Night Classes are ten-week TrueFire
Blues is a great style to work on phrasing techniques due to the amount of space and the slower tempos it provides, allowing the opportunity to focus on phrasing nuances. Every time we play, we’re applying phrasing whether we are conscious of it or not. This week’s lesson focuses on phrasing and its variations.
The chord progression is divided into two-measure sections. We play three sections with one bar of Dm7–Am7 followed by a bar of Gm7. The Gm7 chord is approached from above by a G#m7 chord. After the first three sections, we play two, two-measure sections of F–Bb. Jeff also works with sequences that start on different slots in a measure, sometimes using the exact same riff shifted a sixteenth of a beat over.
Read on for the full
Video one contains the performance of the solo on “Phraseology.” It has a Hendrixian quality and a thick, distorted texture. Jeff targets the D over the Dm7 and Gm7 chord. This D is the tonic of the Dm7 while it is the 5th of the Gm7. By playing the same note on different chords, its character changes.
The solo is played out of the D Aeolian mode. If we add all the notes from the chords in this progression together, this Aeolian is the resulting scale. The iv chord, Gm7, contains the notes G, Bb, D and F. The Am7 chord contains A, C, E and G, while the Dm7 has D, F, A and C. This gives us D, E, F, G, A, Bb and C – the D Aeolian scale. The Bb note is the b6th of the D, signaling the Aeolian. In last week’s solo, the IV chord was major, leading us to the Dorian mode.
In bar five, Jeff clearly plays the Aeolian mode by adding the b6th to his licks. In bars seven and eight he uses a sequence of notes that is displaced by a sixteenth.
The location where Jeff starts his solo is interesting. The tonic is on the fifth fret of the fifth string, which Jeff covers with his ring finger, placing him in the third blues position.
When he moves up to the seventh fret of the third string, he arrives at the tonic of the fourth blues position. He then ends the two bar phrase by playing the D on the tenth fret of the first string, which is in the fifth blues position. When racing across the fretboard, you need a clear focus of the tonics.
Jeff explains the concepts behind the solo. Beginning a phrase on an upbeat can give your licks a lighter feel, while leaving space between notes or allowing certain notes to sustain can also offer unique textures.
Practice Regimen For Week 5
Day 1: Review last week’s material with a special emphasis on sequences. Develop similar patterns and play them throughout the different blues positions. Improvise over the jam track targeting chord tones.
Day 2: Watch the performance of the solo. Using the
Day 3: Watch the breakdown on the second video and print the chart. Locate all of the double-stops Jeff plays and use them to jam over the backing track, playing only double-stops.
Day 4: Learn all of the individual phrases from the solo. Once you have one phrase down, go to the next and connect the two. Do this without the backing track, tapping your foot or using a metronome set at a comfortable tempo. Play over the jam track to create a short, four or five note lick, then use the timing displacement technique Jeff demonstrates in bars seven and eight of the solo.
Day 5: Today, run through the complete solo with the backing track. Then, improvise over it again targeting chord tones. The F chord (F, A, C) and the Bb (Bb, D, F) will create a different feel.
Night Classes are ten-week TrueFire