Steve Stine Live Guitar Masterclass: Basic Blues and Rock Soloing


– Hi. My name is Steve Stine and thank you for taking
this guitar course at WizIQ. What I’m going to be doing
for the next few lessons is discussing with you the
basic principles of soloing in a blues or rock setting. And what I want to do
today in this first lesson is just kind of discuss
all of the elements that we need to get prepared. So the first thing we’re going to do, we’re not going to go into like the parts of the guitar and all that because I’m assuming at this point you probably know most of that stuff. But I do want to do is get you
set up with the fret board. I want you to get set up
with essential techniques that you’re going to need to know to be able to do some of the licks, some of the patterns, some of the improvising that we’re going to be taking
care of in this series. So the first thing we’re gonna do is we’re gonna talk a little bit about the scale that we’ll be using and we’re gonna be using minor pentatonic for this whole series. Okay? Minor pentatonic is a five note scale that we use commonly in blues, and rock, and country, and jazz, and
all sorts of different things. And so what I want to
do is I want to show you a few different things about that scale. The first thing we want to do is start learning how the
scale looks as a whole across the entire fret board. A lot of people just know how to play like the first position of pentatonic. (electric guitar music) Okay. We want to learn more
than that first position. We’re definitely gonna be using that but we want to be able to
see the entire fret board as one big piece. And the great thing about stuff like WizIQ is that you can stop at any time you want. You can go back and you
can review everything and then you can come right
back in and learn some more. So the best advice to
preface this whole thing is just don’t try and
take everything too fast. If there’s something you
don’t really understand or you’re not very good at, stop and try and develop those elements whether it’s a visual
element, an understanding, a physical element, whatever it might be. But you need to just take your
time and redevelop yourself. That’s probably why you’re here anyway. You’re missing some elements and I’m gonna try and get those for you. So always remember that
that’s the great thing. Just stop it, and then
come back up, and start (electric guitar music) when you’re feeling more comfortable. So the first thing we’re
going to do is break down, and I’m going to play all of this in the key of A minor for right now. One of the big problems I have with a lot of guitar magazines and things. And don’t get me wrong,
I buy ’em all the time. But they’ll show you how to do
a lick in the key of A minor and then they’ll show you how to do a lick in the key of F minor and I totally understand. I mean, the great thing is is that you should be able
to play in different keys and you should be able to visualize and move those into various
keys or the same key. But I think for general instruction, it’d be easier if I just
did everything in one key and then you worked from there. And then if you decide you
want to play in the key of G, you just shift it down. Or if you want to play
in the key of B or C, you just shift it up. So what I’m going to do is show you how to play the first position
of A minor pentatonic. By far the most important and probably the one you know anyway but we’re gonna talk
about it a little bit. So to begin with, what you’ll
see is I’m at the fifth fret of the sixth string. My first finger is on there. I’m going to be playing a shape and it’s gonna look like this. It’s gonna go from my
first finger, fifth fret, to my pinky at the eighth fret. Now to start off with, some of you might use your third finger for that eighth fret. I would highly recommend getting
comfortable with your pinky simply because obviously to be able to fully
function with four fingers is much more efficient than three fingers. Now, there are times when you’re jamming or playing a song or whatever where you’re gonna do things that are not exactly what you learned or how you learned how to do ’em and that’s perfectly fine. To change something to
make it make more sense or make it easier to
memorize or something, I think is perfectly acceptable. To do something in a way because you cannot do it another
way is kind of prohibiting. So the important thing here is we want to develop all four fingers. So first thing again, I’ve
got fifth fret to eighth fret, my first to pinky. Then I’m gonna go to the
next string, my fifth string, and I’m gonna play first to third. And then the next string is
also gonna be first to third. Next string’s also
gonna be first to third. Next string’s first to
fourth, eighth fret. And then the last one is first
to fourth again, eighth fret. Here’s my shape if you
think of it this way. I have one four, three one three’s. One three, one three, one three. Then two one fours again. One four, one four. Okay? So one four, one three,
one three, one three, one four, one four. Okay? And what you want to do is you want to be able to
look down at your fret board and you want to be able to see that, to visualize that shape. Okay? Now, let’s talk a little bit about it. We call this a pentatonic scale. Now, what does pentatonic mean? Penta means five and tonic means root. So it’s five notes from the root. Now, when I play this scale, what you’re gonna notice is I’ve obviously got more
than five notes here, but I really don’t. It’s just octaves of the same notes. So I’m gonna go one,
two, three, four, five. (electric guitar music) And the next note’s gonna be one again. One, two, three, four, five. (electric guitar music) And then one four to end it
off or one two to end it off. Excuse me. So. (electric guitar music) And then I run out of strings. Okay, so what that means is the first note I’m starting off with here is A at the fifth fret. And if you don’t know those notes, we’ll talk about that
in a second here too. So A on the fifth fret
of the sixth string. Okay? When I go up five notes from there, the sixth note is A all over again. (electric guitar music) Those are called octaves, and we use octaves (electric guitar music) in a lot of different songs. So now you should be able
to visualize your A here and your A here. You should see both of those
As sitting on your guitar. If I was gonna solo or improvise or I had some licks or
something and I was gonna play, I’d be wanting to target some of those As because that’s the key that I’m in. So if I went. (electric guitar music) See, I can go to that
A all over the place. Okay? Now, we got another A (mumbling) ’cause this is one,
(electric guitar music) two,
(electric guitar music) three,
(electric guitar music) four,
(electric guitar music) five,
(electric guitar music) and one again.
