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> Chris S. Guitar Development Lab
Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 5 2014, 08:10 AM
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Hehe!

Try to play the C major chord on your guitar and tap the C note on the D string in the 10th position wink.gif It will sound better, by all means!

Alright! Well you have discovered the common notes between these 3 modes, now, can you tell me what formula can you make by using them and knowing that C is the key? What scale does this formula belong to? smile.gif


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Chris S.
post Nov 5 2014, 01:13 PM
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So my first thought was maybe they make up C Locrian but I was wrong.

Then I noticed that it was only 5 notes - so I thought that maybe it made up a pentatonic scale.

I figured since there were flats it would have to be minor and it turns out I was right!

C Eb F G Bb = C Minor Pentatonic!

Afterwards I learned that to find the minor pentatonic scale you just take the natural minor scale and drop the 2nd and 6th scale degrees cool.gif

EDIT:

So I've been listening to a lot of Eric Johnson and I was inspired by his playing and decided to create a little piece that sounded like him but with my own little twist/style to it:

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/when-i-dream-of-you-idea

I know it's not the best and I will never be as great as Mr. Johnson but I feel like it shows how far my improvising has come in such a little amount of time - I was stuck in the first minor pentatonic box shape for 6 years until I met you!

Thanks to you my theory is getting better each day and I know that overtime my technique will get better and I'll be able to play the fast runs cleaner and make them longer and more complicated! Can't wait! cool.gif

As always - YOU DA MAN!! laugh.gif

This post has been edited by Chris S.: Nov 6 2014, 02:47 AM
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 6 2014, 04:35 PM
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Hey buddy! Thank you for the great energy and thoughts smile.gif

The little piece sound nice and it would sound even nicer with a steady groove behind it wink.gif You know, as we talked about giving music a pulse, you can apply the same concept here as well, but with a nice drum line and maybe a bass line and then re-recording the guitar in order to match these, you could have a great sounding piece of a song - what do you say? biggrin.gif

About theory, hey - it's a great journey about discovering things and now next to my next question biggrin.gif

If you discovered the minor pentatonic scale behind all those modes - what is your conclusion in respect to adding and substracting notes and the role of the minor pentatonic scale in modal play? biggrin.gif Use simple words and trust your guts - you have great intuition! How can this conclusion be applied in the case of major modes? biggrin.gif


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Chris S.
post Nov 6 2014, 05:15 PM
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Thanks Cosmin! I'm saving up to get a decent starter bass to add some depth to my music.

I was thinking of developing the song by shortening what I wrote a little bit but just keep it guitar only, and then when you think it's over the drums kick in along with the other instruments and the song basically starts at that point (I saw Eric Johnson do this with Cliffs of Dover and I liked how he pulled it off).

As for the theory:

Since those 5 notes of the minor pentatonic scale are in the Dorian, Aeolian and Phrygian modes - the only thing that I can really think of is that if I learn the minor pentatonic scale across the whole fretboard I basically know these three modes.

Because if I have C minor pentatonic with notes C Eb F G Bb and I wanted to play C Aeolian - I would just take the C minor pentatonic box shapes and add in D and Ab across the fretboard.

Correct?

EDIT:

My second attempt at the vibrato lesson - I feel like I have made some minor improvements since the last take and was hoping for some feedback:

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/bens-vibrato-odyssey-5-second-attempt

When you use vibrato do you always bend the string a certain number of steps, or to the next note in the scale?

For example I bend the C up to the D because that is the next note in the scale but then I only bend the E to an F. So instead of bending the string up two semitones I only bend it up one. Is this the right way to do it or should it always be a consistent?

Thanks!

This post has been edited by Chris S.: Nov 6 2014, 06:20 PM
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 7 2014, 10:46 AM
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Hey matey,

I have listened to the vibrato lesson take and it sounds a bit better than the last one wink.gif Now, in the first bars, the pitches of the notes aren't really there yet and around 0:42 you had a little timing issue and from 0:48 onward, the pitches of the notes aren't there again.

Your assumption is correct - whatever you do, in this situation, you need to take care and stick to the scale in which you are working, so adapt to the context - if you need to go a halfstep, go for a half step, if you need to go for a whole step, do go for a wholestep smile.gif You got the principles mate, it's just practicing that separates you from goal, so getto it like a champ wink.gif

About the song - that's a great idea!! Go for it, of course - this can really bring in some nice dynamics in the song!

