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  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    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.
    wrong.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    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.
    Yes I think one should be able to do those things. Any fingering system is just a foundation anyway. Exceptions are made frequently, if you want to call them that. Classical guitar shows you that right away. They teach you scale fingerings then you start dealing with all kinds of exceptions to pull things off. I think that Christian hit on that the other day.

    The same goes for jazz. Stretching happens, using the "wrong finger" happens. Having the flexibility to play anything from anywhere is something that Leavitt's system of 12 fingerings takes to its logical extents. The problem in my view, is that once you adopt a system like that you likewise practice it like hell because you intend to leverage its benefits. And practicing the heck out of those stretch fingerings just happens to be tough on the hands, that's all. Plus I think some things don't "play as well" with stretches, as they do with the optimal hand shape (for lack of better words). One finger per fret, fingers slighty apart, thumb in the center of the back of the neck, finger tips pointing straight down on the string being fretted, blah, blah, blah. Not everything can be played that way, I get it, but when you can, do.

    But I'm beating a dead horse. Stretch away if you want to, lol.

    The list of stuff that I posted above is basic material in a solid undergrad jazz guitar course of study. Some of it's upper division material but undergrad material nonethless. It's a lot of work too, but to Reg's point is merely foundational. I think a serious guitarist needs to develop their technique (among other things, just staying focused here), maintain it, and then get a mountain and miles and miles of musical performance experience. Music is no different than any other field in that experience is the biggest differentiator, not school.

  4. #103

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    Pick a fingering and don't worry too much about it. Learn to stretch, if after you try it for a while and your hands don't like it, then stop (you have to have at least gotten out of the "this feels weird" phase).

    Eventually over a period of 10 years or so depending on how much you practice you will have tried them all. Or maybe not and you're out there post pandemic burning it up and not too concerned with fingerings and mapping the fret board. Anyways, every fingering you learn will help you. Also, every tune played 'on top' of your visualization 'system' will make to think about your system in a new way.

    Leavitt, 3NPS, caged/5 shapes, 4 note per string, Segovia scales, repeating octave fingerings (3 string and 4 string) + fragments. As long as you have a base understanding of where the notes/ sounds are, however you do that, all of these are tools and will only increase your fretboard knowledge (doesn't always equal great playing but doesn't hurt I guess, just make sure add some playing time too with some kind of rhythm (drums, recording, bass player)

    Some more fretboard mapping ideas:
    1. play a major scale from G2 to G5 (3 octaves), find a fingering you can play cold and stick with it (maybe you want to think about how you want to pick it, but I don't want to go way off topic)
    2. play G2 to G5 on 2nd string
    3. play from G2 to G4 on the 1st string (maybe G major, E shape or leavitt or whatever, maybe not, your choice)
    4. play from G2 to G4 on 2nd string
    5. play from G2 to G4 on 3rd string
    6. play from G2 to G4 on 4th string
    7. play from G2 to G4 on 5th string (maybe play one octave on 6th string and start playing A3 on the A string)


    find set fingerings for these using shifts where you see fit then pick a new reference where you're ready

    ex: G Phrygian or maybe Eb major starting on the 3rd (both of these are the same but will be brain exercise to run these both so then the 'thinking' aspect becomes meaningless)

    Cheers! felt like posting again

  5. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    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. .
    Reg, I hope you're well too, and we'll soon see the light at the end of this tunnel.

    I suspect that I cover some of the same territory with a different thought process.

    For example, if I see a Cmaj7, I know that I can play C Ionian or C Lydian. I don't know a pattern for C Lydian, but I know that it has an F# instead of an F, and I know where all the F and F#'s are. I also know that I can substitute Em7, Gmaj7 and Am7 (the subs I learned from Warren Nunes - and I've posted about before). And, I might even think,well, as long as I'm playing on Gmaj,I can sub Bm7 Dmaj7 and Em7, but that C# in the Dmaj7 is a bridge too far for my style, usually. And, for that matter, I know that I can side slip up or down for a couple of notes here and there. I do know some fingerings for these things, but, ordinarily, I don't use them or think about them. Beyond that, I've probably got the melody in mind and a few possible quotes from other tunes.

    Of course, on a good night, playing a tune I know well, absolutely none of this will cross my mind.

  6. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Yes I think one should be able to do those things. Any fingering system is just a foundation anyway. Exceptions are made frequently, if you want to call them that. Classical guitar shows you that right away. They teach you scale fingerings then you start dealing with all kinds of exceptions to pull things off. I think that Christian hit on that the other day.

    The same goes for jazz. Stretching happens, using the "wrong finger" happens. Having the flexibility to play anything from anywhere is something that Leavitt's system of 12 fingerings takes to its logical extents. The problem in my view, is that once you adopt a system like that you likewise practice it like hell because you intend to leverage its benefits. And practicing the heck out of those stretch fingerings just happens to be tough on the hands, that's all. Plus I think some things don't "play as well" with stretches, as they do with the optimal hand shape (for lack of better words). One finger per fret, fingers slighty apart, thumb in the center of the back of the neck, finger tips pointing straight down on the string being fretted, blah, blah, blah. Not everything can be played that way, I get it, but when you can, do.

    But I'm beating a dead horse. Stretch away if you want to, lol.

    The list of stuff that I posted above is basic material in a solid undergrad jazz guitar course of study. Some of it's upper division material but undergrad material nonethless. It's a lot of work too, but to Reg's point is merely foundational. I think a serious guitarist needs to develop their technique (among other things, just staying focused here), maintain it, and then get a mountain and miles and miles of musical performance experience. Music is no different than any other field in that experience is the biggest differentiator, not school.
    I just wanted to add that in my job as a guitar teacher this is not just an area of idle interest.

    For instance, to take something pretty worked out and systematic, let's look at begginer-intermediate classical guitar.

    If you build up the traditional way, the way most books suggest and the way I was taught, which is open position, one finger a fret, you actually hit a wall around UK Grade 2, which is where music in two parts that simply isn't melody over open string basses is introduced. So that the third finger is free to fret G's, C's and F's on the basses, you then have to introduce the idea of using the little finger for the G and D on the top two strings. This is a bit of a 'whaaa...?' moment for beginners and introduces what I think of as the fingering/fretboard mapping distinction.

