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> From Pentatonic To Diatonic: Help
timrobwall
post Jan 27 2012, 05:11 PM
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Some advice needed. I have been focusing for the past several months on mastering major and minor diatonic scales -- really understanding the CAGED chord foundations for these and the underlying arpeggio forms all over the neck. I can visualize these patterns fairly well now. But my problem is "so what." I don't seem to be able to use this knowledge very well in improvising and making music that sounds melodic. I'm not effectively working these what for me are new, non-pentatonic tones into interesting jamming during my practice routine -- let alone during a live performance. Then it's always falling back to same old boring pentatonic bag of tricks and licks. Does anyone have any advice on this subject. Any lessons here that would be helpful. Thanks.
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Alexiaden93
post Jan 27 2012, 05:16 PM
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The next step, seeing as you've now memorised the scale shapes in all positions, or at least some positions, would be to work with chord progressions and improvisation. There are several good lessons you can search for here on GMC that explain how to play something that "sounds good" over different chords.

Essentially you need to be aware of what chord is playing in the background, and try to emphasize one of the notes of the chord when playing. These are called the "strong notes" and will always sound good. Later on you can experiment with the sound of "weaker" notes that don't overlap with any of the notes in the particular chord played, in which case you can get several effects.

Basically most lessons on improvisation will explain what sounds good with reference to theory and of course practice. I believe Ivan Milenkovic has some very structured workshops on both chords, chord progressions and improvisation that you definitely should consider taking a look at.

Good luck.


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Alex Feather
post Jan 27 2012, 06:35 PM
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QUOTE (timrobwall @ Jan 27 2012, 04:11 PM) *
Some advice needed. I have been focusing for the past several months on mastering major and minor diatonic scales -- really understanding the CAGED chord foundations for these and the underlying arpeggio forms all over the neck. I can visualize these patterns fairly well now. But my problem is "so what." I don't seem to be able to use this knowledge very well in improvising and making music that sounds melodic. I'm not effectively working these what for me are new, non-pentatonic tones into interesting jamming during my practice routine -- let alone during a live performance. Then it's always falling back to same old boring pentatonic bag of tricks and licks. Does anyone have any advice on this subject. Any lessons here that would be helpful. Thanks.

I was talking about this subject yesterday at my video chat!
When you are improvising try to combine three different pentatonics say we have this chord progression
Emi-A-D
You can play Emi-Bmi-F#mi pentatonic over it
Try to think about patterns not scales and try to create licks combining those three it will help you get more melodic!


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Daniel Realpe
post Jan 27 2012, 07:02 PM
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I agre with Alex,

learning licks is a really good way to start sounding more melodic...but, understand the rhythm of each lick, know if it starts on the beat, or off beat, or beat 2, 3 , 4 etc...

Also, try singing melodies off the top of your head BEFORE playing, because you don't really have technical restrictions on your mind, so you can just spout out any number of notes that sound good to you, you'll realise it's harder that it sounds, but one thing that someone said I think it was Jimi Hendrix that was really was:

"If you can sing it then you can play it"

so, start cultivating your voice a bit, you don't have to become Pavarotti or something, but a really good understanding of scales and intervals in your head will clear things up a lot melodically.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jan 28 2012, 11:50 AM
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Mastering Diatonic Pattern - CAGED lesson, seems like just the kind of thing you need.

After that - Improvising Workshop Series


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timrobwall
post Jan 28 2012, 07:19 PM
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Good stuff and very helpful. Thank you all. GMC at its best!
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timrobwall
post Jan 29 2012, 07:37 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Jan 28 2012, 10:50 AM) *
Mastering Diatonic Pattern - CAGED lesson, seems like just the kind of thing you need.

After that - Improvising Workshop Series



This is great stuff, Ivan. You set up a great learning framework. Now, I would love to see parts 3 and 4 -- where you could focus on the GMC level 4 or 5 player, demonstrating melodic examples that connect the diatonic "boxes," using more sophisticated triad and dominant and minor 7th arpeggios and different single box diatonic major and minor licks that can be incorporated into improvising over fairly basic chord progressions. I think this sort of middle level lesson that lies between arpeggio insanity and basics are things that a lot of players could use as a launching pad. So many intermediate players, I think, see the next step in their growth as moving beyond the basic pentatonic/blues sound to more melodic diatonic-based soling. They understand the basic ideas behind chord tone soling, but have particular trouble incorporating the non-pentatonic tones into their playing -- especially on the fly during performance. That's certainly my story. Maybe, as you and the others here suggest, it's a matter of listening, experimenting, singing along and just working hard and consistently until it starts to fall into place. Maybe, too, there are GMC lessons that would help. Thanks again.
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