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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey, everyone.

I’ve gotten to the point where I can visualize scale patterns on either side of the pattern I’m playing (if I’m playing pattern III of the pentatonic scale, it’s now very easy for me to see pattern II down the neck, and pattern IV up the neck [bridge]). However, this stage took one hell of a long time to get to (with about a year’s worth of visualization, and hours and hours of practicing). It was enjoyable, but at times, it was a total pain, because my mind just didn’t want to go there.

This is pretty good, I guess, as I now can quickly slide up or down a pattern, and in a fraction of a second, know the next patterns on either side of where I am. I can do this indefinitely up and down the neck, so I guess I should be happy with this accomplishment, but I’m not.

What's bothering me is when I want to jump or slide to two (or more) patterns away from where I am. It’s not only that I can’t even do it (I just can't visualize where the next fret is supposed to be), but when I do try and take a blind leap, I then get totally lost and lose all references to where I am (My mind goes for a complete dump, and if I was playing live onstage, it would be outright embarrassing). I guess I can start the whole process all over again and expand my field of vision by practice jumping two patterns on either side from a starting pattern, and then eventually learn to jump three, and then four, etc. etc., but, man, that’s gotta be brutal and would take many years to complete.

What I would ultimately like to be able to do is visualize the entire neck at once. that way you can jump/slide to any point of the neck, and immediately know where you are in relation to all other patterns.

Therefore, is there any other way of learning this skill/technique, other than to spend years and years expanding your vision and memory out from one pattern, one pattern at a time?

Any comments from others who have or are currently going through this learning skill would be appreciated. :smile:
 

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Do you know the notes on the fretboard? If you know where, say, the root is in each of the patterns and you know where these notes are on the guitar, you will find it much easier to find your way around. Knowing the patterns is great but it isn't really enough...you need to know the degrees of each note in the pattern. If that's too much then at least know where the roots are.

I started off learning where the roots are in the patterns and then moved on to locating the 3rd & 7th since they are the most important notes in the chords you're soloing over.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
...If you know where, say, the root is in each of the patterns and you know where these notes are on the guitar, you will find it much easier to find your way around.
Hey, that's exactly the kind of thing i'm looking for, Michael. MNY THNX! :food-smiley-004: :bow:

I am familure with roots and intervals, but never bothered paying any attention to them (never thought they were of any use other than for just understanding music theory - lmao). Now I have to start memorizing them as well. Will it ever end????? :eek:

...and then moved on to locating the 3rd & 7th since they are the most important notes in the chords you're soloing over.
Hope this helps!
I'm currently playing by ear, and have no problem knowing what notes work or don't work in a pattern in relation to a chord (well... kind of), but this 3rd & 7th thing now has me intrigued. largetongue

What should I be reading up on or looking for (music theory) on how this principle works?

Ciao
Martin
 

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I'm still in the process of learning this stuff myself so I don't want to come off as an expert!! Just trying to learn all the time (like you)...this came from an interest in jazz & jazzing up some blues like Robben Ford, etc.

I'd recommend learning some basic music theory (you don't really need that much)...but primarily on chord theory (what notes do you need to build a chord). There are lots of sites on the internet but I would recommend a couple of books. One is Ted Greene's Chord Chemistry. Another one is a big book by Mark Levine on jazz theory (can't remember the exact name but it's a coil bound monster that cost around $50)....it has tons of info about the modes of the major, melodic minor and harmonic minor scales, etc. Could be overkill for you at this point but it's a great one to have because you can "grow" with it.

Anyway, back to guitar. When improvising, I used to just play notes in the patterns (I still flog the minor pentatonic to death!)..now I tend to add notes from Dorian, etc into the pentatonic shapes/patterns as I see fit. The big thing is to use as many chord tones as possible when improvising over a particular chord.

If I can answer any more questions, fire away!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
...this came from an interest in jazz & jazzing up some blues like Robben Ford, etc.
:food-smiley-015: Would love to get into that too! When it comes to Jazz, I would ultimately love to be able to play like :bow: Charlie Christian.

...but primarily on chord theory (what notes do you need to build a chord). There are lots of sites on the internet but I would recommend a couple of books. One is Ted Greene's Chord Chemistry. Another one is a big book by Mark Levine on jazz theory
Hey, Michael, you've been more than helpful. MNY THNX

If I had to guess, I’m probably just below or at an intermediate level when it come to music theory. Took 4 years of accordion when I was around 13, and the music teacher tried to beat it into me back then. Started reading up on theory again when I picked up the guitar 3 years ago, and it made a hell of a lot more sense now. I've read a lot about theory and chord construction and understand intervals and flatted 5th and augmented 4th's etc. :)smile:), and finally even understand how naming conventions work (Yea!), but I've never come across a book tying the whole “band thing” together (bass should be playing these notes, rhythm works best with these set of chords; lead can play this scale/mode or that in this key, etc. etc.). I know, it’s an awful lot to break it all down like that, but trying to learn what works and what doesn’t on your own can take a hell of a long time to understand. I’m not asking for a lot, but some basic rules of harmony (like your mentioning of using 3rd’s and 7th’s when playing over certain chords) is the kind of thing I’m looking for – nice, simple rules that you can use and expand upon as your experience grows. Ted Greene's Chord Chemistry sounds just like the ticket, as “chemistry”, as I’ve come to realize, is what making good sounding music is all about. If you get the chemistry of the notes and chords all wrong, or just mix in one or two simple components, you either get brown sludge or a boring sounding song. But, knowing how to add exotic or cool sounding chords/notes at the right moment, or in the right succession, pulls everything all together (like the The Dude’s rug – The Big Lebowski).

