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  1. #1

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    Hey Everyone,
    My good friend, and monster classical player, Matt Palmer just released his first book on developing scale technique using his AMI approach.

    Matt Palmer's The Virtuoso Guitarist Volume 1: A New Approach to Fast Scales, A Must-Have For the Modern Guitarist |

    Matt is an amazing player and his book is first rate, check it out!
    Matt Warnock Guitar
    FREE 84-Page Jazz Guitar eBook


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    Matt plays very nicely. He's legit.

    But with classical, why do we need 3NPS? We are playing composed music. If the passage calls for stretches, it calls for stretches, if not, not. Most composers don't "dial that up" to the extent that one would need to consider changing out their primary scale fingering approach, seems to me. sorry.

    if the message of this book is "shredders unite, lets play classical!" then i think it will gather dust.

  4. #3

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    Fumble: I've sent the link to this thread to Matt Palmer, since he's the author of the book it's probably better if he addresses your questions since he's the one who wrote the book.

    in the meantime i can say that from what I've seen Matt do live, in concerts and in a masterclass with David Russell, he didn't use the technique to avoid any stretches or runs, he just applied his approach to the music to allow him to play the way he plays, very fiery and with energy.

    So the approach is meant, at least from my perspective, to allow players to have one approach to their right hand for the fast, difficult material, but I'll have to let Matt P address that more himself since he came up with the concept.
    Matt Warnock Guitar
    FREE 84-Page Jazz Guitar eBook

  5. #4

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    not having seen the book, i can't evaluate the contents, but the ami for velocity is not "new" as my teacher's teacher was doing that in the early forties...
    "Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure, and we are are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us." -- Ranier Maria Rilke

  6. #5

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    I just ordered the book. I"m gonna have my teacher take a look at it, too. Me, not an expert by any means or even a classical player, but I seem to remember that " p ami" and "p ima" were bread-and-butter fingerings for tremolos. Obviously, this must take it to a more significant place.

    I'm not interested in the classical applications, but seeing how I can improve my right hand for jazz playing. This book did get a positive review from Sergio Odair, BTW.

  7. #6

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    Yeah it's a cool way of looking at jazz fingerstyle playing, check it out, love to know what you think about applying it to a jazz situation.
    Matt Warnock Guitar
    FREE 84-Page Jazz Guitar eBook

  8. #7

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    With internal combustion engines, the firing order of the cylinders is chosen to best maintain balance on the crankshaft.

    With the guitar, whichever pattern you practice the most will probably result in the best balance.

    I suspect that only the person who is out of practice can tell us which pattern feels most natural.

  9. #8
    Thanks for posting the link here m78w, and for asking me to elaborate on what this book is about, as it seems there are some questions about the content.

    AMI scales certainly have been used in the past (Yepes is a fine example), but the way the hands are synchronized in my approach is quite different than can be found in the few editions and/or teachings of other guitarists. The left hand is an electric/classical "hybrid" approach (let's face it - "shredders" are way faster than any classical guitarist. We should therefore consider that their LH approach must be quite efficient), while the right hand utilizes the AMI sequence for greater speed potential and efficiency. Specific finger sequences are used to keep both hands working in harmony when, for instance, we change direction, shift, play chromatic scales, have odd numbers of notes on a string, etc. This keeps the AMI approach as a whole very consistent and super efficient (easy). It is my belief that the inconsistent and odd string crossings that arise in other approaches has led to relatively few players who have really pursued AMI scales.

    As I mention in the book, this technique is meant for use in very fast passages only (or as an energy-saving technique in long pieces), so a complete reworking of your primary scale approach is not necessary. However, if you find a gesture in a piece of music that requires speed beyond your current ability, or just want to be able to play faster and more efficiently in general, the techniques and fingerings in this book may be helpful.

    I would be interested to hear how it fits with your jazz technique. I can definitely see the potential.

    All the best!


  10. #9

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    Yeah I've never been a full finger only player and have horrible right hand bastardized chops without the pick. Lately I have been working on a hybrid technique and so I'm trying to get inspiration on straight out right hand non-pick stuff... I'm looking forward to this arriving in my mailbox.

    Warnock's endorsement was enough for me, then I watched the clip he posted on the article and was blown away. Easy purchase.
    Jake Hanlon - Jazz Guitarist, Composer and Educator
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  11. #10

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    yeah after I watched this video I had to figure out how Matt got that speed and clarity!

