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  1. #1

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    Hi:

    I can't find this online and right now I don't have an instructor to ask. I know how to read music. What I mean by that is that I am proficient in the First Position, Fifth Position and Twelfth Position. I've studied the Second Position, but I've never been fluent in it as I think it is less common but still valuable. I'm aware there is an Eight Position which might be valuable but the Oakes book does not teach it.

    Here are the questions:

    1. How many Positions are there in Position Reading or Position playing?

    2. Can scale study be used to be a better position reader? In other words, in learning the Seven Fingering Patterns of the guitar can that be directly applied to all positions that are used in guitar.

    Thanks a lot for your help. I'm sorry if my question is not clear. Ask and I'll clarify. Thanks again.

    Edit 1:

    I think there are Seven Positions in Position Reading.

    Open, Fifth, Twelfth, Second, Third, Seventh and Eighth

    Please correct me if I am wrong. I'm assuming these positions all correspond to certain keys.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Oneofthe; 08-16-2017 at 03:29 AM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    It strikes me that the better and better you read, the less you'd think about which position you're in. The lines and fingerings would cause you to adjust your position as needed.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oneofthe View Post
    Hi:


    Here are the questions:

    1. How many Positions are there in Position Reading or Position playing?

    2. Can scale study be used to be a better position reader? In other words, in learning the Seven Fingering Patterns of the guitar can that be directly applied to all positions that are used in guitar.

    Thanks a lot for your help. I'm sorry if my question is not clear. Ask and I'll clarify. Thanks again.

    Thanks
    Here are my thoughts:

    1. Fingering patterns are not helpful in reading. I know some, but I never think about them when I'm reading.

    2. I don't know what "position reading" is. I've never heard the term. The closest I can come is that certain keys may feel easier at certain positions, for example, if you're playing a melody with only notes of the C major scale, you might think about V or VII, although you're likely to have to move a bit. A good reader can play any key in any position, with, as usual, some stretching or shifting.

    3. For the novice, it's a good idea to peek ahead and figure out the highest and lowest notes in the passage you're about to read. That can give you an idea about where on the neck you'll need to be. But there are a lot of considerations in selecting where you're actually going to play the entire passage. Too many for this post.

    4. My advice: a graded reading method which includes all keys -- and play everything as written and then in a different octave. I used Colin and Bower "Complete Rhythms", but younger guys usually recommend Leavitt.

  5. #4
    This was a little bit of work doing this and a little frustrating but it did help me with a section of Tonal Harmony (textbook on theory) that I glossed over. So, I'm giving you what I suspect is the final product.

    Notes:

    1. These are all the Major Keys that include Sharps (#)

    2. Notice, it is all played on Position 2. Oakes does teach position 2 but does not give it as much emphasis as Open Position and the Fifth Position.

    3. Tonal Harmony does say a way to learn the Major Scale is by studying the Keys. I completely agree with this. This reinforces the idea to me that Scales are a learning tool to learn Keys, their individual sounds, and to better learn to read music. At this point I see no other value in Scales.

    Edits:

    1. Because of the way it was edited on the program E Major looks like F Major. There is only F# Major that uses sharps

    2. Tomorrow I'll do this for the Flat (b) Keys

    Here it is:

    How to Practice Scales: Scales and Reading Music Position Playing-wonky-scales-page-001-jpg
    Last edited by Oneofthe; 08-16-2017 at 04:46 PM.

  6. #5

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    I just toss it here again,
    diat.bmp - Google Drive

    Thats pretty much all that I need. 3 positions, not overlapping, easy overview. Thats kinda mental pic for the whole layout. I needed this to simplify the mess and to tie everything together - chords, arps, scales into one big simple thing. Doesn't mean I use only 3 fingerings - when playing ii7, I be minding just 2 segments at once and play in-between those. Much easier for the head than having 7 overlapping patterns.

    As reading skills, dunno. Never had the urge to merge patterns and notation really.

    For each their own of course.
    Last edited by emanresu; 08-16-2017 at 05:15 PM.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    I just toss it here again,
    diat.bmp - Google Drive

    Thats pretty much all that I need. 3 positions, not overlapping, easy overview. Thats kinda mental pic for the whole layout. I needed this to simplify the mess and to tie everything together - chords, arps, scales intoto one big simple thing. Doesn't mean I use only 3 fingerings - when playing ii7, I be minding just 2 segments at once and play in-between those. Much easier for the head than having 7 overlapping patterns.

    As reading skills, dunno. Never had the urge to merge patterns and notation really.

