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Practicing scales, triads, arpeggios in musically relevant ways?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by trxx, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. OldPup

    OldPup Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Fantastic approach and makes all the sense in the world. Practicing this with a song you love makes it all the easier to stick with. Thanks for sharing!
     
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  2. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    Is your teacher going into more depth in analyzing that stuff after pointing out solos that fall within modes and such? Just curious.
     
  3. RifleSlinger

    RifleSlinger Tele-Meister

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    What I do is spend a minute getting the shape under my fingers, then see where it takes me. Just zone out with it and let it speak to you. You can make something musical and interesting with a single triad. Juxtapose some non-chord tones with the corresponding pentatonic and it gets more interesting. Do that with one more triad and you're writing songs.
     
  4. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    I have done lots of them along the way. I do hit on things here and there that are interesting, but it has been a very inefficient use of playing/practice time for me.
     
  5. mikestearns

    mikestearns Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, he'll point out the sections to pay attention to and walk me through what's going on, depending on the piece. Some stuff is pretty self explanatory, some not. Also if I have questions he'll go much more in depth.
     
  6. BelairPlayer

    BelairPlayer Tele-Afflicted

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    Grab a copy of the Real Book. Find a song you enjoy. Learn/refresh the arpeggios for every cord. Practice arpeggios over each chord change, mechanically at first and then musically. You’ll begin to find how to musically connect chord changes when soloing, etc.
     
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  7. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks. I'll have a look at that later, after I have finished a course that I'm working through.
     
  8. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    Cycle of 4ths
    Play something in Bb
    Play it again in Eb
    Then Ab, Db, Gb, B, E, A, D, G, C and F.
    This helps to keep your ears fresh snd avoids the obvious patternistic approach of moving chromatically.
     
  9. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    For things like arpeggios, I sit down and write a solo chorus.

    1. Pick a tune, say

    [​IMG]

    I like choosing one with a bunch of chords.

    2. Figure out what I want to try: say I want to work on 3-5-7-9 arpeggios. I might work on starting on different beats (1, 1-and, 2, 2-and ...), going up or down (3-5-7-9 vs 9-7-5-3), different rhythms (straight 8th, triplet+8th, syncopated etc...), use an octave displacement (9-3-5-7, 3-9-75 etc...) adding lower/upper neighbours (4-2-3-5-7-9 etc...) Then put that all together in a solo. Record it (looper) and see what you like.
     
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  10. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Afflicted

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    I find it useful to really hammer down scales and arpeggios using the "do it over and over" method, but then start working them into progressions or songs as connecting "pieces". It helps me learn them at speed, and also helps me rhythmically understand where they'll fit in various ways.

    It's also a lot more interesting to listen to and usually leads me to new thinking about chord inversions or modified progressions and passing notes.

    With fingerpicking it seems like the difference between rolling on a stationary chord vs rolling on a chord with its notes moving in various directions... it's fun, and kind of blows my mind.
     
  11. John Owen

    John Owen Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    It's pretty clear I used a poor analogy here. Sorry about that. My intent was to get the point across that, once you get the forms under your fingers and in your brain, the way to practice them in a musically relevant way is to apply them to tunes. Use the tunes as your practice medium. Good luck and have fun.
     
  12. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Friend of Leo's

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    I like to practice familiar melodies. If you think about it, all melodies are just made up of scales anyway. I practice them in all keys, positions, etc. This seems to have worked for me, but...it's certainly no official way that has been approved by guitar teachers or anything like that.
     
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  13. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

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    I'm a huge fan of practicing scales, but I get that it doesn't meet everyone's goals. What sounds do you want to make that you can't already make? That should determine your approach. I like the idea of playing triadically around the fretboard like @MilwMark said. Rhythmic studies are also useful. It's not note choice that makes a great musician, it's phrasing, touch, timing, listening. It's a lot easier to figure out how to practice scales than it is to figure out how to practice phrasing. Maybe put on records of your favorite singers and mimic their phrasing? Learn the melody, and try to copy the nuances of the singer's performance, the little grace notes, slides, dynamics, vibrato, etc.
     
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  14. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe TDPRI Member

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    I’ll second getting the RealBooks (easy online, even if scanned) but if you know a song and it is going through your head it’s easy to apply all the stuff you practice when you hear it. I’ll second my former recommendation to get a good jazz station on the dial because that is where you will hear it ...
     
  15. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe TDPRI Member

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    Sorry meant to include that listening A Lot is more important than anything... you have to hear it to play it.
     
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  16. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I haven't studied scales and arpeggios for a couple decades now. When I did study them they seemed, even at the time, to come easy to me. Thinking about it now I realize at the time I was shedding that stuff I was playing in live bands constantly: high school stage band and combo, a muncipal concert band and a rock band. I was playing chords, melodies and soloing every day at the same period I was learning how all this theory and technique stuff actually made music work and/or how it all worked in music. I'm not exaggerating when I say that every week I could apply something I learned from my guitar lesson or a lick I copped one off my guitar playing buddies and instantly pop it into a real playing situation. It was also really normal to cross-polinate. I would learn a chord voicing in school jazz band and figure out how to make it work in that Doobie Bros song we were doing in my neighborhood rock band. You know, some stuff didn't work but most of the time and maybe with a little tweaking, most of it did. And everybody knows that when you figure out how to apply a lick, a chord, a concept or approach - you NEVER forget it.
    My point being ... one needs to play a lot with other musicians and be forced to get better. You need to hear something, not be able to play it and then go home, figure it out, see how it works and come back the next day and nail it. It's kind of an old school approach but I personally don't know anyone who can "apply trad theory and technique in an effortless and musical way" that hasn't done it that way.
    Slightly tangential but related, if you wanna 'not think' when you play you gotta play a whole lot.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
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  17. jimd

    jimd Friend of Leo's

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    There are tons of backing tracks on YouTube you can play against. The learn jazz standards channel has tracks for maj7 min7 dom7 etc that cycle through the circle of 4ths so you can play arpeggios or scales in every key. Right now I’m working on ii to V arpeggios and there are backing tracks for that. Just search on Am7 - D7 backing track, for example.
     
  18. MonkeyJefferson

    MonkeyJefferson Tele-Holic

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    Force yourself t play songs you know well in different keys. The voicings you can find this way are incredibly helpful.
     
  19. hepular

    hepular Tele-Holic

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    google bach cello suites for guitar. Free versions available. practice scales, arpeggiated triads & some truly cool weird stuff & also prep for that wedding gig
     
  20. rough eye

    rough eye Tele-Meister

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    try starting with this. it's really easy:

    use a metronome or a backing track if you can record yourself. just pick 2 chords; lets say G to C for starters. One measure of 4 beats for each chord, and improvise using only the arpeggio for each chord. You can start with notes per chord change and work up to a steady stream of 8 notes for each chord. Think of the numbers (1 3 5) as you do. And then start adding passing tones - 123, 345, and so on.

    I used to tell students to improvise over a progression for 5 minutes at a time. This way hopefully you've run through all the non-thinking cliches you usually play and gotten bored with them, and that's when creativity can happen.
     
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