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  1. #51

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    Joe Pass on "CAGED" and how he uses it.
    No one has to do this but Joe found it useful.



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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Yea... there are many ways to get there.

    So every vid I see shows most teachers staring at the neck and basically still trying to put collections of different approaches of performing together to become one.... Or they're old school, like the Eschete vid. Which was how I was taught as a kid.

    The somewhat more modern approach.... is to learn the instrument is a 12 fret, 6 string repeating pattern. It's not a 7 position instrument, it's not a 5 caged pattern instrument or what ever system one uses to try and learn how to perform.

    The point... you need to get past the beginning learning points and try and see where you want to get.

    The points about being aware of all aspects of what your playing at all times.... is still not seeing the end or even the middle of where your trying to get.

    Any collection of notes change with different references.... Playing two octaves arpeggios of Bb13.... if you change the reference from Bb to G#Lyd.13, it's still the same collection of notes but depending on the context, how you spell and use the notes can also change.

    Again the point is..... you don't want to need to think of what each note is, where its goes etc... this always results in staring at the neck and some type of brain freeze.

    Old school... you move on to next step... connecting shapes with somewhat organization designed within the shapes, and with practice they become instinctive. You don't need to prethink ... your moving up the ladder, your hearing and playing established theory, melodic and harmonic common practice performance... somewhat like common practice jazz extended lick ideas. Your free to improvise using note collections and longer melodic and harmonic established patterns etc... So instead of thinking about what each note is etc... your thinking with established collections of notes, chord patterns, rhythmic patterns etc...

    The modern approach... you get to the point where those shapes become a 12 fret, 6 string pattern or shape. And the only thing that moves is the reference... that reference being whatever you choose.

    So like playing single octaves of cycles, 3rds, 4ths, 5ths etc... in one position like some of the vids posted.... your playing a 12 fret 6 string shape... that is always the same size, same fingerings etc....

    You get to the level that changing positions is part of the 12 fret fingering. You don't need to stare at the fretboard and decide where to move etc... the choices are always the same.

    Personally it doesn't seem that old school guitar approaches ever get there. There are always exceptions and exceptional people etc...
    (of which I'm not)...and that's why I changed... I don't need to stare at the fretboard or figure out fingerings to perform.

    There are always better positions for ease of playing etc... more natural articulations for performance, but those details are what one develops as you work on your musicianship.

    If your older and already have your playing technique established, I get it... why change now.

    But if your not there yet... check out where different approaches end... if you put in the time.... what is the end result. We're not talking about the actual music, we're talking about how to perform on the instrument.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg

    your playing a 12 fret 6 string shape... that is always the same size, same fingerings etc....

    You get to the level that changing positions is part of the 12 fret fingering. You don't need to stare at the fretboard and decide where to move etc... the choices are always the same.
    Howdy Reg - Nice post.

    I understand a 12-fret 6-string shape, that makes clear obvious sense. Notes are where they are.

    But the real head scratcher for me is "the 12 fret fingering". (fingering being singular, not plural). 12-fret pattern of notes sure, but 12-fret fingering? What is a 12-fret fingering?
    Last edited by Jazzstdnt; 01-29-2018 at 09:43 PM.

  5. #54

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    These problems are where the P4 Tuning Players have a great advantage .

    If not for great Rhythmtastic Voicings I would use P4 .
    IF I was a Scale Type Improvisor just playing 'small 'chords - I would use P4, but I have come to realize that I am a 'shape shifter ' .
    And writing and playing ' new ' material ,expanding Voicings .

    Nonetheless I am gradually organizing the Fingerboard for how I play now....


    The one thing that I seem to find to be an Oxymoron or I wonder why so much emphasis....and I use this example to add legitimacy to my question NOT because I am copying these Players:

    'Teachers' and academics for Fingerboard Geography [ which is important for" Playing What You 'Hear' " of course ] and this Thread IS about
    Fingerboard Geography...

    Why the HUGE emphasis on :

    'Be able to Play everything in all Keys in one Position "
    Watch Metheny , Benson etc. and see them moving
    LATERALLY up and down Fingerboard developing
    Melodic Sequences or variations of them as they move...
    Sure eventually you [ might ] do the sequences or have the option to do them [ as you 'hear' them ] in one position but that negates the possibility of adding vertical patterns laterally.

    THEN we get to another GPS Geography Route.

    Instead of learning G major all over the Fretboard -

    Do you think it makes more sense to learn G Major as 3, 4, or 5 fret Pattern ( depending on your Fingers ), two octaves

    THEN the adjacent Dorian Mode ( G major = A Dorian) connecting pattern , 2 octaves

    THEN the adjacent Phrygian Pattern ( G major = B Phrygian ) etc etc .
    Anyone organize this way ?

    Again why are Jazz Guitar Teachers so focused on the 'be able to Play everything in one Position ' thing ?

    AND if it's so great - why do we see lateral movement with Benson and Metheny - ?

    And personally the way the inversions jump and since I am often doing vertical shapes then moving them laterally anyway it makes more sense that the scale fragments that connect them ( which are often Rhythmic Filler for me it seems lol ) often move laterally anyway...

    Again - I am mostly involved with playing what I 'hear' but I do want to re -map the Fingerboard to some extent to Completion so curious which approach you use..
    I also play across the strings in wider intervals frequently so .... I add extensions that way ...*complicated Scales are unnecessary for me but I do want to Road Map the Maze in a simple quick logical system.






    Adjacent Modal Mapping Enharmonic System - is this complicated sounding enough ...? Lol.
    Is this the most ' logical ' way?
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 01-30-2018 at 12:05 PM.

  6. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Robertkoa
    Why the HUGE emphasis on :

    'Be able to Play everything in all Keys in one Position "
    Watch Metheny , Benson etc. and see them moving
    LATERALLY up and down Fingerboard developing
    Melodic Sequences or variations of them as they move...
    Sure eventually you [ might ] do the sequences or have the option to do them [ as you 'hear' them ] in one position but that negates the possibility of adding vertical patterns laterally.

    THEN we get to another GPS Geography Route.

    Instead of learning G major all over the Fretboard -

    Do you think it makes more sense to learn G Major as 3, 4, or 5 fret Pattern ( depending on your Fingers ), two octaves

    THEN the adjacent Dorian Mode ( G major = A Dorian) connecting pattern , 2 octaves

    THEN the adjacent Phrygian Pattern ( G major = B Phrygian ) etc etc .
    Anyone organize this way ?

    Again why are Jazz Guitar Teachers so focused on the 'be able to Play everything in one Position ' thing ?

    AND if it's so great - why do we see lateral movement with Benson and Metheny - ?

    And personally the way the inversions jump and since I am often doing vertical shapes then moving them laterally anyway it makes more sense that the scale fragments that connect them ( which are often Rhythmic Filler for me it seems lol ) often move laterally anyway...

    Again - I am mostly involved with playing what I 'hear' but I do want to re -map the Fingerboard to some extent to Completion so curious which approach you use..
    I also play across the strings in wider intervals frequently so .... I add extensions that way ...*complicated Scales are unnecessary for me but I do want to Road Map the Maze in a simple quick logical system.

    Adjacent Modal Mapping Enharmonic System - is this complicated sounding enough ...? Lol.
    Is this the most ' logical ' way?
    This is how reg organizes a lot. Not all focused on learning to play everything in every position as much as learning well in a few. Playing in other positions is used as springboard to play differently, not as a way to play exactly what you would in another position. New relationships etc.

    Not adjacent so much though, more like 3rds. Subbing lydian for Dorian etc. Lots of shifts.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 01-30-2018 at 12:49 PM.

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    ...The somewhat more modern approach.... is to learn the instrument is a 12 fret, 6 string repeating pattern. It's not a 7 position instrument, it's not a 5 caged pattern instrument or what ever system one uses to try and learn how to perform....
    Is this a reference to Leavitt's "modern method" or something else?

  8. #57

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    Forget shapes. Forget all shortcuts.

    I've tried, many moons ago, to "learn" pentatonic shapes. Learned the shapes and got NOTHING out of them. What's the "root node", what's its role? How do I use the shapes? Play shape up and down? Huh, that sounds bad. For the record, to date I don't get all the glory of the pentatonic scale. Yes, it's failsafe, but utterly boring and lacks expressiveness. Or I just have no clue how to use it, dunno.

    Anyway, a while ago I started using solfa (movable do). It was relatively ok for a single position, but going up and down the neck was impossible. What's the open A string in relation to the movable do I'm in? No clue. Can't flow this way either. Not to mention disconnect from the chords. Solfa is great for building chords. But how to know where you are in relation to a chord progression? You don't, because you use different nomenclature.

