Brian Setzer Style
|What you learn:
Rusty: In this lesson I would like to talk a little about
arpeggios. We'll use this idea again in next lessons, but we need to build a
foundation and understand how we can use them in a lead like Brian Setzer. A
good song to listen to is Brian's version of "Sleepwalk". Any ballad is a great
place to use arpeggios. We will not cover "sweeping arpeggios", typical of a
metal player. Although it's cool and fun to play, we want to spend more time
emphasizing the outside tones like major and dominant 7ths, 9's etc. This will
move us more into the jazz and swing sound that is typical of that song
"Sleepwalk". Next lesson we'll look at a tune similar to that song where we can
apply what we learn in this lesson.
Rusty: There is no lesson example for this
Most of what you learn will be exercises. Although, I will give you jam tracks
for each exercise. First, what is an arpeggio? I think it's
easier to look at a chord and an arpeggio together.
If we were to play a C Maj 7 (scale tones 1, 3, 5, 7) as a chord we would strum
all the notes at once. As an arpeggio we would play each note separately. For
our lesson we want to also follow the sequence (1,3,5,7). Later we will mix the sequence up a
little but for now we want to follow the scale tones as if we were "connecting
the dots". We will also follow a pattern using
thirds. The interval from the first note (1) to
the third note (3) is a major or minor third. The same happens for the interval
between (3) and (5), and so on.
Rusty: Let's look at the Key of C. If you have
trouble understanding the charts, scroll down to the bottom where I've put up
some images to better explain them.
Notes in C Major
Rusty: This shows the scale tones for C major.
We will use these notes to make all of our arpeggios. All the arpeggios we will look at will
start with the root note on the sixth string. Let's also look at the major scale
from that position.
If we were playing over a C chord we could choose between several different
things to play. One of the easiest ways to play
something that has a jazz taste to it would be to play the Major 7 arpeggio, C
Maj 7. Regardless of what's going on in the
rhythm, by playing the arpeggio we're implying that the C chord is a major
C Major 7 Tones
Rusty: To find the notes of that arpeggio we
start with our root and skip a third until we get to the 7th and then start the
octave over. Giving us a Cmaj7 arpeggio. The grayed out notes in the jpegs are
the tones we are skipping. They are all intervals of thirds (major or
Practice this arpeggio ascending and descending.
This next lick combines the arpeggio with the C major scale. That's something
you can mess with on your own to come up with a lot of different ideas. Here is a short loop in C that you can
practice the arpeggio against and the following licks. It is in 6/8 timing because
we'll use it next week.
Looping Sound Clip 1
Rusty: You can practice with this loop using
the C maj 7 arpeggio and adding in some scale runs with
it. The next chord we would look at would be
the IV chord of C major which is F. It's four tone arpeggio incrementing in
thirds would also be a major 7 arpeggio.
F Major 7 Scale Tones
Rusty: I would use the same position we used
for the C but move it up to the 13th
Practice this one forwards and backwards also.
This lick doesn't resemble the arpeggio much and not supposed to, but if you
can see the lick work around the arpeggio then you can also add them together to
make some interesting stuff. One thing that is cool is the addition
of the B note to this lick which could also be used in the arpeggio. For F, the
note (B) is the #4 or b5, an important note to jazz
players. However; they would also play a lick
like this over the (I) chord -C. So, you can move it back to the 8th fret and
play the same lick in C and notice the difference between it and the previously
played Cmaj7 arpeggio.
Rusty: Combining those two ideas will drag your
lead out longer making it more interesting. This next loop moves from a F6 to Fmaj7. Once we cover some basic arpeggios
we'll add in extra scale tones such as 6, 9, 13, etc.
Rusty: The next chord we would look at would be
the V chord of C which is a G. It's four tone arpeggio incrementing in thirds
would be a Dom 7 arpeggio. The only thing that makes it different
from a maj7 arpeggio is flatting back the 7th note making it dominant. Remember,
you can always use a dominant 7 chord for your V chord in any major key.
Rusty: Using the same arpeggio pattern and
moving back to the root note on the 3rd fret 6th string gives us this dominant
7 arpeggio pattern.
Again, practice that one ascending and descending.
This lick plays outside the arpeggio also. Which is quite common for comparing
country and blues licks to the arpeggio. This next loop uses a G13 to a G7. The G13 is already a dom7 with the addition
of the 6th or 13th note being E. Both will work in the Key of
Looping Sound Clip 3
Rusty: The final chord we will look at is the
Amin7. It is the vi chord of C. It's scale tone sequence is (1,b3,5,b7). You can
use this arpeggio over any minor chord.
Notice the notes on the neck they will show you the scale
This lick doesn't use the (b7 or G) but you could easily add it in. It
incorporates some triplets giving more of a classical
touch. And this last loop uses an Am7 to an
Looping Sound Clip 4
Rusty: Next week we will use these licks and
arpeggios in a song similar to "Sleepwalk" We'll also jazz them up a bit to
reflect a little more towards Setzer's style of playing. Plus we will alter them
a lot breaking away from the strict pattern we used in this lesson.
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