Home Reply Reply To: Figuring out Horn Lines and Riddims
User AvatarMatt Jenson

Hi Aaron,
Knowing chords and the SCALES that go with them will help you understand VOICELEADING, which I talk about a bit on the Basic Theory course. This is basically what is happening with horn lines over a few chords: voiceleading – that is the most smooth motion from one chord to another. When you’ve identified the top line and have a nice little melody happening, the other voices (or horns as it were) below that line will follow voiceleading ‘rules’ that allow them to move along with the top line melody in a smooth fashion.

Another thing that you can do is, when listening to a horn line, try to work your ear so you can hear the notes of the instruments that are BELOW the top line, in otherwords, the harmonies. This is an ear training exercise and the more you do the better you will get. You can also train your ear to hear just say the bass lines, or the rhythm guitar, or some inner keyboard part.

In the next week or so I’ll be posting a new One Shot on ‘switching hands,’ that is, playing the chop with the left hand and bubbling/playing lead lines with the right. I have three tunes on this and I’ll write out charts that have all the parts so you can see how they line up.

Next up: the RIDDIMS projecct. That’ll take a bit, but you’re getting me inspired to take it on!

Play on,

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