Pentatonic Short Lick Part III

Hello everyone!

If you haven’t had a chance to check out part one or part two of this series I’ve been revamping some of the material from my last clinic for some upcoming events and I thought I’d take a couple of posts and put up one lick/approach in each one.

Prepping The Lick

In this lesson I’m going to combine a few penatatonic shapes to make a shape that can be played with sweep picking for a more legato sound.

 

Sticking with E Minor Pentatonic from the previous licks, in the example below I’ve taken a two-note per string fingering starting from D in the first measure.  In the second measure, I’ve started the sequence from the root, E, and changed the fingerings of the notes so that it alternates from 1 note-per-string to 3 notes-per-string.

Positional Explanation

This allows me to use all down-strokes and hammer-ons when ascending the scale which helps create a more fluid sound.

Lick #3

This lick is simply an ascending and descending run to demonstrate the fingering and sweep picking approach.  As a lick, it’s something I would use typically either ascending or descending to get into another register of the guitar when improvising.

While I practice ideas like this in 16th notes to get them under my fingers, I find the phrasing to be a little mechanical.  So, after I get the fingering down, I’ll typically move it to other rhythmic groupings.  Moving it to sextuplets in this case, puts the accents in more interesting places (and makes it a 4/4 phrase rather than a 3/4 phrase):

Pentatonic Lick #3

Here’s a mp3 at different tempos.  As with lick #2, the first pass is phrased at 16th notes and the second at sextuplets.

Tips:

Remember to keep your hands relaxed and focus on the 3 T’s (Timing, Tone and (hand) Tension).

Try experimenting with this idea starting from other notes in the scale and/or modulating the ideas to other tonal centers!

If you like this idea, you may want to check out my not-peggio lesson posts as they use a similar alternating 1-note-per-string-3-note-per-string idea.

That’s it for now!

As always!  Thanks for reading!

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ps – for those of you who are interested, this was tracked entirely on my iPhone using JamUpPro and a Line 6 Sonic Port.

Pentatonic %22rig%22

p.s.s. – If you like this idea you may dig my Pentatonic Visualization Book!

theminorpentatonicscale-front
Click Cover For Book Link

Pentatonic Short Lick Part II

Hello everyone!

If you haven’t had a chance to check out part one of this series, I’ve been revamping some of the material from my last clinic for some upcoming events and  I thought I’d take a couple of posts and put up one lick/approach in each one.

Recycling

One thing that will become apparent if you read this blog with any regularity, is that I recycle licks a lot.  That’s generally because if I’m going to spend the time to really learn a lick, I want to make sure I can get the most mileage from it I can.  In this lesson I’m going to use a pentatonic shape to create a modal sound.

Sticking with E Minor Pentatonic, here’s a 2-string fingering based on an idea in the last lesson.

E Minor Pent 4-note

Taking that same E Minor Pentatonic shape and moving it to F# creates a pentatonic sequence based on E Minor Pentatonic and F# Minor Pentatonic :

E Minor Pent F# Minor Pent

The notes from both patterns produce E, F#, G, A, B, C# (aka E Dorian with no 7th).  This works really well over and E minor chord for a E Dorian type sound or G Major for a G Lydian type sound.

With 8 you get octaves and rhythmic displacement

I’m not counting on many people getting the play on “With 6 you get eggroll” name drop (a feature with Doris Day and George Carlin!!), but I’ll take this idea and move it in octaves:

Lick 2 - Moved in octaves

Click to enlarge:

Depending on what chord I’m playing this over I’ll end on different notes.  For example, when played over E minor, I’ll stop on the B on the 19th fret.

While I practice ideas like this in 16th notes to get them under my fingers, I find the phrasing to be a little mechanical.  So, after I get the fingering down, I’ll typically move it to other rhythmic groupings.  Moving it to sextuplets in this case, puts the accents in more interesting places (and makes it a 4/4 phrase rather than a 3/4 phrase):

Lick 2 Full

Here’s an mp3 at different tempos.  The first pass is phrased at 16th notes and the second at sextuplets.

Tips:

Remember to keep your hands relaxed and focus on the 3 T’s (Timing, Tone and (hand) Tension).

Try playing moving this shape to other areas (This E min shape + D min = E, F, G, A, B which produces a Phrygian-ish type sound).

If you like this idea, you may want to check out my not-peggio lesson posts as they use a similar alternating 1-note-per-string-3-note-per-string idea.

