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You think scales are going to gte you through? Ha!

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Telenator, Nov 26, 2020.

  1. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Holic

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    You make a fair point. That solo from the OP is similar to how I play. He may very well be able to play circles around me in a multitude of styles. I'm certainly a bit slower and lot more restrained than he is.

    And I'm bald.
     
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  2. Billy3

    Billy3 Tele-Meister

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    This dude is all over the place and is chopping it up. Definitely not a 5 note scale guy. Weather he knows what he's doing or not he's very talented. Great to hear. Maybe one day I'll know enough or practice enough to make something sound something close to that. Keep on pickin!!!
     
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  3. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    I guess nobody is going to ask how he learned where all of those notes, various positions and intervals were. While I think he's pretty darn good, its not really my bag, but I can say this, thousands if not millions of players mix and match, join things together,start in position A, mode A, and proceed to position B , Mode B, etc.... Where we start, where we end and what we happen to INCLUDE in between is not just dumb luck. If we are players that play MOSTLY out of a single position and fingering, then what GG is doing appears internse, and it is. But he is NOT phrasing out of single position or fingering. He has a very disciplined bag of tricks .


    RE: I am a country boy, many of my friends comment on my approach, which isn't my approach at all. I can thank Mel Bay I guess ! I use this example frequently. And I am not a genius ! :)

    I ask-- Play a C Chord , immediately they play the C chord with the root off the 5th string 3rd fringer 3rd fret, standard Cowboy chord. 1st finger lays on the C note 1st fret 2nd string . We all know this. We all do this.

    Then they ask -- why ? where do you play the C chord ? I tell them, 1st finger across 5th fret, strings 2,3,4 3rd finger , 5th string 7th fret and ROOT with the 4th finger 8th fret , 6th string. This is my C chord HOME position because from this FORM , leading with the 1st finger, the positions that follow are almost endless, we can go UP the fretboard , across the fretboard or DOWN the fretboard with minimal effort and movement. Heck hammer on the F chord at the same fret with Chord form III. If we start our soling off of the typical C Cowboy chord, we are stuck , nowhere to go. IF we wanna talk about scales and somehow say we don't play out of scales, well ok, but every form or position we play out of has a Specific Scale associated with it. Not every scale begins on the ROOT. PIECES of scales that lead to another point. The fretboard is like a little math game. Players like GG can see the whole "big picture" when they look at the fretboard. They can see where they are going before they even decide to go there .

    Robben Ford discusses his use of diminished scales all the time, they begin Diminished in the ROOT key, then LEAD to the next phrase or chord. Point A to point B.



    Now go watch GG again. He is mostly jamming over a single root chord but with varied fretboard positions. He knows his fretboard positions and he is weaving in and out. He knows them VERY well. He knows which one leads to the next one with minimal effort, it all flows. Its not an accident.

    My take on GG, at home he sits, plays one phrase, then plays it in as many possible root positions on the fretboard that he can locate. Over and over until they are embedded in his brain. Probably for days on end. Then he goes to another phrase, repeats the process. and on and on.... Then when he performs he already knows what he is going to play , he just hasn't decide which ORDER yet ! :) He probably doesn't even take time out to eat lunch !
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
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  4. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Haha, I don't learn to play like that at all! But I really enjoy the playing I do.

    Thanks for posting this Telenator. I enjoyed what he was putting together, wherever it came from. It amazes me how difficult it is for us guitar players to appreciate someone else's skill. Maybe we are all competing against each other at some level, I don't know.
     
  5. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Guthrie's a really outstanding player!
    If you even want scratch the surface of what he's doing ...
    You better learn a BUNCH of scales, know how they fit over the "implied" harmony of that backing track and practice the $h1t out of them for 10,000 hours.
    I'm serious.

    Edit:
    *Lotta pentatonics going on there, both major and minor and those 'Jazz' flurries you hear are mostly some chromatic passing tones within the Mixolydian (dom7) mode. He also just does a bunch of 1/2 embellishment stuff which is de riguer for any improvisor who even just plays 'a little' jazz.
    Practice more. It'll help with your listening - not just your playing.
     
