The M3 guitar - Pedals


When you drive somebody else's car, the first thing you notice is always that the clutch feels weird. If there is a clutch, that is. The occasional jumpy start is much to prefer to the violent braking you inevitably experience when you try an automatic for the first time.

Pedals - static root notes

Amazingly, 'pedal' has a very precise meaning in jazz. If you play a C pedal, for example, it means that the bass note is a C regardless of the root note of the chord. Bass players love pedals, almost to the point where it becomes sport to see how long it is possible to avoid following the chord sequence. It is a very effective way to set up a 'plateau' inside a tune, and it makes for a nice variation when used with taste.

Green Dolphin Street (mp3) has an ABAB shape, and the A sections are C pedals. The four bar intro, which is identical to the four bar ending, contains some of my favourite close voicings.

Stolen Moments (mp3, pdf, tef), which is essentially a minor blues, also starts with a C pedal. In the last four bars, during the 'twist', the tune reverses the roles of melody and bass. Rather than having the notes of the melody moving around above a static bass line, the melody repeats the same short theme whereas the bass line moves up and down in half-steps. My recording starts with an eight bar intro, a bit long perhaps, but I like the sound of those big chords.

C is a particularly nice key to play in on the M3 because there are two open C strings to work with. The C pedal is conveniently played by letting the open 5th string ring.