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Thread: Small Victory with learning to play today...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rango's Avatar
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    Cool Small Victory with learning to play today...

    Small Victory with learning to play today or " why to start learning solos as a beginer..."

    So I've been working on nothing but Rhythm. Hey I'm not going to play lead so why not focus? I got a good lesson on "why not" and it resulted in one of the small "victories" we all get as we learn.

    I got to jam with a bass player and a drummer a couple of months back and the guy that was going to play lead was a no show. We start playing and it's fun but at the time where the solo should happen...I'm just playing the rhythm. The bass player ( who plays everything and teaches - bass, guitar and drums) isn't having any of it! "Play something, that solo is in (Key)" he just wanted me to play SOMETHING. So I tried... It was fine...but I decided right then I needed to start understanding and playing some simple solos. So I started to learn some of the solos to the songs we had played... Maybe I don't have the chops to play it note for note it but I could play SOMETHING.

    Well that resulted in learning more techniques! Sliding into notes, hammer pulls, double pull offs, bending to pitch. More good stuff to practice! And it is interesting.

    So I'm driving into work this morning listening to "The Black Crows" (who else!) "Struttin' Blues" and during the outtro solo it occurs to me I'm visualizing the moves of the licks he's playing. Slide, hammer pull off, 1/4 note bend...etc.

    I could hear a lick and visualize the mechanics of playing it!

  2. #2
    Member lgk1208's Avatar
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    That's awesome. Sounds like you had your flame fanned. Keep it burning bright.
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    every moment you spend playing and learning will get you closer to being a better player. all that matters is that you find enjoyment and fullfillment in it. as long as there's improvement, and their will be, things will open up to you and come easier. good luck

  4. #4
    A♥ hoards guitars ♥A rugerpc's Avatar
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    Woo Hoo! You KNOW I enjoyed reading this!
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    Senior Member Rango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugerpc View Post
    Woo Hoo! You KNOW I enjoyed reading this!
    Happy to oblige!

    Working hard on getting better... enjoying the journey!
    Last edited by Rango; 04-24-2013 at 11:30 PM.

  6. #6
    deus ex machina
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    Congratulations! Being able to bend to pitch is a hurdle that separates the determined from the non-determined. One thing that you will discover in time is that bending is frequently used to cover the loss of the 2nd and 6th scale degrees of the natural minor scale when using the minor pentatonic scale.

    Let's use key of Bm in this discussion because I have graphics drawn for the Bm pentatonic and Bm diatonic scales.

    Here's the most common pattern for Bm pentatonic (5-note scale) with the scale degrees numbered:



    Did you notice that there are no dots that contain the numbers 2 or 6 on the diagram shown above? If we add the 2nd and 6th scale degrees to the pentatonic minor scale, we get the natural diatonic (7-note) minor scale for B.

    Here's the most common pattern for Bm pentatonic with the 2nd and 6th scale degrees added to make Bm diatonic:



    Now, let's look at the chord tones in a i, iv, v (a.k.a. 1, 4, 5) progression in the key of Bm. The 1 chord is Bm. The 4 chord is Em, and the 5 chord is F#m.

    Bm contains the following scale degrees:
    root note: B, scale degree #1
    minor third interval: D, scale degree #3
    perfect fifth interval: F#, scale degree #5

    Em contains the following scale degrees:
    root note: E, scale degree #4
    minor third interval: G, scale degree #6
    perfect fifth interval: B, scale degree #1


    F#m contains the following scale degrees:
    root note: F#, scale degree #5
    minor third interval: A, scale degree #7
    perfect fifth interval: C#, scale degree #2

    A very common soloing technique is known as chord tone soloing. In chord tone soloing, solos are built around the notes in each chord. We can add scale degrees outside of the chord tones, but the chord tones should remain the musical centers for each phrase. The problem with the 4 and 5 chords is that two of the chord tones are missing from the minor pentatonic scale. Here's where bending comes into play. We can bend the notes numbered 5 up a half step to pick up of the sixth scale degree on the 4 chord (another common technique is to slide from the 5th into the 6th of the natural minor diatonic scale). When playing the 5 chord, we can bend the notes numbered 1 up a whole step to pick up the 2th scale degree.

