Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Matt Schofield - War We Wage tab

Even though, in the words of my good friend Greg, I recently told you to "not use tab and to do our own ear training and figure out stuff for ourselves". Here (at the bottom), for your use, are the tabbed notes I did for myself as I lifted the incredible Mr Matt Schofield's song 'War We Wage' from his Heads Tails & Aces album. For those of you who don't know Matt's work I highly recommend you fix that immediately! My absolute favorite blues guitarist today. He's a cool guy too (I met him at a small show he did North of Toronto at the best live venue ever! Peter's Players - GO THERE to see a show.)

From wikipedia:

Matt Schofield (born 21 August 1977, Manchester, England)[1][2] is an English blues guitarist and singer. His band, The Matt Schofield Trio, play their own material, which is a blend of blues, funk, and jazz, along with covers of blues classics such as Albert Collins' "Lights Are On, But Nobody's Home".

As many of you know I regularly preach about the value of using your ears to figure out songs - which is precisely what I did here.

My process
Typically as I go I quickly jot down a tab (so that I don't forget the lines) then go back at the end and re-learn the entire piece. During this process I do some analysis (looking for scales used, chord tones hit, passing notes, other treatments). In fact theory very much helps you in this process so don't dodge learning it.

What the?? Where's the note values?
This process for me is strictly for my use - so going to the trouble of doing proper notation is not something i always do. If my intention is to give this to another musician for performance standard notation is the only way to go. It is also VERY valuable to do it for the rhythm study - which I do sometimes. In all honestly I had not planned on posting this at all... So for those of your standard notation guys, before you give me grief keep this in mind.

Performance notes:

  • This is mostly over a Bmin vamp with occasional touches of E7.
  • Matt mostly chooses the pentatonic blues minor scale (with the added b5).
  • Over minor chords he also uses B Dorian a LOT
  • When the E7 presents itself in the harmony he often hits it. Specifically the G# (Major 3rd)
  • He also uses a brief piece of the diminished scale as well.

Most all of the notes in this piece reside in one of these places.

There could be a typo in here but most of these lines are pretty much note for note. I can say that with some confidence.

What makes his playing so wonderful is the lyrical quality of his touch and the pure musicality of his phrasing. Make this a study in touch as well, not just cherry picking lines. Beautifully delivered, lots to learn from here.

I can't stress how important it is for YOU to do this same thing with songs that inspire you. Make your own TABs and learn to be self sufficient. EVERY TIME I do a transcription I come away with TONS. I do these weekly. The great players out there all learned this way and do this all the time... at least they did in their formative periods. So take their lead. 

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