Introduction to D major A-toodz studies
D major is a very popular key in the modern styles… especially in Folk, Fiddle, 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:
- “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.
- “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!
- “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.
- “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!