Magazine article Guitar Player

Neighbor Note Mojo. (Chops)

Magazine article Guitar Player

Neighbor Note Mojo. (Chops)

Article excerpt

AS GEORGE BENSON, LARRY CARLTON, Pat Martino, and the great saxophonist Charlie Parker have all proven over the decades, a simple melody can become very exciting if you know how to embellish it using neighbor notes. To show you how this is done, we'll take the simple C major phrase in Ex. 1 and find some great ways to make it come alive with help from its neighbors.

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An upper neighbor note is simply the nearest scale tone above the melody note. An easy way to add spice to our melody is by preceding each of its notes with an upper neighbor, as in Ex. 2. Lower neighbor tones--which we've added to our diatonic melody in Ex. 3--always reside a half-step below the melody note and typically result in nice splashes of chromaticism. The next step is to incorporate both lower and upper neighbor notes into our melody (Ex. …

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