A Comparative Analysis of Pat Metheny's and Mike Stern's improvisation on John Coltrane's Giant Steps

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เจตนิพิฐ สังข์วิจิตร

Abstract

The research presented herein is a comparative analysis of Pat Metheny's and Mike Stern's improvisation on the tune "Giant Steps" originally composed by John Coltrane, concertrating on areas of rhythmic and melodic patterns, harmony, usage of scales and other important musical elements. The research shows that, in terms of rhythmic patterns, both guitarists used multiple rhythmic patterns of various rhythmic densities to develop their improvisation which in turn laid down the foundation to further development of rhythmic elements. Pat Methene was noted for his use of pure rhythmic motifs in his improvisation. In term of melodic patterns, the use of motifs bases on 1-2-3-5 note groupings, large melodic intervals, and the use of chord members are prevalent in creating a variety of colors and extended melodic development. Additionally, strategic placements of melodic sequences maintains melodic unity, thus helps listeners to follow the musical idea despite heavy use of non-chord tones. Harmonically, most guitarists mainly used four-note chords with quartal and quintal harmony. Specifically, Metheny incorporates both quintal and quartal chords, while Stern favors quatal voicing. In term of usage of scales, Metheny relied more on pentatonic scales whereas Stern emphasized diminished scales begining with half-step. Another notable difference between the two guitarists is that Metheny often integrated a chromatic scale with the 3-2-1-2 fingering system in his solo passages. Stern, on the other hand, applied chromatic notes to create be-bob style phrases.  

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References

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