Third Stack Shapes

by Emir Hot

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  • Hi

    This lesson is about an interesting approach how to sound more jazzy using simple major scale patterns and three modes of it. Those are Dorian, Lydian and Mixolydian. Why these 3 modes? Of each of the 7 modes of major scale these 3 are unique as these are the only modes where each scale note can be used as either a chord tone or an extension. There are no notes to avoid as every note can be used equaly. This is important because:

    • we can resolve a phrase to any note
    • we can build triads off each note and superimpose them all freely
    • we can build chordal clusters by combining the notes in any way
    • we can create vertical intervalic structures, either single line or chordal off any note using any interval
    Rather than just move up the scale in diatonic steps, this concept rests on ascending or descending through the shape in cuntinual thirds. This creates an extended arpeggio containing not only all of the notes but all of the possible triads and seventh arpeggios.

    In this lesson there are 3 takes with exactly the same solo but played over different chords in the background. You will find that your playing will take on impression of greater harmonic sophistication. If this concept is used over Dm7 chord, the solo will sound Dorian. The same is for Fmaj7(#11) where the solo would give impression of Lydian and in case of G7 it would be Mixolydian.

    Below you will find the picture of major scale patterns in five positions. One pathway represents notes (3rd on top of 3rd) in the scale while the other pathway shows exactly the same thing but with the other group of notes from the scale.

    This concept I learned from my great teacher John Wheatcroft while I was a guitar student in London's Guitar Institute.

    See you soon.

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