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Playing Over Chords With Zero Theory Knowledge
Phil66
Dec 3 2021, 10:12 PM
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I was surprised that the Captain has only a bit more theory knowledge than me huh.gif

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MonkeyDAthos
Dec 3 2021, 10:53 PM
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He has a great sense of phrasing and dynamics!

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Phil66
Dec 3 2021, 11:06 PM
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QUOTE (MonkeyDAthos @ Dec 3 2021, 09:53 PM) *
He has a great sense of phrasing and dynamics!


Yeah, I guess you can be an amazing brick layer without being able to design a good house wink.gif

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klasaine
Dec 4 2021, 03:29 AM
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This is where possessing just a hair's breadth of theory can pay huge dividends ...

Em7 and Bm7 are diatonic to G major.,
Bbmaj7 and Am7 are diatonic to G Dorian (minor).

Knowing that means that if you want to play E minor pentatonic (which is the same as G maj penta) over the whole thing, you can as long as you switch out B natural for C or Bb when you get to the Bbmaj7 chord.

Sure, "discovery" is a wonderful thing but hunting around in a dark room for something when there's a flashlight on the night table is a lot easier and usually yields quicker and better results.

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Phil66
Dec 4 2021, 10:17 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Dec 4 2021, 02:29 AM) *
This is where possessing just a hair's breadth of theory can pay huge dividends ...

Em7 and Bm7 are diatonic to G major.,
Bbmaj7 and Am7 are diatonic to G Dorian (minor).

Knowing that means that if you want to play E minor pentatonic (which is the same as G maj penta) over the whole thing, you can as long as you switch out B natural for C or Bb when you get to the Bbmaj7 chord.

Sure, "discovery" is a wonderful thing but hunting around in a dark room for something when there's a flashlight on the night table is a lot easier and usually yields quicker and better results.


That's a good point well made Ken.

For some reason I struggle to remember theory. I'm wondering if it's some kind of dyslexia. For instance, at work, if someone says to me, "do you know where the three seven two eights are?" I haven't a clue what they mean, even if I've worked on them a hour before, if they say "do you know where the high compression Bugattis for Crossthwaite and Gardiner are" I'll say, "yeah, they're in packing, I finished them them the other day".

Ii had difficulty remembering digit sequences etc and I wonder if it's the same kind of problem with things like "Em7 and Bm7 are diatonic to G major., Bbmaj7 and Am7 are diatonic to G Dorian (minor)".

There's a handful of part numbers I can remember at work, 1003 (Big bore A series die cast Mini 1275 block), 3028 (Forged Lotus Twin Cam), 3157 ( Forged high compression Vauxhall 2.0 litre) 3025 (Forged big boots A series Mini 998 block) and that's about it out of the hundreds of different pistons we make. I know most won't be interested in those details, it's purely to demonstrate the things I can remember if that makes sense.

I only remember those because we've been making them forever, and make a few batches of each every year. Maybe there's a clue there, maybe I need to take small chunks of theory and practice them often until it sinks in.

The other thing with the Lee, he seems to have a decent ear, when he was saying things sounded odd, it sounded fine to me rolleyes.gif

Cheers.

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klasaine
Dec 4 2021, 05:28 PM
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I think it's really more about how often you have to access and then apply the information.
If you only work on and jam over rock and blues chord progressions, you're not gonna run into a whole lot of key changes. If your wheelhouse is Prog or Jazz then you deal with key changes constantly.

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Phil66
Dec 4 2021, 06:14 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Dec 4 2021, 04:28 PM) *
I think it's really more about how often you have to access and then apply the information.
If you only work on and jam over rock and blues chord progressions, you're not gonna run into a whole lot of key changes. If your wheelhouse is Prog or Jazz then you deal with key changes constantly.


Never mind key changes, I struggle with chord changes. laugh.gif I think a lot of it is also that I try to take too much in in one go.

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klasaine
Dec 4 2021, 07:38 PM
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Small bites to start is a good method. In fact, using the Captains progression would be good practice because it's really only the one chord - the Bbmaj7 - that is the odd man out.

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Caelumamittendum
Dec 4 2021, 09:33 PM
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This is partly why I talk about using chord tones to release tension in soloing. It will also create a sense of knowing what chord is underneath. At first it might require you to put 80% focus on the chords while playing simple melodies that use 20% of your focus.

It could be a simple 2 chord loop. Maybe just using A minor and G major chords as practice to begin with. You can use the A minor scale as a whole from the 5th fret, and when A minor is playing you end your phrases on a chord tone from A minor (A C E). When the chord changes to G you can stay in the same 5th fret position on the fretboard, but now you focus on ending your phrases on (G B D).

