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> Trying To Learn To Improv, hendrix style rhythm
AdamB
post Nov 9 2012, 04:45 PM
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Hi,

My playing so far has been very much either rhythm (strumming chords) or lead (playing monophonic solos), and it's getting a bit boring. So I'm trying to learn to be able to improvise in that cool Hendrix rhythm/lead style where he kind of blends the two together instead of playing static chords.

I saw a Guthrie Govan video where he was explaining that in order to learn to do this you need to understand the CAGED system, where each chord position has an accompanying pentation scale shape. So I went and learnt that as best I can, I think I understand it. I already knew the CAGED system sort of, as I know all the chord shapes and I already knew the pentatonic shapes but had never really tied the two together.

So what I'm doing now, is trying to learn to take the chords to a song and understand which shapes to use and when.

I started by using a simple G->D->C->D pattern, which went fine and I got that sounding quite good. So I decided to try something a bit harder.

I took the chord progression from little wing and am trying to use the approach over that (rather than copying the original note for note, I'm trying to learn to do what Jimi would of done and just improv the rhythm part over the bass).

So, I started with the first few chords on loop; Em->G->Am->Em and repeat. That went fine. Then, it got confusing;

So the next bass notes go Bm, Bb, Am. So, what's with the Bb there, is that just a chromatic passing note played by the bass, what do I do rhythm wise there? How do I harmonise that?

Then, moving on, it ends up going C->F->G->F->D. F isn't in the key (which is Em or G major right?), so how come F is in there? Then I can't figure out how to harmoise that or where to move in my rhythm part during that, any help on understanding this would be appretiated!

Thanks,
-Adam
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Ben Higgins
post Nov 9 2012, 07:16 PM
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I know what you mean here Adam although I can't really describe it a theoretical term. I'm bumping this up to see if anyone else can help ? Guys ??


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derper
post Nov 10 2012, 12:39 AM
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I can't answer this completely, but here are a few tips that might help.... and, also *bump*!

The main key is Em, although that shares many of the same notes as a G major shape/scale as well.

I would need to grab a guitar and follow, but I think that "yes" the Bm, Bb, Am... Bb is a chromatic passing tone. I don't know enough theory to tell you exactly how to harmonize that/if you should/what to do there. Hopefully someone can add to that.

And the "F" is in there because it sounds good!! biggrin.gif Kidding, but not really... it's a GREAT song, a piece of history even, so I wouldn't worry so much about the science/rules of music, but instead focus on what sounds good with it. In music, many of the chord changes we hit sound "good" because they share relative notes, or the changes follow a traditional pattern.... but, when in doubt, try to treat it like jazz perhaps? When that F comes, switch to a quick F major riff for that chord, then back to whatever is next. Outside of jazz or very difficult progressions, you can usually stick to one position to solo in (again, the chords all share many common notes!) and just emphasize a particular note (or "chord tone") over a chord change, but still stay "in position" for the main key. But occasionally, when all else fails....go ahead and switch keys with that one "difficult" chord, and see what happens!

I hope that helps, even a little.


QUOTE (AdamB @ Nov 9 2012, 07:45 AM) *
I took the chord progression from little wing and am trying to use the approach over that (rather than copying the original note for note, I'm trying to learn to do what Jimi would of done and just improv the rhythm part over the bass).

So, I started with the first few chords on loop; Em->G->Am->Em and repeat. That went fine. Then, it got confusing;

So the next bass notes go Bm, Bb, Am. So, what's with the Bb there, is that just a chromatic passing note played by the bass, what do I do rhythm wise there? How do I harmonise that?

Then, moving on, it ends up going C->F->G->F->D. F isn't in the key (which is Em or G major right?), so how come F is in there? Then I can't figure out how to harmoise that or where to move in my rhythm part during that, any help on understanding this would be appretiated!

Thanks,
-Adam



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Ben Higgins
post Nov 10 2012, 11:13 AM
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You can actually stay within the E Minor scale over the Bm, Bb, Am section.

The other way you could handle the Bm, Bb bit is to stay within the B Minor scale for both those chords.. when Am hits you could outline Am. smile.gif

The G, F, C progression. You could outline the G Major Pentatonic scale which shares the same notes as the E Minor Pentatonic. When you hit the F, the G Major Pentatonic shape still works. If you looked at it modally you would play F Lydian mode. The notes of the G Major Pentatonic are all found within F Lydian, just not all of the notes are emphasised is all.