    So, very recently, like a week or so ago, I gave in. If I want to progress, I need to learn scales and fretboard. Because the last thing I was playing (before a short break due to high workload) was Autumn leaves, I started with G major / E minor. Started learning the fretboard. Open position, fifth position, then a bit up and down, playing the same tones on different positions...

    And OH MY GOD... it's like, suddenly I can play!? I was strumming up and down and recognised a tune... and suddenly I could play it (not perfect execution, but I can move around the neck and I know if I'm on A here, then D is there, oh and C and B have to be there... and you know? And all these tunes... suddenly they are coming out of my guitar! Transposed to G/E-, but whatever.

    So this is my plan currently... just play simple tunes, all around the neck, saying note names in the progress. And learning scales as I go. And chords of course. So much easier to see different chord positions. My mental processing is still slow, and I need to think of everything as I play, but I imagine, once this is internalised, things become much simpler.

    So Imo, there's no free lunch. Shapes can maybe help you grow to a certain degree, but it's a dead end and builds no foundation for improvisation and composition.

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottM
    Well, here are the links. (... or perhaps the videos will show in the post?)


    Keep in mind that I put these up to supplement concepts I had discussed and diagrammed for my students. The premise is that we reduced major scales down to 2 basic, one-octave shapes starting with 2nd or 4th finger. The 2 fingerings do not change, but they do required the adjustments (shifts) for string 2-3.



    Nice demonstration, Scott although I'm curious why you didn't start the cycle in G from the 6th string. Unlike the piano where the key of C is fundamental, I would argue that G is basically the default key for the guitar (its open string notes belong collectively to the G major pentatonic scale). If G at the 6th string/3rd fret is your initial reference point for all the other fingerings, why not start there? After all, the five most common keys in jazz are based around a cycle of 4ths starting with G: G, C, F, Bb and Eb.

    CAGED aside, even if one adopts Reg's 7-fingering approach where alterations are made to the major without a change of position or basic shape, that same 6th string G is the lowest possible pitch where all scale types can be played from the root with the 2nd finger as moveable forms (i.e. without resorting to open strings).

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    Unlike the piano where the key of C is fundamental, I would argue that G is basically the default key for the guitar (its open string notes belong collectively to the G major pentatonic scale).
    I hadn't thought of it that way but it makes sense to me.

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I hadn't thought of it that way but it makes sense to me.
    Mark, I know you're a Carol Kaye fan and I found out years after I came up with the idea of rearranging CAGED forms into a cycle of 4ths - EADGC - and applying them to the common jazz keys of G, C, F, Bb and Eb as a basis for cycling through all the keys that CK starts out with exactly the same keys and positions in her teaching!

    Regarding the topic of scale fingerings, it's interesting to note that positions on the guitar are traditionally determined by the 1st finger when as Scott reveals, CAGED forms are essentially based around the 2nd finger (even in the G and C forms where the lower root note is played by the 4th, they both progress to a 2nd finger reference in the upper octave). Reg's fingerings unquestionably take the 2nd finger as a reference point with that digit being fixed in position whereas the 1st covers the two frets that lie below.

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    Mark, I know you're a Carol Kaye fan and I found out years after I came up with the idea of rearranging CAGED forms into a cycle of 4ths - EADGC - and applying them to the common jazz keys of G, C, F, Bb and Eb as a basis for cycling through all the keys that CK starts out with exactly the same keys and positions in her teaching!

    Regarding the topic of scale fingerings, it's interesting to note that positions on the guitar are traditionally determined by the 1st finger when as Scott reveals, CAGED forms are essentially based around the 2nd finger (even in the G and C forms where the lower root note is played by the 4th, they both progress to a 2nd finger reference in the upper octave). Reg's fingerings unquestionably take the 2nd finger as a reference point with that digit being fixed in position whereas the 1st covers the two frets that lie below.
    It's funny about Carol Kaye. I know she stresses practicing things in four keys (C, F, G, Eb). I asked her (on her forum) if there was some particular reason she chose those four keys and she took my head off. It was brutal. If there is a specific reason she chose those four keys, I think she's keeping it to herself. ;o)


    I like the 2nd finger reference. (Perhaps more in the morning. I'm wiped tonight.)

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    I would argue that G is basically the default key for the guitar (its open string notes belong collectively to the G major pentatonic scale).
    Not only that. You have:
    - G/D chord in open position (strings 2,3,4)
    - Em/G in open position (strings 1,2,3)
    - Em7 in open position (stings 2,3,4,6)

    So definetely G/Em is the default guitar scale

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    Nice demonstration, Scott although I'm curious why you didn't start the cycle in G from the 6th string. Unlike the piano where the key of C is fundamental, I would argue that G is basically the default key for the guitar (its open string notes belong collectively to the G major pentatonic scale). If G at the 6th string/3rd fret is your initial reference point for all the other fingerings, why not start there? After all, the five most common keys in jazz are based around a cycle of 4ths starting with G: G, C, F, Bb and Eb.

    CAGED aside, even if one adopts Reg's 7-fingering approach where alterations are made to the major without a change of position or basic shape, that same 6th string G is the lowest possible pitch where all scale types can be played from the root with the 2nd finger as moveable forms (i.e. without resorting to open strings).
    Thanks! My only reason for Starting on C is that I was using the circle as a point of reference, and C at the top...

    I agree that other keys (G, in particular) seem more like 'home base' on guitar.

  15. #64

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    Key of G Major as home base for the guitar eh? That's certainly one way to think about it. Here's another.


    1. Playing around the circle of fifths starting in C (no sharps or flats) is as common and widely used as a Honda Accord. No problemo!

    2. The 6-string guitar appeared about a century before jazz music, and the 5-string guitar etc., etc., before that. So, common keys - in jazz - were not on the top of the list for the instrument's design objectives.

    3. It could just as easily be said that E Minor and A Minor are the most fundamental keys on the guitar. A lot of easy and intermediate guitar music from the masters was written in those keys. The open A and E strings lend themselves to a nice alternating bass line in A Minor, just for one example.

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt
    Key of G Major as home base for the guitar eh? That's certainly one way to think about it. Here's another.


    1. Playing around the circle of fifths starting in C (no sharps or flats) is as common and widely used as a Honda Accord. No problemo!

    2. The 6-string guitar appeared about a century before jazz music, and the 5-string guitar etc., etc., before that. So, common keys - in jazz - were not on the top of the list for the instrument's design objectives.

    3. It could just as easily be said that E Minor and A Minor are the most fundamental keys on the guitar. A lot of easy and intermediate guitar music from the masters was written in those keys. The open A and E strings lend themselves to a nice alternating bass line in A Minor, just for one example.
    Jazzstdnt, I understand that guitar pedagogy predates jazz and that the circle of 5ths has for centuries been practised on many other instruments but it seems to me that starting the circle in G when using CAGED forms exploits the 6-string guitar's natural design and also put us immediately into the five common jazz keys.

    As for your last point, yes E Minor and A Minor are fundamental. They are the relative minors of G Major and C Major, the first two major keys in the circle. I would argue that CAGED forms are better practised in a derivative fashion, i.e. using the same basic fingering for G major and E Minor:

    Mind boggling blind spot in guitar teaching-caged-example-jpg

    Indeed, a common criticism of CAGED shapes is that they really only work for major chords and scales. On the other hand, Reg's 7 fingerings are usually practised in a parallel manner where we convert from G major to G minor and simply flatten the 3rd (and the 6th and 7th degrees of the scale where necessary) by moving the relevant pitches down a semitone/fret on the same string:

    Mind boggling blind spot in guitar teaching-reg-example-jpg

  17. #66

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    Cool.

    Regarding CAGED, I think that's a name that non-classical folks came up with for fingerings that have been out there a looooong time. I've never heard one classical master or teacher refer to "CAGED".

    Anyhoo, players should and do play all 12 keys in different ways - chromatically, by major second, circle of fifths, etc., and they can start wherever they want. There is no reason to start in C every time, in fact that could become a crutch.

    Regarding "Reg's 7 fingerings"... Reg was a Berklee educated guy, as am I although I never went all the way. If I understand what you're getting at, Reg selected 7 of Leavitt's 12 fingerings for the major scale, then uses 7 more each for melodic and harmonic minors (you could do the same for Harm. Major). The 2nd and 3rd fingers remain at the same fret assignments for each of the diatonic scales. So excluding harmonic major this approach includes 21 Leavitt fingerings instead of 36. One can do something similar for traditional fingerings (so-called CAGED) and they would have 15 fingerings. The difference is that there would be more reliance on shifting as opposed to stretching, which the Leavitt fingerings emphasize.

