Taylon Shaw Practice Diaries

Day 1- One of the genres that I have been practicing is blues. Today I have been practicing some of the techniques that are used in blues. These include vibrato and raking the stings.

Day 1 (vibrato)- Vibrato is a technique that is used usually as an accent when playing lead blues guitar. It is when you play a note on the guitar and with your finger on the string; you move it up and down slightly and in quick succession. Also a key factor in blues vibrato is to not play it too aggressively, because it takes away the gentleness that blues vibrato is supposed to have. The way that I came to learning this technique was when I did it without knowing what it was. I basically played vibrato, thought that it sounded cool, so I played it more. I then came a across a video by BB King explaining the technique. I watched it and it helped me improve how my vibrato sounded. The reason why it helped me is because it showed me how hard and how fast to move my finger. It also showed me that moving your finger in a circular motion will make the vibrato sound more elegant and soft. I also saw exactly how BB King did this technique and I discovered that taking your hand off of the fret board gives you more control over the vibrato. To master this technique, I would just keep trying it on different frets and on different fingers. I then found that it was best to do it using your index finger because that's where you have the most control and for me, it's where it's most comfortable.

Day 1(string racking)- Again used for accenting string racking is when you mute the all of the strings apart from the one that you are playing and you sweep your pick across it. This technique is often used to start a "run" or a scale. I came to learning this through my guitar teacher while learning a song. for a start I struggled with muting the strings and then playing the note at the end of the song. To master this technique I just kept practicing on two or three strings until I was comfortable with it. I would then do it with four strings and so on.

Day 2- Today I have been practicing the genre which is rock music. One of the techniques that I have been practicing for this genre is using up and down picking on scales.

Day 2(up and down picking)- This is where you pick in up and down motions. Doing this makes it easier to play scales quicker and if you can master the technique it makes you play more fluidly. I came to learning this again from my guitar teacher because I was trying to learn it and he noticed that I was holding the plectrum the wrong way and he then corrected me. This helped a lot because it made everything a lot easier. After this I would just get one note on the guitar and strum it up and down slowly. Eventually when i was comfortable with doing that I started to speed up little bits at a time and I can now play this quite quickly. I then started to use it into pentatonic and major scales. Again I started slowly and gradually got faster. I Mastered this by playing the same scale up and down and gradually getting faster. It also helped using a thinner pick until I was comfortable using something thicker.

Day 3- Today I have been practicing blues again. This time I have been practicing chord voicing's for this genre. Usually the chords for this genre depend on which artist/style you are playing from. For example Muddy Waters uses a lot of 12 bar blues chords but, BB King uses a lot of different chords like major and minor 7th's.

Day 3(12 bar)- I struggle to put this technique into text so I will explain it in a video.

Day 3(seventh chords)- To play a seventh chord, all you have to do is add the seventh note of the scale that the chord is based in. So if you want to play a b minor 7th you have to add the seventh note of the b minor scale. I came to learning seventh chords when I joined my schools jazz band. I had no idea what a seventh chord was so the other guitarist in the band helped me and I found out that if the root note was an A on the E string for a A7 chord, it would be the same shape as playing a B7 chord on the E string. However, it is a different shape on the A string, which I will explain in the video.

Day 4- Today I have been practicing rock again and I have been using 2 musical techniques that are used a lot in rock music. These techniques are called hammer-on's and pull offs. These techniques can be used in many different ways and two of the ways that I have inputted them are in trills and in scales/runs.

Day 4(runs using hammer on's and pull offs)- When it comes to runs and arpeggios using hammer on's and/or pull offs makes it a lot easier because it allows you to play them a lot faster with less picking-hand movement. Doing this also can make the arpeggios sound a lot smoother, where as picking all of the notes sounds very messy. I came across doing this when my brother showed me a song by Joe Satriani called made of tears. There is a run at 3 minutes and 14 seconds where it sounds like he is hammering on and pulling off every note. This gave me the idea of trying it myself, and it was actually quite easy to get the hang of because I was using a lot of hammer on's and pull offs when playing pentatonic scales. For a start I could only play it at a medium speed but over time I gradually got faster and faster until i was playing it quite quickly. I found it easiest using my first three fingers because it was the most comfortable thing for me to do at the time. I am now trying to incorporate my little finger into it but it's quite hard because I'm not comfortable with it yet.

Day 4(trills)- A trill is basically when you play two notes back and fourth to make a distinct sound. You can use hammer-on's and pull offs to play them faster. They are often used in solo/improvised sections. I learned this properly from my guitar teacher Keith Buck who happens to be in a Thin Lizzy tribute band. In the song Waiting for an alibi there at the end of the song at 3 minutes and 11 seconds. Like the runs I learned how to do this at medium speed quite quickly and I gradually increased my speed. I will explain a bit ore about this in the video.

Day 5- Today I decided to practice a rock technique that I really struggle with. This technique is called sweep arpeggios, or more commonly known as sweep picking. This when you play multiple notes in a sweeping motion. I am not very good at this because I am not familiar with it enough to play it quickly but I can demonstrate it slowly. I came across the technique from a friend of mine and I wanted to try learning it. I followed tutorials on YouTube from Guthrie Govan and Stevie Terrebery. At the moment my skill at this technique is still very limited but I have been practicing it and it is slowly improving.


Created with images by NikolayFrolochkin - "diary the note notebook"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.