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> Ben's Epic Solo Builder !
Ben Higgins
post May 21 2012, 04:30 PM
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Together we are going to work on a solo bit by bit until we are left with an epic solo ! This is intended as an ongoing project with no deadlines. Anyone can participate, you don't have to ask, just post. smile.gif

I want to show you how I use my limited theory knowledge to approach a chord progression and how to get good results.

We're going to use this simple backing track:

Attached File  Epic_Solo_Builder_backing_track.mp3 ( 793.3K ) Number of downloads: 141


The chord progression uses simple root + 5th power chords and it is:

E5, D5, C5
E5, B5, CD
E5, D5, C5
G5, D5, A5, E5, D5 (briefly), E5

Now if I had this progression the first thing I would do is establish what scale would work with all of those chords. Usually the first chord determines the tonality of the progression so it's going to be a scale in E. However, power chords contain no 3rds so they could be made to sound either major or minor. So, where does that leave us ?

Well, the next step would be to look at the rest of the chords and see if they use intervals that coincide with a minor or a major scale. The D5 chord would give us the dominant 7th interval of the E minor scale. The C5 chord would give us a minor 6th interval. It's looking like a minor scale so far. The G5 chord gives us a minor 3rd and the A5 is a neutral interval anyway because the 5th is the same in the minor or major.

So we have established that the E minor scale will work over this entire progression.

However, rather than just using this scale to widdle all over the backing track I want us to look at each chord as individual. This is how I do it:

I take each chord and, starting from the root note, I play through the intervals of the E minor scale (because that is our main scale) but I count the intervals from the root of the specific chord I'm on. So if I'm on C5, I count the C as the root, D as the 2nd, E as the 3rd etc.. so I'm still moving through the intervals of the Eminor scale but starting on a different note each time I play a new chord.

If I determine the 3rd interval starting at C, then I can determine what the 3rd of that chord would be. You can go through every interval and see how it sounds against that chord. Do it for every chord.

Using intervals of one scale but starting on a different root note each time is where we get modes from. If you wanted to approach it in a modal way then you would start with C and treat it as a completely new scale, which would be C Lydian. However, I don't want to approach it like that. Let's not complicate things. This way works just as well wink.gif

Now, I've taken this approach with the backing and I've done a very simple solo. Just using one note for each chord, I've used a particular interval against each chord. One particular interval features the most but there are some others as well.

Attached File  Epic_Solo_Builder_Ben_1.mp3 ( 790.25K ) Number of downloads: 88


Using the approach I've described above, can anyone tell what intervals I'm playing ? In order... smile.gif

After that, I want you guys to download this backing and do the same thing but choose some intervals of your own. Use the technique I described above to figure out what would be a 2nd (usually referred to as a 9th) 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th. Some will sound better than others. Some are best used either as passing tones or only over a chord made from that note itself. Gimme some takes ! cool.gif



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Opetholic
post May 22 2012, 09:47 AM
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Hey Ben, this is awesome smile.gif

You got my answer for your intervals as a pm smile.gif
Here is my take, now tell me my intervals cool.gif

Cheers,
Mert


Attached File  epic_solo_builder_opetholic.mp3 ( 706.25K ) Number of downloads: 101


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Ben Higgins
post May 22 2012, 10:47 AM
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QUOTE (Opetholic @ May 22 2012, 09:47 AM) *
Hey Ben, this is awesome smile.gif

You got my answer for your intervals as a pm smile.gif
Here is my take, now tell me my intervals cool.gif

Cheers,
Mert


Attached File  epic_solo_builder_opetholic.mp3 ( 706.25K ) Number of downloads: 101


Ok in order you used

5th, 7th, 6th
5th, 3rd, Root
5th, 7th, 6th
6th, 3rd to 4th
Root, 3rd,
3rd, 3rd, 3rd smile.gif

Hopefully I'm right wink.gif

Interesting note choices Mert. From my personal perspective I find the 6th interval a hard one to place. In my opinion it only really works when it's being used over a chord which uses the 6th note as its root. Other than that, I find it an awkward interval that sounds out of place unless it's being used as a target note. However, that's just me.

The 4th can also be like the 6th.. in my opinion these 2 intervals work when they're resolved by a stronger tone or just over the chord that relates to them.


All the other intervals are generally cool any time. The 9th (which is the same as the 2nd) might seem strange and counter intuitive to use at first but you can hear Joe Satriani making great use of it. Especially when you add a slight semi tone bend / vibrato to it which makes it touch upon a minor 3rd - best of both worlds.

