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Shaun Baxter helps you to explore every dusty corner of the fretboard with this challenging and thorough workout through the different keys.
Our jazz-metal guru, Shaun Baxter, looks at a variety of Mixolydian triplet permutations.
repertoire in different keys in each area of the neck. The idea is to build your lick repertoire so that you have got things to play, and also be able to have instant access to that vocabulary when improvising.
Diagram 1 shows the five CAGED shapes of A Mixolydian. As you may know, the CAGED system is a method of scale visualisation, based around moveable versions of the open C,A, G, E and D chord-forms laid end to end along the length of the fretboard to form a background reference or structure to aid scale navigation.
Once you have learnt one scale in all areas of the neck, it is possible to transpose this information to allow you to play from any other root note in the same manner. Ultimately, this leads to you being able to access any scale under your fingers at any time, wherever you are on the neck.
The backing track for this lesson is devoted to a progression comprising a repeated sequence of A7 to C7 to D7 to F7 to G7 (two bars for each chord). Basically, we go through the alphabet, but have taken away the first chord each time there is only a semi-tone between two chords. There is very little you learn about C if you’ve simply moved up a semi-tone from B, and the same goes for E and F. By removing B and E, you still have to mentally acknowledge where they are in order to get to C and F respectively. But, of equal importance, by omitting these two chords, we’ve ended up with a five-chord sequence that allows us to practise all five shapes of the CAGED system in each area of the neck in a streamlined and efficient way.
Diagram 2 shows how the CAGED system can be used for each chord-type in order to play in just one area of the neck. Generally, the neck positions shown correspond to the ones delineated by the various dots on the fretboard. Try building up your approach to playing the full version of the exercise shown in the transcription (along with the backing track) by doing the following:
1. Start by playing each A Mixolydian line: A7 shape #1 (bar 1), A7 shape #2 (bar 11), A7 shape #3 (bar 21), A7 shape #4 (bar 31), A7 shape #5 (bar 41)
2. Then, take each A7 line and transpose it to another part of the guitar neck for C7, D7, F7, and G7 (use the backing track for this): Shift each A7 line up three frets for C7, then another two frets for D7, another two frets for F7, another two frets for G7 and, finally, up another two frets to get back to A7
Note, as you ascend the fretboard, you may
The idea is to build your lick repertoire so that you have got interesting things to play; on top of that we also want to have instant access to this vocabulary when improvising solos.
have to double back an octave (play the same things 12 frets lower) if you find that you are running out of neck.
3. Next, use the backing track to work in just one area or position of the neck using a different CAGED shape (and associated Mixolydian line) for each chord.
4. Then work through the length of the neck (again with the backing track), playing a different line for each chord as you shift up through the positions in the same manner as shown in the transcription and demonstrated on the lesson audio.
5. Finally, you can also use the backing track to practise your own licks and lines for each of the five CAGED shapes of Mixolydian.
What lines do you have in each shape of the scales that you know? You may already know all five CAGED shapes of scales like Mixolydian, but what ideas or repertoire have you developed? No one wants to hear you waffle up and down a scale shape waiting for divine inspiration to hit – you need to have things prepared. Start building up a collection of your own lines and licks in each of the five scale patterns, not just of Mixolydian, but every other scale that you know.