Thursday, September 4, 2014

Extending ditones guitar lesson 1: stretching

We talked already about how to make guitar exercises your guitar exercises. There's another powerful methodology in studying the guitar: play what you know in a new way.

This zen-like saying can be fruitfully applied to our beloved lesson 1 of the Ditones book, that of two fingers combination. Let's assume we already have some control of the material, we know where to put our fingers, we have an idea of how it should sound and we understand what kinds of techniques we are targetting by way of the exercises. Cool.

Now we are going to practice exactly the same material but changing fingering. We have already seen that the 12 ditones (index and middle finger) sounds as ditones 34 (ring finger and pinky). Nonetheless, having the same strength in 34 and in 12 is quite hard.

Chris Impellitteri stretching

We're going to do the something similar to this refingering of 12 as 34, this time using stretching. So let's move up in the neck up to position VII or XII or whenever you are confortable. We are going to play some wild stretches, so relax and be careful.
We are going to learn six stretching ditones variations for two fingers.

Take our old 13 ditones, say between 12 fret and 14 fret. Instead of using the 13 ditones, 12 (1) - 14 (3) - the number between brackets is that of the finger, try with your first and second finger. This shall give us

stretch variation I: 12 (1) - 14 (2).

Guess what's next? Of course we are going to exhaust the combinations so we'll try to insert and empyt fret also between finger 2 and 3, and even between finger 3 and 4, i.e.:

stretch variation II: 12 (2) - 14 (3);
stretch variation III: 12 (3) - 14 (4).

Our next variation adds two empty frets between finger 1 and 3. Basically we are playing ditones 14 with index and middle finger, as follows:

stretch variation IV: 12 (1) - 15 (3).

Our last two variations require first and extra semitone by your index-pinky stretch and then an extra whole tone. These two shall help while playing arpeggios or pentatonic licks. As said already, if the neck is too wide at XII move along where your hands fit into it and then shift backwards:

stretch variation V: 12 (1) - 16 (4);
stretch variation VI: 12 (1) - 17 (4).

That's all for now. Relax, stretch and play. And don't forget to join the ditones journey.