June 16, 2019 at 8:01 am #135711nostrilParticipant
Will Any one give me advice? On the one thing that they have learned or put into practice that to them was a major break thru.
June 16, 2019 at 8:28 am #135712charjoParticipant
I’ll bet many will agree that learning how to mix the major and minor pentatonics was the biggest breakthrough and will really take you far. Understanding CAGED might be next and Brian must agree as he is really concentrating on those things.
I would add understanding a little music theory, learning the notes on the fretboard and effective practicing (something I wish I was better at).
June 16, 2019 at 9:47 am #135719Alan BParticipant
I would say exactly the same as John (charjo)
June 16, 2019 at 10:52 am #135723Don D.Moderator
What John said is right but these are even a little more basic, dealing mostly with the minor pentatonic over dominant chords.
Lesson EP028 is called an SRV lesson, but it reminds me a lot of John Lee Hooker’s “Dimples.” Learning where the chords are relative to the melody (or vice versa) on that song was a breakthrough.
On EP167, learning notes within chord shapes and when to play them has been super-helpful. EP168 is part 2 of this lesson and shows you some fills to use over these same chords.
Learning the 4-note box pattern on EP050, a Freddie King lesson, also opened a lot of doors.
These have concepts that I’ve gotten the most miles out of. There are a bunch of lessons in E that all have breakthrough type material in them. If you pick one thing and learn it, it’s a breakthrough. These lessons above are all good, foundational lessons.
June 16, 2019 at 2:03 pm #135733charjoParticipant
Agree with all those, Don. I didn’t find any other resource out there that presented these concepts better than Active Melody.
June 16, 2019 at 2:13 pm #135736RogerParticipant
That is so much different for everybody.
When I listen to a video I make of myself playing the first thing that always pops into my head is “wow! I really suck”. When I get over that initial disappointment I listen to it again and ask myself what makes it suck? After coming up with an exhaustive list I ask myself …okay what makes it suck the most? Then I figure if I can overcome just that ONE thing, I have made a break through and my playing will be noticeably better.
Right now for me that is keeping a steady tempo throughout a song. I can usually stay right with a backing track but turn a metronome on and I am toast. So I am currently working on nothing but lessons that I can play by myself and playing them along with a metronome. That’s a lot more fun than playing scales with a metronome. And for some reason playing scales with a metronome never did carry over to my music.
June 16, 2019 at 4:02 pm #135743sunjamrParticipant
Like Roger, my greatest breakthrough was learning how to record videos of me playing, and getting into the monthly challenges. That forced me to try to play perfectly (I’m still working on that part), and allowed me to see what I was doing wrong. That’s why after a game, football teams sit down and watch all the videos of the game.
My next breakthrough came when I was pondering over why I sucked at improv, and around that time some member here on the forum pointed out that you can’t learn to improv unless you practice doing it…which I was not. In his lessons, Brian was forever saying “you can use this lick in your improv”, but nobody ever mentioned how you actually go about practicing improv. Finally it dawned on me that I should loop a 12-bar or 2-chord jamtrack, and just sit down and start noodling around. And do it every day, because that’s equally as important as learning a lesson. My motto has become: Equal time for improv.
June 16, 2019 at 6:16 pm #135748San Luis ReyParticipant
Wow! Great imput. Mixing maj/min, caged, improv, recording, key lessons. You guys said well. I’ll add playing a live jam.
June 17, 2019 at 4:44 pm #135788nostrilParticipant
Thanks Guys that is a wealth of information there. Your right its all here at Active Melody.This will defiantly help me choose right path on this journey.
Thanks again for taking you time to help a fellow out.
June 17, 2019 at 4:47 pm #135789Ian MParticipant
I would add two points to the excellent points already raised above:
1. Learn the five pentatonic scales by playing them by starting on the root note (and not by starting on the lowest available note of the pattern on the sixth string). By doing this you magically find there are actually just two patterns (the ‘forward’ pattern going up the neck, and the ‘backwards’ pattern going down the neck), which are then just moved across the strings, i.e. starting on their root notes.
2. The major pentatonic patterns are exactly the same patterns as the minor ones, just moved down 3 frets – and remember to start those on the root notes too!
June 30, 2019 at 5:00 pm #137078David GParticipant
Well, this may sound a little strange but my ‘break through’ came when I accepted that I could never be someone else! Did the usual stuff trying to play Lightning Hopkins or some other dude note for note, and then thought why? Let’s face it, there is only one Lighting, and it isnt me! He plays his blues, so I’m going to play mine! Sure I’m not a patch on him but did he get great by trying to sound like someone else? That’s why I signed up here, this site is helping me to be me. Sounds arrogant I know but you can’t be anyone else, so my break through came when I relaxed and chilled a little. Learn from the masters but Play ‘your Blues’
July 20, 2019 at 7:41 am #138697Joe FParticipant
Thank you, everyone. I kinda knew where to go with practicing, by reading through the advice, my practicing methods are becoming more defined. It is very inspirational sharing what you’ve learned. Brian is the root note and the rest is up to us to learn.
September 24, 2019 at 2:47 am #144831Dana MParticipant
Thanks guys! My long term goal is understanding how the chords, pentatonic scales, caged system, & triads all fit together. Took me a long time to get it thru my head that the pentatonic scale (5 positions) are the same for every key. & same for the minor…I think 🤔
July 18, 2020 at 3:27 pm #182880Tim MParticipant
I think Brian has been a breakthrough for me – I recently subscribed. Before, I knew about CAGED and pentatonics, but I couldn’t translate them into the notes I wanted to hear. Brian teaches those notes, but he also explains where they come from, and how they relate to the things I already knew but couldn’t apply. More than the other online guitar sites, Brian makes sense to me and teaches stuff I want to learn.
July 28, 2020 at 8:51 am #183703Greg HParticipant
Thanks for this thread. I am also in the middle of the Blues Lead course. I’m thoroughly enjoying this course but must admit I’ve been here before. I’ve been playing chords and rhythm guitar for about 25 years and have attempted lead fills and pentatonic scales and shapes before but it never really sticks. I’m wondering if any of you have any advice to get over this hump. I jam with buds now and again but mostly do my own home recording and am thinking that maybe a lack of jamming and soloing is the reason that my lead playing doesn’t evolve. Perhaps lack of practice. The reason I signed up for AM is to play a lead blues/chord melody by myself as Brian does on many of his videos. I feel like that is something to showcase rather than a bunch of licks without a backing band. I’m also rambling here and looking for some clarity or to define my goals. I am enjoying the Blues course and will proceed but hoping it sticks this time. After the Blues course, where do you recommend going to consolidate all this new learning? I appreciate any insights! Thank you and loving AM and all the forum chats.
July 28, 2020 at 9:23 am #183704BillyParticipant
Understanding the fact that things have to be learned slowly, not only to ingrain it to memory but also how the structure of the piece goes together.
So my take away from any of the lessons I have attempted list like this.
Slow it right down, break the piece down into sections( your not going to learn a lesson in a day).
Only add another section to learn when you have the previous section under your fingers.
Vibrato and bend control will follow along.
As someone once said to me”every thing in life has a recipe”, learn the recipe for one lesson and the next lesson will be easier to understand and follow.
Slow it all down, thats about the most important thing i can add to this thread.
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