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  1. #1

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    Hi all,
    I've begun working through Jody Fisher's "Beginning Jazz Guitar The Complete Guitar Method" and am learning the six scale fingerings. Below is the 6/1 fingering: 6th string, 1st finger.
    Help With Scale Exercise Fingering-fisher-guitar-scale-pattern-6-1-png

    In addition to playing the scales ascending/descending as shown above, he provides some patterns to play in all six fingerings. Below is pattern 18:

    Help With Scale Exercise Fingering-fisher-ex-18-png

    The tab shows the 6/4 fingering (6th string, 4th finger) which is fine, but where I run into trouble is playing this pattern using the 6/1 fingering.

    He doesn't provide a fingering for the pattern using 6/1. When I attempt this pattern using the 6/1 fingering it's impossible to stick to anything close to the 6/1 fingering.

    I'd really appreciate some feedback as to the right way to approach this, and similar kinds of patterns/exercises. I can imagine one of the purposes of playing these patterns using the different scale fingerings is to get experience finding the notes using fingerings beyond the 6 detailed in the book?

    Am I doing it right?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Maroonblazer; 05-18-2021 at 09:12 AM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    That pattern (up in 4s) is a much better fit for scale shapes from the 2nd finger. In general, the "2" shapes are more ergonomic.

    The main selling point to the "1" pattern is use of 3 notes per string. With a good picking technique you can fly up the scale. Straight up.

    In general, using patterns within a shape helps you learn the shape, much deeper than just going up or down.

    And doing many shapes helps you learn the neck.

    That "up in 4s" pattern does show up in solos (e.g., Al DiMeola, Joe Farrell).

  4. #3

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    I would not overcomplicate it really... play from 2nd finger...

    also in real playing I would probably play such a pattern with slides.. many options there...

  5. #4

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    out of professional curiosity. what made you take the leap of faith to decide and study this book?

    also the exercise 18 that you're showing is tabbed out with a 6/4 fingering (edit: and not even that) and not a 6/2 fingering.

    to be honest this shit breaks my heart, it really does. useless exercises and lame fingerings. it's like a chess book that teaches you six different openings before you even learn to mate with KQ against K.

    throw that book away. sunk costs, etc. if you must get a book, get joe pass' "guitar style".
    Last edited by djg; 05-11-2021 at 03:47 PM.

  6. #5
    Most jazz guitar methods have huge problems honestly, but this one goes MUCH farther towards breaking the Hippocratic oath than most. I don't have any problems with the man personally, but this book is the worst. When I used it, I was coming from the perspective of someone who was trying to glean something from it as a STUDENT jazz, while being a teacher in the other contexts.

    A portion of my 2014 Amazon review:

    ***************
    Not a beginner "method". More like a good reference book.
    Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2014
    I'm always amazed that Jody Fisher's jazz method is at the top and so well rated, because unlike other jazz guitar books with high ratings, this one has a lot of reviews where people state that it's "got a lot of information", "it looks good", or "it is a good reference". However, there aren't many reviews which state that the user learned to *play* from the beginning with this beginner method, or the review is very brief and slim on details. There definitely aren't the kind of personal endorsements from players who learned with it like you'll find with books such as Mickey Baker Mickey Baker's Complete Course in Jazz Guitar: Book 1 (Ashley Publications) or William Leavitt's books A Modern Method for Guitar - Volume 1 . But if this book is a purported *method* book and not just a reference, shouldn't it be methodical? I don't think it is. I have 3 of these volumes (which I purchased at the same time to sample for my own study) and probably won't be getting the fourth (advanced improv, I think).

    As a jazz beginner, I purchased these books along with others and can relate my own experience with reading through them. Below is my detailed review of his Beginning Jazz Guitar Method (which I had previously posted elsewhere in trying to clarify my "problems" with this series).
    ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** ***********

    My major questions regarding Jody Fisher's book as a first or primary method book for beginners in jazz guitar study have to do with the sequencing of material presented in the book and the fingerings of scales and chords used in it. To me, they often seem to be contrived.
    Fisher divides each lesson into 2 sections. One for harmony and the other for single-note soloing.

    Single Note Soloing

    The single-note soloing section uses major scales in six different positions, three with roots on the 6th string, and three with roots on the 5th string. If you know much about the instrument, you can imagine that there is quite a bit of overlap in these fingerings. Again, in my opinion, a beginning student's time could probably be better spent learning a new scale type altogether than learning an overlapping, alternative fingering pattern.

    The fingering also seems arbitrary. They use shifts and stretches (sometimes both in the same scale). For a beginner, it would seem to be more beneficial to learn either a CAGED-type system with shifts or a Leavitt-type system with stretches in which you stay in one position. To combine these seems to diminish the benefits of both and reduce the ability to see the relationships of the patterns across string sets.

