Blues Scale Diagonal Runs
By the time you hit this lesson you will have been drilling through five positions of the blues scales and should be comfortable at least with the idea of using these patterns in different keys.
I hope you have also taken some time to start improvising with these patterns either with other musicians or against backing tracks.
In this lesson we are going to concentrate on just one of several pathways that link the positions together diagonally.
This should help give you more freedom to roam around the fretboard and play extended phrases and runs.
It is also another step towards improving your general orientation on the fretboard.
We are going to use the key of G as an example, but once learnt, you should be able to transpose this idea to several other keys.
Here's the whole run: (see video).Now let's take it a chunk at a time...
Fret 3 on 6th string
Play one octave of first position.
That's the basic pattern we are going to repeat..
The trick is to end on the slide (see video).
That takes us into the second position. We then repeat the pattern.
Notice that this time there's a cunning little finger switch as I make the slide up into the third position (see video)..
And a similar trick is used to reach the last two notes that are in the fifth position.
Here it is again nice and slow -- see if you can come with me on this. It's good to get the ascending run well grooved in before pushing on and working out the return journey.
OK, so that's the ascending pattern. If you'd like to spend a bit more time on that right now just hit pause when the diagram comes up, then, when you're ready we'll look at the descending pattern
Here's the descending pattern: (see video).
So this starts on the top string at the fifteenth fret right where we left off with the first pattern..
Fingering's up to you, but I favour my stronger fingers on this run so I start on my third finger.
We run down the fifth position pattern for one octave and as before we slide the last step.
So that we end up on the 3rd finger in the fourth position pattern enabling us to continue down this pattern in the normal way...
We then complete the octave in the fourth position run before sliding down into the third position
Then after working down the third position we finish off the third octave with the finger-changing trick this time from first to fourth finger so that we arrive back in the first position.
So here's the whole descending run played nice and slow.. (see video).
And here's the practice diagram which you are welcome to pause if you like.
Finally, here's some of the ways I might use this when I'm improvising.
A useful way to think of these long diagonal runs is that they are like freeways or motorways that provide high speed routes from A to B. The other notes in each of the positions are like interesting little towns and villages you can stop off and explore en route!
Let's show you what I mean
You can select that backing track from the toolbox (on the website at http://www.secretguitarteacher.com if you'd like to have a go at that yourself.
Meanwhile I'll leave you with the two diagrams if you want to spend some more time getting the runs right. (see video).
Have fun and see you in the next lesson!