    For each their own of course.
    Thank you.

    I really want to see this but I'm afraid of linking out. Is there a way you can post it as an image if is not too much trouble?

    The way I do it is convert my draw file (I use open office) into a PDF which OppenOffice can do and then go onto a website to convert it into .jpg file then I post it from my computer.

    If you it's too much trouble I understand but thanks anyway.

  8. #7

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  9. #8

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    cons - easy to fall into comfort zone with only 3 fingerings. That's real bad and can bite later. The cure is to start playing in between them. Minding 2, not memorizing a new one. Nothing hard but at some point its a must-to-do.

    pros - ... countless. biggest one is that you can learn 20 30 chord voicings for one function in 30 mins and those are very likely to stick with you. Not a stupid advertising - its really that easy.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    Thanks, you made it as a .jpg but can you please make it as a picture just as I have done? Google Drive is notorious for spreading virus's. To post it as a pic, choose the icon on the message board and upload from your computer or do it as a url from a photo sharing site.

  11. #10

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  12. #11

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    Sounds like we're confusing positions with fingerings.

    Generally speaking, if a guitar has 20 frets it has 18 positions. (Open position though 17th position).

    When it comes to movable fingering patterns (no open strings) that cover all six strings, and that only repeat after 12 frets have been covered, people use different patterns or "systems".

    Some fairly common patterns involve either 3, 5, 7, 9, or 12 fingerings.

    It takes some experimentation to discover what you prefer.

  13. #12
    Sure. Patterns help. I just can't imagine that most players don't think of some basic reference patterns. For most of us, at the very least, it's probably something like C-major or G. You learn basic and then know where accidentals are from there. It's easier to get a grip on where EVERYTHING is when you at least know where SOMETHING is.

    Re. positional playing/reading up the neck, I have personally found the 2nd finger reference (that Kurt Rosenwinkel and Reg, here on the forum, advocate) to be very helpful. Basically made me realize I knew more than I thought I did. It's a physical reference rather than a key/root reference and is much easier on the brain IMO.

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Sure. Patterns help. I just can't imagine that most players don't think of some basic reference patterns. For most of us, at the very least, it's probably something like C-major or G. You learn basic and then know where accidentals are from there. It's easier to get a grip on where EVERYTHING is when you at least know where SOMETHING is.

    Re. positional playing/reading up the neck, I have personally found the 2nd finger reference (that Kurt Rosenwinkel and Reg, here on the forum, advocate) to be very helpful. Basically made me realize I knew more than I thought I did. It's a physical reference rather than a key/root reference and is much easier on the brain IMO.

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk
    If we're talking about how a novice learns which note is where, then sure, if a pattern helps you locate them at first, I can see the point.

    But, when you know where the notes are, you have to look at a passage and find a fingering that works - if the tune is slow, lots of fingerings may work easily, but if you have to read a lot of notes quickly, it may require some forethought.

    Since the passage you're trying to read was probably not created with geometric guitar fingerboard patterns in mind you position your hand whereever it allows you to play the passage.

    I think the patterns are a distraction once you know the fingerboard.

    Of course, like everything else in guitar, there will be a great player who did it some other way.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    If we're talking about how a novice learns which note is where, then sure, if a pattern helps you locate them at first, I can see the point.

    But, when you know where the notes are, you have to look at a passage and find a fingering that works - if the tune is slow, lots of fingerings may work easily, but if you have to read a lot of notes quickly, it may require some forethought.

    Since the passage you're trying to read was probably not created with geometric guitar fingerboard patterns in mind you position your hand whereever it allows you to play the passage.

    I think the patterns are a distraction once you know the fingerboard.

    Of course, like everything else in guitar, there will be a great player who did it some other way.
    Yeah, I'm not talking about novice readers honestly. The best reader I've ever known advocates reference patterns this way. He can read anything basically, in multiple positions, in octaves etc - on the fly, from a chart, basically faster than most decent guitarists can even PLAY.

    And he always talked about having one basic reference approach to fingering as a starting reference. The idea was that once you had that together, then yes, you can pretty much finger anything the way you want. But that's after a tremendous amount of work put in, and not at all in SPITE of the patterns, but BECAUSE of a very solid knowledge of them as a basis for fretboard geometry.

    So many great players talk about high level playing in ways that almost seems mystical. So I really appreciated him being pretty straightforward with this approach, and for talking about fundamentals, and how one might approach beginning a journey to eventually getting there.

