It was great to see all of you at our new home. Our Savior’s Lutheran Church is a very comfortable place to play and I hope you like it there.
Last night we reviewed the C and F scales as well as the C major pentatonic scale. Then we moved that same pattern starting at D on the C string to make a D pentatonic scale. That scale pattern is the first figure on the Pentatonic Scale handout. Flying Off the Handle is a practice drill for the C pentatonic scale.
It’s a good idea to play all the scales you know as often as possible, gradually increasing speed. Sing the note and say the note name as you are playing to instill the sound of that note/pitch in your brain. And don’t forget to do the finger exercises to warm up your fingers as you prepare to practice.
Folsom Prison Blues sounds really good with the alternating bass strum. You could also use a “whimpy/strong” strum, or the double strum illustrated on P. 46 in Book 2. As you practice strumming this song, use the C7 chord up the neck and notice how different it sounds from the C7 chord we usually play. Practice switching from chord to chord in the song until each transition is smooth. Also practice picking the notes, and next week we will divide the class in half with some picking and some strumming. And sing when you’re practicing!
Work on the Beethoven Canons A and B, particularly measure 11 in section A using the finger numbers indicated above the notes, as well as any other measures that you find challenging.
Review the I, IV and V chords in the key of F (see P. 17 in Book 2).
The Crawdad Song is in the same key as Folsom. We used the C chord up the neck that has the same chord shape as the Bb chord – just moved up 2 frets. When practicing this song, see how many times you can smoothly play the C and/or C7 chords up the neck. Barred chords can be difficult to play at first, but persevere until you can get a good, clear note on each string.
And, finally, make up a personal practice log in which you record what you practice: Scales, strumming, note reading, ear training (picking out tunes without notation), theory and singing. Reviewing your log weekly will indicate where you need to focus your practice.
I’ll see you all next week – enjoy these Indian summer days.
Please call me if you need clarification of anything.