How to get over this learning hump.

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Maroonandwhite, Dec 10, 2019.

  1. Maroonandwhite

    Maroonandwhite Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    So I’ve been playing off and on for 20 years and play in our worship band at church. I find myself wanting to take the next step into advanced playing but being an adult with a 1 year old leaves me scrambling sometimes when practicing and just doing what is fun (playing blues scale over my loops). I basically read tabs and can play a scale or two over whatever key the song is in but struggle to improvise not really knowing what I’m doing outside of the scale shape.

    Given the limited information...where would you all recommend I begin? My thought is to somehow first memorize the notes on the board which seems daunting.
     
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  2. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Afflicted

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    I think learning songs from start to finish and playing in your band is the way to go. Cuz I'm an early riser I do most of my practice on the couch not plugged in I'm nice and fresh and no interuptions.

    Fire up YouTube and learn the licks that you like and you will learn the scales and better yet...how to work the scales.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
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  3. tubejockey

    tubejockey Tele-Meister

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    In reality, it makes the most sense to stick to the basic scale most of the time. If you go "outside" too often or for too long, your audience will begin to lose you (or think you are playing jazz). There are lots of ways to embellish a basic scale, but your "flavor" notes need to have some "meat" to stick to.

    I would recommend getting a looper pedal, play in a chord progression from a song, and just noodle until you find the right flavor. Explore some chord substitutions, they are a great way to expand the palette. I like to go nuts and arrange a worship tune in a completely different style. Play your favorite hymn as a zydeco song. Grab a contemporary worship pop song and imagine how Kenny Burrell would interpret it. Move it to a minor key and play it reggae style. These are my favorite rutt-busting methods. If you can get the rest of the band and the congregation to go with you, so much the better.
     
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  4. boop

    boop Tele-Meister

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    There are probably 100 things you could learn. Work on one thing for a while and switch it up, let it come slow.

    A good place to start is learning the open chord shapes up the neck and how they link together (I guess people call this CAGED). So you could for instance play the D chord everywhere on the neck. You could even memorize the notes in the chord, or not! You can then incorporate this into your blues. Play revolving around the notes in the current chord shapes instead of the scale, then just follow your ears to produce musical results. BB King really did this a lot to think of one.

    Learning music seems to be about expanding your options, and developing your ear, and playing with good technique. Also just learn some sweet licks to get your fingers working different. Listen to other players, lots of the time its how they play, not what they play. That's technique.

    Edit: Learn the melodies of kids' songs by ear and play them to your kid. How about learning them in multiple places on the neck? In different random keys? THis will help develop intuition
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
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  5. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Maroonandwhite, I share a similar situation. I have a rudimentary understanding of the minor and major pentatonic scale shapes, for each key, and the root note positions for each shape.

    I think the next logical step is to create your own personalized "licks", contained within the boundary of the 5 shapes, but using your own run of notes, which ends on a root note.
     
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  6. Electric Warrior

    Electric Warrior Tele-Meister

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    A couple things that I've discovered for myself:

    1. Try lessons. I played for years and nothing made me "take off" like a good instructor. Especially if you are intentional and know what you want to work on, and are committed.

    2. Break stuff down. For years I listened to songs and was like, "I can't play that." I treated it as a foregone conclusion. Recently, I tried to learn a few tunes that, at first, I thought were hopeless. The best thing I did was slow down and break them down bar by bar. Just try to get the next bar right, slowing down YT videos, whatever. Doing bit by bit, I was able to conquer it. And all that drilling came out on the next song I want to learn, and the next.

    3. Keep playing. Just pick the thing up when you're waiting for the water to boil, have a few minutes to spare before leaving to buy groceries, are lazy and want to lay on the couch. Have the guitar in your hands or nearby. You'll see it and want to hold it. Hear a song you like and say "I bet I can play that." You can.

    If you're listening and playing what you really, really like, you'll start to memorize the fretboard. IMO
     
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  7. Toast

    Toast Tele-Holic

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    I'm not an advanced or even a very good intermediate player, but if there's one thing I'm pretty certain of, it's that the most efficient way to become an advanced player (meaning not spending a lifetime working things out that musicians learned centuries ago) is to learn the notes on the guitar and a chunk of theory.
     
