Chromatic Passing Notes Video Lesson 3

In this third lesson on adding chromatic passing notes to your solo lines I am going to show how you can encircle the notes of the notes in a scale and use that to make lines with a few surprising melodic twists. In the 2nd part of the lesson is two examples where I show how I use this in II V I lines

Using enclosures

This type of chromatic enclosure of especially chord tones is something I hear often being used by Pat Martio and Pat Metheny. It’s a good way to add a small burst of  surprising notes that resolve to a strong harmony note like the 3rd or the 5th of the chord.

Let’s first look at the construction of this sort of chromatic phrase:

As you can see there are two versions, depending on whether we have a minor or a major 2nd above the note that we are targeting. If there is a whole step up to the next note in the scale you start on the chromatic (or diatonic) leading note a half step under the target, and then move up to the on a whole step over the target from there we move down a half step followed by the leading note under the target befor it resolves on the target note (in this case a G).

The 2nd solution when we don’t have a whole step to the next note in the scale (in this example: B) we start a whole step under, move up to the note above and then down again before resolving chromatically.

To get this type of sound and technique in to your fingers you can try these exercises:

Examples of lines with enclosures

In the first example I use this approach in the way I have heard Pat Martino do very often: Starting a phrase with a chromatic approach of the 3rd of a minor chord. After that the line continues up the Cmaj7 arpeggio and on the D7 I first play a bit of a D7b9 line before using the chromatic approach to resolve to the B on the Gmaj7 chord.

The 2nd example starts with a chromatic approach to the root of A minor before moving up the scale. On the D7 I first use the 2nd type of enclosure to get to the 3rd of D7. From there I run down the F# diminished arpeggio to resolve to the 3rd of G.

You can download a free PDF of the examples here: Chromatic Notes in Solos part 3

Guitar Lesson Video Transcription

Hi guys, in this 3rd lesson on adding is chromatic-ism to your solos for Fundamental Changes. I want to talk about how to make some longer chromatic enclosures of notes within a scale.

[guitar playing]

The enclosures that I’m going to talk about in this lesson and demonstrate how I use it, consists of chromatically notes on both sides of the target note. If we’re in the key of G, and I take the root G as a target note, I’m taking the chromatically note, which in this case is also diatonic under it, then I’m going up a whole step above,  and then chromatically down, and then down to the leading note under it again, and then I’m resolving.

You have a 5-note pattern that you can add to your lines. That works really well, except if you don’t have a whole step above the note in the scale. In that case, you can do this and take an extra leading note under it. If we take the note B, which has C over it,you could make an enclosure like this, which is again starting a whole step under, going above, and then down again, chromatically up, and then resolving.

Now we have 2 ways to do that, which means we can add this to basically any chord in the scale. Just to give an idea about how this sounds, let’s just try it out on the G major scale triad, and on an A minor triad. That will sound like this:

[guitar playing]

And on an A minor triad:

[guitar playing]

Now that we have that, we can start looking at how we can employ that in the lines. Let’s take a look at the 1st example. The 1st example sounds like this:

[guitar playing]

It’s a basic 2-5-1 in the key of G, so A minor D7 to G major 7. The first thing I do is just to play the enclosure on the 3rd of the A minor. I think actually one of the places where I really came across this approach a lot is in the playing of Pat Martino, and especially in the 3rd of the minor chord, he’ll do that really,really a lot, especially also on the El Hombre, his debut album. I think I found that quite a lot.

From that 3rd, I’m running up the diatonic arpeggio, so I’m using a C major arpeggio on top of the A minor 7 chord. I’m sort of playing a D7 flat 9 arpeggio, and then from the C, I’m starting the  enclosure around a B, which is the note that I resolve to on the G major 7.

The 2nd example sounds like this:

[guitar playing]

So, straightforward. Again, A minor 7, enclosing on the root, running up the scale. And then you get the same enclosure as you have on the B. You can use the F sharp when you’re on the D7, and then I’m running down the dim arpeggio, and resolving to the B.  So enclosure, up the scale, enclosure on the F sharp, down the dim arpeggio, resolving to D.

That was 2 examples on how I might use these approach notes in lines 2-5-1. As I mentioned, this is something that you might hear Pat Martino doing a lot. Pat Martino does this quite a lot too, and it’s an interesting way to add these small bursts of dissonance with chromatic notes that you can then resolve when in a line quite quickly.

I hope that you can use the material. You can go to the Fundamental Changes website and subscribe to their newsletter to get more lessons. You can of course also subscribe to their YouTube channel, or to my YouTube channel if you want to stay up to date with the lessons that are coming from those 2 channels.

In any case, thank you for watching, and until next time.