    However there is another school of thought - some teachers seem to use always 4th finger for these notes from day 1. Advantage is the hand stays in same position, prepares student for polyphonic playing. But it's not possible to use a nice simple rule from day one to govern which finger handles which note. So you pay your money and you make your choice. And what do you choose drill into muscle memory from day 1?

    To add to the confusion, most books teach 'one finger a fret' and the Classical Guitar exam boards prefer the 4th finger fingering right from the earliest grades (which is harder to teach at first but undoubtedly superior in the long run)... So... How you distribute and handle those little bumps in the road is really one's job as a teacher, no?

    Of course this separation becomes more important as you move through the classical guitar grades and encounter more and more non standard fingerings. For instance move to position III and then deal with the fact that the D is now with the first finger. It actually seems quite alien to most student to recognise that this is the same 'object' on the guitar - 3rd fret 2nd string.

    This can be true even of relatively advanced students who have been playing for a long time. And it is also and issue in jazz. For instance, take a CESH Dm Dm(maj7) Dm7 Dm6, where only one note changes but the student must make some quite complicated fingering changes. I seem to inherit a lot of students who have problems around these sorts of things. So something is going on in the wider pedagogy where people get stuck on positional/kinaesthetic approach to playing?

    While the 'brute muscle memory' approach is necessary for the beginner, I think it outlives its usefulness in more advanced players.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of making any stretches I don't need to. I would prefer to work with the shape of the hand. I think dogmatic position teaching - one finger a fret etc, actually can introduce an artificiality to guitar technique.

    So there's no definitive answer to any of this. Basically it all hinges on the quality of the teaching and learning. Rules can't do it all.
    Last edited by christianm77; 03-09-2021 at 06:51 AM.

  7. #106

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    Re: Levitt; I haven't spent much time with those books, but what I have seen leads me to think the author spent a LOT of time thinking about these issues. It's a shame the books are a bit 'dry'; it would be nice if Leavitt's ideas were applied to books with a bit more appeal to a wider audience of children. I should really spend more time with them anyway.

  8. #107

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    Yea.... Jazz is not for beginners. It's almost a given that one already has their technique together when one starts to play Jazz, let alone in a Jazz style.

    And there are a million analogies.... but who just practices all the time. From my years of watching and listening to guitarist.... the biggest problem is they don't practice. They spend most of their time working on noodle theory.

    Again ... I don't think guitarist have a problem with practicing too much.

    Hey Christian... you haven't spent much time working with Leavitt? What type of Guitar are you teaching? If your teaching jazz...I would hope your aware of terms and technique.

    Sometimes it seems we're looking for anything micro that will avoid the macro.

    bediles.... refreshing post, I know it's just stating the obvious, but thanks.

  9. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Re: Levitt; I haven't spent much time with those books, but what I have seen leads me to think the author spent a LOT of time thinking about these issues. It's a shame the books are a bit 'dry'; it would be nice if Leavitt's ideas were applied to books with a bit more appeal to a wider audience of children. I should really spend more time with them anyway.
    Lol, yeah, I don't think his books were targeted to children, more like music majors.

    The music is original, as opposed to using standards (kind of a bummer on that last point), the music is well written and is harmonically rich. Some of the things that Leavitt requires you to do are pretty challanging for the hands.

    I had one troubled young student who moved out of his regular "book 1" and was quite proud of himself. He had worked hard. So I started him with Leavitt's Volume 1 next. Big mistake on my part! He hit a wall on about the 5th page and gave me the strangest look. I never saw him again. He was about 10. 13 and up might be a better age.

  10. #109

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    In my post #95 above I listed a skill builder to practice:


    • All one-octave modes from one note (same string, same fret)
    • All one-octave arpeggios from one note (same)


    These should be practiced in a challenging way, like with a flash card approach.

    If I understand Reg correctly has makes the point that stretch fingerings support modal interchange and mode switching in an effective manner. If that's one point I certainly agree. But i think that the above two drills can help the player who uses non-stretch fingerings to get a handle on changes as well.

  11. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Hey Christian... you haven't spent much time working with Leavitt? What type of Guitar are you teaching? If your teaching jazz...I would hope your aware of terms and technique.
    For beginners - classical and pop/rock. Most of my jazz students can operate the instrument. I think Leavitt would be worth my time, I just haven't had time to sink into it and I didn't learn that way. And TBH, students learning via Leavitt still had some of the same habits as those learning by any other method.

    I don't like the music in the Leavitt books, that's the main thing. I can't get inspired teaching it. But there's no reason why I couldn't take things from his books and apply them elsewhere if I found them to be useful.

  12. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Lol, yeah, I don't think his books were targeted to children, more like music majors.

    The music is original, as opposed to using standards (kind of a bummer on that last point), the music is well written and is harmonically rich. Some of the things that Leavitt requires you to do are pretty challanging for the hands.

    I had one troubled young student who moved out of his regular "book 1" and was quite proud of himself. He had worked hard. So I started him with Leavitt's Volume 1 next. Big mistake on my part! He hit a wall on about the 5th page and gave me the strangest look. I never saw him again. He was about 10. 13 and up might be a better age.
    I've seen beginners starting with Leavitt's books. I have inherited students who have been using the books. I generally get to the end of the book with them, and move on to more accessible material (and feel quite sorry for them afterwards.) Linear, old school teaching. Certainly not the way I learn things. Well worked out though!

    I also get students with trainwreck left hand techniques trying to sit classical guitar exams. There's a lot of bad teaching out there. CG technique isn't everything, but it does work for everyone, and I think is a decent base. My ideas are in revision all the time.

    It seems a lot of people have been through Leavitt. It would be interesting to do a straw poll and see how many jazz players have been through them.

    I'm very skeptical about systems and books used prescriptively, but there's never a good reason not to gain more knowledge... That's why the teaching side of it so important.

    My main method of teaching is ask leading questions which gets the student working out the principles of good technique themselves and applying them intelligently. You can't do that simply working out of a book; you need the knowledge and experience.

    It's amazing how much more quickly people will apply and practice things when they think it was their idea all along.

  13. #112

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    So... working with Leavitt was not just his basic books.... there were tons of Lab workbooks and handouts, all of which were incorporated into lesson plans etc.. And then you were required to play in ensembles... the actual playing of tunes etc...
    Again most get stuck looking at a few trees and miss the forest...

