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  1. #1
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    Default awareness of what notes of scales are common

    The title of this post is a quote from the video that accompanies the LC "Punch In" blog:

    http://truefire.com/blog/?p=1142

    "I am aware of all of the choices I have, and that note is common to all of them".

    How does Larry "see" things to make that comment? Is he seeing the triads of all of the chords in the section of the song in his head? Or is he making notes on the top of the musical staff? At one point he does mention (at 47 secs) playing notes that are common to a melodic minor, common to a 13b9 chord. Common to what? Common between the arp of the underlaying chord and also the melodic minor. A few lessons back he was talking about common notes being common between the various chords in the songs.

    How does he see his fretboard? In terms of arps of chords or in terms of scales? Or both at the same time? I want to understand how he visualizes his palette.
    now trying to break 1900.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by richb2 View Post
    The title of this post is a quote from the video that accompanies the LC "Punch In" blog:

    http://truefire.com/blog/?p=1142

    "I am aware of all of the choices I have, and that note is common to all of them".

    How does Larry "see" things to make that comment? Is he seeing the triads of all of the chords in the section of the song in his head? Or is he making notes on the top of the musical staff? At one point he does mention (at 47 secs) playing notes that are common to a melodic minor, common to a 13b9 chord. Common to what? Common between the arp of the underlaying chord and also the melodic minor. A few lessons back he was talking about common notes being common between the various chords in the songs.

    How does he see his fretboard? In terms of arps of chords or in terms of scales? Or both at the same time? I want to understand how he visualizes his palette.
    Hey there Rich,

    I would imagine that LARRY sees everything. Having played guitar for most of his life, he is WELL aware of what scales contain what chords and what chords are in what scales.

    I don't mean to sound like a broken record at all, but in a nut shell, if you start with memorizing all of your major and minor triads, you will, in a sense be memorizing all of the major and minor scales (don't forget about the dim triad or 7/vii chord).

    If you go further to organize all of these triads into their common diatonic key, you will begin to see things more clearly. (hint: all minor keys reside in their relative major keys and vice versa, so that will save you TWICE the work knowing that).

    Once you have the major and minor triads memorized in reference to their diatonic keys, you can go on to add the 7th of each chord.

    Take the same concept and apply it to your altered scales and you'll be well on the path.

    HOWEVER,...ALL of this will make MUCH more sense if you begin applying it to different songs and harmonic framework NOW. Like I've suggested, keep it simple at first and really take the time to PRACTICE without forcing yourself to PLAY ALONG at first. This is a mistake that so many players make and it prevents them from getting the most out of their shedding.

    In specific reference to the details of your question, it's all in his head. It will HELP you and most likely be necessary to make notes on your music when you're figuring stuff out, but in the end, it's ALL gotta be in your head so that you can be completely independent and use your knowledge in the moment.

    In reference to your second question: yes!...common between THE melodic minor scale in THAT key he's playing in and THAT chord. He sees the 13b9 chord and knows that it is a diatonic chord to a specific melodic minor scale, so he uses that melodic minor scale over it.

    Hope this helps,

    -Dave

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by djazz15 View Post
    Hey there Rich,

    ...you start with memorizing all of your major and minor triads, you will, in a sense be memorizing all of the major and minor scales (don't forget about the dim triad or 7/vii chord).

    If you go further to organize all of these triads into their common diatonic key, you will begin to see things more clearly. (hint: all minor keys reside in their relative major keys and vice versa, so that will save you TWICE the work knowing that).

    Once you have the major and minor triads memorized in reference to their diatonic keys, you can go on to add the 7th of each chord.
    Are you saying that since I have not memorized all of my minor and major triads, the dim triad, the 7th chord triad, organized these into their common diatonic keys (whatever that is), nor have I added the 7th of each chord, I will not be able to understand something as basic as how Larry sees the fretboard?
    Last edited by richb2; 12-13-2009 at 05:59 PM.
    now trying to break 1900.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by richb2 View Post
    Are you saying that since I have not memorized all of my minor and major triads, the dim triad, the 7th chord triad, organized these into their common diatonic keys (whatever that is), nor have I added the 7th of each chord, I will not be able to understand something as basic as how Larry sees the fretboard?
    Hey Rich,

    Not at all. Understanding HOW someone sees something is simple. Fully comprehending it and stepping into their shoes is something different.

