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BLUESJAMTRACKS.

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Lesson notes: ALEX HUTCHINGS, FUSION SERIES 2
HAPPY AS LARRY
Introduction
This section is in free time, so theres no solid beat. That means youll need to listen carefully and fit
your phrases around the dreamy backing chords, like Alex does.
Bars 1-6
There are quite a few chord changes and implied key changes in here, but theres a general F minor
sound to the first few bars, and Alex uses the F Dorian mode (F G Ab Bb C D Eb) except for the single
bar of C7b9 where he plays a symmetrical line from the C half-whole diminished scale (C Db Eb E F# G
A Bb).
Bars 7-9
Things become more complex as the chords pass through several tonal centres. As with the Fm9 chord,
Alex interprets the Abm9 chord as an ideal candidate for the Dorian mode (Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb) but
then switches to Bb Mixolydian (Bb C D Eb F G Ab) for the Bb11 chord.
[Although the standard 11 chord is basically an extended dominant 7 chord, most people dont include
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the major 3 as it clashes with the 11. Therefore, you could also use the Dorian (Bb C Db Eb F G Ab)
here.]
The final Bb13b9 is, like C7b9, what we call an altered dominant. This refers to any 7 chord with an
altered extension (b5, #5, b9 or #9). So once again, Alex turns to the tense-sounding half-whole
diminished scale, this time built on Bb (Bb Cb Db D E F G A).
[Youre going to see the note C-flat appear a couple of times in this track, but dont be alarmed if you
were told that theres no flat between C and B. C-flat is the same note as B, but we call this note C-flat
to satisfy certain theory conventions usually in a scale when the letter B has already been used. For
example, the Gb major scale is Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F.]

Main section
Bars 10-17
Were playing over a tweaked I-vi-ii-V7 progression here, where the vi chord (normally a Cm7) becomes
a C7 so theres a stronger pull to the ii chord (the Fm9). Alex is mostly building lines around the chord
tones here, using plenty of chromatic passing notes.
Bar 23
The G7#9 in bar 22 signals the change of key to C minor, and then we have a chromatically descending
bass line similar to the Beatles Michelle or the introduction to Stairway to Heaven. Alex is using the
C minor blues scale (C Eb F Gb G Bb) a lot here, taking occasional diversions into other scales to fit the
chords the G augmented arpeggio (G, B, D#) in bar 25 and the Ab Dorian (Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb) in
bar 29.
Bar 36-43
The tonality of the backing seems to change to F minor, but Alex sticks with the C minor blues scale for
much of this section. Check out the legato lick in bar 39 this is a handy symmetrical 3-note-per-string
pattern for the blues scale.
Bars 44-51
Another key change and were mostly dealing with the Eb Aeolian (natural minor) scale here Eb F Gb
Ab Bb Cb Db. That confusing Cbmaj7 chord appears in bar 48, with a nice arpeggio pattern over the
top. Remember, just think of it as standard B maj7 if thats easier!

Bar 52
At this point, were back into the first chord sequence from the main section, and Alex is mostly targeting
chord notes for each change. Theres a useful and convenient altered dominant arpeggio over the C7#5
in bar 53, and you can see it again, transposed down to Bb, at the end of bar 55.
Ending
With just the tiniest hint at a major triad over the Gb13 chord, Alex mostly sticks to the Eb major scale
for this free-time ending section. The Emaj7 is a totally foreign chord in this key, but it provides a hint of
tension before the final Ebmaj7

