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New toys

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Ive been experimenting with some new pedals lately. I recently purchased the POG 2 and the Aguilar Octamizer. Both are octave pedals but offer vastly different tones. The Octamizer is an analogue pedal, and really only works monophonically. It has some great features, as well as a really nice warm octave sound which analogue pedals are known for. The Octamizer has an octave filter control which allows you to drastically change the octave sound. Turning the filter knob clockwise thickens the sound and adds a bit of grit. This helps to separate it from the clean tone coming from the bass. Turing the octave filter counter clockwise smoothes out the octave sound – allowing the clean and octave tones to blend seamlessly. The “clean tone” control filters out highs and lows depending on how you set it. Set at 12 noon, the tone should be close to the bypassed sound of your bass. Turn the control clockwise and it slowly cuts the bass frequencies. Turn the control counter clockwise and the high frequencies are cut. These two controls, on top of separate volume controls for the clean and octave give you plenty of tonal possibilities.
 
The POG 2 is a digital, polyphonic octave pedal. It offeres octave up and down. The tone isn’t as nice as the Aguilar Octamizer, but because it is polyphonic, it does allow you to get some pretty unique sounds out of it. Combined with a volume pedal, the POG 2 can sound like a church organ. It has a separate fader labelled “detune” which really adds colour. Definitely lots of possibilities with this one.
 
I’ll post a video sometime soon.
 
Rich

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Triads Around The Cycle

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Using the cycle to practice harmonic material ensures all key centres get some attention. This is especially important for students interested in improvisation.
The “cycle” occurs in so many styles of music that it really should be explored by all musicians, but for this lesson we are only using it as a practice tool.
* All triads are played as half note triplets (2 triads per bar). Try playing quarter note triplets, on in 12/8 or 3/4 etc. My lesson PDF’s include many written examples.
The first exercise I play in the video is major triads through the cycle starting with F major (on the D string). The cycle is complete when you get back to F (on the E string).
Once you can comfortably play major triads through the cycle, repeat the exercise but start on F#, G etc.
The second exercise involves alternating between minor and major triads. Start with F minor triad (start on the D string again) then Bb major etc etc. This is a great way to practice quick major  ii V7 changes. Again, once this is mastered, repeat the exercise by starting on F#, G, G# etc.
The third exercise involves alternating between diminished and major triads. This chord progression mimics the minor ii V7 movement (m7b5 / V7).
For a detailed PDF of this lesson please contact via e-mail.

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Major Scale Triad Inversions

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Following the C-A-G-E-D system positions (6 positions in total if you count open position up the octave as being “different” to open position) practice playing various harmonic material.
Here I play all diatonic C major scale triads in Root position, 1st inversion and 2nd inversion.
First I play Root position triads (1-3-5) starting with C major. I alternate up and down each triad for example:
(up) C major  (down) D minor  (up) E minor  (down) F major etc.
1st inversion triads (3-5-1) :
– Start on the lowest note in each position (in this position the lowest note is B)
– Start with a 1st inversion triad starting on B (in this case it must be G major)
2nd inversion triads (5-1-3)
– Again, start on the lowest note in each position (B in this case)
– The 2nd inversion triad starting on B (in the C major scale) is Em
Suggested Practice:
3.5 minutes on Root Position triads  x 6 positions = 21 minutes
3.5 minutes on 1st inversion triads  x 6 positions = 21 minutes
3.5 minutes on 2nd inversion triads  x 6 positions = 21 minutes
Total = 1 hour 3 min
 
For the PDF file that accompanies this video, please contact me via e-mail.