Six Note Three Octave Scale Excercise

In this instructional video, guitarist Richard W Rossicone from axgrinder.com demonstrates and explains a six note, three octave scale exercise to help you learn and master the fretboard in a unique, challenging and fun way…

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Finger Twisters: Combining Major And Minor Scales And Arpeggios

Greetings fellow guitarworld.com family! In the next few installments I would like to challenge your mind and fingers with my new subject matter: finger twisters.

I am always looking for new and challenging ways to make my practicing and playing more fun and creative and in the process, dig down deep to discover something new ago the guitar and myself. In this blog I will discuss and demonstrate my first finger twister: a combination of a major and minor scale and arpeggios across the fretboard. Continue reading

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FINGER TWISTERS PART TWO: RETHINKING THE I IV V PROGRESSION

Hey there faithful readers! In this second installment of Finger Twisters, I would like to examine, or shall I say re examine soloing over the I IV V progression. Now I know what you are all thinking: not another article discussing blues licks! Rest assured loyal guitar practitioners, this is not the case with this months blog.

This exercise, or finger twister, is once again a moveable arpeggio pattern but will be in the key of G major for this exercise. The first measure is an ascending I chord/arpeggio of the major scale which extended out (1 3 5 7) is a major 7th chord/arpeggio which is a G major 7th chord/arpeggio (G,B D,F#). The second measure is a descending IV chord arpeggio which is also a major 7th chord and is a C major 7th chord/arpeggio (C,E,G,B). The third measure is an ascending V7 chord/arpeggio which spells out a D7 chord/arpeggio (D,F#,A,C). And lastly, to end up back where we started, we have the descending I chord/arpeggio again which is the G major chord/arpeggio (G,B,D,F#).

As I stated above, these are moveable patterns so you can play it all over the fretboard. Try them in the keys of A, C and Bb major for example. Be creative with it. It does stand alone as a great finger, string skipping, alternate picking, get from one end of the fretboard to the other exercise thang but if you incorporate some of the ideas melodically into your lead playing next time you are jamming a I IV V with some fellow musicians and or bandmates, you will definitely come up with something new and fresh on your way to discovering your own voice on the instrument which, at the end of the day, is exactly what my column is about. I left suggested left hand fingerings out for this reason. I want you to find out what works best for you. As always, practice this with a metronome slowly and eventually build up to a faster tempo.

I want to thank each and every one of my readers for checking out my column over the past year and special thanks to the staff of guitarworld.com for this opportunity. I wish you all a Happy And Healthy Holiday season. Now pick up that guitar and play, just like yesterday everyone.

RR

 

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FINGER TWISTERS PART THREE: FINGERPICKING EXERCISES

Hello again all my faithful readers out there in guitar land. In this installment of my blog, I would like to expand upon my last two blogs and write about a great fingerpicking finger twister I use as a warm up for classical guitar gigs.

In previous blogs, I have discussed some right hand fingerpicking patterns. This blog will work on coordinating left and right hand patterns. In case you are new to fingerpicking, the right hand has letter names. The thumb is p, the index finger is I, the middle finger is m and the ring finger is a. But the difference in this exercise is we will associate the left hand fingers with the right hand letters. The first finger in the left hand will always be played with p. The second finger in the left hand will be played with the I. The third finger in the left hand will be played with the m and the fourth finger of the left hand will be played with the a.

Place the first finger in the left hand on the first fret of the sixth string, the second finger of the left hand on the second fret of the fifth string, the third finger of the left hand on the third fret of the fourth string and the fourth fret of the third string. Your left hand will spell out the notes F, B, F and B respectively. Now play the right hand pima pattern. Now move the left hand chord over one string and place your first finger on your left hand on the first fret of the fifth string, the second finger of the left hand on the second fret of the fourth string, the third finger of the left hand on the third fret of the third string and the fourth finger of the left hand on the fourth fret of the second string. Your left hand will now spell out the notes Bb, E, Bb and Eb respectively. Play the right hand pima pattern again. Now move your left hand over one more string and place your first finger of your left hand on the first fret of the fourth string, your second finger of your left hand on the second fret of the third string, your third finger of your left hand on the third fret of the second string and your fourth finger on the fourth fret on the first string. Your left hand will now spell out the notes Eb, A, D and Ab respectively. Play the right hand pima pattern once again.

The left hand finger placements will be the same through this entire exercise. Example 1 is the pima pattern. Exercise 2 is the pami pattern and exercise 3 is the pmia pattern. What is the most challenging part of this finger twister is to keep the coordination between the right and left hand accurate. To make it even more of a challenge don’t place the left hand down as a chord. Play the notes individually with the right hand patterns.

Now get out there and pick up that guitar and play just like yesterday. Let’s get to it. As always I thank you for checking out my blog space and any comments or observations are always welcome.

 

RR

 

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Fingerpicking 101 and Beyond: Part 2

Hey there fellow guitarists! In this blog I would like to expand a bit upon my last blog which discussed some basic fingerpicking pattern. We are going to take those basic patterns and expand upon them but not with more right hand patterns. In this blog we will change the left hand.

In this exercise we will keep the right hand pattern and approach the same; the index, finger, will be on the third string, the middle, m finger, will be on the second string, the ring, finger, will be on the first string and the thumb, finger, will bounce from the sixth, fifth, fourth and finally back to the fifth string. The only challenge is that the E major chord we were playing in the left hand will now move up one fret at a time once the pattern is completed. For example, play the pima pattern until completed, then move the E major chord up one fret then play the pattern again until completed, then move the chord up another fret and play that pattern once again. Do this with all six patterns; pima, pmia, pami, piam, pmai and paim. The challenge here is to disconnect your ear from what your right hand is playing. Since you will have open strings ringing everywhere, some of the harmonies will sound dissonant and some of the notes will double themselves when playing these patterns. This will require extra focus on your part. Examples 1, 2 and 3 below are the music and tabs for the pima, pmia and the pami patterns but I suggest you add the other patterns I mentioned also. You get the idea. And as always practice with a metronome starting at a slow tempo, maybe about 80 bpm. Never sacrifice speed for accuracy.

In case you are inspired and want to continue with some fingerpicking studies, I highly recommend The Aaron Shearer Classical Guitar Method Books One and Two and Pumping Nylon by Scott Tennant.

Once again, I thank you for reading. Now pick up that guitar and play, just like yesterday. Get to work. As always, comments are always welcome and appreciated.

Thank you,

RR

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