A-toodz – A minor

Introduction to A minor A-toodz studies

A minor is a very popular key in the modern styles… especially in guitar dominated Rock and Blues music!  These studies can help you build up a vocabulary of ideas, licks, and tricks that you can then call upon in your improvisations later.

The exercises are also good to simply train your fingers to move in the Pentatonic patterns needed for these styles.  Pentatonic (five note) scales have more skips than straight major or minor (seven note) scales.  Classically trained players will especially benefit from playing these, just to train their muscles to move comfortably in these new ways.

The studies below are set up in three levels of difficulty:

  1. “Jammer” Level 1 features simple Pentatonic finger movements starting with single strings before moving on to string crossings and finger patterns.  Great for the less experienced.
  2. “Gigger” Level 2 introduces the “in-between” or “blue” notes in this key.  This is the stuff that really begins to increase your “coolness factor!”  …a great boost for the intermediate player!
  3. “Artist” Level 3 adds more advanced licks and tricks that include double strings, double drones, parallel fifths and more sophisticated mixtures of all the elements.  Meant to challenge even the more advanced Classically trained players.
  4. “Groove Toodz” are mini-tunes that apply what you’ve learned in the exercises.

“Call & Answer” audio tracks feature the “teacher” playing or “calling” to each double bar, to a steady beat, followed by a space for you to “answer” the same.  Great for those who might have trouble reading staff music.  Also good for ear training… challenge yourself to NOT read the music and see how close you can get to the teacher’s “call”… or, just use this space to improvise your own similar ideas!


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7 Responses to A-toodz – A minor

  1. Joyce Albelice October 24, 2016 at 5:21 pm #

    A really slow video would help. like around 50 bpm

  2. Deili Tandaju September 5, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    I just join to become a member, and I like your site very much!! I’m a beginner in violin (just started last year), and I learn new stuff every day!

    I think I learn a lot more in these few days than the last several months.

    Thank you very much for making this Wonderful Site!!

  3. Heidi Howard March 1, 2016 at 4:35 am #

    Not sure if this is the right place to ask a question….I’;m new here….but I’m disappointed that there is only one audio recording on the A minor Atoodz exercises. I really need a audio on all those exercises. Dont understand why. Thanks for any assistance on this.

    • fiddlejamman March 1, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

      Thanks Heidi! Doing these has been on my to-do list. I’ll bump it up for you! Are you a non-reader by any chance? I’ve been struggling, conceptually, with how to help students get benefit from these A-Toodz without reading. Your comments are most welcome!

      • Deili Tandaju September 5, 2016 at 5:18 pm #

        Hi Geoff, I have an idea if you want to help students get benefit from A-Toodz without reading.

        You can break the Audio into several Audio, maybe 2 bars at a time. Don’t make it too many bars. That way, the students can hear the Audio again and again until he/she get to tone right.

        Then at the end, you can provide the whole complete Audio.

        I know this may sound like a lot of work. But when I try to practice my listening, I usually repeat the Audio again and again, try to hear it and to play it.

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