    Sorry my point is there is much more... than the books... same with the other Berklee books one can buy.
    Hell I studied piano with James Williams, and Ray Santisi while at Berklee, had percussion lessons with Alan Dawson.
    Was able to play or sit in with faculty on gigs... "The playing is what it is about". And I was a composition major, I could already play, had been playing gigs for years before I was there. Again the playing was what it was and is about.

    Teaching kids is more like babysitting right? ( I get the $ thing)

  14. #113

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    Reg's Fingerings-tenor-gif

  15. #114

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    I think that the Leavitt books are a good "rudder" for a broader study plan, so to speak. It's useful to know what to skip or skim in the books. His reading supplements are useful too. Its kind of like "plectrum guitar studies that help build a foundation that can be leveraged for other styles, including jazz". At least that's my 2021 take on the method, which was written in the 60s and 70s. I'm a bit skeptical that very many people have gone through Volume 3.

    But there should be a lot more (like Jazz for instance). Jazz Blues, Jazz and Standard Tunes, Bebop and Post-Bop Improv studies, Comping, Chord Melody.

    One can also look at the Berklee curriculum online to see some "level by level" requirements. It's linear, a bit dry, and doesn't provide much insight into repertoire, ensemble work, or improv. It's only one way to go but at least it's defined/sorted out.

  16. #115

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Teaching kids is more like babysitting right? ( I get the $ thing)
    Sure, if you are crap at it it is.

    I see no fundamental difference between teaching kids and teaching postgrad jazz guitarists. The latter are more patient with bad teaching, that's the main difference.

  17. #116

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    Just to focus on one point about fingering:

    I was taught one fret per finger. Later, I was taught 5 frets for 4 fingers. Still later, back to one fret per finger, but this time, with patterns.

    All of the teachers were great players, using the techniques they taught.

    Now, consider Django (two fingers) and Wes (all single note lines with three fingers). How did they do it?

    I think the answer is that they moved their entire hand.

    So, the implication is that you don't just "stretch" back to reach a note that's at the fret below your first finger. Rather, you keep the position of your entire hand fluid. It moves, sometimes just ever so slightly, and that movement makes things easier to finger.

    Maybe everybody else already knew this, but it was a kind of revelation to me when I stumbled on it, trying to play West Coast Blues without my fourth finger, like Wes.

    Is it important? Probably less so if you've got giant hands and you're playing a short scale guitar. Or if your tendons allow a lot of separation of your fingers.

    But, the point is, that this isn't one size fits all. How you're going to finger things depends on your physiology, your guitar and the sounds you're trying to make.

    At this late date, I wish I'd spent more time drilling bop heads or other pieces of music rather than running scales.

  18. #117

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    As a counterpoint, I did go ahead and buy Tom Quayle's "Visualising the Fretboard" lesson, and while it is kind of common sense stuff, and I quickly grasped the concept and was off on my own to work it out in practice, that's kind of the point. Bear in mind, guitar is my second instrument (though self-taught on it since middle school), I came to guitar having some jazz background, not the other way around, and I'm an aging amateur--this is strictly for my own enjoyment. I'll find something that works for me, that doesn't inflict too much pain and torture. :-)

    Though TQ doesn't dismiss Caged or 3NPS, etc, and allows that these different methods can enhance each other, he does point out that those systems ask you to carry a lot of information in your head. Grids of 6 strings x 4+ frets, with certain cells lit up in your mind's eye. His approach is to just memorize interval shapes within an octave, up or down, across the different string sets. Pick a particular A. Where are the minor 3rds from there, etc. Which in fact most of us should already have a good feel for. Key point: he focuses on interval function, so i.e. find the 7th of the chord up, and the 7th below, from the root reference (which would actually be a 2nd interval down). Memorize those shapes.

    Then when playing through changes, you can focus on whichever root note is in the neighborhood, and find your desired notes as functional intervals off that. Like with anything else, this works best of course when you actually know the fretboard well in absolute terms too. I'm in the early stages of working through it, but it's an approach I can embrace.

  19. #118

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    My perspective is that there are two realms, the physical mechanical realm of fingering, and the musical realm of what I want to hear played. Everything is about hearing in my mind's ear what I want to hear made manifest on the instrument through my hands.


    In the physical realm, I use all four left hand fingers all the time on all strings in all locations on the finger board. My fingers over the fingerboard are always parallel to the frets and the only contact with the neck is thumb behind the neck, fingertips on the strings, and the occasional small barre. This means I never have to stretch because I can hold thumb position and shift my whole hand up or down a couple of frets, or I just shift the thumb and whole hand.


    A lot of people tend to use three fingers and in order to span 4 or 5 frets they slant their fingers over the frets so that their finger tips kind of point up the neck. The traditional jazz box strung high and tight with fat strings suggests why, but this actually compresses their innate fret span, forces stretching from position, decreases the air gap between the hand and neck (or includes direct contact), and rotates the thumb deceasing the ability to hold the thumb fixed and shift the whole hand. All these things work together to force stretching and make it harder to do so.


    In the musical realm, I hear in my mind's ear what I want to play and my fingers' "music memory" play that directly, independently of everything except some consideration for string tone in phrasing.


    Since I want to play what I hear, I don't use indirect approaches. By that I mean I don't start with something I don't want to hear or play and convert to what I do want to hear and play - when the song harmony calls for Cm6 I don't use a C major fingering pattern of notes (something I don't want to hear or play) and modify it to a fingering pattern of notes for Cm6 (the thing I do hear and want to play). I already hear Cm6 and my hands already "hear it", too; the process of constructing what I want from what I don't want is disruptive because I play by ear. Why would I want to try to hear something different from what I want to actually hear?


    So I don't use a fingering system from which I derive the actual things I play; I only use a set of mechanical principles that allows my fingers the most freedom to do what they need to do to play what I want to hear. I never have to inform my hands with detailed instructions of how to do these things.


    It is clear to me that the musical realm of others includes thoughts in addition to the sound of music - the note names and accidentals, the key, the chord and scale names, the interval names, and verbal descriptions of various music theory relationships among these things... so I can't really analyse the musical realm on their terms with regard to fingering; however, I hope that something of what I mention about the physical realm of fingering is of some use.

