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F R O N T
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THE ALTERNATIVE ROCKER
M IC H A E L M C K E E G A N
Therapy? bassist M
ike psychs up (or tbe stage
N o w t h a t o u r n e w g e a r, a s d e t a ile d i n m y la s t c o lu m n , is a l l s o r t e d
f o r t h e t o u r , i t ’s t im e t o t a k e a lo o k a t t h e p h y s ic a l p r e p f o r it . A n y
o f y o u w h o g ig r e g u la r ly k n o w t h a t t h e r e is a w o r l d o f d if f e r e n c e
b e t w e e n s it t in g a t h o m e p la y in g , a n d p la y in g a n a c t u a l s h o w
g iv in g a p e r f o r m a n c e , s o t o s p e a k . I t r y t o b e g ig
f it b y s ix w e e k s
b e f o r e a t o u r . I 'm n o t a b ig f a n o f t h e g y m . b u t s w im m in g is a g o o d
o n e f o r c a r d io a n d o v e r a ll f it n e s s a n d I f i n d i t a ls o p r o v id e s c a lm
a n d fo c u s . A f r ie n d in a b a n d p r e f e r s t o g o r u n n i n g . H e r e c k o n s it
r e a lly h e lp s , a s t h e r e a r e a lo t o f m ile s to b e c o v e r e d o n s ta g e . W h e n
r e h e a r s in g , b e s u r e a n d s ta n d u p w h i l e y o u 'r e p la y in g , u n le s s y o u
p la n o n b e in g s e a te d d u r i n g t h e s h o w . T r y a n d p la y t h e s o n g s w i t h
y o u r e y e s c lo s e d . T h is s o u n d s o d d . b u t i t r e a lly h e lp s w h e n s ta g e
lig h t s a n d d r y ic e g e t in v o lv e d o n s ta g e . It's a m a z in g h o w q u ic k ly
th o s e f r e t s d is a p p e a r u n d e r a b a n k o f s t r o b e lig h t s ! P la y y o u r b a s s a s
v ig o r o u s ly a s y o u w o u ld o n s ta g e ; i t ’s b e s t t o s t a r t t h e t o u r w i t h y o u r
h a n d s t o u g h e n e d u p a n d c a llo u s e s f i r m l y in p la c e . A s t o u r i n g t h r o w s
u p s o m a n y u n p r e d ic t a b le v a r ia b le s , i t ’s a ls o b e s t t o t r y a n d k e e p t h e
t h in g s t h a t y o u c a n c o n t r o l c o n s t a n t . F o r e x a m p le , t h e b e g in n in g o f
a t o u r is n o t t h e b e s t t im e t o s u d d e n ly s to p ( o r s t a r t ) d r i n k i n g c o ffe e
o r g o v e g a n . T h e s e w i l l p r e s e n t c h a lle n g e s a n d b r i n g in a d d e d s tr e s s
t o a n a lr e a d y s t r e s s f u l s it u a t io n . L ik e w is e , d o n 't s u d d e n ly d e c id e t h a t
y o u w a n t t o d e t o x o n t o u r : t h i s s h o u ld b e a ll d o n e w e e k s i n a d v a n c e .
T h e r e 's n o p o in t in g e t t in g t h e f lu f iv e d a y s in a n d je o p a r d is in g t h e
h e a lt h o f e v e r y o n e o n t h e t o u r . I f t h e p la y in g is g o o d a n d t h e s tr e s s
is m in im is e d , y o u w i l l h a v e a m u c h m o r e e n jo y a b le s h o w a n d t h e
t o u r w i l l b e a g r e a t , p o s it iv e le a r n in g e x p e r ie n c e .
w w w . t h e r a p y q u e s t io n m a r k . c o . u k
THE EXTENDED-RANGE SPECIALIST
S T E W A R T M C K IN S E Y
Ten-string warlock Stew
breaks into triads
A s b a s s is ts , w e u n d e r s t a n d t h e p o w e r i n o n e n o t e , b u t w e o f t e n
f o r g e t t o c o lo u r t h e m u s ic b y a d d in g n o te s v ia c h o r d s a n d a r p e g g io s ,
s o le t 's h e a d in t o t h e z o n e s m a r k e d 'M e lo d y ' a n d 'H a r m o n y ' in a n
e f f o r t t o o p e n o u r p la y in g a n d c o m p o s it io n .
