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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danil
    Sure you can play it like this, but does it feel and sound to you - smooth, articulated and funky? It is not kind of a line which is ok to be played sloppy (and live tempo usually is faster).
    Here is another one, our keyboard player wants us to end Tenor Madness like this (I don't know where did he get it from, not from a guitar I bet):

    Attachment 79820
    For me, the key to this phrase is to play the third note, Bb, with your first finger and to play the next note, F, with your fourth finger - even though it's at the same fret. This is a position jump that can be made smoothly. Then you can articulate the Eb and D nicely. If you pick the F with your third finger, it's easier to slide into the D. Nothing wrong with that: you'll hear the slide - you might prefer that sound.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 03-04-2021 at 07:03 PM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danil
    Sure you can play it like this, but does it feel and sound to you - smooth, articulated and funky? It is not kind of a line which is ok to be played sloppy (and live tempo usually is faster).
    Here is another one, our keyboard player wants us to end Tenor Madness like this (I don't know where did he get it from, not from a guitar I bet):

    Attachment 79820


    This one arguably tolerates some sloppiness, but still with rolling and economy picking/sweeping it is much more playable and natural (and thus sounds better).

    Of all Troy's interviews the most valuable to me is the one with a mandolin/guitar player (Andy Wood?) where he says that he hears a piece of music and then looks for a way to execute so it would sound right - making adjustments to technique, etc. The music drives the technique, not the other way around.

    I would say, actually this holds true to a certain extent for each of those accomplished players -- they were after a certain style/sound which defined their technique.

    The classical guitar is a very different instrument -- much higher action and effort/precision to get tone, very different sound and kind of music, naturally they have different approaches to the same sequences of notes.

    In a summary I would vote for keeping every bit of various techniques, also need to mention that they seem to help each other even when unrelated (sort of elasticity of brain/hands or something like that)
    I prefer the control separate fingers gives. It feels less sloppy to me. Awkward at first but getting more natural. It’s not practicable for all speeds. That’s ok too. It’s generally the middle kind of speed where I want to have more control anyway.

    im not sure what you want from me lol. I can go back to playing with barres if it makes you feel better I suppose.

    This is all tangential to fretboard mapping anyway. I use the same shapes, I just use different fingers to how I used to.
    Last edited by christianm77; 03-04-2021 at 06:40 PM.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77

    im not sure what you want from me lol. I can go back to playing with barres if it makes you feel better I suppose.

    This is all tangential to fretboard mapping anyway. I use the same shapes, I just use different fingers to how I used to.
    Yes, I admit I hijacked the thread, hopefully now the urge has passed and I'm not to bother anyone with this for a while.

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danil
    Yes, I admit I hijacked the thread, hopefully now the urge has passed and I'm not to bother anyone with this for a while.
    Ha maybe! Look I don’t think there’s one way to do it; while there are many poor strategies there are also a multiplicity of effective ones.

    There’s pros and cons and I think I’ve always found value in exploring different things.

  6. #55

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    Yeah that's why I've never really been into CAGED or 7-position system or whatever. I need to map the fretboard in my mind, but for fingering, I figure it will come with exploring things I want to play. We're not just shredding on diatonic scale tones.

    I know what notes I want, I just need to be able to find them. As you say, piano was easier for that due to every octave being the same. Mind you switching from key of D to E-flat would throw a wrench in your fingering there, but at least the notes are still obvious.

  7. #56
    My perception of Reg's scale fingerings - from someone who doesn't have the discipline or the attention span to put in the time they deserve - is that they're trying to help us be like a piano by providing an absolute visual landmark for how we approach the notes on our instrument.

    Piano is easy. It's one dimensional, with an asymmetrical pattern that makes it super easy to play a note, look at it, and go "oh, okay, that's G sharp because it's the black key after the first instance of unseperated white keys. Cool.", which also means that if you want to play that note, it's easy to find it.

    The guitar neck is two dimensional and there's no real easy visual pattern for finding things. Reg's system gives us 7 repeating reference points on the 6th string that we can use to help find and figure out where notes are on the fretboard without having to think about it - "Alright, I'm on the second finger reference of C, G flat is the next string with my ring finger." The fact that the intervals are preserved is nice, too.

    Obviously once you'd put in the work, this stuff becomes so second nature that you don't have to think about it any more and you can use any fingering you want. But the goal of the system - and the reason I think it's so great - is that it's a systematic way to learn the locations of the notes on the fretboard using easy to find landmarks.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Sun
    My perception of Reg's scale fingerings - from someone who doesn't have the discipline or the attention span to put in the time they deserve - is that they're trying to help us be like a piano by providing an absolute visual landmark for how we approach the notes on our instrument.

    Piano is easy. It's one dimensional, with an asymmetrical pattern that makes it super easy to play a note, look at it, and go "oh, okay, that's G sharp because it's the black key after the first instance of unseperated white keys. Cool.", which also means that if you want to play that note, it's easy to find it.

    The guitar neck is two dimensional and there's no real easy visual pattern for finding things. Reg's system gives us 7 repeating reference points on the 6th string that we can use to help find and figure out where notes are on the fretboard without having to think about it - "Alright, I'm on the second finger reference of C, G flat is the next string with my ring finger." The fact that the intervals are preserved is nice, too.

    Obviously once you'd put in the work, this stuff becomes so second nature that you don't have to think about it any more and you can use any fingering you want. But the goal of the system - and the reason I think it's so great - is that it's a systematic way to learn the locations of the notes on the fretboard using easy to find landmarks.

    1. OK, so how is that different or superior to CAGED? (The CAGED fingerings likewise connect with each other and there is no "fretboard blank space" in between).

    2. And if it's superior to CAGED, is it likewise inferior to 9 or 12 fingerings such as Leavitt described/defined? (Leavitt's fingerings being the superset of "Reg's" fingerings).

    3. Final question - How in the world did I get through this post without using the word "reference"?

  9. #58
    The way I see most people use the CAGED system is that it's a movable reference, where you use the root on a given string and then make the scales around it. That is not how I personally approach Reg's system, nor how I believe most of the advocates use it. With Reg's system, I use the 7 "landmarks" as fixed references, figure out the notes around them, and then sharpen and flatten the notes to fit the scale, more akin to how a piano player does.

    Basically, I see CAGED as a system with movable roots and positions, whereas Reg's system is about using fixed notes on the 6th string to map out the neck and then treating it like the piano keyboard and chosing the notes you play rather than just playing the pattern.

  10. #59

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    Wow that actually makes sense.

  11. #60

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    One thing; I would like to close the gap between the positions I use to improvise and the positions I use to read. There should be no difference.

    Like I suspect many players I learned to read in fixed positions but improvise primarily in positions built around chord shapes. So I think that’s something a lot of people have to find a way to address.

  12. #61
    Hello all! Apologies for my absence in this thread. Was pretty busy but lets be honest I'm just a lazy SOB ;p. Thanks everybody for their contributions! Some really interesting posts!


    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I haven't worked on Reg's approach so I can't really comment about the details. He's a great player. He has lots of great videos in which you can see the fruits of his approach.

    Mine is a minority view. My approach is to learn the notes, by name, in all the chords and scales you use, in all 12 keys. And, know every note on the fingerboard instantly. This is a lot of work, but so is every other way of getting there.

    It has the advantage of not using geometric patterns, although you may want to add them to the approach -- that helps with fast tempos. Basically, you're playing a chord and/or scale and the fretboard lights up in your mind. Every note in the arp and every note in the scale light up in different colors all over the neck and your fingers find them.

    I don't see how this can hurt, even if you're using Reg's fingerings or some other system. In fact, I'd guess (and I'm confident Reg will be kind enough to tell us) that Reg also knows the fretboard in this way.
    Hey RP,

    I completely agree with you. Up until like a year ago I was really a fan of the shapes approach (knowing the shape but also the intervals of the notes). However, some things are still very difficult to see with this way of thinking. Voice leading for example, looking at that from a interval per chord basis is pretty difficult. Take F Fm C for example. Interesting is ofcourse the line A Ab G. However when you think in intervals its 3 b3 5 which doesn't really show the voice leading movements that makes this chord progression really what it is. Only thinking in note names makes this possible. In addition, most other instrumentalists know their note names. Pianists, horns etc. Guitarists (generally speaking) don't. The guitar is great as it can be approached geometrically, the guitar sucks as it can approached geometrically :P.

    In the long term I think its best to really know the note names. Its also way more fundamental and transferable. Lets say if I want to learn to play the piano. If I already know all the notes in all the chords and scales it will be much easier. Only knowing fretboard patterns is not.

