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Lyle Ronglien >> Guitar Essentials >>

Guitar Essentials
Part 19 - Ask The Teacher!

Lyle: Hope you all had a nice weekend.

PaulB: sure, how about you?

Lyle: Good weekend, played three gigs

Lyle: As part of the Guitar "Essentials series I thought it might be nice to have an open lesson tonight and let you ask me any guitar/music related question.

Lyle: I have covered a bunch of different topics for this series in recent lessons.

Lyle: Just raise your hand if you have a question and I'll call on you

gtrplyr: Can you see my hand from over there? :-)

zz: how do you raise you hand in cyber world?

Lyle: lol, just kidding

zz: LOL

Lyle: Let's try one question at a time. Who would like to go first?

Lyle: gtrplyr, what is your question?

zz: I have one too

Lyle: go ahead gtrplyr

gtrplyr: lets say you are playing in Em, You can play Em pent or Emaj, or Emaj pent right. well the Emaj pent looks just like the C# min Pent

gtrplyr: is that correct?

Lyle: Right. The E major pentatonic uses the same notes as the C# minor pentatonic.

Lyle: I'll show ya

gtrplyr: cool

Lyle: Here's an E major scale:

Lyle: be sure to view these on the virtual fretboard so you can see the note names/intervals etc.

Lyle: The E major pentatonic uses the 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 notes of the E major scale:

Lyle: The C# minor uses the 1, b3, 4, 5, and b7 of the C# minor scale:

Lyle: The C# minor is the relative minor of the E major key. So the C# minor pentatonic is the relative minor of the E major pentatonic. They use the same 5 notes, just in a different order:

Lyle: The relative minor is found three frets lower than the major.

gtrplyr: ???? I was getting the 6th

Lyle: The 6th degree of any major key can be found three frets lower than the root of that major key.

Lyle: The relative minor of any major key is based off the 6th degree of that major key. See "Understanding Modes" or "Fretboard Theory" at the Riff Interactive store.

gtrplyr: I get it now

Lyle: now I'm confused!

gtrplyr: :-) thanks Lyle

Lyle: welcome!

Lyle: ZZ, still there with a question?

zz: when playing what is a good rule of thumb on what scale/mode you should improve in? lets say the key of A.

Lyle: improvise?

Lyle: Let's say the key of A major.

Lyle: I would start with the A major scale.

zz: I'm thinking more in terms of modes, when to use and why?

Lyle: You could use any mode in the key of A.

Lyle: Here's a loopin jam track using the A major chord:

Lyle: So I would start with the A major scale:

zz: then when you do you use A Phrygian for example?

Lyle: the Phrygian mode relates to a different key

Lyle: the A Phrygian relates to the key of F major.

Lyle: Let's back up a second, what relative minor pentatonic can we use in the key of A major?

zz: C

gtrplyr: F#

PaulB: I say F#

zz: B, C, F#

Lyle: F# is correct. The F# minor pentatonic is three frets lower than the key of A major. The A major pentatonic and F# minor pentatonic use the same notes:

Lyle: Try playing the A major scale then the F# minor pentatonic against the jam track in A and you'll hear how they both work.

zz: when can I use the other modes?

Lyle: zz, what Phrygian minor scale would you play in the key of A?

zz: C

Lyle: C# Phrygian is the 3rd mode in the key of A major:

zz: sorry forgot the sharp:)

Lyle: I would almost never use this mode.

Lyle: sounds too much like a monster from Star Trek.

PaulB: would you use it if you were playing a certain style of music?

Lyle: A Phrygian lap dance perhaps.

zz: exactly, thanks Paul!

Lyle: I have almost never found a use for this mode. I would use a different mode.

zz: which mode? why?

Lyle: almost

gtrplyr: Like Dorian?

gtrplyr: Aeolian

Lyle: In the key of A, I would use the A major pentatonic, the F# minor pentatonic, and the A major scale.

Lyle: I know how to play the A major scale is so many different shapes and patterns up and down the neck, there is no need for me to think about the other modes. I just think A major scale.

PaulB: could you play Phrygian if you were playing some sort of middle-eastern music?

zz: good enough...just trying to get your thought process

Lyle: Here's an audio example of me playing the key of A major against the jam track:

Lyle: In the audio sample I start off by playing the A major scale up and down, then I move into the A major pentatonic/F# minor pentatonic. Then I just go all over the neck while thinking A major.

Lyle: ZZ, depending on what kind of chord progression is being used helps me determine what key and what mode I might use.

zz: I understand.........there is no real rule. It really depends on what sounds good against the chords. next question

gtrplyr: I am starting to grasp something but I am not sure what?

Lyle: There are major modes and there and minor modes, and a dominant mode.

zz: how about you show us some good Hendrix licks?

Lyle: k

Lyle: Here's a riff in E

Lyle: We might do this again next week and have another "Ask The Teacher" session.

Jerry: very cool

zz: yes, lets do........I actually learned a lot.

Lyle: time flies, sorry I couldn't get to all of your questions.

jaxwax: thanks! that was fun!

PaulB: I learned a lot

Lyle: Have a great week and think of some other questions. Write them down, put them on our forum or email them to me.

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