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  8. ladave

    ladave Tele-Holic

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    As for notes on the fretboard, a lot less daunting if you just start with first 12 frets and no sharps of flats. Just spending a couple minutes every day on that and you will have it down quicky.
     
  9. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    A good starting point is to learn pentatonic scales, because 90% of most rock and blues songs can be soloed over using only those scales. A good example is All Along the Watchtower or a thousand other songs that use the chords AM, G, and F. You can use the Am pentatonic scale, and it'll sound great. And you can use the same Am scale over any blues in A minor or A major.
    Also, if you know the minor pentatonic scale, then you also know the major pentatonic scale. It's the same pattern with the same five notes, but in the major key that's three frets up. So, Am pentatonic is also C major pentatonic, Em pentatonic is also G major pentatonic, etc.
    And even with more complex songs, you can use the scale of each chord over that chord. So, using Am, G, and F again as an example, you can use Am pentatonic over all three chords, but you can also use G major pentatonic over the G chord, and F major pentatonic over the F chord.
    Am pentatonic- A, C, D, E, G, A
    C major pentatonic- C, D, E, G, A, C
    Em pentatonic- E, G, A, B, D, E
    G major pentatonic- G, A, B, D, E, G
    Notice that in these two examples they're the same five notes, and so are the same pattern on the fretboard, but they have a different function depending on which key they're in.
    Other than this, it just takes time playing these scales over chord progressions to develop your ear to find which notes to emphasize at which time in the progression, to make your playing sound melodic and not just like you're playing scales up and down.
    You can skip from one note in the scale to any other, rather than playing the whole scale all the time. That'll help you to learn to develop riffs that are fun and interesting.
     
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  10. Avi S

    Avi S TDPRI Member

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    Hope this will help. These two videos explain finding the natural notes on the fretboard and they won't take much of your time. The third link is a text version of the second video. Watching the second video is quicker than reading the text or watching the first but the text has more info not in the second video.

    You Will Memorize The Fretboard in Minutes With This Simple Method by Kai Perkins


    An Exceedingly Simple Framework For Memorizing The Guitar Fretboard And Escaping The CAGED Boxes by Dan and Ann Barber


    The Super Cluster Method— A Progressive and Intuitive Method for Teaching the Guitar Fretboard by Daniel D. Barber
    https://medium.com/@danbarber_12163...or-teaching-the-guitar-fretboard-90e961e12a31

    Quick summary of Daniel Barber's video:
    1. 729407 is a mnemonic representing the fret where B is on EADGBE.
    2. One half step after each B is C. One whole step after C is D. So you have these BCD groups.
    3. Directly under a BCD group, on the next string below, is an EFG group. Same note, half step, whole step pattern as the BCD group. Except on the B string where you have to move the EFG up a half step.
    4. One whole step after each G is an an A.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  11. johnny k

    johnny k Friend of Leo's

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    It s been shown before, but here you can go.

    If the song is in A, you can jam along on this

    g----------------0-2------
    d---------0-2-4-------------
    a-0-2-4--------------------

    or this

    e----------------4-5-----
    b-----------5-7---------
    g----4-6-7--------------
    d-7----------------------

    or this

    e-----------------9-10-12-
    b-------9-10-12----------
    g-9-11--------------------

    or this

    e-------------------12-14-15-17
    b------12-14-15-------------------
    g--14----------------------------

    So if you re playing in A, you can mix all of those notes. If the chord changes to D, same thing applies. And switch those notes to the 2 position and so on.

    b----------------2-3-
    g---------0-2-4------
    d-0-2-4------------

    If the song is in minor, a few notes changes, because otherwise it will sound funny.
    That's not a rule, you ve got to mix the notes up, i mean not necessarily playing them in order, but you can do a

    e---------------------------------------------------9--12------
    b-----------------------5-----7------------10-12-10-14-------
    g------------1-2-------5h6--7--9-7-6/11--------------------
    d------------------4-2----------------------------------------
    a-0-4-2-0-----------------------------------------------------
     
  12. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    The church music probably tends to focus on diatonic progressions. Checking out some modal jazz might open up your ears to a wider harmonic pallette.
     