That’s it for now!  (Trust me getting that in the pocket may take some time!)  Lick #3 will be up next week.

As always!  Thanks for reading!

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ps – for those of you who are interested, this was tracked entirely on my iPhone using JamUpPro and a Line 6 Sonic Port.

Pentatonic %22rig%22

p.s.s. – If you like this idea you may dig my Pentatonic Visualization Book!

theminorpentatonicscale-front

Click Cover For Book Link

Listening To Advice Given And A Short Pentatonic Lick Series

Hello everyone!

I’ve been revamping some of the material from my last clinic for some upcoming events and considering some of the really insightful comments I got there and emails sent here in an effort to make improvements on that material (and things presented here) .

I’ve been told recently with regards to the lesson material here that much of it is very rich in content and a lot to digest.  When I posted lesson material here in the past, my idea was always that people would simply take what they got from it and come back as they needed to.  But one thing the clinic reminded me of is that sometimes people just want a bit of something and not the whole shebang.

With that in mind, I thought I’d take a couple of posts and put up one lick/approach in each one.  A sonic amuse-bouche if you will (and if we’re going to take this questionable post holiday meal / sound analogy any further).

Life in the Shawn Lane

One idea I copped a while ago from Shawn Lane was modifying pentatonic patterns to create things that work for you.

For example, let’s say I was going to play a pentatonic sequence in E Minor Pentatonic:

Here’s the initial idea using a 2-string shape starting from A and one from B:

Pentatonic Sequence 1

Maybe I’ll take this idea and move it in octaves:

Pentatonic Sequence 2

Even playing this legato, there are some technical challenges as you get into faster tempos and the fingering creates an 1/8 note accent that makes the phrase less legato than I like.

By moving the second note of each pattern to the next string:

Pentatonic Sequence 3

I create a fingering pattern with some plusses and a minus.

On the plus side:

  • Each pattern now uses the same fret hand fingers (2-1-2-4)
  • Picking is simply downstrokes (although you could use hammer ons for every note)
  • The patterns only accents the first note. (Special playing tip – if you play this as sextuplets, it gives the lick an even more legato feel!)

On the minus side:

  • The patterns use some WIDE intervals.  (Player’s tip – you may want to modulate this to other keys where the frets are closer together or use right hand taps for the top note if the stretch is too wide for you – if you experience any fret hand pain when playing this – stop immediately!  Playing through pain can cause long term damage to you hands!!!)

For me, the pluses outweigh the minus.  When I initially approached this idea, I just worked on the initial pattern for a while before moving it into octaves.

Lick #1

Pentatonic Sequence 4

And here’s the audio:

Tips:

Remember to keep your hands relaxed and focus on the 3 T’s (Timing, Tone and (hand) Tension).

Try playing this over various harmonic contexts (like Emin, Amin, G major, etc.)

If you like this idea, you may want to check out my not-peggio lesson posts as they use a similar alternating 1-note-per-string-3-note-per-string idea.

That’s it for now!  (Trust me getting that in the pocket may take some time!)  Lick #2 will be up next week.

As always!  Thanks for reading!

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ps – for those of you who are interested, this was tracked entirely on my iPhone using JamUpPro and a Line 6 Sonic Port.  Still tweaking the tones a bit but there’s a lot of potential in this rig (particularly with the Air Turn integration and the upcoming BIAS release)!

Pentatonic %22rig%22

p.s.s. – If you like this idea you may dig my Pentatonic Visualization Book!

theminorpentatonicscale-front

New Pentatonic Lesson On Guitar Muse

Hey Everyone!

The apartment I was supposed to move into still isn’t ready so I’m on week 3 of living out of boxes.  Having regular internet access now makes posting things easier in the meantime.

Visualizing The Pentatonic Scale

Guitar-Muse just posted a column I wrote on how to play the pentatonic scale anywhere on the fingerboard.  The process behind it is a key component of how I break things down on the fingerboard and it’s a short excerpt from my much longer Pentatonic Book available on  Lulu.

Book Cover Full

You can check that lesson out here.

More things in the pipeline as well.

As always, thanks for reading!

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A Transparent Guitar And A Translucent Lesson

Hello everyone!

I hope this finds you well!  I have a couple of quick updates and a new lesson here for you today.

