I was always puzzled as to why players with a good grasp of pentatonics lost their way when they started to learn the major scale and its modes, or any other scale for that matter. I wanted to know, so I began to study how other instrumentalists learn scales and it suddenly dawned on me where guitarists were going wrong. What I noticed was that the way in which guitarists go about learning scales in the beginning is not only unmusical, but counterintuitive and counterproductive due to a combination of the scale shapes themselves and how they navigate the fretboard.
This book is aimed at high beginner to intermediate guitarists who are wondering where to go after pentatonic scales, but it’s also useful for anyone starting out with scales and will most likely save you years of wasted practice time in both cases.
Graham Tippett (1977-) studied literature, music and languages in the UK before making a permanent move to Mexico in 2005. It was there he began to explore and research methods of improvisation on the guitar and published the '2 Position Scale System' series of instruction books in 2014, which are the fruit of that research. He is also well-known for his love of languages and music, drawing parallels between the two art forms as he continues to write and research on the subjects of language learning and improvisation. His relentless research into guitar improvisation has recently lead to the creation of the Hacking the CAGED System series of books, and Soloing Without Scales - an alternative look at how to improvise on guitar. Graham is also a graduate of the ACM (Academy of Contemporary Music) in Guildford, where he was taught by the likes of Guthrie Govan, Dave Kilminster, Eric Roche and many others.
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It’s particularly difficult on guitar because guitarists tend to arrive at this point with varying amounts of knowledge and gaps in their playing, whereas other instrumentalists approach soloing over changes in a more uniform way.
While it’s true that everyone learns differently, I believe that a solid approach to soloing over changes requires a system that is a) not based on patterns, b) develops the ability to locate notes on the neck either by interval or by the name of the note, and c) develops the player’s ear to the point where he/she is able to fully express themselves and truly improvise on their instrument as oppose to a formulaic, calculated and somewhat cold approach to something that should be, insofar as is possible, spontaneously created in the moment; and this is what I hope to achieve with this eBook.