I'll just throw this out.
A minor pentatonic (A-C-D-E-G-A) is the relative minor of the C Scale.
The relative minor of any major scale is the 6th of the scale.  C-D-E-F-G-[A]-B-C
The 6th of the E scale is C#, the relative minor of the E Scale is C#
The E Scale is E-F#-Ab-A-B-[C#]-D#-E
The C# minor pentatonic is C#-E-F#-A-B
The minor pentatonic scale step pattern is  (Root) (step and a half) (full step) (full step) (step and a half) ( full step)


(14 replies, posted in Music theory)

I like to see the pentatonic scales and the minor scales in terms of how they
relate to the major eight note scales. How are they alike and how are they

We know we can form a major eight note scale by following the pattern: Root, whole step,
whole step, half step, whole, whole, half to root (the eighth called octave)
In the key of A major, that scale is:  A B C# D E F# G# A

By planting that scale in our minds, we accomplish several side benefits. Right off,
we are starting to see scales in terms of numbers, or degrees, which is a great help
in getting a handle on progressions and intervals. Very important. But most
important is the progress towards mastery that just learning the patterns hardly
ever leads to.

Now then, let's talk about the pentatonic scales. We'll use  the A minor pentatonic as
an example. Pentatonic scales give us this access to blues, folk, and gospel sound.
In all too many case, that has turned  into instant access, which, in music, can be
the devil in disguise, long term.
On-line teachers teach  the patterns and positions, not the notes.
Once you learn the notes and learn to see the scales relative to the major and to
each other, things get way easier. Trust in that.
You tough it out with the notes. After a while, the patterns become natural. You have added the advantage learning how to read music.

The A major  scale is:  A B C# D E F# G# A

The A minor pentatonic scale is a five note primitive variation. The notes are A C D E G A
There are three approaches to learning that scale, not counting pattern playing, which is instant  access. They are:

(1) I like that because you can actually remember Acey-dayga. Play the notes.
(2) In terms of A major scale, play the 1, flat the 3, play 4, play  5,  flat 7, play 8.
(3) According to the pentatonic formula: Root, one and one half step, whole step, whole step, one and one half step, whole step to root (the eighth, called octave.)

Given the choice, one, two or three of the above, most sane students would pick number one, and consent to the pain of learning the scales and the notes on the instrument. The good thing is that you start with the root scale, called the one, then move on to the four, (D in this case) then the five (E scale) you can start to have fun.

Let's play that A minor Pentatonic scale in the third position.

Start with index on A. That is 5th fret E string.
Next, same  E string,  8th fret, play the  C.  Those are the first two notes of the scale.
The distance between, two frets, is the interval. It is one and a half steps.

Those are the first two notes. Now, down to A string (you know the interval -- one to four is
down a string, same fret) and play D with index.  Next, E with your ring finger, same string,
Down to D string. Same habnd position. Play  G note on the 5th fret. Play the octave (A)
with the ring finger.  We have spelled out acdega.

If all of these correlations between the correct finger for the respective notes seems like I am making a big deal of it, I am because it is a big deal. If you find yourself putting great effort and energy into getting the right hand position and the correct finger, pat yourself
on the back because you are doing something very right.

There are various approaches. I prefer to take a scale, let's say C scale, learn it in a position,then learn the four and five in the same position. It just seems easier, once
you get started, to expand knowledge of a position, rather than a scale. In other words, learn the C scale, then the  F major scale, then the G major scale. Then move on to another position. There are six in all.

Now then, getting back to the subject, since you have done your work and now know how to find the A on the guitar, and you have learned a scale in a position preference,  when A minor Pentatonic is called for, you simply play A C D E G A.  As you progress, you will recognize ACDEGA scales everywhere on the neck there is an A note. Way more flexible, now.

Hand position corresponds to dot on the neck. At first, you make little moves, maybe up a half fret, down a half, occasionally up a fret. The more you play, the bolder you get. Six positions turn into two threes.

Two threes turn into one six, and you are done. You have learned the neck.

We can go through the same process with the C maj scale if you would like. That's the traditional scale of choice.  For several reasons, the A major scale, and the A-D-E progression, has become the favorite of blues and country players who use Pentatonic Scales a lot. That is because the A minor pentatonic scale is so flexible.
The C minor pentatonic is C Eb F G Bb C
To play the C major scale at the third position:
The third hand position, third dot. Index finger is on the 5th fret. Pinky starts  C note on the 8th fret,  top fat E  string.  This is the first note of this C scale. Take it from there. You can play the C maj scale in two octaves starting  from that position and only have to move off that position once, and that is to play the B note on the first octave. The B note I am talking about is on the 4th fret G string.

