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Sunday, 29 May 2011
Blues Expose - Understanding your G minor Pentatonic in Slow Blues
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Blues Expose - TrueFire Guitar Instructional Video
Topic: Guitar Theory

Blues Expose is a TrueFire course by Steve 'Red' Lasner and Josh Gibson where Red and Josh guide you through seven essential Blues Grooves, - Slow BLues, Organ Shuffles, Medium Shuffles, Fast Shuffles, Minor Blues, Texas Blues and Rhumba Blues.

What is unique about this course is that the two guitar players separate the duties and one plays the Lead and one plays the Rhythm part of the same song. Often times you will get a Guitar Instructional Course where the instructor will play over a jam track, in this case Josh Gibson is the 'jam track' player. They play together and each section is broken down and explained. By separating the parts your ability to understand what is happening is increased. For the advanced beginner this is wonderful, it will click for you and you will see how the Rhythm and the Lead work together.

For the player who is emerging from his studies in the Pentatonic Shapes you can watch the Lead Playing of Red and see how his playing measures up. In the Lead for The Slow Blues Lead Red plays a very good lead that is available with other sample videos here

Here you can see my diagram of the notes that Red plays in that Lead along with a diagram of the G minor Pentatonic. You'll notice that Red plays on the notes in blue and if you have the course you can see the actual tab for this and every song the two play - with both the Lead and the Rhythm tabbed out separately.  The discussion continues at the TrueFire Forum.


Posted by gilbert davis at 8:39 PM EDT
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Monday, 24 May 2010
The Five Pentatonic Shapes and their meaning
Topic: Guitar Theory

Sometimes the answers to questions are right out there - I mean, really right out there and they seem so evident to some folks that actually explaining them doesn't seem necessary. But alas that is not the case in real life. Here we have a diagram of the Five Pentatonic Shapes along the Fretboard. Now the shapes are pretty good to know but it's only one step in understanding them. You can see them lined up together on the Fretboard in the usual manner - confusing unless you can see the individual shapes as you can in this diagram. Not only can you discern the five individual shapes but there is also actual reasons for the shape that become apparent to you when you've memorized all the notes and shapes and have spent years in study. But for me without a music education I need things put a little more simply and understandably. To the left you can see the two 6th String Root, Minor and Major Pentatonic shapes. Those have a purple box for the 6th String Root, Minor Pentatonic and a green box for the 6th String Root Major Pentatonic Shape.  So the first shape you usually see nearest the nut on the Fretboard is the shape for the 6th String Root, Minor Pentatonic Shape. The second Shape you see is the 6th String Root, Major Pentatonic Shape. Now those shapes give you the minor and major pentatonics for the root note which is the lowest note on the sixth string. That note is the note closest to the top or nut of the Fretboard. You can go down the sixth string and put the root for the major and minor shapes, looking below this entry for those Scale Formulas for the 6th Strings and just go to town. It's a good way to start learning those notes and why you want to learn those notes. The middle Pentatonic Shape, the Third Pattern has it's own unique information with both the minor and major shapes from that pattern, - that's another posting. The two shapes at the end or right of the Fretboard diagram are for the 5th String Root, Minor and Major Pentatonic Shapes.  They use the same scale formulas that you will find in previous blog entries below.  It's almost like this stuff is making sense to me. Cool

Posted by gilbert davis at 12:14 PM EDT
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Friday, 14 May 2010
G Major Pentatonic 6th String Root
Now Playing: Dexter Gordon, Scrapple From the Apple
Topic: Guitar Theory

Well here is the next chart I have, suitable for printing and posting on the wall of your practice room. The G Major Pentatonic, 6th String Root. I know the reason it says 6th String Root is because we're on the Sixth String to start and it's the Root of this Pentatonic in G Major.  The Cool thing here is that the shape is the Second Shape of the Five Shapes of the Pentatonic. And as such, you can play 12 Major Pentatonics by just moving your Root on the Sixth String up and down that string, follow the Chart, put your finger on the Root you want. Fascinating. Nobody has explained to me why you can do a Major Pentatonic starting on the Ab since that's a flat or on the A#. My mind easily boggles and I'll just take this on faith for a bit.  The Scale Formula is R (Root), 2, 3, 5 and 6.  Pretty simple, none of those scary b's (flats) or #'s (sharps). For where this fingering is shown, starting the Root on the 6th String, third Fret - the G Note - the rest of the notes line up pretty nicely in this instance. R,2,3,5 and 6 translates into G, A, B, D, E. (and then repeats across the Fretboard) Peach keen and just this much short of Fabulous! Ah, discussions with actual people can be found at the forum - right about HERE

Posted by gilbert davis at 1:50 PM EDT
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G Minor Pentatonic, 6th String Root
Now Playing: Dave BruBeck - Take Five
Topic: Guitar Theory
This chart has the G Minor Pentatonic, 6th String Root, it also has the Minor Pentatonic Scale Formula which is R (root), b3 (Flatted 3rd Note), 4th, 5th and b7 (Flatted 7th Note).  And as a super extra bonus the 'Shape' is first shape you see when you are looking at the chart of the Five Pentatonic Shapes! Use the chart just below to see what those notes actually are. The Root is G as you can see.  The b3 note is the Flatted Third. Looking at the chart we see that it doesn't land on a Whole note. Oh fudge. Well, lets see. The notes that aren't Whole notes are flats and sharps. Now owing to a confused sense of direction the flats and sharps confuse me.  Which probably means I need to make myself a graphic for it. On the 6th String, the low string, the string is tuned to E. Press that first fret at the top and you get yourself a F note. The next note down the string is a F#(F Sharp) and a Gb (G Flat).  Ah, blinding confusing. That third Fret on the E String in this instance is the G - which as you can see by this chart is the Root of this Pentatonic Scale. I count three frets down and find myself out of the comfortable territory of the Whole Notes and find myself on the b3 Note of this scale. The Fifth Fret on the E String is the A Note so the sixth fret holds the A# (A Sharp) and the Bb (B Flat). So the first two notes of our G Minor Pentatonic in this case are G and Bb. So far so good. The chart shows the next note on the scale is the 4th and it's on the A String 3rd Fret. That looks like the C Note. I hop a Fret to the 5th Fret and find myself on another Whole Note - the D Note.  So now we're looking at  - G, Bb, C, D. There is that Flatted 7th on the next string up and on the 3rd Fret of the D String.  Humm. I see from my Note Chart that it's the F Note. Interesting. Not sure why that isn't a flat or a sharp. But I'm sure I'll get that figured out someday. So, the notes here are G, Bb, C, D, F. I better go take an Aleve and see if I can fret a bit.

Posted by gilbert davis at 1:33 PM EDT
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