Good excercises or scales?

Started by TheCrimsonKing, November 18, 2009, 04:11:47 PM

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Hello everyone, I'm trying to "mix up" my playing more and break out of the repetitive notes I always flock to. What are some good tips or some scales or exercises to break off old routines and really take full advantage of the fretboard. After watching live videos a lot and really seeing Trey's fingers up close I really want to start being able to play some of the scales/ patterns he uses, They're all over the place but so perfect!


I am right there with ya man. Here is what ive been workng on.

Try practting scales in 3rds, 5ths, and 7ths. In other words, play every 3rd or 5th note, all the way up the neck.  

This will train your dextarity, accuracy, and ear for improvising over basic chord tones. I am just starting these drills and the are helping a ton. Remember to use a metranome while you work through these drills. The ability to stay in time is a critical skill to develop.  

Also once you have the major and minor scales down, start practcing different modes. Trey plays with Dorian + mixolydian alot depending what feel/emotion he's going for.

Of course, to play like Trey you need to know/feel how to add those dissonant and off color notes to add character and tension to a solos.  

Slides, bends, working that hollowbody feedback with the volume knob, all key elements in Treys style.  Others here are more qualified to explain Treys tricks, and a lot have been covered in previous threads.

And is it me or does it seem like Trey is hanging in the pentatonic alot these days?
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Quote from: picture_of_nectar on November 18, 2009, 04:39:13 PM
And is it me or does it seem like Trey is hanging in the pentatonic alot these days?

Nope, not you at all, that has been the case.  His soloing is defintely less daring than in years past.  But the music is tight, so I think that part is getting overlooked a little as a result.  Then again, you take the solo on something like Sugar Shack (just learned it, fun as hell & a little challenging to keep time with at first), and it is something different.  Not overly dramatic or anything, but a nice change of pace nonetheless. 

As far as the original question, picutre_of_nectar has given you some good ideas to go on, so run with those.  Learn your modes, how they relate to each other, and how they relate to chord structures & voiceings.  Defintely search through some threads on this board, I know we've covered some ground on theory, soloing, etc.  After you've done that, come back w/ more questions.
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This is what I am always working on! It seems everyone (including myself) wants a "Trey" scale to go wow their friends, but it is a lot of practice and knowing where it fits and there isn't 1 scale or technique to do this that I have come across.

Trey is a big fan of Hendrix and I think both have a similar style of highlighting scales by hanging on notes of the current chord during the scale (arpeggios). Something like Little Wing is pretty easy to grasp cuz Hendrix pretty much just uses the pentatonic (or better yet, think of Dorian and Mixolydian) to add melody per chord. Thus each chord is a scale or key change. In Jazz, players much better than me, often select groups of 3 chords to consider as a key, there are endless ways to group the chords in complex songs (particularly vocal tunes), thus endless ways to improvise and color the song.

Ok - so I am not claiming to be good at this at all, but it is a helpful way to move away from the pentatonic box or simply dorian/mixolydian for a whole solo.

I will put in one cheap trick I read about months ago - you can use certain pentatonic scales in different keys and play (land on notes) as you normally would. The easiest one is using a pentatonic a 5th above the key (ie, playing in G when you are in C). When you would normally rest on tonic, you land on G (a 5), or rest on a 3rd, you would be on B (dominant 7) or a 5, you would be on D (a 9). So imagine playing a Cmin pentatonic in the E shape, then play the Gmin pentatonic in the A shape - they fit together perfectly, so you can slide back and forth seamlessly, from a less restful solo to one that builds a mild tension and begs to go back to C. This works great because C is the 4th note in G, thus you never touch the C in a Gmin pentatonic.
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