    So Reg's approach sounds like a type of "variable reduction system", so to speak. The fewer things one has to memorize the better. The KISS principle etc. One can also focus on the flatted 3rd, 6th, and 7th. So mentally it's simpler and neater to keep track of too.

    But (there's always a but). I am not certain why Reg chose the 7 major fingerings that he did, but I'm guessing its a compromise to use something which possesses the most commonality across the different types of diatonic scales/modes. Theoretically that sounds very neat and tidy, but in practice its not for me, at least. Firstly I am not a fan of many of Leavitt's stretch fingerings, especially when played in the lower half of the fret board. And I too can select 7 major fingerings from Leavitt that are reasonably comfortable and useful despite the stretches, at least past the 8th position or so, and some of the fingerings would be the ones that Reg selected. On the other hand some would decidedly NOT be. The most glaring example that I can think of at the moment would be the Phrygian mode from the 6th string with starting finger 2, as opposed to the obvious starting finger 1. That makes the Phrygian mode many times more difficult and awkward to play. Sorry, not on board.

  18. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt
    If I understand what you're getting at, Reg selected 7 of Leavitt's 12 fingerings for the major scale, then uses 7 more each for melodic and harmonic minors (you could do the same for Harm. Major).
    He's always stated that he had this stuff together before Berklee. The idea is of scale fingerings, starting from the second finger, one position per scale degree, which basically gives you first finger stretches instead of fourth finger stretches for the most part.

    Incidentally, Leavitt has 5 initial fingerings which are the core of most of that three volume work. He gets into 12 later, but in my mind, it's not really a "12 position " approach for the most part. Leavitt also states that he prefers first finger stretches when possible. Fingerings with fourth finger stretches are mostly to cover all bases and understand the theory behind the evolution of scale fingerings through keys etc.

    Honestly, it gets really tedious "wordsing" about this stuff theoretically on the Internet so much. It's never going to make sense on paper or in text in a way that's going to satisfy some theoretical, academic discussion. It's a very physical thing. Personally, I have found Reg' s approach to be vastly different from William Leavitt's, which I used before Reg's. (At least all that I could gather from what Leavitt represents in his book).

  19. #68

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    I agree that it's difficult using words about this stuff but it's not that difficult.

    Reg's fingerings are Leavitt's. Leavitt's fingering system includes 12, make no mistake. He doesn't hit you with all of them in book 1 but he layers on the difficulty gradually like any other sane method would. He admits that 3 of the 12 are impractical for the two minor scales. When I learned them my instructor had me playing all 12 major fingerings pretty darned quickly.

    It's all moot to me though. Using stretch fingerings as your primary system - even in the 2nd position - is a non-starter for me.

  20. #69

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    Just to clear things up, I use the term "Reg's 7 fingerings" for convenience as that's how they're often discussed on this forum. Kurt Rosenwinkel and a number of other Berklee students have gravitated towards the same fingerings. As for CAGED, yes it's an old concept but the term itself was supposedly coined in the mid-'40s by L.A. studio session guitarist, Jack Marshall and has become a pretty standard description for that layout.

    I'm happy that I worked on stretch fingerings after getting CAGED fingerings down early on. For me at least, those fingerings are quite logical and pianistic in conception as Matt has pointed out in the past on another thread (I'm a pianist as well with large hands and long fingers so maybe that helps me get around them). By the way, I've noticed that many jazz guitarists who use a non-stretched 5 fingering system as their default (Pat Martino, Jimmy Bruno, Barry Greene come to mind immediately) tend to pick most notes rather than employ slurs. Not a criticism, just an observation.

  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    Just to clear things up, I use the term "Reg's 7 fingerings" for convenience as that's how they're often discussed on this forum. Kurt Rosenwinkel and a number of other Berklee students have gravitated towards the same fingerings. As for CAGED, yes it's an old concept but the term itself was supposedly coined in the mid-'40s by L.A. studio session guitarist, Jack Marshall and has become a pretty standard description for that layout.

    I'm happy that I worked on stretch fingerings after getting CAGED fingerings down early on. For me at least, those fingerings are quite logical and pianistic in conception as Matt has pointed out in the past on another thread (I'm a pianist as well with large hands and long fingers so maybe that helps me get around them). By the way, I've noticed that many jazz guitarists who use a non-stretched 5 fingering system as their default (Pat Martino, Jimmy Bruno, Barry Greene come to mind immediately) tend to pick most notes rather than employ slurs. Not a criticism, just an observation.
    I think you would have to broaden that analysis because the number of jazz guitarists who don't use stretch fingerings as their default/base all over the fretboard...... is most jazz guitarists. And picking most notes as opposed to slurring most notes is the majority approach for jazz guitarists historically. :0

  22. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    Just to clear things up, I use the term "Reg's 7 fingerings" for convenience as that's how they're often discussed on this forum. Kurt Rosenwinkel and a number of other Berklee students have gravitated towards the same fingerings.
    Yeah. The semantic arguments related to these things and their "meaning" or origin etc. is frustrating to me.

    "Leavitt vs CAGED" fingerings works for me as a basic description which describes the stretch versus non-stretch fingerings etc., regardless of whether players in the past knew the term "CAGED" or whether players who use stretch fingerings actually got them FROM William Leavitt etc. We had a former member who got bent out of shape about the fact that anyone who used the stretch fingerings basically must have gotten them from William Leavitt, but I've talked to multiple players who say that they arrived at them on their own.

    That always strikes me as funny. I mean, if you take one fingering and cycle it through keys, you're going to arrive at basic CAGED fingerings or Leavitt fingerings, depending on whether your protocol for dealing with the accidentals has to do with shifts or stretches. People always refer to the "CAGED method" as if it's some codified thing, but it's really not. It didn't originate with one person, and it's not really a METHOD. You can develop methodologies around it maybe, but it's more descriptive.

    It's kind of like calling a method for reading music notation the "EGBDF or FACE method". Well, EGBDF isn't a METHOD. It's a DESCRIPTION of the natural layout of things on the staff. CAGED is the same thing for natural cycling fingerings through keys. Stretch fingerings work in the same way.

    For myself, I got the seven fingerings from Reg, but I still think that talking about them that way on this forum is at least a reasonable short hand for what's being talked about.

    Anyway, there seems to be a lot of discussion about the GREAT differences between stretch fingerings and traditional CAGED fingerings, but mostly they're the same. Leaving out Reg's extra two fingerings for a moment, you notice some things about CAGED vs their stretch fingering analogues. Using imperfect "modal" shorthand for 6th string etc patterns:

    1) Two of the patterns are identical. Ionian and Lydian have no stretches in either version.

    2) Two patterns have a single stretch/shift (in their literal 2-octave version). Talking about traditional CAGED Aeolian and mixolydian here. Again, Reg or Rosenwinkel are beginning and ending with second finger and not necessarily doing the extension on the lower octave for that other stretch anyway.

    3) Dorian is pretty different. Honestly, Dorian sucks in both. It's a true no-win compromise in my personal opinion. But really if you're talking about not being able to deal with stretch fingerings you're talking about Dorian 90%. The stretch fingering gives you better kinesthetic relationship to the other fingerings. Mixolydian and Dorian end up having the same relationship they would on the piano , meaning they're basically the same except one note.

    By comparison, CAGED is easier on the fingers in a basic way, and Dorian of course relates to Aeolian mode, the other minor, better than the stretch 2nd-finger-root version. So those are really the factors in comparing the two fingering systems in my opinion.

    Reg kind of takes this a step further, removing the somewhat arbitrary first finger reference for minor and second finger reference for major etc., by having each scale degree start with second finger. Anyway, my point is: if you do five-vs-five, they aren't as vastly different as people want to think they are, and if you run into a philosophical problem with Dorian from 2nd finger in the stretch version, it might lead you naturally to the 7 fingering solution anyway. But these things are just choices choices, not restrictions or rules.

    Sorry to bloviate.

  23. #72
    My understanding is that position playing/fingering systems have two main uses:
    1- To find a consistent, systematic way to play notes that fall outside of easily reachable frets from a given left hand position. A principle to apply automatically instead of having to solve the same fingering problems every time.
    2- Visual diagrams to memorize in order to learn the fretboard.

    My post was about the second interpretation. There is a lot of good discussion however in this thread about the first interpretation as well.
    The point is I believe "2" is problematic. It not only has low "headroom", but I am not sure it is even a short cut. I won't repeat the reasons here other than pointing out that the two octave shapes in my main post don't require finger stretch (hence CAGED), there are a few other one octave shapes that require finger stretch. They will produce the Leavitt and 3 note per string shapes if stacked against each other.

    Regarding point "1", I am currently experimenting with Segovia method. Which is getting better at moving your wrist accurately rather than relying on finger stretch.
    That's how violin, cello and double bass players do their "fingering". I think Wes Montgomery played that way as well. It allows for more freedom in phrasing possibilities.

