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Captain Mudbank

mp3: Captain Mudbank
wma: Captain Mudbank

Time/size: 1 mins 55 secs/2.70mb. 84 beats per minute/bpm

Blues-jazz track: This is a three chord progression in the key of E that you can use to play some freaky sounding scales over that'll scare the neighbor's cat away.

mp3: Captain Mudbank Backing Track
wma: Captain Mudbank Backing Track

Time/size: 5 mins 23 secs/7.5mb. 84 beats per minute/bpm

Blues-Jazz jam track: Captain Mudbank uses blues-jazz chords in the key of E.

Backing track instruments: electric guitar, fretless bass and drums.

Progression: This is a 5 bar progression with the chords played: B7-13, B7-13, A6, B7-13, E Major.

Suggestions: You can play a lot of different stuff over this jam track. It's a good way to start thinking and playing around with the modes. You can do this is one of two ways, as an introduction using B, A and E Major Pentatonic scales over the B7-13, A6 and E Major chord or you can go all out and use the B Mixolydian Mode, A Lydian mode and E Ionian mode (i.e. the E Major scale) over the three chords.

Captain Mudbank Chords

I love using these three chords. They are basically blues chords but with a couple of notes thrown in to make it look and sound like you can play some jazz! They give a good blues-jazz sound to a blues progression in the key of E and you can use them in other keys as well.

Usually when I'm using them I play them in an E blues format with the E or an E7 chord playing first, then the A6 and the B7-13 chords for the IV and V chords in a standard blues progression. These types of chords are often called substitute chords - as you are substituting the A6 chord for what you'd usually play as an A7 chord in a standard blues progression. You are also substituting the B7-13 chord for the B7 chord from a standard blues progression.

Next time you are playing a standard blues progression in the key of E try throwing in the A6 or B7-13 chord every now and then and listen to the change in sound it will give you. If you change from an A7 to the A6 chord and similarly with a B7 to B7-13 chord in the same bar it sounds pretty cool.

B7-13 Rhythm Guitar

E|--x--
B|--9--
G|--8--
D|--7--
A|--x--
E|--7--

A6 Rhythm Guitar

E|--x--
B|--7--
G|--6--
D|--4--
A|--x--
E|--5--

E Major Rhythm Guitar

E|--x--
B|--3--
G|--5--
D|--5--
A|--x--
E|--0--

Captain Mudbank Scale Suggestions

There are two important lessons to realize looking at the scales I have put below.

Firstly - notice that the patter for each Major Pentatonic scale written out is exactly the same just in different positions. This is the whole reason why you can play guitar even if you bought your axe 2 hours ago and have just worked out how to tune it up!

1. B Major Pentatonic Scale - 4th Position - One Octave

E|-----------4-7-
B|------4-7------
G|-4-6-----------
D|---------------
A|---------------
E|----------------

2. A Major Pentatonic Scale - 2nd Position - One Octave

E|-----------2-5-
B|------2-5------
G|-2-4-----------
D|---------------
A|---------------
E|----------------

3. E Major Pentatonic Scale - 9th Position - One Octave

E|-------------9-12-
B|-------9-12-------
G|-9-11-------------
D|-------------------
A|-------------------
E|-------------------

Secondly - this is a good way to introduce using the modes. One way of using modes is to play the mode that fits the chord you are playing over. That's what we are suggesting below by playing the B Major Pentatonic scale over the B7-13 chord. You can go on step further and play the B Mixolydian mode over the B7-13 chord. This will add the 4th and 7th degrees of the scale to the Major Pentatonic scale and give you B Mixolydian mode.

In a similar manner you can add the relevant 4th and 7th degrees to the A Major scale to get the A Lydian mode. And also add the 4th and 7th degrees of the E Major scale to get the E Ionian mode (which is the E Major scale, just another way of naming it - but the E Ionian mode and E Major scale contain exactly the same notes. They are the same).

So let's do that and see what results from it:

4. B Mixolydian Mode - 4th Position - One Octave

E|-------------4-5-7-
B|------4-5-7--------
G|-4-6---------------
D|--------------------
A|--------------------
E|--------------------

5. A Lydian Mode - 2nd Position - One Octave

E|-------------2-4-5-
B|------2-4-5--------
G|-2-4---------------
D|--------------------
A|--------------------
E|--------------------

6. E Ionian Mode (E Major Scale) - 9th Position - One Octave

E|-----------------9-11-12-
B|-------9-10-12-----------
G|-9-11--------------------
D|--------------------------
A|--------------------------
E|---------------------------

Whoa - you just saved about $15,000 on college fees. Except you would have missed out on the experience of being at school so you should enroll anyway and enjoy the days.

