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ThE A CHEMICA GUITARIST s


By Richard oyd

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RIChARd LLoyd
Richard Lloyd is a founding member of Television, the New York City progenitors of punk rock, and the writer of the popular column The Alchemical Guitarist in Guitar World magazine. In recent years, Richard has established himself as the originator of the Alchemical Guitar method, his unique and fundamental approach to the guitar that unlocks the mysteries of the fretboard, allowing guitarists to see patterns and intervallic relationships on the instrument in a way that is revolutionary and enlightening. In addition to his extensive solo catalog, Richard has been a producer for artists that include Matthew Sweet, and teaches guitar at his studio in New York City. His latest album, The Radiant Monkey, is available on Parasol Records. For more information, visit richardlloyd.com and parasol.com.

MAGIC CIRCLES the CyCle of fifths and fourths


CHAPTER 1
EvEry guitarist has at thE word major hErE means

some point most likely stopped to wonder why the guitar is tuned, low to high, E A D G B E. The tuning is unusual because it is in fourths, except for the G and B strings, which are a major third apart. Surely, there must be a reason for this. As it turns out, there is. But with the explanation comes something more: a key to understanding the very essence of music and to improving your command of the guitar. The guitars tuning is based on the fundamental laws of musiconce you understand this, you will discover an entirely new and exciting way to approach the instrument. Fingering patterns and chord shapes will begin to emerge as configurations that you can move around the fretboard in any key. But first, lets look at the concept of standard tuning. For that, we need to talk about the cycle of fifths/fourths and, to a lesser extent, the major scale. The cycle of fifths/fourths is in my opinion essential to understanding music because it is something like DNA; it forms a spiral that weaves through the vertical scale, by which everything else can be known.

The Major Scale

greater in importance; it is not a reference to the minor scales counterpart. The major scale consists of seven (or eight, if you include the octave) of the notes of the 12-note chromatic scale. Beginning with the root note, we move up, in succession, a whole step (two frets), another whole step, a half step (one fret), and three whole steps. This is followed by another half step, which brings us to the note one octave above the tonic. (See FIGURE 1) On a piano, the resulting notes are represented by the white keys. This is no accident: the piano was designed to emphasize the major scale, specifically, the C scale. This is why all written mu-

the guitars tuning is based on patterns. it is intervallic rather than alphabetic.

sic notation is derived from the C scale, and its also why most guitar methods teach the key of C firstbecause somebody learned from somebody who learned from somebody who first learned on the piano. That said, this is an idiotic approach to take to the guitar. The guitar differs from the piano in that everything can be moved anywhere on the fretboard, because its tuning is based on patterns; it is intervallicthat is, based upon intervalsrather than alphabetical. The alphabetic representation of notes is important only when you are talking to other musicians.
to truly undErstand how notes

The cycle of fifThS/fourThS

FIGURE 1 The Major Scale

1 W

2 W

3 4 H W

5 W

6 W

7 8 H W = Whole Step H = Half Step

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are arranged on a guitar you need to understand ratiothe relationship between whole numbers. This, in turn, will lead us to the cycle of fifths/ fourths. Any string can be the I (the one, or tonic or root), which is represented by the ratio 1:1 (or unison) and is considered perfect. Divide a string in halfthe ratio of 1:2and you get the octave (at the 12th fret on the guitar). This note agrees with the original note and shares the same name; it is also deemed perfect. Divide the string into thirds and allow two thirds of it to sound and you get the fifth note of the major scale (at the seventh fret); the ratio is 2:3. Divide the string into fourths and allow three fourths of it to sound and you get the fourth (at the fifth fret); the ratio is 3:4. The fourth and fifth are also considered perfect because they sound harmonious and consonant when sounded with the original tone and the octave. But as the numbers of the ratios go up, the relationships get more troubled, or dissonant. The next ratio, 4:5, produces the major third (at the fourth fret). This is mostly consonant, but it is not considered perfect. The ratio 5:6 leads to the minor third, which has a dissonant underpinning. A whole step (a major second) is a ratio of 8:9, and a half step (minor second) is a ratio of 15:16. These are less perfect relationships; they can be thought of as troubled marriages, more dissonant as the numbers in the ratios goes up, and heading for divorce court. The perfects, on the other hand, can just go happily on and on. In fact, all over the world, all 12 chromatic notes can be obtained by dividing a frequency by 2:3 and then dividing that new frequency by 2:3, and so on. Doing this produces the cycle of fifths, in which each subsequent note in the series is the fifth of its preceding note. But guess what? If you reverse the direction of the cycle of fifths, you get the cycle of fourths! This is because the ratios 2:3 and 3:4 are essentially the same thing in reverse: the number 4 is simply a multiple of 2 and indicates the octave of the original noteits the same note one octave higher. For example, if A is our tonic, then the E above it is its fifth (the ratio 2:3); but the A above that E is both the octave of the first A (1:2) and the fourth of E (3:4). This is why the fifth and fourth are called inverted intervalsits as if one is upright and the other upside down. In fact, the fifth is often called the dominant, because in a world of tonics and octaves, it stands out. The fourth is also known as the subdominant, because it
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is a fifth below the tonic/octave. One can ponder this sort of thing for a very long time without getting to the bottom of it. This is because the mechanics of the cycle of fifths/fourths is like the spiral of a galaxy or the workings of atomic particles. It is the handiwork of the Creator, not a diagram invented by clever jazz musicians. It is a direct view into the genetic code of music.
so how would you tune a musical

Tuning The guiTar

instrument to be fretted or played by the hand? There is one very simple solution:

tom you could now say that the real tonal center of the instrument is E, because all the other strings are only sounded once. Now, lets move our Roman numerals around the circle so that the I sits over the E, as in FIGURE 2b. Something interesting has happened: the E is now surrounded by the fourth and the fifth, only going inside from the edges instead of from a center string. Now we can learn the guitar from the outside in, moving in both directions. From the low E to the next string we have a fourth (A), and from the high E going to the next string (B) we have the fifth.

FIGURE 2a Circle of Fifths IV F I C G D A E B VII V II VI III

FIGURE 2b E as the I

G D A E B V I IV

tune it in fifths or fourths, as this will achieve the most harmonic and pleasing relationship from string to string. (It will also allow for the most efficient movement of the fretting hand.) FIGURE 2a shows a diagram with the first seven letters of the alphabet on it. Fifths go clockwise, fourths counterclockwise. The five slots left out are the rejected chromatic notes, which borrow names from their neighbors. Since the guitar has six strings and the lowest string is E, tuning by fourths would give us E A D G F C. But that would make the two outside strings a half step apart. Remember that in the alphabetic scale the half steps are between E and F and between B and C. That would be a horrible combination, with the outer strings tuned in E and Fa ratio of 15:16. Yuck! But since the F is a half step above E, we can just lower it a half step so that it is also E, two octaves higher. Then the next inner string is C, and since C is the top of the other half step above B, we lower that to B. This creates a very interesting situation: there are now two strings that are pitched the samethe low and the high E strings, on the outside of the instrument. Even though they are on the top and bot-

robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil, but he got something heavenly in return.

We have lowered the top two strings by a half step. That means that anything that we play which goes from the G string to the B string has to be raised one fret in order to compensate for this change, and anything which travels down in pitch from the B string to the G string has to be lowered one fret in order to stay in the proper relationship. But since the outer strings are pitched to E, and are surrounded on the inside by the IV and V, anything we play on the B string that was heading toward the high E could just as easily be played from the B string to the low E instead. Likewise, anything you were going to play from the A string to the bottom or low E string could just as easily jump to the high E string. Ill bet you never thought of that! In the following chapters Ill show you practical applications of these ideas that can totally change not only how you see the instrument but also how you play it. The more you understand the deep musical law, the more the knowledge that you have about the guitar will organize itself around these cosmic principles. Robert Johnson may have sold his soul to the Devil in order to play the way he did, but he got something heavenly in return.

