Now we examine the harmony of the Harmonic Minor scale using tertian steps (3rd intervals – i.e. play a note, skip a note) from this diatonic system to create a 7th arpeggio in its root position. We then complete the octave step and begin the arpeggio from its second octave position which eventually completes the two-octave (‘2 8ve’) form.
We will be releasing a seven-video series based entirely on the harmonic minor scale in the near future, so stay tuned for that!
General practice tips for this Technique Builder Exercise:
• If playing this root 5 (root on the A string) as in the video example, I stay in position for the entire permutation then use a sliding technique to join the two final ascending notes of the arpeggio together and complete the 2nd octave – you may wish to use a one finger per note system on this high E string to turnaround to the descending form – or perhaps move at the beginning of the 2nd octave – there are many ways to play this exercise successfully.
• I would suggest playing through as many as you can and finding the ones that best suit your hands in terms of feel and also give your left hand the most articulate clarity and accuracy; some people prefer not to slide etc – the choice is yours!
• I would also suggest playing in at least the two positions of root 6 and root 5 and eventually, once fluent and strong in a single chosen key, navigate through all 12 key centers (or roots) for harmonic minor.
• As with any technique exercise, strive for clarity, fluency and an overall legato effect – i.e. join all notes together as if the entire exercise was written with a slur across all notes.
• Play at a tempo that is manageable and only progress your speed forward once comfortable. Never sacrifice accuracy at the cost of speed. Try a variety of tempos, keeping clarity as your focus.
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