#TheDailyRiff: Bring on The Night

The Police has been my favorite band ever since the early 80s when I first heard Zenyatta Mondatta – I had never heard anything like them. It was the summer of 1982 and I was driving with my brother to Jones Beach, Long Island, NY. WPLJ was blaring over the radio of our wood paneled Ford LTD station wagon when “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” was playing. That was it for me.

I dug back thru the collection, quickly picking up Outlandos d’Amour and Regatta de Blanc on cassette, playing them over and over. I spent a lot of hours trying to figure out the mysterious, ethereal guitar work of Andy Summers – there was nothing straightforward about the way he played, so when I would finally figured out one of his riffs, I was thrilled. Bring on the Night took me a LONG time to figure out. There was no YouTube, so I relied on my ear. And for this song, that was really tough.

This is my tribute to the song. It’s in the key of Em. However, I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time lately re-learning the lessons my great guitar teacher from 1980-something tried to teach me then, but I was too young and lazy to understand — Modes!

In this rendition of the song, I discovered that playing modally, in the key of G (the relative major to Em) I could find some interesting solos playing in B Phrygian and A Dorian. I also discovered that the actual melody from the song is in the B Phrygian scale. And since the song is in Em/G, I took advantage of the Em Pentatonic, which sits right on top of the G Maj Pentatonic, and switched back and forth for some interesting sounds. An overdue thank you to my old guitar teacher – Nick Villani – for your patience attempting to teach me those theories way back when. It finally sank in – better late than never, right?

My gear:

  • 1988 Fender Strat Plus
  • IKMultimedia iRigPro DUO (amazing device, I highly recommend it)
  • Recorded in GarageBand
    * For the bass line track, I used the the Crunch Guitar/Panning Swirl effect in GarageBand
    * For the chords, I used the Clean Guitar/Clean Studio Stack effect
    * And for the solo/melody, I used the Crunch Guitar/Royal Rock effect for some nice distortion and some sustain
  • Shot on the new GoPro HERO6 Black with low-light sensitivity on (the lighting in my office is horrible, but I’m really impressed with this new GoPro)
  • Edited in iMovie
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