How To Use The Entire Fretboard To Sound More Interesting And Unique
Not being able to use the entire fretboard is a huge gap in your development as a guitar player. Not only will playing the guitar feel like a ‘walk in the dark’, but you also won’t ever be able to sound interesting to an audience. By incorporating different parts of the guitar neck, it’s possible to get a very diverse sound in your solos and rhythm parts. Take a listen to master blues guitarists and try to figure out what the real reason is why they stand out from others. Besides their technical skills, it’s mainly because they sound very unique, interesting and versatile. One of the tools to develop such an important ‘musical personality’ is incorporating different pitch ranges as this is exactly what you will learn in this article.
How To Understand The Guitar Fretboard In Order To Sound Unique
As a guitarist you must understand that sticking to one ‘position’, such as the box position of the pentatonic scale, is very limiting. You can’t really incorporate a lot of diversity in pitch range and that’s exactly the reason why you can’t grow to become an interesting blues guitarist. In order to break out these limiting playing abilities, I will provide you the very first steps to take so you can practice with the right guidance.
Using contrast between different pitch ranges can be done by switching between the low range of the guitar fretboard and the high range of the guitar fretboard. We must cover a lot of area on the neck of the guitar.
Blues Guitar Phrasing Exercise Part 1: Play a lick in the box position of the blues scale and then repeat the same lick an octave higher on the neck of the guitar. This is the easiest way in which you can broaden your tonal range. Of course this doesn’t have to be particularly the blues scale.
Blues Guitar Phrasing Exercise Part 2: We can do the same exercise with other positions of the blues scale. Take for instance the diagonal position of the blues scale. When playing a lick in the lowest range of this diagonal position we are basically playing in position 5 of the blues scale. Then move to the highest range of the diagonal position and play the exact same lick. We’re now playing in position 2 of the blues scale.
Engaging in these exercises will give you the ability to construct a conversation on guitar. It’s almost like a male (the low range of the guitar) is holding a chat with a female (the high range of the guitar). You could also try to make the male and female argue by increasing the dynamic level or make them talk very lovely to each other by playing very soft and subtle.
These exercises are the very first steps to create more diversity in your playing. The next step is now to play your guitar solos (with pitch range change) over a chord progression. To do so, I wrote a free guide about this topic How To Play Licks Over Any Blues Chord which that you can download on my website
About the author
Antony Reynaert is guitar teacher and musician located in Belgium. On his website Blues Guitar Lessons tons of information about blues guitar is provided in free videos, articles, ebooks, etc.