Linear Transformations, Pt. 2
BY PAT MARTINO
Since his first recording as a leader in 1967, Pat
Martino has constantly pushed the limits of jazz
guitar with his flowing technique and powerful,
muscular tone. Showing no signs of slowing
down, Martino still travels the world performing and giving lectures about his approach to
the guitar. Currently, Martino is working on an
autobiography and serving as adjunct faculty
at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
For more info, visit patmartino.com.
the 6th-string common tone shared by all
In Fig. 2, we shift this same chordal
movement to the 4–3– 2–1 string set. The
voice leading is exactly the same in both
examples, with F moving to E and then
A% (or G#) moving to G. I have placed
arrows to indicate these movements.
We can see the result of combining
both Em7 (or G6) voicings in Fig. 3. The
upper bracket indicates the shape from
Fig. 2 and the lower bracket indicates the
shape from Fig. 1.
Chord forms and linear patterns are
very similar. Both have specific shapes,
and once they become familiar, these
• Learn the principles of voice
• Combine arpeggios to create
• Develop an understanding of
inversions on the fretboard
In last month’s column, we learned how scales and arpeggios can be combined for the construction of line forms
(“Linear Transformations,” May 2011
PG). This month, we’ll continue exploring the concept as an ongoing extension
of that information.
Similar to chord forms, linear structures are based upon inversions, and
those inversions not only have identifiable shapes, but also position themselves
in vertical and horizontal positions across
the fretboard. The linear arpeggios in our
previous study were vertical chord forms
that were “flattened” horizontally across
the staff with their “skeletons” functioning as the arpeggios of the chord forms
themselves—specifically Em7 and Gmaj7
as relative forms.
Often, we use inversions that embody
identities that are very recognizable. These
shapes are the very skeletons that reside
within an improvisation. In Fig. 1 you
can see how we move from A% dim to E7
and then Em7 on the lowest four strings.
(Note: In A% dim, we’re spelling C% enharmonically as B to make it easier to see
A¨º ˙˙˙˙ b Fig. 2
E7 ˙ ˙ ˙˙ b
E‹ 7 ˙ ˙ ˙˙