Playing Rating: Intermediate to Advanced

Example 1

This lick combines the mixolydian with chromatic notes. You will notice the chromatics often precede a strong chord tone, like the major 3rd, or b7, this is a great way to bridge the gap between strict diatonic and chromatic playing and is a technique derived from jazz, and we know that Morse studied jazz so we can assume some assimilation there. As always, take time to pick the notes as accurately as possible.

Example 1

Example 2

This lick serves a double purpose because, if played slow, the sound you hear should train your ears to get used to basic tenets of diatonic and chromatic blending within a mixolydian context, that is chromatic notes moving toward strong chord tones, as in this case with each final triplet note resolving to the 5th, root, major 3rd, and 6th. If played fast, it turns into a cool sounding lick that is reminiscent of Morse’s playing on those early solo albums.

Example 2

Example 3

In this example, we make a point of blending the blues sound with the mixolydian. At first this sometimes can be a little tricky to do convincingly, particularly the shifting to and from the major and minor 3rd. As you play through this one make a point of acknowledging the departure points of the blues sound into the mixolydian. Morse is great at doing this and you can hear this a lot on the track Cruise Missle from The Introduction.

Example 3