This is a sample of an email sent to a student after their weekly lesson.
Remember that the major scale pattern you’re working on can be done anywhere on the neck except at the first fret. Just like your finger exercises, start with your middle finger on fret 2 and play the scale up and down, then go to fret 3 and do the same, etc. Only go up as far as is comfortable for your left hand. You’ll need this to help get used to the changing fret spacing as you go up the neck.
Spend some time with the blues scale in E, too. Work on making it smooth.
Try to find some nice-sounding phrases in both of these scales. When you find one, practice it so you can repeat it when you want to.
Try playing each of the chords you know with all possible (reasonably easy) fingerings. For example, play an Am with your index, middle, and ring fingers, then play it with middle, ring, pinky. Go slowly and work on the harder fingerings a little at a time so you don’t overtax your wrist.
Work on taking chords apart by lifting one finger at a time out of each chord. We will talk about the different chords these become later on after we talk more about how chords get their names. But here’s an example with the D shape:
D – xx0232
Dsus2 – xx0230
D6 – xx0202
Dadd4 – xx0032
Don’t worry about what the extra pieces mean, we will get there soon.
When you see something like C/G, it tells you to play a C chord but that the lowest note will not be a C, it will be a G. If you don’t feel ike you can nail the whole chord, just play the part before the slash (C in this example) and it will sound fine.
Try playing around with 4 melody notes: B D E G, found on strings 1 and 2 either open (B, E) or at the 3rd fret (D, G). These notes can be added to E7 and A7 chords. Practice adding & taking away those notes as you alternate between the E7 and A7. Maybe play 4 bars of E7 with some melody, then switch to A7 for 4 bars. Keep your strumming slow and regular, and see if you can create melody notes that sound like they move the music forward.
For next week, remember to bring a songbook with you. Whatever one has a song or two that you’d like to work on.
Remember that 8-b7-6-5 chord progression we talked about? Here are some examples.
Same intro line, different rhythm