Practicing even a “handful” of the 360 possible double-stroke right-hand combinations will rapidly improve right-hand independence and flexibility.
The example below shows the first four combinations, realized on string group 6321:
String groups with an unused string (or two) between “m” and “a” are particularly important for developing strength and flexibility in the weaker (“m & a”) side of the right hand.
Here are the same four combinations on string set 6431:
Experiment with different degrees of separation between right-hand fingers, and also different rhythms, accents, and dynamics.
For reference, here are the 15 possible four-string groups:
Download the PDF below for a list of all 360 combinations:
One of the most important books ever written on melodic improvisation for guitar, Linear Expressions by Pat Martino, was originally published in 1989.
I have created this video to show the “solution” to the “problem” Pat suggests in the first part of the book.
The video is very helpful for “drilling” the lines.
Minor 7 and Minor 6 Drop voicings are included for context and comping. These will come in very handy later when practicing chord substitutions.
Learn this first, then take the next step to recontextualize the lines using Pat’s “minor conversion” theory.
Linear Expressions is an absolutely essential book for every guitarist’s library.
Buy the book on Amazon. Click here.
These four-note combinations (tetrachords) consist of triads (major, minor, diminished, and augmented) with major 2nd’s (or 9th’s) added above the root.
Tetrachords are a convenient method for creating unassailably harmonically-correct lines.
I find that improvising with these patterns (rather than intricate arpeggios, chord-scales, and modes, etc.) frees up brain processing power to think more about rhythm, phrasing, and line direction.
Try improvising lines through chord changes using these patterns.
Emphasize half-step resolutions between changing harmonies.
Anchor the patterns in your memory by focusing on the triad forms embedded in these diagrams.
I have written the patterns on the root “C,” but they are easily transposable by shifting the shapes to new root locations.
This blog contains material that I have created for my private students and for my own exploration of music theory, composition, fretboard harmony, and technique.
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