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CHAPTER 2

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SkELEton the mystiCal major-sCale diagram kEy unloCking the modes with
scales. In fact, all musicians need to learn and practice scales. That doesnt mean that we should do nothing but play scales in concert, but the main rule of music, which every musician needs to understand, is the major scalemajor meaning important. These are also called diatonic scales, because they have two types of intervals: whole steps and half steps. Lets say you buy a book of scales for your guitar. It will give you a scale for every key. Thats 12 pages. Then it will give you seven modes for each key, which are known by their Greek names: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian and so on. This means that the beginning of your book will likely contain 84 pages of scales (seven modes in 12 keys = 84). Thats before moving to irregular scales like melodic minor, harmonic minor and pentatonic scales, et cetera. But there is an easier way to learn the 84 regular scales, and Im going to show it to you. If you learn this correctly, it will seem like an incredible magic trick: with one diagram, you will know all seven modes, in every key, and you will be able to play flawlessly, anywhere on the fretboard. It is an absolute guarantee. The formula for a major scale is WWHWWWH. W stands for whole step; H stands for half step. Imagine if we chopped up the scale into three-note segments. There could be only three types of segments, which would be those consisting of: two whole steps (indicated by WW), a whole step followed by a half step (WH), or a half step followed by a whole step (HW). Our seven notes in the scale would be arranged like this: 1-2-3 (WW) 2-34 (WH) 34-5 (HW) 4-5-6 (W-W) 5-6-7 (W-W) 6-71 (WH) 71-2 (HW) Note that a hyphen between numbers indicates a whole step; absence of a hyphen between numbers indicates a half step. Since the guitar is tuned in fourths
all guitarists nEEd to learn

and each chunk of our scale has three notes in it, the next string would contain the next three notes (4-5-6) and so on. There are only a couple of simple rules to learn. Lets imagine that we had a guitar with an endless supply of strings all tuned in perfect fourths, forgetting for a moment the tuning kink between the G and B strings. Then the only time we would move our index finger up a fret would be to accommodate the extra half step between the 4 and the 7that is, the tritone, so called because the notes are three whole steps apart. The diagram would look like this: (Note that the diagram begins on the lowest string and that each subsequent three-note group falls on the next string of our infinite guitar; the * indicates the tritone and the need to shift the index finger up a fret.) 1-2-3 (WW) 4-5-6 (WW) *71-2 (HW) 34-5 (HW) 6-71 (WH) 2-34 (WH) 5-6-7 (WW) 1-2-3 (WW) 4-5-6 (WW) *71-2 (HW) 34-5 (HW) 6-71 (WH) 2-34 (WH) 5-6-7 (WW) 1-2-3 (WW) 4-5-6 (WW) and so on. Notice that the three patterns are now paired up. Lets name them: The pattern with two whole steps we will call the long pattern. The half-step whole-step pattern we will call the middle pattern, because it would usually be fingered with the index, middle finger and pinkie. The whole-step half-step pattern we will call the ring pattern, because it would be fingered with the index, ring and pinkie. So now we can describe our diagram, from the lowest-pitched string to the highest, in the following way: We begin with two long patterns and then the index finger comes up one fret to accommodate the tritone. Then we have two middle patterns, fol-

With one diagram, you Will knoW all seven modes, in every key, and you Will be able to play flaWlessly anyWhere on the fretboard.

lowed by two ring patterns, followed by three long patterns; then the index finger comes up one fret. We continue endlessly this waytwo middle, two ring and three long; up one fretall the way to the end of the universe. But we only have a six-string guitar, and two of the strings have the same name: the low and high E strings. How are we going to really learn this pattern when the guitar is not even big enough to allow us to run the whole pattern? After all, the entire pattern is seven strings long and the standard guitar has only six strings. We have to learn the patternincluding that strange tuning anomaly between the second and third (G and B) strings and then apply it to the instrument. Heres how we are going to do it: we are going to abandon one of the outer strings so that we do not repeat ourselves. We will play as if we had a five-string guitar. If we decide not to play the high E string, we will go from the low E string all the way across to the B string and then return to the low E string to continue. If we decide to abandon the low E string we will start on the A string and play across to the high E string and then continue by returning to the A string. Either choice will cause us to spiral up the neck as we return to the low string. There are only two places where we have to change which fret our index finger is on: for the tritone and between the G and B strings. Sometimes these will coincide, in which case we will have to lift our index finger two frets, but only when the 4 is the bottom note of the pattern on the G string. By following this lesson some magical things will happen for you. For one, the bottom note of each threenote section will follow the cycle of fourths: 1, 4, 7, 3, 6, 2, 5, 1, et cetera. Eventually you will be able to jump strings wherever you like, because you will know the pattern structure mentally. For another, you will learn the relationship between the two E strings and the B and A strings in ways you can hardly imagine. Finally, you will learn all modes in all keys almost effortlessly. And after learning this method, you will understand scale books better, as if you had a skeleton key that unlocked the mysteries of any regular scale.

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CHAPTER 3

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CALL ME and an introduCtion to vertiCal knowledge two telephone numbers,

to continue exploring the deepest laws of musical movement and of creation. I am going to teach you some mnemonic devicesmechanisms that can help you remember complicated patterns much more easily. The first is the numerical cycle of fourths/fifths; I called it the Two Telephone Numbers. It is my own invention (should I put a copyright symbol here?). How many seven-digit phone numbers do you have stored in your longterm memory? A fair amount, I would guess, even in this day of automated dialing. Here are two more phone numbers I would like you to memorize. It is very important to do this, as it leads to an impeccable knowledge of musical progressions and of every aspect of musical movement. Here they are: Fifths: 152-6374 Fourths: 147-3652 To understand how these function, think of every number that follows the 1 as a degree of the root note; each number, in turn, represents the fifth of the note that precedes it. For example, in our Fifths phone number, if our root note, 1, is A, the 5 (its fifth) is E. What is the fifth of E? The 2 gives us a clue: its the second degree of our root note, which is B. Likewise, the 6 of our root note is Fs, which is the fifth of B, and on and on. It works the same way with the Fourths phone number. Learn these numerical cycles as if they were phone numbers. That will be easier than learning them as circular numbers like 152637415263741526374 or 147362514736251473625 et cetera. All musicians need to know the musical alphabet on their instrument. There is no way around learning the C scale on the instrument, but usually people learn in the following way: they take each open string and then walk up the C scale on it. This is extraordinarily helpful and valuable, and it is the beginning of vertical knowledge, a topic that we will be addressing in

in this chaptEr were going

Chapter 4. In the meantime, Im going to give you another set of mnemonics. This set is designed to drill and train you in alphabetical knowledge; it contains all the accidentals as well as the named notes and goes across the strings. Dont let it make your head spinwe will go slowly. Here are the two formulas that you need to know. For the moment, ignore the fact that I do not start on C. B E A D G C F Bf Ef Af Cs Fs and F C G D A E B Fs Cs Af Ef Bf The first is movement in fourths up the fretboard; the second is movement in fifths down the fretboard which, if you remember our first lesson from two issues ago, is simply the first pattern reversed. Lets take a look at the first pattern by chopping it into manageable portions. By starting with B as our root note, we get a four-letter word that is easy to remember: BEAD. Then, to finalize the seven letters, we add GCF. Now we can say the word BEAD and then GCF. Then we can say each letter separately and do all seven like this: BEADGCF. Get used to that, because it aint going away. Its all the letters in the cycle of fourths. Now after saying those seven, we have five left. Guess what happens? The pattern repeats, but with flats: Bf Ef Af Df Gf. But by convention it is more usual to call the first three as flats and the last two as their alternative sharps: Bf Ef Af Cs Fs.

these tWo numbers Will lead you to an impeccable knoWledge of every aspect of musical movement.

