The guitar is a very unique instrument. You can view the fret board from many different angles and perspectives. You can see chords as a complete pattern or you can break them up into smaller pieces and see each individual note throughout the fretboard. You can play a melody on a few strings on the fretboard and then play that same melody on lower strings higher up on the fretboard and you can get the same melody ,but with a different “feel”. As a guitarist ,you have many options and sounds to choose from.
Horizontal Guitar Playing:
What do I mean when I say “horizontal”? It means seeing the pattern of notes from the 1st string, 1st fret to the 1st string, 12th fret. Basically, you play a scale on one string instead of 6 strings(vertically).
The creative possibilities when you play the guitar horizontally are endless. You can create melodies that flow and riffs that are more melodic. Instead of playing the guitar in 1 position(vertically) you can see the scale that you are playing laid out across all 12 frets. This will open your eyes and your fingers to endless guitar riffs. The main objective for playing the guitar is to be creative.
Tips & Tricks:
- Learn how to play a pentatonic scale on one string. Then learn how to play it on two, and then three etc.
- Practice playing a simple melody on 1 or 2 strings. Then duplicate the melody to other strings and frets on the guitar.
- Add techniques such as hammer ons, pull offs and bends to make your melodies interesting. For example, if you are playing in the key of G Major then, you can bend all of the A notes across the entire fretboard. The 2nd note in any key is called the “blue note” you can bend or slide to the next note when you play “blue notes”.
- Use the entire fretboard. Don’t just play in one spot. Expand your melodies across the fretboard, understand how to play one melody in different positions on the guitar. This,in turn will help you understand the fretboard completely!
- Play the guitar with other musicians or play with jam tracks to improve your fretboard knowledge.
Start seeing the guitar differently. If you are used to playing scales “vertically” try playing them “horizontally”. Be creative and you will notice a difference in your guitar playing.