One of the most radical rock guitarists of the last quarter century, Vernon
Reid has earned many fans for his innovative alchemy of metal, free jazz, funk, and
blues. Among his most ardent admirers
is veteran bassist Jack Bruce who recently
recruited Reid for his latest Spectrum Road,
an ensemble dedicated to the music of jazz/
fusion drummer Tony Williams. Spectrum
Road is currently out on tour, supporting
their self-titled debut. Reid is also planning to reconvene with his best known
project—the seminal funk/metal quartet
Living Colour—for an album and tour in
2013. In this second part of our tutorial, the
articulate and amiable Reid further details
his approach for abstracting unique sounds
from conventional sources.
“Finally, let’s combine some of the ideas
already presented and juxtapose them
against a bluesy A13 chordal vamp to see
how you might incorporate the ‘out’ notes
into a more familiar setting [Ex. 5].
“Ultimately, whether something sounds
‘in’ or ‘out’ isn’t necessarily a function of
what a theory book says. It’s about what
feels and sounds right to you as a player.
The idea is to take some of the concepts
I’ve laid out and use them to create your
own lines. Approach tradition without any
preconceived notions, embrace what it has
to offer, and then add your own thing to it.
That’s how the music evolves.”
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