    I'm definitely going to jam over some tracks and say the notes out loud. Another thing I will do is use Anki (software that lets you create flash cards) to drill the notes in all keys and chords.

    Reg's fingering system is not mutually exclusive to this approach IMO. I think it actually complements it. As Shadow of the Sun points out, it makes you have " repeating reference points on the 6th string that we can use to help find and figure out where notes are on the fretboard without having to think about it". It helps with learning the notes instead of thinking of patterns IMO.


    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    Lark, sorry I missed this previously. Thanks for the message.
    First, far from being incoherent, I think you communicate excellently with English, not just grammatically, but in deeply exploring and abstracting complex ideas and concepts.

    To question #1, absolutely, yes. There's more, to be sure, but it's complicated, because the attempt to abstract a deeply subjective, and profoundly kinesthetic and visual "understanding" of something of this complexity is no simple task. Words don't do it justice, and many are apt to dismiss it on the face of its surface-level verbal/symbolic representation.

    To question #2: I think you're on the right track. It's somewhat personal - and more related to actual practice (in both senses of the word) than to simple verbal thought. So, I'll just speak from personal experience/understanding re the Second Finger Reference (SFR). I'm going to use a different example, for simplicity's sake, and just talk about G major for a moment. I'll use Reg's B-Phyrgian position, for a few differnt reasons: 1) Because it's the least familiar, 2) because it's the most removed (cyclically) from traditional maj/min scale fingerings and 3) because it illustrates something important about mapping the fretboard chromatically.

    First of all, if you approach learning fingerings this way, these fingerings become the "bottom level" of analysis, not in terms of tonal music theory, but in terms of fretboard layout. So, in that position especially, I go to thinking in terms of B rather than "G from a 1st-finger-stretch root". Gmaj7 in this position is somewhat of a Bm7 chord, both theoretically and visually/kinesthetically. B-D-F# are all chord tones from B, and only the G (b13 of B) is somewhat foreign to a newcomer. I would argue, at the very least, that most experienced players "think" Bm faster from this position than Gmajor, regardless of time put in. I would speculate that this only "clicks" at a very high level of experience and understanding, at which point you are subconsciously viewing things in the same "SFR manner" anyway. From what I can understand, Reg's purpose with the SFR is to promote this manner of seeing/hearing/thinking from the beginning, rather than as a random artifact of 1000's of hours on the instrument.

    So, when I woodshed Gmaj and Gmaj7 melodic patterns for our Patterns for Jazz group, thinking of that position in (physical) terms of a Bm chord (with added b13). When there were technical breakdowns with more difficult (chromatic etc) patterns in that position, I defaulted to thinking more in terms of Bm (again physically/not necessarily "modally"). Honestly, this B Phrygian fingering is a good gateway for the curious, again because it is "foreign enough" to disrupt automatic pattern/position thought processes associated with more familiar fingerings. After discovering some of this, I started doing more work on trying to clean up my capacity to see/think from the SFR perspective in other positions.

    I find this perspective to be particularly helpful in "viewing" would-be 4th finger arpeggios in all positions and all chord types. So, you practice learning to think of D7 for example, beginning on C (2nd finger; "Lydian position") as if it's a type of "C" chord. The benefits are multi-level honestly. It certainly doesn't "replace" prior knowledge. It simply adds a layer of understanding, theoretically sure, but more importantly a different "kinesthetic understanding". My hands respond differently when thinking from C versus thinking D7 from the 4th finger. Anyway, that's a lot of words to describe something that is 99.9999% non-verbal, but honestly, there's nothing to be done about that other than to actually explore the playing/visualizing aspects of this concept.

    So, if I'm working on something in that position which is more difficult, I am able to go back to that bottom level of viewing notes/intervals from the context of B, rather than a G "root note" from a 1st-finger-stretch. Thinking of this position is helpful for the aspect that it is probably the most alien to those of us who have played for a while. This position has given me more insight into the positive benefits of the second finger reference (2FR), because I didn't previously "think" in this position from years of prior practice.

    I feel that it also needs to be expressed that, with completion of the Phrygian fingering, you have a physical reference for all 12 tones chromatically, from any given position on the fretboard, and each one of those is a concrete diatonic reference from one of the fingerings. 5 fingerings don't cover these in-position, and a purely chromatic viewpoint of potential stretches from fingers 1 or 4 produce numerous unisons and "choices to be made" about where chromatic notes should be played. Reg's fingerings reduce the choices to 1, eliminating unisons and other "choice issues", at least it pertains to "defaults". You can, of course, finger things other ways as well. But that mental clarity and simplification is no small thing. Its benefits related to sightreading alone make it well worth considering.

    To question #3. Yes, but they’re going to keep chasing it. It’s current versions don’t have the original title keywords. Download it (and its siblings), and for the good of all mankind, upload it to Odysee/ Lbry.tv or somesuch. Youtube search on terms “Rosenwinkel workshop” and similar to find all. I think “R0senwinke1 w0rk5h@p” now yields nothing. (These videos have turned me into an insurrectionist I guess. I think they should be out there and available.)


    To “Reg approach” naysayers, I’d suggest that you watch the Kurt video and honestly ask whether you believe that he (or reg) are primarily referring to modal understanding (or modal playing), or are they mostly describing a more basic physical understanding. Modal understanding and hearing is only one level of analysis and not unimportant. It may arguably not be the most important initially, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’d have to somewhat work modal approaches separately later, if not integrated as “arbitrary fingering labels” in the beginning.

    Stretch fingerings in and of themselves are somewhat of a separate issue to the thought process, but to be fair, there is a direct correlation to the ideas validity and the use of shifts (resulting in fewer constants). Again, please listen to Kurt’s actual words on thought process regarding position etc.

    To question #4, I mostly answered with a lot of my thought process on this in #2. Simply understand that you still have to woodshed things somewhat separately, but it’s different when you view arpeggios as variations of a "parent" position-arpeggio.

    Thank you so very much Matt! Hahaha, will definitely need some time to fully digest this post. Will post a full reply if I'm done ;p. And indeed, when I looked at Reg's fingerings I never considered the physical understanding part. I was mostly looking at the musical understanding (intervals etc.). On the piano it looks like this physical aspect is much more emphasized. Also thank you so very much for the Kurt Rosenwinkle video, I will save it ASAP . I only now really understands his explanation, it wasn't clear to me how it differed from other fingering systems. Interesting is how he calls a position the "G position" or the "A position". I first thought he meant the complete G major shape in that position but he refers to his middle finger is on the G or A note. So when he plays G Dorian with his middle finger on the 3rd fret he is still in the G position . It is more of a physical thing than a "musical" (for lack of a better therm) thing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Sun
    My perception of Reg's scale fingerings - from someone who doesn't have the discipline or the attention span to put in the time they deserve - is that they're trying to help us be like a piano by providing an absolute visual landmark for how we approach the notes on our instrument.

    Piano is easy. It's one dimensional, with an asymmetrical pattern that makes it super easy to play a note, look at it, and go "oh, okay, that's G sharp because it's the black key after the first instance of unseperated white keys. Cool.", which also means that if you want to play that note, it's easy to find it.

    The guitar neck is two dimensional and there's no real easy visual pattern for finding things. Reg's system gives us 7 repeating reference points on the 6th string that we can use to help find and figure out where notes are on the fretboard without having to think about it - "Alright, I'm on the second finger reference of C, G flat is the next string with my ring finger." The fact that the intervals are preserved is nice, too.

    Obviously once you'd put in the work, this stuff becomes so second nature that you don't have to think about it any more and you can use any fingering you want. But the goal of the system - and the reason I think it's so great - is that it's a systematic way to learn the locations of the notes on the fretboard using easy to find landmarks.
    Wow! This is exactly what I tried to convey in my opening post but you worded it much more concise and eloquently! I should replace my OP with this text . It took a lot of time for me to finally see this! It required a shift in my thinking of looking at everything from the internal/relative perspective to a more absolute perspective (note names).

    How do you visualize arpeggios and other modes if I may ask? Say, middle finger on the G 3rd fret 6th string (low E). Then you want to play C major, what is your thought process? Is it like you know the notes of the scale? C D E F G A B? Or do you think of something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    1. OK, so how is that different or superior to CAGED? (The CAGED fingerings likewise connect with each other and there is no "fretboard blank space" in between).

    2. And if it's superior to CAGED, is it likewise inferior to 9 or 12 fingerings such as Leavitt described/defined? (Leavitt's fingerings being the superset of "Reg's" fingerings).