  24. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    My understanding is that position playing/fingering systems have two main uses:
    1- To find a consistent, systematic way to play notes that fall outside of easily reachable frets from a given left hand position. A principle to apply automatically instead of having to solve the same fingering problems every time.
    2- Visual diagrams to memorize in order to learn the fretboard.

    My post was about the second interpretation. There is a lot of good discussion however in this thread about the first interpretation as well.
    The point is I believe "2" is problematic. It not only has low "headroom", but I am not sure it is even a short cut. I won't repeat the reasons here other than pointing out that the two octave shapes in my main post don't require finger stretch (hence CAGED), there are a few other one octave shapes that require finger stretch. They will produce the Leavitt and 3 note per string shapes if stacked against each other.

    Regarding point "1", I am currently experimenting with Segovia method. Which is getting better at moving your wrist accurately rather than relying on finger stretch.
    That's how violin, cello and double bass players do their "fingering". I think Wes Montgomery played that way as well. It allows for more freedom in phrasing possibilities.
    Regarding #2, I've always been fascinated about why it's so much more difficult on guitar. Again, reg' s philosophy is that you need something systematic to learn layout at the beginning, just to have the initial " where things are" reference, which is inherent in the piano, merely because of its layout. On the piano black-and-white keys are the physical reference for pitch. You know where C is, because of its physical relationship to a pair of black keys. On the guitar, we have the equivalent of a kind of piano.... with black notes between EVERY white key.... and with white keys in the next octave on completely different pitches.

    So, Reg says use the note on the sixth string of the pattern as a reference for "place". Learn to play the scale in that position from that sixth string "reference" pitch, as a kind of mode or inversion, but learning as a literal two octave scale, G-to-G etc. Otherwise, you lose the rhythmic reference , the right hand picking reference , and all of the symmetry of left-hand fingerings as well. It immediately becomes a "random dots on a grid /shape " problem. Do it with CAGED or with stretch fingerings, five patterns or seven, once you've done that, then you have the beginnings ofsomething like the black/white key, piano-type reference to "place", absolute pitch, etc. All of it is strengthened of course if you start each 2-octave pattern from the same finger. That's why he does seven scale degrees from second finger , but either way, it's important.

    The more traditional guitar practices, of always beginning scale patterns on the root, ascending to the highest note in the pattern, and then descending to lowest low back to the root, feel backwards, if you've studied another instrument. They lack all of the simplicity and symmetry that you usually get in learning beginning scales on various other instruments. Limiting to one octave is certainly an improvement, in my opinion, but I feel like it's only a piece. it still doesn't solve the black key "layout" problem. I kind of came to reg's way of looking at things after doing some of the one octave thing myself. Again, I definitely think it's a step in the right direction.

  25. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    Regarding #2, I've always been fascinated about why it's so much more difficult on guitar. Again, reg' s philosophy is that you need something systematic to learn layout at the beginning, just to have the initial " where things are" reference, which is inherent in the piano, merely because of its layout. On the piano black-and-white keys are the physical reference for pitch. You know where C is, because of its physical relationship to a pair of black keys. On the guitar, we have the equivalent of a kind of piano.... with black notes between EVERY white key.... and with white keys in the next octave on completely different pitches.

    So, Reg says use the note on the sixth string of the pattern as a reference for "place". Learn to play the scale in that position from that sixth string "reference" pitch, as a kind of mode or inversion, but learning as a literal two octave scale, G-to-G etc. Otherwise, you lose the rhythmic reference , the right hand picking reference , and all of the symmetry of left-hand fingerings as well. It immediately becomes a "random dots on a grid /shape " problem. Do it with CAGED or with stretch fingerings, five patterns or seven, once you've done that, then you have the beginnings ofsomething like the black/white key, piano-type reference to "place", absolute pitch, etc. All of it is strengthened of course if you start each 2-octave pattern from the same finger. That's why he does seven scale degrees from second finger , but either way, it's important.

    The more traditional guitar practices, of always beginning scale patterns on the root, ascending to the highest note in the pattern, and then descending to lowest low back to the root, feel backwards, if you've studied another instrument. They lack all of the simplicity and symmetry that you usually get in learning beginning scales on various other instruments. Limiting to one octave is certainly an improvement, in my opinion, but I feel like it's only a piece. it still doesn't solve the black key "layout" problem. I kind of came to reg's way of looking at things after doing some of the one octave thing myself. Again, I definitely think it's a step in the right direction.
    I can see there that there is a clever insight in the method you're describing. Is that what people on this thread have been referring to as "Reg's 7 fingerings"? Does it amount to the 7 position 3 note per string pattern with a slight alteration where the lowest starting notes form the 7 notes of the major scale?

  26. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I can see there that there is a clever insight in the method you're describing. Is that what people on this thread have been referring to as "Reg's 7 fingerings"? Does it amount to the 7 position 3 note per string pattern with a slight alteration where the lowest starting notes form the 7 notes of the major scale?
    It's not as 3 note per string. Each scale degree starting from the second finger, which basically creates first finger stretches where needed to account for certain intervals. Most " 7 position scales" are three note per string, hich could be confusing possibly.

    Tapatalk links don't work on this forum. Sorry. Replace the DOT below with a period.

    http://wwwDOTjazzguitar.be/forum/sho...d.php?p=238326

    Reg's Thread... live at the speed of Jazz
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 02-05-2018 at 06:08 PM.

  27. #76

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  28. #77
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Thanks for the diagrams.
    It also demonstrates my point though. EVERY single one of the shapes constitute stacking of 2 one octave shapes in my original post. If you look at each root and the way the positions continues from each root upwards, they are only 2 distinct one octave spans.
    There certainly is value in putting them all together and practicing across the fretboard (or 12 keys in one position). But for people who are learning scales, doesn't it make sense for them to use this insight and learn to play 2 one octave shapes and not worry about this all 7 positions right away? Instead of 7 positions of one scale, one can learn 3-4 scales as variations of the one octave major scale and carry on to study songs and improvisation right away and gradually get better at connecting them.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 02-10-2018 at 12:44 PM.

  29. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Thanks for the diagrams.
    It also demonstrates my point though. EVERY single one of the shapes constitute stacking of 2 one octave shapes in my original post. If you look at each root and the way the positions continues from each root upwards, they are only 2 distinct one octave spans.
    .
    Have you looked at "The 50 String Guitar"? I think you'd like that.

    The 50 String Guitar: Bryan Roberts: 9780989316200: Amazon.com: Books

  30. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Thanks for the diagrams.
    It also demonstrates my point though. EVERY single one of the shapes constitute stacking of 2 one octave shapes in my original post. If you look at each root and the way the positions continues from each root upwards, they are only 2 distinct one octave spans.
    There certainly is value in putting them all together and practicing across the fretboard (or 12 keys in one position). But for people who are learning scales, doesn't that make sense for them to use this insight and learn to play 2 one octave shapes and not worry about this all 7 positions right away? Instead of 7 positions of one scale one can learn 3-4 scales as variations of the one octave major scale and carry on to study songs and improvisation right away and gradually get better at connecting them.
    Btw matt Warnock basically does this in a lot of his material. So, it's not unheard of. One octave patterns which are later connected etc. He has a really solid website.

    I personally prefer reg's approach for fingerings etc, but matt is a GREAT teacher. Check out his Facebook tune of the month group for sure.

  31. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Thanks for the diagrams.
    It also demonstrates my point though. EVERY single one of the shapes constitute stacking of 2 one octave shapes in my original post. If you look at each root and the way the positions continues from each root upwards, they are only 2 distinct one octave spans.
    There certainly is value in putting them all together and practicing across the fretboard (or 12 keys in one position). But for people who are learning scales, doesn't it make sense for them to use this insight and learn to play 2 one octave shapes and not worry about this all 7 positions right away? Instead of 7 positions of one scale, one can learn 3-4 scales as variations of the one octave major scale and carry on to study songs and improvisation right away and gradually get better at connecting them.

    The fact that you're thinking so intensely about these fretboard diagrams is great, but I still believe that you’re overthinking them quite a bit.

    1. Firstly, the diagrams simply show the location of the notes for one scale fingering pattern at a time across all six strings. And from lowest note to highest the range for each is in fact NOT two octaves – it is beyond two octaves. Please keep in mind that the diagrams are not music and therefore do not tell the player what to play. Think of them as maps, not driving directions.


    2. Not to quibble, but it’s major scale “tonic”, not chord “root”.

    3. Also, these are “scale fingering patterns”, not “positions”. Why? Because the majority of these scale fingering patterns shift out of position. Other approaches stretch out of position. Further, less than 12 fingering patterns cover 12 positions. For example, CAGED covers 12 positions with 5 fingering patterns.

