melodies perhaps; etc. Working off (and against) the rhythmic hints in the track. Dynamic variation and effects too, of course.
    In general, trying to compose and develop melodic ideas would keep me occupied for some time here.
    But there's a limit to how "interesting" you can make any modal vamp of this type. When you're bored with it - move on to another track! (Come back later, and new ideas make strike you.)
     
  6. gennation

    gennation Member

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    This is a very common Dorian progression, two m7 chord a m3 from each other.

    For this progression you can use all the stuff you've been told so far and it'll help you cover the chord you are on, but the real meat of this progression is when the Fm7 resolves to the Dm7.

    At this point, if you overlap the D and F Dorian scales you create a few parallel areas of that resemble W-H and H-W tone scales. With this you have an underlying area of tension and resolve that you DON'T normally see if you use the "this scale then that scale" idea.

    It's kind of hard to explain in text but at this point of Fm7 resolving back to Dm7 look at your scale this way (where the ...

    Code:
    Combining the two gives you this H-W view on the high E string:
    
           Fm7           Overlapping F and D Dorian         Dm7
    E----16--15--13-------15--13--12-----------------13--12--10
    
    And it also exist on the B string in parallel:
    Combining the two gives you this H-W view on the high E string:
    
           Fm7           Overlapping F and D Dorian         Dm7
    B----16--15--13-------15--13--12-----------------13--12--10
    
    You can also find this parallelism on the G and D strings:
    
           Fm7           Overlapping F and D Dorian         Dm7
    G----15--13--12-------13--12--10-----------------12--10--9
    
           Fm7           Overlapping F and D Dorian         Dm7
     D----15--13--12-------13--12--10-----------------12--10--9
    
    Another thing you can do with this progression is think of Dm7 and Fm7 as Fmaj9 and Fm7. The Fmaj9 is a great substitute for a Dm7 in a Dorian tune. Now you create NOTHING but a pivot point of ideas that go from Major to Minor and they overlap each other from the same root, F...Fmaj9-Fm7 instead of Dm7->Fm7.

    When viewing it as Fmaj9 to Fm7 you "toggle" between F Lydian and F Dorian. This is a KEY element in SO MANY classic modal tunes.

    Once you start seeing the relationship between Lydian and Dorian (Lydian is found from the m3 of a m7 chord) and more generally the relationship of Majors and Minors in a modal progression, you can start drawing more parallels into your playing, IOW...

    If using Dorian for each chord you have two Dorian scales a m3 away from each...D Dorian - up a m3 to - F Dorian.

    D Dorian and and F Dorian are a m3 from each other. Just mess with the Dm7 or Dm9 arps and Fm7 and Fm9 arps to get a feel for the movement.

    For improv sake, you can also use/view this as F Lydian for Dm7 and Ab Lydian for Fm7, which are two Lydian scales a m3 from each other. Just mess with the Fmaj7 and the Abmaj7 arps to get a feel for the movement.

    For more improv sake, you can also use/view this as Am9 for Dm7 and Cm9 for Fm7, which again are two Minor arps a m3rd from each other. Just mess with the Am9 and Cm9 arps to get a feel for the movement.

    Even though I'm showing you how to dissect this using different scale and arps names, this is really nothing more than a lesson in Modal harmonization...IOW it's ALL related to Dorian regardless of the other names I've been using.

    If you look at it all, it really relates to playing off the R, m3, and 5 of the chord you are on (Dm7 = Dm7, Fmaj7, and Am9 arps and Fm7 = Fm7, Abmaj7, and Cm9 arps). This is the "harmony within the Mode". And this idea is very important to modal playing.

    This "parallel" idea is at the heart of a lot of modal progressions in general. It can also be found in modulating ii-V-I's found in jazz standards.But once you start seeing and hearing the application in modal music it will help jump your playing to the next level for a long time.

    Beyond that and other cool thing is to approach your scales as layers of Tetrachords. These are scales and chords mixed into one that are found in modal playing all over the place. This also falls into stacking harmonies on on top of the chord more so than thinking one scales per chord. You can get a thorough Tertachord lesson here: http://mikedodge.freeforums.org/tet...t18.html?sid=a8195f5dc19af8f834413c33c23d7a0e

    Another thing chord wise found A LOT in modal music are Quartal Chords, you can get a crash course here: http://mikedodge.freeforums.org/quartal-chords-t5.html?sid=a8195f5dc19af8f834413c33c23d7a0e

    I can't even count the number of great modal tunes, or modal interludes, ending, and intro's songs that are nothing but Quartal chords.

    I think the biggest leap for me years ago in understanding modal playing was learning more about the chords than the scales. Why? because everything you do affects the Tonic and turns everything into harmony by playing one note against the Tonic. Getting a handle on how chords stack up in a modal progression is key to turning your playing into "this scale and that scale" and more into music.
     
  7. gennation

    gennation Member

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    Also, use anticipation just before making the move from Dm7 to Fm7. You can use those overlapping D and F Dorian lines I tabbed out. It'll make things feel unstable and push you towards the Fm7 change. Or, you can simple play F Dorian for the last two beats or so of the Dm7 before making the change to Fm7...

    But when you come back from Fm7 to Dm7 make sure you land heavily on Dm7, using a chord tone usually does the trick at first and branch out a little to scale tones after you've set the premise that you definitely know how to hit the changes.
     
  8. waylay00

    waylay00 Member

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    Wow, gennation! That really helps a lot! Those are some really cool ideas I'll have to check out. I appreciate your insight!
     

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