Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cool Guitarist Needs More Hobbies

god please send me a job so I can occupy my time more productively
Honestly, I bought a jazz guitar masterclass cd-rom method and it might be the final piece of the puzzle. No single method has explained everything but between the ten different methods I've looked at and the hundreds of hours studying the constellations for philosophical correlations I've actually figured something out.

There are two main positions that matter and every pro guitarist uses them. One is called Aeolian...the other is called Phrygian...if you can't switch between the two effortlessly, which is actually childishly easy once you understand what has to be done, and if you can't play in the Aeolian position but then visualize that you will now be playing the Phrygian position of another key, without moving your index finger, then you are faking it. Every method basically adds up to that fundamental skill: visualizing simple scale formations and then either moving up or down the neck to play a different position of the same key or visualizing a new scale pattern beginning in the same position you already are playing in but in a new key. If you can do it for the two positions mentioned then you can do it with the remaining 3 positions. They are all based on chords you learn in the first week of guitar CAGED. The Aeolian position is based off the G major chord and it's called Aeolian because your index finger on the 6th string sits on the 6th scale degree of whatever key you decide to play in. And the Phrygian position is based off the C major chord and it is called the Phrygian position because your index finger on the 6th string sits on the 3rd scale degree of whatever key you decide to play in. Boom!

It's totally basic (it takes a single paragraph to explain) but everyone from Mel Bay to Joe Pass to Chet Atkins to Steve Vai all manage to confound the simplicity behind redundant scales and often totally ignore the obvious visualization skills you need...so no one ever learns how to play. This supports my theory that masters of playing an instrument may have forgotten how they learned to play and probably have no idea how you will learn to play. Ask Robert Deniro to teach you how to speak English. Even this excellent Jazz method book explains half of it and then fails to point out that the formations are based off basic chord formations. Hell, that guitar solo in the Take me Back to Tulsa song is almost all based off these two positions overlapped in the 9th position. Maybe this is one of those hidden benefits of my mild autism...so I'm happy to share it with the world as long as you don't make fun of me for posing shirtless with my guitar.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.