    4. Regarding the range observation that you make… If we want to look at the location of each tonic and ascend from there, what we see are scale fingering patterns which enable; (1) less than once octave, (2) exactly one octave, and (3) one octave plus.


    5. In terms of your learning approach question… The answer is – “it depends”. For the rank beginner there are a number of approaches. But if the player is not a rank beginner and wants to take his/her playing to the next level by learning scales, it's very efficient to learn the location of the notes by playing across all six strings. That approach speeds memorization and establishes the pattern in the mind's eye. Relative to your point about connecting one octave shapes to yield two octaves you may want to note - by first learning to play fingering patterns across all six strings the number of scale fingering patterns to memorize is exactly half.

    6. And from there? Yes, it’s very practical and important to play/read both one and two-octave scales/melodies etc. William Leavitt's Modern Method for Guitar, for one, emphasizes precisely that.

    7. So, at a minimum, and for each mode including Ionian, one should know at least one two-octave scale fingering pattern from the sixth string. Play each of the seven modes for exactly two octaves from the sixth string ascending and descending, in order, up the fretboard (no extensions). You can use CAGED, 3NPS, Leavitt, whatever. If you use CAGED you will leverage some fingering patterns for two modes.


    8. But don't stop there, of course:
    1. Practice seven one-octave modes in the same fingering pattern. Apply to all patterns.

    2. Practice seven one-octave modes up the fretboard, from all string sets.

    3. Practice two-octave modes from the sixth string – but - shift to a higher position for the higher octave.

    4. Practice two-octave modes from the 5th string but shift to a higher position for the higher octave. In some cases you may elect to shift at the higher octave transition (third string), while in other cases may elect to shift on the first string.

    5. Learn a few strategies for playing 3-octave scales/modes. Some advocate learning 3-octave fingerings for every single mode. IMHO learning 3-octave scales for the most used modes is enough. Such runs will be infrequently used in music and there are other options for playing "range exercises" beyond 3-octave scales.


    I hope this is helpful. Cheers.

  32. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt
    The fact that you're thinking so intensely about these fretboard diagrams is great, but I still believe that you’re overthinking them quite a bit.

    1. Firstly, the diagrams simply show the location of the notes for one scale fingering pattern at a time across all six strings. And from lowest note to highest the range for each is in fact NOT two octaves – it is beyond two octaves. Please keep in mind that the diagrams are not music and therefore do not tell the player what to play. Think of them as maps, not driving directions.


    2. Not to quibble, but it’s major scale “tonic”, not chord “root”.

    3. Also, these are “scale fingering patterns”, not “positions”. Why? Because the majority of these scale fingering patterns shift out of position. Other approaches stretch out of position. Further, less than 12 fingering patterns cover 12 positions. For example, CAGED covers 12 positions with 5 fingering patterns.

    4. Regarding the range observation that you make… If we want to look at the location of each tonic and ascend from there, what we see are scale fingering patterns which enable; (1) less than once octave, (2) exactly one octave, and (3) one octave plus.


    5. In terms of your learning approach question… The answer is – “it depends”. For the rank beginner there are a number of approaches. But if the player is not a rank beginner and wants to take his/her playing to the next level by learning scales, it's very efficient to learn the location of the notes by playing across all six strings. That approach speeds memorization and establishes the pattern in the mind's eye. Relative to your point about connecting one octave shapes to yield two octaves you may want to note - by first learning to play fingering patterns across all six strings the number of scale fingering patterns to memorize is exactly half.

    6. And from there? Yes, it’s very practical and important to play/read both one and two-octave scales/melodies etc. William Leavitt's Modern Method for Guitar, for one, emphasizes precisely that.

    7. So, at a minimum, and for each mode including Ionian, one should know at least one two-octave scale fingering pattern from the sixth string. Play each of the seven modes for exactly two octaves from the sixth string ascending and descending, in order, up the fretboard (no extensions). You can use CAGED, 3NPS, Leavitt, whatever. If you use CAGED you will leverage some fingering patterns for two modes.


    8. But don't stop there, of course:
    1. Practice seven one-octave modes in the same fingering pattern. Apply to all patterns.

    2. Practice seven one-octave modes up the fretboard, from all string sets.

    3. Practice two-octave modes from the sixth string – but - shift to a higher position for the higher octave.

    4. Practice two-octave modes from the 5th string but shift to a higher position for the higher octave. In some cases you may elect to shift at the higher octave transition (third string), while in other cases may elect to shift on the first string.

    5. Learn a few strategies for playing 3-octave scales/modes. Some advocate learning 3-octave fingerings for every single mode. IMHO learning 3-octave scales for the most used modes is enough. Such runs will be infrequently used in music and there are other options for playing "range exercises" beyond 3-octave scales.


    I hope this is helpful. Cheers.
    Some of these are valid observations (if not obvious), some I believe not.
    However I think it misses the point of the thread a bit. The point of the thread is not that I am seeking help to conquer the fretboard for one.
    I proposed an approach and I stated the benefits of that approach as I see them. I believe some may find it useful, some may not. The response above seems completely tangent to points I was making or counter conclusions that do not reasonably follow from my statements (Like diagrams making music)

  33. #82

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    OK, well I read your OP as addressing:


    1. Learning the fretboard, specifically where scales are concerned.

    2. There's a mind boggling blind spot in common approaches.

    3. You not a fan of the ubiquitos scale fingering diagrams.

    4. There is a counter, and more effective way to learn/memorize scales on the fretboard.

    5. A one octave at a time approach is superior. You seem to be maintaining that hypothesis in today's post #77.

  34. #83

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    I got that...just seemed a little Hyped in the Thread Title.

  35. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt
    OK, well I read your OP as addressing:


    1. Learning the fretboard, specifically where scales are concerned.

    2. There's a mind boggling blind spot in common approaches.

    3. You not a fan of the ubiquitos scale fingering diagrams.

    4. There is a counter, and more effective way to learn/memorize scales on the fretboard.

    5. A one octave at a time approach is superior. You seem to be maintaining that hypothesis in today's post #77.
    These are roughly my claims. But I didn't just state these claims, I gave reasons for them. But you seem to completely omit the reasoning I gave for these points and present your claims.
    Here I repeat my underlying reasoning:
    1- Learning 2 octaves is faster than learning 7 (positions) x 2.5 (octaves). Humans being very good at recursively enumerating patterns, once they realize that 7 * 2.5 size positions can be generated from the 2 octaves with pattern matching they can move on the more musical things go focus on during their practice time.
    3- Scale in a span of an octave is musically more meaningful and universal construct than fretboard diagrams.
    4- Learning in octave patterns facilitate deeper learning by focusing on notes/ interval relationships. Fretboard diagrams are prone to be shortcuts in this regard and skate over all that. Leading to people realizing that they don't readily know which notes are the 6ths which are the 7's years after they supposedly (quickly) learnt their scales.
    5- Scales in the context of Jazz are mainly tools to drive practice material for improvisation. The quicker one is able to play common scales with a reasonable awareness (the relationship between scale notes and chord tones for example), the quicker one can focus on actually practicing music. It matters less how many octaves and where on the fretboard these scales are practiced initially. It trains the ear just the same. Knowing scale degrees is very useful however in these drills.
    6- Internalizing fretboard is a life long process. Different approaches to fretboard will potentially all lead to the same place. The difference would be practice productivity in early stages of Jazz studies.

    Note that points 1, 3 and point 4 are strongly linked.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 02-10-2018 at 06:05 PM.

  36. #85

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    I think I understand everything that you claim. Best of success in your explorations.

  37. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Sorry for the explosive title. I really want to get others opinion on this as I haven't seen this point discussed anywhere and it's causing so much grief to people attempting to learn fretboard in my opinion (I certainly suffered from it).
    I am talking about learning from fretboard diagrams. Caged system or any other positional system. You can hardly pick up a guitar book that doesn't have one. There is a ridiculously easier and more musical way (I'll get to that shortly).
    I am not saying that positional playing is wrong (I know that's debated to death already). I think positional playing is useful. What I don't agree is using positional playing as a way to memorize the fretboard. Positional system should be something one arrives at after learning the fretboard, not a starting point.
    Let me just state the simple alternative. Let's take the major scale. There are 2 one octave forms that require minimal finger stretch. All Caged diagrams amount to stacking these forms and adjusting them for the tuning of the high E and B strings:

    |6| |7|1|
    |3|4| |5|
    | |1| |2|


    |7|1| | | |
    | |5| |6| |
    | |2| |3|4|
    | | | | |1|

    When you start on the root note (say on the sixth string) and ascend, you have a choice of 2 continuations (second note on the same string or second note on the next string) the rest is forced by the minimal stretch rule.

