Indie = Psychedelia

Indie = Psychedelia in 2018

by Peter Marchant

In 2014 I was introduced to my friend’s new boyfriend who was a massive fan of ‘psych’ music, especially one band in particular: ‘The Brian Jonestown Massacre’. I had played guitar in ‘indie’ and ‘pop’ bands for my entire performing life and yet I somehow managed to miss this strange term. However, four years on and I am now fronting an outfit that I can categorically say is a ‘psych’ band (short for Psychedelic Rock or Pop by the way).
It turns out that this was a genre that I had been into for years without even realising it. The Beatles, Oasis, Kasabian, MGMT…these were all bands that I loved and simply considered to be Rock or Indie bands. My new friend encouraged me to delve deeper into his Spotify playlist and into the fuzzed out, reverby world of psychedelic rock.
2018 is a crucial time for this ‘macro-genre’ (as I call it) as we are seeing more bands than ever who would have previously been considered all-out indie now playing very ‘spacey’ and ethereal sounding music, strongly influenced by artists of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Indie = Psychedelia

Indie = Psychedelia

A perfect example of this is Arctic Monkeys, whose album ‘Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino’ was released on the day I wrote this. As a guitarist, one of the first things that you notice when the needle drops on this record is that there is hardly any guitar…or so it seems. The guitar is used, but sparingly. When there is guitar it’s never a conventional crunchy, twangy Fender Stratocaster sound that is so closely associated with their first two albums. For example, towards the end of the first track ‘Star Treatment’ a guitar part (finally) comes in, which acts like a call and response with the ‘Beach Boys sounding, palm muted, melodic and guitar-like’ bassline. The effect on this guitar part is more accurately described as a subtle ‘fuzz’ sound more than a crunch or distortion, with a clipping characteristic that is typical of tape saturation. Even the chord progression in this section of the song is classic psychedelia. The chord progression Cm to F repeating is reminiscent of that used in Pink Floyd’s ‘Great Gig in the Sky’ when that famous vocal solo kicks in (the chords being Gm to C repeating). A far cry from their days of playing ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ in 2006. See what spaced out inspiration lies in the more recent music of those indie bands of days gone by.
Other examples: The Coral – ‘Sweet Release’, Foals – ‘What Went Down’, Gaz Coombes (formerly of Supergrass) – ‘Walk The Walk’, Phantom Isle – ‘Focus’ (my band!)

Indie = Psychedelia in 2018

Learn to solo like Angus Young

Learn to solo like… Angus Young (AC/DC)

PART 1 / 4 : Minor and major pentatonic scales

One of the key components in the music of AC/DC are the instantly recognizable, crazy guitar solos. Angus Young has got a few tricks he will constantly use to achieve this classic hard rock sound.

In part 1, we will look at the kind of scales Angus uses to improvise and write solos.

The most common scale used in rock (and in many more styles of music) is the minor pentatonic scale, which you probably already know. In many songs, Angus would often switch between the minor pentatonic and the major pentatonic, often at regular intervals (half a bar in major, half a bar in minor for example)

Let’s have a look at this lick using the G major and minor scales:

How to Solo like Angus Young

Learn to solo like... Angus Young (AC/DC)

Learn to solo like… Angus Young (AC/DC)

Now, let’s highlight the notes from the major pentatonic in pink and the notes from the minor pentatonic in blue:

Learn to solo like Angus Young

To create licks following this kind of logic, we can take 2 pentatonic scales, one major and one minor, in the same area of the neck, and improvising using notes from either the major or the minor pentatonic. Here are the 2 positions the example above uses:

 

How to Solo like Angus Young

How to Solo like Angus Young

How To Play Lead Guitar Like Angus Young

Learn to solo like… Angus Young (AC/DC)

G major Pentatonic

G major Pentatonic

Guitar Lessons Acton West London

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Guitar Lessons Acton fun, enthusiastic instructor will help you play your favourite songs sooner than you thought possible! Lessons are designed around the goals of the students. Your ambitions become our ambitions.

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Tuition and lessons in Acton, London Guitar-Lessons-Acton-London

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London Guitar Academy offer private guitar lessons to students of all ages and skill levels in a fun and patient environment. Whether you’re picking up a guitar for the first time or you’ve been playing for a while and are looking to break out of a rut, I can help.Helping students achieve what they are most enthusiastic about is what is most rewarding to LGA.

