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> "5 Blues Boxes" Vs. Real Pentatonics
jdriver
post Mar 9 2009, 04:45 PM
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Ivan I know how much you love the blues and I really want to hear your opinion on this video/method of learning blues.

In brief, this guy says he couldn't understand scales and figured all this out by learning the styles of the King's, SRV, etc.

His lesson uses what we know as Pentatonic box 1 as a starting point, then only uses the notes on the G-B-E string for boxes 2,3,and 4, and drops box 5 altogether and instead plays box 1 again, giving the Major pentatonic of the original root.

He has the licks down very well, but I can't say I'm comfortable with this approach. And in this scheme, what happens to box 5, or is it just optional? Do the "Great Bluesmen" really limit themselves to those few notes???

I really want to know what you think of this, and any other instructor who wants to weigh in.
Thanks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4ZLMgFZLso



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I'm older now but still I hunger
For some understanding.
There's no understanding, now.
Was there ever?

...Joe Puerta (Ambrosia)...


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 9 2009, 05:50 PM
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What the guy says is partially true mate. One of the most important aspects of the blues is blending major and minor pentatonic scales together in a fluid way. BB King is the master of this, but in general all other great blues musicians are as well.

The guy made a very interesting concept with combining the minor pentatonic box 1 with major pentatonic box 1. As you know, major box 1 is on the place where minor box 5 is, so he simply uses the same shape on both positions.
I used a similar concept before, since it is easier to be aware of the notes you wanna play. Everybody knows the minor box 1, so it is very easy to start playing it in box 5 as well and combine the licks. What is important to say when using the box 1 in position 5 is that the note placement is not the same - you now have the root note in major box 1 where it was a minor third in the minor box 1. So you can use the same licks basically for exercising using both boxes together, but just gotta watch where you land the lick (on what note).

This concept is just a useful tip for using major style licks in the blues progression, and it is a good starting place for learning to blend major and minor pentatonic boxes together. In general you can use any minor box and superimpose major box on top of it to create cool licks. This concept is part of a larger scale concept that should enable you to know exactly where are all the notes on the whole neck in both of pentatonic scales, so you can mix&match them naturally in your playing without the need of thinking about it. This, as all other things with guitar just takes time.

Simple exercise example of this concept would be:

1. take a blues progression and play it on PC/player.
2. play up&down minor pentatonic box 1 to feel the sound
3. shift the minor box 1 to minor box 5 (as the guys explained) and play up and down again (you will notice it has a much more country vibe to it now, when it's plain major)
4. try to focus yourself on the root notes in both 2 and 3 exercises, stop on the root and sing it possibly and continue picking up/down
5. after a while of doing this try taking one simple blues lick and repeat it in exercises 2 and 3 manner. Play the same lick in major and minor positions, BUT when you are in the major try to land on the note where the root is (it is on different position then in minor box 1).


I could possibly give you some ideas and directions through a video response as well if you want to if you are not clear with this mate. I will be glad to help, let me know if you need it.

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Mar 9 2009, 05:51 PM


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jdriver
post Mar 9 2009, 09:24 PM
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Thanks for the great explanation. As I suspected, it's better to know how this really works, rather than learn a formula. I really want to learn the fretboard completely as you said, and it adds another layer of complexity to try to "subtract out" the parts I've already learned for the sake of some "quicker" method.

The exercise you suggest sounds like a very good idea and I'm going to try it out. Because of what I've already learned, when I read your #3 above, I thought why wouldn't you just play the Major box in the same position (staying on root).

The mixing and matching part is very important to me also. In fact as soon as I learned diatonic scales I started seeing which pentatonic boxes worked well over which diatonic. smile.gif

Also it makes me sad to see how many people on the comments are praising this as the first thing they've seen that they could understand. Haven't they heard of GMC???? laugh.gif


--------------------
"I dreamed a lot when I was younger..
I'm older now but still I hunger
For some understanding.
There's no understanding, now.
Was there ever?

...Joe Puerta (Ambrosia)...


Finally got a YouTube page going.
Go to the top of the page
 
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 11 2009, 03:05 AM
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yeah GMC rulez mate! biggrin.gif

This concept is really cool, and it can be approached in bits and pieces of course. learning one position at a time and doing it consistently for a while will do the trick.

feel free to post if you need any more advises or tips! smile.gif

cheers! smile.gif


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- Ivan's Video Chat Lesson Notes HERE
- Check out my GMC Profile and Lessons
- (Please subscribe to my) YouTube Official Channel
- Let's be connected through ! Facebook! :)
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