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  1. #1
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    Default New member from Arlington Wisconsin

    Greetings everyone and happy new year! Just signed up yesterday here at Jam Play. I’ve heard a few positive ramblings here and there about Jam Play so I decided to give it a go.

    I started playing in 1987 when a friend introduced me to the guitar. I more less plinked around and learned some chords and tablature riffs from popular songs but never learned to actually play an entire song or anything. I took a few lessons for a couple of months targeting blues/scales but I wasn’t really dedicated back then. For the next 8 – 10 years, I plinked around as I always had but it wasn’t very satisfying to be stuck just playing bits and pieces of someone else’s material and nothing more.

    Then along came wife, home, kids, dogs, work and the activities that go along with being a parent and yep…guitar took a major backseat. I only had an acoustic through this busy period and played it very seldom.
    Now that our children are in their later teens (and I’m now 51) my interest in guitar has crept back in. So much, that I bought a used American Fender Strat and an amp last year when I turned 50.
    I’m now practicing my chords again and playing the 5 shapes of the minor pentatonic (beginner stuff). But, I have a newfound interest and love for playing.

    About the best thing I can attest to right now with my playing is that I can put on a backing track (YouTube, etc.) and noodle along in the minor pentatonic. It’s ok, but I can tell I’m stuck doing much of the same things.

    If I had to put my finger on a couple of things I’d like to accomplish with music and the guitar, they would be to 1) sing and play something/anything and 2) to be able to play along with a drummer and or another guitarist.
    Maybe Jam Play has tutorials in these areas? I’ll have to nose around I suppose.
    Happy 2020
    David

  2. #2
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    Jan 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxwell68 View Post
    I'm now practicing my chords again and playing the 5 shapes of the minor pentatonic (beginner stuff). But, I have a newfound interest and love for playing.

    About the best thing I can attest to right now with my playing is that I can put on a backing track (YouTube, etc.) and noodle along in the minor pentatonic. It's ok, but I can tell I'm stuck doing much of the same things.
    Very good comment. Some guitar teachers think that the pentatonic shapes are bad news -- because they tend to box you in, stopping your progress. I wouldn't go that far, but I agree that the pentatonic shapes are a beginning, not the end. Once you have learned them, you can learn to add the missing scale notes back in. You do know how to use the shapes to play all the major and minor scales, right? Both across the neck and up and down the neck, fluently moving between the shapes.

    The difference between noodling and improvisation is intention. If you let your finger memory do the talking, that's noodling. If you play the notes you are thinking (or even better, singing) that is improvisation, where you can say you meant to play those notes. To do the latter, you have to know where to put your fingers to play the note you hear in your head. That means learning where the notes (A, E, F#, etc) are on the fretboard -- all over the fretboard -- and it means learning the relationships between the notes, the intervals (thirds, fifths, etc) from one note to another. The pentatonic shapes are just the beginning of useful shapes. There are things to memorize. The results are worth it.

    "it wasn't very satisfying to be stuck just playing bits and pieces of someone else's material and nothing more."
    The goal is to be able to play along with anything, to be able to listen to something and then play it.
    Without have to search for chords or instruction videos. And then you can play your own material.

    "If I had to put my finger on a couple of things I'd like to accomplish with music and the guitar, they would be to 1) sing and play something/anything and 2) to be able to play along with a drummer and or another guitarist."

    excellent advice
    Last edited by nwhy; 01-08-2020 at 06:55 PM. Reason: fancy apostrophe not allowed

  3. #3
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    Hi again, I just popped back in to check up on my post and found your response here. I'm still figuring out this board and where things are laid out. I don't know the major pentatonic (only the minor). I've been working on moving between the shapes both forwards and back but sometimes I get lost with what shape I'm in and play a sour note and then find my way again. Right now I'm going through Will Ripley's intro beginner electric guitar series. As a beginning (again) guitarist, I'm trying to set myself up for a more committed time practice routine. I'm hoping that by sheer "time in", I'll get more comfortable with what I'm practicing and grow more musically.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxwell68 View Post
    I don't know the major pentatonic (only the minor).
    You know more than you think. The major pentatonic shapes and the minor pentatonic shapes are the same. Same shapes.
    Where they differ is where the root notes are in each, which is important because you do want to be able to relate them to the key.
    The other way they differ is in how they are named. If you think of them as C-shape, G-shape, etc, those names change with the root notes.

    CAGED in major becomes AGEDC in minor. Or the other way around, CAGED in minor becomes DCAGE in major. (letters shift, same order)

    Anyway, knowing those shapes is very useful because then you can, with a bit of practice, find the right shapes to play along with most songs.
    And with a bit more practice, you can do this quickly and from that you can know what key the song is in. That is milestone breakthrough territory.

 

 

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