7. Fourths

Although 4ths have many great possibilities. On popular guitar they are most familiar as a particular type of line which first appeared in older R&B music, such as “Rainy Night in Georgia” (Otis Rush) or Drift Away (Dobie Gray).  It’s still a sweet, soulful effect. But remember, they can be used to create different types of expression, depending on the chord or bass note underneath:




4ths can appear almost anywhere, but we are referring to them as a series of 2 or more ascending or descending. 2 weirdly disparate examples in pop music are the intro to “Wish You Were Here” (Pink Floyd, 1977):




And the repeating figure in “Every Morning” (Sugar Ray 1998):


4ths are a very’ consonant’ interval; see if you can use them in your playing without resorting to the usual clichés.

© 2012 Jim Greenfield