(electric guitar music) Okay? So that’s A up on the top. Now, you might know that these two strings are both E strings. Okay? So this is A and so is this. So we have A, A, and A. We have three As in this one position. Now, what’s great about the pentatonic and certainly about guitar playing is this shape is movable in any key. As long as you know where the
notes are on the six string, you can shift that first
position in any key. So if we want to play in
the key of F for instance if the song was in the key of F, if we knew that the first
fret was F which it is, I could move this entire shape down to F and play exactly the same thing. (electric guitar music) and so on. I could be in the key of G or whatever. So we want to learn those notes. We want to learn where
they are on the six string and we’re gonna talk about
that in just a minute. Before we move on to that though, I want to have you develop
this first position. And then from here on, you’re gonna develop all the
other positions the same way. So the first thing I want you to do is when you start learning
how to play this scale, I want you to play it up but I also want you to
always play it back down. You want to be able to get
used to going both directions on the guitar as you’re playing. (electric guitar music) And what you’re really looking
for here is efficiency. When you play stuff,
it’s really important. Here, let me get my metronome up here. There we go. And there we go. Okay. It’s really important that
you can play things at a tempo because obviously a lot of the stuff that we’re going to be
doing is going to be done, excuse me, with a tempo, with a speed. So what I want to learn to do is I want to learn to
play this all the way up. There it is.
(metronome beating) Perfect. Okay, I want to play this all the way up. (electric guitar music) And all the way back down. And when I do this, I want to use my alternate picking. If you know what alternate picking is, that’s down-up picking. Okay? We get used to when we
first start playing. I remember when I first started playing, I had no knowledge whatsoever of alternate or down-up picking. Everything I did was just down picking. (electric guitar music) And the problem with that is is that it’s not very efficient. Once you start learning how to alternate pick very comfortably, everything tends to flow a lot more. So what I want you to do is I want you to try and
practice doing this scale using down-up picking. (electric guitar music) and because there’s two
notes on each string, that means you’d be going down, up, down, up, down, up, down,
up, down, up, down, up. And when I get to the top, I’m actually gonna play that pinky again so I can go down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, so I keep this whole arm
consistent the entire time. (electric guitar music) Now, there’s lots of little exercises that we can do with this to make it a little more comfortable. What I like to do with my students is I’ll have them try and play through it and if they’re having a problem
getting all the way through, what we can do is just
simply take maybe two strings and just practice the repetition of doing the down-up picking with the pattern that we’re using. So for instance, I would do this. (electric guitar music) Whatever it is, right? So I’m going down-up and I’m just using those two strings. Or maybe I’ll use the
fifth and fourth strings. (electric guitar music) Or maybe I’ll use again, the
third and second strings. (electric guitar music) What you’re gonna notice about all of these that I’m picking is that the fingering is different. The first one would have been
one to four, one to three. The second one that I did was
one to three, one to three. And the third one I did was
one to three to one to four. (electric guitar music) So I’m kind of using
the different variances of that pentatonic scale as an exercise. I learned a long time
ago it made sense to me when I was trying to play songs if the songs were a
little bit more difficult than I wanted them to be, if I just took that piece
out that I didn’t understand and I just practiced that
piece over, and over, and over, then I could put it back in. Otherwise what happens, and I’m sure you’re aware of this, when you play songs, you could play the song great
up to a minute and 12 seconds and then something happens
there and you can’t do it so you either have to skip it, or you have to stop, or whatever, and it really is an
unfortunate part of playing because a lot of times,
people get frustrated and then they don’t want to
learn the rest of the song. The goal is if you really want
to get some of these things is you need to extract that problem and figure out why it’s a problem. You know, is it a visual problem? Is it an understanding problem? Is a technical problem? And certainly technical
problems are quite prominent in what we do for a living. So anyway. That’s what I want you to practice is going all the way
using down, up, down, up. Now, let me see if my metronome
is coming through for you. (metronome beating) Yup, and it is. Okay. So what I’m going to do now is I’m going to set this metronome and I’m going to play along with it. I’m gonna show you how
you can use the metronome to play things like quarter notes, or eighth notes, or sixteenth notes, and not just for this
exercise but just in general. Here’s another problem that people have is they don’t really know how to utilize a metronome effectively. Some people never use a metronome and I can tell you from experience a metronome makes a huge difference because what we can do is get
concepts on the fret board, and move chords around and things. But a lot of times, what our problem is is that we’re not very articulate or we don’t really understand the rhythm that we’re trying to play with, or play over, or whatever. And so when we play, it
tends to sound sloppy. That’s what people refer to it as. The goal with a metronome is
like playing with a drummer. A lot of you probably don’t