Theory wise, you are correct - you have discovered a rule that you can apply:

- add the necessary additional intervals to the minor pentatonic scale and you can obtain the aimed for minor modes:

- the 2nd and 6th for the Dorian
- the b2nd and b6th for the Phrygian
- the 2nd and b6th for the Aeolian
- use the minor blues scale for the Locrian - you have 1 b3 4 b5, remove the 5th, keep the b7th and add the b2nd and b6th - there ya go, you have the Locrian mode biggrin.gif

Now, how about the major modes - which scale is their skelleton? Think in the same manner as above biggrin.gif


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Chris S.
post Nov 7 2014, 08:00 PM
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So I got a used Cort Action 4 bass to help add some depth to anything I write biggrin.gif

And I would use the Major Pentatonic and add notes?

C Maj Pentatonic is C D E G A

C Ionian would just be the C Major Scale

C Lydian I would just add F# and B to the major pentatonic box patterns

and so on?

Correct?
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 8 2014, 04:22 PM
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Precise!!

What other mode can you form by using the major pentatonic scale? smile.gif There's one left and thus, you know'em all!


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Chris S.
post Nov 10 2014, 02:29 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Nov 8 2014, 03:22 PM) *
Precise!!

What other mode can you form by using the major pentatonic scale? smile.gif There's one left and thus, you know'em all!

Sorry for the delay, Cosmin - one of the perks of working retail is the insane rush during the holiday season rolleyes.gif

All that we have left is Mixolydian, where we would add an F and Bb (intervals 4 and flatted 7)?

This seems like such a simpler way to learn the modes! I can just finish learning the shapes of the minor pentatonic scale and learn the major pentatonic scale - and once I am comfortable with those I can begin adding notes to form the desired modes!

It's fascinating how everything in music ties together - it's a beauty for sure.

On a side note, do you play bass? I mentioned before that I bought a bass, but after two days of playing it I decided to return it. I understand how important the role of the bass plays in a song but I just didn't have the desire to play it if that makes any sense? With guitar, I have this passion and desire to play everyday and become as good as possible.

I felt like the bass deserved a good home instead of just sitting in my room only to be noodled around with every once and a while.

And for the lesson! I have been playing along with Ben in the video and I feel like I've made some small improvements - it's when I play by myself and don't have Ben's playing as a reference that my mistakes start to show through.

I had to take the day off with the vibrato lesson because my fingers became really sore - I guess my callouses aren't used to this intense workout! I just didn't want to risk getting blisters and be out for a few days - I shall continue tomorrow though.

That is all, my friend!
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 10 2014, 08:19 AM
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Hey mate!

As usual, your intuition payed off wink.gif Indeed, the big picture here is that the modes are built on a pentatonic skelleton - minor pentatonic with the additional notes for the minor modes and the major pentatonic with the added notes for the major modes.

Once you are comfy with the pentatonic scale all over the neck, you can start thinking about building licks and making them modal licks, by simply adding the necessary notes in the pentatonic context biggrin.gif

Hmm - mate, I don't like playing the bass guitar, but if you would have one later on, when writing and orchestration will become your main endeavor in resepct to music, you will see how amazing it is to record bass rather than to write it wink.gif So I think you should get one, but maybe later on - it's something that every musician who's serious about his stuff, should have and use as an auxilliary tool.

No worries about the lesson - take the time to let your fingers have a little break and as a side note - this lesson can very well be regarded as an ear training dill - focus on hearing the correct pitches at work, rather then thinking how much you should move the string wink.gif


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Chris S.
post Nov 10 2014, 04:27 PM
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cool.gif

I'm going to focus on learning all of the shapes to the minor pentatonic scale and shift them around to different keys to get used to them.

Would learning one shape and improvising using only that shape be the best approach? And once I'm comfortable with that shape I can then move on to the next shape and so on?

Any advice?

Thanks!
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 11 2014, 08:01 AM
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Hey Chris - it's a good idea, but I'd look at things in a different way smile.gif

- learn the notes in the pentatonic minor and major scales on each string, one string at a time
- when you play the notes, say their names, sing them and associate them to a position on the neck
- set a metronome to a tempo of 60 BPM
- choose a key - A minor for instance
- choose a note in the A minor pentatonic and play it on each beat 1 from each bar delimited by the metronome
- do this for all the notes in the A minor pentatonic

In this way you will be able to learn all the notes in any scale - now, in order to learn shapes but not to be stuck in them, try the following drill:

- select a string
- play the scale on that string only
- use the basic rhythmic subdivisions - 4ths, 8ths, 16ths, triplets, sextuplets
- use various techniques such as alternate picking or legato

After you have played enough options on that string, try two strings and then 3 and 4 and 5 and finally 6 smile.gif The more situations you put yourself in, the less likely you will become stuck in shapes wink.gif What do you think, mate?


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Chris S.
post Nov 12 2014, 04:23 AM
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Thanks Cosmin!

