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> Pentatonic Patterns, in blues
Ivan Milenkovic
post May 3 2011, 04:43 PM
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Playing blues can be difficult, but also very easy at the same time. Check out this new Laszlo's lesson on blues:

Classic Blues Patterns

This lesson focuses on two pentatonic positions when playing blues.

When you start playing blues, how far will you go on the neck using pentatonic positions?

I usually start from position 1, and go from there. smile.gif

Do you insert some blues notes along the way?


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Kristian Hyvarin...
post May 3 2011, 05:30 PM
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I don't care about patterns or positions, I just listen to the music and go with that. All positions have their unique sound, since playing the same note from different strings (and therefore from different positions on the neck) results in a different sound. I try to find the sound that's the most adequate for the given situation.

Sure I insert blue notes here and there, actually I tend to overuse them all the time - nothing beats a good sexy blues lick with some blue notes in it. biggrin.gif

Oh yeah, a great lesson. I'll get to it right away!

This post has been edited by Kristian Hyvarinen: May 3 2011, 05:30 PM
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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 3 2011, 05:33 PM
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Great post Kristian, excellent thinking! smile.gif

What do you people think?


Do you try to find the most adequate sound for particular situation like Kristian, or you try with a different approach? smile.gif

Do you insert lots of blues notes? And on what positions do you use blues notes the most? smile.gif

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: May 3 2011, 05:34 PM


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MonkeyDAthos
post May 3 2011, 06:33 PM
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i tend to change my pentatonic depending on the chord that is running (thank you Melodic Control DVD q:), also i don't stick too much to boxes,

This post has been edited by MonkeyDAthos: May 3 2011, 06:34 PM


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Kristian Hyvarin...
post May 3 2011, 10:49 PM
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Yeah, sure I use boxes to help me find my way, for example, when I'm using a scale I'm not used to (say, Bb minor). smile.gif I check the feel with the box, but most of all I try to listen. I think one shouldn't think about boxes as goals, more like tools to find your way, to create music. But of course they help, that's why I too have learnt them.

Edit: almost forgot we're talking about blues playing here. In blues it's especially great that boxes don't matter that much, since many adjacent notes are from the minor or major scales - playing them together often results in a good blues vibe. Sure that isn't such a good approach by itself (testing and listening) theory wise, but it's a good way to find the feel for blues melodies. What I also do is play something - if I like what I hear, I check what notes they are and try to understand the theory behind the melody. Usually it's actually quite simple, basic theory isn't as much a question of intelligence and talent as of routine and habit.

This post has been edited by Kristian Hyvarinen: May 3 2011, 10:55 PM
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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 3 2011, 11:32 PM
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Kristian, you mentioned mixing major and minor pentatonic scales. Is there any particular way you like to combine them when playing blues?

Same question for others! When soloing the blues, what pentatonic patterns come to your mind, and how do you create a solo (starting from where, inserting what etc)?


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JamesT
post May 4 2011, 03:41 AM
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Laszlo's new lesson presents an idea that I've been wanting to get into more of for quite awhile. Actually I first started thinking about it when Emir Hot did a collab called "Combining Licks into a Solo" back in February of 2010. The idea of "combining licks" to be precise. smile.gif

My process of learning to improvise has been to sort of design patterns, licks and notes on my own without really trying to figure out how to reuse them in a solo. Instead of reusing a library of licks, I've been working to get flexible enough to just play what I'm hearing in my mind. I think this has actually limited me to some extent. When I participated in Emir's collab, I realized that to learn a bunch of different licks and work on transposing them and even re-phrasing them to fit a different solo would be a good way to grow my vocabulary for improvisation. To be honest, I still haven't gotten around to learning licks and fitting them into solos. It might be a good time to start.

To write a pentatonic solo, I commonly will first find a note in any position that fits the harmony, then identify the pentatonic scale that surrounds that note. From there I just noodle around on all the pentatonic scales in any given position that are in the desired key until I find something that seems cohesive enough for a complete solo.

It would be cool to see a lesson that presents say five licks, and then two or three widely different backing tracks (different key, chord progression, tempo, etc.) all making use of those same licks.


Got to get working on Laszlo's new lesson now!


