When you want to compose a guitar solo, write an instrumental piece or even just jam to a backing track, the way to tell your story really comes down to one thing: Melody.
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Adding a cool theme on top of a chord progression or riff, or writing a guitar solo that you are proud of can be challenging. You might find yourself playing familiar stuff that comes easy to your fingers, maybe you're not connecting to the notes the way you'd want to or feel like you're contributing a meaningful statement to the song. Irene will be sharing with you a set of tools and approaches that will help you develop your own unique creative style and keep your sound fresh.Begin the Course
In this first lesson, Irene gives us an overview of her course, laying out her plan to help you create melodies using your voice, bring those melodies to your fingers, add expression, play with different dynamics and shape your guitar tone with both pick and fingers. You'll then be able to apply all these concepts to your improvising as well as your original music!
First things first - let's get back to some basic foundations that will come in handy down the road in this course. Irene starts with the blues scale in different positions and different string sets.
The Dorian scale is one of the most widely used minor scales in any guitarists toolkit. Irene helps us learn to use this critical tool in different positions and string sets.
The Mixolydian scale provides us with interesting tonalities bordering on exotic at times. Getting this foundational scale under your fingers in different positions and string sets will serve you well later in this course!
Irene's selection of the three previous scales was not by accident! These widely used scales will make up a good portion of any rock guitarist's arsenal. In this lesson, Irene takes what we've learned so far and combines the scales for some unique tonalities!
One of the easiest ways to explore melodies is to use the notes surrounding your triad shapes. This lesson helps us explore some major triad shapes and neighboring notes we can access quickly and easily.
Now we look at the minor triad shapes and neighboring notes that we can use to create cool minor melodic fills.
Let's look at some basics of the picking hand. Getting this hand in the correct position for lead playing will help you execute all the scales and melodic ideas Irene will be covering in this series.
Using your fingers creates a very different sound, and a very different mood and dynamic. In this lesson, Irene gives us her take on fingerpicking hand position.
Now it's time to relate our voice to the scales that we know, and in turn our voice will be the vehicle that gets melodies from our head to our fingers!
In this lesson, Irene takes simple 2-bar melodies over chord progressions - singing them first, then bringing them to our fingers.
Irene shows us a sliding exercise that will help us learn our scales all on one string, plus help us learn to be accurate when sliding notes on the fretboard.
Bending can add vocal-like qualities to your playing. Using whole and half step bends alike, Irene shows us how to apply these bends to some of the melodies we've already created.
Legato playing is not only a speed tool, but a tool for getting a different kind of tone from your fingers and your strings. In this lesson, Irene explores the use of hammer ons and pull offs with your fretting hand, without the use of a pick.
Dynamics can be a key component to becoming expressive with your melodies. Irene applies some dynamic expressive techniques using our fingers to the melodies we've already created.
The strings and pickups you choose has a great impact on your tone, dynamics and articulation. Irene takes a look at some different pickup and string combinations that can help you achieve the desired sound.
Diving deeper into articulation, Irene shows us the effect that staccato or legato playing can have on our expression. She also shows us a technique called 'skank' picking.
One more layer of articulation brings us to octave melodies and tapped harmonics. Use these techniques to add another dimension to your expressive melody playing.
In this lesson, Irene shows us how to build up a melody from a very simple idea, and vice versa - break down a more complex melody to it's very core components.
Exploring different feels is the name of the game in this lesson. Change feels while only playing to a click, comparing the differences in mood and sound.
Writing good melodies is not only about the note choices, It's also about the rhythmic phrasing, and recurring rhythms you come up with. Irene shows us how to create a rhythmic motif that will make our melodies and phrases more memorable.
Call and response is a tried and true method to melody and motif writing. Using the motif we explored in the previous lesson, let's develop a 'response' to complete the musical thought.
There are different ways you can use call and response, and one of those ways is to build tension. Learn how to use variances like increasing the difficulty of your technicality, to help you create tension in your motifs.
Melodic ideas can come to you in different ways. Using arpeggiated chord progressions can be one way to explore melodies that are living very near to your chords!
In this lesson, Irene uses the 7th chord arpeggios we learned in a previous lesson to create movement and a key root chord. She then adds the triad approach to get that intervallic playing sound.
Now it's time to practice intervals so we can learn the differences between sound and feel. Irene takes a look at 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths, 7ths and octaves in the Dorian scale.
Join Irene for the first of three solos composed for this course. First up is 'Beautiful Mind'. She will explain the concepts used, add a slow demonstration, and an 'at tempo' performance.
The second of three solos is 'Cool Run'. Irene breaks down the techniques and concepts she uses in this melodic solo.
Now for solo number 3 - 'Blacktop'. There is a ton of useful techniques, concepts and expressiveness in this solo! Learn the solo, but more importantly, apply the techniques to your own playing!
Part two of 'Blacktop'. Irene teaches us the remainder of the solo, and gives us a chance to practice it with her.
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Nice demonstration of variations!!
Great course, material, and teacher.
I'm really liking this course. The information is different from the typical scale patterns and I like being able to move up the neck through different positions. Thanks!
Pretty cool approach!