  13. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    What is the fascination of guitar forums with playing leads?

    The way to advance is to stop spending all your time thinking about the 3% of the song and focus on the 97%.
     
  14. twangjeff

    twangjeff Tele-Afflicted

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    At the risk of sounding like a broken record... The answer to almost every question about advancing on the guitar tends to come back to chord tones.

    Here is a simple way that you can work on chord inversions, arpeggios, and learning the fretboard all in one swoop.

    Take a C chord on the top three strings. Open G, 1st fret on the B (C), and Open E. That gives you the notes of a C chord, C E G. Now in order to get the different inversions, move each not up to the next chord tone.

    On your G string, you'd move up to the C on the 5th fret, on the B string, you'd move up to E on the 5th fret, and then on the E string, you'd move to G on the 3rd fret.

    Then do it again:

    On the G string, you'd have E on the 9th fret, on the B you would have G on the 8th fret, and on the E you'd have C on the 8th fret.

    Then do it for the next group of strings: E on the D, open G, C on the B, and move it up a chord tone at a time.

    This will increase your chord vocabulary, help you internalize the chord changes of the songs you're working on, and it will give you a map for where the best notes to land on are in your solos (IE- Breaking out of the pentatonic box).


    Once you have all of that down, you can do the same things from spread triads, you can play those triads over different bass notes, etc.

    For example CEG over C is a C major triad. CEG over A is an A min7 chord. CEG over D is a D11. Etc... the possibilities are endless.
     
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  15. Elmore

    Elmore Tele-Holic

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    Don’t get overwhelmed. Learn to play lead over blues backing tracks. Learn the pentatonic blues box patterns. Blues is very forgiving. Find one little thing to play that always puts a smile on your face. Accept that you will never be as good as you want to be.
     
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  16. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    There's playing scales around chords and the in-between tones leading to the next chord. That's an area a lot of players don't understand and an area to advance into.

    There's musical feel as well i.e. playing into the next note that just seems to sound right. More a creative development process with patterns and new chordal shapes can come out of that. Free form. You can build new thinking about the neck and develop patterned runs up and down the neck.

    Then there is open string patterns found all over country music.

    Then there is chickn pickn. Not easy to get good at.

    Try a new genre of music.

    Just throwing out some ideas.
     
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  17. Maroonandwhite

    Maroonandwhite Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I’ll agree there as well. I have been really focusing in on improving my rhythm playing since that is 99% of what I do for the church group. It’s extremely fun for me to play rhythm with a group. While at home though it’s more fun to play lead stuff over my loops. It’s a struggle haha.
     
  18. johnny k

    johnny k Friend of Leo's

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    But those 3 % left are the fun part !
     
  19. Peegoo

    Peegoo Tele-Holic

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    The way I learned all the notes on the fretboard was to memorize just the notes at all the dot locations on the board, up to the 9th fret. You already know the notes at the nut (E/A/D/G/B/E).

    At the 3rd fret, the notes are G/C/F/Bb/D/G
    At the 5th fret, the notes are A/D/G/C/E/A
    At the 7th fret, the notes are B/E/A/D/F#/B
    At the 9th fret, the notes are C#/F#/B/E/G#/C#

    You already know the notes at the 12th fret; they continue as from the nut (E/A/D/G/B/E)

    That's 24 notes total. But if you think about those two duplicate E strings, it's really just 20 notes you have to memorize.

    All the other notes (the 'blank' ones) are a half step up or down from a note you've memorized, so you'll automatically know what they are because you know the two adjacent notes on that string.

    Memorize those 20 notes and honestly practice with it...and in about a week you'll be able to look at a string at any fret position and instantly know what the note is.

    This works really well because it gets you away from thinking linearly, e.g., "the notes on the low E string, in order. Next, the A string." Instead, it allows you to point at a fretboard position and know the note without really thinking about it. It is non-linear thinking such as this that leads to real creativity.
     
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  20. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    That's my church!

    [​IMG]
     
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