The First Lessons: Improvising II, Slides, Bends, Vibrato

author: Martin Messner date: 08/24/2010 category: for beginners
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Hey guys :) part 5 of the "First Lessons"-series :D ... (the basics of) Improvising III Let's add two notes to the pentatonic scale. (again: this is not a tab; this is a diagramm)
e|---|---|MIN|---|---|MAJ|---|---|
B|---|---|-X-|---|---|-X-|---|---|
G|---|---|MAJ|---|-X-|-B-|---|---|
D|---|---|-X-|---|MIN|---|---|---|
A|---|---|-X-|-B-|-X-|---|---|---|
E|---|---|MIN|---|---|MAJ|---|---|
   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   fret
MIN: the places of the root note of the minor scale MAJ: the places of the root note of the major scale X : notes you can simply play B : Blues notes which sound pretty cool ;) example:
e|-------------------------------------8p5-3h5---|
B|-----------------------------------------------|
G|---------------------------5h8p7-7-7-----------|
D|-----5h7---7-7---------5---------------------7-|
A|-----------------5h6h7---7-------------------7-|
E|---5-----5-----5-----------------------------5-|
I love to play them legato, it's kind of a *transistion* slide :D (ok, this transistion sucks ZYABLA^HUYABLA) ... Slides Slides are really cool, especially when you have a nice electric guitar with effects like BOOST, CORE, METAL or simply a heavy DISTORTION. (Nevermind, slides on acoustic guitars are quite cool, too. See Jack Johnson :D) You just hold down on any fret and pull your hand towards the "target"-fret. If the tab just says "---/5---" then you just take any fret lower than 5 and slide up to 5. But if the tab says "---3/5---" then you are supposed to slide from 3 to 5 ()
e|----/12-8-10-12--\5h7h8-\3h5h7-0h2/3---2---2p0-|
B|-------------------------------------4---4-----|
G|-----------------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------------|
A|-----------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------|
What I really love is sliding from 12th fret down to zero while using Drop Tunings. And of course you can slide chords, too:
e|--------------------------------------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------------------------------------|
G|-------------------------------------7----/8-----7----\5------|
D|--12\0--0--0--3h5p3-0-5h7/8-0--0--0--7----/8-----7----\5-12\0-|
A|--12\0--0--0--3h5p3-0-5h7/8-0--0--0--5----/6-----5----\3-12\0-|
D|--12\0--0--0--3h5p3-0-5h7/8-0--0--0----0-0---0-0---0-0---12\0-|
Can you feel it? ;) ... Bendings That one's really important. It makes boring solos so much better (I know what I am talking about xD). You just grab a note and then bend the string- so the tone gets higher. The three lower strings are usually bent towards the higher strings and vice versa. Usually the tabs tells you how much you should bend. like:
e|---------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------|
G|--------------------5b6r5---------6-/8-|
D|-------6-8b9r8-6-8~-------8~--6h8---/8-|
A|---6-8------------------------------/6-|
E|---------------------------------------|
b: bending r: release; sometimes you just see another b instead of r NOTE: Make sure you use more than one finger to bend. It's way easier and faster to bend with index, middle and ring finger e.g. Just check that the finger which is on the very right actually hits the RIGHT fret! (in this case i,m,r --> r must hit the right fret) ... Vibrato You saw it: the latest example used a vibrato. It's the wave ~ Vibratos are beautiful and improve the sound a lot more than you might expect. Basically, vibratos are bendings. But instead of having one huge bending, you have multiple little pinch changes. Most guitarist created vibratos by just shaking the left and a bit to the left and right sight on a specific fret, but a few prefer to exactly use the bending technique. I recommend to vibrate most of the long notes a bit to keep the audiation's attention. IMPORTANT NOTE: The bigges mistake you can do is playing a long note and immediately start a vibrato! Our brain interprets a vibrato as the natural vibration that very voice gets after singing a tone for a few seconds. To keep that illusion, it's higly important to wait 1-2 seconds before vibrating the tone! ... Have a wonderful day :) Martin Messner
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