So I guess that explains why E Minor Pentatonic works over the whole progression, because the notes of E Pentatonic being the same G Major Pentatonic.. the notes can also be found within F Lydian. smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 10 2012, 01:54 PM
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That Bb or A# is there because it can be looked at as the blue note in the Em blues scale, so it fits nicely smile.gif Not so sure about the F though, to my shame I have never played this song so, I need to take a look into it before writing anything more in this thread.


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AdamB
post Nov 12 2012, 01:58 PM
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OK thanks for the help guys, I think I understand a little better but I still have some questions.

Ok I think I get it with the F lydian thing, which is the same as G Mixolydian right? So would it be logical to say that it modulates to the relative major, but a mixloydian version of it? So goes from Em to Gmixolydian? Or is that non-sense?

Either way what from a practical point of view do I do, do I just keep playing around with Em pentatonics but just change the note emphasis there? I guess F would be the second of the scale so if I'm using pentatonics I can just ignore that note entirely anyway? But then I'm trying to outline the chords so maybe I should be thinking more in terms of 7 note scales instead of pentatonics?

Thanks,
-Adam
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 12 2012, 05:56 PM
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Howdy again man - F Lydian is not the same with G mixolydian - the Lydian mode starts from the 4th of its parent scale - which in this case would be C major and the Mixolydian on the 5th of the parent scale which is still C major.



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AdamB
post Nov 12 2012, 06:15 PM
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So I would play in Cmajor over that section?
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 12 2012, 07:33 PM
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QUOTE (AdamB @ Nov 12 2012, 05:15 PM) *
So I would play in Cmajor over that section?


Just took a look on the harmonies - I think it's best to look at the whole song as being based on Gmaj (having Em as the relative minor) and regard that F chord there as a tool to get you into the G Mixolydian.


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Alex Feather
post Nov 13 2012, 09:22 AM
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QUOTE (AdamB @ Nov 9 2012, 03:45 PM) *
Hi,

My playing so far has been very much either rhythm (strumming chords) or lead (playing monophonic solos), and it's getting a bit boring. So I'm trying to learn to be able to improvise in that cool Hendrix rhythm/lead style where he kind of blends the two together instead of playing static chords.

I saw a Guthrie Govan video where he was explaining that in order to learn to do this you need to understand the CAGED system, where each chord position has an accompanying pentation scale shape. So I went and learnt that as best I can, I think I understand it. I already knew the CAGED system sort of, as I know all the chord shapes and I already knew the pentatonic shapes but had never really tied the two together.

So what I'm doing now, is trying to learn to take the chords to a song and understand which shapes to use and when.

I started by using a simple G->D->C->D pattern, which went fine and I got that sounding quite good. So I decided to try something a bit harder.

I took the chord progression from little wing and am trying to use the approach over that (rather than copying the original note for note, I'm trying to learn to do what Jimi would of done and just improv the rhythm part over the bass).

So, I started with the first few chords on loop; Em->G->Am->Em and repeat. That went fine. Then, it got confusing;

So the next bass notes go Bm, Bb, Am. So, what's with the Bb there, is that just a chromatic passing note played by the bass, what do I do rhythm wise there? How do I harmonise that?

Then, moving on, it ends up going C->F->G->F->D. F isn't in the key (which is Em or G major right?), so how come F is in there? Then I can't figure out how to harmoise that or where to move in my rhythm part during that, any help on understanding this would be appretiated!

Thanks,
-Adam


It is Hendrix smile.gif He did some weird things in his playing and used weird chords!
If we will take a look at pentatonics he use you will understand where Bb and F are coming from!
Let's see E minor blues pentatonic first


As you can see there is a Bb note there so they used it as a passing tone
Same thing happens with F if we will take a look at B minor pentatonic


Hendrix style is based on combinations of different pentatonic scales and that's why you see all this blues notes there!
In the chord progression at the end they assumed 7th chords or 7#9 and for dominant chords you can play major and minor pentatonics as well
First part C->F->G->F
is blues I - IV - V - IV progression
and in the end he used V (D) To resolve back in G major
I hope that makes sense! smile.gif If you are interested in improvisation you can join my mentoring program and I will help you out more!


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