Watch the Sus Scrofa: 9 online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Guitar Cubed
Rifi Hendrix introduced the idea of Guitar 3 playing the role of guitar part as opposed to guitar solo. This idea was loosely revisited in Purple with its high-level motivic development. In Duffy’s Edge, though, the concept was back in [almost] full-force with its spacious natural harmonics and complementary arpeggiations. Here in Sus Scrofa it’s all or nothing, but then something. Lemme explain...
In the first eight bars Guitar 3 conceptually copies Guitar 2. In fact with the exception of the displacement of the arpeggiated sequences beat-wise, not to mention their direction in pitch, they’re basically the same part. While there’s a set of four new chords to geek on furthering the compounding harmonies (which at this point are leading your ears into a beautiful oblivion) they’re really close. So in these initial eight bars the three parts that make up Sus Scrofa are the coming together like the Mystic’s at the end of The Dark Crystal. Judging by what’s gone on in Guitar Cubed it wouldn’t be presumptuous of you to think, “OK, cool, nice one. What’s next?” What IS next is the aforementioned “something”.
In bar 9 Guitar 3 strays from the harmonic trifecta and breaks into a bonified solo with a synth patch that screams prog rock monosynth. If that weren’t twisted enough this horizontally approached solo makes use a very hip melodic substitution by playing D minor pentatonic over this orchestration. Yup, you read right: D minor pentatonic. The concept is this: If you have a strong Lydian base of chords OR you want to get a Lydian thing going on in your solo then play a minor pentatonic scale a half step below the key you’re in (considering you’re in major). The notes contained within the scale are perfectly set up to a gorgeous array of pitches. Check it out, the notes in the D minor pentatonic scale against an Eb root come out to be 7 9 3 #4/#11 6/13. It’s extension-palooza!
Now, back to the synth tone. This sound further bolsters the effect of the minor pentatonic superimposition in this instance. What’s more, taking this approach is the sonic equivalent to the quoting of your favorite solos as I did in Spy Hunter ("Whole Lotta Love"), Stiff Upper Lip ("When Push Comes To Shove"), Duffy’s Edge (insert one of three U2 songs mentioned) and Down and Dirty ("Fire"). Because of this sound the phrasing is very synth-like and pays much homage to Tony Banks of Genesis and his playing throughout the classic Genesis years where they established themselves as prog pioneers before there was such a term. Thinking back to some words stated back in Granola: Great music breeds great music.
P.S. If you’re sweatin’ that tone or any other in Guitar Cubed and you’re a POD XT owner all the Tone files are included in the course for you to load up and play!