The Rea George Guitar Chronicle

ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 119Member
edited December 2017 in Personal Diaries
OK... So...

I was thinking that my practice may benefit from some accountability(? I think that't the word I'm looking for).

Since we have a "Diaries" section here it seemed like an invitation :P

Some motivation to have something to show for my practice rather than being drawn into noodling as I'm sure is all too easy for many of us.

Today I continued to work on my arpeggios by beginning to practice them scalularly, the more I study the more I realise how much can be done with just one scale and just how much Music there is to learn. My teacher always used to say how long it takes to truly learn a scale, I probably thought I had an idea what he was talking about but in hindsight I most certainly did not as I continue to discover.

I've just about got my C major diatonic 7th arpeggios down in second position, only six more to go :P




So there we are, hopefully the first of many more posts to come in this thread if you will have me :P
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Comments

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,116Member
    Liking that Rea - I've practised in a very similar way, and agree it takes a lot of work to get this stuff to the point where it becomes use-able and natural-sounding in a real, music-making situation. I've had a similar journey with the melodic (aka jazz) minor and modes thereof as well. In defense of "noodling" - I do find it has real value, if one is focused on using it to find nice-sounding lines to use when improvising. The scales and arps, for me, are a necessary foundation, but then I need to turn them into something more musical/personal - I spend time noodling as one way to do this. And then apply the stuff over actual tunes, that helps. Of course you know all this, and not trying to teach you to suck eggs, or condescend (far be it from me) just chatting!

    If you've 6 more positions to look at, then I gather you use a 7 position approach? I tend to myself, but there is that "CAGED" 5 position thing that a lot of guitarists use, and I use those kind of fingerings with position shifts too - it's possible to incorporate both into an overall way of viewing things. The further I've gone, the more I realise that in the end it all amounts to the same thing really. And again just chatting!

    Very good to have a Rea George diary on here anyhow, and of course you're very welcome on here. As you must realise, this is a somewhat smaller-scale forum than some out there, but glad you've stuck around mate! :)
  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 119Member
    Thank you @Megi I appreciate your response and confirmation that this thread is welcome, I wasn't quite sure since to be honest my reasons for starting it are basically selfish :P but hopefully some interesting discussion and entertainment will come from it for others as well.

    I like this forum for the very fact that it is smaller and close knit, gives the feeling of talking to friends compared to the rest of the internet, I can't imagine I would try starting a thread like this anywhere else.
    Megi said:

    In defense of "noodling" - I do find it has real value, if one is focused on using it to find nice-sounding lines to use when improvising...

    I agree, zero stress improvisation in order to explore using material you've learnt, kind of thing is completely necessary in order to progress I would imagine. But the kind of noodling I'm taking about is a bit more absent minding. I'll often sit down start practicing get a bit tired of concentration maybe, then wonder off in my playing and my thoughts, my fingers will be wondering around on the the guitar and my mind will be thinking about what to make for dinner. Im not saying there's anything inherently wrong with this but I don't think it is at all productive if it keeps taking over my practice time.
    Megi said:

    If you've 6 more positions to look at, then I gather you use a 7 position approach? I tend to myself, but there is that "CAGED" 5 position thing that a lot of guitarists use, and I use those kind of fingerings with position shifts too - it's possible to incorporate both into an overall way of viewing things. The further I've gone, the more I realise that in the end it all amounts to the same thing really. And again just chatting!

    I guess I was taught from the 7 position approach, (my teacher was a Session/Jazz musician) I did look into the CAGED system at one point and concluded myself that the way I was taught was better, but I also agree with you learning things from more than one angle is potentially going to give you a more rounded view. I have been meaning to look into the CAGED system more closely it just hasn't been a priority, especially with the sheer amount I still wish to learn.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,090Member
    Aaaaargh !

    Scales.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,314Member
    Megi said:

    I've had a similar journey with the melodic (aka jazz) minor and modes thereof as well. In defense of "noodling" - I do find it has real value, if one is focused on using it to find nice-sounding lines to use when improvising. The scales and arps, for me, are a necessary foundation, but then I need to turn them into something more musical/personal - I spend time noodling as one way to do this.