    I'm just saying that once you do those things, which can be accomplished in as little as a half hour a day, you'll be much closer to that kind of fretboard comprehension.

    Let me just tend to the word "diatonic" for a second. Diatonic refers to notes and chords derived from a particular scale. For example, the chords Cmaj, Dmin, Emin, Fmaj, Gmaj, Amin, and Bdim are all DIATONIC to the key of C.

    So when I say memorizing your triads in reference to their diatonic keys,...all that I'm saying is memorizing the maj, min and dim triads of all 12 maj and min keys. When you think of it that way, it doesn't seem so daunting. There are really only 12 KEYS in western music, so once you memorize these basic triads and scales, everything will become much more clear to you.

    Let me clarify that this is also coming from the perspective of someone who is in the MIDST of memorizing these things. I'm just sharing what I'm learning as I learn to help other people avoid the same mistakes, ruts, and faulty perceptions that I experienced myself while traversing the path.

    There is a certain inevitable aspect of exploring and running off this trail, but these suggestions are things that people had ALWAYS told me to do, and I simply decided to put them on the back-burner while I pursued my own guitar-related interests, usually in the form of books titled, "Funk Guitar Mastery", or "Bebop Mastery" or "KICK ASS AT ROCK GUITAR", only to find that in the end, if i had simply done the foundational work FIRST, all of these things would've made MUCH MORE SENSE.

    However, your path is your path and my path is my path, and all of these apparently distracting excursions that we take off of the mapped road are ironically what make each of sound different on our instrument.

    -Dave

  5. #5
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    >>if we harmonize the C scale we get the following results:

    >>Cmaj - Dmin - Emin - FMaj - G7 - Amin- Bmin7(flat5)

    are you saying that on top of any of these chords we can use just a CMaj scale?

    OR

    are you saying that on top of a C chord we can play the arps of any of these chords?

    OR

    ?

    I am aware of harmonizing the scale. I had a theory teacher ( a well known jazz player, and a Berklee dropout) who used it to show me that if I see a G7, for example that it is probably the 5th of the key center we are in, C.

    Does 335 Improv go through that too? What lesson? I mean this in a respecful way: If 335 Improv doesn't bring it up, why do you? I have a 40 hour/week job so I don't really have time to screw with "the journey not a race" shtick. I don't have time to learn everything in the world. I know that. Maybe that realization comes with age. I don't know.

    BTW, I learned the major and minor triads this past weekend. No problem since they are "very close" to the chord notes, and I have been fooling with Mimi Fox's Arpeggio Studies on Jazz Standards off and on for some time. I can move them anywhere on the fretboard to get each of the 12 keys. Am I ready for 335 Improv yet?
    Last edited by richb2; 12-14-2009 at 09:03 AM.
    now trying to break 1900.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by richb2 View Post
    >>if we harmonize the C scale we get the following results:

    >>Cmaj - Dmin - Emin - FMaj - G7 - Amin- Bmin7(flat5)

    are you saying that on top of any of these chords we can use just a CMaj scale?

    OR

    are you saying that on top of a C chord we can play the arps of any of these chords?

    OR

    ?

    I am aware of harmonizing the scale. I had a theory teacher ( a well known jazz player, and a Berklee dropout) who used it to show me that if I see a G7, for example that it is probably the 5th of the key center we are in, C.

    Does 335 Improv go through that too? What lesson? I mean this in a respecful way: If 335 Improv doesn't bring it up, why do you? I have a 40 hour/week job so I don't really have time to screw with "the journey not a race" shtick. I don't have time to learn everything in the world. I know that. Maybe that realization comes with age. I don't know.

    BTW, I learned the major and minor triads this past weekend. No problem since they are "very close" to the chord notes, and I have been fooling with Mimi Fox's Arpeggio Studies on Jazz Standards off and on for some time. I can move them anywhere on the fretboard to get each of the 12 keys. Am I ready for 335 Improv yet?
    Hey Rich,

    Thanks for clarifying your knowledge of theory,...and congratulations on memorizing your triads! That's great.

