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am i "blanketing" correctly

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by GlennCarbon, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. I think I have pretty good chops and an understanding of music theory. I have never had any formal classes but have gained information from reading and talking to people better than me. Somethimes my solos are good but I feel I lack consistency. For exapmle when I solo on a progression that is a ii - I - V in F (I'm not sure if I need to write this or if its implied but my five chord is a dom) I blanket a Dorian mode over the whole thing and it sounds good, sometimes I get a lil wild and even throw some pentatonic and blues scale passages instead of the dorian. Now I jam another song the progression during the solo is a ii -vi-ii-vi-V and I would think the vi or natural minor would be a suitable blaket but I find my self having to play off each of the chords seperatly. I.e d over the ii and a over the vi (I'm not sure if my short hand is correct but I read lowe case stands for minor). What is a good rule of thumb for blanketing. If I do a I-IV -V blues I stick on the I chord till I hop to the resolve on the V, but on a bluegrass style song that may go V-IV-I I find the V goes good over the whole deal. Some advice please.:crying:
  2. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    A suitable blanket, if we are using a blanket to solo over, I can understand the need for a blanket, however, if we are playing root on one chord tone accompaniment, there is little need for a blanket. OK that out of the way.

    You mentioned Dorian over a ii-I-V and it sounding good. Dorian being a minor mode with an attractive jazz sound (that's how I hear it) has a signature note of the natural 6. R-2-b3-4-5-6-b7. So that natural 6 note needs to be in the second chord of your modal vamp. I think you are getting close with that ii-I-V, but, are not quite modal enough. I've listed a paper on modal harmony below. It will go into detail.

    Long chord progressions - resolve to the tonic tonal center, that is why you are having to use pentatonics over each chord. Chord progressions resolve and modes sustain.

    Ask yourself, why use a mode? For it's sound. OK then we need to sustain that sound with a one or two chord vamp and not a chord progression that resolves to the V-I tonal center of the progression.

    Spend some time here. http://www.riddleworks.com/modalharm2.html#top There are several screens you need to look at -- use the buttons at the bottom of the screen.

    You thinking just needs to take into account do you want to resolve or sustain. The rest you understand.

    One last question; when you decide to use a mode in your solo, are the other guys laying down a modal vamp for you to play over, or are they continuing with the old chord progression? If they are; your modal sound is not getting through. You are playing the modal notes, doing a bang up job, but, I doubt the modal sound is happening. Why? For the mood to sustain you need that signature note droning in the background. You do not need the tonal center of the progression resolving to the tonic sound.
  3. So, for my "jam" to function better instead of going to the I chord if I went to the iii chord or in this case a minor or an e half diminished could have used dorian?what if I made the second chord a major seventh? It would would contain that e?
  4. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011

    here's a book I've been considering, that may suit your current needs
    it works by sorting out common tones in a chord progression and tetrachords

    I want what I'm working on to settle in a bit more before I stir things up again, but this sounds like something that would provide you a practical and theoretical framework for exactly what you're dealing with.

    If you do pick this up, please let us know if it proves to be useful.
  5. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    It is kind of a cliché in jazz to play a Dorian mode over a ii7 chord ...

    let say your progression ( ii- I - V ) is Dmin7, Cmaj7, G7
    if you play D dorian it is kind of a "duh of course it works" why ? because D dorian is the second mode of C ionian ( which is C major ) so ... you could also play B locrian over that progression ...

    So in all, I suggest you try all the mode derived from your I chord over the whole progression and hear what sound good to you and you aren't stuck in one mode ... so you could try to also sing and play what you sing or you could also take the original melody as your blanket and go wild in some places
  6. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Spend some time with the harmony site I gave you.

    The signature note of the mode should be in the second chord of your two chord vamp.
    Ionian - kinda hard to make the major scale a mode of itself, if it has a signature note it would be the natural 3.

    Dorian's signature sound is found in the natural 6 of the key you are using.

    Phrygian's signature sound is found in the b2.

    Aeolian's signature sound - here again Aeolian is the same notes as the natural minor scale and it is hard to make the natural minor scale into a mode. If you want to try use the b3 or b6 as the signature note.

    Locrian signature sound - is dark and tense - and I have found that a one chord vamp of the m7b5 chord droning in the background does what is needed.

    Lydian signature sound is the #4.

    Mixolydian signature sound is the b7.

    As long as you get the signature sound droning the modal sound (mood) will sustain.

    Its different and is a journey. That is why I stick with chord tones and the pentatonic scale. Does that limit me?

