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S E S S I O N S

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Ex. 2

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Ex. 1
Go Outside
fromWithin
B Y J O D Y F I S H E R
STARTING AN IMPROVISED PHRASE
from a chord tone produces a very traditional,
“inside” sound. That’s useful in many situations,
but did you know you can use chord tones to
generate rather radical ideas? Here’s the concept:
Compose short, interesting melodic ideas, and
launch them from different chord tones. With
this technique, you’ll come up with phrases that
are inside enough to sound intentional, but out-
side enough to intrigue listeners.
How it works. By beginning your phrase on
a chord tone, you establish a connection with
the harmony of the moment. The phrase’s re-
maining notes carry you out of the chord—often
entirely out of the key. You control the degree
of tonal disintegration by the structure of your
original melodic idea. The more chord tones you
include, the more “inside” the sound. The more
notes you use from other tonalities, the more
“outside” the sound.
Hands on. Let’s try this technique over an
E7#9, as in Ex. 1, where we launch the same
rhythmic and intervallic pattern from each
chord tone. Notice how we always wind up a
fourth higher than our starting note.
Play Ex. 2 over Gm7. This pattern ends up
a fifth above each chord tone and takes us well
beyond the blues box.
Ex. 3 illustrates what happens when you
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8 8 7 10
10 10 9 12 8 8 7 10
9 9 8 11
10 10 9 12 7 7 6 9
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Ex. 5

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Ex. 4
launch a major triad shape from each
Fmaj7 chord tone. Not the stereotypical
arpeggiated maj7 sound!
In Ex. 4, we start an augmented chord
shape from G7b5 chord tones, and alter-
nate ascending and descending patterns.
Even though we’re thinking in terms of a
dominant 7b5, this example also produces
the #5 tension.
Ex. 5 encircles Am7 chord tones in an
ear-tweaking way.
Finally, be sparing with techniques that
generate outside sounds. Remember to
play such ideas with confidence and au-
thority so your dissonances don’t simply
sound like mistakes. g
Jody Fisher is an associate director for
the National Guitar Workshop’s California
and Nashville campuses. His Thirty-Day
Workout for Guitarists is published by Al-
fred. For info on Fisher’s CD Old Songs,
New Licks, write to Ear Fruit, Box 1602, Red-
lands, CA 92373.
S E S S I O N S
152 GUITAR PLAYER OCTOBER 1998
IN MAY ’84, MASTER
fingerstylist Lenny Breau offered
this insight into his harmonic wiz-
ardry: “The more command you
have over chord voicings and
their inversions, the more you’ll
be able to implement your musi-
cal ideas in situations ranging
from spontaneous comping to
meticulous arranging. This exer-
cise is designed to help you gain
better control of the voicings you
already know.”
The chord sequence is based
on I-VI-II-V root motion, a very
common progression in jazz and
pop. Each chord is modified to ac-
commodate the melody line—an
ascending chromatic scale, start-
ing on D. “To get the most out of
this exercise, you should begin on
other scale tones as well,” sug-
gested Breau. “Depending on
which note you start with, some
of the resulting chords may sound
dissonant—F, for instance, as the
upper voice of Cmaj7. Keep the
melody chromatic, and simply al-
ter the harmony as needed to
make the sequence flow more
smoothly.”
For instance, if you prefer to
avoid such unsettling chords as
Cmaj7 with G# in the melody,
simply change the harmony to E7.
Just keep in mind that in doing so,
you’ve changed the progression
from I-VI-II-V to III-VI-II-V. g
Lenny Breau

s
Comping Workout
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Send us your candidate for Lick of the Month (preferably notated
and on cassette), along with a brief explanation of why it’s cool and how
to play it. If we select your offering, you’ll get a funky custom T-shirt
that’s available only to Lick of the Month club members. Mail your entry
to Lick of the Month, Guitar Player, 411 Borel Ave. #100, San Mateo,
CA 94402. Include your name, address, and phone number. Materials
won’t be returned, and please don’t call the office to check the status
of your submission. You’ll get your shirt if your lick is chosen. g

