Lesson 2: Diatonic 4ths

After an inspiring lesson with Larry Goldings, I began working on diatonic fourths through major and melodic minor scales.  I ran into some similar material in Mick Goodrick’s “Almanac of Guitar Voice-Leading” volumes 1through 3.   This simple melodic idea can be played in both a Lydian ( Major 7 #11)  or a Dorian (minor 7) context.  The phrase is fairly easy to hear, sing and play.


I have added some rhythmic displacement to help with synthesis.  I’ve found that playing a melody in a variety of rhythms helps a ” lick” move towards more of an intervallic sequence and allows for a wider range of use.  The exercise is played in Lydian, in Dorian, and displaced rhythmically. Lastly I play the phrase through all the keys (around the circle of fourths). Singing this melody is great ear training and will help tremendously in both using and retaining the phrase.  Remember to stay relaxed, play slowly, listen carefully and take frequent breaks.

~ Enjoy!

Lesson 2: Diatonic Fourths PDF

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  1. Hey Matt,

    I’m enjoying your blog a lot. It’s set up really nicely. I especially like the accompanying videos. I’m working on the diatonic 4th exercises now. Your blog is getting some attention here in Tokyo; a few people have mentioned that they are digging the material you’re offering as well as your advice about listening, being more conscious while practicing, etc. Thanks, man… JM

  2. Otto

    Thanks James, I appreciate your comment. You’ve been a big inspiration of mine for a long time, and I’ve enjoyed your blog as well, I can’t imagine how much time you’ve put into all those transcriptions, commentary and your interval matrix is limitless… I hope we get to play together again in the future.

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