Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Modal Mastery III: Six Weeks to Mastering Fourths and Fifths

This is the hurdle. Fourth intervals are the mother bear since they require flanges (Laying fingers flat across two strings) to execute. Now, I'm not putting fingerings on these patterns because there is more than one way to skin the proverbial cat here. One decision you have to make is whether to project finger 4 forward from three when it needs to traverse two major seconds on a string, or whether you want to allow fingers one and two to make the first second (Versus one and three). The other issue is when to play three notes on the G string versus only two. I'll allow you to work out which logic you prefer, as I did the same thing, and experimentation helped me out quite a bit, so it will do the same for you.

I'm just finishing pattern one from the previous entry, so I'm getting way ahead of myself here, but I want to establish the patterns for those who may work faster than I do, and so with this entry the ambitious can extrapolate the rest of the six week chunks. For the record, I've nudged up against 200 BPM during pattern 1, so that goal is completed.

Here are the fourth patterns:



And the fifths:



Good luck with these. They are quite a challenge. It was several attempts before I managed to get through these for the first time with free-style (No metronome) plectrum technique, but when you do, you'll be ahead of over 90% of the guitarists out there, because I hear these patterns in almost nobody's improvising (Alan Holdsworth is a notable exception).

*****



That's actually quite clever of Elvgren: Note the Tory Gate entrance to the dog house, and the Kanji characters above it. The dog, of course, is a Shi Tsu. Sure, it's a mixing of Japanese and Chinese influences, but quite nice nonetheless.

I spent an inordinate amount of time in a dog house that looked just like that back when I was married. This year marks the blessed tenth anniversary... since I divorced her.

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