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lorez
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:24 pm    Post subject: Guitar studies Reply with quote

I read this blog post recently & wondered if anyone can recommend some online/free versions of similar stuff?

http://www.notplayingguitar.com/2013/01/why-i-stopped-practicing-guitar-scales.html
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benecol wrote:
Ah, the heady days of trying to get beefytoanz out of my Marlin strat by adjusting the pickups right up to the strings.

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Gabriel
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reading that really surprised me and made me slightly angry too.

This one line really stood out to me - 'But real music is not made of scales played up and down'.

In a way he does have a bit of a point (entire scales aren't often incorporated), but seriously in order to play proper melodies you have to understand where they come from, and to build knowledge of the fretboard, scales are vital.

He talks about the pentatonic blues boxes, and thats it. If this is all they can draw upon they really have no proper reason to dismiss the practice of scales as they themselves have only ever practiced 5 or 6 note scales!

'Get hold of a songbook for the kind of music you like and take a look at the vocal melodies. You'll see that they hardly ever follow a scale linearly.' - This is complete bullshit, if they don't follow scales they would sound awful and often there are linear movements as otherwise the melodies would sound completely random and fragmented.

'Instead, the notes go up and down in irregular steps and jumps.' - Also bullshit, there is nothing irregular about the way melodies move, this is basic interval studies that need to be understood.
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Gabriel
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This article is brilliant advice in terms of building a practice routine - http://www.mattwarnockguitar.com/how-develop-a-well-rounded-jazz-guitar-practice-routine

Matt's website is full of brilliant resources, he also discusses scales a lot.
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lorez
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get where he's coming from on the scales and found that you do groove similar types of rhythms & going up & down. I think with the article its trying to get you to practice things other than straight up & down. I have mixed things up by going through the scales in 4ths, 3rds, 6ths, etc as well as mixing up the rhythms. I also found trying to pick out chord tones in the scale & from that arpeggios helped mix it up. But I do find melody a strange fascination, I've always worked as a rhythm guitarist & building songs on chords or with funk simple chords with embellishments but it is all rhythm based. I took from the article about expanding my melodic vocabulary further

Thanks for the link though I'll take a look as I need to sort out my practice routine
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benecol wrote:
Ah, the heady days of trying to get beefytoanz out of my Marlin strat by adjusting the pickups right up to the strings.

dots wrote:
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Gabriel
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You mentioned practicing intervals and chord tones within scales. This is a brilliant thing to work on and is in fact what my main focus at the moment is with my guitar studies. I've always felt that being methodical with your practice routine often leads to the fastest development of musicianship.

So this may help. I try to play in a different key every day as you don't want to end up only being able to play everything in one key. I go through the cycle of 4ths picking a new key every morning (C-F-Bb-Eb-Ab-Db-F#-B-E-A-D-G).

This morning using this shape of C Major:

---------------------------------------------------3---5---
--------------------------------------3---5---6------------
-------------------------2---4---5-------------------------
------------2---3---5--------------------------------------
---3---5---------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------

Each day I work on a different movement:

- Ascending
- Descending
- One Shape Ascend/Next Descend/Next Ascend...
- One Shape Descend/Next Ascend/Next Descend...

Today I worked on ascending shapes through the scale.
- Ascending 3rds

---------------------------------------
---------------------------------------
---------------------------------2-----
-------2-------3---2---5---3--------- etc...
---3-------5--------------------------
---------------------------------------

- Ascending 4ths

---------------------------------------
---------------------------------------
------------------------2-------4-----
-------3-------5---2-------3--------- etc...
---3-------5--------------------------
---------------------------------------

- Ascending 5ths
- Ascending triads
- Ascending first inversion triads
- Ascending second inversion triads
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lorez
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to try similar things with the patterns and moving them through different keys/positions but to me I still wasn't hearing melodies, I was hearing patterns that to me were formulaic and not musical. Even when practicing over tracks, this might be more of a ear/psychological thing in my approach to music

I do like the idea of trying the ascending/descending in triads/inversions though.
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benecol wrote:
Ah, the heady days of trying to get beefytoanz out of my Marlin strat by adjusting the pickups right up to the strings.

dots wrote:
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Johno
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no idea what an inversion 5th or a triad are, to be honest I don't even know what the names of the chords I play are, as i don't often play barr or open chords in my own compositions

I'm pretty sure I can play any scale i hear by ear but if you asked me to play it by name i'd have no idea.

All the theory stuff stuff seems interesting but where to start???? can you guys recommend any good books or websites?
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lorez
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johno wrote:
I have no idea what an inversion 5th or a triad are, to be honest I don't even know what the names of the chords I play are, as i don't often play barr or open chords in my own compositions

I'm pretty sure I can play any scale i hear by ear but if you asked me to play it by name i'd have no idea.

