Some things i wish I had known 10/15 years ago.....

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Hi Guys, 

For most of my playing days as far as improvisation goes I've relied on my ears for playing what I though sounded good in a few Pentatonic shapes, which I semi convincingly got away with for years!! (i think)
The main reason I stuck with this approach was probably because i thought that there were way too many complicated scales to learn and that I wouldn't be academic understand all that theory.

However recently i have started digging into it and was kinda surprised that that all you really need to know to cover 90% of situations is a handful of scales really:-

Major scale
Minor scale 
Major/Minor Pentatonic (almost the same thing)
Mixolydian - Play over Major 7 chords
Dorian - play over Minor 7 chords

After learning all this stuff (most of it i actually already knew but didn't really understand it.) I've found my playing get way better and I actually feel like I know what I'm doing finally!

Anyway haven't really explained this very well as I'm not giving a course on scales (please correct me if anything I've said is rubbish) but just wanted to know if there's any stuff you guys have learned late that you wish you had known sooner?


Cheers!


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  • How pentatonic scales work esp. when using them for blues purposes. I could hear the minor third but the only minor scale I knew at the time was the Harmonic Minor (I was brought up on classical music) and I had no idea of a series of non-functional dominants so I assumed the I and the IV chords had to have maj 7ths in them ... and wondered why none of it worked. Fanx to Alan Limbrick at The Guitar Institute for sorting me out
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • How to read and understand rhythm. Its the most important thing when learning songs, riffs, solos etc. I had no sense of good timing 15 years back and didn't understand how long certain notes were meant to last for.
    My technical ability and theory knowledge was rubbish as well and it took me ages to figure stuff out. Now as I understand it better its quicker for me to pick stuff up whether by ear or from a sheet.
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  • FreebirdFreebird Frets: 756
    A musical interlude! God bless old Ronnie :)


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  • rlwrlw Frets: 1536
    If I had known 50 years ago how hard it would be to start from scratch, again, in my sixties I would have tried harder then.
    Save a cow.  Eat a vegetarian.
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  • NeillNeill Frets: 372
    Hi Guys, 

    For most of my playing days as far as improvisation goes I've relied on my ears for playing what I though sounded good in a few Pentatonic shapes, which I semi convincingly got away with for years!! (i think)
    The main reason I stuck with this approach was probably because i thought that there were way too many complicated scales to learn and that I wouldn't be academic understand all that theory.

    However recently i have started digging into it and was kinda surprised that that all you really need to know to cover 90% of situations is a handful of scales really:-

    Major scale
    Minor scale 
    Major/Minor Pentatonic (almost the same thing)
    Mixolydian - Play over Major 7 chords
    Dorian - play over Minor 7 chords

    After learning all this stuff (most of it i actually already knew but didn't really understand it.) I've found my playing get way better and I actually feel like I know what I'm doing finally!

    Anyway haven't really explained this very well as I'm not giving a course on scales (please correct me if anything I've said is rubbish) but just wanted to know if there's any stuff you guys have learned late that you wish you had known sooner?


    Cheers!


    I had an experience recently which is a similar sort of thing.

    It was the guy on the 'net from Leeds I forget his name, suggesting that most players get stuck in the "box" shape when it comes to improvising and coming up with melodies, riffs etc.
    A good way of breaking out of this habit is simply learning where the flat 3rd the 4th, 5th, and the flat 7th is in relation to the root note everywhere on the fretboard.  Then, provided you know where your root note is you can play a melody around it anywhere up and down the 'board.  The problem for guys like me is knowing where the root notes are...  I know where some of them are but I've never bothered to master the trick of immediately being able to jump to say a Bb on the 3rd string without thinking about it.

    I was also reading some stuff recently that convinced me I should have stuck with my sight reading.  I can sort of sight read but it takes too long and of course you have the "Paul McCartney can't read music" thing which seems to have given an entire generation or two of guitarists a good reason not to bother.    
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  • Neill said:
    the "Paul McCartney can't read music" thing
    Paul McCartney can afford to pay people to read (or write) it for him
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • neilgneilg Frets: 13
    Neill said:The problem for guys like me is knowing where the root notes are...  I know where some of them are but I've never bothered to master the trick of immediately being able to jump to say a Bb on the 3rd string without thinking about it.


    I found the method described in this video good for knowing where the root notes are.



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  • thingthing Frets: 168
    Neill said:


    "Paul McCartney can't read music" thing
    Neither could Irving Berlin who wrote one or two popular tunes in his time...


    A falsehood flies half way round the world before the truth has got it's shoes on.
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