(I know, it’s also about chord progression as well, but I’ve kinda got the hang of that, as I have about 20 songs that I’ve written myself on acoustic. I’m now trying to fill them in with leads, bass chords/notes, keyboards and whatnot, so without knowing any good rules, it’s all kinda just trial and error for me. I know, play in this key, or this scale, but it’s all sounding so banal, and there’s definitely something missing. I’ve come up with a couple of great leads for two of my songs, but I don’t have a clue what I did right or why it worked – it just all came together, and that’s what I’m trying to capture: why did it work, and how can I use this rule for my other sons. The only thing I’m good or natural at is improvising over Blues or Groove (lights out type jazz / midnight groove salad thing), but when it comes to every day pop or folk type songs (Gordon Lightfoot, etc., which is basically all the songs I wrote. See Side Note) I just sit there and draw a blank. (sorry, one hell of a long rant – lol. It’s just that I haven’t found anyone to talk to at this level – [TY for the ear ;-)]. That’s why I joined this forum in hopes of finding some like-minded people).

Side Note: lmao (sorry, I gotta laugh). It’s so ironic: I just love and want to play/write heavy metal Goth songs [Marilyn Manson, Billy Idol, Black Sabbath, old Cooper, etc.], but all that comes out of me when I write is Gordon Lightfoot. Hey, I’m not knocking it, it’s all good; Besides, ya just gotta go with the flow sometimes. (must be the turbulent period I’m going through.)​

As for books on Jazz theory, they’re awesome, but they just blow me away - lol. Not quite there yet on music theory. I guess what I need now is a sense or mentor to take me up to that level, ‘cause Jazz is where it’s at, man. :cool:

I've got some good reading material on playing different modes over certain scales, and I guess now's the perfect time to get into that (along with—as you mentioned—memorizing the roots in each pattern), so I've got my work cut out for me over the next year or so.

TY again for all you help, and have a great Thanksgiving.

Ciao
Lou
 

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Hey Lou theory is pretty fun once you get into it. It makes a lot more sense when you can actually apply it to playing. Just take your time and learn it as you go. Best thing to do is get a keyboard or sit down at the piano if you have one. Learn the major scales in all keys and then figure out how all the modes relate to the major scale and how to build chords from notes in any given scale. Then when you come back to the guitar picture the fretboard as not a series of dots that fall into patterns but individual notes that will make music when combined together using harmony/theory. When I look at the fretboard I like to think of each fret being a note rather than it's corresponding fret number. Once you realize what notes are in a scale you will find that unlike a piano you can play the same pitch in many different places which is the fun part of guitar. You have many options available to you musically that you can use creatively to get around the neck. Hope this helps you out, most importantly always have fun with music!

Jarrett
 

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Discussion Starter #7
...Best thing to do is get a keyboard or sit down at the piano if you have one. Learn the major scales in all keys and then figure out how all the modes relate to the major scale and how to build chords from notes in any given scale. Jarrett
Hey, Jarrett. Thanks for the info. I guess that's what is really frustrating me the most: Trying to see the correlation between the keyboard and the fretboard. I know the piano and scales very well, but when I look at a fret board, I don't have a friken clue where I really am. :mad::mad::mad: (Oh, Lord, I need little black keys painted on each sting so that I can see the light again. lmao). (Yes, I can play a scale or pattern across the board, or up and down a single string, but I learned all of this by rote and never bothered to understand what I was doing. I thought that one day it would all just sink in, but, it hasn't, so now I'm just plain frustrated.) I've now learned the patterns, but you and Michael are right, they have limited range when it comes to playing musically.

I'm self taught on the guitar for almost 3 years now, and I guess that every once and a while you need to be pointed back in the right direction. (And in this case, I thought that I could save time and skip learning the notes on each fret, but I guess that's the only way for me to get through this and regain the comfort level that I enjoy when playing the piano, plus the freedom to just jump around anywhere I want - which was the whole point behind this thread, anyway.)

MNY THNX users. :food-smiley-004: These tips and discussions have helped greatly.
 

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Something I forgot to add... thinking in intervals is a good way to get around on the neck too. I'm still working on this as well, you could say it's a work in progress but... knowing where your octaves are is important and then your fourths and fifths. From there you can jump to the other notes in your scales.
 
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