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Floyds Lessons: #1

Here is a simple trick. Take a A4 size paper and draw six strings and 12 frets ( a neck diagram).On the side write a set of chords say Amajor/C#min/D major/ D minor.Now for each of these chords write down the chord tones namely ( A,C#,E),(C#,E,Ab),(D,F#,A),(D,F,A). Now for each of these triads for the chords above plot all the notes with different color dots all over the neck.You will get 7 A's,6 C#'s,8 E's,6 Ab's,6 F's,7 D's.Counting as firmly as you can slowly play through each set of triads as the corresponding chords move.Mix the octaves and strings as you get comfortable.Do not play quickly, and you will soon be feeling every change that occurs.Please try this with every chord progression you hear or see.You will be able to outline the chords with simple fragments before you start with scales,arpeggios and other devices.As you quietly do this, I will gradually give you more devices per chord never forgetting the fact that you KNOW the chord tones.Hope you enjoy this its a primary and imperative exercise to align your ears with chord changes.Paste the paper on the wall or on a music stand and religiously make simple tunes based on the 3 notes per chord principle.You will soon be able to locate a note on any string improving fretboard recognition. #2 Take a scale which is symmetrical on the neck like a half whole diminished scale.The intervals from any starting point are H,W,H,W etc.Let us assume you start plotting the notes from G.The notes will be G,Ab,Bb,B etc.Continue on all strings on all twelve frets and you will get a lattice of dots. You will notice the 4 major triads that make up the 8 notes of this symmetrical scale.Namely G,Bb,C# and E.Not only will you get the shapes of all the 4 triads all over the neck you will observe some amazing patterns and lines you can flick for free :). This scale can be used on a G altered chord for starters.Circle all the triads with a colored pen. And learn all the primary shapes. This is a simple way to see the way a guitar is laid out geometrically.So plot away. Get an excel sheet printed with the fretboard and make photocopies. Use this for your scale charting R&D :) #3 A cool thing to do is take a small melody...say a nursery rhyme or a bollywood melody. Take 4 notes from that tune,mutate them to be major,minor or dominant to get 3 ideas out of one. Take that motif and move it over the changes to your favorite tune.Do it for all the random melodies that come to your mind.Use these melodies as springboards to new ones. Try not to blindly play over changes with licks for the simple reason the next time you hear those chords you will be playing the same stuff. This is what makes people stop playing and listening. Use your own library of melodies (and we know thousands),to make your own licks. #4 On the subject of finding your way around the fretboard and are hopefully now familiar plotting notes on a fretboard template here goes.Take the C major scale and plot all the 7 notes on the fretboard.As an elementary quiz if you grouped the 1,3,5,7 you will find all the inversions of the Major Seventh chords (C). You will see some pentatonic formations,triads,really cool ideas in diads (2 notes) and arpeggios.To familiarize yourself with the sounds of just the 'simple' C major get ready to be amazed at the amount of material available without even altering any of the 7 notes.Use wide intervals,find hidden sounds. Study all the intervals in all octaves available and try playing them against a pedal tone of C.After the data burns itself into the back of your head start making small melodies and take them to different parts of the neck. Please do this and do NOT presume you already know,remember stagnation is a result of overconfidence.I do these simple things all the time to keep myself honest.Hope you follow and apply this cool tool of finding stuff for yourself :) #5 When you learn a new scale learn to spell it. Plot the notes on the guitar fretboard chart.This is a static snapshot of all the routes you can take on the fretboard for this scale family.View each string as a keyboard and now consider 6 parallel ones.When you plot the most significant scales and study them slowly like this,you will generate your own lexicon of voicings and licks that will be your very own. e.g.take the melodic minor (1,2,b3,4,5,6,7) and plot it in any key.Sequence the notes intervallically,screw with the rhythm,and enjoy the sound. Play the scale on every single string and then add notes from the adjoining strings to have the scale move in diads,triads,chords etc.This will

cement the sound.I love mixing all these devices to make sounds, hope it makes sense.The guitar as an instrument starts out being very visual,it has to become embedded.This is the goal :). Am playing a small gig tomorrow in Pune and will give you a few more ideas when I'm back in the night. Do have a fun time practicing :) #6 options for Maj 7th chords...use the triads from 1,2,3,4,5 degrees and locate them all over the neck.Superimpose them over the sound of a Major 7th chord :) #7 when you hum the major scale (in any key),try this even when you are not with your instrument.Let say you hum do re me fi so la ti.. Start with 'do' and lets say 're' and complete a melodic motif. Then get one with 'do' and 'me' and so on. Register these melodies in your mind and they will lend a particular sound to these intervals. The one and two,the one and three,one and four,etc.This will cement the primary intervals. Then you can start with three note displacements and so on. They all have different sounds is what I am saying. Its just an easy way to know this 'feeling' and that 'feeling' :) #8 a recap of the symmetrical scale...in pictorial form.