MARCH OF THE MACHINES


Bars 1-9
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The riff at the beginning is basically in E minor, but the lack of a 2 (F or F#) leaves it open to either
Aeolian (E F# G A B C D) or Phrygian (E F G A B C D). Alex uses the latter scale, sometimes
highlighting the minor pentatonic (E G A B D) whose notes are all found within the Phrygian mode.
Bar 10-17
The simple E5 and G5 power chords give even more scope for melodic choice, and Alex uses mostly E
Aeolian over the E5 and G minor pentatonic (G Bb C D F) over the G5. As the notes of E5 and G5 are
also found within the E Aeolian, Dorian (E F# G A B C# D) and Phrygian modes, you could use any of
those scales to play right through this section without changing key.
Bars 11 and 12 are a great example of how Alex incorporates extended chromatic ideas in rock contexts
as well as in his fusion solos.
Bars 18-21
The opening riff reappears, but Alex uses a more classic rock blues scale (E G A Bb B D) approach.
The last phrase in bar 21 uses the E major pentatonic (E F# G# B C#) giving a hint of whats about to
happen
Bars 22-45
Were in the key of E major here, but a couple of non-diatonic chords require special treatment. Alex is
using the straight major scale (E F# G# A B C# D#) most of the time, but he incorporates the C note
over the C augmented chord (creating the E harmonic major scale, theory fans!)
Then, for the F# chords (and also leading up to the F# in bar 35, he uses the E Lydian (E F# G# A# B
C# D#) which neatly functions as the F# mixolydian. For the last stretch of E major in bars 44-45, he
anticipates the return of the opening riff by using a mixture of E Phrygian Dominant (E F G# A B C D,
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the 5 mode of the A harmonic minor) and the regular E Phrygian.
Bars 46-53
The hybrid Phrygian scale continues here, with some pretty intense picking. When preparing for lines
like this, there are two possible approaches. You can take a pre-written passage (something from this
section, for example) and work on it, gradually building speed and accuracy and pushing beyond your
comfort zone. Or, pick a tempo within your comfort zone, but move around freely through multiple scale
patterns, exploring different positions and fingerings without losing the steady picking speed.
Bars 54-57
Back to the G minor pentatonic over the G5 chord, and this section ends with some of Alexs trademark
sweep-picked arpeggios. Its quite difficult to smoothly incorporate these into passages of regular
alternate picking, but Alex uses economy picking extensively, so hes always aware of whether hes
using upstrokes or downstrokes vital for these sweeping patterns.
Bars 58-77
Check out the cool diminished arpeggio lick spanning bars 67-68. This is actually the Ddim7 arpeggio
(which, conveniently has exactly the same notes as Fdim7, G#dim7 and Bdim7) and over the E root, this
gives the effect of E7b9 (E G# B D F).
The jerky phrasing in bars 72-73 is a reminder of how important it is to have contrast in your solos.
Alexs playing is usually very smooth and fluid, so when he plays tight groups of staccato notes moving
across the beat, theres a dramatic contrast.

STORM RIDER
Bars 1-8
The riff behind this section uses all the notes from the D minor pentatonic (D F G A C) which limits our
choice of scales. Alex uses the perfectly compatible Dorian mode (D E F G A B C) most of the time, also
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narrowing his note choice down to just the minor pentatonic and also adding the flat 5 (Ab) for a blues
scale sound.
Bars 3-4
Alex does a lot of these smooth legato passages, and to learn how to do this, you really need to be
comfortable with three-note-per-string scale passages. For example, for D Dorian, there are 7 box
positions, each with three notes per string one starting on D, one starting on E, and so on. When you
have each box shape memorised, you can then move around from box to box the smoothest way is to
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use a slide (as Alex does here on the 9 and 10 notes of bar 4).
Bars 7-8
Theres a cool Dm9 arpeggio pattern on the last beat of bar 7, similar to licks used by both Guthrie
Govan and Richie Kotzen. Alex then plays it an octave higher on the first beat of bar 8.
Bars 9-16
This section has proper chords, with no single tonal centre, so well be switching scales quite a bit. Apart
from the A5, all of the chords are variations on major 7 types, so for the F chords, hes using the F major
scale (F G A Bb C D E). Another possibility for major 7 chords is the Lydian mode, and thats what Alex
uses for the Eb (Eb F G A Bb C D) and Db (Db Eb F G Ab Bb C) chords.
The passage in bar 11 is very easy if you use Alexs EADGCF tuning its just a bunch of pull-offs to
the open string. In standard tuning, this isnt possible, so we made it into a tapping lick. Its difficult, but
still possible!
If youre working on the chord part and find the Dbmaj9 too difficult, try omitting the low Db note on the
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6 string. This note is already provided by the bass, so the smaller shape will work perfectly well if
youre playing over the backing track.
Bar 20
nd
To execute the slightly Hendrix-esque bending lick on the first two beats bend the 2 string with your
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3 finger, but before you release it, hit the 3 string, catching it under your 2 finger. Youre aiming to
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hear the 2 string on the way up and the 3 string on the way down.
Bars 21-28
Apart from the final A chord, all of the chords in this section will work with the D minor pentatonic, so
thats what Alex uses as a framework. He mostly avoids B or Bb notes, so hes not leading us directly
into either Dorian or Aeolian territory those notes only really appear for the Bbmaj7sus2 (Bb C F A)
and G7add11 (G B D F C) chords.
Bars 33-34
Remember we mentioned three-note-per-string patterns back at the start? Well, you can also apply this
approach to pentatonic scales! The patterns arent as comfortable to play youre stretching further,
and you either have to duplicate notes as you cross strings (as Alex does here on the first beat of bar
33) or move diagonally along the fretboard.
Bars 36-37
These descending sweeps are just difficult, period. Dont worry, its not just you we cant do this sort of
thing like Alex either!
Bar 42
Alex used his whammy bar expressively on several of the solos in this bundle, especially for little
scoop punctuations like this. Be careful with the timing hereyoure aiming for a regular slide-scoopslide-scoop movement.

BEYOND THE QUAY


The title is a pun the piece moves through several keys, so if youre learning the chords, take your
time!