However, the 9th will sound very awkward if it happens to fall a semitone above the root of the chord you're on. For example, the B5 chord. If we're going through the intervals of the Eminor scale starting from B then the 2nd (9th) would fall on the note of C, a semitone above. Playing a semitone higher than the chord you're on has an unresolved sound. So it's ok if you resolve it be playing a stronger note afterwards wink.gif



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Opetholic
post May 22 2012, 11:16 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ May 22 2012, 09:47 AM) *
Ok in order you used

5th, 7th, 6th
5th, 3rd, Root
5th, 7th, 6th
6th, 3rd to 4th
Root, 3rd,
3rd, 3rd, 3rd smile.gif

Hopefully I'm right wink.gif

Interesting note choices Mert. From my personal perspective I find the 6th interval a hard one to place. In my opinion it only really works when it's being used over a chord which uses the 6th note as its root. Other than that, I find it an awkward interval that sounds out of place unless it's being used as a target note. However, that's just me.

The 4th can also be like the 6th.. in my opinion these 2 intervals work when they're resolved by a stronger tone or just over the chord that relates to them.


All the other intervals are generally cool any time. The 9th (which is the same as the 2nd) might seem strange and counter intuitive to use at first but you can hear Joe Satriani making great use of it. Especially when you add a slight semi tone bend / vibrato to it which makes it touch upon a minor 3rd - best of both worlds.

However, the 9th will sound very awkward if it happens to fall a semitone above the root of the chord you're on. For example, the B5 chord. If we're going through the intervals of the Eminor scale starting from B then the 2nd (9th) would fall on the note of C, a semitone above. Playing a semitone higher than the chord you're on has an unresolved sound. So it's ok if you resolve it be playing a stronger note afterwards wink.gif


Hey Ben, you are spot on my intervals smile.gif well hehe anything wasn't expected really biggrin.gif
Thanks for the info and the feedback on the 6th and the 4th intervals. I know they are weird
and that makes me want to use them even more tongue.gif I need to learn to place them better..

Thanks a lot for the useful exercise smile.gif
Mert


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Ben Higgins
post May 22 2012, 11:22 AM
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QUOTE (Opetholic @ May 22 2012, 11:16 AM) *
Hey Ben, you are spot on my intervals smile.gif well hehe anything wasn't expected really biggrin.gif
Thanks for the info and the feedback on the 6th and the 4th intervals. I know they are weird
and that makes me want to use them even more tongue.gif I need to learn to place them better..

Thanks a lot for the useful exercise smile.gif
Mert


That's cool ! Well, you're determination will lead you to finding a way that works ! smile.gif

So does anybody else wanna have a go at this before we move onto adding other things ?


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JaxN4
post May 22 2012, 02:08 PM
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Ok, Just sent a PM to you with my answers..... but it's getting late here so i will record and upload my take for you tomorrow.

This is a great idea, and exactly what i needed to do cool.gif

Cheers


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JaxN4
post May 23 2012, 11:53 AM
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QUOTE (JaxN4 @ May 22 2012, 10:38 PM) *
it's getting late here so i will record and upload my take for you tomorrow.
Cheers



Hey Ben, How's it going over there mate?

Here is my version.... smile.gif




And yes I do think of you as some sort of Heavy Metal Hobbit.... cool.gif laugh.gif


Attached File(s)
Attached File  Shire_Baggins_Epic_Solo_Jax.wav ( 7.37MB ) Number of downloads: 81
 


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Ben Higgins
post May 23 2012, 02:35 PM
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QUOTE (JaxN4 @ May 23 2012, 11:53 AM) *
Hey Ben, How's it going over there mate?

Here is my version.... smile.gif




And yes I do think of you as some sort of Heavy Metal Hobbit.... cool.gif laugh.gif


Very nice note choices my friend from upside down land ! biggrin.gif

Righto, now I need to think how to take this to the next level ! wink.gif


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MossRoller
post May 24 2012, 05:38 AM
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Hi Ben, I think I'll give it a shot.

Attached File  EpicSoloBuilderMossrollerV2.mp3 ( 775.07K ) Number of downloads: 74




This post has been edited by MossRoller: May 24 2012, 05:46 AM
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Ben Higgins
post May 24 2012, 08:58 AM
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QUOTE (MossRoller @ May 24 2012, 05:38 AM) *
Hi Ben, I think I'll give it a shot.

