What is the longest time you ever spent learning a riff or lick?

I remember looking for guitar tabs posted online back in 1996 and 1997 for band mates.

I was the only one who could actually find stuff like that online. Or anything online for that matter, back then.

The first step was listening to the song and correcting them.

Back then, people who new how to play it mostly weren’t giving the information away for free, and the people who were posting free charts mostly didn’t know how to play the song.

So many hilariously wrong charts. Impressive number of people who didn’t know how to play smoke on the water, but felt like they should publish a chart.

Now days, if I’m looking for a chart for a student, or myself sometimes, I listen to the song while looking at the chart, and it doesn’t take much for me to spot where the chart needs correcting.

Some of them are even just correct!

But I’m a much better musician now than I was back then. And that sort of information is shared more freely.

I remember that initial time when lots of tabs were being posted. I forget the names of the big tab sites back then. Then the music industry started in with ‘mah rights’ and fighting the free sharing of tabs so that it could be limited to commercial sites for royalties.

Any of you know of good online resources for music analysis of guitar lines? There is tons of stuff out there for jazz, not so much for rock and everything else.

I’m pretty skeptical about this memorization method, but I’ll give it a shot. Thoughts?


It seems also that spaced repetition isn’t applicable to learning music, only to remembering it over a longer period of time. You still have to do whatever you can to get those long lines into memory, so that they can later be recalled.

[Bearing in mind I’m referring to strictly diatonic application in this post, i.e nothing outside of the Key]

I kind of had a revelation about pentatonics and modes. The pentatonic Majors and minors are the ‘skeleton’ scales of the modes. They always exist within each of the modes, Major and minor.

It’s a matter of where the 2 extra notes are added which defines the mode.

For example in the Key of G Major, the minor chords of the Key are Am, Bm, Em, and the exact same pentatonic minor shape can be played over the moveable Am barre chord shape at the 5th fret, the Bm chord at the 7th fret, and the Em chord at the 12th fret and all those notes are still G Major notes.

To convert that pentatonic minor shape into a Dorian, Phrygian or Aeolian mode just add the appropriate 2 extra notes to the pentatonic shape.

So for Am add the appropriate extra 2 notes to convert the pentatonic minor shape to a Dorian mode

For Bm add the appropriate 2 extra notes to convert the pentatonic minor shape to a Phrygian mode

For Em add the appropriate 2 extra notes to convert the pentatonic minor shape to Aeolian mode

And so it goes for all the [extended] Major and minor pentatonic shapes, realising that they always exist within any of the Major and minor modes respectively.

Yea, morgo. It’s all really of the same scale. The major scale (ionian mode) has 7 notes, so starting on any of those 7 notes as a root and playing through back to the root gives a new mode. And the pentatonic scale has 5 notes, where 2 are dropped from the diatonic scale. For a pentatonic major, that is dropping the 4th and 7th from the diatonic major. When you cycle through the ‘modes’ of the pentatonic to get to the relative minor ‘mode’ (all the same notes as it’s relative major), those same notes are dropped of course. But when counting out the intervals of the pentatonic minor, we use the major intervals as reference and so we say that it has a flattened 3 and flattened 7.

Any hoo, I always thought that describing intervals of the modes in relation to the parent ionian mode was unnecessarily complex, at least in the beginning before the idea is clearly established that the modes (and pentatonic ‘positions’) all use the same notes.

Using your powers for good, refreshing…:laughing:

That method in the video is similar to what I do as it turns out.
I usually try to knock over one verse at a time of several tracks, then return to consolidate, avoiding possible mismatching parts of one verse with another.

Not sure what you mean by that.

In the early stages of learning a song it can be beneficial to only know one verse so parts of other verses, lyrics etc can’t accidentally get substituted when recalling without assistance. Recalling without the text or sheet music or audio helps to hardwire imo But if I’ve tried to memorise multiple verses in one session they tend to blur from one to the other, might not be everyone’s issue though.

Yea, that has definitely happened to me, say jumping to the second half of the next verse by accident.

On guitar mags. I just remembered that there was a small music shop down the street who would sell the unsold monthly guitar mags for $1. I think $3-4 was the typical price. It was a cheap way to get tons of tabs back then.

@morgo @Toleolu
Either of you remember a rock guitar course called RPM Guitar Method that was commonly advertised in the guitar mags? The talk of guitar mags in this thread made me think of it, and I went to see if it is still around. It seems that the author, Jim Gleason, made it available for free, which includes pdf’s of the books and zip’s of the audio files. http://www.guitarimprov.com/rpmguitarmethod.html I can’t say anything for it other than an older guy that I played in a band with as a teen was working through that course way back then, and he thought highly of it. I don’t know that it had anything to do with it, but he was one of the best guitar players in this area back then. Any way, I glanced over it and downloaded it to give it a better look over.

Nope, don’t recall that mag.

I’ll check the site.


Playing this took a while till I was happy
Listen to Orchestral Bergmont 2 by makeaguitarnoise on #SoundCloud

Can’t recall that mag, I’ll take a look too, thanks, there’s always something to be got from such publications.

I took a look at some of the pdf’s, very comprehensive. ( over 300 pages)

I must confess that I haven’t been playing/recording much these days.

We’re in the process of moving into the in-laws house, maybe I can’t find some space and inspiration here to get back into it.

I haven’t played much for the better part of this year. Crazy, since last year I was playing like a mad man and stepped up a couple of notches. Life has been a bit like a tornado this year, up until the kiddo arrived less than 2 months ago. And she has been absorbing my time since. Just lately I have been finding moments here and there to tinker on guitar a bit.

How are things on your end? Mention of the in-laws…

At the moment I’m relearning notes on the fretboard for maybe the 10th time. Maybe it will stick this time around. From my initial playing through of this, I think it will: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJddQ6Q0UDo And revisiting Howard Morgen’s Fretboard Breakthrough, which is about learning the fretboard well, everything chords, developing melody from chords, etc. presented through a chord-melody style. Admittedly, the first time around I dove into it in the beginning and skimmed the rest, which was a crime since it is so good.

Instant total fretboard visualisation of all tonic notes in any given Key seems a worthy goal, chord knowledge is a catalyst for that. C,A,G,E,D chord shapes linking the entire fretboard.

I’m finding those Gleason PDFs useful, lots of good info there.

Instant recall on the fretboard of all notes, all triads (Major, minor, diminished, augmented) and 2nd and 3rd inversions is the goal for now. I have known all notes and spellings, shapes, and positions of Major and minor triads before, so that shouldn’t be a monumental task. Knowing well only the Major triads and inversions, the other triads are just small alterations. Flatten the third of a Major triad for minor; flatten the fifth of a minor triad for diminished; sharpen the fifth of a Major for augmented.

After 5 years of trying to get a green card for the wife’s sister after the wife’s stroke, the Colonel, (that’s what I call my wife’s Dad, he’s a retired Green Beret Colonel) said fuck it and applied for full time residency status in Japan. Took 9 months. Our cracker jack immigration system at it’s finest.

So a decorated American vet, who served his country in two wars, is spending the final years of his life living in another country.

Guess they should have just had the sister fly into Mexico and walk across the border.