You only get back what you put in!
Admittedly, at first I couldn’t do much with my newly found chord knowledge musically, but I started to see the patterns of how chords connect horizontally on the neck and more importantly, in each “position”.
So If I played a G major scale around fret three, I could see all the chords within that scale shape, and all the arpeggios, and all the modes, and they all used the same notes!
After a few weeks’ things started to change in my playing, I tried a jazz blues over 16 bars. Previously I only played minor pentatonic over it (relative minor) but now that I knew every chord, arpeggio and mode all over the neck I could use only those notes as well!
The result of this was that my solos sounded more sophisticated, it sounded as if I was following the music, which I was!
I remember recording one version of each, the first one I’d play just minor pentatonic, aiming to “feel” the notes that worked. The second I strictly followed the chords, applying either an arpeggio or a mode as the chords changed.
Blanket scale Vs New chord = New scale
-The second way sounded more Jazz, the first more blues. I combined them and found what I felt was a great combination, but the best news was, it was easy! My hands would tell me where to go, it was as if they knew before me.
For the first time in my playing life I was watching myself play, rather than focus on what I was playing. I had entered a new level of consciousness.
It was as if I had separated myself from myself, I just listened and watched.
I started testing my new found theories using Jazz Standards, Pop songs, Dance music, Folk music, Metal and found that every time; it just worked!
Now I understand why, back then it was as like the mystery had simply disappeared, I just wasn’t quite sure, was it really this simple?
Was the answer that you only had to put the hours in once you knew exactly what to do?
It turned out that it was. It wasn’t a case of practice makes perfect, it was a case of perfect practice makes perfect.
I had eliminated all unnecessary information and just followed the natural laws of music, I had taught my hands where everything on the neck was, and it wasn’t even that hard!
To be continued…
Dan (your guitar guru)