Lets check it out. Put your finger on the low E string at the seventh fret, which is B. Now walk your finger from string to string and follow the formula. It will never fail: From the seventh fret across the E A D and G strings, the notes will be B, E, A and D. Then to continue to the B string; you will have to come up one fret, to the eighth fret, and that note will be G. Remember that the outer strings are named the same, so from the G on the eighth fret of the B string you would move to the eighth fret of either E string, which will give you a C. Continuing across the fretboard on the eighth fret, we get F, Bf and Ef. Once again, at the B string we move up a fret, to the ninth fret, which gives us Af. Proceeding to the ninth fret of either E string gives us a Df (Cs), followed by Gf (Fs) on the A string and B on the D string. And on and on, into infinity. Because this has been a short lesson packed full of juicy nutritive powder that will turn you into a Guitar God Superman, and because it hasnt had any silly tablature licks, I am going to introduce you to an exercise taken from one of my notebooks from 1968 (FIGURE 1). Its an exercise that Jimi Hendrix gave Velvert Turner, my good friend and a Hendrix protg, back in the Sixties. Velvert and I would try to play it together. We werent very good. But try it for yourself and see if you can get around the entire cycle of fourths doing this combination of pulloffs and hammer-ons. It will wear you out pretty quickly.

FIGURE 1
(B minor pentatonic scale)
7 9 7 7 9 7 9 7 9 7 9 7 9 7 10 7 9 7 9

7 10

10 7 10

7 10

7 10 7

10 7 10

7 10 7

10 7

9 7 9

7 10 7

9 7

9 7 9

7 9 7

9 7

9 7 9

7 9 7

9 7

10 7 10

7 9 7

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CHAPTER 4

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FIVE knowledge of Chords& thE tRUth ChoRdS through the a Complete


astonishing five-Chord CyCle

ginning, intermediate or advanced guitarist, you will find this exercise a challenge. However, it is a challenge that has enormous benefits and a large payoff: it is a single exercise that can lead to a complete knowledge of chords; and it is a fantastic shortcut to the study of chordal understanding, whether you are a jazz, rock or classical guitarist. Whats more, it will lead you to use your hands in a manner that allows the development of filigrees and chord qualities, following the alchemical method. The five-chord cycle consists of the chords E, A, D, G and C, played in that order, forward and back. To begin, lets look at the five chord shapes as they appear in open position (FIGURE 1). Notice in each of these open-position shapes that the nut can be thought of as a mechanical index finger forming a barre across all six strings. This means that all five chord shapes can be played as barre chordswhich is just what we will do as we play our five-chord cycle. This is how it works: Play each of the five chords in open position and in the order given (E, A, D, G, C). Then, with a first-position barre (the index finger across all six strings at the first fret), play each of the five chords, in order. FIGURE 2 shows which fingers you should be using for each of the chord shapes. (For now, dont worry about the actual pitch names for these barred chordsthat will come later in the lesson and form part of the astonishing quality of this particular exercise.) Notice that the only chord shape that does not use all six strings is the D shape; it does not use the lowest E string because it would be the second degree of the scale, which is not in the chord. (These are all major triads containing only the intervallic numbers 1, 3 and 5.) Now, move the barre to the second position and start over with the five chord shapes. Continue moving up the fretboard, one fret at a time, each time playing

whEthEr you arE a be-

through the five chord shapes in order. When I practice this exercise, I play the five chords and move up the fretboard until I get to the 12th-fret form of E, which in fact is an E chord. Then I move backward through the cycle: from the E chord, I move my index finger down to the 11th fret and run through the cycle in reverse (C, G, D, A, E). I continue in this fashion, moving down the fretboard, until I reach the open position. Once there, I play through the five chords once more and return to the open-position E. If you have never done this before, you are going to find it quite strenuous and demanding on the fretting hand, even if you are an advanced guitarist. For that reason, take it slowly: do not overexert yourself, and take a rest any time you feel you need one or have pain in your wrist or fingers. While the effort required for this exercise is part of its value, it has another even more valuable aspect: this chordal cycle follows the cycle of perfect fourths on the way up and of perfect fifths on the way back down. If you remember my alphabetical cycle of fourths and fifths from Chapter 1, you will see that the pitch names follow those cycles:

Fourths: B E A D G C F Bf Ef Af C F B Fifths: F C G D A E B F C Af Ef Bf F

this exercise can give your fretting hand poWer and strength and train your mind to think in musically perfect movements.

Now you may notice that, if you follow the exercise from the chord E, as you move in fourths following the fivechord cycle, you can name the pitches by following the cycle of fourths as you go up the fretboard; when you come down in the opposite direction, you can name the chords by following the formula for perfect fifths. Performing this exercise regularly will not only give your fretting hand incredible power and strength, it will also train your mind to think in musically perfect movements. As a result of playing through this cycle, the part of your brain that analyzes music will also receive training. Soon, you will be able to hear this movement in every sort of music that you could possibly imagine. In Chapter 5, Ill show you how to take these chord shapes and mutate them to give you an ideal formula for understanding chordal qualities based on chords that you already know, even if you are a beginning or intermediate student.

FIGURE 1 fingering for chords in open-position

231 or 342

234

132 or 243

21 or 32

3 4

32 1 or 43 2

FIGURE 2 fingering for barred shapes

E shape (F)

A shape (Bb)

D shape * (Eb)

G shape (Ab)

C shape (Db)

134211

112341

11243 321114 143121 *barre index finger across top five strings

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thEthe modes in order of desCending brightness dARk StUFF learning


CHAPTER 5
in this chaptEr were go-

ing to learn the scale modes in a method determined by following the cycle of fifths. Those of you who know your modes know that most guitarists learn them vertically through the scale, in this order: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian. But as I will show you, the cycle of fifths, which is used to generate the key signatures, can also be used to generate the modes in a very musically logical way. And it can do it in a way that is easy to memorize and gives you a deeper understanding of the emotional color of the modes. First, though, I want to present a history lesson that will illustrate my point. Back in the Middle Ages, working musicians were either commissioned to write music or they were attached to royal houses. All too often, the patron would ask a question like, How do musicians work their magic so that some music makes listeners feel happy while other music makes them feel sad enough to weep? This was a terrible question, often asked by royalty with not much wattage in the head but the power to chop off the musicians head if he didnt deliver an entertaining answer. And so musicians invented a game called musical chairs that could demonstrate how the modes produce emotions in listeners, ranging from giddy to pathetic. At a royal party, the musicians would have seven dukes and duchesses sit in a row of seven chairs, each representing one of the successive notes of the seven-note major scale (the Do Re Mi scale). The musicians would then play through the modes in what is called the order of descending brightnessthat is, with each successive mode adding a flatted note to the scale and, thereby, sounding sadder, or darker, than the previous mode. To illustrate this for the king, the musicians would take away the chair representing the flatted note, forcing the duke or duchess seated there to sit uncomfortably on the floor. This served to demonstrate why a flatted note would appear sad, having been dropped from its natural position, and the king would have a laugh, watching his court become sadder and sadder.

