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Blues Guitar Lessons: Pattern #3

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Now we're at the final
pattern in our group of five.
So we had pattern number four,
pattern number five,
sort of moving from the most
familiar up the neck step-by-step.
Pattern number one, the sweet spot.
Pattern number two, the down home.
Now I should mention by the way,
I think you know this by now, that none
of these patterns are either major or
minor, there is nothing inherent
in the fingering that tilts you to
one side of the spectrum or the other.
It's just sort of a tendency for
some of the phrases that fall
under your fingers, they tend to
want to have that kind of sound.
In pattern number two I was
emphasizing the down home sound
[SOUND] because you hear so
much being played in that pattern
that has that kind of quality to it but
of course in pattern
number two as in all the other patterns
I could play as sweet as you want to be in
pattern number two just as I
would in pattern number one.
So don't think of the patterns as having
an inherent kind of character to them.
It's how you choose to play it.
But that said,
some phrases are definitely easier to
play in certain patterns than others.
And this is gonna be true of our final
pattern here, pattern number three.
It is the G shape, remember
[SOUND] when we built our pattern,
C, A, G, E, D,
it's the third one in the row.
[SOUND] It's based on
the G major chord shape.
When you move it all
the way up the neck here.
[SOUND] And then up to the key of A.
[SOUND] Right?
It's the chord that you really can't play,
but it shows you the outline.
[SOUND] It sort of falls Intuitively
into that sound right there,
which is [SOUND] a very
major sweet kind of a sound.
Like all the other patterns,
you can tilt it either way.
But this shape in particular has been
one that when you listen to players
who play blues there's a certain
tendency that players have which is to
lean into that shape as a sweet spot, just
as pattern number one is a sweet spot.
So this is kinda the alternate sweet spot.
Let me explain how that works.
Check this out.
I'm in key of A and I'm gonna go back to
pattern number four, our familiar pattern
and if I play just the bare-bones
skeleton, the minor pentatonic.
Right, there's my pattern.
It has fourth finger, first finger.
There's a box and
that's extremely familiar at this point.
Now, if I take that shape,
that same exact fingering and
I just take my entire hand and
move it down three frets so
my fourth finger goes from the eighth
fret to the fifth fret and
play exactly the same fingering
[SOUND] and if I emphasize the note A,
in other words sort of base
it around the A shape, or
the A note [SOUND] using
the G chord shape there,
[SOUND] then I fall right
into another pentatonic,
which is called the major pentatonic.
Now, the major pentatonic
also has five notes in it.
But instead of root, minor third,
fourth, fifth, flat seventh, it's root,
major second, third,
major third, fifth, sixth.
So it contains the major third and
the sixth which, as we know now,
is kind of the essence of the sweet sound,
that B.B. King type sound.
Now, for that reason and
I had the same experience that I'm about
to describe that other players had.
Because the fingering is the same,
it's kinda a sound that for
me I kinda stumbled on.
I'm playing licks in the key of A,
pattern number four.
[SOUND] I didn't even think
of it as pattern number four,
it's just where you play [LAUGH]
it's just the shape, the spot.
And I was probably playing with a buddy,
and he was playing an A chord,
we're messing around and
I probably accidentally
went down three frets.
whoa, man, that sounds kinda cool, too.
And I didn't have to change a thing.
My fingering's identical, so
I don't have to learn a new pattern.
Suddenly, it changes the whole
color of the phrases from
kinda bluesy to
to kinda sweet.
So that was the way I
stumbled across it and
you'll hear it in other players as well,
I remember hearing
the Allman Brothers way back when their
first record came out and I think
it was Dickey Betts was taking solos and
he would play out of that pattern in
certain finger shapes.
I could just hear what he was doing,
first finger, third finger, and
kinda rotating them around.
You would hear the same thing also
in The Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia.
And this just seemed to be
a kind of a pattern that
players gravitated to when
they wanted to sound sweet, so
here we go, up to the 14th position,
here, high on the neck.
I hope you got enough
frets available to you.
[SOUND] And let's break that thing
down and talk about the advantages and
some of the disadvantages of seeing
it as that built-in sweet pattern.
