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BARRYGALBRAITH

JazzGuitarStudySeries

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INTRODUCTION
The Fingerboard Workbook presents a number of basic conceptsin logical fingering patterns. Guitarists generally visualize
the fingerboard both in terms of basic scale patterns and of arpeggio relationships to various chord functions. Connecting
these two visual elements into flowing lines often produceserroneousfingering. Here are some rules which will help you in
forming the most economicalfingering conceptsfor traversing the neck.
1. The term position means one finger to each consecutive fret without shifting the hand. Playing from position
offers a stable base to move to or from (Example 1). Position
limitations may be extended by sliding either the first or
fourth finger out of position by one fret (Example 1a). Slides
with the first finger are preferable to stretching the fourth,
and offer the possibility of slurring.
2. One way to move to a new position is by using
extended fingering, sometimes combined with a one-fret
slide (Example2).
3. Another way to move on the neck is by a skip or jump,
usually of two or three frets. The safest finger for this is the
first (Example 3). To skip with the fourth finger is risky.
However, there are exceptions,usually when playing in the
upper positionswhere the frets are smaller, and executinga
skip to the highest note of a phrase (Example3a).
4. When Skipping to an arpeggiated plrrase, the skip
should be to the finger which would ordinarily play that
particular note in the arpeggio (Example4).
5. For triad arpeggios within a phrase, the finger-to-fret
principal will usually apply (Example 5). When playing
seventh chords it is frequently necessaryto use extended
fingering. These are best kept on three adjacent strings to
f a c i l i t a t ep i c k i n g . ( E x a m p l e5 a ) .
6. For moving long distances on the neck, the use of
consecutivefirst and fourth fingers on adjacent strings is
comfortable in dealing with diminished, minor eleventh or
major ninth phrases (Example6).
7. Sequences(repeatedphrases moving up and down in
pitch) are usually best not played in position. After finding
a good fingering for the first phrase, the sequentialphrases
should use the same fingering (Example 7).

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An analysis of one of the exercises is given on pages


9 & 10. This shows the components which should be
recognized before attempting to play a new exercise,
enabling the player to read in groups of notes rather than by
consecutivesingle notes. This recognition will also aid in
the placementof various phraseson the neck.
The first seven exercises on major chords are given
without fingering so that the student may devise his own
fingering and shifting. The same exercises are then
repeatedwith fingering. These are not exclusivefingerings
since there are several logical ways to finger any of the
exercises.Fingerings have been kept to a minimum since
they tend to distract from the notes being read.
When a fingering is given, stay in that position (finger to
a fret) until the next fingering moves to a new position.
The exercises, with the exception of the cycle of fifths
section, have been written with continuous eighth notes so
that the shifting must be done on the move. When played
against a gradually increased metronome speed, they will
prove beneficial as an aid to technique, All studies, except
those in the keys of G and C, are written in flat keys. To play
the studies in sharp keys, change the signature (four flats to
three sharps, etc.). A sharp on the written music then
becomesa double sharp, a natural becomes a sharp, and a
flat becomes a natural. Remember that a bar line cancels
any added accidentals in the previous bar, and that an
accidentalon any given note does not apply to its octaves.
Another important point: The finger tip should be rolled,
not lifted, when consecutive notes appear on adjacent
strings of the same fret.
These few principles willprove helpful in visualizing the
neck while providing technicalchallengefor the student.

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Ex. l. Secondposition- - one fingerto eachconsecutive


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Ex. l. Third position


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Ex. la. Positions


may be extendedby a one fret slidewith eitherthe first or fourth finger.
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Ex.2. Extended type fingering coupled with one finger slides.


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Ex.3. Skipswith the first finger.


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Ex. 3a. Skipswith the fourth finger


in4 the higher positions.
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Ex. 4. SkiPsto triad forms'

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Ex. 6, Usingthe samefingeringfor major ninth.

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Ex.6. Major ninth usingthe one - - four fingering.

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EXERCISEANALYSIS
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CYCLE OF 5'S BY POSITION


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The following schematic is a simple way for the inexperienceclimprovisor to become
acquainted
with the cycle of 5's, one of the most used progressionsln contemporary music. In this
casewe relate to five block
chord formations in one position which will also contain the appropriate scaleand arpeggiofor
each chord. To continue the cycle, you need only to move up one fret and follow thi sameprocedure. As shown
below, we have A7,
D 7 , G 7 , C 7 , a n d F 7 a l l i n t h e f i f t h p o s i t i o n . o n e e x c e p t i o n :s i n c e t h e A T a n a D T s c a l e s a n d a r p e g g i o r i n l r t b e t w e e n
4th and 5th positions,we would observethis shift when playing over the full register.(Ex.I.)
However. if the phrase
being played only covers the four high strings, then it ii best to remain in 5thlosition and stretch
or slide the first
finger for B and f'fl. (Ex' Ia') It is also important that after going out of position for these
two notes to make sure
that the following note is fingered back in the 5th position, such as in the secondbar
of Ex. Ia where the A is fingered with the third finger and not the fourth.
On the D7 formation, yo_uwill find the fingering more comfortable by visualizingthe
forms in parentheses rather than the regular Dl3 form although both are used. This is best demonstrat.i
uy the Charlie
Christian phrasein Ex. Ib.
Ex. 2 is an exercise on the cycle using the above concept. Ex. 3 is another way of runnrng
the fifth
cycle using only two chord formations.

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7th position

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II, V, I PROGRESSION

One of the best ways of gainingcontrol of the scalesand arpeggiosfor usein an improvisedline is to
play a seriesof successive
eighth notes through the II, V, I progression,This practice may also be applied in the
learning of any new tune. Attention should be paid to a smooth transition from one chord to the next, usually
resolvingby either a half or whole tone. In due time the lines should improve melodicallyand gain musicalsophistication. The following five examplesare exerciseson the above,using II, V, I in both major and minor. and finally
a line on a standardprogression.From the fingeringgiven,you should be able to take any bar and pla-vthe related
scaleor arpeggiofrom which the melody is taken,except where an occasionaltransitionalshift occurs.It would be
beneficial to lay down a chord track on atape recorder to play with;however, be sureto use only tonic. seventh,
and third in the minor 7th and dominant 7th chords to avoid confliction with the altered fifths and nintirs in the
melody lines.

II, V, I MAJOR

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STANDARD PROGRESSION
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