Tag: Ennio morricone

Western Guitar Backing Track (Em)

Here is my Western Guitar Backing Track, as a follow-up post to my Western Guitar Solo that I posted yesterday.

The biggest inspiration for this jam track comes from the beautiful soundtracks from timeless western movies, composed by Ennio Morricone (e.g. The Good, The Bad & The Ugly).

Although I coined the jam track to be a ‘guitar backing track’, it’s definitely possible to improvise on other instruments or even whistle. I must confess I’m very curious to what you guitarists will come op with 🙂

The western guitar backing track follows a repeating ABA pattern, where the (quieter) A-part serves as a tension builder, and the (more energetic) B-part adds the kick drum, distorted guitar chords, and a more pronounced, galloping rhythm in the drums.

To improvise over this jam track, start with the E minor pentatonic scale.

Modal Mixture

The backing track is in E minor, but with a few twists, as you will notice when improvising in the E minor natural scale or E minor pentatonic. This scale fits over most of the chords in the backing track, but – in the A-section – instead of the iidim-chord (like you would expect in E minor), I use the II-chord (F#). Similarly, I replace the v-chord Bm7 with a B7 in both the A and B-section.

This concept is called ‘modal mixture’, and because of this, it is possible to apply the Phrygian Dominant mode on both chords. That is the 5th mode of the harmonic minor, and one of my favorite textures to add to a solo.