Note groupings, beyond the sixteenth. Part one: Quintuplets

Hello, Aaron from Super-String-Theory here. Hoping you all are doing well and tearing up the strings. I hope you enjoy the following lessons on note groupings.

My students often ask me how to add variety and phrasing variations to fast runs. (Yes, I actually said phrasing, to some people's surprise, some of us “fast” guys ARE concerned with this.) One approach I recommend is to take segments of scales or arpeggios, and play groupings of notes that aren't as explored as much as say, triplets or sixteenth notes. For this lesson I am going to focus on playing quintuplets.

Phrases using these note groupings are tough to “feel”, especially for players new to these groupings, so I recommend simplifying a musical idea into segments. For the sake of this lesson, I am going to use sections of notes from the key of C major/ A minor. I will start on the A note at the 10th fret on the B- string, I then play five notes ascending in the scale. I then go up one more note in the scale, in this case the F note on the 13th fret of the E- string, then descend five notes. These sections of five notes create the quintuplet. When I loop the ascending and descending quintuplets and use a metronome, the starting note of each quintuplet falls on the click. This establishes an easy pattern that one could practice to get the “feel” of quintuplets.

The next example is an extended pattern of example one. I personally like long phrases like this one. Odd note groupings played at a fast tempo, tend to create a layer of sound that floats over the rhythm parts of a tune. Experiment with this approach to creating patterns that you can practice. You may end up creating some cool patterns that might make it into your next “face- melting” solo. Remember to always use a metronome and start slow, speed comes gradually.

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