  20. #119

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    Quote Originally Posted by timmer
    Then when playing through changes, you can focus on whichever root note is in the neighborhood, and find your desired notes as functional intervals off that. .
    When you have sufficient facility on the instrument, you can do that by ear. Your hear the note in your mind and your fingers play it, with no interference from you.

    To develop the facility, I'll re-belabor the point. Learn the fretboard. Every note - automatic. Then learn the notes in the chords, scales/modes/arps that you use. 12 keys and the necessary enharmonic names. Then, you won't need to think about the root in order to find the interval. Sure, it's a lot of work, but I'm convinced it's easier (for me anyway) than trying to memorize a large number of diagrams with dots on grids -- after which you still have to figure out how to deviate from them.

    I remain surprised that more people don't do it like this, although a couple of people have mentioned that they do.

    I'll offer one more sales pitch for the method.

    Most guitarists don't read well. In my area it sometimes feels like you could pick a random guy on the street and he'd play better jazz guitar solos than I do. But, I can read pretty well for a guitarist. That ability has afforded me opportunities to play regularly with musicians who are way over my head. They need a guitarist who can read -- and that really limits who they can call. And, the best way to get better is to be the worst guy in the band. Solves all kinds of problems with your playing.

  21. #120

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    Yeah I just drilled the C major notes in by speaking them out loud

    Once I could play ‘CABBAGE’, ‘BAD DAD’, ‘CAGED’ and ‘BAGGAGE’ in any octave in the position I moved on.

    Its not pretty but it got me started.

    After you get the notes mapped, then it’s a matter of plugging away and getting experience. Read every day.

    Teaching is good for reading. Provided you teach reading that is. Which I do, for the reasons you outlined, rp. I want my students to be able to play in ensembles.

    Play piano as well, for theory.

  22. #121

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    In 4th grade, when the young guitarists were learning to strum cowboy chords, the young horn players were learning to read together in an ensemble.

    After you've mastered the basics -- you can find the notes and read simple rhythms, I'd suggest getting into an ensemble where you have to play single note lines with other musicians. In hindsight, I now understand that it's the best way. No fudging. Either you melt in with the horns or you don't. And, if you don't, you can figure out why not and improve.

  23. #122

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    Sounds like everyone already has their act together, why waste time on a useless fingering thread.

  24. #123

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    Definitely just knowing where the notes are cold is the thing. Of course. But rather than whining about how the guitar is harder than the piano keyboard, I figured maybe I could embrace what comes naturally? If you know a tune in Bb, and some singer needs you to suddenly do it in G, thinking in terms of the intervals can be a nice, I hesitate to use the word...crutch.

  25. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by timmer
    Definitely just knowing where the notes are cold is the thing. Of course. But rather than whining about how the guitar is harder than the piano keyboard, I figured maybe I could embrace what comes naturally? If you know a tune in Bb, and some singer needs you to suddenly do it in G, thinking in terms of the intervals can be a nice, I hesitate to use the word...crutch.
    Unsurprisingly, I have a curmudgeonly opinion on this too. If you're switching keys by a half step or a few half steps, it may be no harder than sliding up or down the neck.

    If the jump is too large, or you want to vary the comping, the goal is to hear the sound and have your fingers find the chords without any intervention from the likes of you <g>.

    Your fingers are probably smart enough now to find the IV chord in a blues without you, why not other chord changes?

    So, you start out thinking in intervals. It helps. But, the guys who know a zillion tunes -- I think they hear the sound of the song the same way a non-musician does and their fingers find the chords without much intervening thought.

    You get good at this by practicing playing songs you know in keys you've never heard of.

  26. #125

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    Learning scales is really not that difficult. Let's say you drive 15 minutes to work and 15 minutes back every day (=30 Minute commute), so you dedicate the first week to C major. You speak out loud all the notes as you drive, (speak them out loud, not just in your head), scalar as in "Scales", but also as arpeggios, in all inversions, up and down, and with all extensions and so on. At the end of the week you can recite C major / A minor (and of course D Dorian etc.) in your sleep.

    Do this for another 11 weeks with the other keys and you will have completely internalized the basic vocabulary of western music.

    Then the next 12 weeks you do the same with melodic minor, except that it goes much faster this time because you already know "major/minor" and now only one tone changes at a time. And so on... HT/WT HT etc.....

    So if you learn in parallel what every single note on the fretboard is called, you don't need no "shapes" or "fingerings" any more.

    At least that's what I did (and still do).

    EDIT:

    I just thought, it's a bit like in school back then. I hated learning the multiplication tables by heart, but what the hell, you had to do it.
    I now realize more and more how useful it was later on when I notice how many people even can't do the simplest mental arithmetic anymore.
    Last edited by DonEsteban; 03-09-2021 at 10:21 PM.

  27. #126

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban
    Learning scales is really not that difficult. Let's say you drive 15 minutes to work and 15 minutes back every day (=30 Minute commute), so you dedicate the first week to C major. You speak out loud all the notes as you drive, (speak them out loud, not just in your head), scalar as in "Scales", but also as arpeggios, in all inversions, up and down, and with all extensions and so on. At the end of the week you can recite C major / A minor (and of course D Dorian etc.) in your sleep.

    Do this for another 11 weeks with the other keys and you will have completely internalized the basic vocabulary of western music.

    Then the next 12 weeks you do the same with melodic minor, except that it goes much faster this time because you already know "major/minor" and now only one tone changes at a time. And so on... HT/WT HT etc.....

    So if you learn in parallel what every single note on the fretboard is called, you don't need no "shapes" or "fingerings" any more.

    At least that's what I did (and still do).
    This is great.

    As it turned out, I did it a little differently. That's because I didn't realize how important it was until fairly late.

    When I learned to read,I started in the key of C. Soon, I was given something to read in G. I thought, "same as C, except all the F's are sharp". And, I did that for D, A and E, common keys to read in. On the flat side, it was F Bb Eb Ab and Db (you see five flats more often than five sharps because of the way things transpose for horns). In each case, it was learning which notes are changed.

    I then had some trouble. I hadn't read much in B, F# or Gb. So, I had to drill myself to learn those keys. And,then, it turned out that it's a good idea to know the enharmonic equivalents like C#, G#, D#. You see them in chord symbols and you need to know the notes in the chord.

    But, it's not infinite. It's doable. And, it pays off.

