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Thread: Odd grouping and 7 note sequences

  1. #1
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    Odd grouping and 7 note sequences

    Does anyone know or have any exercises for odd grouping and 7 note sequences. I was a little confused about this when I watched a Michael Romeo (Symphony X) video on google (see the link below). I was wondering if anyone is more familiar with this and can give me a general explanation as to what this is and possibly some exercises which will help me move up an down the neck with these sequences. It sounded awesome when Mike did it.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...=michael+romeo

  2. #2
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I canīt watch that video, but I have some examples of odd groupings.
    I usually think of two different things here... odd numbers of notes over a beat OR a sequence with an odd number of notes ( but with a "regular" velocity, like 16th notes )

    I have people refer to both as odd groupings... some confusion, I guess. I am pretty sure youīre referring to the second thing, but Iīm just gonna talk about both a lil bit.
    Check the ptb, it has the licks, Iīll explain in this post.

    A / 1, a regular, descending 4 note sequence in a pattern of C major ( or F lydian, if you wish =) )
    As you see, itīs a 4 note figure... FEDC-EDCB-DCBA etc. I am sure you have heard this or saw it used elsewhere... I put several of those into some of my articles.

    Now, look at B / 2... here we have a sequence with 3 notes ( FED-EDC-DCB-CBA etc. ), but played in 16ths. 4 notes per beat, but a 3 note sequence or group. That way, the "accent" ( which you usually assign the first note of each group to ) shifts. First itīs on 1, then itīs on the 4th 16th, then on the 3rd 16th of the second group of 16ths ( looking at the TAB or playing it sure is easier to understand, I hope =) )
    At first, you might wanna play this as triplets instead, so each "group" of the sequence starts on the downbeat, but this sounds quite different.

    Letīs move on

    C/3: Here we have a 5 note descending figure ( same as above, but in 5 note groups, FEDCB-EDCBA-DCBAG etc ), but in quintuplets... so the accent is on the downbeats.

    D/4: Same figure, but in 16ths. Again, the accent "shifts". Compare the sound of ex.3 and 4...

    E/5: Seven note figure, seven notes per beat. Less confusing than playing this as 16ths, but still might sound exotic, as a lot of people are only used to 8ths, 16th, 32nd notes, or triplets and sixtuplets.

    F/6: This is difficult to explain and, to me, difficult to play at high speeds. Yet it is something Shawn Lane used to do a lot. Itīs a group of 6, played as sixtuplets, then a group of 5 notes, played as quintuplets etc.
    This might be too weird for now, there are more basic ways to apply odd groupings instead.

    G/7: Letīs skip to the pentatonic scale. In this ex., we have the regular "3 down, 2 back up" sequence ( or a "descending in a three note group" type run )... we could play this as 8th note triplets or, as in the example, sixtuplets.

    H/8 Now, letīs go wacky and play a sequence of 7 ( 7 down, 6 back up. In notes: GEDBAGE-EDBAGED etc. ). With 7 notes per beat...

    I/9 In 16th notes, but same 7 note grouping...

    J/10 and finally, to twist the brain even more, the same 7 note grouping in sixtuplets, aka. six notes per beat.

    Not sure whether this is related to what Romeo talks about at all, but I hope it helps anyway.
    Eric
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    I have typically seen it used in reference to odd groupings of notes clumped together in one beat, as done by Marty Friedman and Rusty Cooley. There are names for sequences that repeat after one set of notes but are counted as if they were grouped another way - the only one that comes to mind is the hemiola, which is the name for playing six-note sequences with four notes to a beat, which is found in "America" from West Side Story, "The Final Product" by Nevermore, and a number of Mozart pieces. These aren't as hard to work with as the odd groups of notes per beat, especially given our tendency as lazy bum guitarists to practice fours, sixes, and eights to metronomes. With these, the hardest part, in my opinion, is usually the picking, because there is no 'pattern' - playing an odd-grouped sequence will result in starting on both upstrokes and downstrokes, so you can't mask any inability to cross strings with either the outside or inside approach because of the way they're patterned. I, too, can Powertab nonsense with the greatest of ease, so I'll throw another file out there.

    The first four are fairly simple to pick, all on one string so the groups are easier to get used to. The first two are straight 16s, the first being groups of five and the second being groups of seven (the fives alternate between ascending and descending and the sevens always ascend - switch them around to get more fun stuff to play with, I just got lazy), and the second two are the same exercises but grouped properly - five and seven notes, respectively, over what would be four 16th notes. These are straight from Rusty Cooley (The Art Of Picking is most likely to have tons of this tasty stuff).

    The fifth and sixth are similar in principle, but for the sake of exercising there is some string crossing, so you move down strings and not down frets. Alternate pick it at first (don't be a wimp! it gets easier!) and then do whatever you like, because it's next to impossible to time these well with legato or economy picking at first. Again, the first is in straight 4s and the second is in its proper (seven-note) grouping.

    One of my favorites is the seventh one, which has a six-note grouping of a nine-note sequence. Another thing you can do is just take nine-note descending chunks from your trusty 3NPS patterns and play those as sextuplets. Just a thought.

    I'll add more later, have to be gone right now, so enjoy these and good luck.

    Rock On,
    The Jeffinator
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  4. #4
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    Thank you both for your input. Eric it's ashame you don't live in NJ. I'd love to take lessons from you!

  5. #5
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Thanks, I am flattered =)
    Well, Ibreathe was established a few years too late then, as I used to live in NJ for a little while... but who knows, I might just be back one day
    Eric

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    Video Lesson!

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    The Tab for that video is available on The Symphony X site. Its right at the bottom of the tab section and its called The Guitar Chapter.

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    Cool thanks alot for that post. I would have never thought to check their site.

  9. #9
    I, Galactus oRg's Avatar
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    This is how I normally play 7ths.
    e|---------------------------------------------|
    B|------------------------------------------5--|
    G|----------------------------4-------4-5-7----|
    D|--------------4-------4-5-7---4-5-7----------|
    A|--------3-5-7---3-5-7------------------------|
    E|--3-5-7--------------------------------------|

    This is played in 3/4 time. It's kind of a Marty Friedman approach to odd groupings. He plays his 5th groupings like this with the pentatonic scale.

    Of course you don't have to group them together like this. You could just run through the scale at the same speed these are played.
    v2sw3CUhw6ln3pr6OFck3ma9u6Lw3Xm6l6Ui2Ne5t5TSFDAb8T DOen7g6RZATHCMHPa21s6MSr53Dp3hackerkey

  10. #10
    Modally Challenged!!!! mattblack850's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck
    Cool thanks alot for that post. I would have never thought to check their site.
    You can find all the tabs here!!
    http://www.symphonyx.com/tablature.html

  11. #11
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    The examples above are the ones I'm trying to relate to in your other post re metronome practice.

    Much more succintly put by Eric and Org of course.

    get those down and practice those with the gnome as quarters, 8ths, triplets etc.

  12. #12
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    Arrow Cool

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