When you are used to playing the major scales,pentatonics slowly all over the neck...Imagine a chord progression moving over definite intervals like ay Fm7,Gm7,Am7,Bm7,C#m7, Ebm7,Fm7....take a device like the minor pentatonic in the root key of each chord and play fragments for say 4 bars before making the shift. To make it super smooth play all the different pentatonics in the same position. Its the lateral displacement along the neck that makes the registers jump drastically. So try playing all these ideas in one position.Then repeat the same in another position and you will discover some really cool transition lines.As usual please plot the pentatonic scale on the neck and learn them all over the neck it will free you of stress :). Do this exercise up a half step i.e. F#m7,Abm7... and you will have done all the 12 minor pentatonics known to man,simply and painlessly. After this, make music on the progression to avoid sounding like an abacus :) #10 for more options on phrasing on a Min7 chord you can use the minor pentatonic in the 1,2 and 5th degree. i.e. for Amin7 you can play the A,B and E minor pentatonic scales.Also you can play the tones of Gmajor, Cmajor and F major.i.e major shapes on the b3,b6 and b7 degrees. Please forget the fancy modal names just try these sounds in as many positions as possible. Hope you can have some success with these tools :) #11 The same pentatonics when applied in a chaotic manner creates a different vibe.This sounds like noise emulated on a guitar. This is what I am reaching for here.Point being once you learn a few scale positions drag them all over to gain some mechanical facility. Repeat them and make them fit the rhythm and sometimes forget the harmony...occasionally come back and see the way the line and idea will resolve. Its like carrying garbage all day and finally reaching the dumping ground...resolution. So yeah play noise too, Have fun and breathe a little,or in my case wank :) #12 a small tip for electric guitar players...the impact with which you hit the strings with a pick should be directly proportional to the gauge of the strings. Pick light on light gauge strings and harder on heavier ones.This is neglected and will thin your sound with overdrive. Just a small note :) #13 to play with 'good time', its important to understand that in music 'relative' time is more important than being in time in an absolute sense. Let us assume your drummer switches his perfect absolute time and you are also in your perfect absolute zone both not connected, chaos will be the result.As listeners one cannot generally feel a micro displacement of time when it is together, as it happens through a tune,but one immediately hears someone not in 'sync' with the current moment.The point I am making is make sure you listen to the timekeeper of the band,hopefully the drummer and shift your clock to be with him/her. If you perceive several shifts that you have to make then have a talk with the person after the gig.Its important to keep the music together and for that its important to listen and not gesticulate wildly at an erring member ( who should be listening as well), this looks bad on a stage and sounds even worse.If you have to make displacements good or bad...make them together. No point saying 'I practice with a metronome....because not many of us have unshakeable time.So the moral of the story 'listen to the music you are making'.:) #14 earn the guitar with a little help from high school geometry. Really simple. If the low E string is the X axis and the fret is the Y axis...then if the root note i.e 1 is on the low E string....the successive notes on the other strings along the Y axis will read...1,4,b7,b3,5,1. Now when you want to find intervals and extensions all you have to do is extend this system with common sense. Its like having intervals on the Y axis and finding stuff thats closest to the fret.1.e. the 6th will be a whole step away from the B string and so on.Now try making your own chords. Of course the root can move from the top string and the system wraps around,but like I said being alert at geometry in school will pay off now...Just simple fretboard recognition tools. The stuff is right in front of you,use whatever logic you want to remember and reach intervals and notes you want.

