Chromatic Concepts

Listen to Magnus on the solo from the Majestic track "I'll Shoot the Moon" from their new CD Trinity Overture.

Hi! My name is Magnus Nordh and I play guitar in the band Majestic.

I would like to talk about some different chromatic concepts that I've been working on and found really useful and cool sounding.

In example one, I took an A altered dominant legato line and put some passing tones to fill in the gaps. This one could be used over an altered A7 or why not a D or Dm, G or Gm. That's what the jazzers would recommend, I guess.

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Example two is just an extension of example one. I think you'll see where I put the passing tones if you compare it to example one. Try this approach with any of your scales that you happen to use, and make four fingered legato lines out of them. Also, if you put the accents on different parts of the beat it will spice it up a bit. Notice that I only pick the first note of each example. Try picking every note if you like or just some of them, there are no rules on how to play this stuff.

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In examples three and four I've used the targeting method with triads, one major and one minor. Targeting deals with taking the important notes of a chord [1 3 5 (7)] and approaching them with 1, 2, 3, or 4 notes either from below or above.

I've kept the examples pretty basic, not to confuse anybody.

Example three is just a standard Am triad and I've put one note below the 1 on the way up and then on the way down I put one note above the 5. Also at the end I put the G# in there. This could also be thought of as part of the harmonic minor scale played in an odd fashion.

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Example four is an F# major triad. I've approached the 1 with two notes from below and then 3 with one note from below and then finally the 5 with three notes from above. These examples also have some cool accents. Try this technique with any triad or arpeggio that you know of.

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And finally, this is a more "out" sounding way. Take a triad or arpeggio and make a chord that's resolving back in half-steps. One note above or below each one of the notes in the original arpeggio.

In example five I've made a rather easy example. I chose an E5add9 and an F M7.

This way of creating tension is often found in modern classical music. Also it's not that jazz-sounding.

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OK, I hope someone found this stuff useful. I'd like to thank Chops from Hell for inviting me to do a column.

the following bio material from the Majestic website

MAJESTIC was formed by Richard Andersson (key) and Peter Espinoza (git) under the name of LAB RAT. They started writing songs together with focus on strong melodies and heavy guitar riffs with turbo-charged solo parts. Richard got a call from the Swedish management Roastinghouse Productions and they asked him if he could show them his new material. Richard called up some old friends and the line-up was completed with Joel Lindér (drums), Martin Wezowski (bass) and Jonas Blum (vocals). One month later the recordings took place.

The debut album "Abstract Symphony" was recorded during November, December 1998 and was released worldwide by Massacre Records (Europe, except France - released by NTS Records), Toshiba/EMI (Japan) and NEMS (South America, Mexico). This neo-classical metal album received tremendous attention worldwide and achieved excellent reviews (Aardshock, Force, Powerplay, Metallium, Spin City etc.). 7 out of 7 in Metal Hammer (Germany). 9,5 out of 10 in Metal Heart among others.

Afterwards MAJESTIC joined Pretty Maids on their European tour in 1999. According to Richard it was a great experience to perform live with this kind of music. During the summer of 1999, discussions about the future and the new material lead to a split of most of the members. However, during the autumn of 1999 Richard started his writing process and at the same time he was looking for a new line-up. One month later, everything was set with Magnus Nordh (guitars), Peter Wildoer (drums) and ex-Faith Taboo singer Apollo (vocals) and of course Martin Wezowski (bass) and if you listen to the new album you can just congratulate Richard to his decisions.

In late autumn the recordings took place, and the album "Trinity Overture" was completed in January 2000. This second album is just genius; melodies like Rainbow at their best, high-speed solos that would honour every Yngwie Malmsteen album and a sound that kicks ass! At Massacre Records the first listen led to sheer surprise and enthusiasm. Ten neo-classical metal highlights with a band, that will surely make it to the top !!! This album is so well written and well played that it will satisfy every metal freak. The album is also released as a limited digipak-edition with a bonus MAJESTIC-screensaver (Europe only). The Japanese release will include one bonustrack (Cadenza No1 A-minor) as well as a MAJESTIC sticker for the 10 000 first buyers.

MAJESTIC also recorded their first video, on the song "Voodoo Treasure"… check it out !!!

MAJESTIC are the forerunners of the New wave of Swedish heavy metal, which will find the way back to the success of the Eighties Swedish heroes like Europe and Yngwie Malmsteen.