    Matt Warnock Guitar
    FREE 84-Page Jazz Guitar eBook

  12. #11

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    First, I'd like to say that Matt Palmer is one of very few players who has played both electric soloing and the classical guitar at a very high level!
    About a couple years ago, I saw his earlier video of him in long hair and doing the rock guitar thing and I also noticed he posted a video of a live performance of an extremely difficult Rodrigo piece. Amazing.
    But the 3N per string has been used since around 1976. A friend and myself bought an album with Allan Holdsworth in a band called Soft-machine.
    Since then Bob Batyi had used 3n and 4n/string scales exclusively in his Rock gigs. You can hear Bob on one of my demo sessions at Renegade Productions here:

    I personally use the 3n/string forms in arpeggios as a way to comb through all my options while moving across the fingerboard. It trains your fingers to anticipate huge interval shifts. Here's an example of 3n/s scales on a classical:

    I don't think about modes that much esp while using Lydian Dominants or Altered Dominant sounds...I'm just aware of chord shapes and the connected options to each shape. I let my fingers do the rest...but I think a lot of people play like this.
    I think Matt Palmer brings a relevance to this approach in classical guitar playing even if improvising or single lines is not an objective. Just check out how he handles scale passages in the Rodrigo video. Of course, it's also his facility with the right hand that is key to his speed and tonal even-ness.
    Classical players can learn a thing or two from his approach!

  13. #12

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    Just got the book today (actually shipped by the author), starting reading it, (gotta go out for a while, will come back to finish--I like to read the text in its entirely before I practice with it).

    Initial partial impression: I was right about my earlier remark about the importance of Tremelo fingerings! Gotta say: very elegant in its simplicity, looking forward to see how he will handle complexities . Totally agree about the 124 vs 134 left hand discussion.

    Very cool how he transformed the initial 2 octave Segovia C scale every one knows (although, I was taught to, when practicing, to NEVER repeat the final note when transitioning from ASC to DESC scales, but that screws up the note per string symmetry Matt has set up-- but Matt has a nice solution for that that also fits into his system). Yeah, the fundamental material and concepts are really a lot less to internalize and conceptualize , but to practice it ASC, I feel you really have to start SLOW and really watch that RIGHT hand, really get that synchronization right! Because, when ASC, your left hand fingers and your right and fingers are moving in opposite directions.

    I'm very glad I purchased this, looking forward to reading it all and practicing with it. I will definitely try to incorporate at least the fundamental concepts in aspects of my single note runs. (My criteria for a successful music book is if I can incorporate something fundamental into my playing). Thanks for the heads up Matt #1, and thanks for the book, Matt #2.

  14. #13

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    Cool NSJ, glad you dug it and thanks for giving your thoughts after checking out the book!
    Matt Warnock Guitar
    FREE 84-Page Jazz Guitar eBook

  15. #14

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    On thing I've been thinking about, that this book gives me further pause for thought, is the idea that, in jazz (this is a jazz guitar forum, after all ) that we often try to adhere to a proper form as much as possible, but, given that it is an improviser's art, perhaps strict adherence to proper fingerings is not always possible--at least vis-a-vis the classical player.

    The trade-off is that the classical player becomes a master of interpretation, of bringing even one particular note to life in an expansive number of ways, in terms of expression, tone variation and shadings, vibrato, apoyando, tiradando, ASC and DESC slurs, nail length, nail angle, etc.

    Another way of saying the same thing, the classical player knows a piece INSIDE and OUT, completely, utterly and absolutely. Last week, as I was waiting for my lesson, I heard the prior student be told the following story: (I'm paraphrasing, here): Segoivia was playing a very complicated piece, when, bam, all of a sudden, there was some big noise, involving a worker backstage who dropped something. Segovia stopped. But when he returned, he started up on the very next note after the stopping point! No need to go back to the beginning, or even a few bars. He knew the piece so well, and his place within it, completely.

    I'm not sure this is possible to the same extent in jazz, we often work in general skeletal contours (lead sheets, simple heads, standard progressions, etc.)

    I think we can learn a lot from classical players, even if we don't maintain the strict adherence to the fingerings at all times, given that the nature of the music is different--it could lead into 1,0001 different directions, none of which are pre-determined.

    However, we should try our very best to main consistency of form and a baseline template of correct fingerings. And, to say the least, the idea of interpretation within the greater sphere of improvisation.

    Sorry, just thinning aloud. My apologies.

  16. #15

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    Well, I've been working with the fundamental LH and RH fingerings, and just as I thought, it's much easier DESC than ASC. The ASC scales are much much slower.