SPECIFICS
Bars 1-9
This section is essentially in B minor, and Alex uses the Aeolian, aka natural minor, throughout (B C# D
E F# G A). This scale wouldnt fit perfectly over the Bm6 chords, which contain a G# note, but Alex gets
around this problem by not playing either G or G# notes at those points. This use of ambiguity is a great
musical tool.
Bars 10-13
This is the same chord pattern as bars 2-5, but transposed to D minor. You already know what notes
hes going to use, right? Yep, thats right D Aeolian, and hes avoiding both the Bb and B notes over
rd
the Dm6 chords. Its exactly the same, but everything is transposed up a minor 3 (three half-tones).
While were here, check out the legato line in bar 13 this is a very common Alex Hutchings move,
using chunks from the chromatic scale to fill in the gaps between scale notes.
Bars 14-17
Another dramatic key change, and were now dealing with a I-vi-IV-V progression (think Blue Moon
and lots of other 50s ballads) in Db, although the V chord (Ab7, bar 17) is decorated with that same
ascending pattern weve already seen in the two previous sections. Alex mostly uses the obvious Db
major scale (Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C) here, but he adds a touch of spice to the Dbmaj7 chord by using the
Lydian mode (same scale but with G instead of Gb).
Bars 18-21
This series of four major and major 7 chords gives the effect of changing key every bar. Alexs scale
choices are slightly ambiguous, in that we cant tell if hes using the major or Lydian scales over the F
and Ab chords, but hes definitely using Lydian over the other two, so here are the notes youll need
A Lydian A B C# D# E F# G#
F Lydian F G A B C D E
Ab Lydian Ab Bb C D Eb F G
E Lydian E F# G# A# B C# D#
Bars 22-25
A similar thing happens with the first four chords, but here theres very little time to explore each scale,
so Alex is working around chord notes, joining them with either chromatic links or hints at the major
scale for each chord.
Theres more room for exploration on the C13#11, and the most obvious choice for any dominant 7
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chord with a sharpened 11 is one of the coolest scales known to man the Lydian dominant (C D E F#
G A Bb). This is the fourth mode of the G melodic minor, but you can also think of it as a Lydian with a
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flattened 7 (or a Mixolydian with a sharpened 4 , as that relates to the Mixolydian youd use over
standard dominant 7 chords).
Bars 26-33
Were back to the first section in B minor again. Remember what we said about mastering three-noteper-string scale patterns in the Storm Rider notes? Well, bars 28-29 are another demonstration of how
useful this can be Alex is moving along the E and B strings, working with 3NPS fragments, but also
incorporating chromatic notes.
Bars 34-37
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The D minor section again for the bending licks in bar 36, you need to bend the 15 fret up a whole
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tone and then, without releasing the bend, reach up with your 4 finger to the 16 fret.
Bars 38-41
Alex really opens up over this second Db section, and there are some challenging sweep arpeggios in
bars 38-39. These are slightly harder in standard tuning, but whatever tuning you use, its important to
work on the rolling barre technique. When youre sweeping through multiple notes at the same fret, its
no good fretting them with a standard barre, because youll hear the notes sustaining simultaneously as
a chord. You have to roll your fretboard finger in time with your picking hand, so that as one note is
sounded, the previous one is released.

STRUT YA STUFF
This funky track is in C minor with a relatively simple backing that alternates between extended sections
of Cm7 and Ab7. These two chords arent found in one single major scale mode, so were going to be
effectively changing key every eight bars. Alex mostly uses C Dorian (C D Eb F G A Bb) for the Cm7
sections and Ab Mixolydian (Ab Bb C Db Eb F Gb) for the Ab7 sections.

SPECIFICS
Bar 3
If you only ever play the blues scale in static box positions, take a look at the 10-9-8-6 line on the A
string. Playing that chunk of the scale with all four fingers (the same goes for 12-11-10-8 on the G string)
gives you a really convenient way of getting out of those limiting box shapes.
Bar 8
For maximum smoothness, try using your middle finger to pluck those isolated notes on the E string.
Bars 12-13
More chromatic passing notes used to fill in the gaps. This is very effective and not too difficult aim
to hit the standard scale notes (or even better, notes from the underlying chords) on the beats or halfbeats using the chromatic notes where theres less rhythmic emphasis.
Bar 19
This is similar to a pattern used near the start of March of the Machines, but in this case Alex extends
the pattern with some tapping.
Bar 24
This sweep arpeggio line works pretty well in standard tuning except for that 16 in the last beat. Wed
suggest changing it to a 15 (which would still be musically appropriate) for ease of fingering.
Bar 32
Alex uses his first finger for all of the B string notes here.
Bars 36-37
In this line, Alex is taking a stretchy diminished triad shape (starting with 8-11-14 on the low E string)
and moving it around chromatically.