The Rea George Guitar Chronicle

ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 108Member
edited December 2017 in Personal Diaries
OK... So...

I was thinking that my practice may benefit from some accountability(? I think that't the word I'm looking for).

Since we have a "Diaries" section here it seemed like an invitation :P

Some motivation to have something to show for my practice rather than being drawn into noodling as I'm sure is all too easy for many of us.

Today I continued to work on my arpeggios by beginning to practice them scalularly, the more I study the more I realise how much can be done with just one scale and just how much Music there is to learn. My teacher always used to say how long it takes to truly learn a scale, I probably thought I had an idea what he was talking about but in hindsight I most certainly did not as I continue to discover.

I've just about got my C major diatonic 7th arpeggios down in second position, only six more to go :P




So there we are, hopefully the first of many more posts to come in this thread if you will have me :P

Comments

  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,902Member
    Liking that Rea - I've practised in a very similar way, and agree it takes a lot of work to get this stuff to the point where it becomes use-able and natural-sounding in a real, music-making situation. I've had a similar journey with the melodic (aka jazz) minor and modes thereof as well. In defense of "noodling" - I do find it has real value, if one is focused on using it to find nice-sounding lines to use when improvising. The scales and arps, for me, are a necessary foundation, but then I need to turn them into something more musical/personal - I spend time noodling as one way to do this. And then apply the stuff over actual tunes, that helps. Of course you know all this, and not trying to teach you to suck eggs, or condescend (far be it from me) just chatting!

    If you've 6 more positions to look at, then I gather you use a 7 position approach? I tend to myself, but there is that "CAGED" 5 position thing that a lot of guitarists use, and I use those kind of fingerings with position shifts too - it's possible to incorporate both into an overall way of viewing things. The further I've gone, the more I realise that in the end it all amounts to the same thing really. And again just chatting!

    Very good to have a Rea George diary on here anyhow, and of course you're very welcome on here. As you must realise, this is a somewhat smaller-scale forum than some out there, but glad you've stuck around mate! :)
  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 108Member
    Thank you @Megi I appreciate your response and confirmation that this thread is welcome, I wasn't quite sure since to be honest my reasons for starting it are basically selfish :P but hopefully some interesting discussion and entertainment will come from it for others as well.

    I like this forum for the very fact that it is smaller and close knit, gives the feeling of talking to friends compared to the rest of the internet, I can't imagine I would try starting a thread like this anywhere else.
    Megi said:

    In defense of "noodling" - I do find it has real value, if one is focused on using it to find nice-sounding lines to use when improvising...

    I agree, zero stress improvisation in order to explore using material you've learnt, kind of thing is completely necessary in order to progress I would imagine. But the kind of noodling I'm taking about is a bit more absent minding. I'll often sit down start practicing get a bit tired of concentration maybe, then wonder off in my playing and my thoughts, my fingers will be wondering around on the the guitar and my mind will be thinking about what to make for dinner. Im not saying there's anything inherently wrong with this but I don't think it is at all productive if it keeps taking over my practice time.
    Megi said:

    If you've 6 more positions to look at, then I gather you use a 7 position approach? I tend to myself, but there is that "CAGED" 5 position thing that a lot of guitarists use, and I use those kind of fingerings with position shifts too - it's possible to incorporate both into an overall way of viewing things. The further I've gone, the more I realise that in the end it all amounts to the same thing really. And again just chatting!

    I guess I was taught from the 7 position approach, (my teacher was a Session/Jazz musician) I did look into the CAGED system at one point and concluded myself that the way I was taught was better, but I also agree with you learning things from more than one angle is potentially going to give you a more rounded view. I have been meaning to look into the CAGED system more closely it just hasn't been a priority, especially with the sheer amount I still wish to learn.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,902Member
    Aaaaargh !

    Scales.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,256Member
    Megi said:

    I've had a similar journey with the melodic (aka jazz) minor and modes thereof as well. In defense of "noodling" - I do find it has real value, if one is focused on using it to find nice-sounding lines to use when improvising. The scales and arps, for me, are a necessary foundation, but then I need to turn them into something more musical/personal - I spend time noodling as one way to do this.

    I'm with you on that Graham. I would defend "noodling" too.

    Partly because for me noodling is easy to do with only 3 left hand fingers usable on the fretboard. It makes the sort of scale practice you did so well in the video there Rea rather tricky! I was watching that little finger of yours doing all that stretching and fretting perfect notes and got quite envious!

    Noodling on new or less common scales like Byzantine, particularly in some sort of open tuning where open strings can be key scale notes, is rather fun as well as good practice for putting things together musically.

    Picking up your point on absent minded noodling Rea. Noodling is certainly best when it is done in a focussed way and you listen keenly to what is going on and how it sounds - if that focus isn't there it just tends to only be some time passes by to no effect. Might be a pleasant time but not that constructive.

    I'm not sure at what point the line is crossed between noodling and improvisation, or how much the two terms are interchangeable. Shame that language is so often imprecise!
  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 108Member
    Mark P said:

    Noodling on new or less common scales like Byzantine...

    Interesting you mention the Byzantine scale, I had someone ask me about that the other day, honestly I don't know much about it, they also mentioned the Hirajoshi scale and Persian Scale. I'll have to look into them.
    Mark P said:

    I'm not sure at what point the line is crossed between noodling and improvisation, or how much the two terms are interchangeable. Shame that language is so often imprecise!