Now, if I follow the major
pentatonic fingering,
I use the identical pattern that
I played in A minor pentatonic,
but now it becomes A major pentatonic.
A through sixth, fifth, major third,
second, first and keep going down.
[SOUND] The sixth, fifth,
third, second, root, and
finally end up on the sixth
on the low string, there.
[COUGH] Now,
if I compare that to pattern number one,
which is kind of my [SOUND] home spot for
sweet sounds.
[SOUND] Yeah, how about that, right?
So the phrases that I play in pattern
number one with my index finger on
the tonic or the root on the second
string at the tenth fret.
My first finger in pattern number
three is on the third string at
the fourteenth fret.
[SOUND] And now I can play the same
phrases and I'm using my first finger,
third finger,
that comfortable box kind of shape.
All right.
And it works really well.
So, in fact, one of the best ways
to crack open pattern number three
is to play the same phrases that
you play in pattern number one and
transfer them across the neck and
see how different are they.
[SOUND] pattern number one.
[SOUND] pattern number three.
[SOUND] Right, that's a little trickier
because I have to use my second,
third and fourth fingers but
nonetheless there it is.
All right?
So I can see that just with a little
bit adjustment, moving up a fret,
changing the fingering slightly,
exactly the same phrases are available.
So pattern number three becomes
kind of an alternate sweet spot
that I can use in conjunction
with pattern number one.
Depending on how the phrases
are coming and going.
Now we're in the key of A and that sort
of puts my hand in a certain position.
I'm way high up on the neck.
If I'm in a different key,
then pattern number three might become
a more readily available pattern.
Let's say I'm in the key of D for example.
[SOUND] Where's pattern number three?
Well I think of my G shape.
All right.
And now.
And right in the middle of the neck,
a very comfortable position.
I've got my first finger, third finger and
it's now become my kinda go-to sound
in that particular spot because pattern
number one puts me kinda maybe too close
to the end of the neck or I'm up to high,
right, so I'm looking for
a spot were I can kinda settle there.
[COUGH] Here's an interesting comparison.
Famous blues standard,
Freddie King, Hide Away.
We talked about this
in an earlier lesson.
Now, Freddie King played that thing.
That's as major as it comes right there.
So you've got key of E.
Very major sounding melody.
Now, when Eric Clapton covered Hide Away,
he did this when he was
playing with the band the Blues Breakers
early, early in his career.
He took the same lick and
instead of playing it down here,
[SOUND] he played it in
pattern number three.
All right?
Now, I don't know if he did that
because he thought that's where Freddie
was playing.
More likely,
he did it because it sounded good to him.
It felt good under his fingers.
So there's kind of a famous example of
a player adapting a phrase from
one pattern to another and
making great use of it.
Now I've been sort of talking
my way through this thing.
Let's play a little bit.
We'll do some call and response.
And I'm going to emphasize
the sweet sound, but
at the same time I'm going to bring
in some of the bluesy quality,
because as with all other patterns,
pattern number three is not exclusive to
one side of the spectrum or
the other, it contains both, so
it's a matter of just kind of finding
those sounds within that shape.
Now instead of me talking you through the
pattern here let's play it together and
open it up with a little back and
forth call and response.
We're gonna start with one-bar phrases,
[COUGH] we're working in this
sort of the sweet sound.
It's intuitive,
the way it falls on your fingers.
But I'm not gonna limit myself to that.
And I want you to start to find where
the rest of those notes are that give it
the different side of the spectrum because
you want to be able to play all sounds in
all areas of the neck and
not feel like it's restricted in that way.
So in the key of A.
[SOUND] This'll be your
first focal point here.
First finger on the third
string at the 14th fret.
Here we go.
Let's start with one-bar phrases.
One, two, three, four.
Using the minor
third there,
the blue note.
That's a little
different technique.
Using all my fingers.
a comfortable
shape there.
All right?
Moving to the fifth string, same sound.
Bluesify it a little bit.
A little
[LAUGH] I had to leave you with
a sour note there.
I got lost right there,
I got to admit, okay.
I cheated.
I was gonna go down to pattern number two,
and I said, I can't do that.
