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Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by BigToeify, Apr 13, 2021.
I've posted this clip before. It just blows me away. Far beyond what I'm capable of doing:
You can use the first position of the Major scale as a road map for all the notes you might need. Its looking at it from a different angle than memorizing scales. Chord tones with all the flavours of passing notes in between.
In a major scale the half steps (1 fret away, instead of 2) are between 3 and 4, and between 7 and 8, and in a minor scale, they are between 2 and 3, and between 5 and 6. That's why C major and A minor are the only keys with no sharps or flats. In every other key you have to raise or lower some notes to have the half steps in the right place.
So, in the key of C, the C major scale is C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and C.
In the key of A minor, the scale is A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and A.
Since there's no E# or B#, the half steps are already where they should be for those two keys.
Going back to the circle, the next simplest keys are G major and E minor, which have one sharp, F#
The B to C is in the right place for those keys, but you have to raise the F to F# to get the other half step where it belongs.
On the sharp keys, the new sharp is always the one below the root, so the key of D (and Bm) has two sharps, the F# still and the C#. So, following that, the keys of A (and F#m) have F#, C#, and G#, and so on for all the sharp keys.
For the flat keys, the note to be flatted is the one to the left of the root.
So, they key of F (and Dm) has one flat, Bb.
The key of Bb (and Gm) has Bb and Eb, and so on for all the flat keys.
Here's how to derive the pentatonic scales from the full major and minor scales.
For a major pentatonic, just leave out the 4 and 7 from a major scale to get a major pentatonic.
So, it will be 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6
To get a minor pentatonic, leave out the 2 and 6 from a minor scale.
So, it will be 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7
I don't know the answer you're looking for, but these are a couple of personal reflections from my short experience.
I think it's important to focus on a single key mainly, to acquire the overall view of it, up and down the neck.
Then you can apply the same logic to different keys.
I started with E for 'minor', and G for 'major'.
Which happens to be the same fretting (relatives)
Unless you want to play just blues, I would encourage you to focus on 'major tonality' as main reference. Nowadays, IME most of teaching focus on 'minor', and you loose the most part of sounds and feels.
... or 'Lessons with Marcel' well worth google (not easy target though...)
I love the way you Americans make a teaching.
edit: Finding a confident local teacher seems the best option.
edit2: sorry, I re read your post.
edit3: Rythm Playing is my thing.
Learned the CAGED system of pentatonic scales.
Here’s a free PDF to download.
It shows the scale in friendly chord based shapes.
Like you I played rhythm all my life until I was in my mid 40s. This system unlocked the secrets to basic rock/blues/country scales.
After learning it was easier to watch DVD lessons, now widely available on YouTube.
I think Marty Music’s website might be good for basic lessons. I say this just from watching some of his free song lessons. He explains things very well without being pedantic.
Justin Guitar on YouTube used to have a free lesson on blues soloing in the five pentatonic shapes. It helped me a lot.
If you don’t mind paying, I suggest sixstringcountry.com. They have all skill levels of lessons and also provide printable tab. I have used them a lot since I started playing country music.
I wrote up an article about the mindset behind creating solos and a way to begin doing so. You can read it HERE.
I like everything. I’ve been recently listening to a lot of country. But my favorite is the Beatles, Stones.
I’ve seen that site. But it’s hard to know how well it’s thought out. I don’t want to bounce around from topic to topic. So was it pretty methodical?
I’m interested in playing a lot of country but limiting myself to just that. My friend is a songwriter and I want to be able to play runs and little solos over their songs.
No never. I mean I learned the opening riff to Day Tripper like everyone else. But mainly I just strum open chords and play barre chords. Believe it or not I’ve written about 50 songs. But for the life of me I can’t write a solo because I don’t know where to go.
I play rhythm but I just sort of make up what chords sound good to my ears. I’ve written over 50 songs but can’t for the life of me write a solo because I don’t know where to go.
Not what you want to hear, but you should take lessons. If you have time to practice, you have time to take lessons. With Skype lessons available from teachers all around the world, there is no excuse not to be able to find a good teacher available at your preferred time. As far as the money, you may need to make sacrifices, but I don't think I've met anyone that couldn't find the money for a couple of lessons a month, if they wanted to. Most people I know waste more on coffee, eating out, snacks and alcohol than it would cost for a few lessons a month.
You'll learn much faster and with much less frustration if you have a good teacher. A good teacher will teach you how to teach yourself. No need for weekly lessons for the next ten years. Even a couple of lessons a month for several months to get you started would significantly sipped up your progress.
I know what you are saying is the truth. I need to look at my finances monthly and see what I’m “wasting” my money on. I know that a steady teacher is the way to go. I’m already overwhelmed trying to sort out all the suggestions etc. from what I’ve gathered so far, pentatonic scales are necessary. But I know that’s a small piece. Any source for instructors would you recommend?
I started playing leads when I was 15 or 16. I could only do down strokes. I was listening to Cream, Jethro Tull. Blodwyn Pig, Mountain, Johnny Winter, Hendrix, Taj Mahal, Grateful Dead. I learned from records.
That was 50 years ago.
I'm working on it myself. I can and have learned a bunch of solos by ear or YT lesson. Some of them not all that difficult (Oasis), some pretty tough (Pete Anderson).
Concocting my own is something else and I don't have confidence in it yet. I've used Tom Quayle's app that gets you used to identifying scale tones/chord tones over changes.
Also started working through this a couple of weeks ago, and it's been very helpful. Guthrie Trapp covers the same ideas in his course. For me, it's all about visualization, and that's the basic approach those two offer. Not for everyone, but it works for me.
This is from his free YT channel and has been posted a lot, but the ideas covered here are worth thinking about. His "four sounds" stuff (maj/min/maj7/7) is also worth pondering.
I'd recommend learning your basic pentatonic boxes, both major and minor. People sneer, but it's not a staple for nothing. Find keys for songs you want to solo over, choose the correct box (major or minor) and position (say, fifth fret if it's in A), and noodle away.
As you get comfortable with that, start filling in the bigger gaps between notes in a pentatonic scale. You'll find some notes on the pentatonic scale have two "blank" frets between them. Pick one to fill in and incorporate that into your more basic pentatonic licks. Pay attention to what additions change the vibe/mood/tone of what you're playing, and in what way. What works and what doesn't, and when and why. Try the other note to see what difference that makes. What makes something sound jazzy? Or somehow exotic?
In addition to adding notes to the pentatonic box, try changing some of the notes. Move a note up or down a fret. What difference does that make? What do you gain? What do you lose?
Then try extending the pentatonic box. See how you can play the same licks in different positions. Again, see what this gives you and what it costs you.
Make up weird rules. Solo up and down one string. Or only two adjacent strings. Or two strings with one (or 2, 3, 4!) strings in between. Play only one string at a time, then only two at a time, etc. etc. Have every phrase land on a certain note. Or avoid a certain note.
Aside from this, all there is is the physicality of it and the ear training, both of which will come with time. Learning the theory behind what you're playing (intervals, chord tones...) is cool, but ultimately only puts names to what you're already playing/hearing. But it can help you conceptualize what you're playing, which in turn helps you apply similar ideas to different contexts.
I really like Daniel Donato and Johnny Hiland, but they are in the $100 an hour range. I took a lesson from Lars Schurse (https://larsschurse.com) for about $35 for an hour. He has some Truefire videos and was really good via Skype too. He's in Germany, but speaks perfect English. I definitely recommend that you get referrals. IMHO a bad teacher is worse than no teacher. Good luck.