It will help develop awareness of the chords beneath too. Take it slow, 2 bars of an Am chord (or even 4 bars if you want) and 2 bars of G chord, while trying to focus on hitting those chord tones at the end of phrases.

For me at least there's tension in non-chord tones and "safety" (no tension) in chord tones. And "good" phrases and music usually work around creating tension and releasing it again - as in back into a chord tone, where the root note of an underlying chord releases the most tension of course a good place for a very final note of a solo.

I've rambled a bit about the approach just now on video with some examples:

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Phil66
Dec 5 2021, 08:07 AM
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Thanks Ben, much appreciated that you took the time to do this video. I'll try to fit it in along with the other stuff.

Cheers cool.gif

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Caelumamittendum
Dec 5 2021, 11:31 AM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Dec 5 2021, 09:07 AM) *
Thanks Ben, much appreciated that you took the time to do this video. I'll try to fit it in along with the other stuff.

Cheers cool.gif


Don't feel obligated to do anything just because I make these videos. I enjoy making them and I'm learning from them too smile.gif

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Phil66
Dec 5 2021, 03:18 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Dec 5 2021, 10:31 AM) *
Don't feel obligated to do anything just because I make these videos. I enjoy making them and I'm learning from them too smile.gif


Thanks Ben, I appreciate that you've taken on board what we spoke about recently, cheers for that, it's nice to know.

All the best

Phil

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tflava
Dec 5 2021, 04:35 PM
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For me theory also really helps. To know what my options are. In real time improvising its difficult for me sometimes but i keep practicing it.
However in somgwriting and composing it gives a real advantage smile.gif
For jnstance. If you have an A power chord you can play many different scales over it, of the bass play the same scale. So then with writing you can try to make a one chord vamp and play a dorian over it with the guitars and the base.
And then you try to play a phrygian over it in a new arrangement. Then you van more easily identify the feeling of the scales and expand your palette of somgwriting smile.gif
Maybe its hard for some but it works for me.

Grtz tim

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Phil66
Dec 5 2021, 09:34 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Dec 5 2021, 10:31 AM) *
Don't feel obligated to do anything just because I make these videos. I enjoy making them and I'm learning from them too smile.gif


Thanks buddy,

At this point https://youtu.be/Qr-CzR6ZZQs?t=386 is there some kind of map for finding these or is it just committed to memory? You seem to just go there, boom!

Cheers

QUOTE (tflava @ Dec 5 2021, 03:35 PM) *
For me theory also really helps. To know what my options are. In real time improvising its difficult for me sometimes but i keep practicing it.
However in somgwriting and composing it gives a real advantage smile.gif
For jnstance. If you have an A power chord you can play many different scales over it, of the bass play the same scale. So then with writing you can try to make a one chord vamp and play a dorian over it with the guitars and the base.
And then you try to play a phrygian over it in a new arrangement. Then you van more easily identify the feeling of the scales and expand your palette of somgwriting smile.gif
Maybe its hard for some but it works for me.

Grtz tim


Thanks Tim,

That's a little bit advanced for me at the moment. Thanks anyway though smile.gif

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Caelumamittendum
Dec 5 2021, 09:52 PM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Dec 5 2021, 10:34 PM) *
Thanks buddy,

At this point https://youtu.be/Qr-CzR6ZZQs?t=386 is there some kind of map for finding these or is it just committed to memory? You seem to just go there, boom!

Cheers


No other "map" than knowing the notes of the G major chord as G B D, I'd say.



But this is the cool thing about guitar. The shapes will essentially be the same for another chord, just moved up or down. You know, like how the B minor pentatonic looks the same as the A minor pentatonic shape.

For me it sort of came with knowing the notes of the fretboard - along with the shapes. If you have a G note, then the next note up in the G major arpeggio will be a B note, then D. It's a repeating cycle of "...G B D... G B D... G..." or "root, 3rd, fifth". You may start to recognize where all the G notes are first, then the B notes and then D notes. It can be done string by string horizontally of course, vertically in a fixed position or even diagonal or jumping around to find the notes.

I'm sure you've heard those exercises a million times of finding the notes on the fretboard. For me it was important to not just tie them to a name, but also to an underlying chord. I think this helps develop the ear too. Maybe having an underlying G major chord played and sustained and trying to find all the notes of the chord on the fretboard in various ways.