I will definitely apply this to how I am practicing these scales biggrin.gif
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 12 2014, 08:21 AM
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Nothing to it, man! Excellent cool.gif I am looking forward to hearing your first thoughts and the next vibrato lesson take, as well wink.gif


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Chris S.
post Nov 13 2014, 04:29 AM
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This vibrato lesson is really getting the best of me, it seems dry.gif

I recorded another attempt but I'm not happy with it, I feel like I've taken one step forward and two steps back:

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/bens-vibrato-odyssey-5-third-attempt

When I play along with the lesson recording I have no problem matching Ben's pitch and timing but whenever I tackle it alone it keeps falling apart.

Channeling my inner B.B. King is a lot harder than I thought tongue.gif
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 13 2014, 09:41 AM
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Hey matey!

This ain't so bad as you make it seem biggrin.gif I listened and I would just like to point out the details here wink.gif

- around 0:23 you are giving the piece a bit of a swing feel - not that it's bad, but it wasn't your intention and that means you are not in control
- 0:31, 0:48 and 0:54 - in these spots you have some pitch issues

I think that focusingon fixing these spots and then making sure that you can implement them in the whole context, would be the next best step wink.gif Please let me know, ok?


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Chris S.
post Nov 13 2014, 04:39 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Nov 13 2014, 08:41 AM) *
Hey matey!

This ain't so bad as you make it seem biggrin.gif I listened and I would just like to point out the details here wink.gif

- around 0:23 you are giving the piece a bit of a swing feel - not that it's bad, but it wasn't your intention and that means you are not in control
- 0:31, 0:48 and 0:54 - in these spots you have some pitch issues

I think that focusingon fixing these spots and then making sure that you can implement them in the whole context, would be the next best step wink.gif Please let me know, ok?

Thanks Cosmin, I guess I have a tendency to be real hard on myself huh.gif

The only question I have is what do you mean by "swing feel" ?

EDIT: To also help with memorizing the fretboard I downloaded Fretboard Warrior (I'm not sure if you have heard of it?) and I thought I would post my results each day or so to help keep track of my progress:

Day 1 - 10 minutes - 57 right / 9 wrong tongue.gif

This post has been edited by Chris S.: Nov 13 2014, 05:05 PM
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 14 2014, 11:04 AM
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That score sounds good, even though I haven't yet heard about the fretboard warrior biggrin.gif Is he good with a sword? tongue.gif

Anyway, the swing feel, is something which is pretty hard to describe in words smile.gif Imagine that you don't play the note duration values just like they would perfectly fit the beat, but a little delayed, having a triplet feel. as an example, please listen to this lesson:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Funk-Rhythm-Swing-Feel/

It's a very, very exceptional form of grooving and I am a big fan smile.gif Let me know if you can hear the feel, deal? smile.gif


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Chris S.
post Nov 14 2014, 03:23 PM
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Heheheh tongue.gif

It's free program you can download and it will highlight a note on the fretboard and play the sound of the note and you have to guess which note it is. Good for seeing where the notes are and also it helps a little with ear training cool.gif

And for the swing feel, so it's basically staying in tempo with the song but you pretty much just wing it to fall out of your typical note durations?
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 15 2014, 06:12 PM
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Hah, sounds like a very nice application smile.gif If it works for you and it pays off, hell mate, go for it biggrin.gif

About the swing feel, yeah, you could say something like that, but in order to see if you understood things, I would like tot see you at it smile.gif Can you record a bit out of this lesson, maybe? biggrin.gif I'd be curious to see you at it smile.gif It's rhythm based, so it won't mess around with the lead one - what do you think mate? It doesn't necessarily need to hit the maximum speed level, but it would be cool to hear a recording at a slower tempo, against one of the backing tracks, so that we may see if you nailed the swing feel!


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Chris S.
post Nov 15 2014, 06:17 PM
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Sure thing! biggrin.gif

My rhythm playing needs a lot of work too, I feel.

I want to stray away from just the typical power chords or playing chords as arpeggios and I think this lesson will help further my arsenal!

I shall grab thy axe and prove thy worth to the gods of swing. cool.gif

EDIT 1: So this lesson is going to be tricky for me, not just because of the technique but because - well, there's no way to explain this without sounding like a sissy so I'm just going to get right to it tongue.gif

In order to barre the G B and E string you have to use your ring finger and bend it in a weird way, which for whatever reason completely freaks me out and made me all squeamish and nauseated unsure.gif

So I'm going to spend every moment that I'm away from my guitar bending my ring finger in the way to hopefully break through that mental barrier - this is really weird I've never had anything like this when playing guitar ohmy.gif

EDIT 2: On a not-so-strange note, I did guess 84 notes correctly and 1 note incorrectly in 10 minutes! Already seeing some improvements with that! cool.gif

This post has been edited by Chris S.: Nov 15 2014, 06:49 PM
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