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by Robert Strait (6660)

Size 5.1 MB
Style Electronica
Gear Piano (Reason)
Bass (Reason)
Drum Loop (Reason)
DG Stomp Guitar Preamp
Digitech Whammy Pedal
Morley Wah Pedal
Pro Tools LE
This song began life as a one measure drum/bass/keyboard loop that I created while beginning to learn a software program called "Reason". Reason is a virtual midi studio which contains soft synths, samplers, and a drum sequencer. I created this simple loop for a wholenote "add-a-track" project, but it quickly took on a life of it's own with me.

The progression is an interesting one. It's four chords (Emin7 / F#7 / Amin6 / Emaj7#11) all over a repeating, "pedal-point", ostinato bass line. It's quite a challenge to play over...you should give it a try.

After creating the one bar loop, I flew it in to Pro Tools as a .wav file, copy and pasted it to lengthen the loop, and recorded live instruments over it. There is a cajone part (a hand drum made entirely of wood which is played like a conga) and a shaker which make up the added percussion. After that, I layed down about 10 tracks of guitar...some with the Digitech Whammy Pedal (such as the melody and other ambient sounds), some with the wah (like the harmonized bends that occur on the Emaj7#11), and some with the Yamaha DG stomp (the solo). For soloing ideas (and this solo isn't the best...it was a one off and I never gave it another pass) I play chord to chord as well as taking a key center approach with pentatonics. For Emin7 I use E Dorian; for F#7 I use F# harmonic minor dominant (the 5th mode of harmonic minor); for Amin6 I use A Dorian or A melodic minor; and for Emaj7#11 I use the Lydian scale. I also use a pentatonic approach where I play E minor pentatonic over the Emin7, F#7, and Amin6 chords, and then I switch to D# (Eb) minor pentatonic over the Emaj7#11. This works especially well at the 12th fret: you can play the root position Emin pentatonic at the 12th fret and then simply move down a half-step to play D#min pentatonic (which, when superimposed over Emaj7#11, creates a Lydian sound).

The track is very ambient. Even if you are not a fan of this type of music, check out all the cool "non-guitaristic" sounds that you can make with a little creativity and imagination. I've had a few people react skeptically that this track is mostly guitar...some have a hard time believing that it's not all synthisizer, but outside of the piano loop, the only melodic/harmonic instruments in the track are guitar.

This was such a rewarding experiment for me. I hope you enjoy listening to it.