#15 like when you were little and had a problem with left and right...you allocate a picture of a favorite turn on some road and commit this to your conscious mind.Similarly knowing notes on a favourite guitar string usually the E strings gives you a kind of knowledge of the brackets of a number series. The rest are embedded in these brackets and we also know the 5th is a power chord kind of thing and the octave is 2 strings away one whole step up. (exception being that bloody B string :)). What I'm saying is take a day and commit a simple system based on YOUR intrinsic logic to map a simple system where you know dead on where an interval lies.This is knowing the tool better and will yield really cool results,the self empowerment of the system will lead you to be more of an individual.If everyone went to Berklee or Numb Nuts or whatever then the music will follow a specific academic path and lead to homogeneity which is highly and utterly boring. So take that day map a system and tell me this is not satisfying. #16

to get access to simple melodies say in the key of C Major...plot the fret diagram for the scale. Now take a group of 2 strings and use these diads and form melodies.Play all over the fretboard. These strings could be adjacent ones or ones with a gap :).Lovely things will emerge. #17 if you consider like I have said before 6 parallel keyboards,every move on one string (along a scale of choice),will have the notes on the other strings playing the scale displaced with respect to that string.Therefore playing a note from the scale along with another one from the scale and another one...will give you a fundamental grasp of harmony.Now locate Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and form variations of this melody by including one note from another string along with the main melody.This needs for you to plot the scale lol...so if you do not remember the scale do it to make the nursery rhyme come to life,then slap and pop the strings,then tap your foot,and so on to give it color.:) #18 A common question I get asked is ...how do you play such strange jazz chords? To which I say there is nothing strange or innovative in what I play...these are a result of me generating simple voicings by supporting the melodic line that runs in my head.There is no such thing as a 'jazz chord','reggae chord' and so on. Some music requires you to add more to the melody by using the supporting harmony of the chords. Learn the inversions of all the chords and leave some notes out to make easier to digest bits to emerge.The thing is most of us wait for some savior to show up and hold their hands and play 'jazz chords'...wake up it ain't gonna happen :) #19 take a song you know,lets say your favorite song. Now make a pact to never play it like you already know it.Do NOT play the same voicings or embellishments. This will give you a basically new sound out of some old material.This is a process of re-invention.You can easily after learning the inversions change the chords around and have a field time doing this.I say take your favorite song because you know the melody really well and have internalized certain nuances,this is therefore the best platform to experiment. Just a common sense way to increase your vocabulary in a musical way. Play different inversions for the chords and for god's sake do NOT substitute the chords as yet :). That is usually misinterpreted and more often than not makes you depart from the song itself,not what we intend. So first things first study the inversions please.

