Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Morgan Hill, CA
"Pitch Axis" Theory by Joe Satriani
The principle is that any number of harmonic settings can be linked by the same tonal center. If you're in C major (C D E F G A B C ) for, say, four bars and in C minor (C, D, E flat, F, G, A flat, B flat) for the next four: the major and minor keys share the same tonic, C and this note is a center. It's a pivot on which you shift harmonies. You could then take four bars in C Phrygian (C, D flat, E flat, F, G, A flat, B flat), and then four in C Mixolydian (C D E F G A B flat).
Thus, one pitch provides an axis point for the scales and chords of variety of harmonic situations.
Let's look at Pich Axis in action.
Ex.1 "Satch Boogie" (Bridge) - "Surfing With The Alien".
Chords in order of appearance
5. __Open A in every chord_______________________
The chords progression is: A5(sharp 11) => A(dim) => Dm add4/A => Asus4 => B(flat)sus4/A => Bsus4/A => Csus4/A => Amaj7(add6) => Dm6/A => E(flat9)/A => A7sus4 => Amaj7 => A7
In original tablature Joe plays this progression with taps, pulls and hammers exclusively on the 5th open string. And it looks like this...
Ex.2 "Satch Boogie" (Tapping Riff)
6. T P P P H H
T - Tap; P - Pull; H - Hammer