Guitar-Muse update:

Just in case you didn’t see it, I just wanted to let you know that a new review / tutorial on what to look for when buying a new guitar is up on Guitar-Muse right now.  Interested parties can check that out here.

Book Update:

All of the GuitArchitect’s Guide To… covers are done and up online.  You can see the revised editions here.  The Pentatonic book is getting a graphic overhaul and cleaned up for the print edition.  But I should have a new cover (and a revised edition) up by April.

Update Update:

I’ll have a couple of big announcements to make in the weeks ahead, but I think that it’s going to be good news for the readers of this blog and perhaps offer something truly useful.  So stay tuned – I might have an announcement (and something new to offer) as early as next week.

And an overdue lesson:

It’s been a spell since I’ve posted a lesson here (most of the lesson material for 2013 has been transcription work and lessons for Guitar-Muse), so I thought I’d rectify that with the following little morsel.  One thing I hope to do more in the future is offer bite sized lessons rather than the 3-6,000 word uber-lessons I’ve put up in the past.  Hopefully by making the lessons shorter, I can get them posted in a more routine fashion.

“You say you want a substitution…”

Okay – maybe none of you were saying that but I’ve got a string skipping idea that I think you might dig and want to explain where it’s coming from.

In this lesson, we’ll start with an F Pentatonic Minor (F, Ab, Bb, C, Eb)…and then add some notes to make something cool.

Visualizing the scale:

The first step in this lick is to visualize F Pentatonic minor in the 8th position.  The first group of notes in the example below is a F Pentatonic Minor scale.  In the second figure, I’ve removed the Bb  and moved the Ab to the G string to make it a 3-note-per string idea with a similar fingering.

 F Pent Minor - F Pent Minor 2 string

I find that removing notes from a straight scale-based pattern helps open up the sound of the scale as well when playing it in a linear fashion.

Preliminary Lick: F Pentatonic Minor on two strings

F Pentatonic Minor 2 strings

And here’s an mp3
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Where there’s two there can usually be three:

Now I’ll take this same string skipping idea and expand on it moving it to a pattern on the E, G and A string.
F Pent Minor to F Minor 3 String

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Preliminary Lick #2: F Pentatonic Minor on three strings

F Pent minor 3 strings

And here’s a MP3:

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Adding by Subtracting

Using a trick I pulled from Eric Johnson (and a number of other players) I modified the scale by adding the 6 (the note D in this case) and the 9 (G) to the Pentatonic Minor scale to give it a slightly different sound.

Rather than think of extra notes – I simply modify some of the notes of the scale by a 1/2 step:

Changing the b3 to the 9 means changing an Ab to G

Changing the b7 to the 6 means changing an Eb to D

I don’t do this with every note, just a few of them.  If you look at the before and after below, you’ll see that the modified scale has the same number of notes but with an added bonus – namely a symmetrical fingering.

F Pent Minor to add 6 and 9

The advantage of a symmetrical fingering is that it makes it easier to manipulate when we use it in a pattern.

The Lick

Now with all of this back story it becomes much easier to see how I came up with the pattern below (based on an improvised idea):

F Dorian string ship seq

Here’s an MP3:

And here’s another MP3 in a more improvised vein.  By adding the natural 6 and the 2 (9) to the scale – what we really have here is a string skipping dorian lick.

Taking the idea a little further

In this case, I don’t mean stuffing more notes into a passage – I mean getting comfortable with the sound of added notes.

The MP3 below uses an approach from an early chapter of my Symmetrical Twelve-Tone Patterns book.  In that text, I talk a lot about understanding what it means to play “in” before you play out and being able to resolve “out” ideas or (in this case) resolve notes outside the scale.  But I also talk about working through ideas and finding resolutions.

When working with pentatonics add ons like the ones above, I’ll often work on accenting a note so I can really start to hear how it sounds in context.  The following short improvisation starts on the 6 and stresses that note for to accent the Dorian sound.

When working with ideas like this strive to get past the notes and to, instead, get into the sound.  It’s not just about playing a lot of notes, it’s about knowing which notes affect you before you play them.

Finally for those of you who are interested in the tech side of things – if you like the tone – it’s the same – AU Lab, Apogee Duet, FnH Guitars and Scuffham Amps combo that I typically use….

Scuffham Amp RigWith a little added reverb and a front end boost courtesy of the TS-999.

TS999

I hope this helps and, as always, thanks for reading!

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