    I was only bringing up that diatonic business because I wasn't sure how well you knew those things. Even though I wasn't really getting at this, I'll answer it anyway: as far as the first part of your post,...because those triads are all members of the C major scale, you CAN use any of them to produce different sounds if you're playing over a key center of C major (as well as the C major scale). You could try jamming in the key of C and incorporating each of them into an improvisation, just working with one at a time. But that's off the subject of your post,...so let me get back to home base here.

    I don't KNOW for certain whether or not 335 goes through that, but I didn't mean to bring those triads up as improv options in the first place,...I just wanted to review a little theory to make sure you knew what I was talking about when I used the word "diatonic". And when I USED the word diatonic, I was just talking about memorizing your major and minor triads in all 12 keys, which by what you've telling me, has already been accomplished.

    I'd also like to try and reassure and maybe inspire you for a moment. You don't have to have all the time in world to learn jazz guitar or become a better guitar player period. Most of us have full time jobs and families that are of a significantly higher priority than our hobbies. This is very true. There is more to life than jazz guitar! I know this.

    I don't know your life OR your schedule Rich,...I'm just trying to help you get to where you want to go in the most timely and efficient way possible.

    I suggested these specific things (like memorizing the triads) in order to make everything to come much easier for you.

    Anyone can be ready for 335 improv. You were born ready for 335 improv. Larry created this course in a way that IS very approachable. However, he also created it under the assumption that people would either know some basic theory or learn some basic theory (which you already know) in order to get the most out of it.

    I assumed that you wanted to take the concepts and apply them to other songs, so I presented to you a short-cut to that. It may seem like a lot of work, but I PROMISE that it'll save you time in the long-run. When I say long-run,...I don't mean a lifetime - I mean a few months! Maybe just ONE month!

    is this better?

    -Dave

    p.s. Don't be afraid to be REALLY specific with your questions,...the more specific you are, the better I can help you.

    p.p.s. I'm sure you're a member of truefire for a reason, but if you don't have one already, I would HIGHLY suggest a guitar teacher in order to just have a steady guide. I wish I could help you more thoroughly and I will continue to try and help you as MUCH as possible here,...but there is no comparison to a good guitar teacher. If you don't have the time however, that's what we're all here for on the truefire forum.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by djazz15 View Post
    p.p.s. I'm sure you're a member of truefire for a reason, but if you don't have one already, I would HIGHLY suggest a guitar teacher in order to just have a steady guide. I wish I could help you more thoroughly and I will continue to try and help you as MUCH as possible here,...but there is no comparison to a good guitar teacher. If you don't have the time however, that's what we're all here for on the truefire forum.
    Thanks for the concern. Maybe at some later time I will hire back my teacher. For right now I want to be able to devote all of my free time to asking questions about 335 Improv.
    Last edited by richb2; 12-14-2009 at 07:04 PM.
    now trying to break 1900.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by richb2 View Post
    Thanks for the concern. Maybe at some later time I will hire back my teacher. For right now I want to be able to devote all of my free time to asking questions about 335 Improv.

    For sure, man. Definitely a wise decision granted the time constrictions of this whole thing.

  9. #9

    Wink Reply For Dave

    Hey Dave
    Just read your back and forth with Rich, very insightful. I'm waiting to get my course in the mail still, can't wait. I am intrigued by your concept of memorizing/learning all tiads, laying the foundation, and am going to try this. Can you give me a quick idea on how to accomplish this? Start with the key of c I would imagine, figure out all positions/voicings and move to the next triad.
    Just to give you an idea of my back ground, messed around on the electric as a kid, tab ect, was able to play along with a few songs with no understanding of what I was doing. After college decided I wanted to really learn, took classical lessons for 4 years. That was greast for developing technique however really handicaped me for improvising/creativity, hence my interest in this course.

    By the way, thanks for sharing your insights and time.

    Regards
    Adam

  10. #10

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    Welcome amp1(Adam),

    Glad you've joined up!

    It sounds like your very motivated to learn. Very good trait to have.

    We hope you get a lot of insight from Larry's 335 Improv and this forum.

    Enjoy your stay!
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by amp1 View Post
    Hey Dave
    Just read your back and forth with Rich, very insightful. I'm waiting to get my course in the mail still, can't wait. I am intrigued by your concept of memorizing/learning all tiads, laying the foundation, and am going to try this. Can you give me a quick idea on how to accomplish this? Start with the key of c I would imagine, figure out all positions/voicings and move to the next triad.
    Just to give you an idea of my back ground, messed around on the electric as a kid, tab ect, was able to play along with a few songs with no understanding of what I was doing. After college decided I wanted to really learn, took classical lessons for 4 years. That was greast for developing technique however really handicaped me for improvising/creativity, hence my interest in this course.

