Current Assignment:

6/15 Nice work Catherine!  That song is hard.  I’ll fill in those gaps tomorrow on zoom.  In the meantime, your picking pattern for the verse is a little different than mine but it’s still in 7.  In the second verse there’s two snare hits and then you come in.  Probably helps to know that.  The chorus riff was weird at first but you totally dialed it in by halfway through the first chorus.  Soldi!

6/8 Solo sounds great Catherine!  You’re building phrases nicely and using the root note when it counts.  Especially the ending note.  I think you can count this song done.  What’s left for your soloing is experience.  Can you pick out 3 or 4 songs for tomorrow and figure out what key they’re in?  I’ll check your work tomorrow and then you can solo over them as well.  I’ll put out “your name is snake Anthony” by Medeski Martin and wood.

6/1 Check your key on the come back home solo.  I came up with C minor.  Looks like you came up with F minor?  It’s a common mistake to choose the pentatonic based on the 4th or 5th of the actual scale.  They are actually very close if you analyze the notes and don’t really sound “bad”, they just don’t resolve as hard or to the right root.  Try it in C minor and you’ll feel the difference.

5/26 That solo was great!  Now I feel like you’re going as fast as your technique allows, which is pretty fast.  Next solo challenge.  Figure out what come back home is in and solo over the whole thing like there’s no singer.

5/25 All those root notes you mentioned are correct.  One less obvious one is the last note in the fast repeating lick towards the end of the solo.  You don’t really spend much time on it but you return to it over and over again.  Take what you’ve noticed and apply it to your improvised solos.  Stopping on the root note ends tension, moving away from it brings the tension back.

5/19: Nice solo!  I went back to one of your last stairway solo videos and I think you’re capable of playing faster.  At that speed you’re routinely getting 16th notes but you’re sticking with 8ths in your solo.  I like the phrasing though, and the way you worked in repeating licks.  When you go to a note outside the scale you need to have a reason.  When he goes to that 8th fret A string note he’s playing over an F chord and the note is an F.  What’s your reason?  In the chords from the song (Am, G and F) are there any other notes that don’t exist in the pentatonic scale you’re using?  Is there a way you could work that note into your solo and have it line up with that chord?  Also, can you play me a slow version of Jimmy’s solo and tell me every time he stops on a root note?

Nice work on the Baseline!  Even finger style.  It’s fun right?  You should get a cheap bass off of craigslist.  It would be great to have around.  Send me some links if you look.  Can you now figure out the key and chord progressions for this song (meaning I, IV, vi, IV or something)?  It’s usually best to grab that form the bassline.

5/18: Solid!  All of that is right!  There’s a few details to tidy up but that’s almost there.  Fun song eh?  I like the band.  These things:  Try making the second tie you hit the chord in the hook Staccato.  It makes it feel so much better to have a tiny gap between the 2nd and 3rd chords.  And I mean tiny.  It’s a 32nd note rest if you the measuring type.  Make sure you’re always hitting the right strings on the single notes in that part too.  They both sound OK, but you may as well be right.  Tighten up the transitions into the second verse and from there into the second precarious and that’s it! Solid.

5/12: That one sounds great!  All the phrasing is correct now.  Don’t forget on that fast repeating part towards the end the main note is the 13th fret on the B string.  I don’t hear you picking it.  If you make me a convincing video of you soloing over that chord progression in the style of Jimmy page I’ll stop hassling you with this song.  Nice work!

5/6: Nice!  That sounds awesome.  There’s a couple notes I forgot in my version at 0:15 in your video.  They go between the two fast licks.  Can you figure them out?  My close is there’s only 2 notes and he goes back and forth.  For the fast repeating lick at the end you’re not far off the pace.  The main note is the 13th fret on the B string and you’re not really picking it.  Make sure you feel that note as the main one and pick it clearly and that’ll help.  Solid!

5/5: Sounds good!  The solo with the slowed down Mike is pretty much right on.  The one with the chords is good except for waiting too long between phrases.  You should go through the real solo at half speed and indentify which note from each phrase comes on beat one, and on what chord.  If you knew that it would sort you out completely.

4/30: The Franz song sounds great.  The only thing to work on would be the really fast alternate picking in the verses.  You’re too slow still, give it all you got. the rest is solid!  Bonus, figure out what key it’s in and give me a video of you playing a solo over the whole thing using all 5 pentatonic patterns.  you’ll be surprised to see how many notes from the song fit the patterns.

4/29 Solo  Sounds good!  you’re missing a note here and there but overall it’s right.  You should start playing it along with the slow version at the end of my video.  That’s what I want for the next video.

4/27 Franz: This song sounds good.  Both Parts!  Sick!  Here’s a couple of details.  All downstrokes in the intro.  Listen to it closely without playing.  You can hear the downstroke vibe.  The rest of the song can use alternate picking.  The picking needs to be much faster at the end of the verse melody lick, where it goes from 7th fret B string to 7th fret G string.  You should only go to the chorus twice, and play it 4 times each time.  That’s the part where he sings “I know I won’t be leaving here…”  Just before each chorus is the phrase you play at the very end.  That could be what’s messing you up on the choruses.

4/21: Whole thing!  Sick.  I would like to hear you play it along with my slow version in the next video.  And where’s my improvising yo?  Another thing to think about is alternate picking.  On those lines that are long strings of 8th notes you should be alternating up and down strokes. Try it on that first lick and the one after on that’s similar.  If you use all downstrokes you’ll end up hitting a wall on speed at some point.

4/20: Yo this is sounding good!  Tiny things:  Pinky on the 8th fret in the first lick.  You’re doing more picking than you have to in that lick that goes across 4 patterns.  Watch me do it a few times.  You should be practicing along with the slow version I put at the end of your video.  That’ll help you with the timing.  Remember, I also want some improvising in these videos that steals Jimmy’s licks and uses them in clever ways.  CLEVER (shouted).

4/14:  Good start.  There’s a hammer/pulloff combo you’re missing in the first lick.  What interval is the odd note that’s out of the pattern?  Check the last lick, does it match pattern 2?

4/9: Solid work on the Band of horses video.  The part at the end where you were flapping your arms is just the ending chords but they play on the upstrokes as well to make it 16th notes.  Ending progression gets played 4 times and be ready to end on the 4th chord.

No longer optional, I want you to figure out what key this song is in by the chords.  All those chords are just chunks of barre chords that you know, should be easy, especially because there’s 3 major chords.  No ambiguity there, doug.

I also posted a video of the stairway to heaven solo below.  Learn it, and consider the beauty of Jimmy page crossing 4 patterns of the minot pentatonic with one lick.


Funeral Structure: Verse, Heavy Verse, Chorus, Verse, Heavy Verse, Chorus, Ending

Current songs edited to match our key and arrangement:

Band of Horses Funeral


Stairway Solo

Band of Horses Funeral Guitar

Band of Horses Funeral Bass

Band of Horses Funeral Keys

Band of Horses Funeral Drums

Band of Horses Funeral Vocals