    An incredibly common introductory phrase for solos in rock and the blues is the following sequence:


    • 4th scale degree on the third string
    • 1st scale degree on the 1st string,
    • 5th scale degree on the 2nd string
    • 7th scale degree on the 2nd string
    • Bend the 7th scale degree up to the 1st scale degree pitch


    The phrase outlined above works because the turnaround sequence in most 1, 4, 5 progressions ends on the 4 chord. The 4th scale degree is struck on the trailing edge of the last beat of the 4 chord with the 1st scale degree being struck on the first beat of the 1-chord is stuck. There is also a very common variation of this phrase in which the 4th scale degree on the 3rd string is bent up to the 5th scale degree through the blue note (which is technically a sharpened 4th scale degree or a flattened 5th scale degree). This phrase is used by all three of the Yardbird triplets (i.e., Eric, Jeff, and Jimmy).

    With the above said, the music theory outlined above is merely a starting point. One should use it to understand why certain licks and phrases sound good. There is no replacement for feel, and feel only comes from practice, which is something that I do far too infrequently these days.
    Last edited by Em7; 04-25-2013 at 10:53 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member frankb56's Avatar
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    Awesome summary of a logical approach. I like to use the CAGED approach (at least conceptually).... The C, A, G, E and D chords are the five true open chords in which you can use the notes for each of these patterns straight down the neck. As an example, on the fifth fret, the notes from the above chord pattern become the basis for the D, B, A, F#, E major scale and so on. The same logic applies for the minor versions of these chords.
    Last edited by frankb56; 04-26-2013 at 02:16 PM.
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  8. #8
    Large Member Kine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankb56 View Post
    Awesome summary of a logical approach. I like to use the CAGED approach (at least conceptually).... The C, A, G, E and D chords are the five true open chords in which you can use the notes for each of these patterns straight down the neck. As an example, on the fifth fret, the notes from the above chord pattern become the basis for the D, B, A, F#, E major scale and so on. The same logic applies for the minor versions of these chords.
    I just decided to start working on the chops again after years (and years) of not really practicing. I decided to grab a few new books as I had in mind what I wanted to learn. One of the books I grabbed was "The CAGED System & 100 Licks for Blues Guitar" by Joseph Alexander. I think it was printed last year. $15 on amazon and there are downloads for all of the techniques. What's cool is that there's backing tracks along with the particular technique. So you can go along very easily and it's being shown in context. I also grabbed "Complete Technique for Modern Guitar" by the same author, same price and same deal. It's geared more towards a more contemporary approach with arpeggio studies, legato, etc.

    Congrats to Rango for the step to the next level! Always feels sooo good

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    Loving Life Spikedog007's Avatar
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    I just learned that I use the diatonic scale to play most of my leads...Knew what I was doing (kind of) but never knew what it was called.
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    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Little victories are always cool.

    There's always lots of little hurdles that you need to get over. Some are simple, but other times it feels like you're stuck. Great feeling when things finally click though!
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  11. #11
    A♥ hoards guitars ♥A rugerpc's Avatar
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    Rango - this is what I was hoping for and half expected with regards to our conversation about posting our little victories. Look how cool this is turning out!
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    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    It's really worth learning those extra notes shown above.

    They're also called (In this case) the B Aeolian Mode or B Natural minor scale.

    Mess around with those two scales over a simple minor blues backing track above and you'll hear how much they can add melodic flavour and spice up the pentatonic. I use this scale a lot!
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  13. #13
    Senior Member prscat33511's Avatar
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    OR we could say that it was B Dorian in the key of A Major
    Quote Originally Posted by Mikegarveyblues View Post
    It's really worth learning those extra notes shown above.

    They're also called (In this case) the B Aeolian Mode or B Natural minor scale.

    Mess around with those two scales over a simple minor blues backing track above and you'll hear how much they can add melodic flavour and spice up the pentatonic. I use this scale a lot!