  6. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'll bet I'm the only person on this thread who owns a Guthrie Govan signature pick.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
  7. mugen74

    mugen74 Tele-Holic

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    What is sad is your inability to accept that some people are just of the opinion that it’s just not really any good. Anyone, ANYONE can learn to do that if they want to. Put in the hours, put in the theory, put in the muscle memory. Once you accept that anyone, including yourself is capable of this you will stop being impressed with such nonsense and actually enjoy just playing music. This dude is not playing music, he’s doing acrobats for other guitar nerds. He’s not the first. He won’t be the last.
     
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  8. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    No groove? Well, maybe not with a backing track in this little video, though it's a pretty groovin' backing track compared to most, and he's in time even on the fast bits, unlike a lot of flashy players. Check out the live Aristocrats performances on YT if you haven't seen them yet.
     
  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    So I'm confused by the terminology we're throwing around.
    I play by ear and only on occasion use only five notes in an octave, usually adding some passing tones or "using more than five notes an octave". Now and then, strict pentatonic is called for!
    I certainly learned using pentatonic scales as it was so obvious, but then learned intervals so I can play whatever note I please at any given time, if I can reach it.
    Within reason of course. Players that use too many passing tones bore me really quickly!
    I've actually watched lots of players in Jazz or maybe alt Jazz that use so many passing tones it sounds more like they are running a math program for their phrasing, where nothing is tasty, and instead it sounds like an intellectual exercise.
    Guthrie seems to have the taste to add enough but not too much, keeping it tasty while also creative or varied or interesting.

    Of course tasty is relative to our individual taste.

    But back to my terminology question!

    If a pentatonic scale is five notes per octave, how are some calling a phrase that has more than five notes per octave: "pentatonic"?

    Can't we just as well call every phrase that uses a variety of intervals, with only some selected from the common pentatonic: "The chromatic scale with some notes skipped"?

    Rather than calling his stuff "pentatonic with some passing tones added"?

    Music has pretty clear distinct rules, right?
    A pentatonic scale has five notes per octave, right?
    Help me understand how a lengthy piece of guitar music that seems to not use only five notes per octave even once, always using more than five; how the heck is that pentatonic?

    Maybe in music theory, a scale is allowed to have notes added but not allowed to have notes subtracted; while still being called a given scale? Or is it that some of us just recognize pentatonic intervals more easily than other internals from scales we don't really play?
     
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  10. bluescaster72

    bluescaster72 Tele-Holic

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    Scales are you building blocks once you have those down you can start to think of how to use them in a musical sense. I think one of the best things you can do is learn how to improvise the melody of a song . I learned so much from traditional country music in that respect . Teaches you how to use the scales you learn in a musical sense rather then an exercise. I still do scale runs after 30 plus years as a player so I keep them in my hands and memory , but when I step up to play a lead that doesn't even come into play. I just do it intuitively now.
     
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  11. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    It has an overall pentatonic sound to it but no, it is not strictly penta. Very little music is 'strictly' anything, especially music that employs improvisation. If I was to codify, in one phrase what he's doing over the BT, I would describe it as "mostly the Blues Scale (not penta actually) with jazz licks and some chromaticism". And you can say the same thing about a lot of 'fusion' players and fusion music.

    Music doesn't have rules per se - definitely not strict rules. Music has conditions. When you're improvising you need to be aware of the conditions. It'll help you "drive" better ;).
     
  12. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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    +1, yup. It's true.

    Shades of Frank Z mixed with some runs akin to Steve Morse perhaps?
    Frank loved to solo in Mixolydian..

    Yup.
     
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  13. superjam144

    superjam144 Tele-Afflicted

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    Great thread. Made me realize I need to brush up on my modes. :p

    Beato keeps talking about intervallic scale patterns. Sounds like it might even impress a Johnson or Holdsworth.
     
  14. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    I like that he doesn't sit on a particular idea for too long. He also seems to be playing with the time a bit; floating over the bar lines and reeling it back in. IMO, much more musical than if he'd played it straight. As others have said, there's a lot to unpack here. I like the smorgasbord analogy. There are definitely some bits I'd like to borrow even though much of GG's playing is way out of my league.
     
  15. drumtime

    drumtime Tele-Holic

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    Everything uses the pentatonic scale notes - they're always there in the scale. Using those notes doesn't make something pentatonic. I see him using the pentatonic as a home base from which to improvise, using lots of tricks and licks. Fun to watch. I need to see more of his stuff.
     
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  16. GreatGaudy

    GreatGaudy Tele-Meister

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    Sounds like one of those Steely Dan auditions. Poor guy..born too late for his skills.
     