  28. #127

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    Yeah, I'm still much better on the left side of the circle of fifths because that's where we always are. Girlfriend and I pledge to make B Maj illegal because... well u know....

    (F# gets a pardon because it's Gb in disguise... )

  29. #128

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban
    Yeah, I'm still much better on the left side of the circle of fifths because that's where we always are. Girlfriend and I pledge to make B Maj illegal because... well u know....

    (F# gets a pardon because it's Gb in disguise... )
    If you play tune written with horns in mind, they tend to be in flat keys up to 5 flats. Most standards are like that. For the newbie: we play a lot in Bb because that puts the trumpet and tenor sax in the Key of C and the alto sax in the Key of G.

    I play a lot of Brazilian music. Often, the songs are written by guitarists, sometimes using open strings -- meaning they don't keep the same sound in a different key. So, you see E and A a lot. And, if the song is in E, the II7 is F#7. The VI7 is C#7, and you see those chords commonly enough that you have to learn them. Not just the 7th, but all the notes so that you know the altered notes too.

    Sounds like a lot, but it's still 12 notes and a few enharmonic equivalents.

  30. #129

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban
    Learning scales is really not that difficult. Let's say you drive 15 minutes to work and 15 minutes back every day (=30 Minute commute), so you dedicate the first week to C major. You speak out loud all the notes as you drive, (speak them out loud, not just in your head), scalar as in "Scales", but also as arpeggios, in all inversions, up and down, and with all extensions and so on. At the end of the week you can recite C major / A minor (and of course D Dorian etc.) in your sleep.

    Do this for another 11 weeks with the other keys and you will have completely internalized the basic vocabulary of western music.

    Then the next 12 weeks you do the same with melodic minor, except that it goes much faster this time because you already know "major/minor" and now only one tone changes at a time. And so on... HT/WT HT etc.....

    So if you learn in parallel what every single note on the fretboard is called, you don't need no "shapes" or "fingerings" any more.

    At least that's what I did (and still do).

    EDIT:

    I just thought, it's a bit like in school back then. I hated learning the multiplication tables by heart, but what the hell, you had to do it.
    I now realize more and more how useful it was later on when I notice how many people even can't do the simplest mental arithmetic anymore.
    A couple of respectful counterpoints if I may: This wasn't about learning scales. It's about a set of scale fingerings - and all that they imply.

    And they imply a lot - all diatonic scales and modes, stretching rules about when to reach back vs. forward (Leavitt style), arpeggios, reading, jazz language and improvisation - and all of it stemming from those fingerings.

    And yeah, we really do need shapes and fingerings. Especially for burnin', and Jazz requires burnin'. Some fingerings support it, others prevent it, others fall somewhere in between. Turns out that specificity vs. randomness is actually needed.

  31. #130

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    A couple of respectful counterpoints if I may: This wasn't about learning scales. It's about a set of scale fingerings - and all that they imply.

    And they imply a lot - all diatonic scales and modes, stretching rules about when to reach back vs. forward (Leavitt style), arpeggios, reading, jazz language and improvisation - and all of it stemming from those fingerings.

    And yeah, we really do need shapes and fingerings. Especially for burnin', and Jazz requires burnin'. Some fingerings support it, others prevent it, others fall somewhere in between. Turns out that specificity vs. randomness is actually needed.
    I agree with this 100%

    I feel that some on this forum, mentioning no names lol, are a bit wedded to one concept of music, a bit purist. In fact there's always more to be gained by trying different things. Pretty much all of the best musicians I know are highly practical and just use whatever they find helpful for doing music.

    Reading again, is no different to improvisation or transcription in that it is highly context dependant and benefits from an eclectic approach. Whether a thing is right or wrong is dictated but the needs of the gig. (So, Tommy Tedesco puts position markers on the side of classical guitar neck, because the music is important not his sense of pride in being a 'proper' guitarist; Carol Kaye marks the timing in with pencil. And so on.)

    Let me put it this way - if I'm reading a chart and see a riff based on the C minor blues scale, it would be inappropriate to play that line using proper 'classical' positions. A good session player sees that, and plays it three fingered with slides, vibrato and so on, because that's clearly what the chart needs. You reconstruct the sound of the part using ones knowledge of musical language and how they relate to guitar playing. So you have to get good at recognising musical objects. You can't just plug and play. It's almost as if music was an art (and a trade.)

    But lest we indulge one side of a dichotomy too much you also need systems and so on. You can't have one without the other.

    And shapes and so on are important to guitar playing. Really important. They are important for other instruments too.

  32. #131

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    hey... I never put my name on the fingerings and what they can imply, take it off, maybe it will help open more doors.

    I haven't played in almost a year, I'm sure I suck and my eyes are getting worse, LOL

  33. #132

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I agree with this 100%

    In fact there's always more to be gained by trying different things. Pretty much all of the best musicians I know are highly practical and just use whatever they find helpful for doing music.
    Elevating one's playing requires a balance. I think it's important to identify a core and not be excessively distracted from it. At the same time, it's necessary to pay attention (and certainly respect) other approaches.

    I hope I'm not the "purist" in your post, Christian. I've been advocating something here, not because I think it's necessarily better, but because it's an alternative I think is worth considering- and isn't frequently discussed. Notably, a couple of people posted saying they use this sort of approach.

    Also, because I still don't think I understand "fingerings and all they imply". I'd still appreciate a very simple expIanation of that.

    I use fingerings mostly for arps and then mostly in situations where I can't think fast enough for the tempo. But,then again, I don't play in a classic jazz guitar style. Maybe if I understood this stuff better, I could.

  34. #133

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    I'm teaching a fella with perfect pitch.

    It just occurred to me today, that he might need a different approach to fretboard mapping, perhaps one more in line with rpjazzguitar

  35. #134

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    hey... I never put my name on the fingerings and what they can imply, take it off, maybe it will help open more doors.

    I haven't played in almost a year, I'm sure I suck and my eyes are getting worse, LOL
    Your fingerings are great, if that is what you prefer. It's like you said, a lot of things can work.

    For that matter, CAGED has two less than wonderful fingerings, and one of them actually sucks (at least for traversing across all six strings, but is otherwise OK). Even a CAGED devotee can think of 1-3 additional fingerings to use at times.

    But I'm quite sure you know all that.

