Music Theory Modern Jazz Improvisation and 20th Century Classic lessons, explanations in notation, tablature and video
Category: Jazz fusion guitar music theory lessons, guitar technique and improvisation.
How to improvise over altered dominant chords. How to employ chromatic jazz and fusion harmony. Apply twentieth century classical composition techniques to modern jazz music and improv. How to exploit modes of the major. minor and diminished scales. Lesson in alternate picking guitar techniques as used by John Mclaughlin and Al di Meola. How to do metal rock and all styles of alternate picking on the guitar. Plectrum pick technique for electric and acoustic guitarists. alternate guitar style of picking lessons.
Please watch the video below for the full demonstration of how to employ the basics and true mechanics of the strict “Alternate Picking” right hand guitar technique.
Open string exercise. Pluck “Down up” repetitively alternating strictly with the guitar pick. The plucking comes from the wrist. Also, do this exercise the other way with, “Up Down” alternating with the guitar plectrum. This is the basis of strict alternate picking right hand guitar technique.
With “Odd” groupings of notes notice that every time you pluck the pattern again you will be starting on a different picking stroke than you started with previously. So, “Down up down” will then become “Up down up”.
Exercise: “Odd” grouping crossing 2 strings on the guitar. Again, notice the reversal of the pattern
3 notes per string “Odd” pattern crossing all 6 guitar strings alternate picking strictly starting on a down stroke with the guitar pick. [Ascending and Descending].
“Even” grouping: Crossing all 6 strings ascending and descending employing strict alternate picking right hand guitar technique.
Final exercise: “Odd” pattern/grouping repeated.
IMPORTANT: This now becomes an “Even” pattern because it has been “Doubled”.
3 = odd But 2×3=6 which is now Even.
Meaning, that the two “Odd” patterns form one “Even” pattern which means that every time you cross the strings you will be “Repeating” the same strokes and not starting on a different one.
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Matteo Mancuso’s guitar style is a mixture of Classical and the Jazz style of Wes Montgomery. I would look at it as more of a mixture of Flamenco “Picado” and a Bass 2 finger plucking concept though.
The main reason that guitar players may find this brilliant way of playing the guitar a bit confusing is that when it comes to “Jazz” or Improvisation you will need to be aware of “Odd and Even” patterns due to the “Chromaticism” inherent in the jazz line.
Fingerstyle Consideration 1:
Notice that every time you cross the strings playing in groups of 3 notes you will cross with a different finger in the right plucking hand. This is because you are dealing with an ODD Pattern. So the pattern in the plucking hand will be: 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 etc.
With “Even groupings” of 4 notes you will cross with the same finger in the right plucking hand every time.
A good example is to think of it this way when beginning. Groupings of 3 as your Triplets
Groupings of 4 as your Jazz time or Double timed line.
Mixing up the rhythmic groupings: Notice the group of 3 [Triplets] and Group of 4 [8th notes]
The next step is to use “Target Tones” [or Enclosure/Approach notes]. Notice that the first set starts “ON” the beat, employing even 4 note grouping.
The next concept is to employ “Target Tones” “OFF”- the beat.
You may also find “Even” note chromaticism mixed with Arpeggios.
Lastly: a simple 1 string exercise demonstrating how to manipulate scales with the two plucking fingers from the right hand.
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Hi guys, I hope you enjoyed my two stories about why I like to use the plectrum and why I do alternate picking. If you did then please click the link below and Subscribe to our youtube channel, Thanks.
In the video above I look at how I write 20th century classical atonal music at the piano. Although this video touches on the basics it does point out the essential compositional elements and emotional make up needed for successful atonal compositions. Regardless of the atonal style which could be, 12 tone serial music, Messiaen modes or Boulez atonality, for the composer/writer the building blocks and perception remain the same.
This lick requires a bit of patience because the fingering is quite finickety due to the un- guitarist nature of the quartal set up, pentatonics and the nature of the intervals and their positioning on the guitar fingerboard.
McCoy Tyner Piano Lick employing alternate guitar picking for rhythmic fluency.
Chords for the lick: 1st Part.
Guitar Chord Shape for 1st part
Chords for the lick: 2nd Part.
Chord Shape for 2nd Part.
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