    To Fisher's credit, he seems to value understanding the theory behind what he's doing above all else. I personally think theory is best learned in the context of playing tunes. That is why I think that this book is best appreciated as a resource rather than a method for beginner self- instruction. The Coda section with a practical discussion on playing jazz in general, how to practice and such is probably worth the price of this inexpensive book. Add to this Fisher's beautifully laid out vertical chord scales and comprehensive discussion of theory and many other practical considerations and I think you have a book every jazz guitar player should have in their library.

    I know that as a teacher, I often see a book and think that it looks great. Then, when I actually start teaching out of it to someone who knows nothing (or in this case, studying myself), I can see the holes in the "method". It's hard as an experienced player sometimes to see something through the eyes of a beginner. In jazz, it's definitely easier for me to see that point of view. :-)
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 05-16-2021 at 07:52 AM.

  7. #6

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    I don't know much about patterns so take this with a box of salt.

    Bar 2 of pattern 18 requires playing two notes in a row at different frets with the 4th finger. B down to F. That's just awkward. If I was trying to play this line at a high speed I couldn't use that fingering.

    Some of the movements for a line of this type are aided by flattening a finger to stop both the note and the next note (usually descending a 4th in pitch) -- so, for example, if a G at the 10th fret 5th string is followed by D a 4th lower, plant the pinkie on both notes when you play the G.

    I'd probably play it with more position shifting, which can be done more seamlessly than that B to F thing with the pinkie.

    I think djg makes a good point.

    But, it leads to a larger question about what the goal of playing this sort of exercise is. Happy to discuss it, but I think I've already gotten too far away from the OP's question.

    As a teen my teacher had me play Paganini's Moto Perpetuo. I think that's where I learned how to solve fingering problems. I also practiced scales and my fingers tend to fall into them like well worn ruts. I'd have been better off playing licks or transcriptions, in retrospect.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Bar 2 of pattern 18 requires playing two notes in a row at different frets with the 4th finger. B down to F. That's just awkward. If I was trying to play this line at a high speed I couldn't use that fingering.
    the whole bar 2 makes no sense. the A to B with 3rd and 4th finger and indeed B down to F both with 4th is no good.

  9. #8

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    I don't know much about patterns so take this with a box of salt.

    Bar 2 of pattern 18 requires playing two notes in a row at different frets with the 4th finger. B down to F. That's just awkward. If I was trying to play this line at a high speed I couldn't use that fingering.

    Some of the movements for a line of this type are aided by flattening a finger to stop both the note and the next note (usually descending a 4th in pitch) -- so, for example, if a G at the 10th fret 5th string is followed by D a 4th lower, plant the pinkie on both notes when you play the G.

    I'd probably play it with more position shifting, which can be done more seamlessly than that B to F thing with the pinkie.

    I think djg makes a good point.

    But, it leads to a larger question about what the goal of playing this sort of exercise is. Happy to discuss it, but I think I've already gotten too far away from the OP's question.

    As a teen my teacher had me play Paganini's Moto Perpetuo. I think that's where I learned how to solve fingering problems. I also practiced scales and my fingers tend to fall into them like well worn ruts. I'd have been better off playing licks or transcriptions, in retrospect.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maroonblazer
    He doesn't provide a fingering for the pattern using 6/1. When I attempt this pattern using the 6/1 fingering it's impossible to stick to anything close to the 6/1 fingering. Below is my attempt at this pattern using the 6/1 fingering.
    I think you have found why he does not included a 6/1 fingering.

    Fisher's three books in this series were useful to me. Others hate them, as you can see in this thread. I would advise against CAGED, because you should not be playing in a cage.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    out of professional curiosity. what made you take the leap of faith to decide and study this book?

    also the exercise 18 that you're showing is tabbed out with a 6/4 fingering (edit: and not even that) and not a 6/2 fingering.

    to be honest this shit breaks my heart, it really does. useless exercises and lame fingerings. it's like a chess book that teaches you six different openings before you even learn to mate with KQ against K.

    throw that book away. sunk costs, etc. if you must get a book, get joe pass' "guitar style".
    Thank you for your response!

    I have many years of piano under my belt, both classical and jazz, and am interested in playing guitar. I've been a 'strummer' for many years and decided I wanted to aim for a similar facility on the guitar, specifically jazz, that I have on piano (a decades-long project, I recognize). It was a toss up between Fisher's book and Baker's. Both seemed to get good reviews so I essentially flipped a coin. It's not too late for me to jump ship to Baker though.

    You're right, it is 6/4 (sorta?), not 6/2.

