Some scales and approaches for this tune?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by flavaham, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. flavaham

    flavaham Member

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    I was noodling around the other day and learned the basis of "Tongue N' Groove" by Steve Kimock (a regular contributor here for those who don't know). I found the basic chord progression for improv to be

    - C : Dm7 : Bbmaj7 : F -

    Obviously, this is all diatonic to F. Just wondering if you all might have some ideas for soloing. Would you stick to F? Would you simply use arpeggios over each chord? Would you think of specific scales that work well over each chord type?

    Just looking for ideas. So far I've been sticking to F and chord tones/arpeggios. Pretty safe but kind of boring after a while for a song that usually stretches over ten minutes.
     
  2. flavaham

    flavaham Member

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    C'mon. Someone get creative here...
     
  3. russ6100

    russ6100 Member

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    I know it would be really tough for me to come up with any kind of approach with so little to go on. You can't divorce a chord progression from sytle, feel, tempo etc. Maybe if you posted a link to an example of how that chord progression actually gets played.....
     
  4. flavaham

    flavaham Member

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  5. russ6100

    russ6100 Member

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    OK.....

    A key-based approach is where I'd stay 90% of the time here. (F major).

    Try chromatic passing tones between the 5th & 6th degrees, and maybe enclosures around the 3rd ( ex. Bb - Ab - A natural)

    Though the Bb to the F is a plagal cadence (IV-I), you can treat the Bb as a V7 (C7) when no one is looking, and maybe cautiously add a few tensions, but anything real tense isn't gonna fit here. YMMV....

    Maybe try mixing in a little A minor pentatonic with the F major pentatonic, which is still F major but it's a nice subset which you should be able to get some mileage out of.

    You could try a little E minor pentatonic over the first 2 chords to flirt with the Lydian sound (B natural), but really, I'm not hearing it....

    If you're careful, you can make some G minor bop stuff work over the Bb, just make a nice resolution to F.....
     
  6. flavaham

    flavaham Member

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    Yeah, I'm really only hearing this as F. Period. Not really a lot of room for random acts of harmonic elaboration. It's meant to sound pretty for the most part. It would be easy to sound "ugly" if you venture too far from F.

    I'll keep looking at it but so far I'm basically playing around the F major scale and using arpeggios for each chord. Sounds nice really. Not much to it. Unfortunately I don't have a lap steel to switch to like Steve does in this one, but that's probably for the best! Haha.
    Thanks!
     
  7. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Mostly.
    No.
    No (other than the key scale, that is).
    Firstly, you have the whole F major scale on every chord. The arps are only the foundation, starting and ending points of phrases.

    Depending on style, I might start with F major pent - with the exception of the C, which would be C major pent. (The use of a maj7 chord suggests something ballady, rather than bluesy, and diatonic pents give a Hendrix-y sound I quite like. If that had been a Bb7, F blues would have been top of the agenda.) And that's without listening to the track - which of course confirms the "ballad-y" guess!

    Secondly - provided you maintain that foundation - any chromatic note can be used at any time. Chromaticisms will get you as outside and jazzy as you ever want to get. I've posted this before, but here's what I consider the hierarchy of inside-outside: most "inside" at the top.

    1. Chord tones (1-3-5, and 7 if quoted in chord symbol)
    2. Pentatonc of each chord (1-2-3-5-6 of major, 1-b3-4-5-b7 of minor)
    3. Remaining diatonic scale notes (of the overall key)
    4. Remaining 5 chromatic notes.

    That means all 12 pitches are available at all times, but the hierarchy is crucial. The chromatics work (in the first instance) as half-step approaches to chord tones, usually upwards, or as passing notes in a run between chord tones. (Eg, C-B-Bb-A on the F chord; the B is not a chord tone approach, but sounds pretty innocuous in that context.)
    Naturally they sound much more angular and challenging if you accent them, or don't resolve them. But generally all chromatics need resolution eventually - advanced jazzers can play whole outside phrases before resolution, but you need confidence and chutzpah to do that well.

    I wouldn't generally consider non-diatonic scales (modes) at all - although, again depending on style and pace, a lydian #4 on the F might work. It would have to work as an Fmaj7 or Fmaj9 first, IMO. (Of course B is a chromatic approach to C anyway; to be truly "lydian" it has to sound good as a held note over the chord, not requiring resolution. IOW, you have to be able to play Fmaj7#11 as the tonic chord, and have it sound right.)

    In fact, for the mood of this particular piece, I might see no need to go chromatic at all. There's so much you can do with upper extensions like maj7s and 9ths, to enhance that mood. And double stops and harmonies. And of course a sweet tone like he's using.
     