That's the modes for you for this jam track. If you want to work them out for other jam tracks you can do it in a similar fashion. Work out the Major or minor pentatonic scales over each Major and minor chord in the progression. Then fill in the 2 missing notes of the Major or minor Pentatonic scale and that will give you the mode. When filling in the 2 missing notes you must use notes from the Major scale that key signature of the tune is in. We were playing in the key of E Major so we used only notes that are in the E Major Scale when adding notes to make the Lydian and Mixolydian mode.

It's a bit of a read to understand what I've said above and will sound like I'm talking rubbish at first. If you read through it and play it out on the guitar and do it in other keys you'll start to see the patterns emerge and the modes will start making sense. You need to put in a little bit of work to do this. If you're not sure what work is just ask a senior citizen.

For a complete breakdown of the modes you can also read through Play Guitar Modes and play with the jam tracks on that page. It's heavier going than what I wrote out above. The above is a solid introduction to show you that the modes aren't as hard as they first appear. If you are going to go through Play Guitar Modes you'll probably want to read it a few times over several weeks, writing things out as you go, before it really sinks in your head.

If you put in the work you'll understand a lot more about the fretboard, playing guitar and music theory in general. Even if you aren't going to use that information directly - it will make you a better musician if you understand the theory.

Captain Mudbank Guitar Tab

0.00 Guitar Lick 1

Guitar lick 1 uses the Major Pentatonic scale shapes shown in scale suggestions 1, 2 and 3 above. I was specifically playing these notes to show you how you can use the same shape pattern over the three chords to help you think of this as an introduction to using the modes. That's essentially what I'm doing with this guitar lick. I've stripped it down to just the Major Pentatonic scale. Playing the B Major, then A Major and finally the E Major Pentatonic scales gives you the specific chord/scale relationship that you start off using when playing using modes.

Note also that by doubling up on the first 3 notes of the guitar lick 1 I'm making it a bit more interesting than just playing the scale up or down. When you start to use a scale, don't play it straight, take it on a bit of a journey to create some interest. Go exploring. It doesn't have to be totally off the beaten track but a bit of variation will make a lot of difference and give you ideas to become a lot more musical.

Small variations make big differences that will develop your sound.

E|-----------------4-7-----------------4-7-----------------2-5-----------------4-7-
B|----------4-4-7---------------4-4-7--------------2-2-5---------------4-4-7------
G|-4-4-6-6------------4-4-6-6------------2-2-4-4-------------4-4-6-6------------
D|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

E|---------------------9-12-
B|-------------9-9-11-------
G|-9-9-11-11---------------
D|---------------------------
A|---------------------------
E|---------------------------

0.15 Guitar Lick 2

Guitar lick 2 uses the first four or five notes from scale suggestions 4, 5 and 6. Instead of just playing notes from the Major Pentatonic scale like with guitar lick 1 we are also adding the 4th degree of the scale over each of chords we're playing over. Using the 4th will give you a whole different sound altogether. Especially when you go to play over the A chord (which is the IV chord in tune Captain Mudbank which is essential another variation of a I, IV, V progression). The 4th degree over the A chord is an augmented 4th. The 4th degree over the B and E chords are Perfect 4ths. The distance from the Root note to the augmented 4th is one semi-tone (or fret) higher than the distance from the Root to the 4th for a Perfect 4th.

If you're not sure what I'm saying above - play scale suggestion 4 and then 5 above and notice that the position of the 4th note in the scales is different making you play a slightly different pattern between the two scale (or modes).

If you're still not sure, turn up the distortion a bit more and rock out anyway. You don't need to be able to understand it to play it. Which is good relationship advice as well, I'm throwing that one in for free!

E|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B|----------4-5-4--4-5-4------------4-5-4---4-5-4----------2-4-5-4-2----2---
G|-4-4-6-6-------6-------6-4-4-6-6-------6--------2-2-4-4-------------4---4-
D|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

E|------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B|----------4-5-4---4-5-4-----------------------------------------------------
G|-4-4-6-6-------6--------9-9-11-11-13-13-14-14-16-16-14-14-13-13-11-
D|------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0.29 Guitar Lick 3

I'm just stuffing around in guitar lick 3. I was trying to work out if I could hear the heater inside or if was raining outside while I was playing this bit. My mind wanders off sometimes. Hey did I ever tell you about the time I was at the Beacon Theatre in New York City and Derek Trucks walked passed me and I said to him...

