Nev explores the value of teaching techniques.
During my years on guitar mags, and having done a bit of teaching myself, one misconception still crops up: “if i learn that scale, i’ll be able to play like that person.” every teacher will tell you how many times he or she gets asked to show a student the mixolydian so they can sound like Larry, the half-diminished so they can sound like robben, or the Harmonic minor so they can sound like yngwie. sadly, this ignores the fact that these players aren’t about ‘scales’. They’re musicians who’ve put in years of practice, done 1,000s of gigs, trained a naturally gifted ear and innate sense of taste to become the fabulous artists that they are. They’ve developed sublime touch and feel, and probably a few tasty chops into the bargain.
it’s tempting to believe that there are ‘secret’ notes that such people play: “i know they’re on my guitar’s fretboard; if only someone would show me
The truth is that, whatever new ‘thing’ we learn, we also have to learn to apply it. if you’ve got rubbish vibrato and your string bending sucks, learning a new mode won’t fix it; if you don’t know all five minor Pentatonic shapes, what makes you think you’ll apply yourself better to a scale that’s got two extra notes in it? it’s tough, but this is the reality of being a musician.
But there is some good news! Here at gT when we show you a new scale, we also show you how to use it in context, with a bit of background theory thrown in. Hence the altered ideas in this month’s exotic Blues feature will let you apply some cool sounding notes to licks that will make you sound great. But you’ll need to dig deeper, discover how to make these notes work over other chords, and then apply such ideas to your own playing - including that ever-improving bending and vibrato!