I learned something new today.
If I put the name of a band in my Post title, it will show up in searches for that band on Twitter. Yesterday’s post about Gregory & the Hawk drew a lot of traffic. Hooray for personal development. On to today’s lesson. Continue reading
Oh hai, and welcome to another exciting episode of Let’s Write. Today’s expository comes to us from college radio, which has fortuitously introduced me to a wonderful young lady by the name of Meredith Godreau, and her project, Gregory & the Hawk. She, and Iron & Wine, have got me finger picking, and now you get to reap the benefits of my blisters. Continue reading
Well I separated my shoulder at the beginning of the month, and have had to significantly curtail my playing while I heal. However, prior to my injury, I have really been enjoying the plethora of great videos available from Google videos from Tony MacAlpine, Ritchie Kotzen, Joe Pass, Emily Remler, and others. Been learning more than I can really apply, but I’m trying to make my playing a bit more interesting. I also started listening heavily to Gregory and the Hawk, and have been working on my finger-picking too. Got an exercise for that you’ll like. Also have an extension of a John Petrucci exercise from Rock Discipline, that I conjugated into all the modes and reversed.
Today I have an exercise that I started playing one day in Am.It starts as a sweep, and ends as a sweep, but in the middle is something called “contouring”. I read this term in an old guide to playing from the 1970′s that a friend of mind gave me. On CD. Here’s what it looks like:
The tempo is a recommendation for learning the pattern. So we start with a classic 5-string Am sweep in groups of 6, but instead of topping out at the A, we top out at the G to give it an Am7 flavour. Then the fun starts. We use the 2nd and 3rd groups to do descending patterns through A minor / Aeolian, in backtracking groups of 4, then 6, then 2. Because the majority of the movement is descending, start of each group is an up-stroke. This gives it an economy picking feel. However we are definitely not economy picking, as we are alternate picking between some of the string changes. Finally we get to the final sweep, which ends on the low 7th. This gives the tonic a kind of reinforcement, and a bit of tension before returning to the tonic.
I like to listen to the effect of modality on things I play, and see how the shape changes, so I conjugated the figure into all the modes of C major. Here’s a PDF showing what that looks like, and a PowerTab file too:
PDF – LWSMDB – Sweep-Contour in Modes
PowerTab – Sweep-Contour Exercise in Modes