Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ditones how to: what are ditones and how to use them part I (Guitar practice)

Ditones is the name of the guitar technique method created by Donato Begotti.
You can find them online on Donato's website (here is the presentation the videos and pdf). Later on, given the success of the method, it become a book (this one, and that's how I entered ditones).

The idea is simple: if you want to achieve coordination and finger independece, you are going to try out all the possible finger combinations. Given 4 fingers on the fretboard and the fact that you are not going to use any finger more than once (at least for now) - i.e. no 1124 - doing all the 1234 combinations gives you 24 combinations (6 different patterns for each finger you use to start).

1. How Ditones Work?
This is how ditones work:

1) you pick one of the combinations, say 1234 or 2143:
2) you play it from left to right (1234 or 2143);
3) you shift the position of your fretting hand moving down one fret;
4) you play the ditones, this time from right to left (4321 or 3412). This one is called the inverted-ditones.

This sounds pretty easy and strightforward for 1234, but what about inverting (and playing) a 3142 into 2413?
That's a lot of extra value in working through the 24 combinations (and you also find out that there are 24 combos for 3 fingers and 12 for 2 fingers).

This easy mechanics gives you a nice way to move your fingers and coordinate your hands. You already have 24 exercises that combine 24 + 24 mechanics (the straightforward ditones and its inverted-one).
All the 48 mechanics are connected: when you play the exotic 3421 you'll be reliefed to find the most usual 1243 as its inverted-ditones.
So the mechanics are all connected and you can use the easy and known combinations (basically the one involving the first finger) to learn the unknow ones.

Summing up:

tabella ditones

[image credits: Donato Begotti]

Note that there's little music involved into the combinations. That might be a problem, but it also gives you less "nice melody" distracting you build you own sound and technicque (if you have a nice sound even a 1234 exercise sounds as your music).
You set progressive goals, find a way to track your efforts and see that the more you invest in your playing the more you get. And that's simply amazing!!!

The ditones book has progressive lessons and ad-hoc drum-based backing tracks for each exercise. Goals are progressive and completing the book becomes a challenge. That's really the gamification of guitar technique (you have bonus super sayan levels at the end of lesson 1, 2 and 3 ;))!
The book also covers 2 and 3 fingers combination as well as rolling and some sweep picking. It further provides you with the ditones mind set that allows you to see your path into discovering the guitar and music.

The book and its approach can be extended and further explored.
Subscribe to this blog, share it and join the ditones journey!

[update: Part two (how to use ditones) is on this page]

Related posts
Ditones how to: what are ditones and how to use them part II
From Shred Guitar Mechanics to Music Theory and Music