Hi, my name is Murilo Romano. It’s a great pleasure to be here with you! Today I’ll be using the solo from my song ‘Nostradamus’ to show you how to use chromatic approaches, arpeggios and tensions to give your licks an ‘outside’ sound.
On the album and in the video I used distortion to record the solo, but I decided to record the audio examples for this lesson with a clean tone. The distortion masks a lot of things – notes that do not sound properly and are sometimes simply wrong! It is very important that you study with a clean tone, or even with an acoustic guitar, so that you will be able to play the phrases accurately. Also note that since the progression behind the solo is a repeating minor line cliché in G, all licks are analyzed relative to G.
Example 1 is the beginning of the solo. This section uses the notes of the G Blues scale with some chromaticism. The blue note that appears in measure 1 is already a tension, but I added another tension note in measure 4 that appears as a target note, too. The note A is a 9 over G and sounds really good! Pay very close attention to the slides throughout.
Example 2 has an ‘outside’ sound. This section arpeggiates the following chords: Gm7 – Adim7(11) – Bbmaj7(#11) Contributing to this outside sound is the b13 Eb in Adim7(11) that soon becomes the 13 E in Bbmaj7(#11). Play each arpeggio slowly in sequence and separately, so you can internalize how they sound in sequence and how they each could be applied to other solos.
Example 3 is a phrase with a higher difficulty level, mainly because it combines 32nd notes and 16th note triplets with a stream of 16th notes, but also because it uses a lot of chromaticism and chromatic approaches. The 13 and the blue note in the beginning create a cool sound, and lead to a chromatically approached b3. After that we have a chromatic approach to a Cmaj7 arpeggio, followed by a chromatic phrase that ends with a tritone leap to D.
In Example 4 we have a phrase made of tritones and chromatic approaches. It starts with a D, its tritone Ab and a high D, followed by chromatic approaches to Db, C and E – the blue note, 11 and 13, respectively.
In Example 5 we have a phrase created using the notes of G Dorian. It is performed with three notes per string and a great deal of legato. On the third group of six notes per beat I change the note E to Eb, which creates the cool effect of making a 13 from earlier into a b13. Practice this lick at a slower tempo, playing with fluency and clarity, then gradually increase speed!
In Example 6 I arpeggiate G Minor Pentatonic (with the addition of the 13 E in the third arpeggio) in the 8th and 10th positions, and end with a mostly chromatic descending line. This phrase is played using hammer-ons for the arpeggios and alternate picking for the descending ending. You must take total control of the arpeggiated notes so that when playing with distortion, they do not sound like chords filled with bumps. Each note should cleanly ‘get in’ come his time and ‘get out’ at the time the next note appears.