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Post new topic Problem with Jeff Newman's "Just Play The Melody'
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Author Topic:  Problem with Jeff Newman's "Just Play The Melody'
Jim Palenscar


From:
Oceanside, Calif, USA
Post  Posted 23 May 2019 6:26 am    
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If you use a programmable tuner inline like a Peterson- it needs to be set on equal temperament as sweetened tunings are only accurate at the nut- up the neck you will get erroneous results.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 23 May 2019 6:51 am    
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I have the Cleartune app on my phone. It has a continuous scale and just tells me what it hears. It has no idea what instrument I'm playing.
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Harry Dove


From:
Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 23 May 2019 1:10 pm    
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Greg we use a Bb in the C scale all the time. A dominate seventh chord consists of root, third, fifth and a flatted seventh. In a C7 chord the flatted 7th is Bb. If you do not flatten the B you have a Cmaj7, and a completely different sound. In the key of C the C7 chord is used fairly often to go to the 4 chord, F.

I would explain how all of that works but I don't know where you are at musically and I don't want to confuse you. If you haven't done so yet, I would suggest that you study intervals and chord construction. Somewhere here I have word files I created to teach my grandson music theory. Until you learn those basics it will all seem confusing. If you understand chord construction and which chords are major and which chords are minor for the key you are playing in, then I would be glad to explain why those rules get broken and why it makes sense when you know the reason. The more you learn about intervals and chord construction the more colorful your music becomes.

As an example, take the Beatles tune "Something". The first chord progression is C, Cmaj7,C7, F. That sounds so much more colorful than just going C to F.
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Greg Thompson


From:
Taumarunui, New Zealand
Post  Posted 23 May 2019 1:57 pm    
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Thanks again Harry. I wonder how many others out there flounder as well with this beast of an instrument. I am about 12yrs in and still feel like a learner!!!

The biggest hurdle I have found, is that all of the material I have acquired over the years from Jeffran and others. Does not teach how to go from learning how to play, licks, scales etc into playing actual songs.

I have built up this large array of knowledge, but can't transition what I have learnt into playing songs.

Basically without a mentor to ask/show, I continue to flounder. My original question related to finding out what these strange notes I am playing are. But I guess its back to Monkey See Monkey do and blindly following Jeff's stuff
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 23 May 2019 2:49 pm    
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Maybe just pull up your favorite songs on YouTube, and play along with them.
I would recommend Buck Owens version of Act Naturally as a good one to twang it up on the AB pedals.

Generally speaking, the instrument is setup to be able to play the Do, Rey, Me etc... Major Scale.
At any fret, String 8 is Do, String 7 (F#) is Rey, String 6 Me, and you continue up from there with the pedals and levers to complete the scale.
8, 7, 6 ,6b, 5, 5a, 4(E lower lever), 4.
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Paul McEvoy


From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 24 May 2019 7:46 am    
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Greg Thompson wrote:
Thanks again Harry. I wonder how many others out there flounder as well with this beast of an instrument. I am about 12yrs in and still feel like a learner!!!

The biggest hurdle I have found, is that all of the material I have acquired over the years from Jeffran and others. Does not teach how to go from learning how to play, licks, scales etc into playing actual songs.

I have built up this large array of knowledge, but can't transition what I have learnt into playing songs.

Basically without a mentor to ask/show, I continue to flounder. My original question related to finding out what these strange notes I am playing are. But I guess its back to Monkey See Monkey do and blindly following Jeff's stuff


Not steel specific but I've had great epiphanies in learning to play songs by playing incredibly basic stuff. Amazing Grace, Twinkle Twinkle, etc, and making arrangements of them. It's close to impossible to forget the melodies, rhythm is mostly out of the equation and you can easily hear what sounds right and wrong. There is plenty of room for working chords and suspensions.

The Wild Mountain Thyme by Buddy Emmons is a good example of that.

There's a youtube channel called "Jazz Duets" which I find very helpful. He has a video on reharmonizations of Twinkle Twinkle that really kicked my brain into a better place. Highly recommended.
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Paul McEvoy


From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 24 May 2019 7:57 am    
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Also totally not steel specific, but I worked through the first third of a book called "Harmonic Experience" by W.A. Mathieu and it was revelatory for understanding how music works. It combines music theory, harmony and intonation. It's actually really perfect for steel. It's a really weird but very readable book which is ultimately total genius. You just have to sort of believe in it and follow it along. I think you'd get a lot out of it.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 24 May 2019 11:18 am    
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Greg Thompson wrote:
Thanks again Harry. I wonder how many others out there flounder as well with this beast of an instrument. I am about 12yrs in and still feel like a learner!!!

The biggest hurdle I have found, is that all of the material I have acquired over the years from Jeffran and others. Does not teach how to go from learning how to play, licks, scales etc into playing actual songs.

I have built up this large array of knowledge, but can't transition what I have learnt into playing songs.

