Psychedelic Guitar Scales (with TABs)

Since many people visit my blog to know more about scales for psychedelic guitar, I would like to explain some basics in more detail. And in tablature, this time.

As a preparation, please read this former post! I will give you a basic riff to improvise on, by using the mixolydian scale. You can either play this scale the usual way (example 1) or slide along just the G-string (example 2), maybe pretending your guitar was a sitar…

So, use some slides, bendings and so on! Scales are just a raw material, nothing more. You have to make something out of it. Go ahead now.

Psychedelic Basic Riff in A – give it a nice rhythm!

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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–––2–––––4––––5–––––4––––2–––

0–––––0––––0–––––0––––0––––––

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Example 1): Psychedelic Scale (A mixolydian)

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––5––7––(9)–––––––

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––5––7––8–––––––––––––––––

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––4––6––7––––––––––––––––––––––––––

––––––––––––––––––––4––5––7–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

–––––––––––4––5––7––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

–(3)––5––7–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Example 2): A mixolydian on just one string (G string): use slides in a wild manner!

G –––0––2––4––6––7––9––11––12––14–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Don’t forget to practice each scale either way, meaning downward as well as upward! Furthermore, it’s understood that nobody will be able to create a psychedelic sound who lacks listening experience with psychedelic music…

If so, maybe you should listen to the medley in this former post: psychedelic medley and the list of tunes

Declining Light/Verfallenes Licht

[audio:verfallen.mp3]

red faces devoured by the night

shattered laughs in the vine

and glowing melancholy

spirit torture! a stone falls silent

blue voice of an angel in the sleeper’s ear

declining light

declining light

This an abridged translation of a poem without title from Georg Trakl, an Austrian poet of the Expressionism Era. At a certain point in working with the music of this tune, the need for some spoken lyrics appeared, and by intuition I took out this book of poems. In my younger days I would read Georg Trakl every year in the season of fall, but this time it was neither fall nor did I feel the need for some more melancholic or dark and dreary feelings. This time the overall surreal atmosphere of the music required such a poem…

The instrumentation is different in this tune, with the first obvious appearance of  violin along with mandolin, xylophone and dark vocals without words. Then suddenly you know something will happen, and there is this spoken poem above, embedded in shivering sounds to make your blood run cold. Strangely enough, the meter is 4/4 this time!

Forlorn In Folklore/Vollkommen Folkloren

[audio:folkloren.mp3]

Somehow this sounds like a fiddle tune minus a fiddle. It’s my Les Paul Special. Added jaw harp, triangle and some more guitars contribute to a funny feeling of exuberance, growing towards the end. A sudden break lets you fall into a repetition loop, and then fade out.

Although less than perfect, I like this tune in particular for its ending, where we are getting lost.

Do we still reside on top of a mountain? Have we found the way down in daylight?

Erlkönig/Durch Nacht Und Wind

[audio:nachtundwind.mp3]

“Who rides there so late through the night dark and drear?”

That’s from Goethe’s famous poem, which came to my mind when listening to this. Now that we’ve reached the mountain top, it has become dark and windy, and there’s no way to climb down now. So what shall we do?

This is one of the songs in 6/4 measure. I always do riffs in 6/4 unintentionally – it seems to be my natural measure… The wind sound is created by a pink noise generator through a wah wah pedal. I recorded the basic track with my ’80s Tobias four string bass. Solo guitar is a Les Paul Special, and my wife added three layers of recorder at the end. (Originally this was called “Afro Bass” when there was only a rhythm track with lots of percussion.)

Sleep well, and don’t let the strange sounds of the night disturb you…

Intro

[audio:Intro.mp3]

Dear listener,

at some point last year I decided I had to make an album. Too many musical ideas, sheets with sketches and outlines for songs had gathered.

That’s when I disappeared from here. Albums need my undivided attention – well, besides family, lessons and housework.

This is the third album I’ve done, and the last one. It took me more than three years to make this music in my head audible for others: as sound is my main focus now, preparations included extensive research and much experimenting with amps and effects. Some 26 songs developed from there. Some had to be omitted along the way.

23 songs remained to form an album of about 69 minutes. I myself played most of the instruments, including guitars, bass, drums, percussion, organ and violin. This has been a challenge! So my last album is also the longest one, considering playing time. It’s name is “Winterlese”, a German word containing my surname Winter and something like “vintage” or “crop”.

I hope I succeeded in conveying my idea of a Contemporary Psychedelic Sound, which was realized with strictly analog equipment. Except for recording everything on my computer, no digital means were used. Any sound you hear is a real sound, and there are many guitar parts that do not sound like a guitar…

The order of songs came very naturally this time. I wonder why I didn’t have to think about it too much, which I had expected to be one major problem. Listen to the introduction now, which sets the mood for the album, but lasts just a few seconds. Until next time, see you!