    3. Final question - How in the world did I get through this post without using the word "reference"?
    Again Shadow of the Sun's reply is probably much easier to understand but since I started this thread ;p..... Lets say you play a G major scale E shape. Your middle finger is on the G note on the sixth string. You play the pattern you know. Now, play a F major scale but stay in the same position. Using the CAGED system you will probably need to "rethink/repaint" your fretboard since instead of G now F is the reference point. The other notes are build around that F note. This can be quite mentally taxing IMO. Also note that you will now play the G on the sixth string with your index finger instead of your middle finger as you are using the F major D shape CAGED pattern. So there is this constant switch of a reference point. Using the Reg fingerings you want keep the middle finger on the G and just flatten the F# and flatten the B but the G stays your point of reference.

  13. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Yeah, I think no that’s right. so there’s a fair amount to talk about here, but the important thing is that the fingering must reflect the phrasing.

    So an added note scale is a musical phrase. It doesn’t make any sense to put the B on a different string to the Bb when descending, or break up neighbour tone/chord tone groups onto different strings (unless they make sense with the phrasing.)

    I think trying to practice added note scales in traditional positions might not be the most useful thing to do.

    so you reference slurring into the beat which is connected to that.

    Again one octave cells help a lot.

    I really think conventional positions get abandoned pretty quickly when I have to play actual jazz phrases.

    in terms of reps for learning, there’s a lot to unpack there. I’ll leave a link for you to find out more about interleaved practice (assuming you haven’t already looked into it).
    The application of spacing and interleaving approaches in the classroom | impact.chartered.college
    That link is very interesting! AFAIK you are doing a Master's in music education right (please correct me if I'm wrong ;p)? Could you please share more about efficient practice methods? Lol, maybe we should create a separate thread ;p.

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark
    That link is very interesting! AFAIK you are doing a Master's in music education right (please correct me if I'm wrong ;p)? Could you please share more about efficient practice methods? Lol, maybe we should create a separate thread ;p.
    I am, final year now!

    sounds good! Let’s do a practice thread. The only thing is a lot of threads obsess about what to practice.. that really varies player to player, so I find it a bit of a pointless discussion... but *how* one practices is an interesting area.

  15. #64

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    I certainly concede the main point behind these systems, that the nature of the guitar makes it easier to see relative interval relationships rather than absolute notes. Having both is of course the golden mean. I haven't looked into his system yet, but Tom Quayle also has an intervallic approach to finding your way around the fretboard.

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Sun
    The way I see most people use the CAGED system is that it's a movable reference, where you use the root on a given string and then make the scales around it. That is not how I personally approach Reg's system, nor how I believe most of the advocates use it. With Reg's system, I use the 7 "landmarks" as fixed references, figure out the notes around them, and then sharpen and flatten the notes to fit the scale, more akin to how a piano player does.

    Basically, I see CAGED as a system with movable roots and positions, whereas Reg's system is about using fixed notes on the 6th string to map out the neck and then treating it like the piano keyboard and chosing the notes you play rather than just playing the pattern.
    In my opinion it's partly physical, but also very mental. I think it has a lot to do with how one chooses to think about and visual it.

    Firstly, no offense to Reg, who is a gentleman and fine musician.

    But -

    1. So and so's fingerings: It's not "Reg's" system, nor his fingerings. I don't know if it/they belong to anyone but if they do, it's probably Bill Leavitt. Reg prefers a subset of Leavitt's 12 fingerings. One could ask - "who doesn't"?

    2. Moveable reference: All fingerings other than open position fingerings are moveable. For chords, scales, and arpeggios.

    3. So-called CAGED fingerings: A few of the so-called CAGED fingerings date back 200 years to Sor and Carcassi, at least. Non-stretch, comfortable fingerings. And yes, moveable. Did they refer to them as CAGED back then? Nope. Were they conceived from chord forms? Hmmm.

    4. Stretch vs. non-stretch scale fingerings - We can take most moveable scale fingerings and alter them by stretching up or back for a higher or lower note - OR - we can shift to play those notes. It's a choice.

    5. Mental process and Diatonic scale fingerings - Using the major scale as a baseline reference for thinking about/visualizing minor scales is mentally useful. That visualization approach can be applied to modes as well. If we stretch to reach the different notes there's less to memorize, less to think about - plus we become more cognizant of the differences in the various scales/modes because we see them as variations on a theme, so to speak. Intellectually speaking, that's efficient, that's all to the good.

    6. Physical realities of Finger stretching - stretching is part of guitar playing, but how much stretching is the question/concern. Generally speaking, a lot of stretching is hard on the hands. We want to take care of our hands for the long haul. Factors like scale length, size of hands, and position on the fretboard (i.e. low vs. high) all come into play of course.

    When it comes to the odd chord here and there stretching is one thing, but when it comes to scales and arpeggios it's another thing altogether. We may not practice scales 2 hours a day like Segovia advised, but we might play scales/arpeggios/melodies more than 2 hours a day. Put another way, when Barney Kessell was practicing 5 hours per day how much of that time was spent on chords? (The same question goes for any other master jazz guitarist).

    7. Too much information and mental fog associated with many scale and arpeggio fingerings: When we use non-stretch fingerings for scales/modes/arpeggios we have a little bit more information to memorize (the shifts that is). Since we can't learn them all at once we build up a stack of information over time. Mentally speaking we increase our load. We think about and practice them seperately.

    So can we have our cake and eat it too? That is, can we use hand-friendly non-stretch fingerings without having a super computer for a brain?

    Yes. One way to have things come together (mentally) as opposed to stay apart is to practice scales and modes in one position before moving to the next. In other words for a given position play all scales/modes from the same root on the same string/fret. That can be done with stretch or non-stretch fingerings. When we do this the different notes start to stand out in our minds. It's a matter of how we practice. The same should be done with arpeggios. (see Leavitt's arpeggio drills in Volume 3).

    8. Is stretching superior? Django had 2 fingers so had to shift like nobody's business. Wes didn't use his pinky as much as many others do, so likewise shifted a lot. People will tell you that those were the two greatest jazz guitarists of all time.

    9. The utility of 6-string scale fingerings. Most jazz lines move an octave OR LESS before moving in the opposite direction, at least for a few notes. The overall range of a melody may span several octaves but most lines retreat slightly up or back before moving higher or lower into another octave. What's the point? The point is that guitarists don't focus on one-octave fingerings enough. I believe that Christian M. touched on that very topic here recently.

    A Berklee instructor made a point to beginning jazz guitarists to the effect of "you are probably going to start every idea from the root and on the 6th string, but I don't want you to do that".

    Ask yourself, what percentage of notes are played on string set 6/5/4 in a typical jazz guitar solo? What percentage of notes are played on the 6th string in a jazz guitar solo? I don't know but will hazard a guess that it's less than 3%.

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark
    Again Shadow of the Sun's reply is probably much easier to understand but since I started this thread ;p..... Lets say you play a G major scale E shape. Your middle finger is on the G note on the sixth string. You play the pattern you know. Now, play a F major scale but stay in the same position. Using the CAGED system you will probably need to "rethink/repaint" your fretboard since instead of G now F is the reference point. The other notes are build around that F note. This can be quite mentally taxing IMO. Also note that you will now play the G on the sixth string with your index finger instead of your middle finger as you are using the F major D shape CAGED pattern. So there is this constant switch of a reference point. Using the Reg fingerings you want keep the middle finger on the G and just flatten the F# and flatten the B but the G stays your point of reference.
    This is the clearest explanation I've seen. I'm still unclear what "repeating reference points" are. What is repeating about them?

    I can tell from hearing Reg play that his system works, but I'm going to post here why I didn't think a pattern based approach made sense for me. Mostly, it's because I couldn't easily memorize multiple geometric patterns. But, there was some additional logic that supported using a note based approach.

    When I tried to learn patterns, I was root bound. If I learned a pattern, I usually started on the 6th string and played the pattern in order of ascending pitch. Later, when I wanted to use the pattern in a song, I'd find it easy to start on the 6th string note, as usual, and much harder to start somewhere in the middle of the pattern. This did not help me with something as easy as, say, switching from G7 to C7.

    So, I thought, suppose I want to master the G7-C7? At the time, I was trying to use four sixth-string-based patterns for G7 (or any 7th chord)-- starting, respectively, on G B D F. So I'd need to know four fingering patterns for G7. And, I'd have to practice each one of them in ascending sequence, thirds, fourths etc to the point where I could start anywhere within the pattern. Then, when it came to switch to C7, I could use the same four patterns.