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Harmonising The Major Scale

Harmonising the major scale

As we all know, the major scale plays a central role in Western music. Almost all of the music we listen to relates to the major scale in one way or another and it is the mother of all of the most common chords and modes that we deal with as musicians on a day to day basis.

Really getting to know the scale and its relation to the chords we use is an essential basis to dive deeper into the world of Jazz harmony. Harmonising the major scale using triads and seventh chords is a fantastic way of opening up new insights into its structure and harmonic possibilities.

Harmonising the major scale using triads
Triads are made up of three notes – the root (1), the third (3) and the fifth (5).

The quickest way of finding the right notes for your triad is going up its respective scale in thirds, which is most easily done by skipping every other note of the scale, and stacking those notes on top of the root.

Within the C major scale for example, the third of C would be E (we skipped the D) and by adding yet another third (skipping the F) we’d get to G, completing our C major triad:

The Harmonised Major Scale

CDEFGABC

If we’d now want to construct a triad using the same scale but starting on D, we’d simply do the same thing going up from there, which would get us the notes D – F – A (a D minor triad).

CDEFGABC

This way we can go through all of the notes of the major scale and assign a chord to each one of them. If you hear someone talk about a “I – IV – V (read: one, four, five) progression”, they are simply referring to the chords that you will find on the first, fourth and fifth note of the scale. In our example of C major, this would be a C, F and G Chord.

Chord qualities

Within chords based on the major scale, thirds can be either major or minor (3 / b3) and fifth can be either perfect or diminished (5 / b5). The type of third/fifth we end up with is determined by the interval (the amount of semitones) between a note and the root of the chord. For a full list of intervals, please have a look at the interval chart at the bottom of this article.

The combination of intervals within a chord determines the type, or quality of the chord. When harmonising the major scale using triads, we will encounter three types of chords:

Major: 1–3–5 Minor: 1 – b3 – 5 Diminished: 1 – b3 – b5

If you keep going through the scale as we did above, you will end up with the following chords for each step (degree) of the scale:

Degree

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VII

Chord type

Major

Minor

Minor

Major

Major

Minor

Diminished

In C major

C

Dm

Em

F

G

Am

Bdim

Here’s a way of playing through the harmonised C major scale using triads:

Seventh Chords

So called seventh chords consist not of three, but of four notes. The first three are identical to the notes within a triad (1 – 3 – 5). In order to construct a seventh chord, we simply stack yet another third on the top of the triad, giving us a chord that consists of a root, a third, a fifth and a seventh.

Just like the third, the seventh can be either major or minor (maj7 / b7), depending on whether it is ten or eleven semitones away from the root (see interval chart).

When harmonising the major scale using seventh chords, we will encounter four different kinds of chords:

Major 7 (written maj7): Dominant 7 (written dom7 or 7): Minor 7 (written m7):
Half diminished (written m7b5):

Constructing seventh chords

1 – 3 – 5 – maj7 1 – 3 – 5 – b7
1 – b3 – 5 – b7 1 – b3 – b5 – b7

Using the same method as we did with our triads, let’s have a go at finding the seventh chords of each note within our example scale C major:

Harmonising the major scale

Harmonising the major scale

As we already know, the C major triad consists of the notes C – E – G. If we then add another third to that triad (going up from G, skipping the A) we’ll get the extra note B:

CDEFGABC
The chord we end up with now consists of 1 – 3 – 5 – maj7, thus making it a Cmaj7

chord.

Let’s try the same for D:
CDEFGABC
This time we end up with: 1 – b3 – 5 – b7, a Dm7 chord.

You can go through the whole scale in this fashion and will eventually end up with a seventh chord for each note of the scale:

Degree

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VII

Chord type

maj7

m7

m7

maj7

dom7

m7

m7b5

In C major

Cmaj7

Dm7

Em7

Fmaj7

G7

Am7

Bm7b5

Here’s a way of harmonising the C major scale on your guitar, using seventh chords. Please note that rather than sticking to the 1 – 3 – 5 – 7 order, we are now inverting the chord to a 1 – 5 – 7 – 3 structure, with the first four chords having an optional doubled 5 on top of that. Inverting chords and doubling notes is a common practice on the guitar and other harmony instruments.

