Friday, August 22, 2014

Scale Patterns

Q: I was wondering about scale patterns. Looking through your chrisjuergensen.com lessons, I notice that the major scale patterns that you use are unlike the ones that my teacher showed me. He seems to think that the 3-note per string patterns are the best ones to use. The problem is that there are 7 different patterns to remember while the ones that you refer to have only 5. What is your opinion?

A: The ones that I generally refer to are sort of the standard patterns for teaching. That doesn't necessarily mean that they are the best but they are the more or less, generic (for the lack of better words). They are just simple to play and remember, and as you said, there are only five. 

In truth, there are countless ways to play any one scale. Take a C major scale for example. It is just a C-D-E-F-G-A-B note scale. We, as guitar players, tend to think in physical patterns but it doesn't have to be so. Just play every note C-D-E-F-G-A-B note on your fretboard, and you will be playing a C major scale regardless of where you start or finish. I can play it from my open 6th string (which is an E note) all the way to the 22nd fret on my first string bent up to E hitting every diatonic note in-between.  I can shift strings here and there to get up there, and by my calculations, from E to E, makes it a four octave major scale (technically E phrygian, a C major scale mode). 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dominant 11 vs. 9sus4 Chords

Dear Chris: downloaded your book today and I'm really enjoying it. The way you explain where the altered chords come from scale wise, I feel is really going to open a lot of doors for me. So thanks.


Q: I've found your explanation of sus4 chords and 11 chords quite new. I got stuck with the idea in Mark Levine's books. I've been having to read a lot of Top 40, pop and rock in a cruise band and I'm finding many 11 chords which (I'm pretty certain) are looking for a F/G voicing. I'm gleamed from this that its all context based. The wikipedia article says similar things to your book...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Vision

Q: I just went over your minor pentatonic lesson, and never have I seen anyone explain chord/scale theory in such a straight forward no BS manner. I am an advanced intermediate level guitarist, with big expectations. I have a day gig and a family and want to know how to get the most out of the little time I have to practice everyday. Can you give me some pointers?

A: Expectations should be big my friend. Good for you. I talk a bunch about practice routines in this lesson on my site and in THE INFINITE GUITAR. It's hard to give specific advice without listening to you play and getting a handle on who you want to become, in other words, your vision. I can tell you though, this vision is almost everything. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Finding The Right Chord








Q: One of my biggest songwriting problems is when I have a song in my head, and I'm figuring it out on guitar, and I tend to get a few chords into it and inevitably, it seems, there is an "elusive" chord that I can hear in my head but just can't seem to work out on the fretboard. Do you ever have this problem, and what do you do/how do you find it?

A: Theory will help you immensely in these situations. As I describe in chapter 18 of THE INFINITE GUITAR, composition is a matter of finding a chord for your melody note. There are basically two ways to do this (at least for me). The first is working with diatonic harmony. When we work with diatonic harmony, we basically are working within the chords in one key (sometimes using secondary dominant or borrowed chords). If you aren't getting this, start over here >>. If you understand intervals and chords this is actually pretty easy. Let's say you are writing in the key of C. The chords in the key of C are: C - Dmin - Emin - F - G - Amin - Bdim.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Amps and Other Things

Q: I know you love Marshalls, and I am looking at building a JTM45 head from parts. There is so much to love about Marshalls BUT they are SO loud - and that's the 45, forget the 50s and 100 super leads. What head and cabs do you use, and how do you tame them for say recording? Do you use a hotplate or something? And how do you find the lack of reverb? (I notice you mostly seem to run some delay though).
 

A: Regarding Marshalls, I definitely like the 100 watts the best. The best thing about Marshalls is that they are easy to rent for a gig, meaning I don’t have to cart my own, I can just rent one and the production company will have it on stage for me when I get there. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Playing Over Dominant Chords



Q: Like your style.  I need some review of scales to play with regards to how the Dominant Seventh Chord is resolving...functioning as a V chord or just a secondary Dominant (which I would play Mixo or Lydian b7).  If it is resolving to minor I'd play harmonic minor of the letter name of the chord it's going too.

A: here is the basic overview of the dominant scales. Let's take it by how the dominant chord is functioning. When I say functioning, I mean resolving to a I or i chord as in V-I or V-i or G7 - C or G7 - C-7. Non-Functioning means resolving somewhere else or possibly not resolving, as in G7 - F#maj7 or just a static G7 jam. Keep in mind, secondary dominants are for the most part functioning.

Friday, November 2, 2012

More on Minor Blues

 

Q: I was just watching the video of you doing the minor blues for the Australian movie soundtrack. I have a few questions about it. I can tell it's a minor blues but what is that chord that pops up in the 3rd bar? And what else is going on in the progression. What are some of the things you are plying in the solo? Especially the pentatonic scale things that you are doing. Great song!!

A: Thanks! Glad you like the tune. Your ears do not deceive you my friend, it is pretty much a minor blues with a few twists. The song is for a movie with some underworld type characters so I wanted it to be creepy. That's where that strange chord comes in to play in the 3rd bar. I've always liked tritones (diminished 5th intervals) and that is exactly what I have going on here.