    Having spent some time with some of the other patterns I can say that I feel like I'm getting a better sense of the fretboard. That's really my goal at this point. I can look at the piano keyboard and play practically anything I want, because I know where all the notes are. I likened the Fisher exercises to Hanon. Hanon was a game-changer for my technique on piano, but perhaps the analogy doesn't hold for guitar...?

    Thanks again!

  12. #11

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    Yea... Fisher is a beautiful solo performer. He sounds more like a classical player performing jazz. A little straight or vanilla. Of which there is nothing wrong. Vanilla is where one starts and is a great sound. And he's very talented, But what or where do you want to go with your playing...

    No one really teaches caged or Segovia fingerings anymore.... unless your old, of which I am and started with both.

    There are better systems... Most just push what they know and understand. In the end you'll be using all fingerings. All the early stages of learning are just a path to getting to where the complete fretboard becomes one 12 fret pattern that repeats. Eventually you'll be able to use what ever fingering you want to. Different fingerings have natural articulation...

    You can use different fingering to help create a style or sound
    The shortest path to that end is using 7 position fingerings. Which easily supports Caged, 3 notes per string, or even Segovia's magical 3 octave fingering.

    And as mentioned... generally learning chords, melodies, tunes etc... are also part of technical studies. When you begin to develop some skills... What your able to play will expand. Spending too much time learning performance when you don't have skills.... usually just develops bad habits. Which are hard to break.... later.

    I checked out your vid... cool.... but your already developing bad position shift habits. You need to work on single position studies and get your speed up.

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Some of the movements for a line of this type are aided by flattening a finger to stop both the note and the next note (usually descending a 4th in pitch) -- so, for example, if a G at the 10th fret 5th string is followed by D a 4th lower, plant the pinkie on both notes when you play the G.
    Thank you for the reply!

    Peter Sprague, in his course "Jazz Guitar Foundations" really discourages the 'flattening" or "rolling" of a finger to play notes on two adjacent strings. I can kind of see the argument for it but I'm not proficient enough to know (or have a strong opinion one way or the other) whether this makes much of a difference in the long run.
    Last edited by Maroonblazer; 05-11-2021 at 11:52 PM.

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    throw that book away. sunk costs, etc. if you must get a book, get joe pass' "guitar style".
    Based on the table of contents that Amazon lets me see, the Joe Pass book seems aimed at the guitarist who is already familiar with the fretboard and is looking to improve their jazz improvisation skills. Is that a fair assessment?

    The other thing I've liked about Fisher's book is that he starts by building out the triads and their inversions. Having grown up playing piano, for me everything begins with triads and their inversions, upon which one then builds 7ths, 9ths, extensions, etc. This is one aspect I'd been missing in my attempt to 'shortcut' learning the fretboard. The first few etudes in Fisher, while practically the antithesis of jazz, have helped me solidify knowledge of how/where to find triads on the fretboard.

    Do you have an opinion on Micky Baker's book in this regard?

    Thanks again.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    And as mentioned... generally learning chords, melodies, tunes etc... are also part of technical studies. When you begin to develop some skills... What your able to play will expand. Spending too much time learning performance when you don't have skills.... usually just develops bad habits. Which are hard to break.... later.

    I checked out your vid... cool.... but your already developing bad position shift habits. You need to work on single position studies and get your speed up.
    Thank you for the reply!

    The bad habits are exactly what I'm trying to avoid. In studying piano I was fortunate to have good teachers instill good technique from the very beginning. It paid huge dividends. I'm trying to replicate that on guitar.

    The "bad position shift habits" you're witnessing in the video is me struggling to make sense of using Fisher's 6/1 fingering over this 1-3-4-5 pattern. Hence my posting this question to the forum. Based on others comments it sounds like this might be a fool's errand.

  16. #15

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    Your fingers are asking you to try other ways to play things. Trust them.

    Using what is being called the 6/1 fingering, that exercise is going to ask your first finger to move in a clumsy way - e.g., a move that combines shifting strings and frets with the first finger - from the top of the third arpeggio to the bottom of the fourth one (moving the first finger from D string 9th fret to A string 8th fret).

    When I play that, at that point my fingers naturally go:

    ...first finger D string 9th fret
    fourth finger 6th string 13th fret
    third finger A string 12th fret

    first finger D string 9th fret
    second finger D string 10th fret...

    As others are mentioning, specific fingerings of lines need to be figured out to the degree that various stock fingering patterns might not work so well; the important thing being to listen to what your hand is figuring out. The logic of fingering is a physical mechanical "finger logic". The suggested stock patterns are just a starting input. As your hand smartens up it will naturally override these awkward fingering patterns by anticipating them and spontaneously offering a better solution.

    This is similar to how a sax player learns the multiple fingerings for the same note within the context of practicing different scales, in order to teach the hands to select the specific fingering best for that note when playing lines in different keys - taking into account the fingering of the previous and subsequent note(s) for the best mechanical continuity... guitar fingers learn how to do this, too. I call it "muscle melody".

