How To Improve?

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by WholeLottaIzzy, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. Malikon

    Malikon アストロモンスター V.I.P. Member

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    Bruce Lee is a big influence on me too.

    "Be Like Water"

    :)
     
  2. LenPaul

    LenPaul Premium Member

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    Ali, "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." :)
     
  3. Shortscale

    Shortscale Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  4. WholeLottaIzzy

    WholeLottaIzzy Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  5. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    What, cold and wet?

    I'm like that a little too often for comfort....
    :D
     
  6. Malikon

    Malikon アストロモンスター V.I.P. Member

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    “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
     
  7. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    Yes I get (got) the idea.

    But it's too easy to send it up for it to be taken seriously, IMO. Should you really be so formless as to take the shape of whatever you're poured into? Is such total shapeless passivity a true ideal?
    Obviously the concept of opening one's mind - being flexible, abandoning prejudice - is important. But one can be flexible without being sloppy and wet. (Water doesn't do anything unless some force is acting on it.)
    IOW, I appreciate the philosophy, I just think the analogy is problematic. ;)
     
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  8. Malikon

    Malikon アストロモンスター V.I.P. Member

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    I took it to mean, "be adaptable."

    If you're playing with a Jazz trio,..be adaptable,..don't stomp on a distortion box and start some screaming leads because that's the only thing you know how to do.

    He meant it as make your style 'no style',..don't be locked into one form, but study many forms and adapt them to fit the situation you find yourself in.

    So you're not a Blues guitarist or Rock guitarist or Classical guitarist,..you're just a guitarist. Hopefully one that can blend in and jam with many different genres of music, because you're adaptable.

    but I could see your point too. :laugh2:
     
  9. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    No argument there. :)
    Personally, I don't even think of myself as a "guitarist". I'm a "musician" who happens to play (mostly) guitar - but sometimes mandolin, bass, banjo, ukelele, keyboards or percussion too.
    But then I'm also a "human being" who just happens to be a musician... ;) (I'm an artist and a writer too, a photographer, animator, etc.... I've even been a professional illustrator and animator in the past.)
    If you think I'm spreading myself a little thin, you're probably right.... ;)
     
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  10. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    All true, but as one practices the pentatonic blues scale one should and will naturally move around outside of those notes. One way to do this without learning every scale out there is to learn some tricks. For example, using the minor pentatonic scale, flat the key note. So for an Am pentatonic, you could do something like:

    4-8
    5-8
    5-7
    6-7
    5-7
    4-8

    Another way to do break out of pentatonic and not know how is to play the major over the minor pentatonic shapes in some phrase. Now it's more melodic.

    Also, I don't think anyone should learn the pentatonic shapes first. They should learn the pentatonic blues scale, since the pentatonic Major and Minor are contained in those shapes.



     
  11. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    That's why they say knowing the blues scale well is better than knowing 10 scales average. You can always play outside of the blues scale, but you ahve to get it down vertically and horizontally first--by heart! I'm speaking from experience, even though I have very little. You can change one not or two notes and have a completely different scale going on if you just learn the blues scale first. I think the time it takes to get a scale under yuor hand is somewhere between 3, 000 times of playing it. That means 6, 000 times since you have to know it vertically and horizontally.

     
  12. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    To be pedantic, what you're doing there is adding the major 7th to strings 6, 4 and 1, losing the root from 6 and 1, and keeping the b7 on string 2. A slightly strange mix, IMO.
    There may be times when it would work, but I can think of a lot more useful ways of embellishing the minor pent.... ;)
    (But yes I'm being pedantic - I realise you said "something like"...;))
    Well yes.
    Or learn the major scale first, since the major and (relative) minor pents are contained in that, and the parallel minor is referred to it. (The blues scale adds the #4/b5.)
    Without knowing the major scale first, one can't really understand the references in minor pent jargon to "b3" and "b7" (or indeed "#4/b5") - that makes no sense without reference to the parallel major scale.
    Code:
            MAJOR SCALE: 1  .  2  .  3  4  .  5  .  6  .  7  1
             MAJOR PENT: 1  .  2  .  3  .  .  5  .  6  .  .  1
    RELATIVE MINOR PENT:b3  .  4  .  5  .  . b7  .  1  .  . b3
    PARALLEL MINOR PENT: 1  .  . b3  .  4  .  5  .  . b7  .  1
            BLUES SCALE: 1  .  . b3  .  4 b5  5  .  . b7  .  1 (minor pent with b5)
      MAJOR BLUES SCALE: 1  .  2 b3  3  .  .  5  .  6  .  .  1 (major pent with b3)
     
