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 BOO!

Continuing my spooktacular blog of tricks or treats to make your record sounds spooky today we have another three top tips.

 

4.The Minor Scale

 

There are several different flavours of minor scale, natural minor, melodic and harmonic minors and also we can consider some modes minor, of course the Aeolian mode (which is natural minor itself) and Dorian and Phrygian. Mixolydian even has a slight minor feel with the flat and seventh note

 

It is interesting to consider that as children we are taught that the major scale is essentially the default scale. But when we consider our naming system for notes A to G it is interesting that this produces the a minor scale. Spooky hey!

 

Of course if you don't know your minor scale simply play a major scale and the relative minor can be found to start on the sixth notes of the major scale. Instance in C major :

C, D, E, F, G, A, B

The relative minor is A minor:

A, B, C, D, E, F, G

 

5. Tremolo

 

Tremolo is one of the most effective and spooky techniques you can play on a bowed stringed instrument and is equally applicable to the guitar, you could even play with a bow on the guitar! The video version of this blog shows a little bit better how tremolo is played but essentially it is a very quick movements of the bow or plectrum up and down.

 

Combine this with some slow moving single note minor scale lines and you have a spooky background ideal for beds instead of chord backings. If you happen to be a producer or music maker and don't actually play a bowed string instrument but have access to one, then tremolo is a nice technique that can easily be attempted.

 

6. Random Tapping

 
You can think of random tapping as an extreme form of pizzicato technique I demonstrating the video how one might approach this on a violin and guitar, if you grab a few string players and get them to do this random kind of playing together you can achieve some really interesting landscapes and sound. Very X-Files!

 

Hope you enjoyed those ghoulish tips more coming tomorrow!

 

This week I am going to tell you some of my top tricks or treats for making spooky music. There will be 13 in total and I'll be splitting this blog across several parts.

 

1. The Tritone

The tritone was actually banned in compositions for the Catholic Church for some time because of its daemonic nature. Many people think the tritone is a set of three notes but it is not, it is simply an interval, it is half an octave, or six semitones if you like, or as the name suggests three whole tones.

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