We find something similar happens if we use the cycle of fifths to generate the modes: in each successive mode, another note is flatted, making the scale sound sadder than its predecessor. Remember that the Roman numerals for the seven notes around the cycle of fifths are as follows: IV, I, V, ii, vi, iii, vii. The fourth mode, or Lydian, has a sharp four, making it the brightest of the modes, but we will start with the one (I), or Ionian, which has no sharps or flats. From here, we move along the cycle of fifths by their modes and find Mixolydian, which has one flat (7). We then move to the second mode, Dorian, which has two flats (7 and 3). Next is the Aeolian mode, with three flats (7, 3 and 6), followed by Phrygian, with four flats (7, 3, 6 and 2). Finally, on the way through this declension, or decline, we come to Locrian, which has five flats (7, 3, 6, 2 and 5). This leaves only the 1 and the 4 standing in natural position. If we continue descending, something very strange and fascinating occurs. From Locrian, we actually drop the tonic, or root note, a half step and arrive at a new key; all the flats come off and the four is raised, making it a

this study Will help you see the modes as they are arranged in order of descending brightness.

sharp four. This yields the Lydian mode. Flatting the four returns us to Ionian. As I noted at the outset of this chapter, most guitarists learn the modes vertically, but that is an idiotic approach. It foregoes the gradual change in emotional color that occurs when learning the modes through declension. Whats more, it requires that you memorize the modes in an order that jumps from no flats (Ionian) to two flats (Dorian) to four flats (Phrygian) to no flats but a raised four (Lydian) to one flat (Mixolydian) to three flats (Aeolian) to five flats (Locrian). Now, look at FIGURE 1 and tell me if it isnt a whole lot easier to remember, not to mention more informative with respect to emotional color. The diagrams show the seven modes across the neck in two octaves, all in a single position that is, you do not have to move your thumb or wrist but just stretch out your index finger to flatten the notes or change the inner finger to lower the notes. In addition, this method follows a completely musical formula and will put you well on the way to understanding the real musical chairs: the modes as they are arranged in order of descending brightness.

FIGURE 1 FIGURE 1 A Ionian

A Ionian 5fr
5fr

A Mixolydian A Mixolydian 5fr


5fr

A Dorian A Dorian 5fr


5fr

A Aeolian A Aeolian 5fr


5fr

A Phrygian A Phrygian 5fr


5fr

A Locrian A Locrian 5fr


5fr

8fr 8fr

A Lydian A Lydian 4fr


4fr

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CHAPTER 6

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thE step-down praCtiCe method 48-StEp pRoGRAM the modal

you a special method of practice that will allow you to play short phrases and licks in a way that will keep you practicing longer and in every key. Playing the guitar is an athletic activity, and acquiring mastery requires many hours of practice. Most instructors teach licks in a single position and in one key, and while students are often instructed to practice the licks in all 12 keys, they arent told how to utilize the 12 keys. Left to their own devices, students typically change key chromaticallythat is, moving vertically, up and down the neck, one fret at a time. This is a counterproductive method because it doesnt follow any deep law of musical movement; whats more, it sounds unmusical and, as a practice routine, its boring. A preferable method is to practice the keys by fourths, something that we have examined in previous chapters. This new method called the Modal Step-Down Practice Methodwill give you a way to practice short licks in a manner that is extremely satisfying but which demands that you practice the same short passage 48 times before you return to the key in which you began. Heres how it works: Although we will move the key in fourths, while in each key we will play our lick in the following four harmonic stations: the root key (i.e., the tonic, or I), down one whole step (fVII), down another whole step (fVI) and down a half step, which will take us to the fifth (V). These four stationsI, fVII, fVI, Vform the first group of harmonic stations for whatever key weve chosen to work in. From the V, we will move down a whole step, to the fourth (IV). This now becomes our new tonic (I), and we repeat the entire process, moving down a whole step, another whole step and a half step, followed by a whole step descent to another new tonic. Here is the formula as it would be laid out in position numbers if we began with B, at the seventh fret, as our tonic. (Remember that the position indicates where the index finger lays on the fretboard; also, Im using the 12th position rather than the open position):

in this chaptEr, Ill teach

7-5-3-2, 12-10-8-7, 5-3-1-12, 10-8-6-5, 3-1-11-10, 8-6-4-3, 1-11-9-8, 6-4-2-1, 11-97-6, 4-2-12-11, 9-7-5-4, 2-12-10-9 Moving down a whole step from the ninth position takes us to the seventh fret and returns us to the beginning of our formula. As you can see, the starting position in each successive group is intervallically a fourth above (or a fifth below) the first position in the preceding group. If we begin at the seventh fret on the low E string, on B, then the first position in each group follows the cycle of fourths alphabetically: B E A D G C F Bf Ef Af Cs Fs. You can also see that you play 48 positions (four for each of the 12 different keys) before cycling around to your starting point. That results in an awful lot of practice, which is exactly what you need. Fortunately, as you will hear, each half-step resolution from fVI to V is extremely satisfying musically, and the whole step from V down to IV, which becomes the new I, is a pleasant-sounding way to start the process
FIGURE 1a Monkey intro lick
12th pos. Em pentatonic

this method alloWs you to play short phrases and licks While it helps you practice longer and in every key.

all over again in the next key. To help you get started using the Modal Step-Down Practice Method, Im going to show you a short lick from the intro to Monkey, the opening song on my new album, The Radiant Monkey (Parasol) and demonstrate how to begin cycling the lick through the 48 positions. As you can see in FIGURE 1a, the lick is played in the 12th-position E minor pentatonic box pattern that most rock guitarists are well acquainted with and includes a couple of string bends. In FIGURE 1b, we proceed through the three remaining harmonic stations for the key of E, at the 10th, eighth and seventh positions, respectively. We then move to the next key in the cycle of fourths, A, and repeat the process beginning at the fifth fret. Apply this practice method to any lick you know. Youll find that its inherent musicality will pull you along, allowing you to practice far longer than you ordinarily would practicing chromatically or straight through the cycle of fourths.

(0:05)
1

15 ) 14
1

15

15 14 (14 ) 12

14

12 12 (12 )

14 12 14
3 1 3

FIGURE 1b
10th pos. Dm pentatonic

4 4 3(+2)

4 3(+2)

13 13) 12

13 12 (12 ) 10

12

10 10 (10 )

12 10 12

8th pos. Cm pentatonic

) 11
10

11

11 10 (10 )

10

8 ( 8)

10 8 10

7th pos. Bm pentatonic

) 10
9

10

10 9

( 9)

7 (7)

9 7 9

next key: A 5th pos. Am pentatonic

) 8
7

8 7

( 7)

(5)

7 5 7

) 6
5

3rd pos. Gm pentatonic 1

6 5

( 5)

(3)

5 3 5

1st pos. Fm pentatonic 1

) 4
3

4 3 ( 3) 1

1 (1)

3 1 3

) 15
14

12th pos. E minor pentatonic 1

15

15 14 (14 ) 12

14

12

12 (12 )