F o r e x a m p le , h e r e 's o n e w a y t o lo o k a t a n E m in o r t r ia d : E - G - B .
P la y in g t h i s c h o r d w i t h t h e t o n i c in t h e r o o t is p r o b a b ly a f a m i l i a r
s o u n d f o r y o u . S p e llin g t h e c h o r d I - I I I - V is t h e b e g in n in g o f t h e E
m in o r a r p e g g io , a n d w h e n t h e n o te s a r e s o u n d e d t o g e t h e r t h e y
p o s s e s s a m e la n c h o ly q u a l it y a n d a t o n a l i t y t h a t w e a ll k n o w f r o m a
lo t o f m u s ic a n d s o n g s .
T h e n e x t m o s t c o m m o n w a y t o p la y t h e t r i a d is w i t h t h e f i f t h in
t h e r o o t a n d t h e t h i r d in t h e s a m e p o s it io n a b o v e t h e E . T h is is o n e
s te p r e m o v e d f r o m a p o w e r c h o r d a n d is o n e o f t h e e a s ie r s h a p e s t o
e x e c u te . I t s s o u n d is n o t s o d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h e f i r s t v o ic in g , a lt h o u g h
i t is s l i g h t l y d a r k e r . B u t w h a t h a p p e n s w h e n y o u m o v e t h e t h i r d
in t o t h e r o o t? G - E - B o r G - B - E . w h e n p la y e d a g a in s t a p a s s a g e in E
m in o r , m a y p r o d u c e s o m e t h in g y o u 'r e n o t u s e d to . I t h a s a m a jo r , o r
lig h t e r , h a p p ie r s o u n d . J u x t a p o s in g t h a t a g a in s t t h e d a r k e r s o n o r it y
o f t h e m in o r c r e a te s a n i n t e r e s t in g t e n s io n .
N o w . s t a r t t o d is p la c e t h e n o te s . E a c h o f th e s e c a n b e p la y e d w i t h
o n e o f t h e c h o r d to n e s a s a n o p e n s t r i n g o r in h a r m o n ic s . P la y in g
a n o p e n В s t r i n g w i t h t h e f r e t t e d E a t t h e 7 t h n o t e o n t h e A s t r i n g
a n d t h e f i f t h f r e t G h a r m o n ic o n t h e G s t r i n g a r e a d i f f e r e n t s o u n d
a lt o g e t h e r . H o w m a n y v a r i a t i o n s o f th e s e c o m b in a t io n s c a n y o u
f in d , a n d c a n y o u f in d w a y s t o w o r k t h e m i n t o m u s ic ?
G e t a c c u s t o m e d t o t h e s o u n d o f e a c h in v e r s io n a n d t h e s u b t le
d if f e r e n c e it s c h a r a c t e r b r in g s to t h e p a s s a g e w h e r e y o u 'r e
u s in g it - a n d t h i s is ju s t e x p lo r in g a s in g le t r ia d . S t a r t t o w o r k
t h r o u g h e n t i r e s c a le s t h i s w a y . c h a lle n g in g y o u r s e lf to f in d n e w
c o m b in a t io n s o f n o te s a n d w a y s t o in c o r p o r a t e t h e m i n t o t h e m u s ic
y o u m a k e . N e x t m o n t h w e l l lo o k a t s u p e r im p o s in g t h r e e n o te s i n t o
d i f f e r e n t k e y c e n tr e s .
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