This is inspired by the wholetone pentatonic thread. Share excersizes, learned from Kurt or otherwise, that have helped your playing. There are a few clinics that are one youtube of Kurt where he talks about playing through scales using the Coltrane changes as a system for moving keys. You play 4 notes on each key center before moving keys. This helped me to be able to "see" changes a lot quicker. I do them through a bunch of intervals, arpeggios, and other scales as well.
I found some interesting ideas for practicing here:
There's the one Kurt mentioned a few times (once in that new clinic they posted on youtube for like 2 days then ripped it off!!) Where you play through the circle of 5ths starting with the lowest note on the guitar in Cmaj...So start on open E and use, for example, 4 notes on each string moving thru C major all the way to the highest note on your guitar containing notes in a C scale then back down. Then move to F and do the same thing and cycle through the circle of 5ths. Hope this helps. Good thread btw.
I've done that one before too but probably not as much as I should. Particularly with altered scales. Anyone know anything good for phrasing?
sing and play at the same time:)
I have been using an interesting exercise recently to work on melodic minor applications. I didn't learn this from Kurt, but some of you might find it helpful nonetheless. Practice using a root position melodic minor scale over every chord in a given tune, this way you can use your one fingering of melodic minor to play over a (I) minormaj7 sound, a (II) susb9 sound, a (III) maj7#5 sound, a (IV) 7#11 sound, a (rarely used) (V) 7b6 sound, a (VI) halfdiminished natural 9 sound, and finally a (VII) altered sound. It is helpful for the following reasons. It helps you to : a) see the relative or "home key" of a chord that falls within melodic minor harmony, b) see the interesting harmonic motion of a tune, which sometimes goes unnoticed if applying more run of the mill harmony; c) make your own patterns out of the symmetry of these shapes.
For application, take for instance, Stella by Starlight.
For Em7b5 (natural 9) play G melodic minor; for A altered play Bb melodic minor; for C-maj7 play C melodic minor; for F7#11 play C melodic minor; for F-maj7 play F melodic minor; for Bb altered, play B melodic minor; for Emaj7#5 play C melodic minor; for Ab7#11 play Eb melodic minor; for Bbmaj7#5 play G melodic minor; for Em7b5 (natural 9) play G melodic minor, for A altered play Bb melodic minor; for D-maj7 play D melodic minor; for Bb-maj7 play Bb melodic minor; for Fmaj7#5 play D melodic minor; Em7b5 (nat9) play G melodic minor, for A altered play Bb melodic minor; for Am7b5 (nat9) play C melodic minor; for D altered, play Eb melodic minor; for G altered play Ab melodic minor...and so on until you finish the tune. I'm sure you guys all get it by now.
When you're done with that one fingering, pick another one and do it until you've done a different fingering for every mode of the melodic minor with the root on the 6th string and the 5th string. By the time you're done with this, you will know the neck.
111 Singing and playing is hard for me. I have a very limited range.
DLighto1: I think that was a really great excercise. Thank you so much for sharing.
This is my timing excercise I´ve been working on for a while. Its for getting comfortable with odd time signatures, in this case 5(4/816) and 7(4/8/16) but I only show the principles with for it with 5/4.
Time signature 5/4:
Take four notes of the pentatonic scale, preferable two notes per string. Think five 16th notes, but instead of five sepperate notes, make the first and the second into a 8th note. So, the formula is: 8th, 16th, 16th, 16th = 5/16. Play this two times for a 5/8 or four times for a 5/4.
1. Set the metronome on quarter note pulse and play the sequence four times, always keeping track off the 8th note. Thats the reference point and falls on the first beat when played four times.
2. The next step is to move the 8th note to the remaining position in the sequence:
16th, 8th, 16th, 16th * 16th, 16th, 8th, 16th * 16th, 16th, 16th, 8th * (play four times each to fullfill the 5/4 sequence)
Keep the tonal material in the sequence concistant to create a "safe spot". Like A,G,E,D, A,G,E,D, A,G,E,D (etc).
3. The next step (sorry for the cheesy quote...jeez) is to move the 8th notes four times within one 5/4 bar:
8th, 16th, 16th, 16th * 16th, 8th, 16th, 16th * 16th, 16th, 8th, 16th * 16th, 16th, 16th, 8th * (within 5/4)
4. Start over with nr.1 but now improvise freely within the pentatonic scale or other scale, always keeping track of the 8th note. Then move to nr.2, nr.3, still improvising.
5. The last step is to add a second 8th note which gives this formula: 16th, 8th, 8th. Do the same procedure as above but now move the 16th around: 16th, 8th, 8th * 8th, 16th, 8th * 8th, 8th, 16th *
Same (long!) procedure with the 7/4 excercise, but on the 5th step there will be three 8th notes and one 16th note.
Good luck, and build those timing chops! :)
From my perspective, singing and playing doesn't require a good range or even a nice voice. The idea is more organic. I use it to try to connect the inner voice of my musical mind with execution on the guitar.
For example, I will try singing a line and then playing it on the guitar by ear right after singing it. This is a nice way to force myself to think beyond just theory and execution in my practicing and really try to hear melodic ideas over changes. I am consistently surprised at how much musical information is stored in my subconscious that is just waiting to get out.
Other things I like to do in this vein are to practice hearing alterations on dominant chords by playing a tritone and singing the extension (b9, #9, #11, etc) above it. Or, practicing inverted chord voicings and attempting to sing the bass root note. Both of these can get pretty tricky but also keep me thinking on organicism within the music.
One book that I have learned a lot from in regards to phrasing is a book by my old teacher Dale Bruning. The book is appropriately titled "Phrasing and Articulation" and is on Amazon. He deals a lot with how to articulate like a horn player on the guitar and is very thorough in his approach.
I get what your saying and the point of singing what you play but what it's sort of hard for me to transfer it to guitar I don't really know how to explain it. I'm for sure going to try a lot of the stuff in this thread though. Including the singing.
Sandemose , thanks for the great exercize . Just tried the 5/4 thing today with some 4 note patterns and and it works really well. Gonna try it tomorrow with 5 and 6 note patterns...I suspect I'll have to write down the whole thing first...we'll see what happens :)
Thank you very much for the excersize-ideas!
A simple but effective purely technical leap excersize:
First choose a position to play in. For example in III your first finger is on the third fret, second finger on the fourth, third on the fifth and fourth on the sixth.
Start playing the notes on sixth and fifth string: G - D - G# - D# - A - C - A# - C#
Then move to sixth and fourth string: G - G (IVth) - G# - G#(IVth) - A - F - A# - F#
Keep applying the same pattern on sixth and third; sixth and second; sixth and first string pairs.
So the fingers never leave their positions and the chromatical note pattern on the low E string stays the same.
From here on it's advisable to use your immagination to reverse, mirror, reverse mirror it, etc. Also to pick starting with an upstroke.
It's one of those fun excersizes, which will slowly crawl into your everyday playing. Not the excersizse itself but the effects of it :)
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