I was bored sitting around the house yesterday, and since I always have a guitar on hand, I just started messing around with some chord changes. Before I knew it, I had strung together a cool, jazzy chord progression with a bit of a latin flair. So, IK Multimedia StealthPlug in hand (I always carry one in my computer bag), I plugged it in, opened GarageBand, then laid down the track. Here are the chords first:
[Bm7] [E7] [Amaj7] [Bbdim] [Bm7] [E7] [F#m] [F#m7] [Dmaj7] [Fdim] [F#m7] [E] [Dmaj7] [Bm7] [C#7b9] [F#m] [Dmaj7] [Gmaj7] [Amaj7] [Dmaj7] [Gmaj7] [Amaj7] [Dmaj7] [Fdim] [F#m7] [E] [D] [Bm7] [E7] [Amaj7] [Bbdim]
Now here’s the track (you’ll have to loop it if you want to jam to it):
As you can see from the chart, the track is in two parts. I always like having a verse-chorus type of arrangement with my jam tracks so improvising doesn’t become monotonous.
In any case, When I improvise over it, I found that starting with an E Lydian for the first few notes works great for me, but starting on the A on the 7th fret. After that, I just let my fingers do the talking. 🙂 That’s how I’ve been improvising lately. I start with a mode to get a groove going, then I just feel it afterwards. What I’ve found is that the mode provides a theme or a backdrop to the picture I want to paint, then what follows after I let the mode go follows that basic theme. It’s a way for me to think about what I’m playing without over-analyzing it. 🙂
About the IK Multimedia StealthPlug
This wasn’t meant to be a review of the StealthPlug, but I thought I’d give it some props just the same. This little $99 gadget has been a traveling companion now for the past few years, since IK sent me one that was packaged with some AmpliTube software. Since then, I’ve always kept it in my computer bag. The reason is that it provides a very convenient guitar to computer interface that works great with most recording software. I use it with GarageBand to knock out ideas when I’m on the road or, incapacitated as I am right now, not able to get into my garage/studio without assistance.
And the new GarageBand, with all it’s great plug-ins makes recording guitar so very nice because you can easily shape the tones to fit your needs. For instance, the bass part was recorded using my acoustic guitar, but brought down a full octave with the pitch shift plug-in. Isn’t technology cool?
Anyway, enjoy and ROCK ON!