Basically without a mentor to ask/show, I continue to flounder. My original question related to finding out what these strange notes I am playing are. But I guess its back to Monkey See Monkey do and blindly following Jeff's stuff


Do not blindly follow anything. You feel the need to understand the “why of how” for good reason. Every great musician has been “still a learner” right up to the day they dropped dead.

Some of the notes in the exercise you are referring to may seem weird because they are not found in the chord being played. They are the notes between the chord tones. They can be notes in the key of the song or not. This creates a sort of tension that is released when the melody/harmony ascends or descends back to notes that ARE in the chord, which can help to make a melody and associated harmony more interesting than just using chord tones.

Learning licks vs Learning songs- Licks are about developing some technical aspect of playing and putting it to use in a short phrase. More about learning the instrument than learning about music. If you are drawn to a certain type of licks it can lead to a certain level of stylistic development too.

Playing songs...what does that even mean? Playing the melody? Yes. Playing through the chord progression in time with an appropriate beat? Yes. Adding appropriate harmony to the melody or improvising over the chords with all the scale and chord and rhythm knowledge you have acquired over the years? Yes. Pete B and Paul M have offered some excellent advice in that regard.

It’s not all drills. Sometimes you just have to play to learn how to play. Otherwise, there would be no Super Bowl.
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Greg Thompson


From:
Taumarunui, New Zealand
Post  Posted 24 May 2019 2:13 pm    
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Fred, thank you, ah a man that understands where I am coming from.

I guess I have been following Jeff and his material in a steel guitar 'godlike' manner. My reasoning was that if I followed the master I would end up playing like one. Sadly not true.

Time to put what so called knowledge I have acquired over the years into practice. 'Whatever that means'. In essence using what i have learnt and using those techniques in songs. The transition will be interesting.
Thanks Fred.
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Greg Thompson


From:
Taumarunui, New Zealand
Post  Posted 24 May 2019 2:32 pm    
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Thanks Paul Mac. Have just had a look on Ebay for said book - Thanks
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Paul McEvoy


From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 24 May 2019 6:17 pm    
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Greg Thompson wrote:
Thanks Paul Mac. Have just had a look on Ebay for said book - Thanks


If you start into it, you probably won’t get why it’s helpful for a while. You just sort of have to trust it. It reveals great mysteries. Seriously.
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Greg Thompson


From:
Taumarunui, New Zealand
Post  Posted 25 May 2019 4:11 am    
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Someone please name the note. 2 and 6 at the 8th fret with the B pedal in. I am thinking either a G or C 7th???
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Oakdale, California
Post  Posted 25 May 2019 6:25 am    
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Notes on 8th fret are:
String 2 - B, string 6 w/B pedal - F

If you're wondering what parts of a chord they are, there are several.

- The 3rd and b7 of a G7 chord
- The maj7 and 11th (4th) in C. Don't know if there is such a chord as a major 11 chord.
- The b11 and 1 of an F scale
- The 1 and b9 in a B9 chord

Since these are not 3 or more note chords, they can be partials of many chords.

If you go to my website, on the home page, there is a download for a program called "Guitar Map" that you enter tuning and pedal setup, and you can find scales, chords, etc for open and different pedals. It's a great program and has helped me many times. It might be a great help to you too. There is only PC version. No Mac or mobile versions.

Www.richardsinkler.net
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Franklin


Post  Posted 25 May 2019 12:54 pm    
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Greg,

...Tab is the "Meth" habit to break. Tabs are drugs convincing players with a false sense of accomplishment because they are learning with their eyes, not their ears,....tab says string 5 fret 3 A pedal down and anyone can do that, give them a blank page and watch what happens.

Hearing and locating the intervals on your steel is the mandatory "Math" habit. Playing music becomes much simpler after that - Music is "Math" with heart!

Paul Franklin
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Greg Thompson


From:
Taumarunui, New Zealand
Post  Posted 25 May 2019 2:15 pm    
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Paul, NOW THAT MAKES SENSE! Would explain why what I have struggled to learn ( loads of Newman stuff and others) over 10 years or so has not got me getting what I have in my head out my fingers, frustrating.

Paul what is your advice, would be so easy to sell the lot
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Greg Thompson


From:
Taumarunui, New Zealand
Post  Posted 25 May 2019 2:22 pm    
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Want to say thank you to all who have replied to my post.

Hope it helps others as well as making me look a twit.
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Roger Rettig


From:
Naples, FL
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 6:09 am    
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Excellent response from Paul, of course; his advice is always succinct and to the point. I also enjoyed Fred Treece' last post here.
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Paul McEvoy


From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 8:56 am    
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This was the video I was mentioning before:

https://youtu.be/JUIx1SkBMzA

I spent a lot of time working these out on armpit guitar. It was annoying how hard it was for me but I learned a lot in the process. I haven’t done them on steel yet but there’s a ton of material here if you just piece through it bit by bit.
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