have a drummer available 24 hours a day at your house. And if you do, that’s
awesome, but most of us don’t. And so what a metronome does is it offers us the
ability to practice things so when we get together with a drummer or whatever it might be, we understand more of the rhythm that we’re actually trying to play. We can visualize and we can practice
these things all we want but the problem is is
how well can you do it? And I’m never trying to tell you that you need to try and
be some sort of shred freak or something like that. I love that kind of stuff but that doesn’t mean everybody does. What it does mean though is that you always have to remember that all of these things are limitations. Your understanding of the
guitar is a limitation. Your technique is a limitation. Your ability to visualize is a limitation. And the further you can
keep moving that bar up, the less limitations you have. Right? So for instance, to play something
extremely, extremely slow probably isn’t as much of a limitation because even a beginner
can play quite slow but playing faster is a limitation. So it’s not so much that you have to be the
fastest person on the block. It’s that you have to be
able to play at a speed that serves your needs. If you’re trying to play
over a particular jam track or play along with a particular song, those things have tempos. And within those tempos, you’re going to be able to do some things and you’re not going to be
able to do other things. So that’s kind of the point. So here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna start the metronome and I’m gonna play this A minor
pentatonic as quarter notes. What quarter notes mean is when you hear this metronome, you’re thinking one, two, three, four, and I’m going to play each one of those. So it’s one per click, okay? If I was doing eighth notes, eighth notes are two per click and sixteenth notes
would be four per click. Okay? So the easiest way to
think of quarter note, eighth note, sixteenth
note, all that kind of jazz is just every time you
move up to the next one, you’re going twice as
fast as the last one. Okay? So I’m going to show you that here. (metronome beating)
(electric guitar music) Okay? Now again, I’m not trying to show off and I’m not trying to say you need to be able to do all that. I’m not doing any of that. I’m just saying that’s
what it would sound like playing quarter notes to the metronome, eighth notes to the metronome,
and sixteenth notes. Now, most of the time in normal music, you’d never have to play
something like a 32nd note. I mean, that’s just shredding. It’s speed picking. And again, somewhere along the line, if that’s what you want to
get into, that’s awesome. But quarter notes, you will play. Eighth notes, you will play. Sixteenth notes, you absolutely will play. And so the goal is being
able to be comfortable with all of those three
things at a particular speed. You might start your metronome
off, for instance, at 100 and just practice the metronome
at 100 doing quarter notes. And you do that and you go
wow, that’s really easy. So then you try and move it to
eighth notes, two per click. Okay, you move to two per click and you can’t do two per click at 100. So what you do is simply
move your metronome, for instance, up to 148
or something like that and now try and do your quarter notes. Because obviously if you get
to 200 doing quarter notes, it’s the same as being
100 doing eighth notes. So you don’t have to. I mean, if you’re not able to do those at 100 beats a
minute, do those eighth notes, you have all of this other room to build to build that strength and build that understanding to get there. Okay? So again, I’m not going to
keep telling this to you after every sequence ’cause it’d be kind of
a waste of our time. But I do want you to understand that that’s how I want you to approach everything that we’re doing. Try and play the exercise, or the scale, or whatever it is as quarter notes at a particular speed on the metronome. Keep track of your speeds. You know, always start off
with something easy like 100. And by easy, I mean you can remember 100. Okay? And then maybe try eighth notes. If you can do it at eighth notes, you never have to go
back to quarter notes. You could just focus on eighth
notes and keep building that. Get to sixteenth notes and then you build those sixteenth notes. So okay, anyway. So what we’re gonna do now is we’re gonna move on to
the notes on the sixth string and I’m gonna show you a shortcut
to memorizing those notes. Okay, the first thing we’re gonna do is we’re gonna memorize from zero to 12. 12 and up on the guitar is nothing more than an
octave of the first 12 notes so we need to know those. And in order to know those, we need to know the notes in music. I’m not gonna give you a
big theory lesson on this. I just want you to understand
the simplicity of this. When we talk about music, we’re talking about the notes
A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. There’s no H, or I, or J,
or something like that. It just goes from A to G and it starts all over on A as an octave. We just talked about that. So you have the notes
A, B, C, D, E, F, and G which are seven notes. Now, if you think about a piano, even if you don’t play a piano, you know what one looks like. The white notes on the piano
are A, B, C, D, E, F, and G but then we’ve got those
pesky black keys in there that tend to mix people up when they’re trying to think about how this whole system works. And so here’s what we’re gonna do. I’m gonna show you an easy
way of thinking about this. A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, okay, all of those notes, if all of those notes got a sharp, we would wind up with a total of 14 notes. And what is a sharp? Well, let’s think about this. If I have the note A
and I move to A sharp. For instance, this note
on the guitar is A. (electric guitar music) This note on the guitar is A sharp. (electric guitar music) A.
(electric guitar music) A sharp.