    A complication was introduced because I had also practiced patterns starting on the 5th string, which made everything more confusing. And, 4 patterns per chord may not be enough for comprehensive coverage of the fingerboard. What happens if you finished D7 at the 5th fret and want to play C7 at the fifth fret -- so you'd like to play G7 at the 5th fret in between. The patterns are at the 3rd and 7th frets based on a 6th string starting point. What you need, I guess, is a 5th string starting point on the D or F.

    It also occurred to me that G7 to C7 on piano is all white keys for G7 and then flatten the B to Bb for C7. You want to outline the sound of the change, make that B->Bb clear. But, the patterns gave me no insight into that. And, if that C7 led to an Fmaj7, the pattern didn't tell me that the notes would be the same as the C7 notes, except emphasizing different ones.

    The epiphany came when I realized that I could readily improvise on Cmaj7 using a C scale. I knew where all the notes of a C scale are on the guitar because I knew how to read. And, I could play in F, because I knew to flat the B. And G, because I knew to sharp the F.

    But, not F#, because I couldn't instantly identify the notes. Or G#. You don't see songs written in G#, but you do see chords like G#m7. If you have to think "G# is the same as Ab and I know Ab" you're too late. They all have to be instantaneous.

    So, I thought, it will be a lot of work to learn all the note names in every key, arp and scale I use. But, it would be even harder to do it with a pattern based approach. So I started drilling it. And, for chords with alterations, it seemed easier to find them by name rather than pattern.

    Eventually, the advantages started piling up. One advantage is that it is easy to see the voice leading. If you know the notes you want you can instantly identify what changes from one chord to the next in a song. That's true for soloing, and it's also true for comping. Suddenly it became easy to comp in chord fragments rather than having to rely solely on grips.

    It became easy to play on a chord with alterations because the altered notes (and their location) were obvious.

    Where the system falls down a bit is at high tempo. Then, having practiced patterns and licks helps. I accepted this limitation because I am not as interested in playing high tempo as I should be, I don't hear the music that way and I have limited chops. I'd like to be able to play better, faster, but I ended up thinking that I'd rather devote my time to other aspects of playing.

    I'm well aware that many great players did not do it my way.

    If I were still teaching, I'd include learning to read early on. And, then maybe introduce improvisation one key at a time, to the extent possible.

  18. #67
    Ok. CAGED isn't a "method" or "system", just as EGBDF isn't a "method". It wasn't designed by single person. It's the natural result of the way notes layout on the fretboard.

    In the same way, if you formulate scale fingerings based on shifts you're going to arrive at the same thing almost every time. The same is true for stretch fingerings. If you follow the basic protocol for how to address scale fingering using stretches, you are going to end up with the same fingerings as reg or Leavitt

    Reg and others i have talked to on the forum over the years claim to have arrived at these fingerings on their own, and I'm not going to question that. They predate his arrival at Berklee. Off the top of my head, wolfen shares the same experience. I'm not going to call them liars. They're real people , and they exist on this platform. Reg has shared tons of actual playing here as well.

    Again, William Leavitt's OWN breakdown of "evolution of scale fingerings" or somesuch in volume 3 illustrate how these are naturally occurring. Levitt deserves absolute credit for organizing them and systematizing a way of thinking cycling through them. He didn't "invent them", but he gave them a name and popularized them in publishing his work and deserves credit for that aspect.

    Stretches versus shifts has been talked about forever. They both have their strengths and weaknesses.

    While it's true that CAGED is "repeating" and covers the entire fretboard in a sense, tart simple statement misses. many of the implications made about stretch fingerings. positive aspects have to be acknowledged in addition to aspects of it being more difficult to finger etc. surface level statement of them "both being repeating patterns" fails to acknowledge that.

    In CAGED, for example, there are three major chord analogs, starting from the second finger/ sixth string which work for three major chords in the scale. In the other fingering protocol, the same is true for the three minor chords as well. Mixolydian and Dorian are analogous in the same way that they are on the piano . Only one degree of separation for the one changed pitch. Beings which are "mostly the same" are played and represented that way , rather then having to be started from a completely different finger.

    It's reasonable to question whether it's "worth it" with stretches to achieve this, but it's not reasonable to suggest that this is no difference at all.

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher

    Reg and others i have talked to on the forum over the years claim to have arrived at these fingerings on their own, and I'm not going to question that. They predate his arrival at Berklee. Off the top of my head, wolfen shares the same experience. I'm not going to call them liars. They're real people , and they exist on this platform. Reg has shared tons of actual playing here as well.


    Leon White in his book Styles for the Studio (1976) showed the same seven patterns but utilizing primarily 4th finger stretches. He has claimed on this forum and elsewhere that the fingerings were born out of the necessity for having to do a lot of sight reading.

    I worked out the alternate fingerings (1st finger stretches) on my own. For my own approach, I find 4th finger stretches facilitate playing in major modes while 1st finger stretches facilitate playing in minor modes.


    .

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    Ok. CAGED isn't a "method" or "system", just as EGBDF isn't a "method". It wasn't designed by single person. It's the natural result of the way notes layout on the fretboard.

    In the same way, if you formulate scale fingerings based on shifts you're going to arrive at the same thing almost every time. The same is true for stretch fingerings. If you follow the basic protocol for how to address scale fingering using stretches, you are going to end up with the same fingerings as reg or Leavitt

    Reg and others i have talked to on the forum over the years claim to have arrived at these fingerings on their own, and I'm not going to question that. They predate his arrival at Berklee. Off the top of my head, wolfen shares the same experience. I'm not going to call them liars. They're real people , and they exist on this platform. Reg has shared tons of actual playing here as well.

    Again, William Leavitt's OWN breakdown of "evolution of scale fingerings" or somesuch in volume 3 illustrate how these are naturally occurring. Levitt deserves absolute credit for organizing them and systematizing a way of thinking cycling through them. He didn't "invent them", but he gave them a name and popularized them in publishing his work and deserves credit for that aspect.

    Stretches versus shifts has been talked about forever. They both have their strengths and weaknesses.

    While it's true that CAGED is "repeating" and covers the entire fretboard in a sense, tart simple statement misses. many of the implications made about stretch fingerings. positive aspects have to be acknowledged in addition to aspects of it being more difficult to finger etc. surface level statement of them "both being repeating patterns" fails to acknowledge that.

    In CAGED, for example, there are three major chord analogs, starting from the second finger/ sixth string which work for three major chords in the scale. In the other fingering protocol, the same is true for the three minor chords as well. Mixolydian and Dorian are analogous in the same way that they are on the piano . Only one degree of separation for the one changed pitch. Beings which are "mostly the same" are played and represented that way , rather then having to be started from a completely different finger.

    It's reasonable to question whether it's "worth it" with stretches to achieve this, but it's not reasonable to suggest that this is no difference at all.

    Thanks for your thoughts Matt.

    There are other stretch fingerings that are not Leavitt's so I can't agree that a person would end up where he did.

    And I'm certainly not saying there is no difference. I'm just saying that stretches for everything under the sun is bad news for one's hands. I played all of Leavitt's diatonic and symmetrical scale fingerings for years so I'm not just imagining what it might be like. I have size 14 shoes and fairly big hands, but I also play long scale guitars. The Leavitt fingerings were cute in my early 20s. Later on, not so much. Did I pound my scales? Yes, was taught to.

    In my opinion any 6th string/2nd finger "reference" for a minor scale/mode/arpeggio is bad news because it has a player endlessly stretching two frets between the 1rst and 2nd fingers, no matter where they are on the neck. That's bad news.

    All of this is just an opinion of course, but as someone said above, if I were still teaching I would steer my students away from stretch fingerings (even though I didn't back then). I drank the factory kool-aid.

  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by FwLineberry
    Leon White in his book Styles for the Studio (1976) showed the same seven patterns but utilizing primarily 4th finger stretches. He has claimed on this forum and elsewhere that the fingerings were born out of the necessity for having to do a lot of sight reading.

    I worked out the alternate fingerings (1st finger stretches) on my own. For my own approach, I find 4th finger stretches facilitate playing in major modes while 1st finger stretches facilitate playing in minor modes.


    .
    I believe that sight reading support was very important for Leavitt's fingerings as well.

    Aaron Shearer has at least one and perhaps two 4th finger stretch fingerings as I recall, but advised they be used in higher fretboard positions. That makes good sense to me.

    In fact one might go so far as to say that a few stretch fingerings are preferred above the 12th fret because things get bunchy up there.

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    I believe that sight reading support was very important for Leavitt's fingerings as well.

