Cool Chromaticism:
Using Lowered Seconds

Of the dozens of videos I’ve posted at the tonefiend YouTube channel, most have dealt with gear, and a few with general technique. But this is the first one I’ve done dealing with music theory. Which is sort of odd, since I’m a terminal music theory geek.

Aside from covering a cool and underused melodic/harmonic device, this video opens a Pandora’s box of modal theory. I have some crackpot interesting theories about this, and I enjoy sharing them, especially when I’m trying to get house guests to depart after a long party.

I’d like to post more stuff along these lines if folks find it useful. Let me know!

12 comments to Cool Chromaticism:
Using Lowered Seconds

  • Cool post Joe.  I’ll be exploring that tone some more; I’ve only really employed it as a passing tone, with the exception of one solo I recorded in the eighties when I didn’t know that it was “wrong”.  And I enjoyed the comment at the end: “Do I really think about this theory stuff when I play?”  I’ve had some pretty weird looks from people enquiring about the method to my madness when I tell them that I might be seeing the visual from the lyric and a bunch of numbers floating around my head while I’m playing.

    Looking forward to more posts like this!  What’s the point in having good tone if you’ve got nothing interesting to say with it?

  • Christopher Haugan Lyngedal

    Yeah, more of these videos will be appreciated!

  • Cross_J

    Cool tips on the scales 🙂 I was aways having trouble with coming up with some fun and cool notes to add on the basic pentationics this is a great help;)

  • Sweet! I’m going to give this a try.

  • Jim

    Good job, Joe. Yes, please, more theory and the practical applications thereof.

  • I was on a gig this weekend with an absolutely killer bass player, whose deep harmonic sense gave me the room to try some of these ideas out on a contemporary blues gig without sounding excessively obtuse.  Some fun, Bambi!

  • Jeff_H

    Please, sir, may I have some more?:pill:

  • Frank

    *More for Me 2 [~!~] 

  • Once you started hitting the major 3rd, I was wondering if you’d mention the half-dim scale, or half-whole scale. (I have half a hole in my head as a result of using). It’s so amazing how many ways you can manipulate this chameleon-like scale through omission of various notes.

    It can sound bluesy, jazzy, arabian, a bit mixolydian and the symmetric fingering on the upper 4 strings brings an amazing number of jagged intervallic and fluid linear approaches. Even in very consonant settings, I’ve found it useful in mysterious ways.

    And YES I too think of these theoretical concepts while playing, although it’s sometimes very much as a background process.

    Thanks for opening such a tasty can of worms!

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