    I'm with you on that Graham. I would defend "noodling" too.

    Partly because for me noodling is easy to do with only 3 left hand fingers usable on the fretboard. It makes the sort of scale practice you did so well in the video there Rea rather tricky! I was watching that little finger of yours doing all that stretching and fretting perfect notes and got quite envious!

    Noodling on new or less common scales like Byzantine, particularly in some sort of open tuning where open strings can be key scale notes, is rather fun as well as good practice for putting things together musically.

    Picking up your point on absent minded noodling Rea. Noodling is certainly best when it is done in a focussed way and you listen keenly to what is going on and how it sounds - if that focus isn't there it just tends to only be some time passes by to no effect. Might be a pleasant time but not that constructive.

    I'm not sure at what point the line is crossed between noodling and improvisation, or how much the two terms are interchangeable. Shame that language is so often imprecise!
  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 119Member
    Mark P said:

    Noodling on new or less common scales like Byzantine...

    Interesting you mention the Byzantine scale, I had someone ask me about that the other day, honestly I don't know much about it, they also mentioned the Hirajoshi scale and Persian Scale. I'll have to look into them.
    Mark P said:

    I'm not sure at what point the line is crossed between noodling and improvisation, or how much the two terms are interchangeable. Shame that language is so often imprecise!

    I made a somewhat similar comment in Megi's thread about language used to discuss music, it can be quite frustrating :P
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,314Member
    Frustrating indeed!

    I find that the Byzantine has some similarities in its overall feel as Phrygian, but the notes in the scale appear in sets of small clusters.
    In the key of E ...... Eb, E, F, G#, A, B, C

    Here's an acoustic guitar "noodle" or should I say "improv" from shortly after I started exploring the Byzantine scale. Guitar tuned in DADGAD - my usual this last year.

    https://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13543281
    The way I've played it does seem to be quite Phrygian in nature.

    I haven't tried Hirajoshi or Persian scale. Persian looks intriguingly similar to Byzantine.
    Eb, E, F, G#, A, Bb, C. The same except the B replaced with a Bb.
    Hirajoshi at a glance looks more related to Aeolian.

    I must try and explore these two when I get the chance.

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,116Member
    There is a fascinating world of exotic scales out there! As Rea has said though, getting mastery of the sounds from just one can entail a lot of effort. I wish I had the time to properly look into things like the Byzantine, or indeed the Hirajoshi - love the names!

    Speaking as a jazzer, there are 3 "parent" scales (i.e. also some of their modes are valuable) that I've found to be key (for me) - major, melodic minor (also called the "jazz minor" - classical people would say it's just the ascending melodic minor notes), and also the half step-whole step diminished scale. And then I suppose I have to include the minor pentatonic and related blues scale - actually, like a lot of guitarists, that was the first scale I looked at, but it would be very foolish to ignore jazz's links with blues.

    If I ever get time, then maybe the whole-step scale will be studied properly, also the harmonic minor and some modes thereof, perhaps. They are all, for me, just suggested note combinations (beyond that, it's up to you) and using the in-between notes is still allowed. And there's only 12 notes anyhow, which is a comfort. :)
  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 119Member
    Mark P said:

    Here's an acoustic guitar "noodle" or should I say "improv" from shortly after I started exploring the Byzantine scale. Guitar tuned in DADGAD - my usual this last year.

    https://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13543281
    The way I've played it does seem to be quite Phrygian in nature.

    Sounds nice, exotic, relaxed.
    Megi said:

    Speaking as a jazzer, there are 3 "parent" scales (i.e. also some of their modes are valuable) that I've found to be key (for me) - major, melodic minor (also called the "jazz minor" - classical people would say it's just the ascending melodic minor notes), and also the half step-whole step diminished scale. And then I suppose I have to include the minor pentatonic and related blues scale - actually, like a lot of guitarists, that was the first scale I looked at, but it would be very foolish to ignore jazz's links with blues.