    The LH does require much less thinking and execution, other than the fact that you have to stretch to make the whole tone leap from one finger to the next.

    It's true that you can add this to the arsenal on a supplemental level, to chance your already existing fingerings.

  17. #16

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    As promised, I brought up this book at my guitar lesson today with my teacher (I showed it to him briefly, and told him that one of the Assad brothers had recommended it--he knows them pretty well, as he was the one who originally brought both of them to Chicago many years ago from Brasil, and they lived here for few years).

    When I mentioned that the premise of the book is A-M-I fingering, he immediately said that that's hardly new, citing, for example, Yepes. With regard to the left hand, the3 notes per string, my teacher said that you have to be very careful with that--in the same way a plectrum player who uses it for directional/economy/sweep picking has to be careful--in both instances, it's easy to develop a tendency to accent the first note of the new string in a mechanical or robotic way. He said that, when we become fixated with speed, we sometimes forget other crucial elements, like really mastering and coming to grips with accents and to develop accents with every finger with equal ability, as needed and when called upon.

    It started as a partial discussion of this book (which he wasn't trying to discount and said he's happy to read, so I'll lend it to him--he said that if you can learn one very useful thing from a book that you can incorporate into your playing, the book will have been useful), but dovetailed into a philosophical discussion of (1) accents as a critical element to jazz and latin music, and the asymmetrical accentuation that gives each music it's raison d'être, particularly on the off-beats; (2) the elastic and fluid concept of fingerings in the service of the music, and why there is no one fingering "panacea" that is universally useful and applicable to each musical occasion.
    For example, with regard to (1) he said one should really practice, to start, this exercise--the CAPITAL letter indicates accented note.


    Even when using a plectrum, it is crucial, he said, to practice scales and the like and be able to accent every 2nd, 3rd or 4th note. You need to have trained your muscles, fingers, and music to have the ability to accent any note, any beat. Really knowing how to use accents in a line is a very important musical quality.

    With regard to topic 2, the variance of fingerings, he said it critical to master all the fingerings so that each finger can articulate fully a note when called upon--and this applies to plectrum playing and finger style . If called on increase speed, with finger style, while not discounting the AMI approach (he noted initially that music in the real world, as composed and interpreted, does not readily or easily fall nicely into the 3 notes per string format), one can also use i-m or m-i alternatively when working on a particular string in an ASCENDING manner, and reserving the "a" finger exclusively for string-crossing; having crossed the string, continue on with i-m or m-i until the need to cross to the next string arises, then use the "a" again.

    Philosophically speaking, my teacher feels that fingerings should be flexible and fluid, malleable in the service of the music. The variance in fingerings arises in terms of what is called for in the music and other very important issues-- not just where one is on the fingerboard at any given moment and where one intends to go, but also issues of tempo (faster tempo may call for a vertical fingering approach, slower a more horizontal), tone (one should never forget the particularly unique tonal quality of each string), and, in a more elusive to explain manner, the needs of artistic expression and the variance in expressive musical quality in terms of playing music in different areas of the fingerboard. For example, my teacher briefly played a Segovia piece that El Maestro chose to finger a particular way; then he played it a second way, different than the one Segovia chose, and he modified the fingering because he felt it lead to a different expressive quality in the music.

    So, yeah, this book lead to a very good fruitful discussion about fingerings, music, phrasing, bringing forth the most expressive qualities of music, how accents give definition to music and help define the time and feel of music,, etc.

    All in all, a very good lesson. Lots to chew upon.

  18. #17

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    spectacular playing

  19. #18

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    Really knowing how to use accents in a line is a very important musical quality.
    and hard to do, and heard rarely in jazz

  20. #19
    I have the book and highly recommend it.

  21. #20

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    Control of accents is necessary for musical playing, and I think many of the successful guitarists do use accents very effectively in their lines. Martino, Metheny, Frisell and Hall certainly do, and it may be an important part of what makes their playing compelling. Accents can be done with the left hand as well, at least in separating notes in a fast line, another Martino technique that creates suspense and drama, in my opinion. While I haven't yet seen this book, the playing certainly recommends it strongly if one is interested in having a supercharged technique. Matt Palmer is a thoughtful and creative musician as well; his interpretations are his own, and sound great.

  22. #21

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    Any examples from this book?

  23. #22

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    Although I already own a number of technique books, I'll have to purchase a copy to satisfy my own curiousity.

  24. #23

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    Will it ever be possible to purchase this book through Amazon?