    It certainly bears out my experience with piano . Fastest most efficient way to learn to NOT have to think about fingerings so much on the piano, from my own personal experience, is to have a very good knowledge of beginning "proper fingerings". I found that by the time I have it really together the "proper way", I have facility to finger things basically any way I want. Great pianists don't worry with "proper fingerings" necessarily at all levels, but they put in a lot of work at the beginning and certainly work a LOT about basic patterns and reference fingerings.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 08-17-2017 at 06:26 AM.

  16. #15
    Hi, thanks everyone for the replies. I really appreciate your input and it means a lot to me.

    I started playing guitar a little bit ago and the instructor I had was really good. He was out of Berklee and was a professor at a local private college. The sense I got was that he offered lessons, through an affordable local music school, simply out of public service.

    When I came in I had known the Major Scale from a book called Guitar Grimoire Scales and Modes (I'm iffy on the book now). He was able to offer me these scale fingerings from the start to correct the Guitar Grimoire approach. The next thing he did was use this Major Scale to introduce the concept of intervals.

    But what surprised me was that he wanted to teach me to read music. His method was to hand me a sheet by a classical musician named Kreutzer and tell me, "it's in the Key of C." At the time I could not figure how to read it using the C Scale. Because of work and circumstance I had to stop taking lessons.

    Very soon after I discovered the Oakes book, which I highly recommend, and learned to read music based off of an approach of positions on the neck of the guitar. Here is a link for more information:

    Guitarists: Learn to Read Notes in 1st and 5th Position - Learn Jazz Standards

    Now, according to Oakes the positions used are Open, Fifth, Second, Third, Seventh, Eighth and Twelfth. Open and Fifth are best used for the Key of C (no accidentals). Twelfth is used for the highest octave. (remember a Jazz Box or Classical Guitar really only goes to a little bit more than the Twelfth fret). Now, the book gives a little bit less information on the Second position but that is more used for the Key of G and others with Sharp accidentals. The Third Position I suspect is used with the Flat Keys, but I won't know this until tomorrow. At this point I suspect the Seventh and Eight Positions are used for Sharp and Flat Keys, respectively, that lead into those higher octaves. The point is each position is related to a certain Key.

    Now, where this comes full circle for me is in discovering Scales can be used like my instructor tried to teach me at first; it can be used to help the reading process. I also think, and have been told, Scales help in hearing the unique tones of every Key. Right now my Scale Study is thirty minutes with coming up with these diagrams not being a part of my study at all.

    So, the conclusion I draw about Scales is that they are a learning tool. It may sound controversial but Scales are not a music creation tool at all. I know and you have every reason not to believe me, the best songs written never came from a Scale.

    Thanks again.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oneofthe View Post


    Now, according to Oakes the positions used are Open, Fifth, Second, Third, Seventh, Eighth and Twelfth. Open and Fifth are best used for the Key of C (no accidentals). Twelfth is used for the highest octave. (remember a Jazz Box or Classical Guitar really only goes to a little bit more than the Twelfth fret). Now, the book gives a little bit less information on the Second position but that is more used for the Key of G and others with Sharp accidentals. The Third Position I suspect is used with the Flat Keys, but I won't know this until tomorrow. At this point I suspect the Seventh and Eight Positions are used for Sharp and Flat Keys, respectively, that lead into those higher octaves. The point is each position is related to a certain Key.


    So, the conclusion I draw about Scales is that they are a learning tool. It may sound controversial but Scales are not a music creation tool at all. I know and you have every reason not to believe me, the best songs written never came from a Scale.
    No offense but there is some demonstrably incorrect info there, or at least some easily debatable info.

    You need to develop the notion of "area" in addition to position. Think of an area as "a position plus or minus one fret".

    So, for the areas around the positions you mentioned above you need to be able to play in all 12 keys, for all scales. (diatonic, symmetric, pentatonic, blues, etc).


    Now, regarding music coming from scales or not, well, most compositions from the last few centuries are firmly rooted in tonality or keys, and keys are created/defined by scales. These keys/scales govern both melody and harmony, and that's 2 of 3 of the fundamental elements of music (melody, harmony, rhythm).

    That's an oversimplification mind you, but one may want to compose, arrange, and improvise some tonal music for a while to fully appreciate the utility of scales.

    Something to noodle on.

  18. #17

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    Hey Oneofthe: It's not clear to me what the question is here. Do you want to learn to read better and would like advice? do you want to know your major scales in 5 (or 7 or 20) different guitar positions? Do you want to learn how to compose music? Do you like Jazz and would like to learn to play jazz guitar? You are getting well-meaning replies but answers need questions, and I can't find one in what you wrote.