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F O U R O N T H E F L O O R
L i c k o f t h e M o n t h
CHARLES CHAPMAN, AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
at Berklee’s guitar department, is our October Lickster. “If
you need a hip turnaround for a swing tune or shuffle blues,
this lick will do it every time. My students find it useful,
no matter what style they play. Play with a swing feel, and
keep the four-on-the-floor bass nice and steady.” g
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S E S S I O N S
154 GUITAR PLAYER OCTOBER 1998
STEEL GUITAR PLAYS A PROMINENT
role in country and bluegrass, but it was orig-
inally called Hawaiian guitar, in honor of its
birthplace. The technique of using a piece of
metal to fret a guitar was solidified (and perhaps
invented) by native Hawaiian Joseph Kekuku
in the last decade of the nineteenth century.
Here is a short list of moves identified with the
original slide sound from the “Land of the Hula.”
All examples use high open-Gtuning (G, B, D,
G, B, D), and are intended for lapstyle guitar.
Hula picks. One signature bit of phrasing
is called the hula pick. This involves approach-
ing a melody note by first playing a staccato
note of lower pitch—typically located a sixth
or third below. The hula pick usually occurs on
a different string from the melody note, but you
can use the open first string if it fits in the key.
The result resembles the voice break of a yodel.
In Ex. 1, the first three notes played on the
third string are hula picks. The melodic moves
in this line are prototypically Hawaiian. A slow,
wide vibrato is a must.
Hawaiian hiccups. On uptempo tunes,
steelers often transform the open-string hula
picks into series of very staccato notes that serve
as rhythmic interjections in the melody. When
they are fast and short enough, they become
Hawaiian hiccups, as illustrated in Ex. 2. This
is an excerpt from a hula number called “Tomi
Tomi,” and is based on the playing of the first
steel-guitar superstar, Sol Hoopii, who rose to
prominence in the late ’20s.
Crying and sliding. A right-hand effect that
became synonymous with Hawaiian music is
the steel guitar’s version of tremolo. This involves
quickly alternating notes on two (usually ad-
jacent) strings. This alternation usually has a
triplet rhythm, but the rate can vary. When you
add a dollop of lazy, wide vibrato, and let each
pair of strings ring together, the individual pitch-
es become murky and morph into a crying, war-
bling sound. As you try Ex. 3, sync your vibrato
to your picking: Slide up when you pick the
higher string and down when you pluck the low-
er string. This is hot stuff in some circles.
The amen turnaround. Another Hawaiian
music trademark is a one- or two-measure
turnaround that’s tacked to the end of an eight-
or 16-measure stanza. These turnarounds are
similar to the “amen” response of a church con-
gregation, and usually involve a I-V-I or V7-I
cadence. Ex. 4 shows the latter. g
Stacy Phillips is the author of The Art of
Hawaiian Steel Guitar and The Complete Dobro
Player (both distributed by Mel Bay). His most
recent album, Stacy Phillips/Paul Howard
[Malahat Mountain] is a duet with vocalist/gui-
tarist Howard.

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A Trip to Hawaii
B Y S T A C Y P H I L L I P S
L A P T O P G U I T A R
Ex. 4 Ex. 3
Ex. 2
Ex. 1
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Ex. 2
Upper-Register
Chords
WHEN COMPING IN A MODERN
jazz setting, it’s important to create color and
contrast. One way to accomplish this is to
change registers. Typically, the guitar’s low
and mid registers are where most of the ac-
tion takes place. While used by pianists, the
high register is often neglected by guitarists.
For some it’s a bit uncomfortable to reach
voicings above the 12th fret, while others
can’t seem to find rich-sounding voicings
way up there.
Ex. 1 contains beautiful upper-register
voicings. Play through them slowly, and try
singing the roots to help focus your ears on
their sound. Take your time.
Ex. 2 illustrates how you can use these
chords in a standard progression. Practice
with a metronome clicking on beats two and
four at around 85 bpm. Go for rhythmic
sparseness and space, and try playing these
voicings with a bass player.
Suggested listening. To get a feel for
this approach, listen to anything by Cana-
dian guitarist Ed Bickert with saxophonist
Paul Desmond, as well as any music by
guitar genius Ted Greene. Also check out
how pianist Bill Evans comped behind the
bass solo on “Beautiful Love” on his album
Explorations. This magic cut really illus-
trates the point. g
A Ted Greene alumnus, Pino Marrone
has also studied and performed extensively
with Joe Diorio. A former instructor at G.I.T.
and Grove School of Music, Marrone has
played and recorded with Joe Farrell,
Alphonso Johnson, Kenny Kirkland, Dianne
Reeves, Abraham Laboriel, and Herb Alpert.
E9 5
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B Y P I N O M A R R O N E
S E S S I O N S