14 12 14

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CHAPTER 7
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Boxfree with pentatoniC trees CUttERS breaking


so far, wEvE looked at either

the major scale or the five sixstring triad chord shapes that use only the intervallic scale degree numbers 1, 3 and 5. In this chapter were going to delve into the pentatonic scale and look at ways to break free of the pentatonic boxesthose positions in which novice guitarists become stuck, resulting in repetitive notes and phrases and limiting the players range of movement up and down the fretboard. The diatonic scales have three inherent problems: they are complex, as they consist of seven notes; they contain two half steps, which are difficult turnarounds for the human voice; and they contain the devils interval that is, the tritone, or diminished fifth, between the fourth and the seventh degrees of the scale. The seventh degree of the major scale is called the leading tone, and it desires to resolve itself upward toward the one, or tonic. The fourth is suspended over the third and desires to resolve downward. For these reasons, all musical cultures around the world have developed pentatonicthat is, five-notescales that solve these problems in different ways. The first way well consider is tritone resolution: by allowing the seventh and fourth scale degrees to resolve to the tonic and third, respectively, we get a scale consisting of five notes in the scale degrees of 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6. This is the major pentatonic scale, and it resolves all three problems: it has five notes, no half steps and no tritone. A second methodology uses the tonic and the perfects: that is, it keeps the 1, 4 and 5, as these are the three perfect low-ratio intervals. This leaves the 2 and 3, and the 6 and 7. The scale degrees in each of these two pairs are a whole step apart and have a chromatic tone between them: the f3 and f7. If we combine these chromatic tones with the tonic and perfects, we get a five-note minor pentatonic scale containing the degrees 1, f3, 4, 5 and f7. Look at the intervallic differences between the major and minor pentatonic scales and youll see that they share a formula that is offset for one of the examples. Remember that the formula for the major scale is whole-whole-half, whole-whole-whole-half, or WWH WWWH. The formula for the major pentatonic scale would be WWm3

Wm3, where m3 represents the interval of a minor third up from the preceding note. The formula for a minor pentatonic scale would be m3WW m3W, where the initial m3 is the minor third of the scale; for example, if the scale is C, then the first m3 would represent Ef. If we extend these formulas to show the repetition of patterns through two or more octaves, we would get, for a major pentatonic, WWm3 Wm3 WWm3 Wm3 WWm3 Wm3, etc., and, for a minor pentatonic, m3WW m3W m3WW m3W m3WW m3W, etc. You can see that each minor third is surrounded by one or two whole steps, and that if you start anywhere in these formulas, you can go backward or forward and they turn into the same thing. This means that there are not two separate pentatonic scales that you need to learn but rather only oneyou just have to learn it thoroughly, forward and backward. Applying the concept of 3+2 and 2+3 to the fretboard, FIGURES 1 and 2 illustrate two very useful extended fingering patterns for the pentatonic scale that span nearly three octaves while helping you break free from the confines of the standard, positional, two-notes-per-string box patterns that most guitarists initially learn...and end up getting stuck in. Starting on the note G note on the low E strings third fret,

FIGURE 1 is a pattern for the G major pen-

With this extended pattern you can move across, up and doWn the fretboard Without performing Wide finger stretches.

tatonic scale (G A B D E) that has you playing the first three scale degrees1, 2 and 3on that string, then moving to the A string and playing scale degrees 4 and 5. You then repeat this sequence an octave higher on the D and G strings, beginning at the fifth fret, then an octave above that on the B and high E strings, starting at the eighth fret. As you can see, using finger slidesring finger on the way up and index finger on the way downgreatly facilitates the playing of this extended pattern without having to perform any wide, uncomfortable finger stretches. I like to think of this pattern as a pentatonic tree that branches across and up and down the fretboard. Beginning on the same low G note, FIGURE 2 shows a similarly structured tree for the C major pentatonic scale (C D E G A), this one using a 2+3 sequence on adjacent string pairs. In this case, youre starting on the fifth of the scale, G, and playing degrees 5 and 6 then crossing over to the next higher string and playing scale degrees 1, 2 and 3. In addition, check out my album The Radiant Monkey, which is available at parasol.com/labels/parasol/parcd107. asp. On it you will hear tons of pentatonic and diatonic movements, as well as loads of bends and overbends, double stops and so on.

FIGURE 1 G major pentatonic scale


3fr 5fr FIGURE 1 G major pentatonic scale 3fr 5fr

(circled numbers denote scale degrees)

7fr 7fr

9fr 9fr

12fr 12fr

(circled numbers denote scale degrees)

5 7 9 FIGURE 2 C major pentatonic scale 5 7 3 5 7 3fr 5fr


 3 3  3  3 3  3

10 12

10 12

12 10

12 10

9
3

7


5


7fr 7fr

9fr


12fr
3

5


7
3

5


3


FIGURE 2 C major pentatonic scale 3fr 5fr

9fr

12fr

3


5
3

3


5
3

7
3

5


7
3

10

10 12

12 10

10

7
3

5


7
3

5


3


5
3

3


m
CHAPTER 8

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dIAGonALboxes dIAtonICS another way out of the


it is EvEry advancing

guitarists lament: how do I get out of the boxes? In Chapter 7, I showed you how to use finger slides to create what I call pentatonic trees and smoothly extend movement across and up and down the fretboard. In this chapter Im going to show you how to apply this same concept to the diatonic modes of the major scale and move diagonally across the fretboard, something that will take you completely out of the positional boxes. Once you learn this approach, you will never look back. Lets start by dividing the major scale into three-note segments as follows: 1-2-3, 2-3-4, 3-4-5, 4-5-6, 5-6-7, 6-7-1, 7-1-2. Youll notice that the segments beginning with 1, 4 and 5 consist of two consecutive whole steps (WW) while those beginning with 2 and 6 consist of a whole step followed by a half step (WH) and those starting with 3 and 7 are half-whole (HW). Now lets arrange the scale segments in the order of the cycle of fifths/fourths, starting from 5: 567, 123, 456, 7-12, 3-4-5, 67-1, 234. As youll see momentarily, you can use and overlap these scale segment patterns to work your way diagonally across the fretboard. Instead of changing fingering patterns for every string, were going to using a repeating fingering scheme on each pair of adjacent strings in each octave, just as we did with the pentatonics in the last chapter, and shift positions by sliding a finger up or down one whole step (two frets) on every other string. FIGURE 1 shows how this works with the seven modes, each beginning on F at the first fret on the low E string. As you can see in just about every pattern, a two-fret finger slide is used on every other string. Doing this enables you to play seven notes comfortably on two strings. It also positions the index finger conveniently for placement on the next string. Be aware that the human hand has the most flexibility and widest reach between the index and middle fingers, so whenever there are two consecutive whole steps on one string, the lower one is fretted with these two fingers when ascending. Doing this leaves the ring finger available to fret

a note between the middle finger and pinkie. Regarding the finger slides, Im using what are called outside pivots, which means Im sliding with the finger thats closest to the note toward which the hand is moving. In general, its easier to pull the hand in the direction you wish to go than to push it, so Im doing all the ascending slides with the pinkie and all the descending slides with the index finger. Of course, the ultimate goal is freedom of expression and movement and the ability to freely slide up or down from any note with any finger, but for the purpose of this exercise I strongly advocate using outside pivots. Notice that some of the patterns in FIGURE 1 take the same fretboard
FIGURE 1 1 FIGURE Ascending Ascending
5fr 5fr

alphabetic information on the guitar is necessary only for talking to other musicians.
12fr12fr

path or have the same footprint ascending and descending, albeit with different fingers used, while others have you playing certain notes on a different string on the way down. This is done for the sake of optimizing fingering efficiency. This approach will take you completely out of the boxes, and if you follow the pattern structures correctly you should make great strides in your own guitar playing endeavors. Analyze and utilize, and think intervallically that is, get used to the numbers. Alphabetic information on the guitar is necessary only for talking to other musicians. Modern guitarists who improvise are far better served by learning intervallically.
Descending Descending
5fr 5fr

