30 ene. 2012

Understanding musical intervals

As scales consist of series of intervals, we have to define what an interval is to get to the scale definition. Intervals consist on the pitch relationship between a tone and another and are what actually determines our brain reaction towards a set of notes.

For example, we can take E as a reference. E for itself, doesn't mean anything as its just an isolated frequency. But when we take another note such as B, we have a major 5th, which produces a harmonic sound, but if we play Bb, then we have a tritone, which produces a dissonant sound.

Intervals are classified by their quality (minor, major, perfect) or by number (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc.). They also can be classified by their sonority in time, as intervals produced in different times are called melodic and which are produced in the same time are called harmonic.

27 ene. 2012

D Phrygian Backing Track and Demonstration

Here is a D Phrygian backing track and below a demonstration of how it is used.

How to properly use a backing track

1. Listen to the backing track to get the feel of it.

2. Use the notes in the scale to improvise licks and riffs according to the feel of the backing track.

3. Enjoy! :)

F# Aeolian Backing Track

Stay tuned for a lesson on how to improvise over this track.

Why to improvise?

As a musician, one of the issues I've had along my experience is the question of what to play. Also, it's a fact that nowadays almost every guitar player starts by reading tabs, so the repertory just sticks to other musician's covers.

It is here where this question enters: "How to make original music?". Here is where musical theory comes in, as a quality musical product often requires to know scales and modes, other than just a good ear and creativity. Improvisation is the key to many of the greatest melodies know to man and is one of the best tools for composing original music. Furthermore, it allows the musician to express without the need of written notes on a score and to roam free around all the possibilities a musical scenario offers.

This is why improvising is so important to become a full-developed musician and to compose original music. It is what you come up in the moment what matters, not what you have come up time ago and just do a cover of it now.