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Ex. 2

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Ex. 1
THE SECRET TO PLAYINGSMOOTH
chord changes lies in voice-leading. Sim-
ply put, this means paying attention to
how each note in a chord moves to the
next chord’s notes. To get a feel for voice-
leading, let’s try several variations on the
same progression: Am7-D7-Gmaj7-
Cmaj7-F#m7b5-B7-Em7.
Notice how Examples 1 and 2 stay on
the inside four strings, while Examples 3
and 4descend and ascend on a split string
set: six, four, three, and two. By using in-
versions, we can creep along on the same
string set throughout an example.
As you move from chord to chord,
imagine each string is a separate instru-
ment or voice. Listen for common tones
and stepwise (half- or whole-step) motion
within each line. Now try to hear the pro-
gression as a set of four independent lines
moving up or down the fretboard. Hey—
you have a string quartet at your fingertips!
Once you’ve played these examples,
transpose the progression to different keys.
TheFingertip
StringQuartet
B Y M O R R I S A C E V E D O
Finally, try voice-leading other common
progressions—Imaj7-VIm7-IIm7-V7, for in-
stance, or a backcycled series of IIm7-V7-
Imaj7 cadences. Some pointers:
• Be careful how you use major 7th
chords in the 3rd inversion, such as Ex. 1’s
Gmaj7. In some contexts, this voicing
sounds too dissonant; in other situations,
it’s totally cool.
• Stay on one string set for the entire
progression. Doing so will force you to hunt
for new voicings—that’s good.
• Use the lowest note in each chord as
your focus point.
• Keep traveling in one direction along
the fretboard, until you run out of room,
or your ear tells you it’s time to change di-
rection.
• Wherever possible, build each line
from common tones and stepwise motion.
Once you’ve explored the single-
string-set concept, experiment with
changing string sets in the middle of the
progression, and try voice-leading the
changes to your favorite tunes. Skillful use
of inversions and voice leading makes for
colorful comping. g
North Texas State and Berklee alum
Morris Acevedo lectures on jazz improv at
U.C. Berkeley, directs the Berkeley Jazz Gui-
tar Ensemble, and teaches at the Blue Bear
School of American Music in San Francisco.
ACCESSING NOTES ON CALL
To sample or record any lesson in
this month’s Sessions, call 1-900-370-
0020 and enter the appropriate four-
digit code. It costs 75¢ per minute.
You’ll need a touch-tone phone and
parental permission if you’re under
18. To better control your phone time,
use these touch-tone commands: 7
= forward ten seconds; 8 = rewind ten
seconds; 9 = pause ten seconds; # =
skip to end;
*
= repeat lesson.
This month’s lessons are also
available on CD for only $6.95 (plus
$3.95 s/h). For credit card orders call
1-800-222-5544, or send check or
money order to Notes On Call, Octo-
ber ’98 Lessons, 146 2nd St. N., Ste.
201, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
Try GP’s Sessions sampler with 11 grooving lessons for only five bucks.
Such a deal! Call 1-800-222-5544.
Net-heads: For the lowdown on GP’s music notation symbols—
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N O T E S O N C A L L
October ’98 Guitar Player lessons:
1665 - Go Outside from Within, BY JODY FISHER
1666 - Comping Workout, BY LENNY BREAU
1667 - A Trip to Hawaii, BY STACY PHILLIPS
1668 - Upper-Register Chords, BY PINO MARRONE
1669 - The Fingertip String Quartet, BY MORRIS ACEVEDO
1670 - Lick of the Month: FOUR ON THE FLOOR
1671 - 7-String lesson, BY JOE GORE
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Ex. 4

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Ex. 3