All the theory stuff stuff seems interesting but where to start???? can you guys recommend any good books or websites?


I posted this some time ago - http://www.shortscale.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=49750

this is quiet a good introduction from a guitar perspective as well- http://www.justinguitar.com/en/PR-010-PracticalMusicTheory.php
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benecol wrote:
Ah, the heady days of trying to get beefytoanz out of my Marlin strat by adjusting the pickups right up to the strings.

dots wrote:
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George
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this guy's full of bullshit

from my experience i found it very very difficult to get into theory and scales etc. having a few jazz guitar lessons with a teacher really opened everything up, how chords are formed and what a lot of it means. my knowledge is still rudimentary and i'd like to progress though so might call him up again. lessons really shouldnt be scoffed at either. mine were like 25 for an hour and a half and the progression was definitely worth the money.

also i found getting a keyboard out and seeing things in a linear format was crucial to learning theory. boxes on guitar are obviously important to know but can be hard to understand.
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lorez
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

George wrote:

also i found getting a keyboard out and seeing things in a linear format was crucial to learning theory. boxes on guitar are obviously important to know but can be hard to understand.


I definitely agree with this, it helped me a lot in working things out. I even started remembering stuff from when I played trumpet at school 28 years ago
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benecol wrote:
Ah, the heady days of trying to get beefytoanz out of my Marlin strat by adjusting the pickups right up to the strings.

dots wrote:
This forum's format is my vinyl.
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Bacchus
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like what Gabriel said, practicing scales I always found the most useful thing to be to practice small phrases or gestures and then modulate them up through the scale, so if we give numbers to the scale degrees instead of calling them by the letter names of a given key, you would practice things line:

Where the first line in bold is the phrase or the gesture that's being modulated:

1, 2, 3, 1 /
1, 2, 3, 1 / 2, 3, 4, 2 / 3, 4, 5, 3 / 4, 5, 6, 4 / 5, 6, 7, 5 / 6, 7, 8, 6 / 7, 8, 9, 7/ 8, -, -, -,

This is a simple one, starting at the bottom of the scale and working its way upwards. So, to expand in this, you might turn it backwards (1, 3, 2, 1), or upside down (8, 7, 6, 8), or both (8, 6, 7, 8). And we might start at the top and work our way downwards, so we get:

(8, 6, 7, 8 / 7, 5, 6, 7 / 6, 4, 5, 6 etc.),

or you write a new pattern, say

1, 3, 2, 3 /
1, 3, 2, 3 / 2, 4, 3, 4 / 3, 5, 4, 5 / 4, 6, 5 ,6 / etc.

or instead of moving it step-wise so that the first notes of each modulation are 1, 2, 3 etc. we could maybe change it so that that's jumping around according to a repeating pattern, say up a third and down a second, so the first note of each modulation of the original phrase would be 1, 3, 2, 4, 3, 5, 4, 6, 7, 9, 8 etc.

so that using the phrase pattern from the first example above (1, 2, 3, 1 /) we can change

(1, 2, 3, 1 / 2, 3, 4, 2 / 3, 4, 5, 3 / 4, 5, 6, 4 / )

to:

(1, 2, 3, 4 / 3, 4, 5, 3 / 2, 3, 4, 2 / 4, 5, 6, 4 / 3, 4, 5, 3 / 5, 6, 7, 6 / 4, 5, 6, 4 / 6, 7, 8, 6 / 5, 6, 7, 5 etc.

If you keep going, you end up writing patterns that are a bit odd, like try patterns that are five notes long instead of four, or try triplets, or try combining triplets and quavers in the same phrase etc.

The important bit in this isn't that you get to learn all these different patterns, it's that you get quicker at thinking in a scale and navigating your way around it, getting a notion of how patterns will fit together, so that when you're playing for real, you'll have practiced all these patterns so whatever pattern comes up IRL, so to speak, won't be a surprise or something you're not used to. The other useful thing about it is that it eventually gives you a sort of intuitive feel for phrasing when you're improvising, so you'll know that if you have a certain amount of time to fill and you want to be on a certain note at a certain time (say you want to land on the key note at the start of the first bar of the verse immediately after a wee burst of soloey fill at the end of a chorus, for example), then you'll end up knowing where to start a pattern or what pattern to use or improvise and when to start it. This isn't a matter of counting the beats or anything (although that will work if you want to do it), it's a matter of it becoming intuitive, which it eventually does.

All those people who look like they can chuck in wee phrases effortlessly and intuitively can only do so because the've spent the time doing the effort and stuff in their bedroom. That's the trick, to make huge amounts of preparation and technique and thought look like some mystical, magical phenomononoenon.
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