Attached File  EpicSoloBuilderMossrollerV2.mp3 ( 775.07K ) Number of downloads: 74


Very nice note choices Moss ! biggrin.gif

I'll be updating this thread soon with the next approach ! cool.gif


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Ben Higgins
post May 25 2012, 10:46 AM
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Hey Guys ! I've composed another short solo. This time, I've added a few more notes and have played most of them by bending to them.

So, some string bends and a few more notes is the goal now. You could try a couple of different approaches. First you could select some strong target notes and then work out how to incorporate string bending to get to them. Or you could just improvise a few times, see what happens.. and then change any target notes afterwards to build a stronger solo smile.gif

Here's my little ditty:

Attached File  Epic_Solo_Builder_Ben_2.mp3 ( 823.26K ) Number of downloads: 81


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MossRoller
post May 27 2012, 02:31 AM
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This is my next take with some added notes and bends. I also put in a few slides.
I really wanted to upload a tighter performance this evening,
but the Apprentice Bushido Task 15 is really putting a whoopin' on my fingers.

Attached File  EpicSoloBuilderMossrollerStep2.mp3 ( 749.45K ) Number of downloads: 61


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Ben Higgins
post May 27 2012, 10:02 AM
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QUOTE (MossRoller @ May 27 2012, 02:31 AM) *
This is my next take with some added notes and bends. I also put in a few slides.
I really wanted to upload a tighter performance this evening,
but the Apprentice Bushido Task 15 is really putting a whoopin' on my fingers.

Attached File  EpicSoloBuilderMossrollerStep2.mp3 ( 749.45K ) Number of downloads: 61


Nice one Moss - some great ideas in there. It almost sounds like you're using a whammy bar in places but it's just your fingers isn't it ? smile.gif


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MossRoller
post May 27 2012, 04:12 PM
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Yes, fingers only.
These fixed bridges are keeping me plenty busy.
I don't need to add any more variables at the moment. smile.gif
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Ben Higgins
post May 27 2012, 05:56 PM
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QUOTE (MossRoller @ May 27 2012, 04:12 PM) *
Yes, fingers only.
These fixed bridges are keeping me plenty busy.
I don't need to add any more variables at the moment. smile.gif


Yeah, I hear ya ! I like using whammy bars but I don't like living with them so fixed bridge for me too wink.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 26 2012, 04:02 PM
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Woah, so what happened to this thread ? It kind of faded away... well, how about we resurrect it and get some licks flowing again. Anybody is welcome to join in. Just read the previous posts for an idea of what we're doing. The last stage was playing more notes and incorporating bends to reach them.

Anybody else like to wade in with some axe magic ? smile.gif


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mad
post Jun 27 2012, 09:56 AM
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OK, I'll just give it a try..

http://soundcloud.com/mad-gmc/epic-solo-builder-1notetake

I sent you a pm for the first assignment..
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mad
post Jun 27 2012, 10:30 AM
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So this is for the second one. Not that much bending, but I tried to put in some more notes and some dynamics....

http://soundcloud.com/mad-gmc/epic-solo-builder-bendtake
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Ben Higgins
post Jun 27 2012, 01:21 PM
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QUOTE (mad @ Jun 27 2012, 09:56 AM) *
OK, I'll just give it a try..

http://soundcloud.com/mad-gmc/epic-solo-builder-1notetake

I sent you a pm for the first assignment..


Excellent note choice ! biggrin.gif

QUOTE (mad @ Jun 27 2012, 10:30 AM) *
So this is for the second one. Not that much bending, but I tried to put in some more notes and some dynamics....

http://soundcloud.com/mad-gmc/epic-solo-builder-bendtake


Another good offering from the Mad Meister ! I would be a bit uncomfortable about the note at 0:18 (a 4th) as it is one of those intervals that sounds unresolved on its own. If I was to use that note (C ) I would try to sneak it in before it changes to the G5 chord and make it resolve to a major 3rd when the G lands. If that note were played during the C chord it would be a root of course, but it would set you up nicely to play the note of B when the G happens.

What would work is during the C chord play:

C - D - C (Like a hammer on)

and then resolve to B when G5 happens. The B would be the major 3rd of G smile.gif

Hope that all makes sense ?


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mad
post Jun 27 2012, 03:12 PM
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Thanks for your suggestions Ben! I'll give that a shot..
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