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Em7 View Post

    D contains the following scale degrees:
    root note: D, scale degree #1
    minor third interval: F#, scale degree #3
    perfect fifth interval: A, scale degree #5

    G contains the following scale degrees:
    root note: G, scale degree #4
    minor third interval: B, scale degree #6
    perfect fifth interval: D, scale degree #1

    A contains the following scale degrees:
    root note: A, scale degree #5
    minor third interval: C#, scale degree #7
    perfect fifth interval: E, scale degree #2
    While I certainly appreciate your knowledge of theory, the intervals D to F#, G to B and A to C# are Major thirds.


    Quote Originally Posted by Em7 View Post

    In the case where a song is written in a major key, one can get away with improvising in the parallel minor key using the minor pentatonic scale (e.g., Bm pentatonic over a B major progression) as long as one is careful with the notes numbered 3 and 7. These notes are one half step up in frequency in the major scale (see below). Not adjusting for this difference is one of the most common mistakes that beginning lead guitarists make when improvising using a parallel minor pentatonic scale over a major chord progression. These notes stick out like sore thumbs because they make the soloist sound like he/she is out of key.
    I'll generally agree with this statement if it's a pretty chord progression, in diatonic harmony with Maj7 chords. Many jazz players will use these notes as passing tones effectively.
    In the case of Dom7 chords, the blues, jazz, funk, rock etc, the clash of the minor 3rd with the Major 3rd in a Dom7 chord is typical tension that begs to be released.
    Call it one of the blue notes, it is an effective and highly useful tool when used properly. Most of rock, blues etc. does not follow diatonic harmony. A lot of jazz does but frequently modulates into different keys.

  15. #15
    deus ex machina
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    Quote Originally Posted by t.shamone View Post
    While I certainly appreciate your knowledge of theory, the intervals D to F#, G to B and A to C# are Major thirds.
    Actually, that error is the result of trying to be efficient. Composing long posts is a lot of work; therefore, I tend cut, paste, and modify text from previous posts where possible (the text was cut from the posting in which I outlined the 1, 4, and 5 chords in the key of Bm). I changed the chord names and notes, but did not change the interval distance for the 3rd. I made the same kind of error on one of my drawings because I am modifying a base drawing to save time. I do my best to proofread my postings, but it is difficult to compose a large error-free posting using the forum software.

    I'll generally agree with this statement if it's a pretty chord progression, in diatonic harmony with Maj7 chords. Many jazz players will use these notes as passing tones effectively.
    In the case of Dom7 chords, the blues, jazz, funk, rock etc, the clash of the minor 3rd with the Major 3rd in a Dom7 chord is typical tension that begs to be released.
    Call it one of the blue notes, it is an effective and highly useful tool when used properly. Most of rock, blues etc. does not follow diatonic harmony. A lot of jazz does but frequently modulates into different keys.
    The problem with promoting the use of minor thirds in place major thirds is that one has to know what one is doing. Playing a minor third against a dominant seventh chord is nothing like passing through the #4th/b5th note in the blues scale. The #4th/b5th blue note in the blues scale is usually played chromatically with the perfect 4th and perfect 5th notes (often during the turn around). The minor third is out there by itself in the minor pentatonic scale, and the minor third tends be an anchor or landing point in many common pentatonic phrases. These phrases work with a minor progression, but tend to sound like garage rock when played against a dominant seventh progression.

    A lot of things work in Jazz, but Jazz is an entirely different subject. A lot of jazz also lacks melody, especially jazz written since the introduction of Bebop. The goal of chord tone soloing is to produce a melody line around the notes in the chords.
    Last edited by Em7; 04-29-2013 at 10:41 AM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member prscat33511's Avatar
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    Sorry Em7, didnt quite read all of your text
    I just looked at the fretboard diagrams
    Please continue

  17. #17
    Senior Member Rango's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great feedback guys!

    Em7 - I'd tripped across some talk of playing "arpeggiated chord patterns as leads". If I understand you correctly - is that the same as "chord tone soloing" ?