I understand this seems like a lot. But the reason music theory is stressed is because in the long run it makes it easier, and opens more doors.

The only other thing I would comment to more advanced players (I consider myself a player, not a teacher) is that scales make sense when we pick out little tunes and runs using the scale as the guide to avoid sour notes. You can play around with the major scale and incorporate the pentatonic or minor pentatonic into your noodling around or creative composition. It's not so easy to incorporate the major or minor scale into a framework of knowledge of the pentatonic scale.

There's my contribution to my fellow musicians. Hope it was not too long winded.

I'd check with an audiologist before I'd have him practice a bass into headphones.
I don't know how far along he is, but know the top four strings of an accoustic guitar
are same as the four bass strings. He can put in his scale practice time with a mellow
accoustic guitar and save the blaster for when the band gets together. Just a thought.

I'd go Fender Rumble 15" Speaker for an amp and Squier for a bass guitar.

Oh, the sales dept is a must place to start. That's what they do.


(20 replies, posted in Music theory)

Thank you for those responses. Much more and much deeper than I had expected. Thank you again.  The sheet came from Hal Leonard "Easy Gospel Fake in Cmaj"
$19.95. A lot of material for the money & work that went into it.   My point on that  is the actual melody turns this song into a serious destroyer, but the structure is so
open to interpretation.  I've hacked Jones's   "I Always Get Lucky with You" into the basic structure when I feel the need to go back to basics. So, yeah, deadstring,  the "So Lonesome
I Could Cry" is appreciated. I hope your friend comes back with some thoughts, Bald Guitar Dude.  Your reply was valuable and appreciated.  I'll\have to spend some
time working on your thoughts.
If I had known the response was going to be so interesting, I would have added lines three
and four. Then, of course, there is that main body variation,  Verse One (G) When my (C7) way grows drear, precious (F) Lord, linger (F) near, when my (C)  life is
(C)  al-most (G7) gone, (G)  Hear my (C)  cry, hear my (C7) call, hold my (F) hand, lest I (F) fall [ Take my(C)  hand, (Am)  pre-cious (D7)  Lord, (G7) lead me (C)  home(G7)]

It finishes with this amazing four bars: C/Am D7/G7  C/C  G7/G7  It doesn't get much better than that. Anyway, it is late, but here are lines three and four of the introduction:

[Line Three]  (C) storm through the (C7) night, lead me (F) on to the  (F) light, take my
[Line Four]  (C) hand, pre-cious  (C/G7 ) Lord / lead me (C) home -- (G7) ---

To conclude, Verse two is:
When the darkness appears and the night draws near, and the day is past and gone, at the
river I stand, guide my feet, hold my hand, Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.

But you men already knew that .  Funster, that is exactly the feel, in Line one, the 7th (hand) just hangs there...if you wanted,
you you could even hold the drums, wait for the thought to sink in, so to speak....gospel's good for that..So was George Jones.


(20 replies, posted in Music theory)

Lines one and two of "Precious Lord" catapulted honky tonk piano player Thomas E. Dorsey into the annals of gospel music history. I am not a neophyte, but not school trained, either. My questions are (1) What has he done, here? (2) Why does it sound so good, even when I play it? and (3) How can I apply the principles of the lessons learned in these two line to find or create new applications of the principles.
Is this in the area of walking blues? Contemporary gospel instruction is not providing me the answer I am looking for. We are not talking "handfuls of notes," here, but rather, a progression rooted in both dedicated church players and professional barrel house or bar room players, oddly enough, one that the very sound of is enough to captivate audience attention immediately, and keep it.

(3/4 time, three beats per chord symbol)

[Line one]   (Precious) (C) Lord, take my (C7) hand, lead me (F) on, let me (F) stand, I am
[Line two]   (C) tired, I am (Am) weak, I am (Dm) worn ---- (G7) -----through the

Any help appreciated.


