Sight Reading Guitar Music PART 2: Faster way for frustrated Guitarists:

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Sight Reading Guitar Music: Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 2

PLEASE: WATCH VIDEO AS IT WILL EXPLAIN AND DEMONSTRATE THE CONCEPT IN GREATER DETAIL.

In this 2nd part of sight reading made easier at the guitar we will employ octaves. This will reinforce our familiarity with the notes in the 5th position, frets 1 to 8. This way we can assure ourselves that our fingers will know where to go when seeing the notes on music manuscript paper. This is essential so that we can just fret the notes without having to look at the finger board and decide which finger to use.

Example 1: C to C octave. Close your eyes and visualise this as you pretend to finger those notes on the guitar fretboard:

Feel the 4th finger to the 1st finger

Sight Reading Guitar Music: Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 2

Now do the same, but, see it in music notation: C to C octave, Feel the fingering as if you are actually touching the guitar strings and say the names of the notes to yourself.

4th finger to the 1st finger

Sight Reading Guitar Music: Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 2

As you do this you will familiarise your mind, fingers and sight with where to fret.

Now let’s do the same with the other simple octaves from the A minor pentatonic scale.

4th finger to the 1st finger

Sight Reading Guitar Music: Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 2

NOW: 3rd finger to 1st finger

Sight Reading Guitar Music: Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 2

3rd finger to 1st finger

Sight Reading Guitar Music: Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 2

The octaves in 5th position. Frets 1 to 8

Sight Reading Guitar Music: Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 2

The octaves give concrete knowledge of the notes in this 5th position and which fingers to use. This way we can read the music and not panic or fuss about looking for the notes or which fingers to employ. For example when we see a note of D

Sight Reading Guitar Music: Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 2

We can be assured that all we need to do is fret with the “First finger” on the 5th fret of the 5th string.

Or up an octave=”3rd finger ” 4th string 7th fret

Sight Reading Guitar Music: Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 2

In the next part we will look at 4ths, 5ths and arpeggio shapes in this position.

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Alternate Picking Arpeggios Guitar [One note per string]John Mclaughlin

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Please watch video the for the John Mclaughlin fingering etc. I start all of these arpeggios on a down stroke with strict alternate picking for rhythmic precision. I am counting in 16ths 1 e and a etc. Most of the arpeggios are one note per string.

Example 1: John Mclaughlin D major 7th arpeggio.

John Mclaughlin D major 7th Alternate Picking Arpeggios Guitar [One note per string]

Example 2: Adding Lydian [and 9th and 13th] to John Mclaughlin’s D Major 7th alternate picking arpeggio

John Mclaughlin Alternate Picking Arpeggios Guitar [One note per string]

Example 3: Starting Arpeggio with Pentatonic John Mclaughlin style

Alternate Picking Arpeggios Guitar John Mclaughlin [One note per string]

Example 4: Pentatonic to Lydian John Mclaughlin guitar style

Alternate Picking Arpeggios John Mclaughlin Guitar [One note per string]

Example 5: Descending Arpeggio with simple John Mclaughlin fingering counting 1 e and a etc.

John Mclaughlin Alternate Picking Arpeggios Guitar [One note per string]

Example 6: Extension

Alternate Picking Arpeggios Guitar [One note per string]

Example 7: Variation

Alternate Picking Arpeggios Guitar [One note per string]

Example 8: Simple fingering descending concept.

Alternate Picking Arpeggios Guitar [One note per string]

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Alternate Picking 16th’s Mclaughlin/Coltrane jazz/fusionguitar “Tetrachord” Style.

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Alternate Picking 16hts Mclaughlin/Coltrane jazz/fusionguitar “Tetrachord” Style

In this final part of alternate picking guitar techniques for jazz fusion improvisation. We again look at the style of John Mclaughlin in order to play through the changes with 4 groups of 4, or 4 tetrachords per bar.

Alternate Picking 16ths Mclaughlin/Coltrane jazz/fusionguitar “Tetrachord” Style

Alternate picking tetrachords all start on a downstroke.

Alternate Picking 16ths Mclaughlin/Coltrane jazz/fusionguitar “Tetrachord” Style

First 4 note grouping[1st Tetrachord]:

Alternate Picking 4x4 Groupings Mclaughlin/Coltrane guitar "Tetrachord" Style
Alternate Picking 16ths Mclaughlin/Coltrane jazz/fusionguitar “Tetrachord” Style

Second 4 note grouping [2 Tetrachords]

Alternate Picking 4x4 Groupings Mclaughlin/Coltrane guitar "Tetrachord" Style
Alternate Picking 16ths Mclaughlin/Coltrane jazz/fusionguitar “Tetrachord” Style

Third 4 note grouping of 16ths alternate picking [3 Tetrachords]

Alternate Picking 4x4 Groupings Mclaughlin/Coltrane guitar "Tetrachord" Style
Alternate Picking 16hts Mclaughlin/Coltrane jazz/fusionguitar “Tetrachord” Style

Finally, 4 groups of 4 [or 4 Tetrachords].

Alternate Picking 4x4 Groupings Mclaughlin/Coltrane guitar "Tetrachord" Style
Alternate Picking 16ths Mclaughlin/Coltrane jazz/fusionguitar “Tetrachord” Style

We can now apply this to playing through complex chord changes at a fast tempo. In the example below we will take John Coltrane’s “Countdown” and play one chord per beat as an example for setting up these 4 x 4 note groupings [Tetrachords]for quick rapid improvisation at a super fast tempo.