  36. #135

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I'm teaching a fella with perfect pitch.

    It just occurred to me today, that he might need a different approach to fretboard mapping, perhaps one more in line with rpjazzguitar
    This is a real question, not a troll. Would you explain exactly what "fretboard mapping" is?

    I'm having trouble grasping this term, as simple as it may seem to others.

    If you already know every note on the fingerboard, instantly, what do you gain from "fretboard mapping"?

    The student with perfect pitch, same as everybody else, it seems to me, needs to get to a point where he pre-hears a note and his fingers find it. I think that comes with a lot of time on the instrument. Great relative pitch can't hurt. The trick, I guess, is to get to the point where your fingers know how to compensate for the interval of a third between the G and B strings. It comes with time on the instrument. It would be faster, presumably, if all the tuning intervals were the same, like on a 4 string bass.

    A good exercise for it would be learning the heads of tunes in 12 keys starting with a random fret/string/finger.

  37. #136

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar

    Also, because I still don't think I understand "fingerings and all they imply". I'd still appreciate a very simple expIanation of that.
    Sure.

    Let's say I'm a CAGED fingering player (even though I don't keep track of which fingering is the "C" or "A " etc.) CAGED offers me two fingerings for playing the C major scale from the 6th string on the 8th fret. One starts with the 4th finger and the other with the 2nd finger. Likewise I would play the C major arpeggio from those same starting fingers, and would play all arpeggio notes out of those same scale fingerings (the E and G notes that is). William Leavitt's system offers me those two starting fingers on the 6th string plus 3 more (starting fingers 3, 1, and 1 again). Starting from the 3rd finger I would stretch two frets to finger the E and G with my 2nd and 1rst finger (5th and 4th strings), and starting from the 1rst finger I would play the C and E on the 6th string with my first and 4th fingers, but for the G I would play it with either my 2nd or 3rd finger (A string). All of those additional fingerings involve stretches, either between the 1rst and 2nd fingers, or the 3rd and 4th.

    In other words if you have scale fingerings with stretches the arpeggios that you play out of those fingerings also involve stretches. (And virtually everything else that you play because the scale fingering is the template).

    Here's another way to think about it. If ones uses a non-stretch scale fingering approach, they do the same for arpeggios (with a few exceptions perhaps but never mind that for now).

    As such we have 7 one-octave arpeggio fingerings for most four-part chords like Maj7, Dom7, Min7, etc. (two starting fingers per starting strings 6,5,4 and one starting finger for starting string 3.) Those 7 fingerings form a foundation from which we can form 2 and 3-octave arpeggios.

    But Leavitt's approach, which involves stretches, offers offers more starting fingers per string. In the case of strings 6,5,4 it offers five starting finger options for those very same 1-octave arpeggios - you just have to stretch to play them. And again, the scale fingering is the template so everyting that you play stems from there, not just scales and arpeggios - everything.

  38. #137

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    This is a real question, not a troll. Would you explain exactly what "fretboard mapping" is?

    I'm having trouble grasping this term, as simple as it may seem to others.
    Understanding where the notes and intervals are on the fretboard.

    If you already know every note on the fingerboard, instantly, what do you gain from "fretboard mapping"?
    You know, that word ‘if’; it’s doing a lot of work in that sentence lol.

    fretboard mapping is what you do to get the point where you can do that. I mean on piano it’s not necessary right? Or rather they show you the ropes lesson one and that’s all you need... I remember ‘this is middle C’.

    As this guy puts it


    But of course, that’s why this thread exists.


    The student with perfect pitch, same as everybody else, it seems to me, needs to get to a point where he pre-hears a note and his fingers find it. I think that comes with a lot of time on the instrument.
    Well yes, but also no. I’ve had a few good friends with Pitch over the years and the guitar is always an interesting one for them.

    Musicians with perfect pitch need to learn music too and also need to practice of course, but it changes the game a little bit in interesting ways.

    I think for those with pitch stuff like, you move the scale up a half step and have the same intervallic shape - the moveable shapes thing - is easy for me to understand and hear as someone with relative pitch, but for someone with perfect pitch I understand this is a real trip. They would hear Cm7 and Dbm7 as not the same basic thing, but two totally different things.

    So the fretboard mapping needs to be all absolute pitch oriented rather than intervallic. Thing is I’ve done a massive amount of the latter and I think it works great on the guitar and for most students.

    But that’s not going to work here. Just getting him to play triad shapes up and down the neck in different keys - it’s clear it’s hard for him to think and hear this way which I find very natural as I suspect most guitarists do.

    It would be easier I think to construct the chords from pitches for him.

    Anyway interesting thing to think about as a teacher. He plays several other instruments btw. Guitar is often a mystery to those who excel at other instruments. They may well play great, but understanding it as a reading instrument etc is just as hard for them as it is for the rest of us.

    And for those with perfect pitch I wonder if the guitar is actually harder as the things that Chris McQueen describes above in the video that allow us to ‘hack’ the instrument aren’t always available.

    But anyway the point is that your approach seems to avoid those hacks for how you’ve described it here... it sounds like you’ve taken pains to learn the instrument like a keyboard. In fact, this is not very common. And I would say even for those who have learned the neck like this, they may well flit between that and a more shapes oriented approach for improvisation and so on.
    Last edited by christianm77; 03-10-2021 at 03:49 PM.

  39. #138
    Looks like banned former user: fumblefingers is back for iteration three. Whatever, but he never posted actual playing. Just constantly criticized other members, like Reg, who actually did. Not cool.
    The Pros and Cons of the CAGED System


    Guitar Techniques for Picking and Fingerings



    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 03-10-2021 at 06:01 PM.

  40. #139

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Understanding where the notes and intervals are on the fretboard.

    .
    First off, thank you for taking the time to explain this.

    Knowing where all the notes are is a matter of memorization. Knowing the intervals, I think, is a matter of time on the instrument. It seems to me that the goal is to have this knowledge so ingrained that it feels like it's in your fingers not your brain. Operationally, you play a random note (finger/fret/string) -- someone sings another note and your fingers play it. The horn player plays a phrase and then you play it, without thinking about the notes or intervals -- just ears to fingers.

    So, the challenge for the teacher is to facilitate that level of learning. I don't have a prescription for that. I don't recall working on it and I don't recall learning it. But, I spent a lot of time on the instrument.