    By the way, thanks for sharing your insights and time.

    Regards
    Adam
    Hey Adam,

    It's my pleasure. Few things are as rewarding in life as helping people out. For starters, I would go through the circle of fifths playing major triads with the top voice on the E-string. I found it helpful when I was learning them, to recite the name of the top voice while I played them. I'd play them a few times up and down the neck. Say we're playing Bb major triad, you'd play all 3 inversions reciting to yourself, "Bb - D - F - D - Bb - D - F - D - Bb" as you go up and down. It's not entirely necessary, but it helps to reinforce how the triad is spelled.

    Once you can do this with the major and minor triads (top note on the B and E string for starters,...so that's a total of 6 shapes for major triads and 6 shapes for minor triads), you can try quizzing yourself to see how well you REALLY know these triads. This is a little game that was suggested to me by my guitar teacher(who's a phenomenal Jazz Guitarist and the best teacher I've ever met).

    Basically you go through the circle of 5ths(or backwards in the circle of 4ths), and with each inversion you try to figure out WHAT triads have that top voice in common.

    For example. If I'm playing a root position C triad, the top voice is G. There are only TWO other major triads that have a G in common. They are G major and Eb major. Take this same concept, play the other two inversions of the C triad, and then continue through the circle of fifths.

    If you go further, you can start to time yourself with these, but the REAL learning will take place once you apply them to songs.

    -Dave

  12. #12

    Default awareness of what notes of scales are common

    I live in the UK so my course hasn't arrived yet but I have seen this clip. Larry is talking about the notes that are common to each of the chords in the progression he's playing over. Later in the clip,when he's playing a note that isn't common to the next chord, he moves to a note that does fit. That's the note-chord awareness he's talking about.

    Larry is sustaining notes over the chords so if a note fits a chord it could be:

    1/ A note in the chord being played
    2/ An extension of the chord being played - a note such as a 9th, 13th etc that can be added to the chord to create additional colour. The chord being played may, of course, already contain one or more of these extensions.
    Last edited by DB335; 12-17-2009 at 06:26 AM.

  13. #13

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    I watched Rio Samba , and after being intrigued why a Fsus9 would be a Eb too then I reminded that all those extended chords have those triads inside that could substitute them....(the problem of not practicing all these stuff in a couple of months is that you could eaily forget these info!)...I think the trick is to play the extended chord but check out also what's the triad inside , so we will be aware about the extended chord but also the small triad inside, and how we recognize these triads? yes, practicing them with the circle of 5th's....Larry knows it all after all his years with the axe...but it's really cool he reminds us the info.

  14. #14
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    Hey Roberto! I was looking at lesson 6 late last night, and thinking about it this morning. In it, Larry says that he is aware of the scales and he is aware of the arps. But what he is really doing (and he seems to have trouble actually articulating this, I think) is that he know all of the notes of the chords, cold.

    So to take St Thomas as an example since both Mike Stern and I are working on this one, we see the chords from the first line are:

    Cmaj7 Em7 A7 Dmi7 G7 Cmaj7

    My previous question, and LC kind of answered it by showing that spelling out the chords with Arps sounds like an exersize. Instead we know

    chord notes
    Cmaj7 C E G B
    Emi7 E G B D
    A7 A C# E G
    Dmi7 D F A C
    Cmaj7 C E G B

    The only diff between the Cmaj7 and Emi7 is the D and the C. For the A7 we added a C#, but took away the B. And for Dmi7, we have A in common.

    we have as a palette: C E G B C# D F A but since the A is only in the Dmi7, we shouldn't emphasize that until we are on the Dmi7. Same thing with the C# for the A7 chord.

    Any idea if any one scale contains the notes above?
    now trying to break 1900.

