Straight vs Syncopated Collaboration Solo

by Pedja Simovic

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  • Hello GMC!

    Welcome to my new lesson. Today we are covering in class collaboration #4 solo that I did. This class puts emphasis on phrasing and importance of straight vs syncopated rhythm.

    To check out collaboration I am talking about, go HERE.

    Here are some things you need to know about straight and syncopated rhythms.

    Straight rhythm is basically if you start on Down beat (1 2 3 4) and play rhythm like Whole, Half, Quarter, Eight and Sixteen notes ! It is essential that your rhythm here doesn't carry over when you are doing this, in other words you are not using any DOTS OR TIES ! (to make things easier for you guys).
    Syncopated rhythm is opposite from Straight rhythm. You need to start your phrases on Up beat (one AND two AND three AND four AND - so you start on AND always!). It is also essential that with syncopated rhythm melodies or your solo sounds OF BEAT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE !
    Another trick to achieve syncopated rhythm is to use TRIPLETS. The best triplet to throw you of is Quarter note triplet !!! You can also use doted rhythms when playing syncopated melodies, in fact I highly recommend you do it (dotted quarters will work wonders here of course!).
    Remember that you can also start on up beat and keep playing regular rhythm and it will sound syncopated !!!

    Now that we have covered all the basics, lets say couple of things regarding backing track.


    Backing track is at 140 bpm and is in A minor.

    I used Latin type feel in Bass and Drums with very specific Piano sound. I hope you dig it !

    Chord progression is :

    // A min / A min / B min7b5/ E7 /
    / A min / A min / B min7b5/ E7 /
    / A min7 Amin6 / A min7 Amin6 / D min7/ G7 /
    / A min / A min / A min (E7#9)/ E7#9 //

    About soloing :

    - Use arpeggios (if you want and can)
    - A harmonic Minor is mostly key center
    - Over A min7 A min6 you can use A DORIAN MODE (G major scale)
    - D min7 G7 part is A aeolian or A natural minor (A minor pentatonic if you want to simplify it)
    - E7#9 you can do arpeggios or E altered scale (F melodic minor) as well as E half whole diminished scale.

    For this solo I used my custom built guitar, going trought POD X3 Live into Nuendo. Effect I used was customized, so if you like it I can send it to you or give you the settings !

    I really hope you will learn a lot about importance of various rhythms in soloing after studying this solo/lesson. I advise you to transcribe music and your own solos to better understand what areas you need to improve and work on. Finally, I hope to see this lesson included on REC programe so if you need backing track just let me know.

    Until next time, practice and have fun with this !

    Pedja





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