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Jazz Guitar Lessons: Using the Number System to Discover Arpeggios & Patterns

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Using the Number System to
Discover Arpeggios & Patterns.
Hi today we're gonna be
looking at a little bit
more theory about scales,
arpeggios and patterns.
I don't want to start that
without pointing out that this
does have a a direct and
important impact on improvising.
And the, the language that we
speak as jazz guitar players and
as jazz musicians in general is
really based on these things.
These are sort of the the words,
sentences, and
paragraphs of Jazz improvisation
are built on scales,
arpeggios, patterns, intervals, and
the things that we're talking about now.
That's why it really is important.
Like, if I'm, if I'm playing a, you know,
a progression like
like typical jazz progression, 1-6-2-5-1.
If I'm playing that
inside of a line like that, that's,
that's outlining those changes,
are arpeggios, scales, patterns.
And alternations to those that
we're gonna be talking about.
So eh, you know, hang in there with
the theory, it's gonna come in handy.
Like I said, it's what I'm trying to say.
So what we're gonna do is we're gonna
take the number system that we we're
talking about yesterday where each, each
note in the, the major scale is a number.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven,
eight which is one again and
then it cou can, proceed up from there and
one, two, three, four, five, six,
seven, eighth, second octave.
What we're gonna do is we're
gonna start by looking
at what intervals are created in that,
in that scale.
Okay, there's, I think we a pretty
obvious thing that the basic building
blocks are steps, whole steps and
half steps, right?
First one's a whole step.
Another one's a whole step, and
then a half step.
We did discuss that already.
But intervals go beyond that and
I'd like to talk about intervals and
the impact it'll have in
how they're altered and
how we and, and how we name them,
what we call them.
I call it interval semantics because
sometimes the same exact interval
has two different names,
and it seems kind of silly.
But it actually, it actually is important
and there's a reason to know it.
Let's start with the 3rd,
it's a very important interval.
We know that, we know that the 3rd, a lot
of us already know that the third can
tell you if you're in a major key or
a minor key.
I'm in the key of A now.
And I'm going one, three
That's the major 3rd, from A to C sharp.
If I can take that C sharp and
lower it, to C
instead of this note, this note
it becomes a minor 3rd.
So it's got a very strong
characteristic difference.
There's a very strong
personality between this
a major 3rd
and a minor 3rd.
I mean the, the classic way to
think of it is, happy, sad.
[LAUGH] you know it's, you know,
kind of simplistic to think about that but
it, but it really is true, you know?
It's a huge difference in sound.
And when we're improvising if you,
if you take a minor 3rd for
example in, in a blues and
throw it in the middle of a major
chord it kinda gives it a little edge.
And so we'll,
we'll talk more about that later.
So that interval of a 3rd is what's
called a major or minor interval.
Going right up next to it, to the 4th
So I'm going from A to D now.
By the way, that's made up of one,
two, three, four, five half-steps.
The 3rd is made up of four,
two whole-steps, or four half steps.
Not necessarily that
important to know that,
but you can kinda count up that way if,
if you're confused about where these are.
The fourth interval.
Listen, listen to the fourth interval
if I play the two notes together.
It's got a very pure sound.
It's different than a major
major interval has kind of a,
almost a more human kind of like I said,
happy or sad sound.
This one has a very pure sound, and
I think because of that, traditionally,
4ths and 5ths as well, we'll talk about it
in a minute, are called perfect intervals,
rather than major or minor,
they're either perfect, perfect 4th,
perfect 5th, or augmented and diminished
rather than major or minor explanation.
This is what I was talking about,
semantics, because it,
it really is kind of the,
the same thing for two different things.
If you play
a 4th, and you raise it.
So I'm gonna take the D
and make it
a D sharp
It becomes,
an augmented 4th.
Instead of, you know, an extra major
fourth, or something like that,
it's called augmented.
Augmented, basically, the word augmented
means raise, that's all it means.
let's just jump now to,
because I want to explain the the,
the semantics of it.
Let's jump now to the 5th
The 5th also has this
kind of open sound to it.
And, of course, the 5th is a huge part of
rock music where you use like power cords.
It's a very pure sound and,
and if you know,
if you play with overdrive pedals and
stuff, you know, that if you play a 5th
there's no problem playing the cord there
because you won't get any wavering.
Where as if you play a 3rd,
sometimes it gets a little fun or
another interval like that.
So these, and the reason for
that is because it is a perfect interval,
it has overtones that are smoother.
let's go back to that, that note.
So I said it was an augmented fourth
Well, sometimes, in theory, we're gonna
call, actually call that a diminished 5th,
diminished, as opposed to augmented,
diminished means lowered.
Augmented means raised,
diminished means lowered, so
when you lower the 5th,
you get a diminished 5th.
Now you're gonna say to me, hey,
wait a second, that's the same note.
Why do I have to call it
two different things?
Because in context of certain chords,
sometimes it's gonna be a raised 4th,
sometimes it's gonna be a lowered 5th.
I hate to say trust me, but
you'll see how that comes in too, but
that's what I mean by semantics,
sometimes it's just semantics.
So you have,
you have a seconds by the way, I,
I skipped over that because
we're talking mostly,
I wanna talk about building chords,
but seconds are also major minors.
So you have a major second and
then if you go lower
to just a half step above root
that's called a minor 2nd.
Because it gets a little too confusing
there is no other name for
the flat at 3rd yet,
when we get into more advanced harmony,
there will be, but
at this point, it's not.
So you have minor 2nd
major 2nd
major 3rd [MUSIC] perfect
augmented 4th, same note,
diminished 5th
That's where we're at now.
The next note is, is cool because,
I'm gonna skip to the, to the major 6
The major 6 again,
is a major interval, and
you can hear
it's got kind of like
a brighter sound to it.
It's not it's not this
kind of open, new agey sounding interval.
It's more like a
a major interval
The note in between the perfect 5th,
and the major 6th can even,
can either be thought of again,
as two different names.
If you raise the 5th
it becomes an augmented 5th,
a raised 5th or augmented 5th.
This is a very important note in jazz,
actually it's used a lot in improvisation.
A lot of times I'll be playing a,
you know,
a 2-5 progression
and I'm using that,
that augmented 5th there to lead
me back to, to the last chord.
So, so, you know, bare that in mind, it's
gonna be an important note for us later.
But at the same time
if you lower the 6th.
Listen to this,
you'll hear it in a different way
It's a minor 6th, so that's the one
interval that can either be thought of
as a perfect interval, you know,
the raised 5th becomes you know,
is coming off the perfect interval,
or a minor interval.
Semantics again, but
it will in the end be,
be important information in
building chords and improvising.
Last one is the 7th, the major 7th,
kind of a dissonant interval,
it is very bright sounding.
And very leading
It really wants to send
you up to that last note
Right, it's a major interval, major 7th
So if you lower it, it's a minor 7th and
that one only has one name.
And then we get to the octave,
which is also called a perfect interval.
You can't get too much more pure than that
It's just open
So that's the intervals for now.
I wanna give you an exercise
to play along with
where you can use these
intervals in improvising.
And to do that, we're gonna bleh,
use our simple blues play-along.
And I'm going to show you how
to apply these, to improvise.