3fr 3fr

7fr 7fr

9fr 9fr

3fr 3fr

7fr 7fr

9fr 9fr

12fr12fr

= slide up w/pinkie = slide up w/pinkie 3fr 3fr 5fr 5fr

7fr 7fr

9fr 9fr

12fr12fr

= slide down w/index finger = slide down w/index finger 3fr 3fr 5fr 5fr 7fr 7fr

9fr 9fr

12fr12fr

3fr 3fr

5fr 5fr

7fr 7fr

9fr 9fr

12fr12fr

3fr 3fr

5fr 5fr

7fr 7fr

9fr 9fr

12fr12fr

3fr 3fr

5fr 5fr

7fr 7fr

9fr 9fr

12fr12fr

3fr 3fr

5fr 5fr

7fr 7fr

9fr 9fr

12fr12fr

3fr 3fr

5fr 5fr

7fr 7fr

9fr 9fr

12fr12fr

3fr 3fr

5fr 5fr

7fr 7fr

9fr 9fr

12fr12fr

3fr 3fr

5fr 5fr

7fr 7fr

9fr 9fr

12fr12fr

3fr 3fr

5fr 5fr

7fr 7fr

9fr 9fr

12fr12fr

3fr 3fr

5fr 5fr

7fr 7fr

9fr 9fr

12fr12fr

3fr 3fr

5fr 5fr

7fr 7fr

9fr 9fr

12fr12fr

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CHAPTER 9

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BACk In the pentatoniC boxes thE Box positional play and

to break out of the boxes, and in previous chapters Ive begun to show you how to free yourself of the positional scale patterns we call boxes. Yet, the boxes are also invaluable elements in a guitarists knowledge. Most beginner players learn a single minor pentatonic box, wherein the index finger does not need to move. Unfortunately, they do not learn all five pentatonic boxes, or if they do, they do not learn them in the ideal order. So now Im going to discuss positional play and show you all five boxes in the most musically advantageous manner: following the cycle of fourths. Understanding the reasoning behind the development of the boxes can put a guitarist at a great advantage. Compared to other instrumentalists, classical guitarists and other professional guitarists who read sheet music often find themselves at a serious disadvantage because notational music developed with instruments for which there is only one physical place to play each pitch, such as the piano. But the guitar can provide as many as five positions in which the same pitch can be played on different strings. For example, the open high E note can also be played at the fifth fret on the B string, the ninth fret on the G string, the 14th fret on the D string and the 19th fret on the A string. All of the octaves are numbered according to the keyboard, so middle C on a piano is C4, so called because it is the fourth octave above the very first C in the bass register of the instrument. On the guitar, C4 may be played on the first fret on the B string, and the open high E string would be E4. A big challenge for a professional guitarist is deciding where to place the fret hand to play this note because the position you choose might not allow you to play the next group of notes, requiring an abrupt position shift. Just as an advanced typist no longer needs to look at his or her keyboard but only at the text he or she is typing, guitarists who sight-read music need to place their fret hand in a stable position so that they dont have to shift their thumb or wrist while looking at

its EvEry guitarists desire

the music. This is how positional play developed. You assign one fret for each of the four fingers of the fret hand; this gives you a two-and-one-half-octave range across the strings in a single position. In addition, the missing chromatic tones can be reached by either lowering the index finger one fret or by raising the pinkie one fret. This positional stretch allows you to play chromatic tones over a group of six frets from a single position. When you place scales in positional boxes, however, you forfeit the ability

this lesson Will give your entire hand a pretty good Workout.
7fr.

FIGURE 1
m M

m = minor pentatonic root

M = major pentatonic root

3fr.

5fr.
M

m m M

3fr.
M m m

5fr.

7fr.

3fr.
M

5fr.
m

7fr.

m M

3fr.

5fr.
m

7fr.

m M

3fr.
m M

5fr.
M

7fr.

to slide and perform diagonal movements vertically or diagonally up and down the neck. In modern guitar playing there is much more improvisation and less music reading, so positional playing seems like a detriment. But an attentive advancing guitarist will recognize that he or she needs to use multiple maps to understand the fretboard. Just as you have two eyes to recognize depth and you need a crosshair to aim any kind of a weapon, the advancing guitarist sees the positional boxes as well as the diagonal and vertical patterns that move through them. To help you achieve this, Im going to place the positional boxes of the pentatonic scale along a cycle of fourths (FIGURE 1). This allows you to play all five boxes in a single position and to see the patterns that run through them. FIGURE 1 begins with the most well known box and then moves through the other four boxes so that the major and minor tonics move across the neck from string to string in perfect fourths. There are several methods for practicing this drill; the main one is as follows: Place down one finger per fret anywhere along the fretboard. You then run through the first box, which consist of two notes per string, across and back. Then you start on the second box and do the same thing. With the third box you will be beginning with the middle finger but will not change position. This will work until you reach the B and high E strings in the fifth box, which will require a position shift. On the way back across to the low E string you shift back when crossing from the B string to the G. When youre done with the fifth box the last note will be played with the middle finger. You then shift up one fret and replace the middle finger with the index and start over with box number one. This will bring you one fret higher after each five-box circuit, so start low on the neck. I usually begin the exercise in second position and work my way up to 12th. Try it, and pretty soon your entire hand will get a pretty good workout, and your understanding of the five pentatonic boxes will improve dramatically.

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CHAPTER 10
in thE past fEw chapters 12 GUITAR DVD

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MInoR ISSUES patterns emphasizing minor thirds in pentatoniC


practice in the world without grounding in musical theory and ear training leads to an idiotic shredder. You can shred like hell with these concepts, but I want you to apply them thoughtfully and musically. The guitar is not a videogame where the goal is a high score; it is a musical instrument embodying much mystery, majesty and magic. Be sure to transpose and learn these forms in different keys and to view the video portion of this lesson, wherein I demonstrate how useful these patterns can be. You will then be empowered with not only the boxes but also a way out of them at any point. Guitarists are usually like the one-eyed Cyclops, only seeing where their hands happen to be. One needs at least two eyes to develop depth of vision. With the three maps of the pentatonics Ive given you, we will be opening your third eye, hopefully leading to an epiphany of understanding.