A combination of shapes and remembering the notes of a chord helps. I think of it as the alphabet too - A B C D E F G, knowing that if I have played a G then two steps lower in the scale is an E. At some point it's not information that requires thinking to access, but might become more "instinctive". For instance, if we're in F major you'll notice the same shapes as in the above chart, but they will all be moved down two frets. I.e. the root, F, will be on the 6th fret of the B string.

[click here for picture of F major arpeggio shapes]

I learn the best by applying these things to music though, so what I always got the most out of was playing on a backing track but being conscious about what I wanted out of it at the same time. Kris talked about this in his recent live stream too, I think. Or at least in the recent video posted on Facebook, here: https://www.facebook.com/guitarmasterclass/...35771717735415/

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This post has been edited by Caelumamittendum: Dec 5 2021, 09:58 PM


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Phil66
Dec 5 2021, 10:18 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Dec 5 2021, 08:52 PM) *
No other "map" than knowing the notes of the G major chord as G B D, I'd say.

I learn the best by applying these things to music though, so what I always got the most out of was playing on a backing track but being conscious about what I wanted out of it at the same time. Kris talked about this in his recent live stream too, I think. Or at least in the recent video posted on Facebook, here:


Thanks,

Already that is too much information for my head to take in. I think my brain needs a defrag laugh.gif I think I need to work on just two chords as you said. I'm thinking, and correct me if I'm wrong, that you're kinda using the CAGED system in a way though I might be wrong.

With theory I need to apply it and work on one single block until I've got it in my head.

Cheers

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Caelumamittendum
Dec 5 2021, 10:25 PM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Dec 5 2021, 11:18 PM) *
Thanks,

Already that is too much information for my head to take in. I think my brain needs a defrag laugh.gif I think I need to work on just two chords as you said. I'm thinking, and correct me if I'm wrong, that you're kinda using the CAGED system in a way though I might be wrong.

With theory I need to apply it and work on one single block until I've got it in my head.

Cheers


Sorry about that!

The first chart is really just one chord. It's the G major chord tones and it shows all the places to find the notes that make up the chord. You can even boil it down to a one chord progression and work on one chord at a time and then when you feel confident in those notes you can add a second chord.

You don't even have to know every position of that chord's chord tones before moving on. It could be the chord tones around 5th fret to the 8th fret of G major and then as talked about in the video add a second chord and work to find the notes of that second chord around the same position on the fretboard smile.gif

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Phil66
Dec 5 2021, 10:58 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Dec 5 2021, 09:25 PM) *
Sorry about that!

The first chart is really just one chord. It's the G major chord tones and it shows all the places to find the notes that make up the chord. You can even boil it down to a one chord progression and work on one chord at a time and then when you feel confident in those notes you can add a second chord.

You don't even have to know every position of that chord's chord tones before moving on. It could be the chord tones around 5th fret to the 8th fret of G major and then as talked about in the video add a second chord and work to find the notes of that second chord around the same position on the fretboard smile.gif


Please don't apologise, it's my limitations not yours wink.gif even reading that "It could be the chord tones around 5th fret to the 8th fret of G major" is overwhelming me rolleyes.gif

Please carry on delivering your advice as you see fit, I'll find a way to use it wink.gif

Thank you Ben, and I mean that most sincerely smile.gif

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Caelumamittendum
Dec 5 2021, 11:27 PM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Dec 5 2021, 11:58 PM) *
Please don't apologise, it's my limitations not yours wink.gif even reading that "It could be the chord tones around 5th fret to the 8th fret of G major" is overwhelming me rolleyes.gif

Please carry on delivering your advice as you see fit, I'll find a way to use it wink.gif

Thank you Ben, and I mean that most sincerely smile.gif


It's interesting to talk about. We all learn differently, but I think we can all find ways to improve in our playing. It's just about finding the right path.

I think it might make sense if you look at it like this: Don't think too much about note names and such in this example, but maybe more from engineer point of view, where you have to overlay two images and find common points. Like placing a triangle on top of a square and you see that 3 corners overlaps, but there's still one that doesn't smile.gif

Here's the A minor pentatonic on the 5th fret:

Attached Image

And here are the G major chord-notes around the 5th (to 8th) fret. I've included the 4th fret for that B note:

Attached Image

Putting these two together we see that some of the notes of the G major chord overlap with the A minor penatonic box. Except for that B note. G major chord tones are circled with green:

Attached Image

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Phil66
Dec 6 2021, 08:49 AM
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Thanks buddy,

That's a much better way of seeing it for me.

Nice one mate

Cheers

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