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Watch the Good Vibes: 9 online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Guitar Cubed

Once again the concept of space is brought to the table and once again it’s in another form. In this third guitar part in Good Vibes it’s the long sustained notes that are let loose and allowed to breath that provide space for the rest of the ensemble to play themselves out. This is especially evident in the first four bars where purposely placed chord tones from a Bm7 arpeggio are played with calculated restraint. Also notice the melody in those same bars meet up with the kick drum pattern illustrating the big round thing at the foot of your drummer can inspire the entire arrangement.

The second set of four bars brings motivic development into the mix as the melody is once again played off the kick pattern albeit a few more notes to change it up a bit. At this point it's important to note the melodies played thus far do NOT follow the melodic line nested within Guitar 1. While there’s been plenty of times where parts throughout Guitar Cubed have linked up with others, this time we’re gonna forego the temptation and for good reason. This particular melodic idea, though very catchy, is extremely tricky to play off of due to the scale degrees involved--namely the two kinds of 6ths. Also, sometimes you have to not be so obvious!

In bar 7 you’ll find a half step bend at the downbeat that starts out as a G#. The possibly perplexing part is this is done over a Bm7#5 that would otherwise send that G# into a dissonant black hole. The intent here is for the G# to launch a half step bend as they have a distinctly different phrasing characteristic than whole step bends. This bend never resolves and instead descends into an octave above response to the lick played at the downbeat of beat 4 in the 3rd bar.

So far in the first three Guitar 3 parts the organization approach has been the first two sets of four bars are totally related and feed off each other. Then, the third set goes into some new ideas to break things up only to be followed by the fourth set that calls back ideas stated in the first two. Good Vibes brings in a new compositional tool by splitting the 16 bars into two sets of eight. Of course, the two sets are further split into four bar chunks that play off one another. Sorta like the aforementioned method, but in this approach there’s no return to the original idea in the first set of four. Instead, they are two separate eight bar entities that are joined by the overall vibe of it all.

The final eight bars is all about B minor pentatonic for the most part, which by the way is nary a 6th. Contained within the plethora of smartly placed slides making for a slippery overall phrasing environment is a rhythmic quote in bar 10 that mirrors the 16th note phrasing in Spy Hunter at it’s bar 11 (they both start on their respective downbeats) and an emphasis on the added 9th (C#). Getting back to bar 10 where you have the pairs of 16ths separated by a 16th note rest making for some cool syncopation, that idea is reiterated at the downbeat of beat 3 in bar 11, but this time with a different slide approach and the second 16th in each pair is allowed to ring out for an 1/8 note.

The final four bars that float through the B minor pentatonic by way of two-note-per-string hammer-ons follow a descending diagonal line. This is a great lick to exemplify the advantage of the guitar’s visual aspect and how that can be used to create ideas. What’s more, notice how this final lick provides an anticipation to climax that is met with the last attack on the upbeat of beat four in bar 15 where the final Bm7 is played. As Mark Knopfler would say, “THAT’S the way you do it...”