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Better late than never

 
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Linville
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Joined: 22 Jul 2012
Posts: 40
Location: N.C.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:22 pm    Post subject: Better late than never Reply with quote

Ive been playing off and on for 23 years now, and have always played by ear, feel. Now in my older years Im trying to understand more theory and "right and wrong" in playing. As you can imagine, I hit a few sour notes from time to time allowing emotion to control my journey across the fretboard, and I think part of it may be because I always took the approach of playing in a certain scale once I found out what the key was. i.e., if its in the key of A, Id play A minor pentatonic through the whole song.(provided there were no key changes of course.) but Ive been watching a lot of Robbens videos lately,(damn hes made alot of them!) And Im wondering if your supposed to change scales as the chords change? So as in a 12 bar in G7 are you supposed to go from the G to C to D scale wise in your soloing as the chords change?
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jconstant
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Joined: 16 Jul 2003
Posts: 762
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's great that you want to learn some theory. You're right that it's never too late and it can really help your playing.

So the nice thing about a 12 bar blues is that you can do it either way. You can play G minor and major pentatonic over all of those chords or you can play G min/maj over the G, C min/maj over the C, and D min/maj over the D. Be a little careful on that IV chord if you're making the changes because although theoretically it all makes sense, there's a note or two in there that won't sound great.

My unsolicited advice to you would be to learn early on how chords are built and what a harmonized scale is, if you don't already know. It's actually pretty simple and when you know this stuff you'll understand, for example, why if you make those scale shifts above you might think you're changing keys, it's really all G.

Good luck and enjoy!
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Linville
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Joined: 22 Jul 2012
Posts: 40
Location: N.C.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome. Harmonized scale is a new term for me, so Ill check that out. Here recently I caught a video on arpeggios which seems interesting. Ive just been grabbing at things as I catch them. Probably would be easier if I knew where to begin and what the proper "next thing to learn" would be, but Ill take it as it comes. I can sum up what I DO know real fast. 1) The Minor/Major pentatonic pattern, 2)I know what a 1 4 5 is, and 3)Ive just been introduced to the jazz 2 5 1. Thats it! lol Embarassed
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jconstant
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Joined: 16 Jul 2003
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Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The good news, of course, is that there's no 'proper' path you need to take for the most part. Obviously, you need to walk before you can run so there are some fundamental things you really need to start with and understand before you can move on. But a little will get you a long way.

Start by learning the major scale. The major scale is like carbon - everything is based on it in some way. And like I mentioned, make sure you know how chords are built. Lean the difference between maj/min triads, diminished triads, 7th chords, altered tones, etc. The world of music will open up to you.

Also, check out The Gear Page, particularly this forum which is a great place to ask questions about music theory: http://www.thegearpage.net/board/forumdisplay.php?f=30&order=desc

Have fun!
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Last edited by jconstant on Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Linville
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Joined: 22 Jul 2012
Posts: 40
Location: N.C.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats good advice, thank you. Theres a video on youtube that really helped me out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sm_VSjadCiU

watched this one a long time ago, but it was like hearing a language I didnt understand. I watched it again today and understood it fully. I didnt learn any technical theory from it, but now I know alot more places I can be, when and why. It definitely unlocked a great deal more paths on the fretboard. I am full of music, just a matter of how to get it out of my hands. Today was a huge step forward.
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tboulette
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Joined: 13 Aug 2011
Posts: 100
Location: Maine, USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I echo jpconstant's advice, with one caveat -- it's easy to go down the rabbit hole (which I've definitely done) when it comes to theory, and learn all about the why without spending sufficient time applying it on the fretboard. My advice is: find some player(s) who have some sounds you like but don't know; analyze what they're doing (figure out the lick that sounds cool, and the chord(s) it's being played over), and then go about learning the theory for that particular sound. For example, you might love to understand that cool line in "Help the Poor" (at about 2:55). Figure out the line and the chord it's being played over, then post it here, and we can help you figure out the theory from there. At that point, you'll already have a great lick under your fingers, and understanding it will just help you to change it a bit, or to correctly apply it in other situations.

(BTW, IIRC, that lick is the A Altered scale (or A superlocrian) over an A7 chord. It sounds cool because the A altered scale is spelled like this: A, Bb C, Db, Eb, F, G, or the Root, b9, #9, 3, b5, #5 and b7 over the A7 chord. Because it's got all those cool, jazzy alterations (the b9, #9, b5, #5), it's got a lot of tension, and sounds correspondingly awesome! Generally speaking, you can use the altered scale over any dominate chord that's resolving up a fourth. For example, in Help the Poor, he's playing that lick over the A7, which then "resolves" up a fourth, to a Dmin chord.)

Good luck!
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Linville
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Joined: 22 Jul 2012
Posts: 40
Location: N.C.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that. But your second paragraph was all greek,(and frustrating lol) But the Help the poor thing I can get into. What was said about "everything comes from the major scale" really helped because it gave me some kind of direction, kinda like now I atleast know where North is on the compass, if that makes sense. From a theory angle, I really am in the pre of the pre school. But, I find that as I learn, a lot of stuff Ive been playing for years, turns out to be, the minor pentatonic scale for example, I just didnt know it.

I get easily intimidated by the learning because its taking away from my open channel, expression ways of release in my playing because Im boxing myself in trying to learn stuff. But Ive read many posts from players saying that once these scales and things become a part of you, you stop the thinking again and it becomes free release so Im just looking forward to that.

Another area of frustration is trying to get a handle on who I am as a player. Depending on who Im listening to, my passion gets the best of me. If Im listening to Robben, Im diggin his approach, sound, the whole deal and trying to make it a part of me, Then, a day later if I happen to put the ABB on, Duane gets the best of me and then thats all I want to play. I guess at some point its the fusion of all these influences along with our spirit that eventually makes us an individual as a player. Can I fast forward to that point??
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tboulette
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Joined: 13 Aug 2011
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Location: Maine, USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish we could!
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Linville
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Joined: 22 Jul 2012
Posts: 40
Location: N.C.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ive been putting a lot of emphasis lately on learning scales, but Im reminded of something RF said a couple different times, and few other artists as well. He was asked in an interview, if he could go back and learn all over again, how would he approach it? He said he would learn every chord possible. So I wonder, with both scales and chords being of obvious significance, why would he put chords before scales?
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jconstant
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Joined: 16 Jul 2003
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Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't want to put word's in Robben's mouth but I what he means is chords are music, but scales, while very important, are just scales. Without chords, you can't play music (that's almost an exact quote from his recent Blues Revolution course). And scales all live inside a chord of some kind, which you'll start to see as you learn more about both of them.

I'm sure I'm butchering what he really would say if asked directly, but that's kinda my take on it.
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tboulette
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Location: Maine, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That makes sense. The other thing I would say is that, without a chord to play it over and give it context, a scale has no inherent meaning; e.g. C major can also be D dorian, E phrygian, etc.
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