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Thread: "Muscle Memory for all the Modes"

  1. #31
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    I was thinking, surely the whole pattern thing gives you some guidesliens with which to let your imaginations fly on?
    We hurdle bodies that lay on the ground, and the Russians fire another round...

  2. #32
    Registered Axe Offender Romp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Trooper
    I was thinking, surely the whole pattern thing gives you some guidesliens with which to let your imaginations fly on?
    Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

    In other words, that's true depending on how you use it. If you're using patterns to define your thinking, you won't be able to think in a way other than patterns. But, if you're using patterns to incorporate ideas into an existing way of thinking, then you're probably helping yourself immensely.
    "The definition of definition is reinvention."

  3. #33
    iBreatheMusic Modthor phantom's Avatar
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    Yeah, i can see where romp is coming from:
    The frames of your thinking should not be determined by patterns (gosh that would be great and easy)..
    But patterns could play some kind of role within your thinking_/creating_/composing routine.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Romp
    ... If you're using patterns to define your thinking, you won't be able to think in a way other than patterns. But, if you're using patterns to incorporate ideas into an existing way of thinking, then you're probably helping yourself immensely.
    I like that !
    It gets to be tough though, once you're used to those patterns, it can be very hard to "go back" and break them down, (I think usually the patterns come first, the way of thinking comes later,.....for us guitar gods... ).

    A good ear can take you a long way but, if you want to get in to playing things with more complex harmony, you're going to have to target some notes that lie outside of those patterns. Aside from that, thinking in terms of chords/harmony/function/etc., may help a bit more with the creative proccess than pattern-centric thinking
    ......now I'm a freakin' philosopher,.....a veritable philosophizer, a philosopeed,.... -

  5. #35
    iBreatheMusic Modthor phantom's Avatar
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    you're going to have to target some notes that lie outside of those patterns.
    Yes, and that's the point where your brain and decisions cross the patterns path.
    Know what's happening whithin the pattern and you will be able to alter it and go outside of it.

  6. #36
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    I think one of the reasons why people get stuck in a pattern mind set is because they can actually take you pretty far. Once you have gotten as far as patterns will take you, in order to know more about what you are playing you have to usually take a huge step backwards. Maybe you can throw together a pretty melodic solo on the guitar by just thinking in terms of black dots. How many people want to spend hours on end going back and re-learning every note, or every interval, just to learn the names and categorize the sounds they probably already know and use to some extent? Of course it's worth it in the end, but I know when I started down that path it seemed like an incredible amount of work for little reward. I kept saying to myself "but if I just keep on playing all the time, eventually all this will sink in and I will improve just as much." I think one of the problems with that is that the playing opportunities don't exist that once did. In an oral tradition of music, where people play together all the time, it's fine to give someone a set of notes and let them figure it all out on their own. They won't know the names of everything, but they'll know the sounds just as well, or better then the rest of us. I think a more theoretical approach is just a product of our times rather then the right way to go about things.

  7. #37
    bitter old fool Jed's Avatar
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    Storm, Phantom & others,

    I hear where you are coming from but I don't think the pro-note sentiments are anti-pattern as much as they are against any one (of many) potential fingering patterns being used to define any musical construct like a scale or mode. I think this is what Romp was saying.

    Take the guitar as an example and look at the natural minor scale single octave from root to root. I count no less than 9 potential fingering patterns (derived from 7 positional scale forms), two of which work on multiple groups of strings.

    Trooper's diagram of the Nat Minor scale is just one of these 9 possible fingerings. (let's forget for now that he plays bass and so has access to only 5 of the 9 forms available to a six-string guitar).

    My point is that it's in-accurate to define the nat minor scale (a musical construct) by any one of the available fretboard fingerings (guitar constructs). This is not to say that learning one or more patterns is a bad thing but rather that defining the nat minor scale by some sub-set of the available guitar fingerings is myopic at best and just plain wrong at worst. A fingering is not the scale, it is just one of many guitar fingerings of the scale.

    Those of us that came to the guitar as a second instrument and/or studied theory before learning to play guitar draw these distinctions. I understand this is a minority perspective among guitarists but let's not deny the truth just because it's not widely understood.

    cheers,

    Jed

  8. #38
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    yes, but there are a lot of instruments out there that only have one fingering for scales. So I would argue that, if you came from another instrument, the guitar would be a strange beast if you had to learn more then one way to play a scale. Horn players don't seem to have problems comming up with interesting and unique ways to play things with only one finguring.

  9. #39
    Registered Axe Offender Romp's Avatar
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    I'm lost, Storm. How does the fingering of the scale have anything to do with the notes you play in it?
    "The definition of definition is reinvention."

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by silent-storm
    yes, but there are a lot of instruments out there that only have one fingering for scales. So I would argue that, if you came from another instrument, the guitar would be a strange beast if you had to learn more then one way to play a scale. Horn players don't seem to have problems comming up with interesting and unique ways to play things with only one finguring.
    I think this is Jeds' point, isn't it ?
    The scale is better defined by it's content and the context it's in, rather than the pattern used to play it.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Romp
    I'm lost, Storm. How does the fingering of the scale have anything to do with the notes you play in it?
    because if you only have one fingering it's kinda the same thing as playing in one position on the guitar. Other instruments don't seem to have a problem doing it. But if a guitarist does it, it's unmusical, unoriginal and he/she is limiting the possibilities of what can be played.

    I just don't see the difference.
    Last edited by silent-storm; 01-05-2007 at 11:34 PM.

  12. #42
    bitter old fool Jed's Avatar
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    Storm,

    I did come to the guitar from another instrument and I do find it to be a strange and wonderful beast, for exactly that reason. I certainly didn't mean to disparage anyone least of all another guitarist. I'm not in any position to claim musical superiority over anyone, sorry If my post came off that way.

    cheers,

    Jed

  13. #43
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    no it didn't come off like that at all.

    I play a number of different instruments and have come to the conclusion that each one offers the opportunity to just learn a set of dots, or fingerings and forget what you are doing and just wank away on a pattern. I'm not much of a piano player, so when I see CMaj7 I say to myself "alright, hit the white notes."

    I understand the whole argument that there is a difference between a good guitarist and a good musician, but the idea that this is only a guitaristic saying doesn't make sense. It's like that for every instrument, just us guitarists seem to argue about it way more then anyone else.
    Last edited by silent-storm; 01-06-2007 at 03:16 AM.

  14. #44
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    I understand the whole argument that there is a difference between a good guitarist and a good musician, but the idea that this is only a guitaristic saying doesn't make sense.
    Not a lot of trombone or bassoon players sit about in their rooms as teenagers teaching themselves to play. Most are academically trained.

    But no, it is not only a guitaristic thing, as you say. Banjo, mandolin, fiddle, bass, recorder, harmonica, etc., or any of a number of folk instruments can be included. If I implied that it is only a guitar thing, I apologize. Remember also that I do not intend to say that the two are exclusive to each other. Many guitar players can be great musicians.

    I play a number of different instruments and have come to the conclusion that each one offers the opportunity to just learn a set of dots, or fingerings and forget what you are doing and just wank away on a pattern.
    Yessir. That is part and parcel to my point. My point was that usually only guitarists feel the need to pretend that they are doing otherwise. Few saxophonists, after a blisteringly fast run up and down a pentatonic scale (on their memorized dots), will say anything other than "dang, dawg, check me out and my crazy fingers." They generally don't feel a need to impress upon the other sax players that they are quality musicians.

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