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Let's talk about Visualizing the fret board.
This will open up a whole new world for your playing. It is one of the most of the most important part of my personal playing/practice routine, Especially when I'm learning something new.
I like to write out the main scale (of the tune I'm working on) all over the neck. So I can see all the chordal Possibilities, Arpeggios options and Possible modal changes. (see picture below)
A good and cheap way to do this is to make or find a full shot of the neck (tons of great ones on the internet) and have it Laminated so you can write on it with a dry erase marker. Then you can alway scan it and make more notes on it as you go.
Be able to see the fretboard as a whole will open up both your mind and you chops.
Once you have done all this. Then you want to close your eyes (no cheating) and playing though, not over the changes. This was a great tip from The Joe Diorio video tape that I Wore out when I was younger.
When ever I'm in a rut. I stand up close my eyes and press record. Then I just play. I leave it for a few days then I go back and listen to see if there is anything special in there.
I know this one was a little heady but it will really help you grow as a player.
Lets talk about scales.
Here is a scale builder primer.
We will be building 3 scales in the key of C.
The Pentatonic scale is built from
1 2 3 5 6
The Blues scales
1 b3 4 b5 5 b7
The Major/Ionian scale
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Once you get Comfortable with each scale shape you will Be able overlap the three scales and come up with some very Unique licks.
I love adding the blues scales into the major scales. It will give you few passing or Chromatic tones that will help expand your Musical vocabulary
All of these shapes are movable. Just move the root to the key you want it in.
Take it one shape at a time, starting with the pentatonic shape first then the blues shape then the major shape
Three of my go to touring/gigging tips!
What do Bread clips and grolsch beer gaskets have in common?
Well they both can found in bars/clubs an they both will work as a strap lock. Find the bar or stage manager and just ask! Most of em will be happy to help ya. Worst you and the boys can have a few beers at sound check!
Next up colored painters/Electrical tape.
You never know what you will run into at a gig. Some lights, no lights, dark lights or my fav the blinding spot light. I have three colors in my bag. Blue, orange and white. For the record I am not a Broncos/Mets/Islanders or a Gators fan. Not even a little lol
I use the tape to outline my pedal board placement on shows that my board and mic have to be moved. I now have three black pedals (wah, roto vibe,volume pedal) two of em look alike at a glance. A single strip of orange tape and Boom! Now I can see it at a glance!
My most recent gigs with Lauren the lighting was low light,candle light and dark mood lighting. I have the original ebow (all black) and even with its red led it is still very hard to see sitting on top of a black amp or music stand. Add a strip of white tape and.........wait for it...... Boom! I can find it!
Now for the last tape tip!
I have always used some sort or rack or pedal board or both. I have always tired to make my rig easy and quick to set up.
It is very important to be at pro even at the club level.
You'll need to buy a multi pack of thin electrical tape (8-10 colors) lay out all you gig cables, hook up your entire rig. Once you are happy with the cable layout you can zip tie them together or wrap them. Now the fun part. This will speed up your set up and break down time. Add a piece of tape around each cable tip and the (this is important ) the same color tape on the input/output of the amp/pedal/rack etc.
So easy toss the cabs/head/board on stage. Set em up. Match the colored ends and boom your ready to go! Your tech will love ya for this!