    Note, just learning these means knowing how to play this scale on the entire fretboard not in just one place.
    Fretboard diagrams make learning very difficult and less musical because they obfuscate:
    o Smaller patterns that repeat in all positions.
    o Intervallic relationships between notes.
    o Scale degrees of each note.

    As a result not only there is a steep learning curve to these diagrams but one almost has to start from scratch when one attempts to learn a new scale (or arpeggio).
    There is also long delay between starting to learn a new scale and applying it to songs. With these on octave approach within minutes one can play the scale on the entire fretboard and also be aware of what intervallic relationships exists between the notes. In fact I think all other instruments are learnt this way. Why is guitar taught with these insane diagrams?

    EDIT: I am not suggesting that one should immediately jump all over the fretboard with these types of one octave forms when learning a new scale. It's best to start applying these octaves in smaller chunks immediately to chord changes one is practicing and gradually expand. But the idea is the expansion would be trivial.

    EDIT 2: I put this below as a response to a clarification request. I might as well make it part of the post. The two shapes above can be superimposed to a CAGED diagram completely like Lego pieces (adjusting for the tuning as necessary). You can generate the CAGED system from them, but with very little memorization and without losing sight of the scale degrees and intervals, try it:
    http://www.guitarorb.com/images/CAGE...lPositions.png
    Yes, for jazz you start with a position and map out the major scale. But that's just the very beginning.
    Next you have to learn the arpeggio notes for the 2-5-1 cadence, Dm7, G7, Cmaj7.

    Then you start with lines to connect them, landing on the 3rd of each arpeggio, addin chromatic lines. Then you start adding the alt notes to the G7 - b9 (or the G# dim arp), #9 and the flat/sharp 5 (G7 aug).
    Then combinations of outside notes on G7 which leads to the Alt dom scale or the Dim 7 scale.

    At the same time you work on static lines for the C maj7, Dm7 (dorian) and G7 (either mixolydian, alt dom, dim, whole tone, etc...)

    As you do this in each position you slowly learn to extend lines through positions and eventually you can move between positions fairly easy.

    Whenever you encounter a really cool 2/5 line you can practice it in different positions and even moving through 2 or more positions and this also helps to break the constraints of positions.

  38. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I am talking about learning from fretboard diagrams. Caged system or any other positional system. You can hardly pick up a guitar book that doesn't have one.
    I've been working in Sal Salvador's "Single String Studies For Guitar." It's new to me but it's an old book, a classic. It starts with a few one-octave scale patterns and there's not a scale diagram in the whole book. Ditto for Mickey Baker's classic book from the '50s. Or Joe Pass' classic "Guitar Style" book from the '70s.

    Herb Ellis has a few scale diagrams in his "shape system" books but those books are about playing from shapes / positions, so he has to show what positions he means. (He actually assumes readers will already know the basic shapes and scale patterns.)

    I don't think there's a fretboard diagram (or tab) in Howard Roberts' "Guitar Book," which was very influential. I have Barney Kessel's "Guitar" on order from the library (-I've seen it before but don't recall if it has fretboard diagrams or not.)

    In Roger Filiburto's "Technic" (a classic Mel Bay title) there are no diagrams and the there is only one 2-octave major scale in it, and that comes after several one-octave ones.

    Carol Kaye's "Jazz Guitar" has no scale diagrams at all. She actually discourages beginners from playing scales.

    It may be that your gripe is with guitar instruction books written by lesser teachers....

    I do remember guitar books from my youth with pentatonic scale diagrams in them. I don't remember much else about those books.

  39. #88

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    Cool discussion... Disclaimer.... I don't really care what system one uses to navigate the fretboard when playing music.

    The organization I use is based on my personal observations or what the guitar is and how my hands work etc... and being able to perform the music well, (not just get it out), and not stare at the fretboard. As I've said.... how ever one gets there is cool... the point is to get somewhere. (wherever that is for you). Most of my comments are from watching guitarist struggle etc...

    The 7 position was just a method to get there. That was what I put together back in the 60's because what I was taught wasn't working at gigs. The guitar is one big fingering and has been for years... I don't need to think to be able to play, sight read, play chords, arpeggios etc... I do think... much of the time because I choose to, There is more going on than just being able to play... ( but you generally need to be able to play first).

    It has worked well for me... You can easily check to see if what your doing works... Check out videos of yourself when performing, not something memorized... ensemble performing. I don't need to check out where and how my hands are playing something... playing anything anywhere on the fretboard... is the same. I do like to choose to perform music in my secondary or even unpractical positions and fingerings to help create rhythmic feels and articulations.... (that dreaded thinking process while playing). Like I say way to much... I change references and create new relationships.

    When you memorize what your playing... any fingerings will work. Depending on you technical skills, your understanding of Music and musicianship etc... It is amazing how at gigs... how many guitarist can't seen to get away from staring at the guitar while playing. And musicians in general... I was playing a big band gig recently for a vocalist... all new charts and live etc... It was interesting to watch when the vocalist was trying to cue and conduct band during the performance... many of the players were glued to the page.... almost in their own world... anyway good example of using a performance organization... that might not really work that well.

    My advice is and still is... don't use a system that doesn't work. Don't learn a system unless you actually understand where it ends and how it gets there. I also get it... most don't show up at gigs or in studio and are expected to be able play what they don't know and make it sound like they do without practice, or need to entertain audiences at gigs etc...

    Another disclaimer... staring at the fretboard can be great effect, create that feel of struggle, intense effort while playing live... draw in the audience up front... but at some point you need to get there, look up and smile. Or not.

  40. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I've been working in Sal Salvador's "Single String Studies For Guitar." It's new to me but it's an old book, a classic. It starts with a few one-octave scale patterns and there's not a scale diagram in the whole book. Ditto for Mickey Baker's classic book from the '50s. Or Joe Pass' classic "Guitar Style" book from the '70s.

    Herb Ellis has a few scale diagrams in his "shape system" books but those books are about playing from shapes / positions, so he has to show what positions he means. (He actually assumes readers will already know the basic shapes and scale patterns.)

    I don't think there's a fretboard diagram (or tab) in Howard Roberts' "Guitar Book," which was very influential. I have Barney Kessel's "Guitar" on order from the library (-I've seen it before but don't recall if it has fretboard diagrams or not.)

    In Roger Filiburto's "Technic" (a classic Mel Bay title) there are no diagrams and the there is only one 2-octave major scale in it, and that comes after several one-octave ones.

    Carol Kaye's "Jazz Guitar" has no scale diagrams at all. She actually discourages beginners from playing scales.

    It may be that your gripe is with guitar instruction books written by lesser teachers....

    I do remember guitar books from my youth with pentatonic scale diagrams in them. I don't remember much else about those books.
    I sometimes feel like all the good books on music have already been written and the new ones just add noise. Exception to that would be masterclass type books that focus on one specific subject at a time.
    I am only now discovering some of these old gems like the books from Mickey Baker, David Baker, Joe Cocker, Barry Harris (well not exactly a book). What they have in common is focus on a few core concepts and how to practice them. The books are often short and full of written music and very little text. Modern books are more lecture style and focus on breadth and mostly leave it up to you how to practice the concepts and incorporate into your playing.

  41. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Cool discussion... Disclaimer.... I don't really care what system one uses to navigate the fretboard when playing music.

    The organization I use is based on my personal observations or what the guitar is and how my hands work etc... and being able to perform the music well, (not just get it out), and not stare at the fretboard. As I've said.... how ever one gets there is cool... the point is to get somewhere. (wherever that is for you). Most of my comments are from watching guitarist struggle etc...

    The 7 position was just a method to get there. That was what I put together back in the 60's because what I was taught wasn't working at gigs. The guitar is one big fingering and has been for years... I don't need to think to be able to play, sight read, play chords, arpeggios etc... I do think... much of the time because I choose to, There is more going on than just being able to play... ( but you generally need to be able to play first).

    It has worked well for me... You can easily check to see if what your doing works... Check out videos of yourself when performing, not something memorized... ensemble performing. I don't need to check out where and how my hands are playing something... playing anything anywhere on the fretboard... is the same. I do like to choose to perform music in my secondary or even unpractical positions and fingerings to help create rhythmic feels and articulations.... (that dreaded thinking process while playing). Like I say way to much... I change references and create new relationships.

    When you memorize what your playing... any fingerings will work. Depending on you technical skills, your understanding of Music and musicianship etc... It is amazing how at gigs... how many guitarist can't seen to get away from staring at the guitar while playing. And musicians in general... I was playing a big band gig recently for a vocalist... all new charts and live etc... It was interesting to watch when the vocalist was trying to cue and conduct band during the performance... many of the players were glued to the page.... almost in their own world... anyway good example of using a performance organization... that might not really work that well.

