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Common Notes

by Cosmin Lupu

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  • Hey there GMC!

    I’ve decided to discuss a little about how we can improvise over two chords which belong to different scales and making things sound fluid and pleasant.

    The whole idea is based on using common notes of the two chords to create a fluid passing between them. In our case: we’re using the Bm and Gm chords and improvising in the blues and Dorian modes – that gives us 4 common notes: D, E, F and A. If you follow each part of the lesson you’ll see a few ways of using these common notes, mixed with some arpeggios and the two modes.

    Try listening to players like Guthrie Govan or Scott Henderson in order to get used to the quirky vibrato style and the dynamic of the phrases – these two guys are so very awesome and among my favorite guitarists!

    Practice and try to listen to the effect created by each note when the chord changes – this change leads to another: each note used as a common note changes its intervallic value. For instance D which is a minor third for the B minor, becomes a perfect firth in G minor. Pay attention to these shifts also, as each interval triggers different effects over a certain chord!

    You guys may come up with your own phrase examples using the 4 notes, when passing between Bm and Gm and back again – go for it ?!

    Let’s rock!

    Used scales:
    - Dorian (1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7)
    - Blues (1 b3 4 b5 5 b7)

    Meter: 4/4
    Tuning: E – A – D – G – B - E
    Tempo: 105 BPM

    Keep it smooth mates!








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