Easy ?

Discussion in '5 Easy Blues Solos' started by SlowBlues, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. SlowBlues

    SlowBlues Blues Newbie

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    So, because I do not know the boxes, I can not learn these easy solos? They seem to be based on the boxes, so they are not easy for me. Except rote memorization, which is taking me forever . :(
     
  2. Silicon Valley Tom

    Silicon Valley Tom It makes me happpy to play The Blues!

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    First of all, I would suggest using a more positive forum name. Don't sell yourself short!

    Don't worry about scales and boxes when learning the 5 Easy Solos. Have the notation in front of you, and listen to one phrase of four bars. Then practice that one phrase while looking at the notation. Your job is to determine which fingering is the best. Play it over and over! If you have to, after finding the fingering that works best, make a copy of your notation and indicate that fingering in pencil.

    After you conquer that first phrase, go on to the second, etc. Use a tool like VLC media player to loop the area of interest. When you conquer Phrase Two, then go back and play phrases one and two together. Add additional phrases in this manner as you progress.

    Don't worry about how many times you have to play a phrase to conquer it. It takes time but keep a positive attitude, and you will soon be playing a piece from beginning to end.

    Tom
     
  3. jmin

    jmin San Francisco, CA

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    I'm with Tom on your name change - unless of course your real name is Mortimer Snerd - then it's cool!

    I did 5 Easy Solos about 5 years ago, as my "entry" course into Griff's BGU world. I remember thinking the same thing about the "Easy" course title. I didn't know the boxes either, but just followed the course lessons and made it through. Turned out to be one of my favorite courses!
    I think it's good that you're aware of the boxes - because they are really important, but they are going to take longer to conquer than the course. I'd always recommend working on the boxes as soon as possible, but playing the solos is a lot more fun!
     
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  4. Jalapeno

    Jalapeno Southeastern Michigan

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    I think "easy" is quite relative to the current ability of the player. I wouldn't really call this a beginners course even with "easy" in the title. Four of the 5 solos mix the major and minor pentatonic scales and solo 1 uses the BB King box, which is not in any particular scale, per se. Because of this it will, in my opinion, still be easier to use the music/tab than to try to decipher which box is used where and when to change from major to minor until you know the boxes pretty well.

    It isn't impossible to memorize the solos but it does take effort and time. Repetition is key and I think Tom nailed it for the how. Short phrases and a lot of repetition. The solos are really fun to play when you have them down so they really are worth the effort to learn. You know the old one liner about the fastest way to Carnegie Hall.... practice practice practice :)

    Eric
     
  5. Paleo

    Paleo I Been Discombobulated

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    I think that's exactly correct. If you don't break all the notes on the fretboard into some kind of smaller patterns, memorizing solos isn't going to be easy.

    Thinking big picture.......

    For a 22 fret guitar there are 138 possible notes. It would be like trying to memorize a string of notes selected at random from these 138. You have no frame of reference as to how one note relates to another.

    (Likesomeonetryingtomemorizethissentenceletterbyletter.)

    As soon as you start talking about a Pentatonic "Box", you've already narrowed it down to 12 notes in a specific pattern in a particular place.

    And only 5 of these make up a Pentatonic scale. The other 7 are "repeats" in other octaves.

    Once you know you're in a particular Box or pattern, it's a lot easier to memorize a phrase that uses a combination and sequence of notes you already know, rather than figure out which notes of 138 possible notes it might be.

    And most likely it will be notes on the higher strings, which narrows it down even further.

    Once you learn the "Boxes" (or other scale patterns), they can be your frame of reference for the rest of your life.

    You will be able to start anticipating where the notes will be.

    The sooner, the better.

    (You don't have to think in terms of "Boxes". But Griff will.)
     
    #5 Paleo, Mar 20, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
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  6. CaptOblivious

    CaptOblivious Blues Newbie

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    I memorized Easy solo 1 & 2 patterns by repetition/practice with only being concerned with approximate timing and now am struggling to actually play them in time, it was almost like starting over when I tried to play along. Tom's (Griff's) advice is best either in 4 bar increments or by lick - listen/count/practice/repeat as needed until you can play them without listening/looking. When you start working on the boxes understanding how the solos were built will be evident.
     
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  7. Paleo

    Paleo I Been Discombobulated

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    You can memorize the spelling of words without ever knowing there are 26 letters in the alphabet, or that there's a difference between consonants and vowels, or that letters make certain sounds, or that some go together and some don't, etc.

    Over time, you might discover these things for yourself.

    Learning some of them beforehand would make spelling a whole lot "easier".

    And save you a lot of time.
     
    #7 Paleo, Mar 20, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
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  8. MikeS

    MikeS Moderator... Another Man In Black.
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    Knowing the boxes would make the movements more familiar, but as others have said learning these solos just flat out takes time.
    I think the term "Easy" is in comparison to solos that contain lots of 16th notes, triplets or more complex fingering on the neck.
    Memorization of the solo is the only way.
     
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  9. Jalapeno

    Jalapeno Southeastern Michigan

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  10. Paleo

    Paleo I Been Discombobulated

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    That's above and beyond the call of duty. I'm just going to point out one more thing and then I'll give it a rest.

    Each explanation starts with a diagram of a box for a particular scale.

    What the OP is describing would be like only showing the notes inside each red "loop" without any heading stating what box or scale it is.

    Simply memorizing seemingly random notes in order by rote.


    Others have suggested breaking them up into smaller groups, which we all agree will make it easier to memorize smaller groups of seemingly random notes linked in a seemingly random order of groups.


    We all have to memorize individual phrases and memorize how they are strung together.

    All I'm suggesting is that being able to relate each phrase to a scale in a particular pattern in a particular area of the fretboard and then realizing there is a "logic" to how the phrases are related and follow each other will only make memorization "easier".

    Otherwise you just have a lot of random notes strung together without any way to organize them in your head.


    I just "re-learned" Changing Modes Solo 2 in Griff's Modes Unleashed course.

    First time I learned it I didn't watch the videos. I just put it in my looper/slow downer and memorized it "by rote", phrase by phrase.

    It took me at least 10 days.

    This time I watched the videos. I took notes in my manual. I noted every time Griff described changing a scale or a pattern and why he did it.

    I memorized it in an afternoon.

    You might think it went faster because I was already familiar with it. But I'd completely forgotten it.

    This time I took the time to learn where every note is in a scale and which box it's in and why Griff was using it when he did.

    It was no longer "random".
     
    #10 Paleo, Mar 20, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
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  11. Thatman

    Thatman Playin' for the fun of it.

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    I agree with you in one respect and that is 'nothing is Easy' at the start but dependent upon the time and effort put in, it will come. If you're frustrated now then that just means when it all happens you'll be so chuffed with yourself. Good Luck. (y)
     
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  12. SlowBlues

    SlowBlues Blues Newbie

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    Thank you one and all. What a great group. I am going to work on each suggestion. I have the second solo almost down, but just can't get over the hump of the last few bars. :cautious:
     
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