    My advice is and still is... don't use a system that doesn't work. Don't learn a system unless you actually understand where it ends and how it gets there. I also get it... most don't show up at gigs or in studio and are expected to be able play what they don't know and make it sound like they do without practice, or need to entertain audiences at gigs etc...

    Another disclaimer... staring at the fretboard can be great effect, create that feel of struggle, intense effort while playing live... draw in the audience up front... but at some point you need to get there, look up and smile. Or not.
    It seems like you're an established jazz guitarist who has already internalized the fretboard. Insights from someone who already "is there" is important as the path they took is well tested.
    My rant against the position focus as a way to start internalizing the fretboard comes from my own experience with it.
    I learned the usual five shape pentatonic scale 20 years ago and only after I started learning jazz that I realized I didn't really know the pentatonic scale. But it work wonderfully as a way to quickly drive blues licks and move them to different keys. I used my ears to judge if the licks worked and never analyzed my lines against the chords I was playing over. I didn't really know the scale degrees/chord tones of the notes I played most of the time.
    With jazz I also learned many arpeggios and scales but I realized that I was spending a lot of time with the mechanics of the how they are played in 5 to 7 positions. Still didn't know what chord tones/scale tones I was playing.
    Only after I scratched all that and focused on one octave forms and started being aware of the note names and intervals that I felt like my practice time was getting much more productive. I can quickly move to practice applying and "hearing" a new scale with very little overhead. I can see how scales and arpeggios connect across the fretboard much better now without the "anxiety" of going out of position
    Last edited by Tal_175; 02-24-2018 at 03:02 PM.

  42. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    The 7 position was just a method to get there. That was what I put together back in the 60's because what I was taught wasn't working at gigs.
    A lot of great thoughts in this post. Thanks. I come to terms with a lot of your methodology more and more all the time. I'm slow I guess. The more i get into it though, the more i realize just how unique and different it is. Feel like there's a lot of misunderstanding about it , reading it in text form , and I wonder if the significance of certain elements is harder for even YOU to appreciate, having done it for most of your life.

    One misunderstanding which is easy to come to , is that this is a seven fret system , in which you basically learn to play all licks, arpeggios, chord voicings - just EVERYTHING really - in seven positions. Ends up sounding like a lifetime's work.

    The more accurate reality that I've come to understand about it is that the seven positions are just the beginning framework which allow you to truly finger all chords arpeggios etc. in a symmetrical way. In actual practice, when you are getting past the technical phase and on into the performance-practice part, the first focus is more about actually SIMPLIFYING things and reducing options compared to the old "learn everything in five positions" methodology.

    Basically, things like:

    *root position chords from three string sets for each scale degrees of "the three minors". Use ones a third up or down as inversions of the chord of the moment.

    *Arpeggios in four "inversions", 2 octaves, all starting from the same finger on the sixth string, almost perfectly symmetrical in right and left hand.

    *3-positions of diatonic "reference licks", a third apart, for each position.

    Basically, the application part seems to be much less about playing anything in SEVEN positions and more about playing in three or four for each reference point. And heavily weighted towards things which reference the sixth string -root positions, which all guitarists are more familiar with anyway. Again, maybe I'm slow , but I wish someone had pointed out that "less, not more" aspect to me a few years ago.

    Anyway, lately, it's mostly been revelations about how important those extended diatonic relationship chord/arp relationships really are, in really solidifying the "12 frets as being one big thing" concept .

    *It really helps tremendously with solidifying the physical/kinesthetic connections between different chords, especially those of different function, like sub dominant/dominant etc. Like how phrygian relates to dominant or tonic. that can be a very theoretical , analytical concept , or it could be an actual PHYSICAL one, the way you apply it.

    *Another thing it does, is remove issues related to the atrophy of would-be lesser-used positions or chords etc. Phrygian position becomes more important when it's connected with the positions up-and-down a third in major, and likewise, the Dorian flat nine from melodic minor , which would otherwise be almost never used, has a place which works to be practiced and applied over other modes in a very consistent way. The whole fretboard just seems more symmetrical and balanced when there's a purpose for things more equally.

    Reg, I was wondering if you had any tips or exercises for working through tunes utilizing these diatonic relationships . I liked your four string arpeggios reference licks from major that you posted a few years ago. Anyway, if you have anything similar for other string sets or for melodic minor already on hand, those would be really cool. Any old handouts, in ANY form at all really, would be most welcome.

    I'm currently working those four-string 9th arp references you laid out in another thread. Really great way to look at the fretboard. Thanks.

  43. #92

    User Info Menu

    Hey Matt, You are seeing the light. What's interesting is that when I was young and learning etc... what you think of as "unique and different"... was just part of learning. I didn't expect fast results. I understood that I did need to learn enough of the basic information to even be close to understanding what music was and is.

    Anyway...your understanding that ..." the seven positions are just the beginning framework which allow you to truly finger all chords, arpeggios etc...in a symmetrical way. In actual practice, when you getting past the technical phase and on into the Performance - practice part, the first focus is more about actually SIMPLIFYING things and reducing options compared to the old "learn everything in five positions" methodology"

    That is basically why I changed mt approach back in the 60's. The process of trying to memorize everything just didn't work.
    I'll post some more examples... notate them. And the process of the seven positions to becoming mechanically connected through...
    say the 4 top string arpeggios with organization. Like the expanded diatonic relationships.

    So here are a few examples... these are my personal choices... they can change, the actual notes, but concept, the approach is the same.
    In the example... I use Cmin as my reference, I use C mel. Min and C dorian arps. because I see and hear them as similar in function and sound.( as compared to using Natural min. and Harmonic Min. I don't relate Melodic minor to Natural Min.. I see and hear that relationship as further away harmonically than relative or extended relative relationships.

    So yes using C- as the center point of the two functional relative relationships....

    A-7b5.............Cmin..............Ebma7

    Creates an extended fingering. And depending on what is the reference... 7 to 8 fret span, or 5 of any 7 of the 7 position organization.
    In my examples using Cmin. as reference... the span is 7 frets. Again this could be a step towards not thinking about 7 position... they all just become ONE.

    Yea... the point is to make the physical aspects of playing simple. We can still make anything complicated... but at least we have a choice.

    Here is example, they are somewhat like the older examples I posted. Remember... my personal choices of notes etc... is not the point... the point is the organization and where it will get you.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Reg; 02-25-2018 at 07:38 PM.

  44. #93

    User Info Menu

    Hey Tal175

    So maybe you didn't finish the process of learning the fretboard using the 5 shapes... I personally did and was not happy with the results. The approach worked to a point, but there were and still are holes.

    The other possibility... you didn't use the right approach to get where you wanted to.
    Just for a reference... a could play well back in my 20's, in some ways much better than I do now... but who cares, the point is I could play and did, I used my ears and cold sight read. Part of my problem was... what I thought my ears were hearing... wasn't the complete picture and I just missed and wasn't aware of everything that I wasn't hearing.

    And I was sick of having to keep checking my hands and fretboard when performing. It sounded like you didn't approach the learning process being aware of chord tones and scale degrees... and the relationships between them etc... Basically the same old school approach, Memorize without understanding what your memorizing.

    This generally stacks mistakes on top of mistakes and you become ? A fix by some teachers etc... isn't the answer, just more different related approaches, again stacked on top etc...

    I can't see how single octave shapes on guitar eventually become One. You should get to the point of... your choing how you want to finger something... not the shapes telling you. It could take years to memorize and internalize too the point that you have them all memorized and work... The point is... the organization is based on memorization, and yes memorization will get you somewhere, but unless your a pro. and gig everyday etc... or hit the lottery etc... But if you believe in the approach.... finish it.

    It's like many musicians think of Chord Scale Theory as an approach for playing, or learning the fretboard.... when CST is a tool for analysis, not performance. When you finish the learning process of CST... it can help in performance, not technique... the possible understanding of what your performing or sight reading... but very few seem to get there.
    Anyway... if you like and stick with the approach... have check points to check on your progress.

  45. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Hey Matt, You are seeing the light. What's interesting is that when I was young and learning etc... what you think of as "unique and different"... was just part of learning. I didn't expect fast results. I understood that I did need to learn enough of the basic information to even be close to understanding what music was and is.

    Anyway...your understanding that ..." the seven positions are just the beginning framework which allow you to truly finger all chords, arpeggios etc...in a symmetrical way. In actual practice, when you getting past the technical phase and on into the Performance - practice part, the first focus is more about actually SIMPLIFYING things and reducing options compared to the old "learn everything in five positions" methodology"

    That is basically why I changed mt approach back in the 60's. The process of trying to memorize everything just didn't work.
    I'll post some more examples... notate them. And the process of the seven positions to becoming mechanically connected through...
    say the 4 top string arpeggios with organization. Like the expanded diatonic relationships.

