This blog entry contains the resources used in putting together the live stream that covered the scales Hirojoshi (sometimes spelled Hirajoshi) and Kumoi.
Video Demonstrations of Ten Japanese Riffs
Hirojoshi (aka: Hirajoshi) Scale Guitar Riffs
Kumoi Guitar Scale Riffs
The Difference Between Kumoi and Hirojoshi
The Kumoi Scale has the following intervals = 1, 2, b3, 5 and 6
The Hirojoshi Scale has the following intervals = 1, 2, b3, 5 and b6
The only difference between these two scales is that the Kumoi has a natural 6, and the Hirojoshi has a flat 6.
People Naming the Scales Incorrectly
If you go by what the Guitar Grimmoire says, and a few websites, the intervals I listed above are correct.
In this video, the Hirojoshi scale is demonstrated, but the teacher calls it the Kumoi scale instead: www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDXOCNq9UH4
Here's that lesson on Guitar World's website: www.guitarworld.com/what-world-kumoi-japanese-scale-tab-and-video
If you look at the comment left at the bottom of the lesson, someone states that the Hirojoshi scale is indeed being used, and not the Kumoi.
Even wikipedia has the Hirajoshi scale listing notes/intervals that are actually the Kumoi scale, according to the Grimmoire.
Oli Herbert of All That Remains does a lesson for Guitar World on the Hirajoshi scale, and uses the same intervals that the Grimmoire does. www.guitarworld.com/lessons/investigating-hirajoshi-scale
Here's another site that has the intervals for Hirojoshi the same as the Grimmoire (although it begins on the 2nd instead of the first): www.pianoscales.org/hirajoshi.html
Scale Name Sources
The following links are websites I used in gathering information for the live stream this blog entry is based on.
Here is the Archived Live Stream Guitar Lesson
There's a LOT you can do with scale shapes besides just going up and down one note at a time.
Most of the music you listen to can fit into scale shapes. Knowing your scales can allow you tons of musical ideas.
Turns out that John Petrucci and I use scale shapes in a similar way to create riffs.
Check out this video where Petrucci demonstrates this approach to song/riff writing:
Yup. I like playing fast. It's fun. It's exciting. But, is it musical?
Yes! I say it is. It also depends on how it's used though.
However, I do agree that it feels as if musicality is lost when all a guitar player does is haul ass up and down scales, cramming in as many notes as possible, AAAAALLLLLLLL THEEEE TIME.
So, how can you focus on the musicality of a scale instead of just playing it as fast as you can?
That's right! P-L-A-Y S-L-O-W
Playing slow allows you to HEAR the notes you are using. Whether you are playing to a backing track, or by yourself (no accompaniment), it's a FANTASTIC idea to practice playing your solos, leads, scales, SLOW!
In fact, I always advise new students to practice improv slowly. When you are new to improv, it can be very helpful to play nice and slow so you allow your ears to grow accustomed to what you are playing and hearing.
Guthrie Govan talks about this in a lesson he did with Guitar World. Definitely worth the watch!
Troy Grady taught me that I do two way pick slanting. I had no clue, after nearly 20 years of playing, that I did this technique.
I have never even HEARD of this technique.
I also did not know that fast scale runs, just straight up and down 3 notes per string patterns, was something a lot of people struggled with.
The two way pick slanting allows fast alternate picking and keeps you from having your pick get stuck in between any two strings. When we pick, we actually tend to have either an upward pick slant, or downward pick slant. (watch the video to see what that is)
So, if you are one of those people who struggle with playing fast scale runs with 3 notes per string, you may find this video helpful.
Now, the video is 30 minutes long, but it's very entertaining. If you want to skip ahead to the big revelation of two way pick slanting, where Troy Grady found this technique being implemented by Michael Angelo Batio in Speed Kills, it starts at about 12:30.
Okay. What guitar player has NOT learned the pentatonic scale? Probably the person who has had a guitar for one minute.
After that minute is gone they've seen 100 videos of how to play the damn pentatonic scale.
EVERYONE KNOWS THE F**KING PENTATONIC SCALE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Why are you yelling?!"
Anyway, on to the point I actually want to share.
Although the pentatonic scale is easily the most common guitar scale to use, every now and then a unique approach to this overly used scale comes up.
Ian of Stichmethod Guitar came up with a pretty cool way to show how to navigate the pentatonic scale. Watch his video lesson, step up your pentatonic skills, and break out of that box!
I was asked the most complex "question" I've ever received recently. Basically, this person wanted to know how to use 3 note per string octave licks, how to go from one scale shape to the next, how each shape relates to one another, can you go from Major to minor to harmonic minor to melodic minor, and how.
Woah! That's a lot of stuff. I did my best to answer everything as quickly and precise as possible in this video, which does happen to be a bit lengthy:
The following links are good resources for several 3 note per string scale shapes:
http://www.discoverguitaronline.com/diagrams/view/6 (Major Scale Shapes)
http://www.discoverguitaronline.com/diagrams/view/64 (Harmonic Minor Scale Shapes)
http://www.discoverguitaronline.com/diagrams/view/65 (Melodic Minor Scale Shapes)
http://www.discoverguitaronline.com/diagrams/browse/scales (A Whole BUNCH of Scales)
Want to help get more free lessons like this made more often? CLICK HERE to see how you can help!
The pentatonic scale is one of the most popular scales used in guitar solos and leads. The pentatonic is a 5 note scale.
Penta = 5
Tonic = tone (aka: note)
This lesson will show the 5 different shapes for the pentatonic scale in the key of F minor. The notes being used are: F, Ab, Bb, C, and Eb
A lot of the time you will see scales shown in a diagram form. You will see a picture of a guitar neck with dots on each string and fret to show what notes are to be played to make the scale happen.
For those of you new to this concept, you can also view the tablature beneath each diagram to see how to play each scale shape.
There are going to be 5 shapes total because you will have a scale shape building on each of the 5 notes that create the scale.
One thing I advise all students to do when learning these scale shapes is to begin each string with the index finger. Use your ring finger for the smaller gaps between notes, and use your pinky for the larger gaps between notes.
Shape #1 (aka: minor pentatonic scale)
Shape #2 (aka: Major pentatonic scale)
Here are all 5 shapes shown together on one fretboard:
Now, let's take a look at all 5 shapes on the same fretboard again, but this time each shape will be highlighted in red so they stand out better.
Shape #1 (aka: minor pentatonic scale)
Shape #2 (aka: Major pentatonic scale)
Shape #1 at a higher octave
If the fretboard being used in these images was any longer, then you could see that Shape #2 would happen again, then #3, #4, and so on.
Now, let's take a look at how each of these shapes are connected and sharing similar notes.
Shapes #1 and #2
Shapes #2 and #3
Shapes #3 and #4
Shapes #4 and #5
Shapes #5 and #1
There's no right or wrong way to move from shape to shape when playing lead guitar/solos. If you'd like some examples of connecting shapes with some riffs/licks, comment on this blog and let me know!
Check out the following video for demonstrations on everything shown here, plus a little extra!
John Taylor - guitar and bass instructor for Mile High Shred.