Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 27 of 27
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I've long heard this was helpful but it's only been doing it a short time. Every day now I play some tune in a position I haven't played it in before. (This changes the fingering, timbre, and often the register.)


    Not looking to play melodies in as many different places as possible. (Frank Vignola advocates this but I am not yet prepared to go down that road.) But once I've done it in two positions, the third seems to come more easily. Three places seems like a good benchmark to me. Simple tunes with a narrow range might easily be played in a half-dozen places, while tunes with a wide range and brisk tempo might permit only a couple practical fingering options.

    What is your experience with playing melodies in several places on the guitar?

    It seems to sharpen my ear. (It seems---and I know self-reporting seem more accurate than it actually is---that it is easier for me to pick out melodies.)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2
    Half-dozen ways is about right. Takes time, gets better/faster to learn, and is completely worth doing it. Also gets very enjoyable if having any patience at all. I noticed after spending a hour or so playing various tunes in various places that my... khm.. "musical confidence" got boosted quite a bit. Hard to explain.. maybe doesn't need to be explained even The least good is that when minding the scale pattern and connecting the tune with it, the pattern itself starts to make more sense. Also, hard to explain. Anyway, its surely very good for you!

  4. #3
    It is great practice. Also adding the root notes of the chords is great, as it helps in hearing and finding the various degrees of scales and melodies on the fretboard.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Alter View Post
    It is great practice. Also adding the root notes of the chords is great, as it helps in hearing and finding the various degrees of scales and melodies on the fretboard.
    I think this is a great idea, and one I could combine with the practice of running the chords in different inversions.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Like all things we practice, having a clear idea as to what the goal is always helps.
    This activity can help facilitate increased awareness while developing several different skill areas.

    One goal I especially like:

    To become more aware of the tone qualities available playing a melody on different string combinations.
    Also some fingerings will best facilitate specific slurs and phrasing or right hand articulations.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    I was doing a great excercise last night with my 3 y/o.

    He picked a song like twinkle twinkle little star, happy birthday, mary had a little lamb, london bridge, mr. sun, 3 blind miceetc... I helped him pick if he got stuck but I think we did like 15 tunes.

    So I just had to play and sing them with him on the fly in time
    White belt
    My Youtube

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    I’ve pretty much just been practicing melodies this past couple of weeks.

    It’s important to practice different positions as well as finding one that works best.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    More often than not I'm learning the head or melody of a tune in two different octaves - so at least two dffernt positions. Apart from a good exercise it also brings some variety if you play the main melody more than once.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Frank also advocates playing the melody linearly on one string (or as much as you can on one string). I find it really helpful to visualize and internalize the intervals in the melody that way.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes View Post
    Frank also advocates playing the melody linearly on one string (or as much as you can on one string). I find it really helpful to visualize and internalize the intervals in the melody that way.

    Yes, he does. Also, major scales on each single string. (Then on the top two strings, which is a prelude to chord melody playing.) Also, arpeggios. The man knows his fingerboard!

    He also plays every note on his guitar(s) every day. He says it's good for the wood. "Opens it up."
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    He also plays every note on his guitar(s) every day.
    Interesting concept!

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Yea... should be one of your standard technique practices.

    Start with at least two different octaves, up or down an octave. Different performing contexts require different registers. I dig playing low register unison with tenor sax, up with tpts. and piano...lots of choices.

    I'm a 7 position reference player.... so as Mark said, different positions have natural articulations etc... we should be able to make a line sound the same anywhere... but we should also be able to be aware and use the natural phrasing from different fingerings and positions.

    I use different positions to play harmony lines ... if I move up a diatonic third from melody.... I'm mechanically in position for fingering, still need to hear what you want, but the fingering will almost naturally fall into place.

    Do same thing when soloing.... moving to different diatonic position, again helps with organization of fingerings when playing call and answer type of melodic solo relationships and their developments.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    I do this for simple melodies, that is melodies I can more or less play by ear. Those kind of melodies I often play them in the various positions without really thinking about it. Like with "All of Me" or "Round Midnight" etc., slower lyrical melodies.

    Difficult melodies is a different story for me for. That is an exercise in finding where each phrase sits well on the guitar and memorization. Like with "Joy Spring" or "Confirmation" etc.

    This certainly depends on ones skill and ear to what they're able to do and where the cut off between easy and difficult is for them.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    I started to practice this because the lessons with Frank. It's really help to know the fingerboard better and connect it with the ear.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by clebergf View Post
    I started to practice this because the lessons with Frank. It's really help to know the fingerboard better and connect it with the ear.
    What we are doing is something my mom did on piano as a kid. She can’t read music, couldn’t tell you the difference between a minor or major chord—she can HEAR it—-but she plays whatever she wants. She can’t understand why I study and practice instead of just play whatever melodies pop into my head. I told her if I could, I would! She has an extraordinary ear. Mine is ordinary. And that’s a very big difference. Mine is improving. She says hers is what it was when she was in the 4th grade. She once told me she memorized all the sounds of the piano keys. To her, playing what she hears is like me typing what I think. I wish I had her ear. She wishes she had a son who took more care about his appearance and kept a neater room. And would it kill me to play backgammon with her from time to time? Has she told me lately my shoulders are wide and she nearly died giving birth to me??? Mom’s and sons—- it never changes!
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    That's very nice Mark.
    Well, a lot of great players says that we need to work on scales, arpeggios, etc, long enough to forget about them when we're playing.

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    are any of you doing this completely without visualizing any patterns and just sort of reaching for sounds? That’s what i’m trying to do. I THINK that’s what Barney Kessel was getting at in his video lesson on youtube.