(electric guitar music) Okay? They are not the same note. Even though they have
the letter A in them, they’re not the same note. They’re two different notes that have some similarities in note name. So A and A sharp. Two different notes. It’s easier to think about it that way. So if we had A through G, seven notes, and they all got sharps,
we’d wind up with 14 notes. But we don’t have 14 notes. We only have 12. This is where it gets a little weird. On the piano. Again, if you can think about a piano, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a couple spots on the piano where there is no black note
in between the white notes. There’s a couple of notes
that do not get sharps but there’s an easy way of memorizing it. The notes that don’t
get sharps are B and E which spells the word be. So if you just remember that
for the rest of your life. And again, if you have a
piece of paper and pencil, write it down. A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. Everybody gets sharps except for B and E which spells the word be. Okay? So when I look at this guitar, my entire guitar is covered
by those same 12 notes over, and over, and over. But if I was going to sit down and memorize all the notes on this, it seems like a pretty
insurmountable task. I mean, that’s pretty large and we don’t need to
know all that right now. What we do need to know are the notes on the six string. So what I need to know is that when I pluck
the sixth string open, (electric guitar music) that note is E. I have to know that. And if you know how to tune your guitar, you know that the string is E. So if I go to the first
fret of the sixth string, okay, that note is F. It’s not E sharp because there’s
no such thing as E sharp. If there was an E sharp, this would be it. Again, just visualize
A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. Everybody gets a sharp except for B and E. On the guitar, we don’t
have white and black keys. We just have frets. So we’re moving from E to F. (electric guitar music) That means the second fret is F sharp. Third fret is G. Fourth fret is G sharp. Fifth fret is A because
it starts all over. A sharp, sixth fret. B is seventh fret. C. Remember, there’s no B sharp so this is C at the eighth fret. Ninth fret is D. Or excuse me, C sharp. 10th fret is D. 11th fret is D sharp and 12th fret is E all over again. One octave. That’s why it has two dots. It’s telling you you’ve gone an octave. So the rest of the fret board is just an octave of the
first part of the fret board. Now, I used to send students
home with that information. I would write that down for them just like hopefully you’re doing right now and they’d have zero is E, one is F, two if F sharp, three is G. And understand when I was
in high school and stuff, I used to write these down and I would sit in my study halls and I would just memorize this stuff. I would just sit and study it. And that’s the intellectual,
the visual aspect of it is we think that guitar playing is always just when we’re gonna practice, we have to be in some sort of
room and plugged into an amp. That’s not true at all. You can do a lot of practicing
without a guitar even around. You can visualize things all the time and I hope to get to that a little bit as we move further into
this instructional thing that the majority of what
you do is actually visual. When I try and figure out something or I’m learning a song by
ear or something like that, the first thing I do is
analyze everything in my head. Then I go to my guitar and
figure out what is what. What chord is this? What chord is this? And it’s easier for me to memorize because I’ve already
got it all figured out. So what I want you to do
are think about those. Now, again, with my story, I used to send everybody home. They would go home and they’d have this. They’d come back the next week and I’d say okay, so let’s
go through your notes. Can you find me a B? And they’d go B. Okay, where’s D? Go to D. There’s a much faster way. So what I wound up doing is
to show people how to do this, I started using just the
dots on the guitar, okay? Which if you think about it, the dots are odd numbered like
three, five, seven, and nine. Now, we don’t have a dot at one although we’re gonna use one. We’re gonna use the odd numbers. One, three, five, seven, nine. Now, on your guitar, you might have a dot there. You might not have a dot here. You might not have any dots. If you don’t have any dots, it makes it certainly
a little more difficult than if you do have some
sort of fret marker. But if you don’t, you
certainly can do this. But what you want to memorize is one, three, five, seven, nine. Those dots. So when you look down at your guitar, the first thing you see are those dots ’cause they should be
sitting up on top here. So if you wanted third
fret, you’d look down here. If you wanted seventh
fret, you’d look down here. That sort of thing. So again, the first thing we need to know is that when we pluck
the sixth string open, (electric guitar music) we’re hearing the note E. There’s nothing that
can help us with that. We just have to memorize it. But here’s where it gets cool. This fret right here, the first fret is F. The third fret is G. The fifth fret is A. The seventh fret is B. So what’s really easy about this is you could go home
and memorize F, G, A, B. F, G, A, B. F, G, A, B. One, three, five, seven. E, F, G, A, B. Then you stop looking at your
guitar and you think about it. Okay, where’s G? G is at the third fret. Where’s B? Seventh fret. Where’s F? First fret. You’re visualizing now. So you’re learning
structure on your guitar but you’re also visualizing. You’re thinking about where they are. So by the time the next time
you grab the guitar comes, you haven’t forgotten all this. You’ve been thinking about it. You know, we talk about practicing. Like when I was growing up, everybody always said you
practice 30 minutes a day and I don’t know where
that number came from. But I think more importantly than how many minutes you practice a day is how often are you thinking about what you’re trying to do. Okay, we live busy lives. I’m sure you do too. We multitask all the time. We’re always thinking okay, what do we have to do tomorrow morning? What do I gotta do at lunchtime? What do I gotta do at suppertime? All these different things. The easiest way to learn how to play is to think about things about your guitar throughout the day. Maybe multiple times a day. Maybe you get up in the morning and you practice something
for three minutes. I mean, just something
to keep it in your head. And later on, you practice again, and later on, you practice again while you’re at work, or at
school, or whatever it might be. You’re visualizing something. You’re thinking about something. And that’s what I’m talking
about with visualization. I can see my fret board in my head. I can see F, G, A, and B. One, three, five, seven, in my head. I don’t need to look