    As far as "if" being the big word in that sentence, it does surprise me that so many players, apparently, don't know the notes well.

  41. #140

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    well prescriptions are overrated.

    As far as "if" being the big word in that sentence, it does surprise me that so many players, apparently, don't know the notes well.
    As you touched on it before, it’s not necessary to know what the notes are called to play well. Even if you do, you might not necessarily know as you play them. FWIW I often have to ‘change brain mode’ to name a note when I am playing something improvised sometimes; I can do it quickly but the two things are not the same. My perfect pitch student can play shredding prog metal guitar solos and doesn’t know where the notes are 100%... so, yeah

    The vast majority of guitarists I would bet, are shapes players. Guitar is a shapes instrument though, so much of its idiom is rooted in shapes. And TBH as alienated as I get from the guitar sometimes that’s something I think you have to respect to play well. That’s what people expect to hear.

    No one hires guitar to be a second rate piano. They want to hear those licks and idioms.

    Converting written material into idiomatic guitar shapes I would lay money on is one of the special skills that makes the best session players stand out... See above re; the blues scale example, for an obvious one.

    So I think there’s a lot to be learned here ....

    That means to truly master the instrument you have to do BOTH. Lot of work...
    Last edited by christianm77; 03-10-2021 at 05:27 PM.

  42. #141

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    I dig BS.... it's fun. I love pushing etc... and seeing where we go, with BS.

    The thing is I also like pushing when performing, like verbally telling band... hey we're transposing the tune to the relative or parallel Minor or major after this chorus. Or adding interludes, tags, vamps. Whatever feels right. Keep it live...

    Or even rhythmic transposition.... either just "direct" or more commonly using "transitional" rhythmic modulation. BS term for... ex. Your playing a swing tune in 3/4 and you "transition" into dotted quarter feel... then make the dotted quarters... half notes... and you've now "transitioned" into 4/4 time, usually for a double time feel that can be more fun. Where I'm going is that if you haven't really played enough gigs to trial and error enough to have that and much more memorized, or like fingerings, learn how to play and not really understand what or how your playing.... you can miss a lot of Fun.

    I'm very loose on stage or dives, more commonly dives... Like RP ... I don't need to think, I can feel what's being played and typically where it can go. It's not really that big of a deal. Most pros are better than me
    that's just what it is. Fingerings helped me organize and understand how and what I'm playing. It's not like I'm carrying around printed cards etc...

    Disclaimer.... I don't practice, I got practicing out of the way when I was young. I understand what I'm playing or hearing. Not that it's that difficult. When we were kids... 6 month to a year and your good to go. As we get older, gets into years thing, I guess.

    I guess my point is basically the same as I've always said.... get your technical skills together, so you don't need to figure things out.... all you need to do is make choices. And yea sight reading should be a given... but generally it's more of a memory aid for guitarist. Maybe because so few guitarist understand music, and rely on the memory as compared to understanding... approach that sight reading becomes a memory thing... I don't Know.

    Obviously great players make anything work.... I'm not in that group. I like music to be easy... FUN.

  43. #142

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    Charlie Christian played out of shapes. I believe that Joe Pass did also. Warren Nunes played out of scales and triads. I'm not suggesting that these masters played shapes exclusively.

    I don't think I can name a guitarist who clearly didn't play primarily out of shapes although some of the more modern players are so angular, I wonder.

    I think some bandleaders hire guitar because they want a little more space in the band's sound. Not that a pianist couldn't do that.

  44. #143

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    Ain't nobody criticizing Reg. Some players just don't like stretch fingerings after playing them and even advocating for them, for years.

    To each his own. How sharing an opinion translates to some kind of malice is beyond me. Maybe someone's a little over-sensitive or insecure or heaven knows what.

  45. #144

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    This is a real question, not a troll. Would you explain exactly what "fretboard mapping" is?

    I'm having trouble grasping this term, as simple as it may seem to others.

    If you already know every note on the fingerboard, instantly, what do you gain from "fretboard mapping"?
    I think maybe it's part of the "fingering and all that implies" stuff - knowing what you want to play, and position, and fingering, but also knowing ahead of time what you want to play and a path forward, planning position to use specific fingering - because of technical aspects, play-ability, phrasing, tone, hand mechanics, etc.

    There is a thing of choosing a position, staying there, and adjusting fingering in order to play anything in any key without shifting, as an academic practice exercise. There might be some people that sometimes play like that in performance.

    There is thing of discarding position and playing fluidly all over the finger board, which may also be an academic practice exercise.

    There is another thing of choosing and shifting position constantly because of limited grasp of possibilities and having to use the few forms with which one is familiar or confident, distributed all over the finger board.

    The first time I saw a video of Wes I was struck by the way he hears ahead and plans his playing (because of the constraints of using his thumb). He makes lines and phrases that seem to "naturally" set up his hands for the subsequent line or phrase. He moves position, but if you are hearing/watching it as a guitarist, you feel in your ear and hand that he is deliberately staging placements and motions of his fingering with a strong sense of knowing the position advantage for what is needed ahead - he doesn't just use position and fingering, he plans a "fingering path" to best execute his playing.


  46. #145

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    I think maybe it's part of the "fingering and all that implies" stuff - knowing what you want to play, and position, and fingering, but also knowing ahead of time what you want to play and a path forward, planning position to use specific fingering - because of technical aspects, play-ability, phrasing, tone, hand mechanics, etc.

    There is a thing of choosing a position, staying there, and adjusting fingering in order to play anything in any key without shifting, as an academic practice exercise. There might be some people that sometimes play like that in performance.

    There is thing of discarding position and playing fluidly all over the finger board, which may also be an academic practice exercise.

    There is another thing of choosing and shifting position constantly because of limited grasp of possibilities and having to use the few forms with which one is familiar or confident, distributed all over the finger board.

    The first time I saw a video of Wes I was struck by the way he hears ahead and plans his playing (because of the constraints of using his thumb). He makes lines and phrases that seem to "naturally" set up his hands for the subsequent line or phrase. He moves position, but if you are hearing/watching it as a guitarist, you feel in your ear and hand that he is deliberately staging placements and motions of his fingering with a strong sense of knowing the position advantage for what is needed ahead - he doesn't just use position and fingering, he plans a "fingering path" to best execute his playing.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to respond to my question. So,we have two answers, and, unsurprisingly considering it's about music and guitar, the two answers are not the same.

