How / want to play better

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Far To Many, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Synchromatic

    May 20, 2016
    In the key of C the scale is C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C

    The I, IV and V chords are built on the 1st, 4th and 5th notes of that scale - chords C,F and G.
    The relative minor in the key of C is Am. A is the 6th note in the C major scale and the Am chord consists of A, C and E (built on the 6th note of the minor scale).

    This applies in every key. List the 7 notes in any key and the relative minor will be built on the 6th note of that scale.

    e.g. Key of D
    Notes: D,E,F#,G,A,B, C# Relative minor in D is Bm here again built on the 6th note of the major scale.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
    gtttrrr likes this.
  2. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    When reading this thread I come to understand that music theory is somehow intimidating to some of us.
    This should not be.
    You don`t have to be a genius to understand certain basics that will help you immensly.

    To be able to sight-read or write music perfectly is not the first step of knowing theory. This is advanced stuff.
    (Although I can read/write music perfectly I am still not able to sightread playing piano. Even less on guitar.)
    It is to some extend neccessary when you are a musician that mainly replicates music (even they are using simple leadsheets sometimes and not classic written notes) or when you are an arranger who has to communicate every detail to the musicians playing your work.

    Start here: The first step is to able to hear intervals. Develloping relative pitch. That`s really easy and a big step forward.
    Then decide whether you want to dig in deeper. Chord inversions, chord structures/harmonies, transcribing little songs, writing down basic song ideas or melodies when a recording tool is not at hand etc..

    It is a cheap ecxuse to think that some of the biggest artists were not aware of theory, musically litterate/able to read music. Because to some extend they all were.

    To state that knowing theory is spoiling originality is a lame excuse, too.
    Playing everybody else`s scales isn`t original. That would be a correct statement. Playing scales is motorics not art. I strongly believe that playing "patterns" is spoiling originality. That`s a difference.

    So go ahead and take the little parts of theory that you need. You don`t have to dig in deeper than you have to but it will not hurt either.
    Donaldo, eggvan, karol and 5 others like this.
  3. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    If everyone was alike there would be one answer. Everyone learns differently. Take the ideas you’ve been given and try them out, one of them will likely click with you and when it does work it to death, then move on. The only secret is hard work and practice.
    Donaldo, benjwri, Waxhead and 2 others like this.
  4. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    Bertotti posted a thread about the Circle of Fifths and I just made a post that explains all of this, including the chords built on the other four degrees of the scale.
    Bertotti and gtttrrr like this.
  5. adauria

    adauria Electromatic

    Dec 22, 2016
    Wake Forest, NC
    I'll throw out this idea - check out Most of the courses offered have free lessons, which can help you decide if you want to buy the course. I generally wait for an annual sale where they have the all you can eat membership on half price and buy/renew that. There's SO much good stuff available there for all levels, styles and interests. I love it.

  6. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    A few of the GDP members teach some of the courses there.
    adauria likes this.
  7. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    The more I learn, the less I know.

    As I learn more, I realize all the choices I've made over the years have narrowed down my focus and tastes.
  8. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. The more we learn (known), the more we realize how much we don't know (known unknowns), which can breed caution. That's why ignorance is bliss; it's not just ignorance of a particular fact, but ignorance as to the extent of one's ignorance (unknown unknowns).

    I feel that my professional role is to minimize unknown unknowns so that clients can make informed decisions.

    Regarding taste, scientists have shown that as we expose ourselves to stimuli, repeat stimuli of a certain type can create neural pathways to accommodate that stimulus, like wheel ruts in your brain turning into highways. That stimuli is familiar and comfortable in our brains because we literally have adapted our brain to them. New stimulus is not as comfortable because it requires newer paths and takes more energy to process. One recommendation is to force yourself to listen to new music that is unfamiliar. This can have 2 benefits, first your brain is more stimulated by new music rather than familiar as you brain works harder to process it creating new pathways which are good for mental health, and second, now that your brain is more familiar qith that music, it can learn to like and appreciate it more.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
    Jelly Roll Horton and new6659 like this.
  9. new6659

    new6659 Gretschie

    Dec 10, 2018
    Southwestern Ontario
    I'm glad to see this thread come back. One thing I think many people can benefit from is looking into the CAGED system. It reveals new positions across the fingerboard by making you think about chord inversions and other positions on the neck. It helps to make the entire fingerboard a unified structure from bottom to top.
    Henry likes this.
  10. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    Some years back, I practiced inversions of Major and minor triads both upmthe neck and across it. It knit the fingerboard together in my mind. It was a pivotal moment.
    new6659 likes this.
  11. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Interesting video about John Coltrane’s Giant Steps and why it’s the most feared song in jazz. It all has to do with the circle of fifths.

