Lesson 006 - Melodic Contrast Through Dissonance



August 18, 2017:
Lesson 006 - Melodic Contrast Through Dissonance

Normally we strive to hit the correct notes found in the established key center. However, performing scale tones that exist outside of the key (outside notes), can also work in certain styles of music... 

How outside notes are applied will depend primarily upon the way they are phrased. This lesson explains how to start including the interesting sound of outside scale tones in both major and minor keys...

PART ONE:  In example one, a key of "A Major" melody (ex. 1a), is used to demonstrate how a basic diatonic, (in key), melody can be transformed into a melody line that includes non-diatonic phrasing, (ex. 2b). By using a simple technique called, "Approach Tones," an 'approach from below' method shows how non-diatonic tones can be included as embellishments upon the original line from example (1a).

Example two introduces chromatic principles as another non-diatonic technique. Chromatic phrasing includes runs that are generally made up of a linear row of non-selective tones traveling in half-steps. The example (2a) melody starts with a diatonic melody line in the key of "G Minor." Then, in example (2b), the melody is re-worked to include a series of chromatic tones. The new phrase takes on another dimension of sound, yet maintains the same rhythmic duration as the original example.




PART TWO: The example three melody line is based around the sound of an "A Dominant 7th" chord. This offers us the primary scale type of "Mixolydian." However, when altered scale is brought into the mix the unique blend of Altered scales dissonance brings in a lot of sour colors that create an interesting dissonant effect.

Example four includes two final strategies for melodic contrast through dissonance. The first of these are the application of "digital" (sometimes called modular) scale patterns. And, the other is a similar principle that is known as "symmetrical scales."

The use of digital /modular scale patterns is achieved through first creating a pattern of notes and then transferring that pattern across other string sets, (see example 4a). Guitarist "Dimebag Darrell" used these patterns in many of his solos. And, guitarists Paul Gilbert, along with Scott Henderson also apply these shapes.

The last example (ex. 4b), contains a short melodic line using what is probably the most popular symmetrical scale used by jazz guitar players, the "Diminished Scale." The notes of the Diminished scale include both #5 and b5 altered tones surrounded by a minor 3rd and major 7th. It also contains a major 2nd and major 6th with a perfect 4th. The color is very unique and its symmetrical shape and altered character can provide an excellent opportunity for melodic contrast through dissonance.


Paid members can download the handout along with the MP3 jamtrack in the members area at: CreativeGuitarStudio.com




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