(7 replies, posted in Electric)

It depends a lot on your intended application. If you want to make music with effects, you can use an audio interface and route through Garage Band effects panel.  There are a couple of dozen effects available and they sound good. if you have a Mac. That gives you a record option.
Personally, I would not get involved. There is a ceiling over how far you can take this. Granted, I don't know Pro Tools or any of the high end recording software. But my experience told me to hook up a good all around effects processor or get a couple of stomp boxes, play through them, then route that signal into a decent stand alone recorder or your personal computer if you must. Quite simply stated, complex recording tasks ask more of a PC than it was designed to handle. I know rockers and geeks are not going to like this answer, because there are touring bands who record with nothing but a laptop and pro tools. But they don't do a lot in the way of track separation and effects mixing, far as I know.
Now, adding effects to pre existing tracks with a laptop, that is a different story.
I also believe that you can excite audiences more with what you can do to a clean sound with your own pick and your own hands than you ever will with electronic effects. Effects get old. A good hammer on or a progressive damped vibrato, or a twang never get old smile


(24 replies, posted in Electric)

Try this: go to (Music Store) and ask them to  leave you alone in a room
with  a  Traditional,  a  semi hoolw, both set up and both with Classic '57
Humbuckers, and a clean demo amp. Look online first and get familiar with the products
so you don't look like a total neewbie.  Practice up on your scales first, because strumming
isn't really an electric guitar strong point, good sounding notes are.  Then do your own style,
too. That's give you an idea of the difference.  Talk to the experts. They often can help.

To answer your question, the semi hollow with a center block and tail piece gives
sustain as yet unachieved by solid guitars. Great for cool jazz and some country.
The solids -- they specialize in the twangs,
growls, rips, and fast atttacks of Rock and Blues.

The further you go in music, the more willing you will be to up the ante.

Sorry, just saw the commercial restriction.

Me, too. I was ready to bail on this guitarage after about 03:40 but then he started laying it down. He's a great teacher.


(15 replies, posted in Electric)

Do you use backing tracks? Try a simple 1-4  like A/D
and a simple repetitive pattern like Iko Iko.
Play it through earphones.


(26 replies, posted in Electric)

The question cannot be answered. The wisdom of the ages is: when
you are ready, the teacher will appear. How will you know? You will
know when you achieve the motivation to learn to play  the 12 major
scales in the first position; i.e., using fingers 1-4 on frets 1-4, and
to master the technique of sight reading basic melodies and
rhythms in all keys from the student book. Your goal is to learn all
the notes up to the 22nd fret. (The first 12 can be the hardest.)
At the same time, you will be picking up and adding chords along
the way, including the common barre chords, the major triads,
and their inversions.
Following this advice, you will select your teacher on the basis
of his or her willingness to guide you through this process, and
watch your progress. This is what is meant by the age old wisdom:
when you know what you want to learn, the teacher will appear.
I suggest saving time by learning the theory (chords, scales, and
rhythm) on piano. That teacher is almost impossible to find, but,
hark, the personal computer to the rescue. If I were to do it
over again, I would fully explore computerized teaching of theory.
After a couple of years, you will know all the scales and how to
sight read them. But that does not stop you from applying your
knowledge to the entire neck right away, so that if the challenge
was to play the pentatonic C starting from the 10th fret of the
D string or from the 14th fret of the A string, you are on it.
(You have been keeping  yourself  interested, breaking the
boredom of rote practice, by learning the neck in your spare
time. When the assignment was the A scale, you went ahead
and located the A notes wherever they appear on the neck,
because you are passionate about it.)
Saving money is important, but, more important is to not
waste money. One thing: make the notes with your finger
tips. The impression should go basically straight across
the end of the finger, near the tip. A teacher will make you
do this. Until that time, do not risk permanent injury
(bone spurs) by poor hand position. Also, the flat pick:
don't death grip it. Feel the pressure change on up and
down strokes, which you alternate, as a rule.
Sorry to sound pedantic. I'm not. But I have to write
this quickly and hope it helps. Only my opinions.

One cool thing about Fender is that the amps and guitars are
engineered to work together.
Jerry Garcia played an amazing  hand made for Jerry, himself,
with a three pack of Humbuckers. I'm told they are available.
Looks like the back end humbucker was a pair of Fender
single coil and the front two came off a Gibson. But the
sky was the limit for Jerry, and he played through
very powerful systems, if that makes a difference,
I wouldn't know. Still, we learn that his style
called for a solid body, more like a Les Paul than a ES337,
semi hollow, which I happen to have and love. (Similar to what
Bob Weir swore by.) So, hey, it's all relative. Just remember,
you're going to spend a lot of time with whatever you
get. I recommend staying away from the cheap stuff
and avoid the fads. Also, don't forget you can upgrade
electronics (it ain't cheap) but you can't upgrade the
neck and body. Don't overlook G & L, I am told.