    If I ever get time, then maybe the whole-step scale will be studied properly, also the harmonic minor and some modes thereof, perhaps. They are all, for me, just suggested note combinations (beyond that, it's up to you) and using the in-between notes is still allowed. And there's only 12 notes anyhow, which is a comfort. :)

    Yes in the west the Major, Harmonic, Melodic, Diminished, Whole Tone and their modes would cover most things. I see the Pentatonic scales as coming from major as there are 3 different major and minor pentatonics diatonic to any major key.

    But as you say they are in fact all contained within the "Chromatic Scale" :P

    My teacher used to say when he played with others of his calibre they would joke that if you ever get lost just use the chromatic scale!

    In the end, at least for myself, I strive to be able to just play as my ear wants me to over any musical situation, the theory and scales help train the ear and fingers to get to that point. There are chord progressions that I have no chance of playing over without studying, and combinations of notes (scale applications) that my minds ear would not dream up, but sound amazing when I hear them used, so I need to study the scales and applications start hearing them for myself.

    I think it's the same experience for most musicians and allot of them have said it in one way or another, I shall quote Charlie Parker in this instance:

    "You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail."
  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 119Member
    This weeks update, still going with my arpeggio exercise, up to about form five now just the two more to get down, then probably work on speeding it up and mixing up the pattern.

    As well as that since I recently uploaded a video on learning arpeggios, I thought I should put some examples together, so I started playing some chords and went about writing some arpeggio licks over the top. I don't imagine what I came up with would necessarily be played like this one lick after, but I think they give an idea of what that arpeggio movement might sound like.

    What do you think?





    Maybe I should try a different progression?

    Do you know of any famous arpeggio licks, or just some good examples of their use?
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,116Member
    Tricky one - if I start playing over a progression, generally there will be some arpeggio-derived stuff in there, which I guess are lines that I've developed over time - I'd have to do a video myself to demo that, which isn't happening (I'm not as photogenic as you :D ). I think for me, they are most effective when mixed in with all the other stuff - more stepwise and chromatic movement, bluesy things, etc. and the goal is to get it all happening in a natural way. There is the thing where you can superimpose arpeggios over chords without the same root, and some cool sounds to be had that way...? Just for e.g. say an E minor 7 arp over an Am7 chord.
  • onemanbandonemanband Posts: 91Member
    I mostly use the chords C, F, & G and occasionally throw in an Am if I really want to show off!
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,314Member
    Sounds like musical examples of using arpeggios on the video.

    Louis was certainly a very interested observer in what you were playing! :smile:
  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 119Member
    So I haven't been so good at keeping my little log going here.... but I shall endeavour to do better...

    For some time now I've wanted to get a Semi-Hollow and over the past month I started seriously looking, I tried all the 335 type guitars I could find around the shops here in Dublin, there was one guitar that stood out to me a 1991 Nashville Custom shop 335 but it still wasn't what I was looking for.

    I just love the sound of mini humbuckers and that's what I wanted in my 335, I discovered from one of the shops assistants that such a thing did exist the only problem was they were only made for the Japanese market. I didn't give up though and started searching Japanese stores that might be willing to do business with me, after a few emails in broken english and a nerve-racking week of waiting and dealing with a customs broker I am now very proud to say I am the new owner of a Limited Edition Reissue of a Custom 1966 Epiphone Riviera!

    image

    I am absolutely in love with it!

    It honestly feels allot better than any current American made Memphis 335 that I tried and is only beaten in feel and overall quality maybe by the Nashville Custom Shop I tried, even then I like mine more :P

    I find myself using my fingers allot more as it just responds to your touch so well and the tone and sustain are brilliant.

    I will have to upload a video demonstrating this but for now here's something I've been practicing most recently, basically a regular II V I turnaround with a passing diminished thrown in.




    View on YouTube
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,619Member, Moderator
    ReaGeorge said:

    I am absolutely in love with it!

