Thursday, May 5, 2016

Thursday Breakthrough

Rode exercise bike for 1/2 hour. Yesterday, while working on guitar patterns, I utilized a past book I had with regards to improvisation. Interesting.

Here's what I emailed a friend today:

I am pleased to announce that I have (seriously) cracked the code of:
1) Playing the melody to songs, then:
2) Improvising over the chords to a song

It has taken some time, but I have integrated a few simple things, and I think I can do it. It would be great if I saw the lead sheet beforehand to see the chords, to prepare a bit; but I nailed it.

The secret?
Learning the major scale in various places around the guitar neck. Learning the places in different places on the guitar neck allows for different organization of notes in each position. 
I have found that my ear is surprisingly good and most melodies are right on that major scale.....
And knowing the I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, min7b5 of each key gives hints as to when to change the key....


Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Rode exercise bike for 1/2 hour. Some interesting guitar practice yesterday. My ability to improvise might actually improve if I stick to learning those five CAGED major scale patterns, but in a way that I learn them so they are ingrained so well in my brain and muscle memory that I can play them starting from any note.  Also, actually utilizing them to backing tracks of songs might be helpful.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Rode exercise bike for 1/2 hour.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Monday Improvisation

Rode exercise bike for 1/2 hour.

Tried to improvise guitar over a song today using what I thought was some good stuff I've learned. Well it didn't sound good.

Reevaluating things. Like a return to piano. Like using a different guitar improvisation approach.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Guitar Sunday

Learned my second swing guitar lick, and worked on integrating some scale shapes.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Guitar Saturday

A good day of guitar practice:

1) Went over the 5 CAGED patterns for the major scale.
2) Began again using the book, "The Charlie Christian Method," by Joe Dochtermann, and added some Charlie Christian ideas to my repertoire for soloing. Looks like I'll keep using this book; but rather than trying to master everything in it, I'll use it to get some chord shapes and licks.
3) Still playing my first Western Swing lick.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Up to 4/5 of the major scale patterns using the CAGED system. Trying to improvise a little, using the major scale, but I came on the idea of trying to hear the note first before I play it.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Looks like I have 3/5 of the major scale shapes known. Using Joe Carr's "60 Hot Licks for Western Swing Guitar," and I'm integrating how to use the first lick with particular keys.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sunday, April 24, 2016


On the second of five CAGED patterns to play the major scales.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Major Scale Saturday

Good practice with the band today. Later, worked on the major scale in the first CAGED position. At this point, will work on the major scale just using the CAGED system, and perhaps a book I tried a while ago of guitar licks.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Rode exercise bike for 1/2 hour.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Rode exercise bike for 1/2 hour. Back to practicing major and minor scales. Not quite ready to go to the dominant scale today.
Let's go Flyers!