Author Archive

Pentatonic Lick

October 4, 2016 Leave a comment

Natural Minor Arpeggio Ideas

September 26, 2016 Leave a comment


Natural Minor: Scale / Arpeggio

September 25, 2016 Leave a comment

Taking a break from pentatonic and moving on to some Natural Minor.
It isn’t as big a leap as I had anticipated, as the bones are the same.

Here is the current exercise routine:

  • Starting in one position of a key, locate roots, play root-to-root ascending and descending.
  • Play expanded box position ascending and descending.
  • Play expanded box position quadruplet sequencing ascending/descending.
  • Play expanded box position using legato, one pick per string ascending/descending.
  • Play arpeggio  correlating to position (okay to venture out a little).
  • Repeat for other positions across fretboard.
  • Repeat for other keys.

Would like to further incorporate somehow / needs further emphasis:

  • Move out of box positions, incorporate more horizontal movement.
  • More readily identify relative root locations across positions.
  • Readily identify 3rd and 5th degrees in addition to the root.
  • Triads.

Effortless Fun

September 23, 2016 Leave a comment

A neat little exercise that targets a few points simultaneously while allowing you to work in short bursts as opposed to moving across the entire neck. Very pleasant.

  • Randomly put a finger on any note of the neck.
  • Identify the note.
  • Play linear scale sequence (alternate forward / backward from tonic).
  • Play entire scale position.
  • Some dexterity / picking / speed exercise in that position.
  • A little noodling while emphasizing tonics.
  • Identify location of that note across fretboard.
  • Repeat.

Pentatonic Minor Scale Exercises

September 21, 2016 Leave a comment

I’ve fallen into the routine of doing this exercise for Pent Min scale:

  • Pick a key (random).
  • Play every root across neck (octaves).
  • Pick a root somewhere, and play a linear sequence root-to-root, placing emphasis on the tonic.
  • Repeat this if the position allows for more than one run within the box (i.e. A shape; Position 1).
  • Then play the scale position, while identifying which positions share a particular tonic.
  • Picking/dexterity exercise in the same position.
  • Move onto next root and repeat across entire neck.
  • Repeat entire process for other keys at random.

In the very near future:

  • Disregard box shapes entirely and just proceed with root-to-root sequences along the neck.
  • Play scale along limited strings (i.e. only 6&5 or 3&1 etc.).
  • Figure out an exercise to memorizing all notes on fretboard.

Fretboard Tinkering 9/21/16

September 21, 2016 Leave a comment

While box positions are certainly easily accessible and convenient, I’ve noticed that spending too much time in boxland can be overkill, as well as stifle improvisation creativity. So, I’m focusing more on playing scales (minor pent) from root to root in various positions across the neck.

While doing this it soon becomes very clear how one might transition quite easily from  minor pentatonic to major pentatonic, simply be recognizing where the scale lives in relation to the root.

Current routine as of the moment:

  • Dexterity warm-up exercises
  • Finding all of the same notes across fretboard (octave exercises)
  • Play box positions up and down fretboard
  • Picking and dexterity exercises within boxes
  • Play scale starting and ending on root from various positions in different keys

Moving forward, the immediate goal would look something like:

  • Transition from root-to-root to 3rd-to-3rd and 5th-to-5th (pentatonic minor)
  • Being able to identify root, 3rd, and 5th across fretboard and their relevant minor pent scales
  • Learn major pent around roots as with minor, and recognize their relative positions


September 8, 2016 Leave a comment

Okay, let’s try this again.

In an attempt to rid my fingers of some of the rust that has developed and to re-familiarize myself with the fretboard, I have start doing the following before bed:

  • 4 consecutive frets per string, ascending & descending, up and down the fretboard (alternate picking)
  • 1-3-2-4 ascending & descending, up and down the fretboard (alternate picking)
  • Minor Pentatonic (in B)
  • Some improvising over some earmade chords looped with BR-80

Rather than dive right into another rigorous routine, I’ve decided to let one manifest itself organically as the rust clears.