    Presumably the teacher who urged you to practice reading is anticipating teaching more advanced material which might be easier to communicate to you if you have a decent command of the fretboard. Presumably he also wants you to be able to play major scales so that once you have internalized them, he can use that to teach you how melodies and harmony are assembled. By analogy: You have to learn arithmetic before you learn algebra, and you have to learn algebra before you learn calculus. That doesn't mean that learning arithmetic teaches you anything about calculus.

    In my opinion, your posts indicate to me a frequently repeated problem of aspiring guitarists who go down the rabbit hole of confusing basics of elementary musicianship with the making of music. I think knowing how to read, knowing scales, modes, chords, names of all the notes on the fretboard etc, are important skills that jazz musicians need to have, but many people have a good control of these things but can't play a single interesting thing. And as our colleagues in other styles of music teach us, you can make compelling and beautiful music without knowing a single thing about scales, positions, or reading music.

    Since one of the main aspects of jazz is improvisation, the goal is to train yourself to create interesting music in your brain and get it instantly to your fingers. Things like positions and scales are useful towards that goal in the same way that training wheels are useful to learn to ride a bike.

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by pkirk View Post
    Hey Oneofthe: It's not clear to me what the question is here. Do you want to learn to read better and would like advice? do you want to know your major scales in 5 (or 7 or 20) different guitar positions? Do you want to learn how to compose music? Do you like Jazz and would like to learn to play jazz guitar? You are getting well-meaning replies but answers need questions, and I can't find one in what you wrote.


    Presumably the teacher who urged you to practice reading is anticipating teaching more advanced material which might be easier to communicate to you if you have a decent command of the fretboard. Presumably he also wants you to be able to play major scales so that once you have internalized them, he can use that to teach you how melodies and harmony are assembled. By analogy: You have to learn arithmetic before you learn algebra, and you have to learn algebra before you learn calculus. That doesn't mean that learning arithmetic teaches you anything about calculus.

    In my opinion, your posts indicate to me a frequently repeated problem of aspiring guitarists who go down the rabbit hole of confusing basics of elementary musicianship with the making of music. I think knowing how to read, knowing scales, modes, chords, names of all the notes on the fretboard etc, are important skills that jazz musicians need to have, but many people have a good control of these things but can't play a single interesting thing. And as our colleagues in other styles of music teach us, you can make compelling and beautiful music without knowing a single thing about scales, positions, or reading music.

    Since one of the main aspects of jazz is improvisation, the goal is to train yourself to create interesting music in your brain and get it instantly to your fingers. Things like positions and scales are useful towards that goal in the same way that training wheels are useful to learn to ride a bike.
    Hi, I apologize but the original questions were:

    1. How many Positions are there in Position Reading or Position playing?

    2. Can scale study be used to be a better position reader? In other words, in learning the Seven Fingering Patterns of the guitar can that be directly applied to all positions that are used in guitar.

    Now I know:

    1. There are Seven Positions

    2. Scale Study can be used to be a better position reader and the seven fingering patterns can directly be used to all positions that are used in the guitar.

    That was essentially my question. I got it answered by doing that diagram with the direction of Tonal Harmony. Then I shared it. Last post was just to describe where the original question came from in the first place and my conclusion about Scales in general.

    Thanks!

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Oneofthe View Post
    Hi, I apologize but the original questions were:

    1. How many Positions are there in Position Reading or Position playing?

    2. Can scale study be used to be a better position reader? In other words, in learning the Seven Fingering Patterns of the guitar can that be directly applied to all positions that are used in guitar.

    Now I know:

    1. There are Seven Positions

    2. Scale Study can be used to be a better position reader and the seven fingering patterns can directly be used to all positions that are used in the guitar.

    That was essentially my question. I got it answered by doing that diagram with the direction of Tonal Harmony. Then I shared it. Last post was just to describe where the original question came from in the first place and my conclusion about Scales in general.

    Thanks!
    No.

    Again, "position reading" isn't any kind of conventional terminology as far as I know. You must be using some very specific term from a book or something. I don't think you can say that "there are seven positions " or even fingerings etc. There are more possible than that, and you certainly CAN use fewer than seven. Much of it is personal choice, whether it's your own or you're adopting someone else's .

