The M3 guitar - Bumpy road

Bumpy road

Some cars, including the very sexy Fiat Bravo SX, come with a so-called sports suspension. This is marketing speak for no suspension. It certainly makes you feel you are in very close contact with the surface you are driving on.


When the rythm is 'choppy' it is said to be syncopated. Funk music, such as the seventies Tower of Power, is heavily syncopated. David Bowie's "Fame" is an example of a funky pop tune that uses syncopation to good effect.

There are some jazz tunes whose melody is based on rythm rather than notes. Such a tune can sound weird on its own. It makes sense only when it is played against a rythm section.

Straight No Chaser (mp3) is one of Thelonius Monk's typically quirky tunes. It is essentially just a series of chromatic notes played over a blues progression in F but it is put together such that the basic pattern is never repeated in quite the same way. I have recorded it with a MIDI backing band. First time through you hear only the drums behind the guitar, in the second chorus the bass and the piano are added.

It is tricky to make a solo arrangement of Straight No Chaser (mp3, pdf, tef). The melody does not outline the sound of the chords, and since it is fast it is difficult to find the space to throw in extra notes, or chords. I have cheated a little and modified the last part of the melody so that the underlying chords are easier to follow. The rythm is the same.