(12 replies, posted in Electric)

OK, dude, I'll give you what some call the Nashville secret with respect to
bending notes, but it will only help you if you are willing to do the theoretical
work and learn or already know how chords are structured. You don't start
by just bending anything, but you have a plan, and take it from there.
OK, the best place to start is to use the 12th fret as home base. You know
that's where the notes start to repeat. Open G is the same tone as 12th fret G.
if you follow. Now, the 12th is about the middle, so the strings flex there.
Let's talk about the key of G, where the chord is G B D.  Here is a simple
move: play the G on the 12th with your 1st finger and barre the B with the
same finger. Now you have the one and the three covered, and they
harmonize in the key of G.   How are you going to get the D? Go to the
B string, 14th fret, which is a C#, with your third finger, release the barre,
and bend that C# one half step up to a D.  Now you have a form of the
G chord to mess around with, using just two strings. You can also get a
G  by bending the high E string a full step from the 13th fret, which
happens to be an F, and the (open?) D is found on the 12th fret,
D string.  See where I am going? Once you get grounded in this
idea, you will see the relationships all over the place, in whatever
key you are after.  All I am doing here is stressing theory. When
they let you loose, you can bend whatever you feel like bending,
but you'll have the fundamental knowledge to produce harmonics
in case they run out of beer and start listening to you, God forbid.


(12 replies, posted in Song requests)

Great advice by deadstring, djs.
Look, you want exercise with A, A7, E, Em, G, D, Am
The standard 1-4-5 in A uses A, D, and E. So you can play in A.
The Key of D uses normally D, G, and A. So, you are good in the root key of D.
The two minor chords you know just happen to be the 5ths of those two keys. (Good deal)
Since you know E and A, then throw in B, the 5th of the E scale, and you have another, the E.
The transpose feature is a great thing. But I'll say, use it, yes, but also, learn the
principles of music theory upon which this tool is based. It leads you to learning
what a scale is, how it is structured, and how the notes of a scale can be referred
to numerically: that is, the C note is the one of the C scale, the D is the second "degree"
of that scale, and the E is the third, and so on. You will learn how sharps and flats
come into the picture. Then, you will be able to transpose on your own, and also
structure your learning to take full advantage of new chords that fit into your
work, as it almost looks like you have already done.


(0 replies, posted in Song requests)

We want to do a Leo Dan. Find him on YouTube. Song I want is
"Amigo Mio" and I have the lyrics and MP3. Anyone willing to tackle
the song? Plan to do it in the original Spanish. Don't know a lick
of Spanish, but willing to fake it.


(7 replies, posted in Electric)

Jazz players solve this by calling the

progression in degrees. If the song is

in C, and the progression is C-F-G, then

the progression is a 1-4-5.

The 1-4-5 of the G scale is G-C-D.

The 1-4-5 of the F scale is F-A#-C.

Take your lyrics and chords sheets

and write the degree next to the

letter. If the song is in C and the

key of the measure(s) changes to D,

the write a 2 next to the D.

You can do this on melodies, too.


(8 replies, posted in Electric)

Pretty much what's been said.

Give up on the idea it is going

to happen without taking the time

to learn the modes and the triads

up and down the neck.

My contribution the discussion:

learn to play melodies, or tunes.

Even the heaviest of metal songs

follows a tune. The 9 - 12 frets

are a good place to work out the

tunes. Don't go up and down the neck

until you have the tune down, even

to the point of recognizing the

key changes and the notes, especially

the first note of the change, like G/d

means change to G scale but nail the Dmaj

on the change. Write all that stuff down

(unless you can afford to buy sheet

music for all your songs.)

Now you know the tune and the key

changes, start to break the melody

apart by changing fret and inversion

as it flows. When you can do this,

you are ready to start playing lead,

which is really your own interpretation

of a melody. Even Hendrix stayed on

the basic melodic line ...I can hear

the blues players moaning as they read



(11 replies, posted in Electric)

There are many great instructors on

the net. Only thing is, once one gets

a good google rating, he or she gets

crowded off by people who know how to

use google.

Try this:

<a href="http://www.robinmay.co.uk/boxes.htm" target="_blank">http://www.robinmay.co.uk/boxes.htm</a> <img src="images/smiley_icons/icon_eek.gif" border=0 alt="Shocked">