    Think of fingerings this way: if you play C-major in one position that could be a starting point. Now add a flat to make it F major, in the same position without moving. You can continue on to B-flat and then E-flat etc. going around the cycle. If you're using stretch fingerings , you generally are adding first finger stretches to evolve from one fingering to the next one "forward" in the cycle. Five position people are generally using five positions within the cycle which are generally thought to be the easiest to finger. Seven position people generally have two additional positions, which are arrived at but simply cycling forward by two additional keys, if you want to think about it that way. You'd arrive at the same thing by simply learning to play scales from each degree starting on the second finger , but it doesn't really matter.

    If you cycle backwards instead of forwards, you eventually get to the point where you're using fourth finger stretches . All of this is laid out in William Leavitt's modern guitar method volume 3, but honestly, I wouldn't recommend going this overly nerdy route at the start. Right now it sounds like you need a TEACHER just to work you through the basics. This kind of analysis is maybe for later after you know how to PLAY some things at more basic levels and have more fundamental basic understanding.

    Just understand that you can't simply say "there are seven positions". It's not factually correct. There are easily 11 and technically more. Seriously, learn some basics from a teacher, and quit "words-ing" this stuff so much with "Internet people" like myself.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 08-17-2017 at 11:00 AM.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    ... If you're using stretch fingerings , you generally are adding first finger stretches to evolve from one fingering to the next one "forward" in the cycle. ...
    If you cycle backwards instead of forwards, you eventually get to the point where you're using fourth finger stretches .
    Say you are in 7th position (index is reference for position), when going for G major, do you really stretch pinkie for F# on 11th fret/ 3rd string, or you conveniently play it on 2nd string/ 7th fret?
    ^ ^ ^
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  22. #21
    No. Sorry. I was talking about "outside" notes. Notes out of POSITION which REQUIRE stretch. In your example, the F sharp at the 7th pos. is actually an in-position note. If you play the same thing from fifth position, for example, you're going to need to stretch fourth finger to get some of those "outside " notes.

    "Position" doesn't really have anything to do with accidentals by the way. You could talk about "in position " notes and "out of position" notes in a key like F sharp as well.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 08-17-2017 at 12:06 PM.

  23. #22

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    So then, whole logic is in learning notes on all strings in chunks of 6 frets, 4 + 2 with stretching, 1 + 4 + 1?
    I thought it was connected to scale fingerings.
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  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan View Post
    So then, whole logic is in learning notes on all strings in chunks of 6 frets, 4 + 2 with stretching, 1 + 4 + 1?
    I thought it was connected to scale fingerings.
    Sorry. I'm not following.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan View Post
    Say you are in 7th position (index is reference for position), when going for G major, do you really stretch pinkie for F# on 11th fret/ 3rd string, or you conveniently play it on 2nd string/ 7th fret?
    No. Play it at 7th fret like you're talking about.

  25. #24

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    For scale positions I like CAGED which is 5 positions, or for a better way of thinking of it, 5 references. Once you learn that you'll find yourself playing between the references and sliding from one to another. That's why I think references or landmarks is a better way of saying it.

    For reading I think you can just go to the Leavitt book, A Modern Method for Guitar. He doesn't use CAGED to explain the scales, I used a CAGED way of thinking though when I went through the book. This book was (still is?) used at Berklee School of Music so it probably lines up well with what your instructor was showing you. And the book does use the term "positions" for the reading studies.

    I recorded my way through the entire 1st book, a couple of examples:

    This 1st one is a duet, I switch to the single note playing video around 1:05.



    Last edited by fep; 08-17-2017 at 02:29 PM.
    B+
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  26. #25

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    Here's the way it works, at least for me. I look at the passage I need to play. Let's assume it's challenging -- meaning, too many notes, too fast, to be able to play it just anywhere.

    1. find the rests -- because those are the places where you can shift position most easily

    2. find the range -- because you need to be able to reach the highest and lowest notes.

    3. look at the notes -- and try to figure out where to start. This is the only area in which thinking about position makes sense. For me, it may be a little easier to play things with my 1st and 3rd fingers than 2nd and 4th -- which means that the key of C might be easier at V while Eb might be easier at III. But, by the time you factor in accidentals and the need for position shifts (see below) you're not likely to be in a single position, no matter where you began. You just think, where are the notes on the guitar and how can I play them?

    4. Then, identify any problems which will keep you from executing the passage. Typically, for alternate pickers, the problems are in the right hand. The solutions typically involve position shifts with the left hand to accommodate the pick. After you get used to it, it turns out that it's possible to shift position very quickly. A complicated passage sometimes requires multiple shifts to accommodate pick direction. Sweep pickers, I think, may have an easier time with this, although I'm not sure, since I'm not good at that.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Sorry. I'm not following.