You will find the most common chord shapes for maj7, min7 and dom7 chords at the bottom of this article. Try harmonising different major scales using those shapes!
It’s also a lot of fun and great practice to come up with chord progressions
(e.g. I – VI – II – V) and transpose them through different keys.

Seventh Chord shapes with their root note (square) on the E- and A-String

Interval chart

Semitones

Interval

0

Perfect Unison

1

Minor Second

2

Major Second

3

Minor Third

4

Major Third

5

Perfect Fourth

6

Diminished Fifth

7

Perfect Fifth

8

Minor Sixth

9

Major Sixth

10

Minor Seventh

11

Major Seventh

12

Perfect Octave

Seventh Chords

 2 Octave Major scale

Major Scale

Major Scale

Guitar Lessons Crouch End Beginner and advanced guitar lessons in Crouch End

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NILS LOFGREN MAY 2018

GIG REVIEW – NILS LOFGREN MAY 2018 Nils Lofgren is back in the UK with his “50 Years…Up The Road Tour” and LGA reviewer, Paul Wood, was there to catch his recent show at the Birmingham Town Hall. Interspersed with stories from his life on the road with Neil...

Indie = Psychedelia

Indie = Psychedelia in 2018 by Peter Marchant In 2014 I was introduced to my friend’s new boyfriend who was a massive fan of ‘psych’ music, especially one band in particular: ‘The Brian Jonestown Massacre’. I had played guitar in ‘indie’ and ‘pop’ bands for...

The Seven Modes of the Ionian System The Ionian system is a collection of modes (scales with characteristic musical features) all of which are based on the...

Guitar Lessons in Brent North West London Guitar Lessons Brent North West London. Fun, informative guitar tuition for beginners, adults, & kids. If you want to start taking guitar lessons but don't know where to go, or tired of practicing guitars online & not...

Learn to solo like... Angus Young (AC/DC) PART 1 / 4 : Minor and major pentatonic scales One of the key components in the music of AC/DC are the instantly recognizable, crazy guitar solos....

Guitar Lessons in Acton London Guitar Lessons Acton fun, enthusiastic instructor will help you play your favourite songs sooner than you thought possible! Lessons are designed around the goals of the students. Your ambitions become our ambitions. [caption...

Harmonising the major scale As we all know, the major scale plays a central role in Western music. Almost all of the music we listen to relates to the major...

Guitar Lessons Streatham Guitar Lessons Streatham. London Guitar Academy offers guitar lessons Streatham South London. Our longtime Streatham tutor 

Guitar Lessons in Harrow North West London Guitar Lessons Harrow. Learn to play guitar in Harrow North West London Today.  Our music school offers innovative guitar lessons from certified professional teachers in programs. 

Guitar lessons Chiswick, Richmond and Isleworth Guitar Lessons in Isleworth, Osterley and Hounslow  teach private guitar...

Guitar Lessons Hounslow Kingston upon Thames Merton Redbridge London's dedicated full-time guitar teacher committed to student success! When learning to play guitar, one of the most important decisions you can make is choosing the right guitar teacher.....London Guitar...

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GIG REVIEW – JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT

 JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT GIG REVIEW 

Currently touring throughout Europe, LGA reviewer, Paul Wood caught Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit on their last UK date at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham.

Jason Isbell has been recording and touring with steadily increasing acclaim since his departure from the Drive By Truckers in 2007. His 4th solo album “Southeastern” earned him a clean sweep at the 2014 Americana Music Awards and follow up album “Something More Than Free” made top position in the Billboard rock, folk and country record charts.

Isbell’s latest studio album “The Nashville Sound” is credited to Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and its songs are the centerpiece of tonight’s show.

GIG REVIEW – JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT

 

The line up for the European tour comprises Jason Isbell (guitar), Derry deBorja (keyboards), Chad Gamble (drums), Jimbo Hart (bass), and Sadler Vaden (guitar). This is the band featured on “The Nashville Sound”, although Isbell’s wife, Amanda Shires (fiddle) hasn’t come over for the European dates.

The opening couple of songs had a full on rock sound with both Isbell and fellow guitarist Sadler Vaden on electric guitar.  The opening sound (imagine a mix between Steve Earle in his rocky period and Bruce Springsteen) was probably a bit loud for the Symphony Hall acoustics and the keyboard was pretty much lost underneath the guitars and bass.