#20 here are triads documented by the great Ted Greene. Please download and enjoy this fellows :). So many tunes can come out of these absolutely elementary triads. Since I perceive some laziness in people actually doing stuff here goes...now put your fingers on the black dots and play. Move them to all other keys :) [refer 5 triads file] #21 When playing over say a static Gmin7,you can extract these little voicings and play them rather than just playing one chord in one place. These voices are extracts of Gmin7 (Dorian) or as some people know it as the notes of Fmajor over Gmin7.Try and learn these shapes,they are pretty useful. [refer G dorian file] #22 before you get to developing a good vibrato on the guitar remember that it is derived from the human vocal vibrato and listen to great vocalists from all genres to understand how vibrato is used to sustain a note. And if you understand vocal vibrato and are musically sound enough to understand what is IN and what is OUT...All you have to do is emulate that.And practice hard.Remember to apply the vibrato only to the end of the phrase and relevant places,overdoing it is not natural. #23 when you tune the instrument a small tip if you want a firmer lock at the peg.Irrespective whether sharp or flat DETUNE the string and wind upwards to the desired pitch. Tension adjustment in ascending degrees of tension is a common sense method of having the gear of the tuning key to stay in one place. Also the little screw that holds the head of the tuning key to the shaft must be tightened to not have any slack.Hope this is of use :). #24
take the chords of your all time favourite tune. Use that little chord pdf,find inversions and play the tune with these. Try to play all the chords in one position making no drastic jumps.Now forget the melody of your favourite tune and start humming some melodies of your own on these chords. Shuffle the chords around and follow them with a melody and vice versa. Enjoy but do not stagnate :) #25

to dynamically alter sounds from the instrument...use a pick at different angles (tonal variations also),and fingers to create a wider palette of sounds. As you pick along the length of a string the tone varies quite astonishingly. Play at the bridge and then up at the neck pickup and you will be able to extract some amazing sounds. Like how we really never take to a monotonous sound,it either puts you to sleep or fades to the back recesses of your mind...vary dynamics as you play. Play like you speak,softly then louder,laid back and then with some urgency as circumstances and variable around us change. What I am saying here is please react to stimuli and do not play by rote and repetition only,its an extension of your mind so do not treat it any different :) #26 take 2 major scales let say B and Eb.Now after you have figured out both the scales in the SAME area of the neck lets say a position.Slowly play each scale for 'x' amount of time and tell your mind 'hey let me make the jump to the next scale'.So oscillate between these 2 scales a major third apart. Slow

down and focus on the transitions between these scales,make the smoothest transitions between the two.The real shit is here in the transitions.So if you were playing a motif in Bb carry on playing the motif in Eb and focus on that one or two note transition between the two.Do this for hours and you will hear the changes in the scale family.Add a G major to the mix and play the three,switching orders smoothly as you go.You will learn the whole neck as this progresses.Its an introduction to playing changes by using simple fragments of the major scale,the mother of all scales.Try it, and I will post a video on how I do this soon.No bloody saying its too difficult in mails to me,try it :) #27 if you learn lets say the major scale in one key,remember to learn it on each string. This makes transposing it to other keys very easy as these relative shapes are just moved up and down the string. If you knew a shape for C major on the A string then G major on the D string will be the same shape moved a whole step higher.Make simple associations and when you are searching for the 3rd,b9th etc of any key center please remember the notes in a linear way on your favorite string and the 4ths will be on an adjacent one. The moment you find your favorite method to commit this to memory you will be at peace :). Hope this triggers some thoughts on stuff we honestly get completely befuddled with when we are with the instrument. Am sharing purely my perspective because this is how I rationalized the fretboard and came to some conclusions. You do not have to accept MY way but generate your own is what I'm telling you :) #28 On the subject of knowing scales in all positions. Imagine this.If we stayed in the same place and played all the major scales or pentatonics (minor) in all 12 keys this would mean super smooth transitions and a really fluid sound.For inter vallic stuff you could flap all about the fretboard confusing listeners into believing you were