Here are some excerpts from the CD Emotional Mechanism. All the songs can be downloaded on iTunes.

Target notes

Here we will focus on the notes in relation to the harmony.

"We can all agree that some notes are sweeter than others. Which notes they are, is a matter of taste, but I’m sure nobody would call the root very sweet. And we can agree that a flatted second would be pretty sour."

Magnus"Notes that I find especially pleasing to the ear are the major 7th, 9ths and the #4. I often use these as target notes. A target note is an imperative note that you want to include, or land on, in a melodic phrase."

The first example is the opening phrase of the first solo in ”Scandinavia”. The key of the song is C major, but the fourth degree, F that is, acts as a tonic (F-G-C/E-F). For the solos, however, we modulate to the key of A.

"Here the first target note is the major 7! C# is emphasized on both the first and the third beat on top of the D chord. On the E chord I am playing the 9th on those same strong beats of the measure."

lesson scandinavia 1

"Further on in the solo, notes from the major 9 arpeggio appear in 2.17 and the tonality enables me to use that mean raised fourth as target note in the following measure."

"The legato pattern is a 6 note pattern, which gives it more flow than say a 4 note pattern."

lesson scandinavia 2

"In my opinion, the most expressive solo of all is played by Allan Holdsworth on Level 42’s If Your Were Mine. When he enters, it is grande and majestic! I wanted something similar to start off the outro solo in Scandinavia. It does not resemble Holdsworth’s virtuosity, but it is inspired by him. After the tapped lick I land on the major 7 again."

lesson scandinavia 3



This following melodic lick is played by Lasse Wellander in Spread Out Into Space. The tonality of the music is that grey area between major and minor. The chords are D and C but Lasse gives it a bluesy rock feel by playing in D minor. This excerpt ends with an rhythmically interesting run, where groups of 2 notes are played in triplets.

Spread out into Space

Playing outside

The last lick demonstrates playing outside.

"Playing outside can be viewed upon as playing inside a different key than the underlying harmony suggests. To make it sound out there, it makes sense to pick a key that has very little in common with what’s already going on. In this case I am going to Eb minor pentatonic, whereas the rest is in D minor. Still, I am keeping it on the safe side by venturing out only for the last beat of the first measure."