So I held myself up.
Anyway, that's okay.
You're kind of getting the idea of how
to get these patterns work together and
some of the fingerings, in some cases,
you really gotta sort of think on the fly,
which finger am I gonna use here?
So I'm hearing the sound, and
I'm trying to adjust my technique
to get that sound rather than thinking
about technique first and sound later.
Always keep the sound as
the number one priority there.
So you heard all kinds of
stuff going on in there.
The comfortable.
That just fits so
comfortably under the fingers,
it almost doesn't even need explanation.
But then, I wanna hear more of a bluesy
effect [SOUND] is my blue third.
[SOUND] There's my fifth flat, five, four.
[SOUND] All right?
So I can get the full
on blues affect there.
[SOUND] Now that's a really nice sound
that really does attach you back.
[SOUND] Bring it back
into pattern number two.
So you see the pattern
number two [SOUND] and
pattern number three are really cousins,
it's really easy to flow back and
forth and
we're gonna do a little something
to illustrate that in a second.
[COUGH] I don't know if there's anything
else in there that was that noteworthy.
Similar phrases.
[SOUND] Bending up with the third finger
using the fourth finger to capture
the note on the next sting, and so on.
So you can mess around with that.
It's like all the other patterns,
you just sort of experiment and
see where those sounds are,
but it's all there.
The entire world of blues is just as
much in that pattern as any other.
So I think as the next step here,
let's do a little 12 bar and
I'm gonna play exclusively in
pattern number three.
And I'll play two choruses here and
in the first chorus,
I'm gonna use the go to sweet sound,
so comfortable.
And in the second chorus, I'm gonna
emphasize the bluesy sound in the same
pattern and try to bring out that
other side of the emotional quality.
So 12 bar blues in A.
Here we go.
so not
a lot of
there, I
think you
sort of
get the
Working out of the major sound and then I.
So to get the minor sound in that pattern,
you have to reach up and that's one reason
why players tend to favor the sweeter
sound in that pattern is that there's
just less a kind of a technical
issue involved with reaching an extra
fit or using the fourth finger so much.
So it just kinda naturally fits under
the fingers with the first finger,
third finger.
Get that sweeter quality.
Okay, now we've got all five
patterns at this point and
you've got a basic vocabulary
in all five of them.
Pattern number four.
Pattern number five.
Pattern number one.
Pattern number two.
[SOUND] And finally,
pattern number three.
So we've covered the entire octave.
Everything I'm playing, by the way,
up here in 14th position,
which might be kinda running
out of space for you.
I could play down an octave, right?
Now we've been working in the key of A,
which is a comfort zone.
But when you memorize all
the patterns in the key of A and
you're exclusive to the key of A and
I say, well, let's play blues in G or
let's play blues in F or B-flat.
It rocks your world,
I've seen this happen many times.
Players go man,
don't make me transpose that thing.
So you have to overcome that and the way
do it of course is by playing through all
the patterns in all the keys and
that's a lot of effort involved there, but
you can chip away at it.
And what we'll do is we'll
just as we go forward,
we'll keep playing in different keys and
keep doing different exercises and
playing different types of phrases
that will kind of force you into
unknown territory and you'll gradually
become more familiar with it.
But coming up, I'm gonna give you
some specific exercises that now that
we've got five little boxes that
we can use to march up the neck.
I'm gonna show you ways to
break out of those boxes and
link them together and the ideas is
that you want to see the entire neck as
being one giant palate of sound
that you can grab as you wish.
Now before we get to that,
I'd like you to summarize the last
couple of lessons by giving me a solo,
you're own solo.
And I want you to play one chorus
in pattern number two [SOUND] and
you can feel free to feature that
down home sound, if you like.
And then play the second chorus
in pattern number three.
So that I can see how you're kind of
conceiving of these two patterns.
These might be brand new to you, so you're
kinda struggling a little bit to find
where you want to go and
how to put your fingers down.
But this'll give you a chance to focus and
figure it out, make it more concrete.
So send me that solo with
a combination pattern number two and
pattern number three and I look forward to
hearing how you are managing that stuff.