Mellow Yellow – Level Up! (english)

Meaning of the Solo

You’ve lost your keys. You are mad about yourself and the world.
At the same time you are sad, that the universe always tries to annoy you in particular.

Tonal analysis

The rhythm guitar plays the following chords:

Continue reading Mellow Yellow – Level Up! (english)

Creepy Changes – Level Up! (english)

Meaning of the Solo

Change can be scary at times. Either they come completely unexpected. Or they do not correspond 100% to
what we imagined. And yet: without changes, life would be very boring.

Tonal analysis

Here are the chords played by the rhythm guitar:

You can see why it is called creepy changes because you encounter major and minor versions of the same chord appearing together,
which isn’t normally allowed in diatonic environments.

Bars 1 to 5

Prelude the start, this should be old hat by now, but it always works.
My motif is syncopated to make it more interesting since I only play the chord notes of F# major (F#, A#, and C#) in the first bar.

In the second bar I play around the C# (root of C# major) with the big ninth D#, but keep the ball rather flat.

In bar 3 we have to be a bit careful, because now the base chord is C# minor and therefore, we only bend a semitone
from D# to E (third of C# minor).

Stylistically confident, we land on the fundamental B major note.

Bars 6 to 9

Our motif is not yet finished, the second part is relatively simple: We play a little bit around the root of B minor,
then go to A# (third of F# major) and then to G#.

The D# is the fifth G# major and with a casual bending, we go back to the G# again to precede the fifth of C# major, so to speak.

Bars 10 to 11

As we have seen many times before, it makes sense to repeat the motif an octave higher on the second pass.
In bar 11, we then have a nice trill, which I improvised quite freely, hence the comic notation with 11 “sixteenths” over 2 quarters, felt just right.

Bars 12 to 13

The motif from bar 4 is repeated, but the final is an octave higher, to add a little more tension.

Bars 14 to 17

Final, oh ho! B minor played around with B, C# and F# (fundamental, ninth, fifth), F# major with third (A#), fourth (B)
and root and then G# and D# denoting G# major.

The final is a staggered bending from E# (major sixth), through the minor seventh (F#) to G#.
You first bend a semitone and then a whole tone. Bam!

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Intervals – Level Up! (english)

What is an interval?

An interval is the distance between two tones.
So far so good. And this distance is measured in semitone steps,
how to measure water in liters and flour in kilograms.
A semitone step corresponds to a fret on the guitar.

Perhaps some of you already know that an octave has twelve semitones.
For example, on a piano you will find a pattern that repeats after twelve keys.

Now the stress starts: In the Middle Ages, nonsensically, names were also thought up for the distances between the tones.
Since there was no division of the octave into 12 semitones in the Middle Ages,
but only scales with seven notes, you just counted them.
In Latin, of course. Now we have the trouble.

Overview

Here you can see the dirty truth: Phew, strong stuff!

Just because the interval is fifth (quintus – five in Latin) doesn’t mean 5 semitones.
Silly. Ok, let’s bridle the horse from behind:

Perfect Intervals

First of all, there is a group of four intervals that are called “perfect”:
Prime, fourth, fifth, octave.

The prime is actually not an interval because the distance is zero.

Major and Minor

Then there is the group of intervals that distinguish between minor and major:

Second, third, sixth and seventh.

For the sake of completeness, it should be mentioned that you can decrease (-> diminish) or increase (-> augment) each interval by a semitone.

Tritone

Last but not least, there is an interval designation that completely eludes the scheme, the tritone.
“Tri” means “three”.
It corresponds to both the diminished fifth and the augmented fourth.

But why three-tone now when there are six semitones?

This is where the math comes into play: Fractions can be shortened and so six “half” tones become three whole!
So now you’re completely confused and deserve a break.

Satchurday Evening – Level Up! (english)

Meaning of the Solo

The feeling of a Saturday evening after an exhausting work week when you finally can relax.
This one is inspired by Joe “Satch” Satriani. If you know Satriani, you know that his playing style consists of singable melodies and that he uses a lot of legato.

Let’s listen to the track:

Tonal analysis

The rhythm guitar plays the following chords:

Uhm, what tonality is that? If we look at the first six chords we got a very distinct B minor.

With G# major and the D# major we leave B major for a short period of time.

Because only the thirds are different from G# minor and D# minor we ignore that.

The chord progression is played three times so we have three rounds to solo along to.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty:

Bars 1 to 5

First of all, the time signature is not 4/4 but 12/8. This is what is called a rock ballad, but you can think of it as a normal 4/4, except that the eighths are now played all triplet. Si claro!

Then: Without a motif a solo is nothing! After an offbeat (you know I can not do without) I play a motif with the target notes B (12th fret b-string) and F# (11th fret g-string).

Now to get smoothly into G# minor, I take the fifth D# on beat 1 bar 3; B as the fifth fits onto the E major chord as well.

Yes, and because I like it so much, I also add the fifth C# of F# major in bar 4, plus a perfect fourth (B) and major third A#.
Fifth G# for C# minor. Regarding the notes a bit boring, but the rhythm and the phrasing make the difference, everything slightly syncopated, you know.

Bars 6 to 9

In the second round I had to get rid of something. I repeat my theme, but accelerate rhythmically.
For example, I play not only the F# on beat three in bar 6, but a full arpeggio in the basic position,
beautifully swept, ascending and descending once.

With the D# I’m the same way, leading in with a nice legato from above. Here you can already see that sometimes you just have to feel the rhythm. I was quite astonished when I saw that I played a septuplet. Fat! The rest of the bar is rather unspectacular.

Then with a few fluffy bendings and doublestops the theme is garnished in the eighth beat. In the ninth beat I unleash tremolo picking again.

Bars 10 to 14

Ok, now the final sprint, home straight, give everything again! The theme is repeated a fifth higher this time, so we are now landing on the root C# with a creamy tremolo-HammerOn-PullOff-thingy. Again, absolutely funky to transcribe that …

Then the minor third B of G# minor and major third G# of E major.

Phew, the run in bar 12 is totally against the basic rhythm of the 12/8 time, but since I’m back again in C# at the end, no problemo. Go crazy – sometimes!

Bendings always do well, but need to be done accurately.

In the last bar I bend nicely into the fifth D# of G# major, then finally a nice D# major arpeggio with a tasteful landing on D#, which anticipates the fifth of the following B major.

Backing Track

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Brand New Start – Level Up! (english)

Meaning

Have you ever been at a point in your life where you just wanted to start over?
Shedding old customs and traditions, moving to a new country in a cloak and dagger operation, burning all bridges behind you?
But then you think of everything that you would miss…

Tonal analysis

These are the chords:

The chords point to a very distinct B minor tonality Continue reading Brand New Start – Level Up! (english)

Evil Lynn – Level Up! (english)

Meaning of the Solo

This song is about women who turn your head, to whom you feel magically attracted, but who you also know are not good for you.

Tonal analysis

Download Guitar Pro 040_evil_lynn_solo

The key of the solo part is not clearly determinable, because it is only a riff with three power chords. Here is the first riff: Continue reading Evil Lynn – Level Up! (english)