playing sensibly i.e lot of scope to faff (I'm a master at this :)). But on a serious note do try to play in one position, all the changes in one position and you will understand the word fluid.Intervallic chaos is not fluid its called floyd.Here is a master of the fretboard Kurt Rosenwinkel taking you through the minor7 changes in whole steps i.e. Fm7,Gm7,Am7...etc. while playing in the lower reaches of the fretboard only once darting to the 9th fret on the high E string. So most of the notes are played in the region from the 1st to the 6th fret.The mode of transport through these changes are the minor pentatonic shape.If you moved this entire exercise a half step up you would learn the other 6 changes namely F#m7,Abm7,Bbm7..etc. [refer: rosenwinkel-s-pentatonic file (12 dec)] #29 to focus on something like vibrato learn to sing WITH vibrato.. you will KNOW when you are alone that the way you bend the strings may not be correct. Slowly focus on every micro movement needed to be made to emulate this smoothly.If its a quick one be smooth,if its a slow one be smooth. The start and end point of the note you are applying vibrato to must lie in the scale of the lick you just played.Practice,focus and self criticism is a must to master this. #30 Ok here is what should be a practice schedule for beginners to intermediate guitar players. 1. Tune the instrument 2. Warm up mechanically. Play three notes per string in these common combinations : (index=1,middle=2,ring=3,pinky=4) so the permutations are (1,2,3),(1,2,4),(1,3,4),(2,3,4).Where

each finger spans one fret from index to pinky. These are NOT musical as you play them on every string across the fretboard. Then try 4 notes a string with (1,2,3,4).Play them evenly and slowly either alternate pick or economy pick,gradually picking up tempo. 3. Take ANY scale and warm up by playing the scale tones ALL over the fretboard. This is easier done by MAKING your own fretboard diagram for that scale.Preferably start with the major scale.Do not overestimate yourself, I have heard 'teachers' fumble badly with this.Do this deliberately playing all the intervals 3rds,4ths etc. 4.Learn the scale on every single string.Then play it in a combination of 2 strings (consecutive and with space between the strings),to generate diads ( 2 note sounds).Extend this to 3 notes (triads) and then chords.Arpeggiate some notes to create some fluid sounds across the fretboard. 5.SING every note you play. Its imperative you burn the sound of the fretboard into your conscious mind.This way you can develop relative pitch without any added expenditure. 6.Now start forming short musical phrases from the scale you have just analyzed.Play purely on the scale tones and use intervals to generate melodies and small motifs.Play these notes singing them as you go and insert some small chordal patterns from the fretboard diagram. Make sure that these little chords follow the melody you are playing. If they are from that fretboard diagram they will always be 'correct'. Its up to you to make them musical. Soon you will be playing single notes and chords together to support the idea in your head. 7.Dedicate a small portion of your practice time to playing 'anything',switch your analytical mind OFF. Ramble through mechanical combinations and arbit melodies,jump ideas and DO everything you can imagine. One at a time and all at once. Scales that you know may just creep in because of familiarity and some unknown parts may just happen.Use your memory to log nice ideas and add them to your 'lick' library. 8. Do this for as long as you live.Add levels of complexity in your routine but never forget the foundation.Play slowly and don't act over smart. This is a fatal error. 9.After you finish please clean your instrument,wipe your strings and put it back in the case.Our climate forces us to take care of our instrument. #31 Listen up. Draw the A major scale on a fretboard diagram. The notes are A,B,C#,D,E,F# and Ab.Draw these notes as colored dots all over 6 strings and 12 frets. Learn all the positions and play them slowly. Stick this chart in front of you and play on the dots.One at a time,then two,three and so on. Play melodies in one position and then in many. Stop whining about how difficult it is or forget about getting better at this stuff.Here is a small flash video and a message. Do something,and download it. Its easy when its on youtube and you can chose to bin it and not worry. Archive these small clips in a sequential manner.Do it in all keys and you will have attained some control on the major family in terms of sounds.The results as I have always said are directly proportional to your efforts.Do NOT ask me about stuff if you do not do and completely understand this basic exercise.The advanced players,do it as well. No one is too advanced to get their basics solid everyday. #32 For everyone playing guitar,be it at a rudimentary level or advanced. It's best that we know the tool ( guitar in this case) as well as we can in standard tuning. If we flip the tuning pegs this concept will have to be re mapped.:). Here goes... If the low E string is the X axis and the fret is the Y axis...then if the root note i.e 1 is on the low E string....the successive notes on the strings along the Y axis will read...1,4,b7,b3,5,1. Now when you want to find intervals and extensions all you have to do is extend this system with common sense. Its