Here’s a link to the promo video (with lyrics) for the second song of the night “24 Frames”:

JASON ISBELL

As the set pacing changed and Isbell switched to an acoustic the sound became much better balanced and the whole sound became clearer, even when it got rockier again later in the set. Here’s a link to Isbell’s promo live video of “Hope The High Road”

For quieter numbers, the band slimmed down to just leave on stage Isbell and whoever was needed, before the whole band was back again for the final series of numbers. Here’s a link to the promo video for his rather gorgeous song “Cover Me Up”

The main set drew to a close with some flashy guitar interplay between guitarist Vaden (an impressive player throughout the evening) and Isbell.

The set list was a good mix of the new album (8 songs) and favourites from earlier albums, “Southeastern” (3 songs), “Something More Than Free” (3 songs) and the 2011 album “Here We Rest” (2 songs).

There was also a nod back to the Drive By Truckers with “Decoration Day” and main set closer “Never Gonna Change”.

No two sets on the UK dates was exactly the same, numbers being added or dropped out, presumably to keep it fresh for the band and for the audience, a clear number of which had caught more than one show on the tour.

Here’s a link to Isbell’s promo video for “If We Were Vampires” which was played as the first encore of the night.

Looking at the set lists from other dates on the tour, Isbell has been playing a Tom Petty song in his encore selection and tonight was no exception, the audience being treated to a slammin’ version of “Refugee”.

The Symphony Hall was clearly (almost) full with Isbell fans. His last few albums have seen him make great strides in terms of commercial success and this was a good well paced show from a guy with a growing back catalogue of impressive songs. Jason Isbell is an artist well worth checking out on his next European tour.

SETLIST

  1. Anxiety
  2. 24 Frames
  3. Hope The High Road
  4. White man’s World
  5. Decoration day
  6. Something More Than Free
  7. Codeine
  8. Molotov
  9. Last Of My Kind
  10. Alabama Pines
  11. Elephant
  12. Cumberland Gap
  13. Tupelo
  14. Stockholm
  15. Cover me Up
  16. If It Takes A Lifetime
  17. Never Gonna Change

Encores:

  1. If We Were Vampires
  2. Refugee

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Guitar Lessons Peckham & Peckham Rye London SE22

Guitar Lessons Peckham & Peckham Rye London SE22

 

Peckham Guitar Lessons

London Guitar Academy focuses on private music instruction with top-tier music teachers, supplemented with ongoing performance opportunities and events.

Guitar Lessons Peckham & Peckham Rye London SE22

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Our fantastic tutors always gear the lesson towards the needs of the individual student, teaching a basis of theory in the style of music the student is interested in. Styles Including: Pop,folk, Blues, Rock, Jazz, Funk. Specialising in the practical application of music, improvisational and theory.

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Week 4

Guitar Week 4

Week 4 article.

‘Good morning, afternoon, or evening!  The first video we looks at a tasty Dorian inspired Steve Lukather Style lick.

Then we will be  looking at pentatonic runs and making up patterns. Given the repetitive nature of these patterns, they lend themselves well to being played fast, as your fingers can learn the pattern fairly quickly; a lot of the fast runs you hear Joe Bonamassa play are repetitive pentatonic patterns . As always, start off slow and build up speed gradually. The examples here are to be used as a springboard for you to come up with your own runs. https://vimeo.com/224822361

Joe Bonamassa style Pentatonic Lick from London Guitar on Vimeo.

Enjoy!

All of these examples are in the first position of the D minor pentatonic scale.

 

Guitar week 4 tab 1

Guitar week 4 tab 1

week 4 tab 2

week 4 tab 2

https://vimeo.com/224822361

week 4 tab 3

week 4 tab 3

week 4 tab 4

week 4 tab 4

Cheers,

Sean

Flamenco Guitar Lessons London

Flamenco Guitar Lessons

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Flamenco Guitar Lessons London

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Classical Guitar Lesson Classical Guitar Lessons London

Classical Guitar Lesson Classical Guitar Lessons London

Rumba Flamenca: Basic Right Hand Moves

 

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Little Steven Soulfire

ALBUM REVIEW: SOULFIRE – LITTLE STEVEN

 

Last year at his O2 Indigo show in London, Little Steven announced that he was going to be back in 2017 with a new album and another European tour. The only UK date that’s been squeezed into his schedule was Manchester but the promised new album is now out and it’s a scorcher!

