Developing Melodic Material Based On The Five Positions Of Eb Major
Transposing To Eb Major
In this lesson we’ve learned specific techniques and musical devices that are easily applied to one of the 5 basic shapes of a Major Scale. Ideas and lines were introduced in Key of F and we’re then transposed, note for note to the Key of Bb. The final key center we’ll deal with in this lesson is the Key of Eb. It’s imperative that you view all lead guitar material and solos, whether they’re in studies found here or actual recorded lead lines from your music collection, as elements of a guitarists vocabulary or the raw materials of soloing if you will. The techniques, devices, lead lines and guitar licks you’re learning in this course are the musical beginnings of improvisations and your starting point for that nice and tasty solo guitarists are always searcing for.
Again, this couse designed not only to teach you how to play scales but more importantly, how to use the scales. To that end you’ll be using the musical techniques presented in the Key of F and the Key of Bb to create your own musical and interesting solos in the Key of Eb. Use the animation to the left to acclimate your ears to the “new” key center, the Eb Major tonality.
Below you see the Eb Major scale in the Open Position, again a slightly uncoventional but useful option in this key. The two open strings (“D” the 7th of the scale and “G” the 3rd of the scale) are a point of interest as they are important notes, favorite notes if you will, when improvising and composing melodies. Use the fingering pattern and rhythm found in the play along exercise below to deepen and strengthen your command over Major Scale sounds and mechanics. As this exercise doesn’t simply begin and end on the root note, look at as an exercise in ear training and exploring the infinite phrasing possibilities resident in the major scale. in other words, it’s very important that you learn to hear various bits and passages of the Major scale as just that -Major scale ideas and runs. Anyone can identify the Major scale when it begins and ends on its root notes. It’s an entirely new level of understanding and accomplishment to discern the sound if a scale as it used in a lick or melody.
Solo Based On Open Position Eb Major Scale
As we transpose our D TYPE fingering patterm melodic device to the Key of Eb we are, once again, employing the physical shape of the scale to create and develop our vocabulary. Simply put, if all you ever practice is scales, your playing will sound bland and boring, like someone running scales. With the method your learning here, your learning to melodize with the scales and capitalize on the shapes of the 5 universally known and used fingering patterns. Although you could memorize these runs and ideas and use them as such, it’s iportanrt to use melodic ideas as your basis of improvisations the same way a less informed player would use the scales themselves. We call this the point of departure, meaning where you start your solo flights from. You can use a simple scale itself or a melodic and musically strong line, both approaches are valid and useful.
Remember, this scale is the same shape as the Open Position C Major Scale. A scale in which all guitar players ar extremely comfortable in. It’s important to be able to visualize the shape of the Major Chord resident within the scale. Quickly review the Open Position C Major Scale and the C Major Chord. Play a few of your favorite melodies and licks using the C scale as a review and preparation exercise to learning the transposition of the scale found in position III, changing the key to Eb.
This method of playing and using scales is teaching you to use and identify melodic devices which are easy to relate to the physical shape of each scale. When using the C Type Major Scale, we’re taking special note of the scale tones that make up the Major Chord: 1, 3, & 5 and the two scale tones that along with the 3rd of the scale, we’ve nicknamed the ‘sweet notes’ or the 6th and the 9th. Remember how the 3rd, 6th and the 9th relate to the shape of Major chord (scale tones 1, 3, & 5) as diagrammed at right.
As with the C Type solos found earlier in this lesson, we’re beginning with a chromatic passage employing one chromatic passing note; the note between the 5th & 6th. This note is not part of the Major scale proper so it’s called a sharped 5th.
The A TYPE of Major Scale is often looked as The Root 5 pattern, and one of the very first scales a player will think of in this and all other keys. This is because the Major chord shape contained within the scale is one of the very first chords a player will think of in this and all other keys.
The solo itself is a study in how to use and control musical movement by thirds, playing every other note of the scale. the diagram at right shows the notes in the Major chord ( Nos. 1, 3 & 5 of the Major scale ) as they relate to the scale pattern. These kinds of melodic ideas that employ leaps in 3rds are very well suited to the scale’s shape.
Below you see the A TYPE scale transposed the fifth position and therefore the Key of Eb. To avoid any confusion in this diagram the large white numbers located inside each individual scale tone tell you which finger to use when playing the scale. Again, use the scale diagrams below as a play along and as a visualization to consult. Your also learning the sound, or the many ways a major scale can sound. as a result of your musical studies, notice how easily identifiable the scale is when beginning and ending on the root.
Solo based on Eb Major, Position V…
Below is our “A Type” solo based on the scale shape in the key of E b. the musical device we’re using is a simple and powerful one; movement by thirds, or skipping every other note. This is a very effective device we named the ‘instant melody’ earlier in this lesson.
The G TYPE of Major Scale is of course closely related to the G TYPE of Chord. Again, the chord tones and their shape are of prime importance to us for many reasons but mostly because knowing where they are makes it easier to play in and use the key.
We’re reviewing the Key of “G” because relating everything that is new or what you’re trying to learn (in this case the key of Eb) to something you already have completely mastered, (in this case the key of G ) is one of the keys to being able to quickly absorb, assimilate and employ new materials.
Solo based on Eb Major, Position VIII…
The melodic device we’re exploring in our G Type solo, is using wide melodic skips to introduce long, sustained notes (once again our ‘sweet notes’, 6 & 9). When simple scale passages are employed, the use of various accents and articulations can add smoothness and create musical interest in the line. As a reminder, the G Type of scale was discussed earlier in the course as it relates to a variety of melodic devices.
The E TYPE of Major Scale fingering pattern is probably the scale pattern most often thought of first when searching for scale patterns. Once again this is because The Major chord (Root 6 form) contained within the scale shape is probably the chord shape most often thought of first when searching for chord shapes.
The example below begins and ends on the root note of Eb. In the diagram below, the large numbers located inside the scale tones tell you which finger is used to play a particular note. This first note you play in this fingering pattern is of course the root on fret XI, string 6 – starting with finger two.
Solo based on Eb Major, Position X…
In this scale shape the Major Arpeggio, (the 1st, 3rd, & 5th of the scale) is neatly laying right under your fingers. The notes of the arpeggio are a critical part of many of the licks and melodies you’ll be using in this position. The interactive (click on it) diagram to the right illustrates the location of musically important and melodicly rich scale tones in relation to the basic Eb Major Chord shape resident in the scale.
Playing and studying the solo below is a good way to become familiar with sound of the 6th, 7th, & 9th which are, to recap, musically important and melodicly rich scale tones.