    Aaron Shearer has at least one and perhaps two 4th finger stretch fingerings as I recall, but advised they be used in higher fretboard positions. That makes good sense to me.

    In fact one might go so far as to say that a few stretch fingerings are preferred above the 12th fret because things get bunchy up there.
    I read all the time, playing in horn bands with the guitar voiced as a horn, big bands, and groups playing originals and other stuff that I've never seen before.

    But, at no time have I ever thought about a fingering pattern when trying to read something. It wouldn't occur to me. I don't understand why other players (some who read for a living) think that way.

    It works like this. If the passage is slow or otherwise easy enough, you can play it any which way. If it's faster or harder in some other way (e.g. big jumps, wide range, lays poorly) then you have to look at the notes and figure out how to make them playable. If the notes lay well on the instrument you won't have to think about a fingering pattern and if they don't lay well, a fingering pattern won't help. In fact, the problems are usually in the right hand unless you're really got sweeping down pat.

    As far as stretching goes, I'd say this. One of the mitigating factors is that is it surprisingly quick to move your entire left hand as you need out-of-position notes. When I first learned 3nps scales (Chuck Wayne style) it didn't occur to me to move my left hand -- I tried to do it by trying to separate my fingers further. Later, I stopped using 3nps fingerings for the most part - too uncomfortable. BTW, I met Chuck many years ago and shook hands with him. It didn't occur to me to measure his hands, but they were probably bigger than mine.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 03-06-2021 at 05:16 PM.

  23. #72

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    You beat me to it rpjazzguitar.

    I learned sight reading in positions, but now I think perhaps the most important thing is knowing where the notes are on the neck (duh!) and being able to recognise familiar shapes, for example, common voicings, scales and arpeggios. These should be played in precisely the same way as you normally would, whatever they are.

    Easily said...

  24. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    You beat me to it rpjazzguitar.

    I learned sight reading in positions, but now I think perhaps the most important thing is knowing where the notes are on the neck (duh!) and being able to recognise familiar shapes, for example, common voicings, scales and arpeggios. These should be played in precisely the same way as you normally would, whatever they are.

    Easily said...
    Just to amplify the point. Suppose the first two notes you want to play are G (same pitch as the open string) and B (a third up).

    So, I might put my second finger on G on the D-string and play the B with my first finger on the G string.

    But, if the first two notes are G and A, then I might put my first finger on the G and play the A with my third finger.

    If I was playing lower down on the neck, I might start with my fourth finger at the fifth fret. Or, higher up, some other way. It would depend on the passage before and the passage after.

    How does a fingering help?

    If the answer is, it helps you find the notes, my view is that it would probably worth the investment of time and energy to learn them all cold -- by learning to read.

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Just to amplify the point. Suppose the first two notes you want to play are G (same pitch as the open string) and B (a third up).

    So, I might put my second finger on G on the D-string and play the B with my first finger on the G string.

    But, if the first two notes are G and A, then I might put my first finger on the G and play the A with my third finger.

    If I was playing lower down on the neck, I might start with my fourth finger at the fifth fret. Or, higher up, some other way. It would depend on the passage before and the passage after.

    How does a fingering help?

    If the answer is, it helps you find the notes, my view is that it would probably worth the investment of time and energy to learn them all cold -- by learning to read.
    Well I think this relates to discrete separation between note knowledge and fingering; which relates to my misgivings about the approach in the OP.

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Well I think this relates to discrete separation between note knowledge and fingering; which relates to my misgivings about the approach in the OP.
    I confess that I still don't understand the OP.

    If you already know where all the notes on the fretboard are, instantaneously, would you still need to think about any of these fingering patterns?

    And, if you don't know the notes, wouldn't it be easier to spend the time to learn them and thereby reduce the pressure to learn multiple patterns of dots on grids?

    Or, if the issue is having stuff under your fingers for high tempos, why not go right to vocabulary by lifting licks?

  27. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I confess that I still don't understand the OP.

    If you already know where all the notes on the fretboard are, instantaneously, would you still need to think about any of these fingering patterns?

    And, if you don't know the notes, wouldn't it be easier to spend the time to learn them and thereby reduce the pressure to learn multiple patterns of dots on grids?

    Or, if the issue is having stuff under your fingers for high tempos, why not go right to vocabulary by lifting licks?
    I wonder

    Well I think Shadow od the Sun put it well, so I'm going by what he said? I'm assuming he understood the OP lol.

    If I see an E melodic minor scale written down in a piece of music I'm going to read that scale from the specified lowest note to the highest without reading each note, for instance. If I see a Cmaj7 chord in drop 2, I will read and play the whole voicings as an object. If I see a common bebop lick, the same. Knowing the rule of the octave ought to make you better at sight reading baroque music and so on.

    Reading (like transcription) becomes much harder when the music is unfamiliar. I can read Parker better than Schoenberg. It's the same 12 notes of course; but Parker uses many of the combinations I know well.

    So what I'm thinking is link the improvisational aspect and reading aspect. Add transcription/ear learning into this trinity, and I think you are really onto something.

    Sight reading, as my tutor pointed out, is a form of improvisation. Good sight readers anticipate the music.

    Of course if you improvise with the 7 positions system then that's all fine, isn't it? (I know I don't.) I'm suggesting that a unity of approach in all the playing you do is actually really important.

  28. #77
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I confess that I still don't understand the OP.

    If you already know where all the notes on the fretboard are, instantaneously, would you still need to think about any of these fingering patterns?

    And, if you don't know the notes, wouldn't it be easier to spend the time to learn them and thereby reduce the pressure to learn multiple patterns of dots on grids?

    Or, if the issue is having stuff under your fingers for high tempos, why not go right to vocabulary by lifting licks?
    The OP 's trying to learn the fretboard, and you seem to already know it. So, we're talking about two different stages . Reg's assertion, from having taught others the same, has always been that the fastest route to YOUR level of fretboard knowledge is to commit to an organized approach... and that it would get a newer player there faster than "just plugging away" etc.

    Unconscious mastery doesn't necessarily inform what beginning processes should be. The way I experience reading music is really pretty different from my six and seven-year-old students, and why shouldn't it be? It's completely different. From what you've described, you seem to be better at having figured this out than most. Congrats.

    But continually asking what's in it for you is somewhat analogous to a professional driver asking why he should memorize the sequence of steps that Driver's Ed students learn. Much of the discussion in this thread seems to be like hammering the point home that "Real drivers never think out sequential steps while driving. You don't think. You just drive". That's absolutely true but also completely beside the point.

    The problem with that argument is that it's conflating learner's processes with unconscious mastery of experts . Abstracted, sequential steps are necessary in most complex disciplines in the beginning. Teaching a beginning driver can be very frightening, frustratingand very difficult. The truth is that most of the difficulty stems from the fact that experienced drivers mostly CAN'T remember what they actually do, because it's done without conscious thought. Acquiring skill at anything is mostly about moving processes from the domainof the left hemisphere conscious (slower) to the right hemisphere (intuitive).

    To be fair, the OP is about how to get started.

  29. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77

    Of course if you improvise with the 7 positions system then that's all fine, isn't it? (I know I don't.) I'm suggesting that a unity of approach in all the playing you do is actually really important.
    At the risk of beating the horse beyond reason, what I'm trying to do is think of a melody and play it. I don't want the geometry of the guitar to be a factor. I certainly don't want it to be audible. So, if I think of a melodic idea I want to play it as I thought it. I have no interest in somehow having to think about a fingering. Of course, that's a goal not a reality, but, to my ear, the worst part of any solo I play is when my fingers are playing a pattern without my brain governing it.

  30. #79
    rpjazzguitar: when I say they're repeating, I mean that after one octave or twelve frets, they repeat. Sorry if that threw you for a loop.

    Danplaysguitar: I call it reg's system coz reg is how I first encountered it here on these forums, and he's the one who managed to somewhat explain the utility of the system to me (admittedly his posts are all stream of consciousness so it takes a bit of deciphering for me). The hows and whys of actually playing the stretches in actual play is kind of besides the point - the idea is to use the 7 reference points with stretches as a way to make an association between the location of the notes on the 6th string to the other notes around it. As long as I'm figuring from C on the 6th string, it doesn't matter if I play E flat with a first finger stretch or not in actual playing, I just know where the C is and I know, as such, where the E is. It's a way to visually and physically understand where the notes are on the fretboard based on a one dimensional pattern like the piano keyboard has.
    Last edited by Shadow of the Sun; 03-06-2021 at 09:55 PM.

  31. #80

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    Does it really matter who discovered how to finger a major scale first?

