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Mandolin Lessons: Scale Patterns

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another tool I wanna hip you to is scale
patterns and
using melodic patterns that either descend
or ascend along the fingerboard.
To help you, create, another, little
melodic moment, in the middle of a tune.
These things can be inserted, in a hole,
after a little piece of melody.
Or they can exist, separately as just a, a
li, a brief moment in an improvisation.
So you, you probably are familiar with
these kinds of things.
Some tunes are actually built, on the idea
of of scale patterns.
If you look at a tune like Blackberry
That first little bit, is a scale pattern.
And if you wanted to, you could continue
it down.
All the way through you're
just keeping all the notes in this key of
G, and you're just waltzing through.
That's the kind of thing that could be
used as a,
as a little tie line to get you to a new
place on the finger board.
So I will attempt to use some of these.
Let's take a tune like like old Joe Clark
for instance.
I might throw one in there.
Right there.
As a little tag right before
getting into the tag.
Or in the B section.
I might chose to go up.
And then tag, okay?
So let's take a look now at a bunch of
different ways to do this.
It doesn't always have to be da, da, da,
da, da, da.
It can be, there's an endless assortment
of ways of playing patterns,
as a way of just descending or ascending.
So let's take just a two note pattern.
That's a nice one,
'cuz it enables you to leap up the neck.
And because it has holes in it, it enables
you to shift positions as, as you're,
as you're playing so let's say we were in
Old Joe Clark.
And then we wanted to jump.
There's a little pause.
You know,
we could be up there and then tag.
All right, then we're on the B section.
That's a way to go up.
Another way to go up.
All right,
a great tune to experiment with this kind
of thing on is Blackberry Blossom.
And we all know Blackberry Blossom, right?
The B section of Blackberry Blossom has
this beautiful, long E-minor section.
you're just hanging out on E-minor forever
with a little B chord in it.
So, that might be a place where when you
have a single chord for a long time to
explore doing some scale patterns and some
of these descending or ascending patterns.
So, I'll play the A section of Blackberry.
Then the B.
That's the melody.
Tag, turnaround.
So all the while that E minor is
happening, I just hear, I hear the
That's an idea.
Or, let's play a little bit of the E-minor
section, I think we have it on tape.
Blackberry blossom, just the B section.
It'll help us out, get some rhythm going
here so we can,
this will be our hippie jam section of the
One, two, three and.
So this is a melody.
Do it again.
With a little turnaround.
Okay, so just then, I did a little,
And this is all E-Minor.
Now, there's a B chord, so you have to be
in the B chord when the B chord comes.
that's a good time to change scale
Let's do it one more time, I'll continue
my train of thought here.
>> One, two, three.
>> E minor.
D seven.
>> Again.
you might wanna know what that is.
Those are octaves, okay?
Two E notes, exactly eight notes apart.
And I slid into each one, and
slid up to the F-sharp, slid up to the G,
slid up to the A.
Get up to the B.
Then you're done.
It's time to play your turnaround.
Let's go one more time.
>> One, two, three.
>> B.
I continue that.
>> Again.
>> Let me show you that one.
So that's.
Also a nice easy one, because
it gives you time to sort of collect your
bearings in-between each lick.
And any time you're up the neck and
trying to get back down, if you put holes
in your pattern,
those holes then enable you a chance to
shift positions.
So, just by putting a rhythmic thing in a
descending pattern
gives your hand an opportunity to move
down the fingerboard.
Otherwise, you're dealing with constant
eighth notes and constant shifting,
and it never ends, and you have to be a
crazy man to pull that off,
tune that's great for practicing this is
John Hardy,
because it also has a long B section which
just hangs out on one chord forever.
I love this idea of whenever you're
working on a new concept,
a melodic concept like this or a rhythmic
To limit your choices somehow.
So that you're not dealing with a new
concept of, of how to play patterns.
And you're trying to negotiate a whole
bunch of weird chords.
So you, you narrow the focus down to okay,
let me just play over one chord for
a while until I get this concept of how to
play patterns.
Where I work out the fingering for the
patterns in one key, in one groove.
Then I'll try to apply that to a
constantly changing set of chord changes.
And that's gonna pose a whole other layer
of mental thought.
You know, cuz you're negotiating scales at
each moment as the chords change.
Here we're, sitting on one chord for a
long time and
it give us a chance to work out some of
So here's John Hardy.
I'll just play the melody for you so you
can remember it.
And then, I'll start doing some different
ideas and we'll stop and
start, like we just did.
>> One, two, three.
Here's the B.
Here's the D.
Let's try that, the beat.
That was the.
That was your scale pattern, right?
Nice and slow.
And it goes for a long time.
It goes all the way to there.
So you could do it that long.
Get's a little bit tedious after a while.
For the poor listener.
But it gives you an opportunity to
practice the skill.
I might, in real life I might just do it
Might just do it for that long.
So let's play the B section of John Hardy.
Now I have it cycling on the rhythm
section here.
The guitar is just cycling the B section.
And we will start, instead of from the
We're going to start from the third of
that chord or the F-Sharp.
Ready when you are.
One, two, three, four.
You could do it again.
Then you're on a G.
Again, do it again an octave higher.
What did I do there?
I jumped up to this higher F-Sharp.
And I came down, okay?
So again, I'm focusing on thirds now.
The third of the D chord, I'm looking for
F-Sharp notes everywhere.
I could have gone.
Could have done an inverse position.
Just another way to do it.
Another option is.
What you are doing there
is you are playing thirds.
Then you go to the next note.
And you play E and G, they're a third away
from each other.
Then you play D and F-Sharp, they're a
third away from each other.
And you play C and E, they're a third away
from each other.
And then B and D.
You can keep following that concept down.
Let's try it once with the guitar.
One, two, three, four.
Okay, what did I do there?
I started on the A note, which is the five
of D.
And I tried to find a riff that would go
with that.
And then it became a pattern.
Another way to do that pattern would be to
start each pattern.
Then start on the next chord tone
which is F-Sharp.
Which is the note you just landed on.
then start on the next chord tone which is
D which you just landed on.
if you want to land on a C to make it a
D-7 chord.
It's kind of a cool sound too.
So hopefully these little melodic fragment
will start to expand your concept of how
to improvise, you know.
It's impossible to just freely play, great
brilliant melodic ideas.
But with some of these little tools, you
can start to piece this together.
Okay, I'd like to see how you do with this
Send me a video of you jamming over these
simple one chord
B sections to Blackberry Blossom, and John
And I wanna see if you understand the
You can make up your own scale patterns or
you can snitch some of mine, you know?
You know what they say, good composers
borrow, great composers steal.
Good luck.