    Is this what Frank is doing?

    I’m talking melodies, not like bebop solos
    White belt
    My Youtube

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Hey Joe...I don't really think about the fingerings... when I jump around the fretboard... my fingerings are instinctive, Say I'm soloing in Bb7 in 5th position...my standard position changes are down to 3rd or up to 8th and 10th. I don't think positions, I'm using positions to physically explain movement. Those position changes are really just One fingering. Between 3rd and 10th. I don't need to look at neck etc...

    I'm a rhythmic player... and I like movement, physical movement on fretboard to help me create feels.

    I can't stand the sound of staying in one position etc... the other thing, I just hear more than fits into one position.
    I guess I'm past having to visualizing pattern, I feel them. Although I can see patterns... like playing a rhythmic melodic figure, say a two bar phrase and the having targets within that phrase that change to imply a harmonic pattern, create movement etc...

    Part of developing melodic, harmonic or rhythmic phrases... is creating relationships, like repeating a melody or melodic line with a different reference.... Play the line or melody in major.... then play in relative Minor etc... or up a 3rd with changes that reflect what ever harmonic you want to create. Or even with embellishment, one of the typical approaches is moving or transposing a line around... hopefully with organization.

    Anyway... pretty standard reasons why it's not one way or another... it's all of them and having ones' technical skills together really helps.

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    Say I'm soloing in Bb7 in 5th position...my standard position changes are down to 3rd or up to 8th and 10th. I don't think positions, I'm using positions to physically explain movement. Those position changes are really just One fingering. Between 3rd and 10th. I don't need to look at neck etc...
    Hey reg, always interested in your approaches to viewing the fretboard. I understand 3rd position, being basically an inversion of your B-flat seven from the 7th of the chord, and And eighth position would be the same from the thirdof the quarter, third finger reference?

    I'm more interested in how and why on 10th position I guess, not being a second finger reference. I would almost guess at its being a reference more to your dominant pentatonic fingerings and being able to access altered etc? Anyway, thanks for your input always.

    Sent from my SM-J727P using Tapatalk

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    10th position puts Bb on the 4th finger on the A string. I guess then 2nd finger reference is on Eb, 4th degree of Bb.
    The region between 3rd and 10th position represents the basic bread and butter part of guitar range sans open strings.
    One could extend that in either direction if so inclined but by itself, 3rd to 10th position encompasses 5 of the 7 shapes
    in a given key. This covers much of what will be needed in most situations.

    Reg can of course best explain himself, just sharing that which I observe.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    are any of you doing this completely without visualizing any patterns and just sort of reaching for sounds? That’s what i’m trying to do. I THINK that’s what Barney Kessel was getting at in his video lesson on youtube.

    Is this what Frank is doing?

    I’m talking melodies, not like bebop solos
    I think that practicing melodies is, perhaps, the single best thing you can do. It seems to me that playing jazz is basically thinking of a melody and playing it. So why not practice that? Obviously, it's not the only thing, but it's certainly a good one.

    It seems to me that a good way to do it would be to think of a melody and then play it starting on any fret with any finger. Every key, everywhere on the neck.

    The goal is to automatically know where the next note is. You're in the midst of a melody and you can hear the next note in your mind. Your fingers need to find it, without thought, no matter which string/fret/finger you just played.

    And, to answer the question, I am mostly not a position player. When soloing, I move position frequently, largely without thinking about position. I say "mostly" because there is some legacy material still in there --- so that I know it's pretty easy to play, say, in the Key of C at the V and VIII frets (among other places). And, if I'm scuffling through some unfamiliar changes, I might rely on a chord shape on the fly. But, if I can feel the changes of the tune (meaning, I know them really well), I don't think about position at all.

    I don't really know how I got to the point where position didn't matter. I spent a lot of time reading, which I think helped. To me, reading is not about position. Rather, it's about smooth execution. That often requires solving problems -- finding fingering/picking that works for challenging passages -- and position playing isn't usually helpful with that.

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    Could someone point me at the video where Frank talks about this? Thanks

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    It's often stated we should learn all this stuff (scales, arpeggios, etc) and then forget it when we play.

    Seems it'd be a big time savings to not bother learning it in the first place.
    "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing." - Socrates
    “Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.” - Alan Wilson Watts

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    After I have learned to play the melody 'as written' in 3 'sections' of the guitar, I then play certain melody notes using a different octave than what is written. E.g. instead of going from G to a higher A (as written) I'll go to an A that is lower than the G.

    While the melody might not sound nice doing this, I have found that it helps me with the soloing; One still sounds melodic (since is using melody notes), but doesn't sound like they are just trying to mimic the melody.
    Last edited by jameslovestal; 03-13-2019 at 02:17 PM.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by znerken View Post
    Could someone point me at the video where Frank talks about this? Thanks
    I think Frank got the concept from Gene Bertoncini. Frank might discuss on his jazz channel. Or in YouTube below which is long but worth it. He did discuss it in a private lesson I had with him and really does help me internalize the melody because the melody's intervals are easier to grasp on one string.

    Here's a YouTube where Gene discusses it.



    Gene B. also has a book that is about linear or horizontal playing up one string.

    Frank may discuss it here:


  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    I definitely like to know the melody in different areas, at least one lower and one higher, and i like to know it in a "box" and "up and down" the strings if I can.

    No better fallback in a solo than the melody. If you know the melody, you're never really lost
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    I like that Gene guy!!
    White belt
    My Youtube