Pivots are not the only tools you may use to add intensity to your accompaniment. I will talk about some other tools you can use with three note chords.
A pedal is a long note we can maintain over a group of chords to create a noticeable change of intensity in our accompaniment.
For the purpose of this course the pedal can be any note of the C scale, in other words any note of the scale from, which by the way, are the same notes that make up our chords.
It can any note of the scale as long as it sounds good to you.
This is the g note, and I will hold it over this group of chords, I play on strings: 2,3,4. I will play the chords and the pedal adding rhythm to the written example. Place capo on 2.
This is an F note and I will hold it over this group of chords. Place capo on 2.
This is the B note and I will hold it over this group of chords. Place capo on 2.
A pedal can be your choice of step three, create a melodic line over a group of chords.
An active rhythmic melodic line of generally one bar you can create and hold over a group of chords to create intensity variation in our accompaniment.
Listen to this example. The ostinato is highlighted.
What notes can I use to create an ostinato?
For the purpose of this course you can use any notes of the C scale as long as they sound good. An ostinato can be your choice of step 3, create a melodic line over a group of chords.
They are a tool you can use to join, in a step motion the top notes of your chords. The resulting lines smooth the transitions between shapes. They can be your choice of step 3, create a melodic line over a group of chords.
These melodic lines go up or down the scale, one step at a time.They are passive in nature, they do not stand out as they move relatively slowly but can produce remarkable melodic lines.
How to play the chords with ostinatos, pedals and ascending / descending melodic lines?
I will play for you the end result first and then explain how I went through all the steps, until I finalised my choice.
How did I come up with this idea?
Once again, I applied the six step process.
I completed step one: Identify the groove of your song.
I completed step two and choose these shapes to play the groove with.
First four bars: The Am…, the C…, the G…, then the C again.
Next four bars:Then for the F this shape, the C…, the G… and for the Am I change strings to get a feel of ending.
I completed step three: Create a melodic line.
I started hearing, while I was playing, …….. that it would be nice to define the groove with a repeating element on top. Therefore, in the first bar I decided to play the chord with the phrase…… I then thought this is nice, and how about if I continue repeating it over the C chord,……..I liked it.
I tried repeating it over the G chord …… but it did not fit so I changed one note…….. and ended up staying on a long note on the 4th bar………… on the C chord.
Let’s hear the four bars.
Since I ended up with a long note on bar eight over the C chord, I felt that it would be nice to hold this note over the next three chords, so I put them underneath.
The sustained note, the e, is a pedal. You can choose as a pedal any note of the scale and maintain it over a group of chords created with that scale, as long as it sounds good.
I played the chords with the pedal a few times, …..then I added a rhythm to the pedal the same as the ostinato……….
And then, I decided that before the repeat, I would stop the rhythm and add a nice melodic line, to join the top of the G chord with the Am chord, and the top of the Am chord to the e pedal note, for the repeat of the section.
This really sounds great, as it smoothes the repeat and makes the chord, rhythm and pedal shine even more.
Note that I have added no pivots.
I added the rest of the extra notes where I felt the need of more intensity or chordal definition, which in this case coincides with the first beat of each bar.
How did I do this ?
In the first bar I tried to add the whole chord of the original shape, but the ostinato was in the way of the a note, so I only added the e. But, since I still needed the root, I just added it an octave lower.
On the C chord I completed the chord, with the e note, as I was already playing the other two notes of the chord, with the ostinato. And since I was playing the Am with the bass, I felt that I needed to do the same with the C chord, so I added a c bass note.
On the G chord I only added the root, the g. On the next C chord, I added the rest of the notes of the chord underneath.
Listen to all of it.
I played it a few times, sung it and gave it the ok.
Complete this section before proceeding to the following. Create a similar example to example 3 (ascending/descending melodic line). Use the same chord progression and groove. Download the audio files and chord charts: Unit 4 Lesson 4.6.1. Record and submit as an mp3 file.
Create a similar example to example 2(ostinatos). Use the same chord progression and groove. Download the audio files and chord charts: Unit 4 Lesson 4.6.2. Record and submit as an mp3 file.
It’s your turn to have fun and inspire, by composing your own examples. They will be graded based upon how well you have completed the instructions, and the check questions. However, beforehand, the create your own section, must be completed.
Create and record three, two bar examples, demonstrating the three note accompaniment technique, with your own choice of chords and groove. All examples must include a drum or percussion track, showing the groove you are defining, and a melody that you may record with vocals or guitar.
Write in music notation or tabs, both the chords and melody of all the three examples.
Once you have completed each exercise, before submitting, do the following check:
Submit the mp3 files and the pdf files, and be sure to name each file with your full name, unit and lesson number.