  13. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    Jon, See this for an example of how the pentatonic works flatting the key:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hknSMFlIVI

     
  14. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    Right - just to correct the scale you posted, then:

    4-8
    5-8
    5-7
    5-6
    5-7
    4-8

    So he is in fact keeping the b7 on both the 4th and 2nd strings, while flatting the root, as you say.

    IMO, this is a somewhat dumb shortcut to a vaguely "outside" kind of sound. The rest of the scale is staying totally inside (at least in an "Am" or "Am7" context), and I doubt very much that a real jazz guitarist would play such a scale - despite the reference he claims.
    Notice "without being too complicated, he gave me this answer." Sounds like a jazz man fobbing off a rock man with the simplest idea he could think of. ("now go away...";))

    If it really "changed his life" - man, he must have had a pretty dumb life up until that point.

    A more correct "jazz" answer - and only slightly more complicated (but would have taken a few more seconds or minutes to explain to this rock dude) - is to use any and every chromatic approach.

    IOW, what you have with the above scale is a chromatic approach to the root (as he correctly says, you don't spend much time on this scale, you resolve it back to A minor). A single chromatic approach (maj7) stuck in a normal (inside) pent pattern.

    Much more useful to to look at any chord you're playing over, and realise you can approach any of those chord tones from the fret below.
    You should already know that the minor pent scale, when played on a major chord, gives you one chromatic approach built in (the b3, or blue note, fret below the M3 of the chord). Blues scale adds another (#4/b5). You probably know you can bend either of those up a half-step to hit the chord tone.
    So the scale being presented here takes that a further step, and adds the half-step below the root as well.

    Here's the entire thing, relative to an A major chord. Approach notes in red (> means resolves to note above):
    Code:
      4   5   6   7   8   9
    |-[COLOR="Red"]7[/COLOR]>|-R-|---|---|[COLOR="red"]b3[/COLOR]>|(3)|
    |[COLOR="Red"]b5[/COLOR]>|-5-|---|---|b7-|-[COLOR="red"]7[/COLOR]>|(R)|
    |---|[COLOR="red"]b3[/COLOR]>|-3-|-4-|[COLOR="red"]b5[/COLOR]>|(5)|
    |---|b7-|-[COLOR="red"]7[/COLOR]>|-R-|---|---|
    |-3-|-4-|[COLOR="red"]b5[/COLOR]>|-5-|---|---|
    |-[COLOR="red"]7[/COLOR]>|-R-|---|---|[COLOR="red"]b3[/COLOR]>|(3)|
    If you reduce it to just the chord shape and its approaches you get this:
    Code:
    |-[COLOR="Red"]7[/COLOR]>|-R-|---|---|---|
    |[COLOR="Red"]b5[/COLOR]>|-5-|---|---|---|
    |---|[COLOR="red"]b3[/COLOR]>|-3-|---|---|
    |---|---|-[COLOR="red"]7[/COLOR]>|-R-|---|
    |---|---|[COLOR="red"]b5[/COLOR]>|-5-|---|
    |-[COLOR="red"]7[/COLOR]>|-R-|---|---|---|
    - but of course you can add the 4 and b7 to get the full minor pent (bluesier) effect.

    Remember this is not a "scale to change your life" - it's a principle (chromatic approach) that should change your life. You apply it to chords, not scales, although it works hand in hand with scales.