Alternate Picking 4x4 Groupings Mclaughlin/Coltrane guitar "Tetrachord" Style
Alternate Picking 16ths Mclaughlin/Coltrane jazz/fusionguitar “Tetrachord” Style

Simple 4 note tetrachord pattern for reference:

Alternate Picking 16hts Mclaughlin/Coltrane jazz/fusionguitar “Tetrachord” Style

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Alternate Picking 16ths Mclaughlin/Coltrane jazz/fusionguitar “Tetrachord” Style

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Messiaen, Fripp, Mclaughlin, Schoenberg, 21st century harmonic concepts

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DETAILED ANALYSIS IN THE VIDEO BELOW:

Messiaen, Fripp, Mclaughlin, Schoenberg, 21st century harmonic concepts

In this blog we will look at improvising over one chord. This will be D minor [D Dorian].

Messiaen, Fripp, Mclaughlin, Schoenberg, 21st century harmonic concepts

The key is to use chromaticism, tertian harmony, superimposition and outside harmonic content in order to create interesting improvised lines and move away from the cliches of scales and modes to create originality.

For example:

Messiaen, Fripp, Mclaughlin, Schoenberg, 21st century harmonic concepts

The key for smoothness is to be aware of where the 1/2 steps [Semitones]are in the “Connections”.

If we look below we can see where the 1/2 steps connect and how to play off of the tonic note with this. In this case we play off of the tonic D note resolving straight into the Eb note for Eb melodic minor. We can then resolve down a half step to C#m and back down into D Dorian

Messiaen, Fripp, Mclaughlin, Schoenberg, 21st century harmonic concepts
Fripp ,Brecker, Mclaughlin chromatic Improvising method for jazz fusion improvisation
Chromatic jazz improvisation Brecker, Mclaughlin and creative Fripp improvising concepts

So as you can see it is easy to weave in and out of the harmony and get back to D Dorian via the 1/2 step.

Fripp ,Brecker, Mclaughlin chromatic Improvising method for jazz fusion improvisation

Below is a line that beautifully weaves in and out of D minor

Messiaen, Fripp, Mclaughlin, Schoenberg, 21st century harmonic concepts

In this next example we will use tertian harmony and exploit superimposition. We will employ D melodic minor and and keep extending via C melodic minor.

Fripp ,Brecker, Mclaughlin chromatic Improvising method for jazz fusion improvisation

Now we will extend the whole line:

Fripp ,Brecker, Mclaughlin chromatic Improvising method for jazz fusion improvisation

As another idea, there are still useful concepts like “Target Tones”. These can be manipulated without resorting to cliches.

Fripp ,Brecker, Mclaughlin chromatic Improvising method for jazz fusion improvisation

Lastly we will exploit the use flat 5 concepts. In this case there is an Abmaj7/D and a Cmaj7/F# with which we can be creative.

Fripp ,Brecker, Mclaughlin chromatic Improvising method for jazz fusion improvisation

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Blue in Green Jazz fusion Backing track and Chart

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Blue in Green Jazz fusion Backing track and Chart [Miles Davis/BillEvans

Improvisation chart for Blue in Green by Miles Davis and Bill Evans. Backing track is 63 beats per minute and in a jazz fusion smooth style.

Blue in Green Jazz fusion Backing track and Chart [Miles Davis/BillEvans

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Guitar Sight Reading : Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 1

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Guitar Sight Reading : Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 1

PLEASE WATCH VIDEO AS IT WILL REALLY HELP:

Many guitar players find learning sight reading at the guitar laborious, boring and intolerable! The reason being that many guitar players don’t have a grasp of the notes on the fingerboard.

But, many wish to go to music school or do studio work or tour with famous artists. The need to sight read music suddenly becomes very apparent and essential in order to reach the required standard.

The question is always the same. Is there something that I am already familiar with that will help me speed up the process?

Luckily the answer is a big resounding YES!

The one thing most guitar players do know very well is the A minor pentatonic scale. This gives you many of the notes of the 5th position. Not only that but you will know the fingering like the back of your hand.

Guitar Sight Reading : Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 1

The next thing is to move away from the actual guitar and see, hear and feel the notes in your mind and see the notes on the guitar fingerboard and how the look in music notation.

Guitar Sight Reading : Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 1

For instance how to does the note A on the 1st string 5th fret look,

Guitar Sight Reading : Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 1

How does the note C on the 1st string 8th fret look in music notation

Guitar Sight Reading : Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 1

When visualising also “Feel” it in your fingertips and your whole hand,

Guitar Sight Reading : Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 1

Now “Fill in” all the rest of the notes in 5th position from frets 5 to 8.

Guitar Sight Reading : Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 1

Now visualise them by moving up or down in semitones going across all the 6 strings from the 5th position frets 5 to 8.

For Instance: 1st string=C B B flat A. 2nd string= G F sharp F natural E etc as we see in the notation below.

Guitar Sight Reading : Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 1

Now apply this to all six string of the guitar.

Guitar Sight Reading : Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 1

One more thing to realise is that the notes on the 1st string are the same as the notes on the 6th string but in a different octave. This in turn cuts down the amount of notes you need to learn.

Guitar Sight Reading : Faster way for frustrated Guitarists: Part 1

This is just part 1 of this method, but it is a simple way to get started because you will already have a firm grasp of this scale and position on the guitar. Once you fill it out with the rest of the notes you will start to see patterns, arpeggios, 4ths and one 3rd [Guitar’s Tuning] and most obviously and importantly octaves as they will connect the other positions for you as you progress.

As you become aware of all of this sight reading at the guitar doesn’t seem so daunting and it all starts to make a lot more sens.

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