School of Arts

The blog of the School of Arts at the University of Surrey

Harmonic Literacy for the Guitar IV: Walking Bass & Chords

Unlike the piano, the ability of playing a simultaneous bass line and chord progression on the guitar is hard won. However, with some focused work on fretboard harmony, an effective, intuitively controlled and fun approach is possible. The following document provides an introduction to the technique – and some patient practice will go a long […]

Harmonic Literacy for the Guitar II – Cell Division:Populating the Fretboard.

Rather than using the typical approach of starting with scales for soloing, it can be far more beneficial to understand the chord-tones of the harmonic progression upon which you are playing. The implications of scales is that there is an ascending (or descending) hierarchy of importance, when in reality the pattern of consonance and dissonance […]

Harmonic Literacy for the Guitar I: Drop II Voicings.

The guitar is a supremely expressive instrument, and an essential component in a huge range of musical styles. However, its place in the instrument family is somewhat of a platypus. It is partly melodic with some players playing almost exclusively monophoncally (e.g. BB King). Some musicologists place it in the percussion family as its strings are […]

Meet Your Blogger: Jake Willson

Hello! My name is Jake Willson and I’m enrolled on the PhD programme at the University of Surrey, researching musical composition. At the time of writing, I’m heading towards the middle of my first year of post-graduate research, and as such, I’m making early attempts to define the boundaries – and indeed the focus – […]

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