at my guitar to do that and I’m not patting myself on the back. What I’m saying is I really
can do that and so can you. And so what I want you to do is I want you to think about that. F, G, A, B. Now, the reason I stopped at the B is this is where the discrepancy happens. We know B doesn’t have a sharp so this note is C and this
note surrounding it is D. But I can still use this dot to think about the ones on
the outside of it, right? So I have F, G, A, B, C, and D. F, G, A, B, C, and D. So in discussing this, what you have to understand is that the dots are not there to accommodate the
notes of the six string. When they created the guitar, the dots are just there as
a visual reference of fret. It’s not there as a pitch reference. We’re creating a pitch reference by thinking F, G, A, B, C, and D. Because the fifth string is
gonna be completely different, the fourth string is gonna
be completely different, and so on. But we can do the same method to it. We can use either the
dot or around the dot to memorize where our
notes are supposed to be. So what I want you to do, and again, if you need
to shut the video off, that’s perfectly fine. But you’re gonna do is you’re gonna play F, G, A, B, C, and D. You’re gonna visualize those. So you might have somebody
in your household or whatever ask you where is C? Eight. Where’s F? One. Where’s D? 10. And you just kind of go through the route trying to memorize where all of those are. Now, that serves multiple purposes. Number one, you now know the
notes on your six string. Number two, you can find all
of your bar chords and stuff off of those notes. So if you wanted a B barre chord, it’s gonna be at the seventh fret. If you wanted a G barre chord, it’s going to be at the third fret. If you wanted an F barre chord, it’s gonna be at the first fret. Now again, if you don’t know barre chords, that’s not something we’re
gonna get into in this class but we will use that for our scales so the same principle
applies to your scales. If you wanted to be in the
key of G minor pentatonic, you’d go to G and you’d
play the same exact shape we were just talking about. If you wanted to be in the key of F, you’d go to F and you’d
play the exact same shape that we were just talking about. So the awesome thing is is when you learn how to play that first position of pentatonic, you can play in any key. All you need to know
is what key do you want and you shift it to that key. Okay? So moving on to the next segment. Learning all five positions. And on WizIQ, there will be a
handout that you can download that shows you all five
positions for you to memorize. So what we have to understand here is when we’re playing the pentatonic, we just played five. Again, we’re in A minor pentatonic. Five eight, five seven, five seven, five seven, five eight, five eight. Okay? But that’s one spot on the guitar. We have all the rest of this guitar and all the rest of this guitar that we have to learn those five notes. And again, you don’t need
to know this right now but the notes are A, C, D, E, and G. A, C, D, E, G. A, C, and then I run out of strings. So those five notes A, C, D, E, and G exist all over the fret board, not just in this one spot. And what I want to be able to
do is move around when I solo. (electric guitar music) And maybe come down here. (electric guitar music) Whatever it would be. I’m gonna move around and
use those five positions. So what I’m gonna do here is I’m gonna set you up with them and what I want you to understand is again, from a visual perspective, they’re all connecting
together like puzzle pieces. Each piece just locks into
place with the other piece. And what I mean by that is
if I’m in A minor pentatonic. And I suppose before I go
on, I should explain minor. In music, there’s always major and there’s minor everything. Major chords, minor chords. Major scales, minor scales. We’re talking about the minor pentatonic and not the major pentatonic at this point because the minor
pentatonic is more useful in a variety of different situations. You can play obviously minor pentatonic over minor chord progressions but you can absolutely
play minor pentatonic over major chord progressions as well because of the blues. And again, we’ll get into all of that further down the road. But that’s why we’re studying this. We want something that’s practical that we can use 85% of the time and this minor pentatonic is that. Major pentatonic is not that. Major pentatonic is a little different. So right now, our goal is to learn how to solo over rock and roll, to learn how to solo over blues. Those sorts of things using
this minor pentatonic. So now, moving on. When I play this first position, I have eight, seven, seven, seven, eight, eight on this side. And then I have fives on that side. Five eight, five seven,
five seven, and so on. So what you have to understand is when I create the second position now, the second position is
gonna use those same notes. It has to use the eight,
the seven, the seven, the seven, the eight, the eight. I can’t all of a sudden start using like an eight right
here or a six right here because it wouldn’t be an
A minor pentatonic anymore. If I want to be in A minor pentatonic, I have to keep using the same five notes over, and over, and over. Just like if you were on a piano, you’d play it up and you’d
keep using the same notes. We want to do the same thing but what makes guitar a little
more confusing for people is that you actually kind
of have like six pianos. You have six pianos running this way but then we can play through
those six pianos this way. Where a piano would just
use this one string, we’re playing this way and this way. Okay? So what I want you to do then is just kind of visualize
eight, seven, seven, seven, eight, eight. So I’m gonna play the first position and then I’m gonna shift up
and play the second position and then we’re gonna talk about that. (electric guitar music) So off of this pinky now, the eighth fret, I’m gonna move up to that eighth fret and I’m gonna start with
my middle finger now. So instead of being here which was the first position of A minor, I’m gonna move to the eighth fret here which is the last note of this position. And I’m gonna start on that position now. I’m not starting on nine or seven ’cause those aren’t A minor pentatonic. I’ve gotta start on eight. So now, my position’s
gonna look like this. (electric guitar music) Let’s talk about that. It’s going eight to 10. (electric guitar music) Seven to 10. And again, it has to go to seven ’cause that’s what my
last position was at. So seven to 10.
(electric guitar music) Seven to 10.
(electric guitar music) Seven to nine.
(electric guitar music) Eight to 10.
(electric guitar music) Eight to 10.
(electric guitar music) Okay? And then backwards. 10 eight.
(electric guitar music) 10 eight.
(electric guitar music) Nine seven.
(electric guitar music) 10 seven.
(electric guitar music) 10 seven.
(electric guitar music) And then 10 eight.
