Phil Upchurch - Guitar Heroes A-Z

October 29, 2007

Most phrasing in Western music can be divided into two- or four-measure segments, and the phrase below is no exception. First, sing or tap its rhythms and observe how the two main statements develop over a span of four bars. Notice the hole left at the end of measure 2—this gap (starting on beat three) might elicit a bass drum “bomb” or quick piano jab on the upbeat to set up the next phrase. Now, play the example on guitar. Like many Upchurch lines, these contain a healthy mix of melodic shapes to keep things interesting. In the first measure, Upchurch descends a four-note Am arpeggio (contained within Fmaj9). In bar 4, he lands on an octave-displaced Ebmaj7 (superimposed over Cm7) that resolves to A, the 3 of F7.

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