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Jazz Guitar Lessons: Know Your Neck

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We're gonna move into an area
I call know your neck.
As I mentioned in the introduction, and
the overview before I think
of the guitar as geography.
A map, or a real estate, you could say.
So, when I, when I'm thinking about that,
a very interesting thing occurred to
me a while back about the guitar.
It's one of the, one of the unique
things about the guitar and
other stringed instruments.
And it makes it.
Very special in a way, but
it makes it a little bit more
difficult in a way as eh, as well.
When you play middle C on the piano,
it only occurs in one place.
Middle C is middle C on the piano,
on the vibraphone, on the trumpet,
on the saxophone.
On almost every other instrument.
On the guitar, the same middle
C occurs five different places.
On the B string.
On the G string.
On the, the 5th fret.
On the D string on the 8th fret.
On the A string on the 12,
13, 14, 15th fret.
[LAUGH] And then on the 20th fret,
all the way up on the 6th string.
Tonally, that's pretty cool, because you
can get a different sound on the same note
just by playing it at
a different place on the guitar.
Each one has a completely different sound.
And that can be useful if you're doing
a guitar piece or you wanna warmer or
shaper tone on any note.
Now, notoriously guitar players
are not great sight readers.
There are some people that
are great sight readers, but
in general guitar players you know,
are challenged a little bit.
I know I am.
And I had to work hard
on my sight-reading.
And it's not an excuse, but
I think part of the reason is when,
when a pianist sees a C, there's no
question about where he's gonna play it.
You're gonna play a C where middle C is.
Guitarist has to think well, okay,
I can play it here, I can play it here.
You kinda have to make a decision, and.
That, that I think,
is one reason that makes it a little
more challenging to read on the guitar.
So how, how can we use that to our,
our advantage,
or how can we make sure that we're
familiar with all the areas?
Well, let's get back to the ge,
geography idea.
If you can play C in all those
different places, you can also play.
Each of those C's in, with, each,
with four different fingers.
Kinda complicated.
Now, if you think about it, that means
you can play middle C in five places,
with four fingers.
5 times 4 is 20.
20 different ways to play the same note.
It's pretty daunting.
So I have an exercise,
that will help us know the geography
of those different areas.
And how to get from note to note.
So, let's say you want to arrive at a C,
and you're coming from an E.
And you're gonna go down the scale E,
D, C.
That sounds like
Mary Had a Little Lamb, right?
So actually,
let's turn it into Mary Had a Little Lamb.
We're gonna play that melody,
at every different way that
you can play it on the guitar.
I'm gonna do that for you now.
Check it out.
That was all on the B string.
I'm gonna mix.
First one was an, with an open E.
Then just on the B string.
Now, I'm gonna cross from the,
the B string to the G string.
And I start with my fourth finger.
I'm gonna do the same thing
starting with my third finger.
Now, with my second finger.
Then I'm gonna start on the B string, but
I'm gonna switch over for
the second note to the G string.
All right?
Now all G string.
That's with the pinky.
I'm gonna go to the third finger.
And I crossed over to the D string.
I'm gonna start with my first finger and
cross over earlier.
Now all D string.
Now to, to the D to the A string.
Third finger.
Second finger.
First finger, crossing over earlier.
All A string.
Crossing over to the six string,
it's gonna sound a little funky, here.
then you'd have to play on
your pick up for the last one.
That really didn't work to well.
Sounds complicated, but
what this is doing is it's showing you,
well I can take this route
to get to that note.
This route to get to this note.
This route
All those different options.
So, why do you do that?
So that if you're improvising, and
you need one of those notes, and you
find yourself, sometimes you find yourself
in awkward places, you'll have access.
To the, to those notes,
via this map, this GPS.
This is getting you to really see,
all the different aspects of this map,
of this playing field that
we use to play the guitar.
So, now I'm gonna ask you, you do it.
Take that melody.
Do it slowly.
Don't do it with a metronome.
Don't do it even in time yet.
Take your time to really look at it, and
how you play each position,
and how you play each one.
I left one out that's kinda, kinda cool.
You can play the the first
note on the E string,
[SOUND] second one on the B string,
[SOUND] and the third one on the G string.
And you can let each note ring.
That opens the whole door to something
else that we can get into later.
So give it a try.
See if you can come up with
a way that I didn't do it.
And I'd love to hear that.