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Archive for the ‘Exercises’ Category

Ashdown Guitar Lessons is delighted to make available to everyone who wants it a set of charts giving fretboard patterns for Major scales and their associated Major 7th arpeggios.

Major scales snapshot

If you didn’t know, it all starts here. From these scales you can derive all the other modes/scales and their arpeggios. We’ll be making other sets available over time that spell out exactly how to do this and how to put all this good theory to work in your improvisation.

The approach is based on that of Jimmy Bruno, Jody Fisher and others – if you haven’t checked out their work you’re doing yourself a disservice.

This is foundation stuff on which everything else is built and it’s essential for any improvising guitarist. These scales and arpeggios should be practiced in all keys every day until you can play them in your sleep. Then play them in your sleep as well!

Check out the page here.

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Pentatonic on the circle of fifths

Pentatonic on the circle of fifths (Photo credit: Ethan Hein)

Not sure about that title – sounds like the “Pentatonics” might be a religious denomination or a sexual orientation. But they’re neither. Pentatonic scales are really useful constructions that creep into all kinds of music, from the simplest to the most complex. I’ve published a couple of music and TAB exercises – one each for major and minor – to help to guitarists get familiar with them and apply them musically.

The exercises are sequences based on G major and G minor – the cunning plan is that you practice them in all keys. (Refer to the Circle of Fifths diagram on the right – just start at any point and play in each key around the circle until you arrive back where you started.) The sequences are organised into the widely used CAGED system. There is method in this madness.

Try it!

And if you want to know more about pentatonic music generally, try this! (Alert: heavy-duty theory warning.)

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