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Justin Myrick
post May 4 2011, 09:26 AM
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I would really like to eventually extend my positions on the neck when playing blues however right now I feel limited to only a few places.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 4 2011, 12:40 PM
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QUOTE (JamesT @ May 4 2011, 04:41 AM) *
Laszlo's new lesson presents an idea that I've been wanting to get into more of for quite awhile. Actually I first started thinking about it when Emir Hot did a collab called "Combining Licks into a Solo" back in February of 2010. The idea of "combining licks" to be precise. smile.gif

My process of learning to improvise has been to sort of design patterns, licks and notes on my own without really trying to figure out how to reuse them in a solo. Instead of reusing a library of licks, I've been working to get flexible enough to just play what I'm hearing in my mind. I think this has actually limited me to some extent. When I participated in Emir's collab, I realized that to learn a bunch of different licks and work on transposing them and even re-phrasing them to fit a different solo would be a good way to grow my vocabulary for improvisation. To be honest, I still haven't gotten around to learning licks and fitting them into solos. It might be a good time to start.

To write a pentatonic solo, I commonly will first find a note in any position that fits the harmony, then identify the pentatonic scale that surrounds that note. From there I just noodle around on all the pentatonic scales in any given position that are in the desired key until I find something that seems cohesive enough for a complete solo.

It would be cool to see a lesson that presents say five licks, and then two or three widely different backing tracks (different key, chord progression, tempo, etc.) all making use of those same licks.


Got to get working on Laszlo's new lesson now!

That's very interesting thinking James. I like your response a lot! smile.gif

If you don't mind me writing a bit on this subject, as I was in the same boat in the past. Perhaps this can help some of the members, while we are on the subject:

The thing that can enable you to really incorporate any lick is to actually know the chords. What you are looking for is a way to use similar licks to different situations where you have different harmonic progression or tempo.

One of the simpler solutions for this is to know the notes of chords. If you have Am in the backing, you have A, C and E notes that are strong notes. Licks should revolve around those notes in order to sound connected with the backing. If for example you go from Am to Dm, now the strong notes are: D, F and A. Now the focus should be on these notes.

One of the main problems with this solution for me was to actually learn and memorize all these notes on the fretboard, I was a bit lazy in this area to be honest biggrin.gif What helped me very much is printing out arpeggio patterns on pieces of paper for all 7 C major chords, and then I played them over chords, just jamming. The progress was visible in a week already (as soon as I started to invent licks on top of arpeggios).


QUOTE (Justin Myrick @ May 4 2011, 10:26 AM) *
I would really like to eventually extend my positions on the neck when playing blues however right now I feel limited to only a few places.

Very good goal. Expanding and learning new positions is excellent way to break out of limitations of one position! smile.gif


James mentioned usage of similar licks in different situations. What do you guys think:

Can you use your favorite blues licks in various situations? In what way do you normally do that?






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Kristian Hyvarin...
post May 22 2011, 10:08 AM
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Sorry for the late response - I'm gonna raise this since there's some really good stuff in this thread.

I don't really have any specific way of combining major and minor pentatonic scales - I tend to quickly think of the patterns to remember where the notes are, but my most important tools are my ears. Major notes in minor blues usually result in a kind of a sexy sound and vice versa - but not all notes produce the same result to me. I try to find the "best" notes to combine with one another, and there's really no other way to me except playing and listening. When I find something good I try to understand the theory part of it, but not until. wink.gif I also use chromatic passages a lot, which results in combining minor and major scales sometimes.

And yes, I totally can and do use my favorite blues licks in various situations! When I play jazzy stuff it gets a tad more difficult (since jazz is a softer sounding style but I play the roughest blues there is biggrin.gif) but most the time I can't imagine a place where I couldn't put a good blues lick. They fit anywhere, that's the best part of blues. Of course one needs to have a sense of timing and taste when doing that - I can't put a crazy bend whammy lick just anywhere, it has to go to a climax part of the song / jam. But that's just common sense to me, it all goes right when you just play enough.

That's a good advice Ivan. smile.gif I haven't really done the "hardworking" part of that, but actually it's also achievable by trying to think about it when jamming. Tedious theory practice sure is the quickest way to achieve results in harmony, but it's also important to get the feel into your fingers, too, besides your head.

And we all like playing more than reading, right? laugh.gif
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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 22 2011, 10:48 AM
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You are 100% right my friend smile.gif Practice/jamming (which is fun) combined with some theory learning in parallel (which is useful), can produce excellent results for us! Nice conclusion is drawn out of the topic! smile.gif


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