    That is good to hear. May your joy with your 335 last a very long time.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,116Member
    Sounds great, and a lovely burst finish also, that looks very classy. Congrats Rea!
  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 119Member
    edited July 20
    What better than Larry Carlton's solo in Kid Charlemagne to help debut my new semi-hollow :P




    View on YouTube

    I actually quite recently discovered this song, I can't believe I never heard it till now, and Larry Carlton's solo is just amazing! (hence deciding to learn it)
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,116Member
    edited July 20
    Erm - that's the passing diminished turnarounds one again Rea... ;) But another fan of LC here, and I did think your new lovely guitar had a similar look to Larry's number one 335, so perhaps not a coincidence there. :)
  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 119Member
    Megi said:

    Erm - that's the passing diminished turnarounds one again Rea... ;) But another fan of LC here, and I did think your new lovely guitar had a similar look to Larry's number one 335, so perhaps not a coincidence there. :)

    Oops! fixed it now I think...

    Well it is coincidental actually, if anything I was copying Robben Ford more than LC, I believe my Riviera reissue is in fact loosely modelled off RF's, I just really love the mini humbuckers.

    On a side note I picked up my Les Paul again (which also happens to have a fresh set of strings on it) after playing the Riviera almost exclusively for a while and it was almost too bright that I didn't like it. Threw on some overdrive and played it for a while and got used to it again, with the new strings on its just so different from the riviera but I definitely prefer the LP for the lead tone I get from it, whereas for rhythm, clean and more mellow sounds the Riviera hits the spot.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 891Member
    Gorgeous tone! Nice and warm without being muddy. I’ve always loved minihumbuckers too, so it’s nice to hear them in a semi acoustic.
    Like Lester, I like hearing someone describing how much they are in love with something. There’s so much negativity that That much positivity is refreshing,
  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 119Member

    Gorgeous tone! Nice and warm without being muddy. I’ve always loved minihumbuckers too, so it’s nice to hear them in a semi acoustic.
    Like Lester, I like hearing someone describing how much they are in love with something. There’s so much negativity that That much positivity is refreshing,

    Thanks I'm glad you think so - I think you described it quite well, that really is the mini humbucker thing, it seems strange that they are not more popular.

    I feel silly sometimes, gushing over my guitar haha but those are my genuine emotions :blush:

    It is true often people take an unnecessarily negative view of things, it's not constructive at all is it.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,116Member
    Great stuff, great tone - nice work there Rea, enjoyed that :)
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 891Member
    ReaGeorge said:



    I feel silly sometimes, gushing over my guitar haha but those are my genuine emotions :blush:

    It is true often people take an unnecessarily negative view of things, it's not constructive at all is it.

    True. What’s so funny about peace love and understanding? They should be commonplace. Call me an old hippy, but I barely saw the sixties, honest!
  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 119Member
    Story time...?.. If you don't want to read my life story you can just have a listen to me playing guitar farther down the post :P

    So I fairly recently started a new job, it's not a good job but it pays probably better than most unskilled zero responsibility jobs. Starting a job like this made me think a little about what I'm doing... but also I met some great guys there, one of which is in a Red Hot Chilli Peppers cover band. Going to see him and chatting with him and another colleague inspired me or pushed me to get out more to try meeting more musicians and ultimately find guys I might be able to make some music with...

    I decided the best place to start is at a local Jazz Jam since I'm not sure open mic's and such around here are really my scene (I'm not sure straight up Jazz is really my scene either but it's closer). I attended one session just as an audience member to see how it works, basically in order to participate as a guitarist I would need to be able to comp and solo over at leat one Jazz Standard... which currently I can't do. I went home to my computer and started researching/studying and I found an online study group for Jazz Guitar.

    Short story long, I'm currently working on study material with this group to better my Jazz playing and eventually get out and play at one of these jams. I'm not sure this is the best/quickest way forward but I'm inspired and motivated :)

    I believe they were recently working on the song "Take The A Train" which contains a 7#11 chord so that's where I joined them this is my first bit of work over that chord using the Lydian Dominant scale.