    Reg came up with and presented a fingerboard organizational system based on seven, 2nd-finger-oriented positions. Referring to this as Reg's system or Reg's finger patterns is perfectly legitimate. Everybody involved knows what we're discussing.

    .

  32. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Sun
    rpjazzguitar: when I say they're repeating, I mean that after one octave or twelve frets, they repeat. Sorry if that threw you for a loop.

    Danplaysguitar: I call it reg's system coz reg is how I first encountered it here on these forums, and he's the one who managed to somewhat explain the utility of the system to me (admittedly his posts are all stream of consciousness so it takes a bit of deciphering for me). The hows and whys of actually playing the stretches in actual play is kind of besides the point - the idea is to use the 7 reference points with stretches as a way to make an association between the location of the notes on the 6th string to the other notes around it. As long as I'm figuring from C on the 6th string, it doesn't matter if I play E flat with a first finger stretch or not in actual playing, I just know where the C is and I know, as such, where the E is. It's a way to visually and physically understand where the notes are on the fretboard based on a one dimensional pattern like the piano keyboard has.
    Well to be accurate everything repeats after 12 frets on the guitar. Nothing unique there.

    Stretching is hard on the hands, so if one wishes to be good to their hands for the long haul using a scale and arpeggio set of fingerings that depend entirely upon it is hardly beside the point.

    Stretching can hamper control and also affect tone depending on how your finger tip gets placed on the string. That matters to some players more than others though.

    Scale fingerings that traverse all six strings may be useful for the practice room but aren’t used much in actual music. One could say that the best reason to play a 6 string scale in one position is that it reveals multiple one octave fingerings. And to repeat myself, other than chord playing the sixth string doesn’t get much business in the solo world, relative to the others. Basing ones core scale and arpeggio conceptualization on the sixth string doesn’t make a great deal of sense when we consider that we aren’t going to use that 6th string very much.

    most guitar soloing is pitched a little higher, and higher notes on the sixth string don’t have an attractive timbre relative to the same note on the fifth string.

    we need to learn and use all strings and positions of course, but should also be mindful of what gets used more than what.

    But don’t take my word for it. Look at 100 solo jazz guitar transcriptions and watch the master players live. How much luvin’ does that sixth string get for single lines?

  33. #82

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    I'll permit myself a ridiculous nitpick. The notes repeat after 12 frets, but the fingering at the 12th fret is not the same as at the nut. There is a practical difference in several ways. One is that open strings sound different and ring differently. Second is that you have to fret those notes at the 12th fret. Third is that when you play around the 12th fret you may have to reach to the 11th fret (or lower) which cannot happen at the nut.

    In practice, the 12 fret is the most confusing because you learned, first, at the nut, and it's almost the same thing, except it's different.

    Another small nitpick. If you can learn the notes on the low E string, why not learn the notes on the other 5 strings? I think a good player (this is a risky thing to say) ought to know every note on the fretboard as an individual with no ambiguity or confusion. If a student doesn't, I'd say go two for one -- learn the fretboard as you learn to read. Then you'll know both.

  34. #83

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    rpjazzguitar,

    I agree that reading is an excellent way to learn the fingerboard assuming that over time you play in all the different regions or can extrapolate what is happening elsewhere based on what happens in the places you do
    spend your time playing.


    If you already know where all the notes on the fretboard are, instantaneously, would you still need to think about any of these fingering patterns?
    Maybe, if you lack an organized approach to fingering that allows you to play with clarity and tempo.

  35. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako
    rpjazzguitar,
    Maybe, if you lack an organized approach to fingering that allows you to play with clarity and tempo.
    I guess I had an organized approach to fingering when I was taught to run scales and arps, although I don't use it.

    At this point, I don't even know what it means to have an "organized approach to fingering". When you read, it's either simple and obvious or there's a problem to solve.

    The solution to a problem is often not a standard fingering, because it matters what came before and what's coming next. You get good at reading a little ahead and figuring out where you're going to play the notes. If the tempo is slow enough and the passage easy enough it does not require much thought. If the passage is fast and difficult, well, there's a point where you aren't going to be able to play it and you'll have to set aside some time to figure out a fingering (sometimes considering quite a number) which works.

  36. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Last point -- I'm what some might think of as "old". I don't have a great many years left to play -- so I'm trying to consolidate things
    into a style rather than explore brand new vistas. The idea is to make the stuff I can hear and execute sound better
    and not to be distracted from that goal.
    Good point !

    Same here... What's brand new anyways ?

  37. #86

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    For me it’s which finger goes on which note when you play a particular scale. Same as piano except the keyboard is very simple compared to the fretboard. I’m a beginner so I just start with the C and G harmonic and natural minors and try to practice them over the first 4 bars of Whisper Not. I can even practice without a guitar by imagining the fretboard and singing the notes. Now I’m training scales,auditory skills and knowing locations of notes. Before I overdo it I only practice around the 10th fret skipping the bass string.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  38. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    At the risk of beating the horse beyond reason, what I'm trying to do is think of a melody and play it. I don't want the geometry of the guitar to be a factor. I certainly don't want it to be audible. So, if I think of a melodic idea I want to play it as I thought it. I have no interest in somehow having to think about a fingering. Of course, that's a goal not a reality, but, to my ear, the worst part of any solo I play is when my fingers are playing a pattern without my brain governing it.
    There's a difference between practicing and playing.

  39. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Well to be accurate everything repeats after 12 frets on the guitar. Nothing unique there.

    Stretching is hard on the hands, so if one wishes to be good to their hands for the long haul using a scale and arpeggio set of fingerings that depend entirely upon it is hardly beside the point.

    Stretching can hamper control and also affect tone depending on how your finger tip gets placed on the string. That matters to some players more than others though.

    Scale fingerings that traverse all six strings may be useful for the practice room but aren’t used much in actual music. One could say that the best reason to play a 6 string scale in one position is that it reveals multiple one octave fingerings. And to repeat myself, other than chord playing the sixth string doesn’t get much business in the solo world, relative to the others. Basing ones core scale and arpeggio conceptualization on the sixth string doesn’t make a great deal of sense when we consider that we aren’t going to use that 6th string very much.

    most guitar soloing is pitched a little higher, and higher notes on the sixth string don’t have an attractive timbre relative to the same note on the fifth string.

    we need to learn and use all strings and positions of course, but should also be mindful of what gets used more than what.

    But don’t take my word for it. Look at 100 solo jazz guitar transcriptions and watch the master players live. How much luvin’ does that sixth string get for single lines?
    His teaching is mostly around the first four strings. This argument about focusing on six string feels made up. It's silly to talk about all of this as if it's hypothetical or something. ...Like he didn't write out a bunch of stuff and play hours of examples, anonymously, for no apparent gain, and pretending that he didn't focus most of his licks etc around the first four strings rather than the six string and hypothetically talk about how the opposite is more contrived and difficult. He actually has stated that the playing is mostly around the first four strings - the higher octave in a given position.

    Again, this is a real player. Do whatever you like... whatever prevents your fingers fumbling on the fretboard. These aren't HYPOTHETICAL musings on this part, and it's ridiculous to insinuate that they are - as if he hasn't actually played all of this stuff as well. This rant about "sixth string playing" could have been written by someone who has never watched a single one of his actual playing videos.

  40. #89

    I feel like this conversation has somewhat devolved into talking about these concepts as if they're purely theoretical and separate from the music , and additionally separate from the musician himself, who claims that they have been a profound help to him and others he has taught. It's had a profound impact on my view of the instrument and playing, along with many others on the forum over the years.

    It's perfectly valid to use thousands of words to talk about topics philosophically, going into a high level of abstraction and analysis, but a certain point, isn't it ridiculous to continue to highly abstract and philosophize over the fact that a given thing is too PHILOSOPHICAL and ABSTRACT? I don't know that you can do both. To those who would say it's about playing and about the music and not words, sure. To be fair, he can do both, along with Barry Harris and countless other teachers who actually play.

  41. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    His teaching is mostly around the first four strings. This argument about focusing on six string feels made up. It's silly to talk about all of this as if it's hypothetical or something. ...Like he didn't write out a bunch of stuff and play hours of examples, anonymously, for no apparent gain, and pretending that he didn't focus most of his licks etc around the first four strings rather than the six string and hypothetically talk about how the opposite is more contrived and difficult. He actually has stated that the playing is mostly around the first four strings - the higher octave in a given position.

