Wrong Notes, Right Time

April 12, 2007

When it comes to generating cool “outside” sounds, guitarists (unlike saxophonists, pianists, and other instrumentalists) have a distinct advantage. Sometimes achieving angular, non-diatonic melodies on guitar is as simple as playing the right scale fingering at the wrong fret. Making this simple approach sound musical, however, can be a bit tricky—unless you’re Jimmy Herring. Here’s how the guitarist brings outside colors to an A minor groove by shifting seamlessly between the A and Bb pentatonic scales [see grids] mid-phrase.

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