    As I get no lead breaks they being handled by the keyboard or lead electric, no I don't think so. If you get lead breaks then the above should fit. Then that thing about the other guys playing a modal vamp for your mode comes up. BTW here is what a modal vamp sounds like. the modal vamp starts around .34 of the video.
  7. Thanks Clef de fa! I used the Dorian because of what you had mentioned I.e a ii can be played over a tonic and a ii can go over a V but I was unaware of it being cliche.......not many hip Jazz cats in Scranton to talk shop with. I mostly have to piece my info together from sugar packets. Now with using the I chord, I thought it was bad news to play over a fourth. Like playing a C scale over a G7 chord?
  8. I think that I also should mention that I use or try to use these modal elements in more of a funky rock setting rather than a Jazz setting. Other than the vocal melody the guitar mostly holds down chords, I have tried to incoperate some ideas on substatution but in the long run I end up Dunning down the material,not only for my fellow band members but the audiance generally don't respond well to........hie should I out this....Jazz theory. I'm not attempting to re-invent the wheel but I would like to make a more sophisticated music. Like is there any kind of way to unify basic and Jazz theories. How can I use more indepth ideas when the songs I play lack melody lines to improvise on.
  9. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    id have to hear what youre doing, but im going to assume what youre doing what most fretted instrument players do when they say theyre blanketing dorian over a ii V or whatever. we like to think of the shape/pattern we're playing as the mode/scale rather than the collection of notes. as you solo and as the chords change, youre ear naturally takes you to notes that help define whatever chord is currently being played. since youre still in your dorian shape, you feel like your playing dorian over the whole thing even though your not. id suggest learning all diatonic scale shapes so youre thinking more about the notes and less about a single specific shape and record/listen back to your solos and see what notes your emphasizing as the chords change. maybe youre blanketing less than you think, maybe youre playing some wack ****.
  10. I like my solos/ and lines for about two weeks, maybe a month and then I feel my skills get better and I think my stuff is kinda weak. I did a record a year ago and at the time I thought it was cutting edge then as the months passed I got better and my stuff, in my opinion got lame.

    Also when I practice my scales, in G for example I go up G and back down on a and up on b and down on C etc. Is that what you mean by "learning all diatonic scale shapes"? I noodle scales for a while then I noodle chords. Then I hammer on it the rest of the day. My boy wakes up in the morning I put cartoons on give him food play bass, he gets tired of it I play with him he gets bored of that, we play xbox and then start the whole thing over again.
  11. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    when i say analyze, i mean more than just a casual listen. what chord tones are happening while a certain chord is being played.

    in regards to playing scale shapes i mean use something like the caged system or 3 notes per string or whatever you like best and play across all strings. think about they key and not dorian = dorian.
  12. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    We use the notes of Dorian to compose a melody. What drops between the chairs is we really are composing a melody, the tune over some chords. How do we compose a melody? That is a very good question. The answer lies somewhere in the first 60 pages of this paper. Of course IMO. http://books.google.com/books?id=Ht...result&ct=result&resnum=1#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Like you mentioned your early attempts sounded good at the time, but, as you learn more they were really very shallow. Running a box or set of notes up and down is not the way melodies are created. There are several ways of making a melody. One method is we love four note phrases so if we have three close notes then a leap of at least a 3rd our ears like this. Another way is to write our melody in standard notation and then look at the clef. If we have a wave action of high and low notes this is pleasing to our ears. Twenty foot breakers perhaps not, but three foot swells do make good sailing.

    Your repetitive head (tune) gives structure. Once you have a structure in your mind's ear mess around that structure all you want, i.e. establish the tune then improvise around that tune and give back the lead playing the tune. In the last site I give below Hal talks about embellishing around the 3rds.

    The repetitive head has to be in there somewhere. Hal says we gotta hear it to play it. Are you hearing it before you play it? I'm not quite there - yet. Or are you hoping that some box will produce the tune you are hoping for? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_7DgCrziI8


    We (you and I) depend on our boxes and our patterns. We need to rely more on our ears. Hard to do........
  13. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Which Dorian scale do you mean?

    What narud posted is a D Dorian scale starting at the 5th fret, A string.
  14. My example was a Dorian in G so the key of F.
  15. All this advice has been really great. I have been running some tests and I feel like I've already started showing some improvement. Digging around in that Dorian and making the leaps from four note pharse to pharse by thirds is fantastic. So much more feeling than just the machine gun shredding from box to box or position to position that I have been doing. I'm not saying I am not going to use the pentatontic rifts and runs but now I don't have to lean on them so much. Thank you!
  16. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    I think this thread is talking about bass playing. Not sure. Most of it seems to be in a language i don't understand.
  17. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Well, just to be clear, if you play a G Dorian scale over a ii I V in F Major, you are really playing a displaced F Major scale in the key of F Major. To be in G Dorian, Gmin or Gmin7 must be the I chord. As you clearly state, the Gmin is the ii chord; hence, you're in F Major. The point being there's absolutely nothing Dorian-sounding in what you are playing. The Dorian sound is a natural 6th of a min7 chord that is functioning as the I chord in contrast to the "more common" sound of the b6 over a natural minor chord serving as the I chord (which is Aeolian).

    What you are doing is emphasizing the 9th, which creates a jazzy feel and sound, just not a Dorian sound.
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Pentatonic riffs are very prominent for a reason...they work. It's fun to branch out as well. But I'm against blanketing your solos and riffs with a mode just as I would be about using exclusively pentatonics because it can be a little boring at times. There's 12 notes in our musical vocabulary, and if you know how to place them properly, you can use any of them. That to me is more fun than limiting yourself to 7 or 5.
  19. Its all about being like Felix the cat, he's got everything in that bag of tricks.
  20. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    I really like this vid. It is the way I learned in college.