(electric guitar music) Okay? Now, this position is a little harder than the first position
because it’s not as similar. The shape is quite different. Where this one used five
eight and five seven but the five stayed the same all the time, it shifts around in this position. So to begin with, what you could do is
use a logical fingering which would be two to four, one to four, one to four, one to three,
two to four, two to four. Let me play that for
you so you can see it. (electric guitar music) But I’m gonna be honest with you. When I go to solo with this thing, two and four are not the
fingers I want to wind up with. Okay? If I had the option of
playing one to three over two to four, I would do that any day because my one to three is
obviously a lot stronger than my two to four. And again, that’s completely fine. You’re gonna have certain
fingerings that make sense to you that work better than other fingers and it’s all about your playing. It’s not about whether or not everything is technically
right in an exercise format. What’s more important
is when you’re jamming that everything feels
right and sounds right. I’m sure Jimi Hendrix didn’t sit around going well, I suppose I should use this because that’s how I learned
how to play the scale. He’s just playing. So it’s important to understand that. Again, it’s different than not being able to
use a certain finger ’cause you don’t practice it. Jimi Hendrix also used all four fingers so we need to make sure we
can do those sorts of things. So eight 10, seven 10, seven 10, seven nine, eight 10, eight 10. And it just simply connects
to the first position. So here’s a great way of
practicing these two positions. (electric guitar music) Then you move up. (electric guitar music) What I like to do is I’ll go up one and down the other like this. (electric guitar music) ‘Cause ultimately what
I want to be able to do is use these scales. I don’t want to play each
one as like tunnel vision where when I’m only in that position, I can only see that position and I can only move from
this string to this string. I want to be able to move wherever I want. So my goal is to be able
to look at my guitar and see from five to 10, see both of these positions as one piece. Now, I can see them as puzzle pieces, as two different pieces connected, that’s fine. But I need to be able to use ’em. (electric guitar music) See what I mean? I gotta be able to move between them. And when we get into licks and stuff like that in just a little bit, our licks are gonna use these things. I’m gonna show you how to do something but then I’m gonna show
you how to move it around and that’s the part that
used to confuse me so bad was I would learn how to do
something in a particular way but then I could never use it practically. I would just sit there
and do that same thing over, and over, and over. I want to show you how to
use things practically. So there’s our second position. Now, we’re gonna move on
to the third position. The third position starts at the 10th fret because the last one
ended at the 10th fret. Okay, so I’m gonna start
with my first finger or middle finger. Again, I’m gonna start
with my first finger to be honest with you and I’m gonna go from 10 to 12. So now, this position goes 10 to 12, (electric guitar music) 10 to 12,
(electric guitar music) 10 to 12,
(electric guitar music) 9 to 12, so I’m gonna back up,
(electric guitar music) and then 10 to 13,
(electric guitar music) and then 10 to 12 again.
(electric guitar music) So backwards, 12 to 10,
(electric guitar music) 13 to 10,
(electric guitar music) and then 12 to 9,
(electric guitar music) 10 to 12, or excuse me, 12 to 10,
(electric guitar music) 12 to 10,
(electric guitar music) 12 to 10.
(electric guitar music) And again, it’s not how fast
you can play through these and then move on to the next thing. You want to visualize. Now, you’d want to be able to visualize from five to 13 or 12, right? Somewhere in there. This position is weird because if you start off with one three, you gotta back up, but then you gotta go forward from this third string
to the second string. So I’m gonna show you with that other camera shot
there that you can see. I’m gonna kinda show you if I was soloing what fingers I probably
would be using, okay? So if I was going. (electric guitar music) See, I’m using one to three although it should be one to four. This is a practical reason
why I would be doing this because when I come off
the top of the guitar here, (electric guitar music) my pinky’s gonna naturally wind up there. Okay? And then when I keep
going through the scale, my third finger’s gonna wind up there. (electric guitar music) See that? I think I said pinky. I meant third finger. (electric guitar music) See? So the majority of this position uses the third finger on the 12th fret. The only one that would change that would be the third string
which is nine to 12. So I don’t really change that. If I was playing this position, (electric guitar music) I would just reach back
with my first finger. Okay? Now, I’m telling you this because I’m being honest with you. When you’re learning how to play. Again, you could play it
from a technical aspect to utilize the fingers
properly and that’s great. But when it comes time to jam, it comes time to play, I always think of it
like a basketball game. You can practice fundamentals
’til your eyes are blue, but when you get into the
game and you start playing and somebody’s elbow is in your head, and people all over the place, and the court is sweaty, and you get elbowed in the eyeball, and blah, blah, blah, the rules change. More of a natural ability comes out. You can practice all of your
form and all those things and you’re still gonna
use some of that for sure. Obviously, you will. But you can’t use all of it because the situation is different now when there’s other people around versus when you’re by yourself. The same thing kind of happens when you’re trying to solo. (electric guitar music) You gotta figure out how to move around that feels comfortable to you. And when I talk about licks and things, I’m gonna tell you exactly what I’m doing and why I’m choosing to do that. So that was the third position. Now, I’m moving on to the fourth position. I gotta turn this way a
little bit so you can see me. Fourth position, I’m starting off on the 12th
fret of the sixth string and I’m gonna go 12 15,
(electric guitar music) 12 15,
(electric guitar music) 12 14,
(electric guitar music) 12 14,
(electric guitar music) 13 15,
(electric guitar music) which again, I would shift up for. You wouldn’t have to though. And then 12 15.
(electric guitar music) And then backwards. (electric guitar music) So sometimes when I play it down and then I play it back up, I’ve been playing this stuff for so long that my fingers have just sort of adjusted to what seems to work the best, what feels most comfortable, and I really don’t think about it anymore. And to be quite honest, I kinda like that. That’s sorta the point. So I don’t worry about
those sorts of things. I have done many, many exercises to develop each finger individually and all those sorts of things and I’m definitely gonna
tell you about those as well, but we’ll get into that later. So here’s your first or fourth position. Now, we move up into fifth position. I gotta make sure you can
see me here on the guitar or on the second camera. So I’m going 15 17,
(electric guitar music) 15 17,
(electric guitar music) 14 17,
(electric guitar music) 14 17,
(electric guitar music) 15 17,
(electric guitar music) 15 17.