like having intervals on the Y axis and finding stuff that's closest to that fret.i.e. the 6th will be a whole step away from the B string,the #4th will be one step up on the A string and so on.Now try making your own chords. Of course the root can move from the top string and the system wraps around,but like I said being alert at geometry in school will pay off now...Just simple fretboard recognition tools. Yes the B string is weird and is a half step down, but you will map this difference and absorb it if you chart all the notes on a fretboard diagram. Critical to know the E,A and B strings very intimately as the D and G are whole step displacements of the E and A.Once you know the E,A and B string's you already know 4.And by the earlier rule you will know 6 in time. Whenever you are hit with #13's or some such highfaluting number it will be easy to find your way if you studied the relative intervals using this system. So by internalizing simple and logical tools you will be able to find any note on the fretboard.You can as an exercise, start forming chords and number all the degrees of the chord and form extensions using this logic.By knowing the fretboard it becomes very easy to alter scale tones and turn them into devilish ones. Please read this slowly as it is a logical exercise and needs to be applied. Once you have this down you will be very comfortable :) #33 The reason why musicality is deep and difficult to quantify besides the 'emotion' is this fact...Every note can be followed by 12 possibilities and this is unique and not completely true.There are 13 options if one were to count silence as a note.The placement of silence will outline a rhythmic character.The longer you are silent makes each of the 12 audible tones even more precious when they are used.To quantify the length of sustain of any note makes the variables 14.To play microtones makes this number infinite. So get this...besides 'emotion' we have shit loads to worry about. This makes the endeavor to play music all that more difficult. The next time you ask me how to play musically,understand that the variables have to be manipulated by you and not me. A few tricks is all a mortal like me can give you. #34 Keep your fingers solidly behind the ring finger on the fretboard (left hand) and fret one note. Gradually bend the string and stop it at whatever pitch then bend it some more and stop. Try to play definite notes in this manner. STOP when you hit the note you want.Take it up a tone and STOP. This is like Kegel's exercise and will help you be stable on every note on a bend.To achieve a smooth vibrato exaggerate every mechanical move and master it.Always remember that the start and end notes of a bend have to relevant to the melodic idea you are on. The oscillation of a string to sustain it has to be smooth and musical. This is very critical and separates a musician from a guitar player. #35 Take a simple nursery rhyme and learn the melody really well.Now approach each of the notes in the melody from one step up or down .i.e if a note is C then play B to C or C# to C.Try this with melodies you learn.The approach notes can be played on weak beats and the actual notes on strong ones. You can reverse this to create countless licks.You will see how that great adage 'nothing is really wrong' is true and depends just on how you do it.Academics call this targetting,in a nutshell its just about getting to a note via pathways close by.Do try this over the New Year and expand your vocabulary.Wish you the best and crack this fun exercise.

#36 Lets say that you can bend a string a whole step away.e.g. C to D.Try bending to C# and hold then from C# to D and hold. Do it the other way D -C#-C.If you can bend 4 half steps then use then same logic and play a chromatic scale using just the bends. Clean and with dead stops at destination notes.It will remarkably improve your intonation. #37 The basis of diatonic harmony ( harmony derived from the major scale) can be very easily understood by plotting the C Major (easiest to understand because there are no sharps and flats) scale all over the 12 fret x 6 string grid.As you proceed to play the tones along each string you will just notice that they are just linear displacements of the other strings based on the tuning of a guitar.So at any point along a fret you will get some cool combinations of notes in the scale. The chords derived from this scale are: 1Maj,2Min,3Min,4Maj,5Dominant,6 Min,7 Half dim. CMaj,Dmin,Emin,FMaj,GDominant,A Min,B Half dim. The spelling of a fundamental Major7th chord is (1,3,5,7),Min7 (1,b3,5,b7),Dom (1,3,5,b7),Half Dim( 1,b3,b5,b7). The exercise is to circle