COMPOSING: "Drop D" Guitar Riffs

March 17, 2017:
"Drop D" Guitar Riffs

PART ONE:  In part one we begin in the first example by taking advantage of the deep tone produced when using Drop "D." The riff operates using the key of "D Natural Minor," with a focus on the prominent minor scale tones of "F" and "C," (the minor 3rd and minor 7th). The scale tone of "Bb" (the minor 6th) is also used to strengthen the resolution in the riffs final measure.

In the second example our tonality shifts into the major key with a "Ballad" riff built from the tones of the "D Major" key center. Example two applies three chords from the key's harmony. Plus, the progression adds a 6th extension on the "G major" chord as well as, a suspended 4th on the key's tonic chord of "D." The tonic also appears as a 1st inversion of "D/F#" acting as a voice leading component for the arrival of the VI-chord (G major).

PART TWO: In part two, our focus turns to the world of modes with a progression in example three from the "D Dorian" Mode. A Southern-Rock riff applies Dorian's minor quality through the scale tones of "F," and "B." The progression generates a minor harmony using both "D" minor 6 and "D" add4 chords. The open 6th string combined with the use of open 2nd through 5th strings produces a dark minor effect highlighting the color tones of Dorian.

In example four, the "D Mixolydian" Mode harmony is applied across our 6th string Drop "D" tuning to produce a Major /Blues progression using the Mixolydian sound. The scales minor 7th (C) is combined with Mixolydians major 3rd (F#) to implement the full impression of Mixolydian. An interesting collection of chords including; Dominant 9, Minor 6, 6th sus2, and Minor 7 all work together to compliment Mixolydian's character. 

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