The Outside Sound

author: JeremyKing date: 08/31/2009 category: bass lessons
rating: 9.4 / votes: 25 
All right. In this lesson, I'm going to teach an easy way to achieve an outside sound. The outside sound is anything that seems almost like there is no melody behind it, but it's actually technical and pretty hard to get a good grasp on (not to mention it freaks people out when played correctly). The outside sound will sound familiar to those of you that know bands/guitarists like Buckethead, An Endless Sporadic, etc. Let's get started! All right. I'll start off with a kind of simple three note per string chromatic whole tone scale. Whole tone means every other note of a scale for those who don't know. So in this example, it's every other note of a chromatic scale.
Example 1
G|--------------------8-10-12|
D|-------------7-9-11--------|
A|------6-8-10---------------|
E|5-7-9----------------------|
It's pretty much a standard 1-3-5 fingering position shifted over 1 fret and up 1 string. There are some pretty cool things you can do by just slightly varying this pattern. Example 1a is a good example of this.
Example 1a
G|----------------------------|
D|----7-----9------11-------13|
A|--6-----8-----10-------12---|
E|5-----7-----9-------11------|
This next pattern may sound slightly familiar. It's just a standard diminished scale. It has a wicked sound if played correctly.
Example 2
G|-------------8-11|
D|--------7-10-----|
A|----6-9----------|
E|5-8--------------|
This scale is commonly used by a lot of classical piano players and neoclassical guitar players. It, like the whole tone, can be varied for different sounds.
Example 2a
G|-----------------|
D|----------------7|
A|----6---6-9-6-9--|
E|5-8---8----------|
This is basically ascending in sets of threes. It should be played like each set of three is a triplet. Another variation mixes the whole tone with the diminished and has a very distinctive sound.
Example 2b
G|----10-----7------------|
D|--9------6-------9-----6|
A|8------5-------8-----5--|
E|-------------7-----4----|
That example sounds very good played over a 3/4 time signature. ____________________________________________________________________________ Outside Chords In this lesson, I will also teach a few things about outside chords. A good example of this is just a simple whole tone 4th chord.
Example 1
G|----|
D|----|
A|7---|
E|6---|
IT has a very dissonant sound and to those that aren't used to the outside sound, the chord will sound "wrong". However, it actually sounds very good if played correctly and in the right context of a song. Something interesting about this chord is that it can be slid up to the 12th fret and still sounds the same.
Example 1a
G|---------|
D|---------|
A|7---13---|
E|6---12---|
The same thing can be done in any position by simply playing the chord and sliding it up 6 frets. There are also some interesting chords that can be taken from the diminished scale. This chord is like Example 1. It's very dissonant, but not necessarily "wrong".
Example 1
G|----|
D|----|
A|8---|
E|5---|
This chord can actually be found in the song Schism by the band Tool. It's the first chord played, just up higher in pitch. ____________________________________________________________________________ Here are some cool tricks you can do messing with the outside sound. 1. If you have an effects pedal that has a pitch shifter, set the second signal six half steps up and try playing some diminished runs. All the notes should harmonize. 2. Experiment with 2 handed tapping. You can get some very interesting sounds from the whole tone scale if you do this. Also, if you're using the first tip, play the first two notes of the diminished scale, then tap a very high note on the diminished scale with the left hand. Do this several times in quick succession and it should sound great. 3. Use wah, delay, and distortion. This is a very simple way to get amazing sound from the whole tone scale. Almost anything you do with about a half second delay, wah and distortion will sound great with the whole tone or diminished scale. ____________________________________________________________________________ Listed below are some good bands, musicians to listen to to get a good feel for an outside sound. Symphony X, OHM, An Endless Sporadic, Buckethead, Shawn Lane Those are just a few of several good people and bands to listen to for outside sound. That concludes this lesson. Thank you for reading and I hope this information will help you or inspire you. Also, many thanks for all the good feedback on my last lesson.
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