    View on YouTube



  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,116Member
    Sounds great Rea, get yourself out there I say - you're way more than good enough to be honest.

    I went to a "Jazz Player's Evening" put on by the local jazz promoting organisation, about 8 or 9 years ago (after having music on the back burner for 15-20 odd years :D ) - there was a house band, and people could get up and have a go. Like you, I didn't know any jazz standards properly, so I just asked if they could do a jazzy blues, which they did. And then I ended up staying on the stage, while other people got up to do various jazz standards, and I just kind of nervously busked my way along.

    But that evening led to me going to sit in with the same band at their regular gig, and after a while I ended up joining that band properly. And various other bands and things have come along since, as a result of meeting musicians, and now I seem to have a few gigs on nearly every week. And just playing with the bands has meant that I now am familiar with a lot of jazz tunes, many of which I'd never heard at all before all this started, and it's definitely done wonders for my playing.
  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 119Member
    Thanks @Megi

    Thats really cool how it worked out for you, I would love to make some cennections like that and find guys to play with...

    I am too much of a perfectionist... The thought of trying to just wing my way through standards with those guys scares me :P

    But I am also somewhat aware that I hold myself back in that way.

  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 119Member
    Along the lines of a Bluesy Jazz I had a go playing over Miles Davis's "All Blues" chord progression earlier in the week, trying to stick with the style of the tune.





    View on YouTube
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,116Member
    ReaGeorge said:

    Along the lines of a Bluesy Jazz I had a go playing over Miles Davis's "All Blues" chord progression earlier in the week, trying to stick with the style of the tune.





    View on YouTube

    Lovely stuff that man! :)
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,116Member
    ReaGeorge said:

    Thanks @Megi

    Thats really cool how it worked out for you, I would love to make some cennections like that and find guys to play with...

    I am too much of a perfectionist... The thought of trying to just wing my way through standards with those guys scares me :P

    But I am also somewhat aware that I hold myself back in that way.

    It's never perfect, is what I've come to realise. Find a jazz band and ask if you can sit in, is one idea. Waiting until you've mastered everything, and only then appearing on the live music scene - I don't think that's a strategy that works really - there are things, certainly with jazz, but also I suspect with other styles, that you only learn through playing live, and with interaction with other musicians, and time. That said, you're already very good and obviously with bags of talent, and you might be surprised how just how well you'd do playing live. Bound to be some local bands that would be pleased to have a bit of nice jazz guitar available! :)
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,314Member
    Very nice playing and sounds on and from your 335 Rea!

    I love the sound and feel of a good semi-hollow. If I had to get rid of all me electric guitars bar one I think it'd be the Viking Hagstrom Deluxe that would survive.

    It seems like the new guitar has also encouraged you to explore new pastures and you're obviously enjoying the experience a lot.

    So I think it's safe to say it seems like a very good choice! :smile:
  • ReaGeorgeReaGeorge Posts: 119Member
    Megi said:



    It's never perfect, is what I've come to realise. Find a jazz band and ask if you can sit in, is one idea. Waiting until you've mastered everything, and only then appearing on the live music scene - I don't think that's a strategy that works really - there are things, certainly with jazz, but also I suspect with other styles, that you only learn through playing live, and with interaction with other musicians, and time. That said, you're already very good and obviously with bags of talent, and you might be surprised how just how well you'd do playing live. Bound to be some local bands that would be pleased to have a bit of nice jazz guitar available! :)

    You are right of course...

    It's just a tricky think finding the right people, I'm planning by the end of this month anyway once I have a grasp of the tune we're working on (All The Things You Are) to take what I learn to the local Jazz Jam and have a go, and hopefully it will continue from there is the idea :)

    I appreciate your encouragement, I'm often not exactly doubting myself but maybe more unsure where I stand as a guitarist if that makes sense. Either way this years (or as lest whats left of this year) goal is to get out there and play live as much as I can!
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