E|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G|-4-4-4-4-2----2-4-4-4-4-4-2----2-4-2---2-2-4-4-6-6-4-4-2-2-4-4-6-6-4-2-
D|-------------4------------------4--------4--------------------------------------
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

E|----------------------------------------
B|----------------------------------------
G|-4-4-4-4-2----2-4-2---9-11-13-11-9-
D|-------------4--------4-----------------
A|-----------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------

0.43 Guitar Lick 4

I love this lick and I'm not really sure why! I think I played it (and one million variations) for a whole night after I came up with this jam track. This is the kind of guitar lick you play if you spent a lot of years listening to Gary Moore and Eric Johnson.

E|-----------------------------------------------------------------9-12-14-12-9--------
B|-10-12-10-----10-12-10----10-12-10----10-12-10----10-12----------------14-12-
G|------------11------------11------------9------------11-------------------------------
D|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

E|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B|-10-10---------------10-10--------10-12-10-----10-12-10----10-12-10-10-
G|--------9-9-6-6-9-9--------9-9-6-------------11------------11---------------
D|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

E|--------------------------
B|--------------------------
G|-9-9-11-11-13-11-11-9-
D|--------------------------
A|--------------------------
E|--------------------------

0.58 Guitar Lick 5

This guitar lick goes back to the scale suggestions and uses the first five notes of each of the scales within each part over each chord. It's almost an exercise.

E|------------------------------------------------------------
B|------4-5-7-5-4---4--4-----------4-5-7-5-4---4---4-----
G|-4-6-------------6--6---6-4-4-6-------------6---6---6-4-
D|------------------------------------------------------------
A|------------------------------------------------------------
E|------------------------------------------------------------

E|-----------------------------------------------------------
B|------2-4-5-4-2---2---2-----------4-5-7-5-4---4---4---
G|-2-4-------------4---4---4-2-4-6-------------6---6---6-
D|-----------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------

E|--------------------------------------
B|-------9-10-12-10-9----9----9------
G|-9-11----------------11---11--11-9-
D|--------------------------------------
A|--------------------------------------
E|--------------------------------------

1.12 Guitar Lick 6

Similar to guitar lick 4. This is one of the one million variations I was playing. Leaving me with only 999,998 more guitar licks left to show you!

E|--------11-12-11------------11----11--------------11-12-11-------------------11--------
B|-10-12------------12-10-12----12----12---10-12------------12-10-12-10-12-----12----
G|-------------------------------------------9----------------------------------------------9-
D|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

E|--------9-11-12-11-9----9-----9---------------11-12-11-------------------11--------
B|-10-12----------------12---12---12-10-10-12------------12-10-12-10-12----12----
G|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------11-
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

E|-------------12-12-----------
B|------12-12--------12-12---
G|-9-9-----------------------9-
D|------------------------------
A|------------------------------
E|------------------------------

1.26 Guitar Lick 7

I was just digging into the notes with this one. It's good to dig into notes and try and bring out different sounds from the same notes. Unlike a piano*, the guitar is an extremely expressive instrument - you can play the same note many different ways. Just on the one string at the one fret, let alone when you play the same note on another string. Like if you play an E at the 9th fret on the G (3rd) string and then play the same note E at the 14th fret on the D (4th) string. Same note - totally different sound.

* I am going to have to go into hiding for three years due to this comment.

I was pretty pleased with myself for hitting a bit of a harmonic at the end. I wasn't specifically aiming to do this - it just kind of came out. When you really dig into the strings - your thumb often brushes over the string after your pick hits it. If you thumb and pick pretty much connect the string together - you'll start to hit harmonics. You can practice this - I never really do it on purpose, I just let it happen when it happens and let it surprise me a little. Gotta have some fun in life!

E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B|-12-12-12-12-10----10-10-12-12-14-14-16-16-14-14-12-12-10-10-9-9-7-7-
G|-------------------11-------------------------------------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

E|--------------------------------------9-9--------9-11-12-12-11-11-12-12-11-11-12(harmonic)-
B|-10-10-10-10-9-----9-10-10-12-12----12-12---------------------------------------------------
G|------------------11------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.41 Guitar Lick Track Fades Out

I faded out the track because I kept playing for about another hour or so when I was recording it. Instead of hearing my licks, I think it's your turn to come up with something using the scale suggestions and maybe some of the guitar licks above. Make sure you take them further than what I've done. I think you'll be able to do a lot better than me on this if you work at it a little - so you better get to it.

Jam on!

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