#1
Hey, MT. Long time no see.

So, I was playing vamp of Csus2 - Dsus2 on rhythm, and playing lead over it with a G major scale (I don't know if that implies a mode or anything, feel free to tell me!). But anyway, I'm "writing a jam" to see if I could replicate some of the jam's I've heard--mostly Phish stuff. If you've heard some Phish jams you know that they commonly build off of a progression that changes into a different progression to create more and more tension until eventually a peak is reached, and the jam resolves.

I was wondering what techniques are used to create tension in jams like this in terms of chord movement ie. iii-IV going into a IV-V creates tension (just a random example. I don't know if it's actually what I'm aiming for). Help is appreciated. And yes, I have been trying to analyze some Phish jams, and while each little analysis works for the particular song I'm looking at, I kind of fail to reach generalizations about tension-creating in jams as a whole.
#3
Quote by kirbyrocknroll
Hey, MT. Long time no see.

So, I was playing vamp of Csus2 - Dsus2 on rhythm, and playing lead over it with a G major scale (I don't know if that implies a mode or anything, feel free to tell me!). But anyway, I'm "writing a jam" to see if I could replicate some of the jam's I've heard--mostly Phish stuff. If you've heard some Phish jams you know that they commonly build off of a progression that changes into a different progression to create more and more tension until eventually a peak is reached, and the jam resolves.

I was wondering what techniques are used to create tension in jams like this in terms of chord movement ie. iii-IV going into a IV-V creates tension (just a random example. I don't know if it's actually what I'm aiming for). Help is appreciated. And yes, I have been trying to analyze some Phish jams, and while each little analysis works for the particular song I'm looking at, I kind of fail to reach generalizations about tension-creating in jams as a whole.


Csus2-Dsus2 could be a LOT of things. it could be G major, C major, F major, C mixolydian,, C lydian, D mixolydian...the list goes on. without context, i can't really tell you.

i can tell you that if you're playing the progression and resolving on the Csus2, you're probably playing C lydian. you're not playing G major - unless the resolution in your progression is G, you're just playing C lydian.

in terms of chord movement, virtually anything that isn't a resolution to the tonic can be used to create tension. be creative, experiment. if it's tension you want, don't be afraid to bring in some unresolved diminished or dominant seventh chords. do not be afraid at all of bringing in non-diatonic chords. work your voicings correctly and you can fit virtually any chords together.

experiment -- but be sure to understand exactly what it is you're doing. that way you can replicate it with ease.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#4
If you find the scale that matches both chords you might not find much tension.

In your case you might what to play a different scale for each chord even though they are Diatonically connected by one possible scale. IOW, for Csus2 - Dsus2 play C Lydian then play D Lydian. This would be the way someone like Satch or Vai would handle it.

But the easiest way to create tension is to play, or emulate, a V7 chord just before your target chord. So you might play:

||: C A7 | D G7 :|| where those dom7 chords fall on beat four of the measure. I don't have a guitar with me right now but it might even work as two beats per chord like it looks...it just might take away from the original groove, try it and see what you think.

So in this case you have pretty much any note you can use during the dom7 chords as you end up with a V7-I for each chord change. And I mean literally every note is available. You can use A and G Super Locrian, Mixolydian, H/W Diminished, Whole Tone, etc...JUST AS LONG AS YOU RESOLVE IT to the target chord.

So now you'd play C Lydian then one of those A7 scales then D Lydian then one of those G7 scales then back to C Lydian and start all over again.

Give it a shot. You might tweak the Lydian scales if needed.

If you reverse the chords and play Dsus -> Csus you can use D Mixolydian and C Lydian Dominant (similar to a song whose name escapes me right now, Fight Joe or something like that)...but this only works with the chords arrange like this since D Mixolydian will sound like a I7 in this order.

Hope that's all understandable. Try it.
#5
If you reverse the chords and play Dsus -> Csus you can use D Mixolydian and C Lydian Dominant (similar to a song whose name escapes me right now, Fight Joe or something like that)...but this only works with the chords arrange like this since D Mixolydian will sound like a I7 in this order.


That's the only part I'm not understanding. But the rest of it is great!
#6
With Phish, you want a lot of chromaticism before you resolve to your tonic. That's what a lot of the build-up is, these chromatic ascensions, a little release, ascend even higher then the entire band resolves back to the tonic. Your Csus Dsus vamp would resolve nicely back to G, so keep going in G. Over that vamp, try working your way up to the 6th scale degree, bending to the 7th, but don't resolve that up to the tonic yet. Keep playing around with that.

Really, just listen to some live Phish jams and you'll get what i'm trying to say. Don't be afraid to hit a note that isn't technically in key. That's where their tension and release comes from, their masterful use of accidentals
#7
I'm not really good at therory but the Idea that MikeDodge explained sounds good to me.

Might I add that I'd use the V7b9 version of the chord, the b9 create alot of tension.
Quote by RazorTheAwesome
Lol at Bender

Quote by So-Cal

Quote by theguitarist

I got to warn you for spam though...

Quote by Shredoftheday
Nicely put good sir

I witnessed Night Of The Pear 2
#8
basically i'd let each sus chord be its own unidentified key (like a C and a D) and play anything over it "modally" using scales that contain the few notes from the chords. knowing how chords fit over each other also makes it a bit easier to play progressions that move through voicings well. i might do something like D minor over the Dsus2 and C mixolydian over the Csus2. really in the end doing something like this im just playing in D minor over that progression but i'd try to play around the C when it came up and highlight that scale.
#9
Quote by timeconsumer09
That's the only part I'm not understanding. But the rest of it is great!



If you reverse the chords to Dsus->Csus the "I chord" is now Dsus, meaning the progression resolves back to D now instead of C like it did the other way around. So you would use D Mixolydian for a I7-type chord.