    No. Play it at 7th fret like you're talking about.
    No, it's not you.
    It's me who do not understand that system of physical reference you talk about.
    When you speak about positions and one physical reference (2nd finger on 6th string), it sounds like if there was a system.
    Of course, I have my own , as we all do, but it is not really a system, it's more like set of preferences, based on convenience.
    I do start from some self preset rules, but there are too many exceptions. Maybe "user manual" is more of what it is.

    I looked at what you are saying, many times in many posts, especially since I thought it bared many resemblances to what I do, hoping to set the thing straight, but when I tried to nail it down, what I found were exceptions.
    So, it must be your system is not what I thought it was.
    In other words, I do not understand it and, likely, never will.
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  28. #27
    Hi everyone:

    Sorry, I did not mean to create controversy. I know the subject of scales sends people into different directions. I apologize for that; it's just that I get the best help here. If you look at my previous threads I'm always getting the right advice and insight.

    Now, a book I recommend is Ted Gioia's History of Jazz. For my vocabulary at times it's a difficult book; I tend to have to look words up. But the creative process of the History of Jazz is there. I don't recommend other books by him just this one. (thriftbooks is great, look at all editions and you can find it as cheap as four dollars).

    The History of Jazz book by Ted Gioia

    Now, something else I recommend after reading this book is the quintessential Jazz Magazine called, "Downbeat." This magazine is more than a Magazine it is an American Institution respected by Musicians and Academics. Through the beauty of Spotify I'm being exposed to all the Jazz out there. In interviews with the artists and in bio's about the artists it goes into the creative process. Remember, this is a general Jazz magazine but they do go into Guitar Jazz. Bill Frisell was featured a few months back. It's not expensive, only 6.00 dollars per issue and it's worth it.

    DownBeat Magazine

    I hope this has helped in some way.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    For scale positions I like CAGED which is 5 positions, or for a better way of thinking of it, 5 references. Once you learn that you'll find yourself playing between the references and sliding from one to another. That's why I think references or landmarks is a better way of saying it.

    For reading I think you can just go to the Leavitt book, A Modern Method for Guitar. He doesn't use CAGED to explain the scales, I used a CAGED way of thinking though when I went through the book. This book was (still is?) used at Berklee School of Music so it probably lines up well with what your instructor was showing you. And the book does use the term "positions" for the reading studies.

    I recorded my way through the entire 1st book, a couple of examples:

    This 1st one is a duet, I switch to the single note playing video around 1:05.




    That's helpful but still a little confusing with terms.

    Think of position as "fret position" or simply fret, if it helps. What fret do I place my first finger on while assigning the other three fingers to the adjacent frets upward from there? That is position.


    CAGED (traditional fingering) offers 5 fingering patterns - not positions. In fact three of the fingering patterns involve a shift OUT of position.

    When one starts in a low position, plays all 5 CAGED fingering patterns in one key, then begins the cycle upwards from there - they will have traversed 12 positions, not 5. The CAGED fingerings cover a full octave with 5 fingerings, while Leavitt created 12 fingerings to cover one octave along the fret board.
    Last edited by Jazzstdnt; 08-18-2017 at 08:43 AM.

  30. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    That's helpful but still a little confusing with terms.

    Think of position as "fret position" or simply fret, if it helps. What fret do I place my first finger on while assigning the other three fingers to the adjacent frets upward from there? That is position.


    CAGED (traditional fingering) offers 5 fingering patterns - not positions. In fact three of the fingering patterns involve a shift OUT of position.

    When one starts in a low position, plays all 5 CAGED fingering patterns in one key, then begins the cycle upwards from there - they will have traversed 12 positions, not 5. The CAGED fingerings cover a full octave with 5 fingerings, while Leavitt created 12 fingerings to cover one octave along the fret board.
    They are two distinct terms though describing two different things. You can play any pattern from any position. Caged "patterns" in any key could also be described in terms of "position", but they're not the same thing at all.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 08-18-2017 at 09:29 AM.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oneofthe View Post

    1. How many Positions are there in Position Reading or Position playing?



    2. Can scale study be used to be a better position reader? In other words, in learning the Seven Fingering Patterns of the guitar can that be directly applied to all positions that are used in guitar.


    How many? - Open position through highest position on the instrument, counted one fret at a time.

    Can scale study be used to be a better position reader?

    Yes of course. They are a frame of reference as some like to say. If you want to read in the second position, knowing a scale fingering pattern for each key in question in that position (or area) will be essential.