  17. #16

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    Is there there a source in addition to Joe that people recommend for fingerings?

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maroonblazer
    Thank you for the reply!

    Peter Sprague, in his course "Jazz Guitar Foundations" really discourages the 'flattening" or "rolling" of a finger to play notes on two adjacent strings. I can kind of see the argument for it but I'm not proficient enough to know (or have a strong opinion one way or the other) whether this makes much of a difference in the long run.
    Does he say why?

    In your pattern 18, the first bar end on A and the second bar begins on A. The tab says to play them at the same fret. If you can play it fast enough while moving the finger from one string to another, then there's no problem to solve. I can't do that and get the line as fast as I want it to be. However, if I flatten the finger it's no longer a bottleneck.

  19. #18

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    Joe Pass’ two books “guitar style” and “on guitar”, are worth their weight in gold.

    Granted, they are NOT for guitar beginners and they are not comprehensive “guitar methods”, but that’s fine. We all know where to get go for that.

  20. #19
    The Joe Pass orange cover gets into sounding a little like Joe if you can read a little which I found quite exiting! a few years ago. The solos are short but they certainly point you in the right direction. Anyone who knows about jazz guitar knows that Joe was one of the all time Greats!!! I dont think there are very many exciting famous recordings of the other ones. The technique must always be the servant not the master.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Does he say why?

    In your pattern 18, the first bar end on A and the second bar begins on A. The tab says to play them at the same fret. If you can play it fast enough while moving the finger from one string to another, then there's no problem to solve. I can't do that and get the line as fast as I want it to be. However, if I flatten the finger it's no longer a bottleneck.
    Flattening / rolling to get one finger to play adjacent strings at the same fret in sequence is potentially risky. If you can do it while keeping the finger curved it is OK. The problem is if you allow the distal joint of the finger to bend "backwards" - finger joints can bear a firm load quite well when curved, but are weak and vulnerable when the joint is reversed, leading to risk of a repetitive stress injury.
    Depending on your form, maintaining finger curvature while flattening / rolling generally becomes increasingly more difficult the higher up the neck you position your hand... once you entertain doing it up beyond about the 15th fret you really have to have planned ahead to reposition the guitar so the neck extends way out to your left side in order to even chance trying it. The insidious thing is the temptation in the excitement of the moment, thinking, "I just do it for this line..." You might get away with it, or you might feel it and know you have hurt yourself.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bach5G
    Is there there a source in addition to Joe that people recommend for fingerings?
    the barry galbraith books are ok. the leavitt have some good exercises connecting the various fingerings. also some good triad exercises. but they require a teacher because they contain so much dead wood.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maroonblazer
    Thank you for your response!

    I have many years of piano under my belt, both classical and jazz, and am interested in playing guitar. I've been a 'strummer' for many years and decided I wanted to aim for a similar facility on the guitar, specifically jazz, that I have on piano (a decades-long project, I recognize). It was a toss up between Fisher's book and Baker's. Both seemed to get good reviews so I essentially flipped a coin. It's not too late for me to jump ship to Baker though.

    You're right, it is 6/4 (sorta?), not 6/2.

    Having spent some time with some of the other patterns I can say that I feel like I'm getting a better sense of the fretboard. That's really my goal at this point. I can look at the piano keyboard and play practically anything I want, because I know where all the notes are. I likened the Fisher exercises to Hanon. Hanon was a game-changer for my technique on piano, but perhaps the analogy doesn't hold for guitar...?

    Thanks again!
    i'm not a fan of this top-down approach. trying to learn guitar and jazz at the same time can be problematic.

    so how is your piano playing? can you carry a tune? could i let you sit in at my gig and get good comping and a nice solo on a tune like stella?

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    i'm not a fan of this top-down approach. trying to learn guitar and jazz at the same time can be problematic.
    I've often thought this.

    Problem is, a lot of people sort of 'play' the guitar, which means they play parts for songs, but don't have much knowledge of the instrument's workings (OTOH classical players have a technique that is not often used by jazz players.)

    So in this sense, fretboard mapping, chord construction all that stuff is kind of identified with jazz, because you end up doing a fair amount of this type of teaching as a jazz guitar teacher.

  25. #24
    As a time and thousands of students taught the W. Leavitt Berklee Method has got many started in the right direction for standardized scale and triad information. John Scofield,Mike Stern, and Mark Whitfield are some of those who have used it. They turned out Quite well.

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    so how is your piano playing? can you carry a tune? could i let you sit in at my gig and get good comping and a nice solo on a tune like stella?
    I could hold my own. I wouldn't be blowing anybody away but I also wouldn't be on the receiving end of any tomatoes.