    I made a somewhat similar comment in Megi's thread about language used to discuss music, it can be quite frustrating :P
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,256Member
    Frustrating indeed!

    I find that the Byzantine has some similarities in its overall feel as Phrygian, but the notes in the scale appear in sets of small clusters.
    In the key of E ...... Eb, E, F, G#, A, B, C

    Here's an acoustic guitar "noodle" or should I say "improv" from shortly after I started exploring the Byzantine scale. Guitar tuned in DADGAD - my usual this last year.

    https://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13543281
    The way I've played it does seem to be quite Phrygian in nature.

    I haven't tried Hirajoshi or Persian scale. Persian looks intriguingly similar to Byzantine.
    Eb, E, F, G#, A, Bb, C. The same except the B replaced with a Bb.
    Hirajoshi at a glance looks more related to Aeolian.

    I must try and explore these two when I get the chance.

  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,902Member
    There is a fascinating world of exotic scales out there! As Rea has said though, getting mastery of the sounds from just one can entail a lot of effort. I wish I had the time to properly look into things like the Byzantine, or indeed the Hirajoshi - love the names!

    Speaking as a jazzer, there are 3 "parent" scales (i.e. also some of their modes are valuable) that I've found to be key (for me) - major, melodic minor (also called the "jazz minor" - classical people would say it's just the ascending melodic minor notes), and also the half step-whole step diminished scale. And then I suppose I have to include the minor pentatonic and related blues scale - actually, like a lot of guitarists, that was the first scale I looked at, but it would be very foolish to ignore jazz's links with blues.

    If I ever get time, then maybe the whole-step scale will be studied properly, also the harmonic minor and some modes thereof, perhaps. They are all, for me, just suggested note combinations (beyond that, it's up to you) and using the in-between notes is still allowed. And there's only 12 notes anyhow, which is a comfort. :)
  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 108Member
    Mark P said:

    Here's an acoustic guitar "noodle" or should I say "improv" from shortly after I started exploring the Byzantine scale. Guitar tuned in DADGAD - my usual this last year.

    https://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13543281
    The way I've played it does seem to be quite Phrygian in nature.

    Sounds nice, exotic, relaxed.
    Megi said:

    Speaking as a jazzer, there are 3 "parent" scales (i.e. also some of their modes are valuable) that I've found to be key (for me) - major, melodic minor (also called the "jazz minor" - classical people would say it's just the ascending melodic minor notes), and also the half step-whole step diminished scale. And then I suppose I have to include the minor pentatonic and related blues scale - actually, like a lot of guitarists, that was the first scale I looked at, but it would be very foolish to ignore jazz's links with blues.

    If I ever get time, then maybe the whole-step scale will be studied properly, also the harmonic minor and some modes thereof, perhaps. They are all, for me, just suggested note combinations (beyond that, it's up to you) and using the in-between notes is still allowed. And there's only 12 notes anyhow, which is a comfort. :)

    Yes in the west the Major, Harmonic, Melodic, Diminished, Whole Tone and their modes would cover most things. I see the Pentatonic scales as coming from major as there are 3 different major and minor pentatonics diatonic to any major key.

    But as you say they are in fact all contained within the "Chromatic Scale" :P

    My teacher used to say when he played with others of his calibre they would joke that if you ever get lost just use the chromatic scale!

    In the end, at least for myself, I strive to be able to just play as my ear wants me to over any musical situation, the theory and scales help train the ear and fingers to get to that point. There are chord progressions that I have no chance of playing over without studying, and combinations of notes (scale applications) that my minds ear would not dream up, but sound amazing when I hear them used, so I need to study the scales and applications start hearing them for myself.

    I think it's the same experience for most musicians and allot of them have said it in one way or another, I shall quote Charlie Parker in this instance:

    "You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail."
  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 108Member
    This weeks update, still going with my arpeggio exercise, up to about form five now just the two more to get down, then probably work on speeding it up and mixing up the pattern.

    As well as that since I recently uploaded a video on learning arpeggios, I thought I should put some examples together, so I started playing some chords and went about writing some arpeggio licks over the top. I don't imagine what I came up with would necessarily be played like this one lick after, but I think they give an idea of what that arpeggio movement might sound like.

    What do you think?





    Maybe I should try a different progression?

    Do you know of any famous arpeggio licks, or just some good examples of their use?
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,902Member
    Tricky one - if I start playing over a progression, generally there will be some arpeggio-derived stuff in there, which I guess are lines that I've developed over time - I'd have to do a video myself to demo that, which isn't happening (I'm not as photogenic as you :D ). I think for me, they are most effective when mixed in with all the other stuff - more stepwise and chromatic movement, bluesy things, etc. and the goal is to get it all happening in a natural way. There is the thing where you can superimpose arpeggios over chords without the same root, and some cool sounds to be had that way...? Just for e.g. say an E minor 7 arp over an Am7 chord.
  • onemanbandonemanband Posts: 91Member
    I mostly use the chords C, F, & G and occasionally throw in an Am if I really want to show off!
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,256Member
    Sounds like musical examples of using arpeggios on the video.

    Louis was certainly a very interested observer in what you were playing! :smile:
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