    I'm also confused, for the record, by the phrase "fingering and all that implies". I know some fingerings and I have no idea what they imply. Or, at least, what that phrase refers to -- maybe I know it under some other name.

    I find it to be like this. It's my turn to solo. I know what the first chord is. I have to start somewhere, so I pick a note. Maybe I've already thought of a melodic idea, so I start on the first note of that. Or, maybe, I have no idea what I'm going to do,so I pick a chord tone, hold the note for a beat or so, at which point I've usually thought of the next note I want to play. My intention is to decide on the second note based on a melodic idea, not a fingering. In fact, I see paying attention to a fingering as more likely to damage the melodic idea than strengthen it, at least in my hands. If you're already thinking about a fingering, it seems that you've already chosen a harmonic idea perhaps more than a melodic idea.

    That said, there's a great Jimmy Bruno video where he plays just a few simple notes on a Bb arp or scale (can't recall) and makes a great melodic and rhythmic statement. It's a fantastic demonstration of great jazz from the simplest of tools. I think the solo could have emerged from a fingering pattern, although it didn't have to.

    So, I understand that great jazz can be based on a very different approach from what I'm suggesting.

    The usual caveat applies. To play a lot of notes really fast requires some preparation. I don't listen to that style much, and I can barely play it, but I understand the point made earlier that burning is part of jazz.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 03-11-2021 at 02:22 AM.

  47. #146

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    I notice Wes in common with Pat Metheny favours low positions and keeps mobile up and down the neck.

    In both cases i habitually transcribe their lines in higher positions than they are actually played.

    They do a lot of work in 1st-3rd.

    The tone of guitar is somewhat different there. Mike Moreno notes that the guitar sounds punchier there, with better intonation.

  48. #147

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    Furthermore I remember reading somewhere that they thought Wes used a diagonal position of an extended arpeggio, like this one, as a skeleton for scales etc

    —————————8—12
    —————6—10
    ———-7
    5 - 8
    –—
    ——

    (This is to be played with three fingers, heavily pronated left hand and lots of shifting ala blues guitar. You can see the left hand stance in the vid.)

    You can see how diagonal his positions could be. In common with some of the blues guitar diagonal positions you go from low positions to high positions very organically.

    this is something traditional positional playing doesn’t encourage so much. Again as Julian Lage points out we are conditioned to think of a leap from say 5th to 12th fret as a big jump but in fact it’s not a large motion for the arm to make. By learning positions you can get conditioned into thinking movements are bigger than they are. Self taught players like Pat, Wes, Django or Jimi Hendrix don’t have this mental conditioning, and move along the neck a lot more.

    Lage Lund’s ideas on position are not dissimilar. He favours a shifting mobile left hand that compresses and stretches as it needs, and this makes sense as his improvisational language appears to be more based on triads and chords than scales.

    He feels that using the little finger as with a piano stops the hand ascending the fretboard easily and it should only be used for direction changes.

    Wes (and Pat) are primarily three fingered ‘thumb over’ players. But Lage has one of the most legit left hands I’ve seen in a jazzer so it’s interesting. Most of my ideas re the left hand are borrowed from Lage.

    but then you get super positional players like Adam Rogers who is a big scale guy. Strategies vary. I love both players very much.

    Which just goes to show really.

  49. #148

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    . Again as Julian Lage points out we are conditioned to think of a leap from say 5th to 12th fret as a big jump but in fact it’s not a large motion for the arm to make. By learning positions you can get conditioned into thinking movements are bigger than they are.
    Interesting - I guess it is big for classical music where the nuances are so delicate that it can affect them... but not that it is impossible.
    And I think in jazz it is less important...

    Tbh I think that it is not necessary for every player to learn every possible approach... if it works for someone in position - fine for him, if it works in diagonal playing - fine too...
    I guess each one eventually expands it if he feels he needs to do that...

    I personally played a lot in 'position' but there was a period when I intentionally broke it and began to study the neck diagonally... and eventually I got some kind of mixture of it.

    An interesting excersise that Andrey Ryabov showed me: when you play a scale or an arp upside down... you move your hand from top frets to low frets but the arp or scale goes upwards...
    it really breaks some patterns and the way the fretboard is systemized.

    I actually think it is an endless trip... I feel like my mapping of fretboard is always changing and it becomes more and more multi-dimensional.... but I dont fell like I will ever say: I know it...

  50. #149

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    I have got my fingers in a knot a number of times because of playing by ear only. Funny with piano improv I did that too.
    When improvising I think most of us think in licks and lines, groups of notes rather than single notes. Jens Larsen recommends exercising scales not just as ladders, with different intervals. Btw that’s how Yitzak Perlman got picked up by Heifetz when he was just a kid.
    Question: is it ok to play a harmonic minor scale root on G string and then kind of shrink your hand a pinkie plays 3 and index the 4 on B string and same on the way down? I feel it’s a bit piano-ish as opposed to just shifting your hand


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  51. #150

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban
    Learning scales is really not that difficult. Let's say you drive 15 minutes to work and 15 minutes back every day (=30 Minute commute), so you dedicate the first week to C major. You speak out loud all the notes as you drive, (speak them out loud, not just in your head), scalar as in "Scales", but also as arpeggios, in all inversions, up and down, and with all extensions and so on. At the end of the week you can recite C major / A minor (and of course D Dorian etc.) in your sleep.

    Do this for another 11 weeks with the other keys and you will have completely internalized the basic vocabulary of western music.

    Then the next 12 weeks you do the same with melodic minor, except that it goes much faster this time because you already know "major/minor" and now only one tone changes at a time. And so on... HT/WT HT etc.....

    So if you learn in parallel what every single note on the fretboard is called, you don't need no "shapes" or "fingerings" any more.

    At least that's what I did (and still do).

    EDIT:

    I just thought, it's a bit like in school back then. I hated learning the multiplication tables by heart, but what the hell, you had to do it.
    I now realize more and more how useful it was later on when I notice how many people even can't do the simplest mental arithmetic anymore.
    I kind of do that. Only I know the scales from piano. But I like to sing the note names and imagine them on the fretboard. Works for me except I don’t drive to work unfortunately..


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