Sunday, April 10, 2011

Exploring Blackberry Blossom - Part IV Abstract Break

So far in this micro series we've covered a simple backup arrangement, a low single string break and a high break. For this, the forth and final chapter, we'll look at what I'll be calling an abstract break.

Perhaps abstract is not the most correct term. Fantasia? Noodlefest? Whatever we call it what I am refering to is a break which is not tied down to the melody. It uses the melody in quite a few places and the melody remains the bedrock foundation on which it grows but from that place it sort of meanders into the twilight zone (not much, just a little).

Have a listen here and then I will explain a little.

The first part of the break picks descending chord inversions with a forward/revers roll. I pick a dead note (muted with the left hand) on the 'and' after the 2 beat. I like the sound of dead notes occasionally. Here are the pros and cons of dead notes as I see it:

Pros: Creates a nice contrast with the more common ringing notes and provides an interresting percussive effect

Cons: Can sound like you messed up while trying to fret a note

The next part begins ascending chord inversions with some chromatic sliding movement on the third string.

After that it returns, for the most part, to single string melody playing for the rest of the A section.

For the B section I begin with an Em arpeggio which ascends a fair ways up the neck. For the B chord I play B diminished tones. The second time it returns to the B chord I also use B diminished chord tones only this time in triplet form.

That's the general gist of it. Hope you enjoyed these posts on Blackberry Blossom. It was suggested on the Banjohangout forums by Grumpy7 that we do more of these 'Exploring' series with different standards so I am going to try to do that as well and as regular as possible.

Write a quick comment if you have a favourite standard you think might be good for the 'Exploring' thing.

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