a whole step on a different string. (You weve looked at the pentatonic could, if you prefer, substitute the pinscale. Ive shown you the five kie for the ring finger throughout each box patterns in positional pattern.) These forms enable you to play, as well as a method of hammer-on and pull-off minor thirds, using finger slides to play increasing your phrasing and articulatwo whole steps on a single string and tion options with the pentatonic scale. create elongated patterns that move Notice that Ive indicated the minor diagonally across the fretboard, which pentatonic root note in each octave, as takes you completely out of the boxes well as root of the relative major penand greatly extends your melodic range tatonic scale, which in this case is C without any abrupt gaps. In this chapmajor pentatonic (C D E G A). ter Im going to show you two more FIGURE 2 shows another similarly diagonal patterns that will further free useful pair of ascending and descendyou from the boxes and deepen your ing diagonal pentatonic fingering understanding of the pentatonic scale paths. These forms also begin and end and how it lays on the neck. on the A note at the fifth fret on the low To start, you should recall that the E string, but in this case that note is the intervallic formula for the major penfifth of the D minor pentatonic scale (D tatonic scale is: whole step, whole step, F G A C), or the third of the relative F minor third, whole step, minor third, major pentatonic scale (F G A C D). or W-W-m3-W-m3. Notice that as the Remember that theory does a musipattern repeats in successive octaves cian no good unless it is applied to the W-W-m3-W-m3, W-W-m3-W-m3, instrument, and that all the physical etc.the minor thirds are always sur- FIGURE 1 A minor pentatonic scale rounded by whole steps, two on one FIGURE 1 A minor pentatonic scale FIGURE 1 A pattern a) ascendingminor pentatonic scale side and one on the other. The formula ascending 1 A minor pentatonic scale FIGURE pattern a) FIGURE 1 A minor pentatonic scale for the relative minor pentatonic scale 5frascending pattern a) 7fr 9fr 12fr 15fr 5frascending pattern 7fr 9fr 15fr a) ascending pattern 12fr a) is m3-W-W-m3-W. 5fr 7fr 9fr 12fr 15fr 5fr 7fr 7fr 9fr 9fr 12fr 5fr 12fr 15fr 15fr In Chapter 7, I showed you two useful diagonal fingering patterns for the pentatonic scale that can be easily played with only the index and ring fingers. As you recall, each pattern had an = minor pentatonic root note = major pentatonic root note ascending and a descending form that = minor pentatonic root note = major pentatonic root note = minor = minor pentatonic root note major pentatonic root note note pentatonic root note = = major pentatonic root was slightly different, with the ring = minor pentatonic root note = major pentatonic root note finger sliding on the way up and the b) descending pattern b) descending pattern descending pattern 12fr 5fr b) 7fr 9fr 15fr index finger sliding on the way down. b) descending pattern 5fr 7fr 9fr 12fr 15fr b) descending pattern9fr The patterns had you playing every 5fr 5fr7fr 7fr 9fr 12fr 12fr 15fr 15fr 5fr 7fr 9fr 12fr 15fr whole step on a single string, with the minor thirds occurring only when you crossed to the next adjacent string. Now Im going to show you two more diagonal pentatonic patterns that have you fingering each minor third on a FIGURE 2 D minor pentatonic scale FIGURE 2 D minor pentatonic scale FIGURE FIGURE 2 D minor pentatonic scale single stringa span of three fretsand ascending 2 D minor pentatonic scale a) pattern FIGURE 2ascending pattern a) D minor pentatonic scale performing one of the scales whole a) ascending pattern a) ascending pattern 5fr 7fr 9fr 12fr 15fr 5fr 12fr 12fr 15fr 15fr steps with a finger slide and the other a) ascending pattern 9fr 5fr 7fr 7fr 9fr 5fr 7fr 9fr 12fr 15fr two by crossing to the next string. 5fr 7fr 9fr 12fr 15fr FIGURE 1 presents ascending and descending fingering paths for a very useful pattern, applied here to the A minor pentatonic scale (A C D E G), starting with the index finger on the A = minor = minor pentatonic root note major pentatonic root note note pentatonic root note = = major pentatonic root = minor pentatonic root note = major pentatonic root note root note at the fifth fret on the low E = minor pentatonic root note = major pentatonic root note = minor pentatonic root note string. Each path consists of an initial b) descending pattern b) descending pattern b) descending pattern = major pentatonic root note five-note shape thats played on two b) descending 7fr 9fr 9fr pattern 5fr 12fr 12fr 15fr 15fr 5fr 7fr 5fr 7fr 9fr 12fr 15fr strings and then repeated on other b) descending pattern 5fr 7fr 9fr 12fr 15fr string pairs in different octaves. Notice 5fr 7fr 9fr 12fr 15fr that, when ascending, the ring finger slides up a whole step, and when descending, the index finger slides down

these tWo patterns Will free you from the boxes and deepen your insight into the pentatonic scale.

1st octave 1st octave 1st octave 1st octave 1st octave

5 5  5  5  

8 8 3 8 3 5 8 3  3

7 10 7 10 7 3  10 10 3  7 8 10 3 3 3 3 

2nd octave 2nd octave 2nd octave 2nd octave 2nd octave 9 12 7 10 12 9 12 7 10 12 9 12 10 10 12 7 10 12 9 9 12 7 10 12 10 7 3 3 73 10  10 12  3 3  3 3  3 10 3 3   3 3 3 3   3 3 3  3 3  3

3rd octave 3rd octave 3rd octave 10 13 15 3rd octave 3rd octave 10 13 15 10 13 15 10 13 15 10 13 15     3 3 33 3 3 3 33 3

12 12 12 12 12
    

15 15 15 15 15
3 3 3 3 3

2nd octave 3rd octave 2nd octave 3rd octave 15 12 octave 2nd octave 2nd octave 3rd 3rd 10 octave 15 12 10 13 10 2nd 9 7 3rd15 12 10 10 12 octave octave 13 15 12 10 10 12 9 7 15 12 10 13 13 10 12 129 9 7 7 10 7 10 7 13 10 10 7 12 9 7 10 7 3   10  3 7 3   3  3   3  3   3    3 3  3 3  3 3     3 3   3   3  3   3 

1st octave 1st octave 1st octave 1st octave 1st octave

10 10 10 10 3 3 10 33 3

7 7 77   7  

5 5 5 5   5  

8 8 3 8 8 3 3 8 3 3

5 5  5 5   5  

1st octave 1st octave 1st octave 1st octave 1st octave

5 5  5  5  

5 8 3 8  3

8 3 3

5 58 85 8  3 3 3 5 8
  3 3

2nd octave 2nd octave 2nd octave 2nd octave 2nd octave 7 7 10 7 7 7 7 1010 7 10 810 10 7 10 7 10 7 3 3  10  310 3   3 3   3 3  3  3  3 

10 12 10 12 10 12 10 12 10 12 3 3 33 3 3 3 3 3 3

3rd octave 3rd octave 3rd octave 10 3rd octave 10 10 13 10 3rd 13 10 10 octave 10 13 10 13 10 10 13     33 3 3 3     

13 13 13 13 13
3 3 3 3 3

3rd 3rd octave octave 2nd octave 2nd octave 3rd octave 2nd octave 13 13 10 3rd 10 13 octave 13 102nd octave 10 13 10 8 8 3rd 10 13 10 2nd octave 7 8 1010 7 13 octave 10 7 10 13 10 13 10 8 10 7 10 10 13 10 8 10 7 10 3 3 3  3 3     3 3   103  3  3  3 3   3  3  3 3   3  3  3 3 

1st octave 1st octave 1st octave 1st octave 1st octave 7 7 55 7 5 88 55 8 5 7 5 8 5  3 3 33  7  5  3 3  8 5  3 3   3 3 

