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Nice Noise – Blackened Atmospheres

After a beautiful Autumnal period here in Sydney, the Winter has finally come to engulf the land and spread its frostbitten wings. Although I dislike the temperature of the chilly season, it often marks a time of great productivity and inspiration. Dark, cold days have profound effects upon the artistic organism, which becomes clearly evident in this lesson exploring the darker side of Shoegaze.

The chord progression underneath is stark, providing the perfect backdrop to the simple and melodic ideas used. As always, I encourage you to download and use the free backing track to practice and improvise with.

We begin by taking the E and F# notes on the G and B strings and alternating between the two, producing a dissonant effect. The E is our root note, with the addition of the F# serving to produce a suspended 2nd chord. For those that are unaware, a suspended chord is formed by omitting (suspending) the 3rd and replacing it with either the major 2nd or perfect 4th. The next chord in the sequence is simply the same shape/chord type moved down into the third position (Csus2). After that, I am utilizing an Em7 with the open E string to create a droning effect. It does not matter which order you pick the strings here; any combination will sound good. Note that in the introduction performance, I was using a fragment of this chord the first time round.

A simple technique for adding variety to proceedings is to colour the suspended shapes with notes on the high E string. First, we can add a D note at the 10th fret to the Esus2, and then an A note at the 5th fret for the Csus2.

Later on in the performance I used the suspended shape in the 12th position whilst employing the use of unison bending and a G note at the 15th fret on the high E string. This affords us many creative possibilities and opportunities to get ‘noisy’. What I like to do is bend the G string out of tune, rather than attaining perfect unison with the B note on the second string. This produces a chaotic series of sounds. The ones we all know and love 😀