Hey there, today we are going to be looking at more of what I as a guitar tutor have been practising to better myself and reach out to the advanced players among you. All of the content from this series was provided through one- to- one tuition from the exceptional guitarist Scott McGill and I am sharing it with you here.
Balanced Practise Sessions
As part of a balanced practise regime we need to practise various areas of guitar playing such as finger dexterity– build strength in our fingers by doing exercises that target finger groupings and patterns that are found in guitar playing. Scales and Modes– understanding how to play a series of notes to accompany chords and listen to the various sounds that can be created with these scales and modes. Sequences– playing patterns of notes from scales to build picking technique and give yourself melodic ideas to use when soloing. Arpeggios– learn how to play notes from within a chord, arranged across octaves so that you can solo with the arpeggios and rely on a specific set of notes that are from the chord you are soloing over. Chord Knowledge– understand chord construction and how to apply the knowledge to be able to use chords in a variety of musical situations. Be able to play a set of chords in the nearest area of the fretboard by understanding the chord inversion concept. Transcription– Listen to a piece of music and be able to work out the guitar part and understand what is happening musically.
Today you are going to learn a Phrygian Scale Sequence so that you have a scale run under your belt for when you wish to improvise using the Phrygian scale. If you understand the construction of the modes from the major scale then you will be able to alter the notes to create a run to fit any mode, for example you could turn this run into a Dorian run, Aeolian run etc. If you want to learn how to do do this then please read Be The Guitarist for a full study of the guitar and an extensive section on the Modes.
C Phrygian Scale Sequences 1
Notice how this sequence is built by playing up the C Phrygian 5 notes then descending and then starting on the second degree of the mode and playing 5 notes from there and then descending. This pattern repeats as you gradually climb up the neck of the guitar playing across the A and D strings until you play the original pattern up 12 frets.
In terms of technique you should focus on keeping your fretting hand fingers as close to the fretboard as possible without muting notes so that the time is reduced when fretting notes. If you look at any guitar player who plays fast lines you will notice they all do this. Keep a look out for any of your fingers flying up off the fretboard and make sure to keep them close to the strings. Your picking hand should be using strict alternate picking throughout this exercise, this means no hammer ons or pull- offs and each down stroke is followed by an up stroke. Alternate picking is motion of economy in the sense that it takes much longer for a pick to travel down and strike, miss the string on the way back up and then strike the string on the way down. So when alternate picking we strike the string on the way down and then strike the string as we come back up, this technique is worth practising regularly to a metronome, please read more here.
C Phrygian Scale Sequences 2
The C Phrygian sequence above takes the same concept you learnt in the previous example but now plays the C Phrygian across the D and G strings. Initially someone would call this an F Aeolian sequence but because we are continuing our C Phrygian sequence we are visualising this as a Phrygian line. For more information on the major scale modes please read the eBook as mentioned earlier.
Wide Spread Arpeggios- Minor
This wide spread arpeggio shown above is a minor arpeggio, which basically means that it is the notes from within the G minor chord (in this case) spread out across the neck. It them moves to a C minor arpeggio where the notes are only C, Eb and G spread through the octaves. If you look at the notes contained in these arpeggio you will notice it is only the notes G, Bb and D and C, Eb and G repeated through the octaves. This arpeggio is a really useful way to travel from the low part of the neck up to the high end in a smooth motion. The movement from Gm to Cm is a portion of the movement known as the cycle of 4ths and if you want to continue the pattern you would build the next arpeggio from the 1st fret Low E then then 6th fret low E and so on.
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