8 8 8 3 3 8 3 8 3 3

5 5 5   5  5  

CHAPTER 11
we have been concentrating on the pentatonic scale. Ive shown you the five boxes in positional play, how to get out of them by using whole steps in a diagonal pattern, and diagonal movements that emphasize the minor thirds. Ill now demonstrate how to develop and integrate these three methods simultaneously. I like to think of them as maps that become evident once you open your third eye and see the connections that exist between them. Once you see them, they will forever release you from feeling hemmedin by the pentatonic boxes. First, lets review the intervallic formula for the major pentatonic scale: W-W-m3-W-m3. The formula for its relative minor pentatonic scale is m3-W-W-m3-W. You will recall that in each case the formula follows this order on any string or combination of strings, and it repeats ad infinitum in higher and lower octavesor until you run out of frets or strings. Whereas the major scale is a combination of whole steps and half steps, the pentatonic scale is a combination of whole steps and minor thirds. The minor thirds are always surrounded by whole steps: one on one side and two on the other. The pentatonic positional boxes consist of whole steps and minor thirds, and playing them requires that you make fingering changes as you move across the strings. In the first box, shown in FIGURE 1 in the key of A major and its relative minor, Fs minor, we begin with a minor third, followed by whole steps on the next three strings and minor thirds on the next two. Some of the intervals are invisible because they exist between two sequential notes on adjacent strings. The diagonal movements, which I call trees, move through the boxes and allow you to use one fingering pattern to work your way up and across the neck. Diagonal movements are useful when a movement to the neighboring string would require a change of fingering pattern. To use them, slide up one whole step on the string youre playing and continue your fingering pattern over the next two strings. When you encounter another fingering change, simply repeat this formula, as demonstrated in FIGURE 2. Note that in the boxes there are never more than two adjacent minor thirds,
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opEnInG yoUR the boxes thIRd EyE three maps for moving in and out of
but sometimes there are three adjacent strings with whole steps on them. This means that the lowest-pitched string with whole steps on it would slide down a whole step to move into a diagonal pattern, and the third, or highest, string with a whole-step movement on it would move up by a whole step so that you can move into the continuous diagonal pattern showing the whole steps. A third map is created by looking at all the possible vertical and horizontal movementsvertical meaning up and down on any single string, and horizontal meaning across the strings in positionthat exist in any of the boxed structures. We know that a minor third will always have a whole step above and below it, but a whole step might have a whole step or minor third above it, or a minor third on both sides of it, or a minor third below it and a whole step above it. Those are the only possibilities. Now you should be able to find your way in or out of any box, either diagonally or vertically. When you know both diagonal patternswhole steps and minor third diagonalsand also the five boxes, you have three maps, or eyes, which operate simultaneously. Then you can play in any box and leave it at any time, or play diagonal movement patterns and enter a new box at any time. If you follow this logic you will be free of the boxes forever, but also have them at your command. It is practically miraculous, and youll never play another wrong note no matter which route you take through the scale. FIGURE 3 is an example of one of many ways to freely move about the neck using this concept in the key of Fs minor or A major. Notice that I use both whole-step and minor third diagonal trees, sliding with the pinkie or ring finger when ascending and the index finger when descending, and also run across several boxes.

these maps Will free you from being hemmed in by the boxes.

CHAPTER 12
in prEvious chaptErs 14 GUITAR DVD

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thE hExAtonIC BLUES SCALES


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equal-tempered f5 and slightly flatwe looked at the major ter than the equal-tempered f7. minor root major root root 3 5 major root indicates tritone interval 5 pentatonic scale, which But back to the business at minor 3 is derived from the major hand. Im not going to bother FIGURE 1 G minor/B major blues hexatonic box FIGURE 2 G major/E minor blues hexa scale by removing the showing you diagrams of all five FIGURE 15fr minor/B major9fr G blues hexatonic box 3fr 7fr 3fr 5fr 7fr FIGU tritone intervalthat is, pentatonic and hexatonic boxes; if 3fr 5fr 7fr 9fr 3fr by removing from the major scale you want to see them, go to www. the fourth and seventh tones or derichardlloyd.com/lessons/index. grees, yielding a scale thats spelled htm and look up the lesson called 1 2 3 5 6. Reorienting and renumThe Pentatonic Prayer Wheel. In bering the scale using the sixth this last chapter, Im going to show degree as the root, or tonic, yields you one box and then concentrate the relative minor pentatonic scale, on the diagonal fretboard patterns minor root major root 3 5 indicates tritone interval FIGURE spelled 1 f3 4 5 f7 (or 1 m3 4 5 m7). that emphasize the whole FIGURE 3 G major blues hexatonic with 3 omitted steps, minor root major root4 G major blues hexatonic wit 3 5 3fr 5fr 7fr 9fr 12fr 3fr 5fr 7fr The pentatonic scales solve with the minor thirds occurring FIGURE 1 G inherent major blues hexatonic box FIGURE 2 G major/E minor blues hexatonic tree many of the problemsminor/B in between two sequential notes on FIGURE 1 G minor/B major blues hexatonicomitted 12fr box FIGU FIGURE 3 G major blues hexatonic with 9fr 3 FIGU 3fr 5fr 7fr 9fr 3fr 5fr 7fr the major scale and its modes by adjacent strings. 3fr 5fr 7fr 9fr 12fr 3fr 3fr 5fr 7fr 9fr 3fr removing the two half steps and FIGURE 1 illustrates the most the tritone. Both the major and widely known box, with the added minor modes of the pentatonic hexatonic tone, and FIGURE 2 descale are elegant and probably acpicts the diagonal tree pattern count for 80% of the content of containing the extra note. lead guitarists solos. Yet they are In previous chapters, I showed also kind of boring in that they are you how you can maintain the like a party where all the invitees root same fingering pattern as you as- 3 5 minor major root indicates tritone interval are gracious and mild-mannered. cend the fretboard by sliding a finA clever host will make certain to hexatonic with whole step on the string ger up one 3 omitted FIGURE 3 G major blues FIGURE 4 G major blues hexatonic with 2 omitted FIGURE 1 G minor/B 2 major/E minor blues hexatonic omitted FIGURE 3 G major blues hexatonic with 9fr tree 3 FIGU invite at least one rogue,5fr keepmajor blues hexatonic box to youre playing and continuing the 3fr 7fr 9fr 12fr 3fr 5fr 7fr 12fr 3fr 5fr 7fr 9fr 3fr 5fr 7fr 9fr 12fr 3fr 5fr 7fr 9fr 12fr 3fr things interesting. fingering pattern over the next two Thats the same thing that were strings. To play FIGURE 2 in this lesabout to do with the two relative son, instead of sliding, I want you pentatonic scales. Were going to to use all four fingers to play the accomplish this introduction of first four notes on the low E string, mischief by adding a single note, beginning with the index finger. To which to the major pentatonic play the two notes on the A string, scale is the flatted, or minor, third bring up the index finger and use (f3) and to the minor pentatonic it and the ring finger. Then, start scale the flatted, or diminished, the whole pattern over again one FIGURE 3 us a hexatonic, FIGURE 4 G major blues hexatonic with 2 omitted fifth (f5). This givesG major blues hexatonic with two frets higher on the octave and 3 omitted or six-note, scale. The serendipiD play 3fr 5fr 7fr string. You will be able to 12fr 9fr 3fr 5fr 7fr 9fr 12fr tous fact is that both of these tones three octaves before you run out are in the same placeit just deof strings. pends upon whether you consider Now Im going to show you two the pentatonic major or minor. The other interesting and useful scale added note reintroduces a tritone patterns that you can practice interval to the pentatonic scale, in alternation with one another. formed between degrees 6 and f3 Recall that when constructing the in major hexatonic and between 1 minor pentatonic from the major and f5 in the minor hexatonic. scale, we used the f3 to replace You may recognize these scales both 2 and 3 and f7 to replace both as the major and minor blues 6 and 7. Now, using FIGURE 2 as a scales. In Western music theory, template, we can similarly sculpt a the blue notes are considered to couple of interestingly contoured be the f3, f5 and f7. In actuality, the five-note scales from the major blue notes are microtonalthey hexatonic: one will contain the 2 fall in between the equal-tempered and the f3 and omit the 3 (FIGURE tones and can only be played on a 3); the other will leave out the standard guitar by bending strings 2 and contain the both f3 and 3 or playing with a slide or whammy (FIGURE 4) bar. In their true location, the blue Good luck, practice heavy, ananotes can be found between the f3 lyze and utilize. From your friend, and the 3, slightly sharper than the the Alchemical Guitarist.