these groups on the grid and you will have all inversions of all these principal chords without any fancy alterations. This is the basis of the harmony implied in the major scale.You will find crazy large intervals that you can use, and close intervals as well.Circle away and study this circled chart focusing on each chord in the family.e.g. Study the Dm7 in all its forms on one day etc. Gradually the logic that lies within the scale will be very understandable. By taking again diads,triads and chords for each component you can easily learn this very important concept. No need to break your head over a book that kills you with rhetoric and repetition. Yes advanced concepts can be broken down much easily once the fundamental building blocks are down. Please plot and verify and totally enjoy :) #38 Remember those licks that you love from your favorite guitar player and cannot get immediately. Do this...every day sing the chromatic scale starting from any key.Do it slowly and as you sing,picture the interval in your mind as you go along.#4,5th,#5,6th etc.Licks you cannot get are usually difficult because the intervals are displaced by octave,rhythmic groupings are complex etc. If you can say from a starting point e.g. F# know how the b7th sounds in all all octaves (by practicing this singing and playing exercise). 'Unknown' and 'exotic' sounds will be under your fingers. These are a few of the things unschooled players like me devise to teach ourselves. It makes 'copying' your favorite lick dead easy. #39 Suppose I want to make a change from say playing in Amin7 to Amaj7,and all I know is the pentatonic scale. Here's what I could do...play Amin pentatonic with all my favourite licks over the Amin7th and the moment the chord changed to Amaj7 I would play the same licks,same shape just down a half step i.e. Ab minor pentatonic,a cool sound which doesn't even have the 'A' note but has all the other relevant sounds,the hip sounding lydian with a #4 in this case Eb.So yeah try that out in all other keys :)

#40 Playing over the blues one can have a lot of choices besides just the pentatonic scale. To sound' jazzy' a common device used is to use a melodic minor up a 5th.e.g over G7th you can use D melodic minor.This enables you to take your blues vocabulary into different territory and explore a new space. It's definitely one of those sounds you have heard and liked but are not able to figure what 'it' was. The spelling of a melodic minor scale is 1,2,b3,4,5,6,7. So it's a major scale with just the 3rd flattened.:) Here is a ready reckoner for common scales in use.It will be nice to take each one and plot them to pilfer chords. I do this to any new sounds. Chords in addition to really cool string skip shapes. [Refer scale spelling file] #41 start a tune of your own in any key. Play a Major chord and just make up a melody starting from a note.Start from the same note and now play a minor chord and see how your melody deviates. Now do the same with a dominant or seventh chord. These variations are what these different family of chords make you do.Training your ear to atleast hear the different families,major,minor and dominant is a must to be able to phrase well and make stuff up. #42 This is what I did to understand time and playing 'in and 'out' of time. There is NO such thing as absolute time because even the most precise clock drifts. That having been said its best that we eventually learn to play in 'sync' with each other and to minimize drift when we are alone.There is a lot of malarkey about all of us having an internal clock and time comes from within.This is honestly some philosophical stuff or else we would have had everyone never going 'out' of time,something that we know is just not true. So just like a clock drifts and so does a metronome and anything with a pendulum and mechanical moving parts,we must pick a relatively stable reference. Say a digital clock with a perfect battery.Learn to count along with the least count namely the seconds count and do this along with the clock for 5 minutes.Turn the clock face after 5 mins and count 300 counts without looking at the clock.Chances are when you turn the clock to check you will be off +/- 10 seconds if you were concentrating.I say a digital clock because I don't want you to have the benefit of a tick or tock :). Continue to practice just this for 10 minutes everyday bringing down your error in a +/- 2 window.This is quick for some and not so for some. When you master the second count you will eventually be able to gain control over a 10 second time interval and then 20. Eventually you will even be precise with a minute. This is feeling time once you have internalized some stable clock with focus.It will teach you concentration and relative reference making you alert to other people and their drifts. Assuming you have now developed a clock that works we can talk about funk and stuff that makes you dance and feel good. Have a great New Year and hope you benefit from whatever little information I put out. #43