Very Practical Uses for the Pitch Fork
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Posted: 11 March 2019 01:15 AM

Very Practical Uses for the Pitch Fork

Capo - If you ever accompany singers then you will sometimes hear, “That’s too low for me. Can you raise it up a bit?” Or the other way. If you don’t have a capo or hate playing in Eb. You just dial it up or down to where you need it.

Using “D” for “Detune” - This is essentially a bit less than a quarter step detune. A chorus is usually a modulated detune with a bit of a delay. So, this setting works well as a chorus. You can make it a deeper detune by selecting Dual and moving the blend all the way to the effect side. Using Dual and leaveing the mix at 50/50 will sound like a THREE guitar chorus!

m2 - minor 2nd, a.k.a. half step. A half step harmony is not very musically useful when blended at the same level with the dry signal, but you can use m2 down with blend to 100% effect to tune the whole guitar down to Eb. This is useful for playing along on Youtube with someone who’s tuned down a half step like Stevie Ray Vaughan liked to do.

M2 - major 2nd, a.k.a. whole step. You can use the M2 down with blend at 100% effect to tune the whole guitar down to D. This is the tuning that some metal bands do for djenting with a six string. In dual mode you get M2 up + M6 up. This is more useful than M2 up and down, but you have to plan carefully. Try looping MAJOR chord changes in A (AMaj7 - DMaj7) without the effect, then selecting M2 Dual blended to 100% effect and play a major scale in G major or C major pentatonic. You’ll see what I mean. The trick is that you don’t play in A even though your chords are in A!

M3 - major 3rd. This is not as musically useful when blended with the dry signal as one might think. But, you can use the M3 Down blended to 100% effect to emulate a C tuned baritone guitar for djenting, country tic-tac bass, surf music, and other famous baritone uses like Wichita Lineman. In dual mode you get M3 up + P5 up. Which is more musical than M3 up and down. Try looping blues chords in A and then switching on the effect with M3 Dual 100% wet and play in D.

P4 -  perfect 4th. You can use P4 Down to emulate a B tuned baritone guitar. You can use the P4 Up blended at 100% effect to play like a requinto or guitalele. P4 blended at 50/50 is musical, but the sense of the key matters. If you’re playing on top of major changes - A, D, E for example, you usually want to use the P4 down setting. If you’re playing over minor changes - Am, Dm, E7 for example, you usually want to use the P4 up setting. In dual mode you get P4 up and P5 down. This is more useful than P4 up and P4 down. Perfect intervals are inversions of each other, but work in a non-intuitive way. If you blend out the dry signal, then you get octaves. If you blend it in, then you get octaves with a 4th/5th, depending on the key. So try looping a chord change in A - major, minor, or blues, then activate the pedal with P4 Dual and a 50/50 mix. Now, play the major, minor, or blues scale on top of those change, but play in E. Very cool!

P5 - perfect 5th. Some baritone guitars are tuned down a fifth from standard tuning. This is known as A tuning for baritone. This is also useful for djenting, country, surf, etc. P5 is of course very useful musically. After an octave, it’s the most sonorous interval. Even though this is a very sonorous and useful interval, you still need to think before you use it. Over major, minor, and blues changes the Up and Dual settings work as expected - chord changes in A, play in A. However if you select P5 Down, you should play your scales up a fifth. Example: If your chord changes are in A, you should play your scales in E. Try it. Loop some changes in A, select P5 Down with a 50/50 blend then play in E.

M6 - major 6th. This is a very difficult interval to work into anything. The only thing I could get sounding any good was M6 Up blended 50/50 and playing a HARMONIC minor scale up a minor 3rd above the chord changes. For example, I looped minor chord changes in A and played the harmonic minor scale in C on top of those changes. I’m sure there’s a musical theoretical reason for this, but I don’t have the time to do the math right now. Still, it looks like if you want to work a true harmonic minor with digital harmonies into your solos, M6 is the one for you. Just remember you have to play up three half steps.

M7 - major 7th. This is a very dissonant interval, but you can use it effectively blended at 50/50. The trick is to use M7 Up and play up a major 2nd. For example, loop chords in A then use the M7 Up blended 50/50 and play in B. Odd, I know, but it works. The M7 in dual mode gives you an M7 up + M6 up! That’s weird and dissonant, but it is actually useful than an M7 up and down. If you blend out the dry signal, then use the footswitch in unlatched mode, so that it activates as soon as you press the button and releases when you release it, then you can play a car horn, or emphasize individual notes of your solo with short blasts of super dissonance.

Some of these intervals that don’t work very well in latched mode but work very well in unlatched mode. M2, M3, P4, P5, and M6 work well this way. Try setting the pedal to unlatched mode, dual mode, and 100% wet. Set the interval to M2, then play the first note of a major scale. Press the footswitch and you will hear a glissando into a diatonic interval. In other words, it’s a combination of notes that are in the key. Now, do that with the second note of the major scale. Again, you have an interval that’s in the key. Do it with the third note of the scale. Oops. That interval is not in the key. For M2, with a major scale, the first note, second note, fourth note, and fifth note all produce intervals that are in the key. The others notes in the scale don’t. The notes that work are different for each Pitch Fork interval and each type of scale that you’re playing. So plan carefully.

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