Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Guitar Alphabet Soup - Creative Guitar Exercise

Today we look at three licks based around a creative exercise that Pat Martino developed. Each letter of the alphabet gets a note from the chromatic scale beginning sequentially on C. Then you create a lick or musical phrase based around a word or sentence. You must play the notes in order but the position of the notes and their duration is variable. I've based the first lick ont he phrase "Learn to Forgive" which has the notes B E C F C#  G D  F D F F# G# A E. The second lick is based around the name of my favorite guitarist "Jimi Hendrix". Notice how the second and third lick contain the same notes but sound very different when different octaves, positions and durations are combined. The notes for licks 2 and 3 in order are A G# C G#  G E C# D# F G# B. To me this is a great tool for being creative and also learning the fretboard. Sometimes the licks at least in my case may be a little dissonant or impractical but you can use pieces of them as a springboard for other ideas or exercises. For example I personally enjoy the ending to the first lick and could see expanding on that intervallic sequence to create a song idea or a lick I would use in a solo. Try some ideas on your own.