Musical Theory Abound!!!
 #91742  by paulkogut
 Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:59 pm
These are all great ideas, and they highlight one important aspect of music, harmony. Since the Dead were much, much deeper
harmonically than most anyone else considered a 'rock' band, this aspect tends to get the most attention. But even if all you know is a basic pentatonic scale, there's a ton you can do to build the tension in your improvisations.

Dynamics: Build toward a big loud, crescendo, cut back to a whisper, etc, etc. How many slow blues have you heard that get pin-drop quiet in the middle and come back in screaming? Any good symphony recording of the classics is a seminar in dynamics.

Rhythmic. Start out floaty, build to faster, denser rhythms, or resolve a flurry of notes to a long sustained one

Sequences :play something, then 'answer' it higher or lower with something similar. Keep it going for as long as musical taste or length of fretboard allow.....

Timbre, change up the tone w/ your hands(pick closer to bridge, snap strings, etc) or feet(dist+,mutron, etc)

Be mindful of things you listen to that successfully build tension, and keep track of what devices they use to pull it off.

Best of luck in your improvisations,

PK
 #91863  by fatcat
 Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:11 pm
minor over major is a great way to add tension. also chromatic runs into your melodic phrasing adds some tension. or hanging on the seven or flat five like mentioned is a great way. also rhythmically playing augmented chords and likewise playing a sharp five in your solo is another very interesting way to add tension but is kind of tricky to get the hang of
 #92882  by tiffcheese
 Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:50 am
fatcat wrote:minor over major is a great way to add tension. also chromatic runs into your melodic phrasing adds some tension. or hanging on the seven or flat five like mentioned is a great way. also rhythmically playing augmented chords and likewise playing a sharp five in your solo is another very interesting way to add tension but is kind of tricky to get the hang of
neat. dig it.
 #92885  by tcsned
 Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:12 am
another cool one I use over long modal improvs is if you are playing over a dominant 7 you can use a whole tone scale starting on the root. The flat 5 really adds the need to resolve and whole tone scales make fun patterns on the fretboard.
 #92898  by tiffcheese
 Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:44 am
tcsned wrote: whole tone scales make fun patterns on the fretboard.
dig this also