Friday, November 1, 2013

Scales over 12-bar blues: great example by Oz Noy

I found this video of a master class by the guitar player Oz Noy where he demonstrates different scale choices over dominant chords. It's a 12-bar I-IV-V blues in G with the chords

||: G7  | C7 | G7 | G7 | C7 | C7 | G7 | G7 | D7 | C7 | G7 | D7 :||

He then plays one or more choruses using only one type of scale to demonstrate the sound of that scale over dominant chords. E.g., when playing mixolydian he would choose G-mixolydian over the G7 chord, C-mixolydian over C7, and D-mixolydian over D7. He continues in this way using the following scales:

  • mixolydian: 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
  • minor pentatonic: 1 b3 4 5 b7
  • major pentatonic: 1 2 3 5 6
  • whole tone: 1 2 3 b5 #5 b7
  • diminished (actually half-whole): 1 b2 b3 3 b5 5 6 b7
  • altered: 1 b2 b3 3 b5 #5 b7
The first three scales are pretty much inside and will not cause too much friction. However, the whole tone, the diminished and the altered scales contain quite a few outside notes, and they might simply sound wrong to you if you use them for the first time. Anyway, Oz Noy manages to use them in a very musical way. Check out the video and start transcribing (starts at 6:46)!

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