    So here are a few examples... these are my personal choices... they can change, the actual notes, but concept, the approach is the same.
    In the example... I use Cmin as my reference, I use C mel. Min and C dorian arps. because I see and hear them as similar in function and sound.( as compared to using Natural min. and Harmonic Min. I don't relate Melodic minor to Natural Min.. I see and hear that relationship as further away harmonically than relative or extended relative relationships.

    So yes using C- as the center point of the two functional relative relationships....

    A-7b5.............Cmin..............Ebma7

    Creates an extended fingering. And depending on what is the reference... 7 to 8 fret span, or 5 of any 7 of the 7 position organization.
    In my examples using Cmin. as reference... the span is 7 frets. Again this could be a step towards not thinking about 7 position... they all just become ONE.

    Yea... the point is to make the physical aspects of playing simple. We can still make anything complicated... but at least we have a choice.

    Here is example, they are somewhat like the older examples I posted. Remember... my personal choices of notes etc... is not the point... the point is the organization and where it will get you.
    Very cool, reg. Thanks!

    Sent from my SM-J727P using Tapatalk

  46. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Hey Tal175

    So maybe you didn't finish the process of learning the fretboard using the 5 shapes... I personally did and was not happy with the results. The approach worked to a point, but there were and still are holes.

    The other possibility... you didn't use the right approach to get where you wanted to.
    Just for a reference... a could play well back in my 20's, in some ways much better than I do now... but who cares, the point is I could play and did, I used my ears and cold sight read. Part of my problem was... what I thought my ears were hearing... wasn't the complete picture and I just missed and wasn't aware of everything that I wasn't hearing.

    And I was sick of having to keep checking my hands and fretboard when performing. It sounded like you didn't approach the learning process being aware of chord tones and scale degrees... and the relationships between them etc... Basically the same old school approach, Memorize without understanding what your memorizing.

    This generally stacks mistakes on top of mistakes and you become ? A fix by some teachers etc... isn't the answer, just more different related approaches, again stacked on top etc...

    I can't see how single octave shapes on guitar eventually become One. You should get to the point of... your choing how you want to finger something... not the shapes telling you. It could take years to memorize and internalize too the point that you have them all memorized and work... The point is... the organization is based on memorization, and yes memorization will get you somewhere, but unless your a pro. and gig everyday etc... or hit the lottery etc... But if you believe in the approach.... finish it.

    It's like many musicians think of Chord Scale Theory as an approach for playing, or learning the fretboard.... when CST is a tool for analysis, not performance. When you finish the learning process of CST... it can help in performance, not technique... the possible understanding of what your performing or sight reading... but very few seem to get there.
    Anyway... if you like and stick with the approach... have check points to check on your progress.
    Thanks Reg that's really informative. Your point of whole fretboard eventually becoming "one" is certainly a very powerful one.

  47. #96

    User Info Menu

    Hey Matt... I made a few changes on the example... wasn't what I thought...

  48. #97

    User Info Menu

    I've posted some of this before, so I apologize for repetition.

    I learned the fretboard by learning to read. Every note automatic, after some years.

    Decades later, I noticed that I was better playing on a Cmaj7 than on, say, a Gbmaj7.

    I realized that it was because I knew the notes in Cmaj7 and C Ionian without having to think at all.

    But, in Gb, I had to think.

    The difference manifested in fluency -- I was fluent in C and not in Gb.

    In C, I could play anywhere on the neck starting on any finger. I knew exactly where every nearby note in C Ionian was located.

    In Gb, I had to think. I knew some arps in a mechanical way in 2nd and 8th positions. So I might go to those. I could play Gbmaj7 in multiple grips randomly scattered, so I could find the notes that way. There would be a delay, and the solo might therefore suck, but, I'd eventually find some notes that fit.

    At that point, I made a decision to know the notes in every chord and scale that I use -- just as automatically as I knew Cmaj.

    So, G and F were easy enough. One sharp or one flat. And, I worked around the cycle of 4ths, eventually learning all 12 major scales automatically.

    At that point I realized that I needed to know enharmonic equivalents as automatically. Knowing Gb didn't mean that I knew F#. There was no time to think "Oh, Gb, that's the same as F#".

    Then, I worked on melodic minor the same way.

    It never got as perfect as I wanted, but it got pretty good. I still drill. I'll explain how below.

    Then, I decided to know the notes in every chord I use. I figured, why should I know Cmaj7 instantly and then have to think about Gbmin7b5?

    So I started drilling it.

    At first I used BIAB, but I later found IRealPro. Now, several times a week I spend an hour or so playing tunes. 13 repeats, key change every chorus. I pick a part of the neck to focus on and start improvising. If I get to a chord I don't know, I drill that key, sometimes lowering the tempo. Then, another part of the neck, and another. Then all over the neck at once. It gets to the point where you simply don't care where you are, you know where the chord tones are, you know where the scale tones are, you know where the extensions are.

    As I did it, I think my ear got trained a bit.

    It's not perfect, and there are innumerable better players who didn't do it this way, but it makes sense to me. It's a lot of work, but it has always seemed more manageable than trying to get to the same place by studying geometric patterns. Not that patterns couldn't work for someone else, but I couldn't have done it that way.

  49. #98
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I learned the fretboard by learning to read. Every note automatic, after some years.
    That is very interesting. Because I was recently thinking about this approach (focusing on the notes of each scale and arpeggio in every key) and wondering whether that could be an effective approach to learning the fretboard.
    The "one octave" approach I am focusing on at the moment instead can be said to be based on scale (and arpeggio) formulas.
    To be concrete, suppose I want to internalize the Lydian Dominant scale (I do). There is the "Melodic minor up a fifth" approach which I don't believe in. I want to hear the scale and see how the scale tones correspond to the chord I am playing over. I know many people use the "Melodic minor up an X" approach with success, so I'm sure there are merits to that too, but I don't see it.
    Here is how I go about it:
    - I know many one octave forms of the dominant scale. I also learned to see each degree of the scale as intervals from the tonic (ascending and descending). So I just sharpen the fourth. This also means I am "hearing" the sharp fourth more clearly as I have to be very aware of it to play the scale. This trains my ears more effectively for the unique sound of the scale than the "melodic minor up a fifth" approach.
    - Now I have the scale that I can apply to songs and chord progressions in any key, in any part of the fretboard right away. So I do. Here I just play the scale starting from the tonic ascending and descending.
    - Next is learning to connect the scale to other scales in progressions more naturally. Here is where these octaves get to gradually became the "one" fingerboard (hopefully in time) which is the concept Reg was talking about (not in relation to this approach though). I practice playing the scale starting from different scale tones (ascending and descending) targeting different tones of the next chord.

  50. #99
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Hey Matt... I made a few changes on the example... wasn't what I thought...
    Great. Thanks for your time.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  51. #100

    User Info Menu

    To my ear, the lydian dominant scale has a very distinctive sound. So, if the chord is a 7th chord, I can hear the characteristic #11 and b7.

    But, if I had to think about it, using the approach I outlined earlier, it would proceed like this..

    The lydian dominant scale is a mode of melodic minor, but that's not so helpful.

    I think of lydian dominant as a 7#11 scale. So, the chord may be, say, C7#11. C E F# Bb, typically, as played on guitar. There's a G as well. So, that covers the chord tones.

    What other notes? Depends on the context. Let's go over each one.

    C#/Db. That's the b9. You could use it. Makes the chord a C7#11b9, which could sound good.

    D you could use the natural 9, if you like the sound

    Eb. If you use b9, you get the #9 for free (and avoid the natural 9)

    F. with an E and an F#, you probably don't want F

    G#. Any time you have a #11, you can think about a #5, but this chord has a 5.

    A If you aren't using a b13, then the 6 will probably sound ok

    B it's the major 7, not typically a good choice on a 7th chord.

    Now, C lyd dominant is C D E F# G A Bb. This is the vanilla end of the reasoning above. That is, no #5, no altered 9ths.

    If you know chord tones and extensions and you can adjust things by ear, it seems to me that gets you where you need to go.

    I don't see much need for thinking C mixo, Clyd dom, C alt, fifth mode Harmonic minor, 7th mode Db melodic minor etc etc. To me it's chord tones and extensions.

    My teacher would say it's a "G7 # 11 scale". Not "fourth mode D melodic minor".

    So, drill this in 12 keys. Several months of work. I don't think I could have done it any more easily. Others' experience is likely to be different.

    And, the usual caveat. The very next post may be from a stronger player who hates my approach.