Originally published at Insane Guitar
Last month’s installment of "Insanity 101" covered the whole-tone scale.
We took a quick look at the scale and then a few runs and ways in which
we might apply them. This month, we’ll look at some chords based on the
whole-tone scale. These are not quite as easy to inject into a piece,
so it may serve you to compose a brief etude (a short piece of music
written to explore a specific musical idea or technique) as a means of
more deeply exploring and exploiting the sonic potential of this
Here are a few possible chord shapes to start you off.
Play around with those chords a bit and see what you come up with. Try
using them in a clean, slow-tempo piece; then compose something at
mid-tempo with lots of distortion. Note the last two chords make nice,
movable chord shapes that can be used all over the neck – so experiment
freely with these.
Here’s a quick study to help get the ball rolling. This is a short
interlude that I wrote that forms the basis of a piece that will appear
on my new CD, "Hunger". I hope you enjoy it.
You can also hear a piece drummer Mike Froedge (now the drummer for
Roadrunner Records artists DoubleDrive) and I did with the band
Aurora-Sen about 10 years ago. The song is called "Random Access". It’s a
study of whole-tone possibilities and polymetric ideas, and has a very
primal "voodoo" sort of feel to it. It tends toward the cinematic rather
than the concert stage, but it expresses some interesting sonic
capabilities of the whole-tone scale.
Remember, folks – feel free to drop me a line with comments, questions, and suggestions. I always dig hearing from you!