    Henry, benjwri and Bertotti like this.
  12. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Synchromatic

    May 20, 2016
    Yeah, nice.

    Must admit I've never heard the music but it makes sense in light of the discussion.

    Perhaps it explains why a lot of modern jazz is appreciated by an educated understanding of what's being played as opposed to a genuine liking for the tune or melody.

    To me that is often what is wrong with some jazz as it extends to "experimental" or "free" jazz.
    Bertotti likes this.
  13. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    Thanks for posting that, Doc. I need to tackle that one myself. Joe Pass did it on Virtuoso II, completely solo.

    If the changes challenged Tommy Flanagan, that’s saying something. Flanagan was no pretender.

    In at least one level, Jazz is very technical music, but it should not lose its artistry or musicality in the process. Bespoke Jazz tunes tend to be written with complex chord changes, giving the artists a rich foundation upon which to base their playing.

    I’m not particularly fond of the experimental end of the spectrum, either. Some of what passes for Jazz does not impress me at all and if there’s nothing memorable for the listener, then it becomes an excercise in self indulgence. One other thing I don’t care for is when Jazz musicians look down their nose at other genres. Jazz requires a lot of understanding in order to play it well, but that takes nothing away from other genres which are less harmonically complex. I’ve seen Jazz players stumble when asked to play over some simple Country changes. It happened to me and I came away with my tail between my legs.
  14. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    Just go 1234 D,A,G, da na na na na na.....D,A,G,..........Big Wheels keep on turnin.........gettin me home to my kin......
    Wait, i messed up!!! Go to C after the D, i don't wanna steer you wrong.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
    Winterwind and eggvan like this.
  15. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Synchromatic

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    That is an amazing video about an amazing concept developed by an amazing musician. Thanks for posting!
  16. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Synchromatic

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    I have similar feelings. Music is vast, and life is short! I’m going to leave here with as much as I can learn in a very brief time, but it will not amount to much at all. Next time around I’m gonna start much sooner!
    new6659 and radd like this.
  17. Les PaltaX

    Les PaltaX Gretschie

    Nov 8, 2017
    Thank you all for your time! I'm gonna check the CAGED system. I hope I can get good stuff out of it
  18. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Synchromatic

    May 20, 2016
    This has been a valuable thread for all who have read it through.

    I must say that for me the "CAGED" system is over rated.

    I, and others here I'm sure use it extensively in part but for me it is of limited use.

    Take the C shape. The cowboy first position is okay but I seldom consider using it without 9th, 13th or 7th embellishments. Once you move up the neck and employ all four fingers you can't add the extras and are left with a fairly
    Flat cowboy chord I won't use.

    The G shape is very difficult to employ and again none of the embellishments available in the first position can be accessed further up the neck even if you can manage to hold the shape for a plain old G shape.

    The D shape is only really useable for 4 string chords at best.

    Sure, have a look at it but I can't see anyone using all of it.

    I guess CAE system doesn't attract the same interest as something CAGED.
  19. Far To Many

    Far To Many Gretschie

    Dec 31, 2018
    Upstate, NY
    When I started this thread, it has gone (not surprisingly though) way beyond what I ever thought it would when I started it. There have been a whole bunch of great suggestions here.

    Going back to one of the first posts that suggested the Bluegrass and Folk fretboard roadmaps book, by just simply reading it, it has already brought more knowledge to me, and I have already had a couple of Ah Ha moments. So Thank You for that suggestion @Rock Lajoint

    The unfortunate part for me, is that the free time I had to put forth into practicing when I started this inquiry has been cut short by other commitments. But fear not, my thoughts are any new knowledge is good knowledge.
    Viking Power likes this.
  20. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Hmm those aren't limitations to me, just how it works. For the G chord i often use the barred strings (open notes in the open G chord) as the base, and it is easy to add a 7, 6 etc. To that shape either on the 6th string or one of the barred strings. 4 note chord are good IMO, i think it strains the mix and your hand to try to implement 5 and 6 note chords all the time.

    I didnt learn the CAGE system as such, as I had music theory before guitar, but it is a useful system or rather mode of thought for people new to theory.
    new6659 likes this.
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