  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Thanks for clarifying, I was hoping you'd comment and had missed your former post.

    While my ability to discuss this stuff is limited, I can hear music better than i can talk about music. My sense was that the posts calling Guthrie mostly just pentatonic was largely an attempt to insult a strong musician because we just don't like him.

    But I also want to keep learning and there are players here who know more than me!

    I think that since the pentatonic scale interval is so central to Rock, Blues and even Jazz, we who are not Jazz players instantlyidentify pentatonic intervals, while not really instantly identifying the variety of other intervals he uses.

    So we label what we know and don't bother to label what's less instantly recognizable?
    Even in advanced Jazz, pentatonic intervals are essential for emphasizing and clarifying ideas, melodies, or whatever musical ideas make a tune recognizable, inviting in the listener as opposed to challenging the listener to keep up.

    My issue here is the idea that using ANY pentatonic intervals makes the playing primarily pentatonic.
    I guess my confused assumption that music has rules came from hearing "you have to learn the rules before you can break them".

    And labeling a players varied playing as being mostly pentatonic seems like rules to me.

    Ironic and stupid I suppose for me who knows so little about verbal music terminology to quibble with the usage, but my goal is to get a better understanding of both talking music, and also of what the hell it is that I do when playing music.

    Pentatonic scales are in an odd place where they are crucial building blocks in most popular music, yet players who use that a lot get insults as if it was poor musicianship. Or the insults come when a player expands their intervallic phrasing range but still plays recognizably popular accessible music, as opposed to IDK esoteric Jazzy stuff.

    I'm also confused by the use of "out" to identify passing tones, where I think of "out playing" as being inaccessible/ rule breaking/ Free Jazz like Ornette or Eric Dolphy.

    Too much chromaticism doesn't sound "out" tome as much as just lacking punctuation, salt, emphasis, melody, or any of the stuff that makes scales into music.
    Of course "too much chromaticism" is like "too much hot sauce".
    I can probably enjoy more chromaticism than the average radio listener, but there's a point where it's just toomuch and the music starts sounding flat, like an exercise event rather than a musical event.

    I think that happens to alot of us, where too much chromaticism just doesn't sound very musical.

    And I think what sets one player apart from and above other modern educated shred styled players, is having the musical taste to add just the right amounts of all the possible ingredients.
    Guthrie is to my ear a real master of that just right recipe cooking.

    But for many listeners, he uses too much of some spices they just don't really like that much of.

    Contrary to what I'm getting to though, to my ear an excess of chromaticism doesn't sound spicy at all, it sounds bland like too much potato and not enough spices in the curry.
    The best is a mixture of many musical tools or components.
    Labeling a mix of many as primarily one?
    I don't get that thinking.

    I suppose I think of many Guthrie performances, not just the clip posted in the OP.
    When his band does the cell phone tones stuff?
    Sorry, lost me there!
     
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  18. Billy3

    Billy3 Tele-Meister

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    Deep! I dig it man. You have an awesome perspective in many of your comments.Keep on pickin!!!!
     
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  19. rough eye

    rough eye Tele-Meister

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    diatonic scale = 7 note (usually), comprised of half steps and whole steps.
    pentatonic = 5 note, comprised of whole steps and minor 3rds. basically 2 more notes than the triad, 2 less than the diatonic.

    i did make a few videos on the modes if anyone's interested. posted them here someplace, i think.

    oh, and to hear how far pentatonic scales can go, i'd suggest listening to McCoy Tyner's "Passion Dance" album.
     
  20. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    @telemnemonics -

    I can’t speak for others. But while GG is not my taste, calling most of that clip (which I’ve now watched) “pentatonic” was not to put him down.

    I don’t care if you use 1 note a’la Neil, if you make it great. So 5 doesn’t bother me.

    But I can see and hear plain as day that is basically pentatonic with some chromatic notes dropped in. Or the 6th note (count, not scale degree) that is really common to use in blues.

    I’m not very schooled in theory at all. But I do react to what I perceive as a strong current of snobbery in parts of this thread - the “you just don’t get it”.

    Part of “getting it” is to see and hear simplicity where there is apparent complexity, IME.

    I don’t much play scales. I just use triad tones but I know triads pretty durn well. The occasional technical/theory player seems to think I’m playing all manner of scales
    and modes. And for all I am. Ha. But I’m just playing the chords ...
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
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