A technique for learning the boxes

Discussion in 'General Music & Guitar Learning' started by JimRouleau, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. JimRouleau

    JimRouleau Blues Newbie

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    Hope it helps you! I am finding that the more I practice them, the less I depend on them.

    There are 5 unique strings and all boxes consist of 2 4-fretters followed (or preceded) by 3 3-fretters.
    Learn where the 4-fretters go for each box. There's a pseudo pattern from box 4 back around to box 3.
    Box 4: 5&6 Box 5: 3&4 Box 1:1&2 and then, Box 2: 4&5 Box 3: 2&3 (1st 4-fretter is shifted)
    String 1 = String 6 and vice versa
    When you cross from string 3 to 2 you need to add a fret and vice versa
    Minor Box Roots: 2nd 4-fretter 1st finger, 2nd 3-fretter 2nd finger
    Major Box Roots: 2nd 4-fretter 2nd finger, 3rd 3-fretter 1st finger
    Blues Notes (Major and Minor): Between the first 3-fretter and after the last 3-fretter.
     
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  2. Paleo

    Paleo Theory, Licks, Solos

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    You might find this post from Griff's Blog interesting. :sneaky:

    https://bluesguitarunleashed.com/blog/pentatonics-with-interval-patterns/

    Similar concept explained differently.

    "4-fretter" = minor 3rd
    "3-fretter" = whole step

    Finger-wise, I like to call the "4-fretter" a "1-4" and the "3-fretter" a "1-3".

    Regardless, it's always rewarding when you discover your own way that works for you. ;)
     
    #2 Paleo, Nov 19, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
  3. JimRouleau

    JimRouleau Blues Newbie

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    Thanks for the blog post Paleo! It took me a while to understand why he singles out 4 is equivalent to box 1, while box 5 is equivalent to box 2 but if finally dawned on me that it has to do with the relative positions of the 3-fretters to the 4-fretters (sorry, I don't have a better name for these even though it's true that 3-fretters are a whole step. I noticed that you updated your post to use the terms 1-3 and 1-4, that's cool). Anyway, with boxes 4 and 1 the 3-fretters are lined up with the 1st note of the 4-fretter but with 5 and 2 the alignment is with the 2nd note. Box 3 is in a category by itself because the 4-fretters cross string 2. I thought about this a while because it didn't bother me, then I noticed that the 1st 3-fretter is ALWAYS left-aligned (excluding the string 2 shift which occurs in box 5 and after practice I just always do the shift without thinking).

    Anyway, I see that this post has been viewed many times and I hope it does help, it's just another way to see the boxes on the fretboard and it has helped me a lot to move around. Knowing where those roots are is a huge deal, the box shapes help find the roots and the roots help to find the box. Griff pointed out that the root of the 4th chord is right underneath the root of the 1 chord (A and D for example) so if I want to play a box around fret 5 in D then I know that's box 4 (or box 3 if I go to the left) because boxes 3 and 4 are the ones that use the 5th string root. I speak here of minor pentatonic only, there is a slight shift for major, that's for another day.

    Now if I could only learn how to pick well .....
     
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  4. Paleo

    Paleo Theory, Licks, Solos

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    This diagram is from a Bonus lesson in the original BGU course.

    Griff goes over it somewhere in BGU 2.0, but I can't remember where.

    It might have been discussed it in a Blog video. I'll try to find out.

    Anyway, the idea is that there are only 2 blues/pentatonic shapes for any octave, right-facing and left-facing.

    Right-facing would involve 3 strings, a 4-fretter and 2 3-fretters, which will of course move up a fret when each reaches the 2nd string.

    Left-facing would need 4 strings since the root is the upper note on a string, i.e. the upper note of a 3-fretter, another 3-fretter, a 4 fretter and the lower note of a 4 fretter.

    Right and left-facing connect the same octave horizontally, as in Box 1 and Box 5.

    Right and left-facing will also alternate vertically across the neck going from one octave to the next, as in Box 1 from strings 6 to 4 (upper note) and strings 4 to 1. :sneaky:

    Needless to say, I am obsessed with "patterns". I enjoy seeing how other people make sense out of all of this. And there are "gobs and gobs" of different ways.

    Any post about "The Boxes" is gonna get lots of interest. :)

    Blues Shapes.jpg
     
    #4 Paleo, Nov 20, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
  5. Paleo

    Paleo Theory, Licks, Solos

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    The "Blues Shapes" lesson is included in "Rutbusters".

    AAP members will find it in their course list.

    Others may have received it as a bonus when making a purchase for a course.

    Either way, you'll find it in "My Courses" if you have it. :)
     
  6. JimRouleau

    JimRouleau Blues Newbie

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    looked at the chart, I guess I am in the 2nd category :whistle:
     
  7. BoogieMan

    BoogieMan Blues Junior

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    You can also consider it box 1 starting on the fifth string root of D. My aha moment came when I realized that playing box 1 starting from a fifth string root (such as D at the 5th fret) is exactly the same as playing box 4 from the sixth string root starting from the same fret (in this case Am pentatonic) allowing for the B string tuning adjustment and considering the five unique strings. Similarly if you move up to box 2 of Dm pentatonic on the fifth string 8th fret, the pattern is the same as playing Am pentatonic box 5 from the sixth string starting at the same fret.

    Also you can play the first octave of any scale (pentatonic, major, etc) starting at any root note of the scale with exactly the same pattern as long as you adjust for the B string tuning.