    Again, this is a real player. Do whatever you like... whatever prevents your fingers fumbling on the fretboard. These aren't HYPOTHETICAL musings on this part, and it's ridiculous to insinuate that they are - as if he hasn't actually played all of this stuff as well. This rant about "sixth string playing" could have been written by someone who has never watched a single one of his actual playing videos.
    Well you seem to be talking about Reg but I'm not at all. This is a thread about fingerings, not a person. I know very little about his teaching but if he concentrates on strings 1-4 for soloing then that's a good thing IMO. Very practical. I would say the same to you, buddy. You can do whatever you want. You can follow whomever you desire. Oh, and while not a pro I'm a "real player" too. Been playing since I was 14.

    And the sixth string? I seem to recall someone else (not Reg) mentioning visualization from the sixth string as being some big advantage, and that's why I expanded on that focus area. It's probably unavoidable on the guitar, but I'll just repeat my point that playing scales across all six strings from low to high then back down again in a single position occurs very rarely in music. So, should we practice that way? Sure, a little.

    But practicing things that one wants to occur during improvisation is direct and to the point, not indirect. In other words, practing the jazz language. It's a lot of work. Best get to work on that.

  42. #91

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    Ok... who cares, I've always said....there are choices as to working out fingerings, but you need to finish whatever system you choose. The goal is to get to the point that fingerings don't get in the way of your playing.

    I've spent most of my life sight reading, playing gigs without rehearsals etc... I'm just an average pro, there are many better players. But I finished my approach 50 years ago. I took lessons from Bill Leavitt, while at Berklee...and he and Berklee expanded my ears, my understanding of music. My fingerings didn't get in the way...

    I rarely stay in one position, or just use my fingerings. The fingerings are just a reference 12 fret map that easily transposes anyway I choose. The system easily allows me to take musical concepts, expand and develop musical ideas in real time.

    It works really well for expanding Tonal concepts with Modal relationships. Ex. Taking a melody or lick and transpose up or down a diatonic degree, create a harmony part. Transpose into different key or mode. Key of C to Emaj or Emin. or E dorian.

    Disclaimer... I can actually play by ear and stare at my fretboard for effect.

    Here's an example... I was just a sub at the time, eventually became member.

  43. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Ok... who cares, I've always said....there are choices as to working out fingerings, but you need to finish whatever system you choose. The goal is to get to the point that fingerings don't get in the way of your playing.

    I've spent most of my life sight reading, playing gigs without rehearsals etc... I'm just an average pro, there are many better players. But I finished my approach 50 years ago. I took lessons from Bill Leavitt, while at Berklee...and he and Berklee expanded my ears, my understanding of music. My fingerings didn't get in the way...

    I rarely stay in one position, or just use my fingerings. The fingerings are just a reference 12 fret map that easily transposes anyway I choose. The system easily allows me to take musical concepts, expand and develop musical ideas in real time.

    It works really well for expanding Tonal concepts with Modal relationships. Ex. Taking a melody or lick and transpose up or down a diatonic degree, create a harmony part. Transpose into different key or mode. Key of C to Emaj or Emin. or E dorian.

    Disclaimer... I can actually play by ear and stare at my fretboard for effect.

    Here's an example... I was just a sub at the time, eventually became member.
    Nice playing Reg, wish we could hear you better in that recording.

    Could you expand a little on what you mean when you say "you need to finish whatever system you choose"?

    Thanks.

  44. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    His teaching is mostly around the first four strings. This argument about focusing on six string feels made up. It's silly to talk about all of this as if it's hypothetical or something. ...Like he didn't write out a bunch of stuff and play hours of examples, anonymously, for no apparent gain, and pretending that he didn't focus most of his licks etc around the first four strings rather than the six string and hypothetically talk about how the opposite is more contrived and difficult. He actually has stated that the playing is mostly around the first four strings - the higher octave in a given position.

    Again, this is a real player. Do whatever you like... whatever prevents your fingers fumbling on the fretboard. These aren't HYPOTHETICAL musings on this part, and it's ridiculous to insinuate that they are - as if he hasn't actually played all of this stuff as well. This rant about "sixth string playing" could have been written by someone who has never watched a single one of his actual playing videos.
    I just want to make something clear in case it's not. Reg is the real thing. I've had the opportunity to hear him live (at the venue where that video was recorded - with some of the same players). And, Reg was kind enough to have me sit in on another gig. His videos are both numerous and valuable. It is kind of him to offer his wisdom on here.

    That doesn't mean I understand his approach to fingering. I don't think I do. I've posted about it because his playing proves that his approach has value -- so I'd like to understand it better.

  45. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Nice playing Reg, wish we could hear you better in that recording.

    Could you expand a little on what you mean when you say "you need to finish whatever system you choose"?

    Thanks.
    Sure, keeping simple.

    The organization of how one developed fingerings on the fretboard needs to expand past just the fingerings of the scale or position.

    1) there are the physical details, the starting point of understanding what a position is.
    The root or tonal reference. (that's why I use 7 positions)
    The scale constructed from that root,
    The Chord and extensions
    The Arpeggios of all those chords possible etc...

    2) Next are the Relationships from that Position with a Tonal Reference.

    Usually starts with Diatonic Relationship, Functionally.
    ex. Bbmaj... and labeled as a Tonic, Imaj7.
    I see, hear, play, compose arrange etc... using Functional Relationships.

    Starting with basic Vanilla Maj/Min functional Relationships, Tonic, Subdominant and Dominant

    So That Bbma also implies the related Tonic chords, scales, arpeggios etc... III- or Dmin. and VI- Gmin.

    Next the sub dominant related Relationships and the Dominant Relationships.

    That's somewhat the starting point of finishing the understanding of what a position is.

    The more you know about Music.... the more Relationships you can develop from each position.

    Ex. A simple common jazz example is the use of Chord Patterns, most seem to get and use Dominant or versions of Imaj - V7 Chord Patterns, Bbmaj7 and F7.

    Depending on how well one understands Functional Harmonic Movement etc... there many more possible versions of Dominant Chord Patterns, The cool application of Chord Patterns is that they can imply and function as a single Tonal Target. The better you develop usage of harmonic Rhythm, (or use of harmonic movement within a space), the more options you'll have of expanding Chord Patterns.

    I don't know you or your musical knowledge etc.... but there are still many more vanilla options that can be implied from that single position, and then open the Subdominant door, then Modal.... with use of the other scales, pentatonics, Blue Notes.

    The point is that each position can become a Reference, a Tonal Target.... from which there are standard musical Relationship with possible Developments of those Relationships yada yada.

    So instead of simply playing in a position, a scale or chord.... you have expanded possibilities of what to play or hear.

    It's like having mechanical or memorized Licks that transpose to 7 different tonal references. helps one develop Harmonic possibilities from Chord Tones, Extensions and the rest of the notes.

    It's helps one embellish with organization both Macro and Micro. It doesn't mean you need to play everything, but it will help what you play physically be able to lock in both melodically and harmonically. And then when you get you rhythmical skills together... well, your ears will have a better chance of realizing what you hear.

    Sorry, I know I said Simple version... but it usually takes a year or two to get these technical skills together.

  46. #95

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    Yes thanks. And I assume we're talking about melody lines in the context of all these chordal/harmonic discussions, not chords themselves.

    I am cognizant enough to believe that the following should be mastered for any system of fingerings - at minimum:

    • 7 two-octave modes from the sixth string (simultaneously realizing that leaves out 7 alternate fingerings with CAGED and even more fingerings than that if one is a Leavitt 12-fingerings guy),
    • All one-octave modes within each fingering pattern,
    • Two octave scales/modes from the 6th and 5th strings, the latter involving a shift,
    • 3-octave scales/modes, although not as many as Berklee requires (utility vs. hours in the day is the concern),
    • 1, 2, and 3 octave arpeggios in the same fashion as the above (with similar sentiments toward 3 octave arpeggios - and - triad arpeggios). All inversions.
    • Other options - 2 octaves plus a fifth. Probably a more practical range than three octaves
    • All 12 keys in one positioan/area
    • All fingerings for one key (12 frets)
    • All one-octave modes from one note (same string, same fret)
    • All one-octave arpeggios from one note (same)
    • Jazz language exercises per chord quality - in all scale fingering patterns:
      • For one example - (1) half step below chord tone, (2) scale tone from above, (3) both. See Jospeh Viola as a reference but apply to the guitar).
      • 2,3,4 note approaches, enclosures, upper and lower neighbors yada yada.

    • Jazz language patterns and chord outlines per progression: in all practical scale fingering patterns:
      • Examples; II-V-Is, Blues, Rhythm Changes, Cycles, Turnarounds, Coltrane changes



    • Constantly reading a variety of material in each position/fingering pattern/area of the fretboard.



