DADGAD - acoustic modal improvisation

Do what???!!!

Three if not four minority interests for the price of one, but I'll post this anyway and risk no audience.

I used to play electric guitar improvising along with backing tracks and got into playing the 'church' modes - just lead lines mostly. Since taking up acoustic I've rapidly gone to playing other than standard tuning - particularly DADGAD.

So I've not been playing modes in an improvisation situation, or improvising much at all. I have been missing it recently - I like the way a good improv allows me to immerse myself in the music and it soothes my mind.

I thought I'd do something about it. I produced 3 fretboard diagrams of the Minor Pentatonic scale in DADGAD with the additional notes for (1) Phrygian, (2) Dorian and (3) Aeolian. Plus the same idea with the Major Modes.

The intention is to move through the modes and try to improvise something in each that captures to at least a degree the character of that mode - within my limited capabilities.

Bear in mind too it's a lot trickier with no backing track, and I can't use the little finger on my fretting hand due to arthritis.

Also bear in mind that by its nature improv means more wrong notes and stumbles and blind alleys where the music takes a turning to a dead end.

Here's an Improv in Phrygian:-

Here's an Improv in Dorian:-

It became apparent when I'd completed the Phrygian - a favourite mode of mine - that moving to the Dorian needed more than just changing the two additional notes to a fret higher. It was also about playing the notes in a style and rhythm that suited the mode. Playing along with backing tracks as I used to I could let the BT take charge of the style and rhythm.

It was fun doing these although I have no delusions that they are of any great musical merit. Much more of a challenge having to do it all in one go on just the acoustic.

I started with Minor modes as I got on much better with minor when I played electric. Once I have tackled Aeolian I'll be moving on to major modes and I find the thought a bit daunting. :(
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