    Here's my favourite demo of the principle (the first time I encountered it so well illustrated, about 40 years ago):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxklnlm8BFE
    It's in key of C, and the main melody phrase is a C6 chord (x-x-5-5-5-5) combined with a B6 as approach notes:
    -------------4-5-----------------------------
    ---------4-5-----4-5---------------------------
    -----4-5-------------4-5-----------------------
    -4-5---------------------4--------------------
    -------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------
    Audaciously, he doesn't resolve the phrase, he ends on the #4/b5 of the chord. And this is a few years before bebop, remember, when unresolved b5s became more fashionable. (It's just done for humorous effect here, emulating an express train.)
    (In the bridge, they follow the half-step theme by raising the whole key a half-step, and dropping back later. Miles Davis was to do this 20 years later in "So What", when it became cool in a whole different way...)
     
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  15. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    5-6 isn't flatting the A note. 6-7 is. ??

    http://www.guitarfriendly.net/fretboard-note-chart/

     
  16. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    5-6 (on 4th string) is G-G# the b7 and maj7 (which is how he demos it on the video).
    6-7 is G#-A, maj7 and root.

    Both have the maj7 approach (to the root) of course, but 5-6 is more consistent across the pattern, making it 7(b1)-b3-4-5-b7 in each octave. (G#(Ab) C D E G.)

    Nothing wrong with keeping the root (and adding the maj7) - but a scale ought to be consistent in each octave.

    The only time I might want to play that scale as demo'd (without the root) is if the chord was E7 (in an A blues). Then I'd have root, 3rd and 7th of the chord (E, G# D) along with #5/b6 (C) and b3 (G). It would work especially well on an E7#5 (which is probably how that jazz guy saw it). But I doubt I'd use it as an outside sound on an Am (or A) - I have a lot of other options I'd prefer for that.
     
  17. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    He said "Flat" the keynote in a minor pentatonic shape, so you would flat the A in the Am pentatonic shape, which he is playing at the 5th fret. That would mean 5th string 6-7 fret, since the 4th string on the 7th fret is the note "A." Have I missed something?

     
  18. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    Yes. The 7th fret on 4th string is the A, which should be flatted (to 6);
    Fret 5 on 6th and 1st strings is lowered to 4; and fret 7 on 4th string is lowered to 6.

    Meanwhile, you keep the b7 (G), which is on fret 5 4th string (and fret 8 on 2nd string).

    If you look again at his demo, you'll see (and hear) he plays frets 5-6 on 4th string, not 6-7.
    IOW, each octave has the notes G and G#(Ab). No A's anywhere.
     
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  19. WholeLottaIzzy

    WholeLottaIzzy Senior Member

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    Starting guitar lessons this evening. Really looking forward to it. It'll be interesting to see what the teacher makes of my playing. I've had lessons before when I started, but they were just basics, really. How do I make sure I get the most out of my lessons?
     
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  20. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    I see what you're saying. Yes, flat the A, like he says, but he plays it w/o the 6-7 flat just to show a "way" to use the Ab within the Pentatonic pattern (or G#, as you state it).

    Is that what you're saying? If so it's a little like Steve Stine saying something similar, here you can play a "mode" partially through a pentatonic to get a different sound. So using the same pattern we've discussed, the 1st at the 5th, you can do

    (e) 5-7-8
    (b) 5-6-8

    Or some combination thereof to embellish the pentaonic,making it more "melodic."

    Or,

    (e)
    (b)
    (g)4-5-7
    (d)4-5-7
    (a)
    (E)

    Which I believe is a part of a mode? In any evrent, it is more"melodic" sounding.

    And then, you can play the major pent over the minor pent getting similar results.

    This is, too, similar to Hey Joe where Hendrix uses a couple of notes outside of the E pentatonic (using the Major Scale) to embellish his solo, I believe. (He only hit two notes outside of the pentatonic using the major scale notes.)

    How am I doing?




     

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