Below is an email from musician Carey Fosse sent to me August 5, 2008 and republished with permission from Mr. Fosse.
RJ – The last couple days I’ve been working with open strings and the diminished scale that best matches them.
So if your’e playing dominants of E, G, Bb, or Db, there’s a shitload of open strings that match up. Everything but the A string.
Here’s some tasty chords from bottom up (* = open):
Bb, F, D*, E
D, Ab, Bb, Db
Db, F, G, E*
Bb, G*, F, E*
Also, sixth heaven:
F, Db, D, Bb
and in the same position –
Ab, Bb, F, G
and of course unlimited weird chords:
C#, G, Ab, D
D, E, C#, C# (a stretcher!)
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just by messing around in this one scale i’m finding all kinds of unusual sounds.
– – – – –
The other thing I was talking about the other day was taking a sequence of notes and picking them in alphabetical order, and letting that create each chord’s picking pattern.
One possibility for C-D-E-G becomes
(6string/8fret; 3/7; 1/0; 2/8)
For D-E-F-A, obviously one picking combination is D (6th string/11th fret), E (1/12), F (3/10), A (2/10).
That’s kind of the boring version (though I’m sure there are several interesting ones using the same sequence, such as 6/10; 3/9; 2/6; 5/0)) but things either get interesting or more ambigous with inversions (I also reversed the arpeggio):
(5/8; 2/5; 3/7; 5/0)
I think the scalewise thing works subconsciously, even if when leaping octaves.
Using this kind of a formula, no matter what the arpeggio sequence, usually involves finding solutions using open strings and seconds, always a good thing on guitar, no?