    So, that covers a lot, some would say too much. But it doesn't cover everything (nothing really does). What do we think is missing?

    Thanks again.

  47. #96

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    No not at all, those are the 1st step. The basics technical aspects of guitar technique. Then you learn about how to organize within relationships and how those relationships organize developments. Which organizes the use of all the technical BS while performing and being able to interact with other players versions of.

    The list you put out looks great. Great starting point... but it's still the basic vanilla reference. By Vanilla I'm not implying bad or wrong, but there can be more.

    The 1st step or possible Relationships usually are Modal, or modal functional concepts . Again it's a different concept, right, the technical guitar BS is just guitar skills.

    How those technical skills function within music have common practice and being able to use one's skills in different contexts can very easily also be taught. At least physically from basic position design. I use to say it's like... Plug and Play with a Reference.

    And yes it's always all aspect of music. Eventually that's a given. We are on an amateur guitar forum right.

  48. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    No not at all, those are the 1st step. The basics technical aspects of guitar technique. Then you learn about how to organize within relationships and how those relationships organize developments. Which organizes the use of all the technical BS while performing and being able to interact with other players versions of.

    The list you put out looks great. Great starting point... but it's still the basic vanilla reference. By Vanilla I'm not implying bad or wrong, but there can be more.

    The 1st step or possible Relationships usually are Modal, or modal functional concepts . Again it's a different concept, right, the technical guitar BS is just guitar skills.

    How those technical skills function within music have common practice and being able to use one's skills in different contexts can very easily also be taught. At least physically from basic position design. I use to say it's like... Plug and Play with a Reference.

    And yes it's always all aspect of music. Eventually that's a given. We are on an amateur guitar forum right.
    Yep, my list is all undergrad technique stuff alright.

    So, how can one better understand the ramifications of what you're describing in terms of musical application? Some etudes or tunes or ensemble scenarios, and what to do with them? In other words, how does one bridge the gap from a solid technical foundation to achieving the knowledge and skill that you're referring to?

    Thanks again.

  49. #98
    Bannedd twice for being a troll. Never posted any playing or proved the supposed authority with which he spoke. Must be nice to change your name and start over on occasion...

    Groundhog Day.

  50. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Yes thanks. And I assume we're talking about melody lines in the context of all these chordal/harmonic discussions, not chords themselves.

    I am cognizant enough to believe that the following should be mastered for any system of fingerings - at minimum:

    • 7 two-octave modes from the sixth string (simultaneously realizing that leaves out 7 alternate fingerings with CAGED and even more fingerings than that if one is a Leavitt 12-fingerings guy),
    • All one-octave modes within each fingering pattern,
    • Two octave scales/modes from the 6th and 5th strings, the latter involving a shift,
    • 3-octave scales/modes, although not as many as Berklee requires (utility vs. hours in the day is the concern),
    • 1, 2, and 3 octave arpeggios in the same fashion as the above (with similar sentiments toward 3 octave arpeggios - and - triad arpeggios). All inversions.
    • Other options - 2 octaves plus a fifth. Probably a more practical range than three octaves
    • All 12 keys in one positioan/area
    • All fingerings for one key (12 frets)
    • All one-octave modes from one note (same string, same fret)
    • All one-octave arpeggios from one note (same)
    • Jazz language exercises per chord quality - in all scale fingering patterns:
      • For one example - (1) half step below chord tone, (2) scale tone from above, (3) both. See Jospeh Viola as a reference but apply to the guitar).
      • 2,3,4 note approaches, enclosures, upper and lower neighbors yada yada.

    • Jazz language patterns and chord outlines per progression: in all practical scale fingering patterns:
      • Examples; II-V-Is, Blues, Rhythm Changes, Cycles, Turnarounds, Coltrane changes



    • Constantly reading a variety of material in each position/fingering pattern/area of the fretboard.



    So, that covers a lot, some would say too much. But it doesn't cover everything (nothing really does). What do we think is missing?

    Thanks again.
    To explore this a bit further and for the sake of discussion ....

    I know that great players have done exactly what you recommend.

    But, I've been working on a alternative path and I'm still trying to understand if I'm missing anything.

    Suppose you know all the notes of a Cmajor scale, and you know where every one of them is without having to think about it.
    Also, that you have some facility on the instrument.

    Now, given that knowledge, but without practicing fingerings, suppose I suggest that you put a certain finger on a certain note from the C scale. Could be any note, any fret, any finger. Couldn't you play a C scale starting on that note? And, if I said start, say, at the A string, 3rd fret and end at the high G on the 15th fret, high E string, couldn't you do that too?

    Seems to me that it's a lot of work to learn the notes of the scales/modes/arps you want to use. And, it's some work to learn the fingerboard, every note by name, instantly. But, it seems like a lot more work (to the point where I can't do it) to try to keep all those patterns straight. Of course,the fact that I can't do it doesn't mean somebody else can't do it.

    If, I'm beginning to understand Reg's way of thinking at all (and I'm really not sure I do), maybe he's organized his approach by patterns in a very sophisticated way. So, for example, if he puts his second finger on low G, he sees all the patterns that G might work with. Meaning all the scales/modes/arps with that G. And, apparently, other constructions that might work against the same chord that might not even have a G.

    Yesterday I played an outdoor jam in which we read Pick Up The Pieces. I had that single note lick that goes from low C to Bb (the chart had an even higher note, Eb, but I don't hear that on the recording). Simple lick and it can be played in the 5th position without shifting. I assume that if somebody is thinking about patterns while trying to read, they might play it that way.

    But, the lick has to be nailed in time a zillion times through this tune. Time feel has to be snappy. So, for me, it became easier not to play the first note (the low C) with the fourth finger, but rather with the third. This creates a problem. There is a G at the fifth fret which now is a reach-back. First decision: stretch a finger or move your hand? Next decision: after the G comes an Ab. Slide into it? Move the finger and pick the Ab? Or play the rest of the lick in 5th position and move to 6th position during the 16th rest before the lick repeats?

    To me, this is what reading is. Making these choices as you go. I just don't see how patterns help. Maybe the issue is that not many guitar players are particularly good readers. Or, if they are, maybe that came after they had mastered things by patterns.

  51. #100

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    That's interesting, Matt. Thanks maybe. There just aren't that many musicians that can have that conversation, and then even less who have the skills.

    Where I was going was to ask if Don could take a up tempo jazz tune and play, (or notate) it using traditional Borrowing transpositions, Relative and Parallel. Example... any bebop or old school jazz tune, say in Bb.... so in live time play in Bb Min. or any of the relative functional Relationships. Which is really just a technical exercise, right. Almost mechanical if you have your positional skills together. Generally there are a few changed notes , which would reflect the style of the tunes or just common practice harmonies that one likes.

    That is still the vanilla approach but still explains practical applications of using 7 positions and their implications etc... It's just a plug and play exercise after a little practice, understanding the organization.

    Anyway all pretty standard working jazz player BS. I remember on some gigs, expanding the organization of transposition with Functional relationship where we would play functional subs and sub chord patterns... never actually play the changes. Simple example Tritione subs with extensions.... the organization Altered and Lydian Dom. within chord progressions. And again knowing where to break or change the pattern, usually because of the rhythm, the harmonic rhythm..... yea who cares, but can make boring gigs fun.

    hey Rick, hope your well... so any approach can work. And sure I know, can hear and play any notes of Cmaj scale, without thinking...But I also can play any notes or chords of.... scales and chords that have.... wait.... Functional
    relationships with Cmaj or any note of that Cmaj scale.

    It's more difficult than just knowing Cmaj etc... but that's just the way I figured it out as a Kid. It's like sight reading, with practice, you really just recognize collections or patterns of notes and the rhythm their notated with. Your not reading note to note... you read the 1st note of a phrase and recognize the pattern, the rhythm is always more important when performing live. And the accent pattern or harmonic rhythm of the phrase tells you etc... When I sight read, I also always have an analysis going on, just the way I work, can't help it.... obviously doesn't get in the way of my playing, I've always had plenty of chops.... sometimes my choices may suck, but that a different thing. There's another pretty good player on this forum, DB or Dutch he doesn't like my style of playing. Not the 1st or last and I'm good with that. I listen to his playing, he sounds great, but more like I was taught to play as a kid. It's cool, but not that entertaining personally.... But I respect his playing etc... Would love to see him on gig where we might have some fun actually making music.. support and interact etc... Forums are what they are.

    It just becomes mindless, probable why I can't explain is simply.