  15. #15

    Default awareness of what notes of scales are common

    Following on from my last post on common tones and using your St Thomas example:-

    1/ D is the 9th of Cma7 , the 7th of Em7 and the root of Dm7 and is useable as a common tone over all three chords.
    2/ A is the 6th of Cma7, the 11th of Em7, the root of A7 and the 9th of G7 and is useable as a common tone over those chords.
    3/ B is the 7th of Cma7, the 5th of Em7 and the 9th of A7 and is useable as a common tone over those chords.
    4/ G is the 5th of Cma7, the 3rd of Em7, the 7th of A7 and the 11th of Dm7 and is useable as a common tone over those chords.
    5/ C is the root of Cma7, and the 7th of Dm7 and is useable as a common tone over those chords.
    6/ E is the 3rd of Cma7, the root of Em7, the 5th of A7 and the 9th of Dm7 and is useable as a common tone over those chords.
    7/ F is the 3rd of Dm7and the 7th of G7 and is useable as a common tone over those chords.
    8/ C# is the 3rd of A7 and is not useable as a common tone over the other chords.
    Last edited by DB335; 12-21-2009 at 05:55 AM.

  16. #16
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    so stay away from the c# and the f?
    now trying to break 1900.

  17. #17

    Default awareness of what notes of scales are common

    C# isn't a common tones sustainable as the chords change. It can, of course, be used over A7 then moved to C over Dm7, creating a partial Guide Tone line and strongly outlining the change of chord in your improvised melody - the opposite of this thread's topic.
    Last edited by DB335; 12-21-2009 at 06:02 AM.

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    That's why I said to "stay away" from it. But perhaps playing it over the A7 will help to spell out the difference in the chord, harmonically. What is a Guide Tone line?

    I've taken many courses up here and also private lessons and no one has ever told me what that is?
    now trying to break 1900.

  19. #19

    Default awareness of what notes of scales are common

    A Guide Tone line is a sequence of notes moving from chord to chord that produces a 'melodic thread' through a sequence of chords that defines the changes. The line provides a strong connection from chord to chord that can then be embellished.

    A short, two note example of this in the St Thomas sequence would be a movement from C# over A7( the 3rd of the chord ) to C natural over Dm7 ( the 7th of the chord ).

    A longer one for the whole set of changes would be to play:-
    Cma7 - E note
    Em7 - D note
    A7 - C# note
    Dm7 - C note
    G7 - B note
    Cma7 - B note

    The progression of notes is usually by step and there is often more than one line available through the changes. 3rds and 7ths ( as above ) are the most common.Two notes per chord is also possible and is commonly used as a powerful comping tool, too.

  20. #20
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    Thanks. Are there any courses that you know of on Guide Tones? This seems to be LC's method?
    now trying to break 1900.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by richb2 View Post
    Thanks. Are there any courses that you know of on Guide Tones? This seems to be LC's method?
    Hey Rich..you forgot I'm the librarian here!

    this one is quite recommnded:

    http://www.amazon.com/Changes-Guide-...1508054&sr=8-1

  22. #22
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    are you sure that you don't work for Mel Bay?
    now trying to break 1900.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by richb2 View Post
    are you sure that you don't work for Mel Bay?
    no, we work for Mel Brad

  24. #24
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    I ordered it. It seems to me that this is LC's overall method. Sure, he plays a melodic minor on occasion and a few other things on special occasions. But all in all, it seems to me that he is finding out what notes are common to the chords and using those in his palette. Do you agree?
    now trying to break 1900.

  25. #25

    Default awareness of what notes of scales are common

    You're most welcome.

    Yes, notes common to the chords is exactly what he's talking about - common tones!

    By the way, the Guide Tone line with a B note over both G7 and Cma7 produces a common tone. Playing an F note in the second half of the G7 bar and changing it to an E note over the Cma7 would keep the line in motion and signal the change of chord.
    Last edited by DB335; 12-27-2009 at 02:01 PM.

  26. #26

    Default Guide Tones

    Quote Originally Posted by richb2 View Post
    Thanks. Are there any courses that you know of on Guide Tones? This seems to be LC's method?
    I have mentioned Emily Remler's lessons before on here. Not only was she a brilliant player, she was also a great teacher. I know that one of her DVDs covers guide tones. I think it's the first one, "Bebop and Swing Guitar". But you don't need to buy it (although from a copyright point of view I think you should) as someone has put all the material on YouTube. Why not have a look there first and if you like her teaching style, then buy the DVD? I think they're only about 10 (US$15) each.

    Regards, MB

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