(electric guitar music) Now if you notice, I’ve just made a straight
line with the 17s which is the first position
starting all over in the octave. There’s your five positions. They all connect together. Where one leaves off,
the second one begins. Where that one leaves off,
the next one begins and so on. What you also want to
understand about that is if this is the first
position at the fifth fret which it is, that means the fifth
position is right here. It’s not just up there,
it’s down here too. Okay? So if I was playing the
first position here, (electric guitar music) my fifth position was right here. (electric guitar music) You can hear that they’re
octaves of each other. So my fifth position is down
here because a lot of times, people keep learning to
go this way on the guitar but they never think about going that way. We want to go that way. Okay, so our fifth position is here in the key of A minor which means our fourth position is here and our fourth position
is gonna use open strings. Any of the 12s we were using up here would be zeroes down here. So this one’s kinda hard
for people to see sometimes but I want you to see it. So I’m again, in the fourth position. I’m going zero three,
(electric guitar music) zero three,
(electric guitar music) zero two,
(electric guitar music) zero two,
(electric guitar music) one three,
(electric guitar music) zero three.
(electric guitar music) So we want to be able to
move around and use those. What’s great about this first position, excuse me, fourth position
is that it uses open strings. So when I’m playing, if I go, (electric guitar music) that’s where you get all
these open links, right? (electric guitar music) All that kind of stuff. I’m gonna be using that open string. (electric guitar music) Okay? So I want those. (electric guitar music) Okay? So we’re gonna talk a little
bit more about all of this putting this all together, but what I’d like you to do is I’d like you to focus
on learning all of this. So what we have right now
is using alternate picking to play these positions. We also have, using a metronome, to practice each one of these positions. We also have memorizing
each one of these positions and connecting them all together to make one large unified scale. And it’s okay if you see the little connector pieces in between. That’s fine. But you want to be able
to see the whole thing. That’s what makes soloing fun. And for many of you, that’s
sometimes probably a problem is you’re playing here but
you don’t know where to go. You want to be able to go anywhere. You want to just be able to
slide any old place you want at any given moment in time and that’s why we’re gonna focus on A minor pentatonic for this series. I’m not gonna keep moving into G, and then F, and then D, and then C so you never really see the unification. I want to leave it all in one place, learn how to do it all in one place. And then if you want to shift it, that’s perfectly fine. Shift the whole thing into another place. Okay? So visualization of all
these five positions, alternate picking, and I think that pretty much covers it. Using a metronome to try
and get better with them. So the next thing to do is is to start talking about
the techniques themselves. Okay? We want to learn how to
do things such as bending, vibrato, hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, trills, all those sorts of things. And again, I’m sure you
know a lot about these but it’s really important that
you take them very serious. The two most important things that I think about as a guitar player are bending and vibrato. I get a lot of students that come in and they have these
really strange vibratos or bends that are always out
of tune, things like that. That kills a great solo. It’s not really how much
you know or how fast you are as much as it is how you can utilize all the information that you have to make a variety of things, to make things dynamic and exciting. You know, if you play low, you play high. If you play slow, you play fast. If you play loud, you play soft. All those different kinds of things. So when you go to solo,
you know, when you play, (electric guitar music) vibrato and bending are the two things I want you to really think about the most. Now, a vibrato is done by lightly shaking a
string back and forth. It is not done by doing
this with your fingers. It’s done by turning this almost like you’re opening a door knob. It’s turning your hand. Okay, so if you see what I’m doing here, what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna put the thumb behind the guitar. I’m gonna grab on. Okay? And my thumb is coming over the top now. It’s called a blues stance a lot of people refer to
it as or a blues grab. A lot of times when you
learn how to play chords, you put your thumb back there. My hands are very small. But you want to grab on and the reason is is ’cause you’re gonna
pull against that thumb to do this vibrato. So what I’m doing is I’m
turning my hand like this, turning my wrist, I should say. Okay? So as I grab that string,
my string is in tune. And when I pull it slightly,
it’s gonna be out of tune. All vibrato is. But when I release it
back to where it was, it’s gonna be in tune again. So even when you do a vocal vibrato, it’s the same thing. You’re just creating a small
waveform is what’s happening. So you don’t have to like make
it this huge vibrato thing. All it needs to do is move from point A (electric guitar music) to point B which it is out of tune. But when you release it back, (electric guitar music) the ear accepts it as
a nice smooth waveform. (electric guitar music) So I’m not doing this. It’s not that. You get these weird sort of, (electric guitar music) weird quasar sort of vibrato things. Don’t do that. Keep it nice and smooth. (electric guitar music) It’s not that it has to be so fast. And here’s what you’re
really trying to do. You’re creating two points. You’re creating the
point that you started on which is we’ll call the zero point and then you’re creating the bend point. And you want to go back and
forth between those two points. You don’t want a wave that looks like this ’cause it’s gonna sound like that. You want to create something
that sounds really uniform. (electric guitar music) Okay? Make it sound smooth. Then the next thing is is vibrato or, excuse me, bending. Bending is done by pushing
the string up in the air but you’re pushing to
something in particular. So for instance, when
you’re doing a vibrato, the three main bends I’m gonna show you and then we’ll get into
this a little bit later. But the three main bends we’re gonna do. I keep saying vibrato. I’m sorry. The three main bends. We’re gonna go to the