  8. Seraphine

    Seraphine Member

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    Also without listening to it and just seeing that progression I thought instantly of the ol' blues progression a la The Pusher ~ Steppenwolf... Can you see that being pushed into it Jon? lol ... in any which way?

    Maybe I should listen to the clip, but a Broadband internet connection isn't smiling upon me at the moment!
     
  9. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Like I say, the Bbmaj7 said "ballad" to me, not blues; and when I listened, it's very laid-back, mellow piece. Quite a long way from Steppenwolf... ;)

    And the chords don't sound much like The Pusher to me - G - C/G - G7 - C/G, right?

    In fact, Steve's sequence is just another version of this progression:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpB_40hYjXU
    :D
     
  10. Seraphine

    Seraphine Member

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    It's a shame I don't have broadband connections at the moment...

    ...when I first read the progression I thought.. hmmmm push this into it and nuances from there.. which I haven't notated / tabbed...

    |------------|
    |-5-6-8-6----|
    |-5-5-5-5----|
    |-5-7-8-7----|
    |------------|
    |------------|
    Guess not though.
     
  11. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Yes, I see where you're coming from. That 3rd chord is not Bbmaj7 though (C7 if anything).;)
     
  12. flavaham

    flavaham Member

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    Here's the first part if you're interested:
    Capo 3rd fret

    e||--------------------|-----0-0-2-------2--0---|-------------------|
    B||--------2-3---------|---3-----------3------3-|-2-----2-3-----3---|
    G||*-----2---------0---|---0---------2----------|-----2---------0---|
    D||*---2---------4---4-|-----------0------------|-----2-------4-4---|
    A||--0---------2-------|------------------------|---0-------2-------|
    E||--------------------|-3----------------------|-----------------3-|


    e|---------------------------||
    B|------3--------------------||
    G|------0-------------------*||
    D|------4-----------0-0-----*||
    A|--------------0-2-----2----||
    E|-(3)------3-3-----------3--||


    That might not be 100%, but it's the general idea. I've got it on a GP6 file. If anyone wants to check it out I can send the PDF.

     
  13. jazzgtrl4

    jazzgtrl4 Supporting Member

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  14. gennation

    gennation Member

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    I could never speak for such a great player as Steve, but I do have to play extended solo's over tons of tunes, so...

    I don't have my guitar in hand but listening to this version:

    It's a four bar phrase, not a two bar phrase like was originally posted. The progression is:

    ||: C Dm | Bb F | C Dm | Bb :||

    This is very important when you consider the things he does to play over it...IOW, if you don't know the progression you might always be lost. Always learn what you're playing over, because it tells you a lot if not everything.

    1. There are times he's following the chords directly with either chord fragments, voicings, and extensions that spell out the progression chord by chord. He also knows where one fragments supports more than one chord. The more chord voicings, inversions, and extensions you are familiar with, the better you'll be at this approach...because he's got enough of them to go on forever! This is a great technique for the great "jammers" to milk and weave a beautiful progressions to many different levels of improvisation and expression to where they enjoy moving things based on where they are at the time. That's how you play the same tune over and over and still find new place to go.

    2. As far as the single line stuff...

    I had a chance to mess it and it's F Major. Try the Fsus4 to F and Csus to C sounds.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
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  15. Chris McKinley

    Chris McKinley Member

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    More options open up if you've got a two-guitar arrangement somehow.
     
  16. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    It amazes me that guitarists in particular are always asking about scales and notes, which is important, but almost NEVER ask about time and phrasing. Steve's notes, as wonderful as they are, would mean a lot less without the phrasing and note placement
     
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  17. gennation

    gennation Member

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    Try a F Major scale with no D or G, highlighting the Csus and Fsus

    Code:
    E-18-17-13-12------------------------------------
    B-------------13-11-10---------------------------
    G----------------------10-9----------------------
    D---------------------------10-8-7---------------
    A----------------------------------8-7-------7-8-
    E--------------------------------------8-6-8-----
    
    Try viewing the progression like C, Csus, Fsus, F...

    Code:
      C  Csus(Dm7)  Fsus(Bbadd9)  F  C  Csus(Dm7)  Fsus
    E----|----------|-------------|-----|-----|-----------|-----|
    B-5--|-6--------|--6----------|--6--|--5--|--5--------|--6--|
    G-5--|-5--------|--5----------|--5--|--5--|--6--------|--5--|
    D-5--|-7--------|--8----------|--7--|--5--|--7--------|--8--|
    A----|----------|-------------|-----|-----|-----------|-----|
    E----|----------|-------------|-----|-----|-----------|-----|
    
     

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