Welcome to EvO:R Entertainment
The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section
Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete
reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false
promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians
so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.
Make Music Now!
by Lou Lasher
This column is aimed at the “do it yourself” independent artist,
seeking to either improve their music, or to find new musical ideas
to further their self-expression. No musical topic is off
limits just as no musical genre is above cross-pollination.
Musical works cited will include those of the author, works in the
public domain, or taken with permission from those found here at
EVO:R so as to avoid copyright infringements.
C. 2001, All rights Reserved
Classical Guitar Arpeggios, Pedal Tones, and creative thinking
on any instrument.
Here is a part of a little etude for classical guitar in E minor that I wrote.
It is in some ways inspired by Mauro Giuliani’s Opus 48 No. 5 study in
Throughout most of the piece two open strings ring out, the first and second
guitar strings, E and B. The tension in the song is built and released
by moving tones against stationary tones in the arpeggio pattern. Pedal
tones are a common device found in music. Examples are: Villa Lobos Etude
#1, Villa Lobo’s Prelude #2, Giuliani’s op. 48 no 5, the romantic piano
piece Leyenda (Asturias) by Albeniz (transcribed for Guitar by Tarrega), Bach’s
famous Lute Prelude in D minor, Robin Trower’s Too Rolling Stoned off of Bridge
of Sighs, John Coltrane’s recording of My Favorite Things written by Rodgers and
Hart,and many other songs.
Although it is common for pedal tones to occur in the bass, it is not always the
case. Both are found on the above list. In my own example the pedal
tones are not in the bass, which in this context does not refer to an instrument
but the lowest note being played, regardless of what or how many instruments are
playing it. Without getting too technical, a pedal tone is any tone held
against other moving tones.
On guitar this is easy to achieve. Perhaps the simplest way is toplay a
chord form and moves it against open strings. The following
guitpedl.mp3 shows this technique. On Bass
guitar it is similar, except when dealing with such low frequencys one must take
care to avoidsounding muddy. The following basspedl.mp3 should suffice.
When transcribing this part of my E minor Etude for bass I had to play the part
very differently, and it ended up sounding different, as
bassvet1.mp3 shows. The pedal tones no
longer ring out, they are sort of implied. The piece sounds very different
even though the notes are the same. I found it impossible to play at a high
tempo, but it gave me a chance to come up with new fingerings . I never would have tried otherwise,
and within these patterns are some good music that well will pull out in future columns.
I then moved the piece to Keyboard, so I could work with it on a midi synth,
and again it sounds different. Anyway the whole point of this article
can be summed up this way, if you “backward engineer” the bass example or the keyboard
example you can create your own classical guitar styled arpeggio with pedal tones sound
on anyinstrument you want.
The whole idea now comes full circle: guitarists should put down their guitar,
create this kind of pedal tone arpeggio pattern at keyboard or on
paper, without thinking in conventional guitar patterns, and then having completed it
try playing it on guitar. A future column will deal with that in more detail,
where we will dissect these patterns we areabout to write and turn them into music.
Step one, create a pattern that you like using some number of notes say in this
case 6 notes. Choose
some number of them to remain stationary while the others move, here I'm choosing the
second, forth and fifth but any will do. (Anytime you chose the lowest tone to
remain stationary, you will be setting up a pedal tone in the bass– try it and you'll
hear what a compelling device it is.) The stationary tones represent our imaginary
open strings. They don't have to correspond to open strings on guitar, because:
the idea is to apply the technique to any instrument, and to apply the technique in new
and creative ways.
To prepare the next pattern move the other voices, either in the
same direction or different directions from each other or in any fashion you like.
If you move a tone on to a tone that is stationary, that is ok. It just means that
tone will be sounded more than once in that pass through the pattern. The notes
will still sound independent and the overall scheme will not loss integrity.
Continue moving the moving tones in the pattern against the stationary tones in the
pattern as much or as little as you like. Let your ears decide, where you take
this kind of exercise is entirely up to you.
To see this kind of thinking on
paper, and to here my finished little arts and crafts project.
How well your’s sounds and how much better than mine is entirely up to you and
the kind of workyou put into it– like anything in music.