    A couple of weeks back I learned something I had not really thought about regarding arpeggios - playing legato up and down the neck to get the notes rather than just holding the chord and picking out the notes.

    SO now I need to learn Scales AND Arpeggios! ...I'm hoping the arpeggios fall into moving patterns like chords and scales SO MUCH to learn!

    Oh and I'm LEARNING to bend to pitch... that seems to be a skill that is going to take a lot of work to do it on demand. It's nice when you can get an octive of the note going and just bend to that! ( cheating? )

    Also it looks like the Diatonic gives you more opportunities for several notes on a string with one grip... I see guys and have seen lessons for "3 on a string" scales. It looked useful for playing notes more efficiently - more notes available with less movement.
    Last edited by Rango; 04-25-2013 at 05:32 PM.

  18. #18
    deus ex machina
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rango View Post
    Em7 - I'd tripped across some talk of playing "arpeggiated chord patterns as leads". If I understand you correctly - is that the same as "chord tone soloing" ?
    While arpeggios can be used in chord tone solos, chord tone soloing encompasses more than just playing the notes of each chord in a pattern. The goal of chord tone soloing is to produce a melody line that follows the chord progression. A good example of chord tone soloing is the solo to the tune "Comfortably Numb." In fact, one of attributes that separates David Gilmour from the rest of the pack is that almost all of his solos are chord tone solos.

    With that said, as Mikegarveyblues mentioned above, the natural minor scale is also known as Aeolian mode. Aeolian mode is the 6th scale degree of the diatonic major scale, which is also known as Ionian mode. We all learned the major scale as children. It is the scale that sounds like do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do. The natural minor scale (a.k.a. Aeolian mode) starts on la, which means that it sounds like la, ti, do, re, mi, fa, sol, la. Both of these scales are diatonic scales. A diatonic scale has seven unique notes.

    If one can only learn two diatonic scales, they should be Aeolian mode and Ionian mode because they are the two most frequently encountered scales in modern popular music. Every song has a major and a relative minor key. On guitar, the root note for the relative minor key of a major key can be found by moving three frets down on the fingerboard from the root note of the major key. Conversely, the relative major key of a minor key is three frets up from the root note of the minor key.

    Here is the pattern for D major (a.k.a. D Ionian mode):



    Hopefully, you noticed that the notes for D major as are the same notes that are in B minor. The only difference is where each scale degree resides in the pattern.

    Most guitarists are unaware that there is a major pentatonic scale because most rock guitarists only know the minor pentatonic scale. Bm and D major pentatonic share the same notes. However, like D major, the scales degrees fall in difference places within the pattern.



    Anyone who has ever tried to play D major pentatonic over a D major chord progression has quickly learned that the stock minor pentatonic phrases do not work. The 2nd and the 6th scale degrees from the natural minor scale are missing from the minor pentatonic scale whereas the 4th and 7th scale degrees of the major scale are missing from the major pentatonic scale. Plus, the chord tones are in different places in the pattern.

    Now, let's look at the chord tones in a I, IV, V (a.k.a. 1, 4, 5) progression in the key of D (uppercase Roman numerals are used to denote major chords). The 1 chord is D. The 4 chord is G, and the 5 chord is A.

    D contains the following scale degrees:
    root note: D, scale degree #1
    major third interval: F#, scale degree #3
    perfect fifth interval: A, scale degree #5

    G contains the following scale degrees:
    root note: G, scale degree #4
    major third interval: B, scale degree #6
    perfect fifth interval: D, scale degree #1

    A contains the following scale degrees:
    root note: A, scale degree #5
    major third interval: C#, scale degree #7
    perfect fifth interval: E, scale degree #2
    Last edited by Em7; 04-27-2013 at 09:06 PM.

  19. #19
    DEEPER STRIATIONS markie's Avatar
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    Rock on Rango Man
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Rango's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by markie View Post
    Rock on Rango Man

    Thanks! I just wish I had some talent to go with all the gear.


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