    But of course, that will only get you so far because you will be playing music, not just pure scales. The instant that you are forced to hold one note while playing another will force you to make a fingering decision that may or may not be informed by a scale fingering pattern.

    Cheers

  32. #31

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    Guitar positions are generally described in half steps.

    Open ... 0 - 4
    1st ... 1 - 5
    2nd ... 2 - 6
    3rd ... 3 - 7
    etc.

    Most orient themselves around the 1st finger, others prefer the 2nd finger.
    People are different, nothing new here.

    For guitar, I believe that the existence of different scale shape systems adds a bit of confusion to a discussion of positions.

    Violin family instrument positions are generally described by scale steps.
    For violin and viola, a hand position covers 7 half steps, 4 note per string scales are the norm.
    For cello, similar in size to guitar, a hand position is 5 half step or 3 scale noes per hand position.
    Given the 5ths tuning, this then requires much shifting to get at sequential scale notes.

    Playing both cello and guitar though, I prefer the greater specificity of position per half step description.

    There are study books that teach reading first by single positional reading etudes and then position shifting etudes.
    Many like to sight read, especially faster music in a single position as much as possible.

  33. #32

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    I learned and was taught by learning to play the chromatic scale over a four fret area in one position in which the first finger goes down one fret if necessary and the fourth finger goes up one fret if necessary . So the total possible fret coverage is six frets at any given moment. If you can play the chromatic scale, you can play any scale .
    Navdeep Singh.

  34. #33

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    Third position is a good one, and I think working on seventh is a very good idea.

    In practice I find most music rather inconveniently moves between 3rd position and 12th, so I've been working on practicing diagonally in linked positions to close the gap.

  35. #34

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    Five fret chromatics is a physical reality. That is what is needed to play the notes of the chromatic scale.
    Six frets is a pragmatic variation because the extra fret offers more options for some of the most awkward
    fingerings available in five frets.

  36. #35

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    Any neck organization and fingerings will work.... as long as you finish the system or organization of guitar neck and how you finger it.

    The guitar is a 12 fret repeating system, fingerings and neck organization are a method for the neck or guitar fretboard to become one big fingering. That's the goal... you want to be able to play... Anything... Anywhere on the fretboard.... without staring at your guitar.
    So you can look at the music if your sight reading... or be able to actually play the music etc...

    When you have weak or incomplete fretboard organization and fingerings... the guitar plays you, as compared to you playing the guitar.

    You don't want to need to memorize everything you play...

    An example is... when you play two octave Gmaj scale in 2nd position, you should be able to play that Gmaj scale starting on each note of that scale starting on the low 6th string up the neck to 14th position.... that would be one repeating pattern. (without having to stare at your guitar.) And play that pattern with Gmaj as your Reference, meaning in any of the positions you use moving up the neck, Gmaj needs to be your tonal reference....

    I'm sure I've posted many examples of this information...

    Gmaj in 2nd position, is not the goal... it's part of a fretboard organizational system , a part or step for reaching the goal.

    Reg

  37. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    Any neck organization and fingerings will work.... as long as you finish the system or organization of guitar neck and how you finger it.

    The guitar is a 12 fret repeating system, fingerings and neck organization are a method for the neck or guitar fretboard to become one big fingering. That's the goal... you want to be able to play... Anything... Anywhere on the fretboard.... without staring at your guitar.
    So you can look at the music if your sight reading... or be able to actually play the music etc...

    When you have weak or incomplete fretboard organization and fingerings... the guitar plays you, as compared to you playing the guitar.

    You don't want to need to memorize everything you play...

    An example is... when you play two octave Gmaj scale in 2nd position, you should be able to play that Gmaj scale starting on each note of that scale starting on the low 6th string up the neck to 14th position.... that would be one repeating pattern. (without having to stare at your guitar.) And play that pattern with Gmaj as your Reference, meaning in any of the positions you use moving up the neck, Gmaj needs to be your tonal reference....

    I'm sure I've posted many examples of this information...

    Gmaj in 2nd position, is not the goal... it's part of a fretboard organizational system , a part or step for reaching the goal.

    Reg
    I appreciate everything you have written, but remember I'm just talking about reading music. Honestly, it really pained me to do that diagram; it's just not something I do. However, to understand the Keys as expressed in Tonal Harmony it was a nice exercise. Will I ever use it and look at it again? Maybe not, or maybe I will. It seems now that I know Gmaj has one accidental of F# I pretty much don't need it.

    But maybe I will use that diagram just to explore how this keys sound and differ. I don't know at this point.