third string, seventh fret. Okay? I’m gonna put all three
fingers on that string. I’m gonna grab it on here. And here’s what I’m doing
is I’m turning it this way. I’m turning my wrist this way. I’m not pressing the fingers up like this. I’m turning. Okay? So again, like I’m opening a door knob. I’m turning this way. My vibrato went this way
and I’m turning upward. So I’m taking this string
and I’m bending it up. (electric guitar music) Okay? So the thing you have to
understand is with a bend, you’re actually bending to something. You’re not just bending up in the air any old place you want because that’s what
makes it sound, you know. (electric guitar music) Like you’re talking to space
aliens or something like that. So if you’re on the seventh
fret of the third string, you’d want to bend it up to the ninth fret because that’s a
pentatonic note, remember? (electric guitar music) Right there. Okay? You want to bend to that note so you go. (electric guitar music) So you use all three of your fingers to help you bend up in the air. (electric guitar music) See what I mean? So after a while, you
would get used to hearing how high to bend it. So that’s really important. You always want to bend in tune. There are three main bends
we use pentatonically. That’s one of them. The next one is the eighth
fret of the second string which I’m not gonna do with my pinky. I’m gonna put my third
finger on there again and I’m gonna bend with the
same three fingers here. Now, these fingers are out of position but it doesn’t make any difference ’cause you’re not gonna hear ’em anyway. They’re just supporting my bend. (electric guitar music) See, I find the note that I want. I bend up to it. (electric guitar music) Then I also have the first string which is also eighth fret but I’m not gonna use my pinky. I’m gonna use my third finger. (electric guitar music) and those are really important
rock and roll blues bends. (electric guitar music) Okay? So again, what’s great about this class is that you don’t have to be in any hurry to get to the end of it. You could watch this
over, and over, and over, and keep developing these. Because again, the most important thing is that you change what
you’re doing right now that you want to change. You don’t just kind of fly over
it to get to the next thing. Really make a difference. You know, the best players that I know. I listen to a ton of players but when I think about bending and stuff, guys like David Gilmour or Eric Clapton. I mean, there’s just
some incredible bending and vibrato guys out there. And they’re just so in control
of the way that they play and that’s what you want
to try and focus on. When you do this first string bend, you’re gonna notice it’s
kind of hard to get up there. The first string is hard to bend especially if you have
really thick strings. (electric guitar music) See? I’m gonna put all of that together. So I’m using bending and vibrato. Now, I can use a vibrato on top
of a bend like you just saw. (electric guitar music) And what I’m doing there is I’m bending it up to
the pitch that I want and now I’m releasing just slightly and then coming back up. So I’m bending up, I’m releasing slightly, and then I’m bending
up, releasing slightly. But I gotta keep hitting that bend. (electric guitar music) So you gotta keep getting up there. (electric guitar music) So it’s kind of a rocking motion. Well, it’s not even kind of. That is what it is. (electric guitar music) So I’m not doing anything
really unique right now. I’m just playing the pentatonic and using some vibrato, some bending. The other part is
hammer-ons and pull-offs. Hammer-ons are done by
smacking a finger down higher up the fret board. (electric guitar music) You want to smack that finger down. (electric guitar music) Okay? (electric guitar music) So you’re hammering. You’re smacking a finger down. You’re not just setting it down. You’re literally hitting it like a hammer. (electric guitar music) The pull-off is done by going backwards. You’re pulling off. (electric guitar music) And what you gotta think about when you’re doing a pull-off like right now, I’m doing a pull-off from seven to five with my third finger and my first finger. The third finger is really
acting like a guitar pick. It’s flicking the string like a guitar pick would pick the string. Here it comes.
(electric guitar music) I’m not just picking it off. I’m not just taking the finger off. I’m literally picking the string (electric guitar music) with my finger. So I’m smacking the finger down and I’m pulling it off
which is what a pull-off is. (electric guitar music) When I do them in succession like this, it’s called a trill when I
do hammer-ons and pull-offs. (electric guitar music) Does that make sense? Okay, so that’s what I want
you to try and focus on is getting used to bending, hammer-ons, pull-offs, vibrato, slides. Slides are awesome. You could slide from a note to a note. (electric guitar music) Okay? I could slide from nowhere to a note like I might just come in like this. (electric guitar music) It’s almost like an airplane landing. I’m just kind of coming in somewhere. I’m not sure where the
wheels are gonna hit but I’m just kind of sliding on it. (electric guitar music) I’m not going.
(electric guitar music) That’s different ’cause then I have a starting
point and an ending point. I’m just kind of coming in. (electric guitar music) Okay? Sliding, another great technique. So hammer-on, pull-off, trill, bending, vibrato, which
are huge, and sliding. And those are the majority of the effects that we’re going to be using when we’re making up guitar
licks or those various things. So you could break each one down and create an exercise out of it. Like you could do trills all day long. You could practice like
with your pentatonic scale. You could just take your pentatonic and practice doing
hammer-ons all the way up and pull-offs all the way back like this. (electric guitar music) Now, I’m gonna do pull-offs. (electric guitar music) Or I might like I showed
you earlier in this, I might just take two strings. (electric guitar music) I’m just doing hammer-ons right now. (electric guitar music) Building my control. I might do pull-offs. (electric guitar music) See? So it’s really a great
technique to try and practice. So that’s what I want you to focus on are all of these elements. Put them all together and then in the next
class, what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna start
looking at some basic licks and putting those things together. Thanks.

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