LITTLE STEVEN SOULFIRE

LITTLE STEVEN SOULFIRE

 

His first solo album for 18 years (“Born Again Savage” appeared in 1999), the new release marks a return to the sound of “Men Without Women” (his first album with the Disciples of Soul) and the first three albums for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, which he produced and provided a lot of the original material. So you know what you’re going to get – lots of brass, big production, classic 50s and 60s R & B and striking rock guitar

Little Steven

Little Steven

 

The 15 piece band includes top horns man Eddie Manion (from the Asbury Jukes) and guitarist Marc Ribler (the musical director for Darlene Love), and it’s primarily the band that played over here at the London Blues Fest.

 

It’s not what you would call a “brand new” album – most of the Van Zandt material has appeared in some form previously. It’s effectively Van Zandt pulling together a set of songs that can be seen as his story so far – and it makes you realise what a good songwriter/producer/arranger Van Zandt is.

ALBUM REVIEW: SOULFIRE – LITTLE STEVEN

ALBUM REVIEW: SOULFIRE – LITTLE STEVEN

 

You get Van Zandt’s take on 5 of his own compositions (or co-writes) which were first recorded by Southside Johnny – I’m Coming Back, Some Things Just Don’t Change, Love On The Wrong Side Of Town, I Don’t Want To Go Home (the first song he ever wrote) and Ride The Night Away. Also featured is an update of “Standing in the Line of Fire” (originally recorded by Gary US Bonds)

 

The “old” songs are good and anyone familiar with the Southside Johnny versions isn’t going to be disappointed. “Love on the Wrong Side of Town” is the most changed version- it gets a “Byrds style” intro before the familiar brass parts kick in, and then the instrumental section goes for an altogether different sound which is strikingly different from the horns on the Jukes version.

Soulfire

Soulfire

Even more interesting are the less familiar songs –“Soulfire” the album opener is a co-write which was recorded previously by The Breakers – a band on Van Zandt’s own label. It’s a strong opener and sets out the tone of the album that follows – a big sound and Van Zandt’s trademark vocals and guitar.

 

Here’s a link to Little Steven’s Youtube site to hear “Soulfire”:

 

 

“The City Weeps Tonight” is a new Van Zandt original – and it’s a gorgeous piece of updated doo wop. “I Saw The Light” is another Van Zandt original (not the Todd Rundgren song) which has never appeared before.

 

There’s an excellent choice of covers – first up (track 3) you get the “Blues Is My Business” a strong blues rock number first recorded by Etta James. This is the track for all you LGA students to plug in the guitar and play along to. Clocking in at over 6 minutes there’s plenty of licks and riffs to get your teeth (fingers!) into. You can play along here at Little Steven’s Youtube site:

 

 

The album also features a cover of “Down And Out in New York City” – the James Brown track from the movie “Black Caesar”. Marc Ribler gives it the full-on ‘70s “Shaft” wah-wah guitar sound.

 

“Saint Valentine’s Day” is another Van Zandt original that was originally given away and recorded by The Cocktail Slippers. It also featured in a stripped down rocky format in the rock movie “Not Fade Away” but this version brings in the full band and horn section to keeps this version within the sound of the album as a whole.

 

You can hear it here:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjOmE-45Abk

 

 

If you like the “Men Without Women” album (or Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes) this is definitely an album to go and buy.

 

TRACK LISTING

 

  1. Soulfire
  2. I’m Coming Back
  3. Blues Is My Business
  4. I Saw the Light
  5. Some Things Just Don’t Change
  6. Love on the Wrong Side of Town
  7. The City Weeps Tonight
  8. Down and Out in New York City
  9. Standing in the Line of Fire
  10. Saint Valentine’s Day
  11. I Don’t Want to Go Home
  12. Ride the Night Away

 

BLAST FROM THE PAST

Here’s Youtube live footage from the current European tour with Southside Johnny joining Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul for a sing-a-long version of “It’s Been A Long Time” (written by Van Zandt and originally recorded by Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes on their excellent 1991 comeback album “Better Days” )

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-qa3IuoTWQ

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