    Thanks.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako View Post
    Five fret chromatics is a physical reality. That is what is needed to play the notes of the chromatic scale.
    Six frets is a pragmatic variation because the extra fret offers more options for some of the most awkward
    fingerings available in five frets.
    Correct. Do you have Six frets as a possibility, when you pick one of the outer ones with either your first or fourth finger , that excludes the other outer one and leaves you with five.
    Navdeep Singh.

  39. #38

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    Yes... reading music or performing music, is basically the same thing.... you want what your playing to be what your hearing and part of that is phrasing, articulations etc... generally when you sight read or perform in just a few positions, you sound like that. Your missing many options of what the music should sound like, or even what it could sound like.

    The point of being able to sight read or perform in all positions... is to be able to create any of those possibilities.

    It's like saying well I know some pentatonic licks and using the same licks over different chord progressions... not really being aware of what the harmonic context of the progression is....

    With out basic references... when you create relationships and develop them... your reacting to the moment rather that the context that the moment exists within. In reference to reading or sight reading... when your playing in just a few positions, you have limited performance options of being able to create the music your performing. (not to mention being able to move up and down the neck seamlessly without staring down at your hands)

    I sight read well, have been a pro for years, part of reading is being aware of where the printed music should be performed on your guitar. Not just being able to get the notes out.

    I don't think about positions really that much either.... but I've put in the years of being able to recognize where the music on the paper should be performed on the guitar. There are always options, but that is again the goal... being able to perform those options.

    Tonal harmony has many possibilities or references. I'm for the most part talking about basic musicianship on the guitar, basic technical skills. Using those technical skills to perform music or develop relationships with harmonic relationships... is a different subject and not really related to technical skills.
    (there are mechanical references and relationships which can take harmonic concepts, like tonal harmony, and somewhat mechanically create relationships and develop them, but generally have limited levels of performance).

    Technical skills and Performance skills.... two different aspects of playing the guitar that need to be worked on separately. (opinion)
    There are again many approaches to doing anything, some are more efficient.

    Just another basic... generally get out of lower registers or positions, unless your performing that style of music. Jazz is generally from 5th fret up to 15th

  40. #39

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    I generally always try and be aware of where I'm going, (the highest or lowest note) when changing positions, even with chromatic patterns, so I have choices of where I want to change position. The system I use is pretty consistent... I don't need to really think or watch, just be aware of what sound or phrasing I'm trying to create. (I do use 1st finger references or based patterns, but they are always in relationship to a 2nd finger based position.)

    Generally the 2nd finger is strongest, so personally the best basic reference... and stretches are more efficient than position changes, with 1st finger stretches going up and 4th finger going down. These are just basic references from which I build from.

  41. #40

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    Btw - Wes played a lot in lower positions and shifted a lot to get into higher positions on the top two strings.

    Mike Moreno suggests that third position is best for playing in that register and that higher positions on lower strings sound mushy and out of tune.

    I think he has a point, not that I've got around to practicing this concept for improvised lines.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Btw - Wes played a lot in lower positions and shifted a lot to get into higher positions on the top two strings.

    Mike Moreno suggests that third position is best for playing in that register and that higher positions on lower strings sound mushy and out of tune.

    I think he has a point, not that I've got around to practicing this concept for improvised lines.
    I recall, years ago, avoiding the higher frets on the lower pitched strings. They played out of tune.

    But, more recently, as a solid body player and doing my own intonation work, I can go to the 15th fret on the lower strings with acceptable intonation. Well, maybe not the 6th string so much, but I do use the C on the 5th string for a few things.

    Maybe some of the problem is a tendency for the fingerboard to tilt up gradually after the neck meets the body. At least, I've seen that on several guitars.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    I recall, years ago, avoiding the higher frets on the lower pitched strings. They played out of tune.

    But, more recently, as a solid body player and doing my own intonation work, I can go to the 15th fret on the lower strings with acceptable intonation. Well, maybe not the 6th string so much, but I do use the C on the 5th string for a few things.

    Maybe some of the problem is a tendency for the fingerboard to tilt up gradually after the neck meets the body. At least, I've seen that on several guitars.
    I can't say the out of tuneness is something I've really noticed on my instruments. Moreno plays a very expensive high end instrument so it's possible his sense of intonation is more picky than mine.

    I do dig what he's saying about the mushiness of the upper positions though. Tonally it's different and lower positions have more tension to them. Also makes it a bit easier to articulate in lower positions.

    Of course many players play low strings in high positions and sound great doing it, but it's something to think about
    Last edited by christianm77; 08-21-2017 at 06:58 AM.