Dennis Gruenling

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Scaled Down

6th Chorus Breakdown

Hello there, fine people of Sonic Junction!

We are now going to tackle the 6th chorus of my “Scaled Down” piece and we get away a little bit from the riff-based ideas in this chorus. You will be utilizing more scoops, distorted notes, and even an octave in this chorus. It’s always a good idea to take these longer runs and break them down into smaller pieces to be sure you get them down correctly, so take advantage of the different speeds to study with here. This is still only blues scale notes of course, but try to stay focused on that now that we pick up the speed and fluidity of our patterns in this section.

If you take it in bite-sized pieces, it’s a piece of cake, haha!! 

Dig in... Dennis Gruenling



Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
G Harp
Key of D
Dennis Gruenling
Dave Gross
Scaled Down

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

G Harp in the Key of D.

Loop 0:00 Dennis and Dave Playing the 6th Chorus

Loop 0:49 6th Chorus Acoustically

Loop 1:13 Breakdown of First Section (Bars 1 - 4)

Loop 2:47 Practice Loop of First Section

Loop 3:15 Breakdown of Bars 5 - 8

Loop 5:37 Practice Loop of Bars 5 - 8

Loop 5:52 Practice Loop of First 8 Bars

Loop 6:35 Breakdown of Last 4 Bars

Loop 8:32 Practice Loop of Last 4 Bars

Loop 8:58 At Tempo Practice Loop of 6th Chorus





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Marc Graci
Marc Graci Jul 30, 2018

Marc Graci
Marc Graci Jul 30, 2018

My two questions:

1) I sometimes have trouble feeling the beat when playing with just a guitar player. That's why I used a different jam track (in A). How can I develop the ability to play with just a guitar player? (I have practiced with a metronome, but that's no solution. With a metronome, there's a clear and obvious beat. I don't always pick up on this when it's just guitar).

2) How about the timing on the pickup to the V? I didn't play it in time, but it almost feels like this pickup is out of time, just floating out there. It's got a similar feel to how Junior Wells opens the 4th chorus of Chitlin con Carne, I think.

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jul 30, 2018

Nice job on the notes & licks...see more detail below...and thanks!!!!

As far as your 2 Questions:

1) If you sometimes have trouble feeling the beat (or rather "keeping the groove") when just playing with a guitar player, or just want to be a better soloist (much of which comes from having a GREAT sense of the groove and timing) then practice Playing rhyhtm with tracks, but YES, specifically with a metronome. Why exactly do you say that is "no solution"? Yes, there is a clear and obvious beat with a metronome, and if you regularly practice with that you start laying a foundation of YOURSELF keeping and holding a steady beat, so you cen eventualy rely on yourself for the groove and timing, regardless of who you are or aren't playing with. That's the whole point  :-)   Not so you can hear the beat and just jam, but to play along with a metronome (which will hold a steady beat for you to start instill in yourself) and them eventually need it less and less. The goal is to become your own metronome!

2) The timing sounds OK leading into the V. The pickup isn't out of time, just maybe not phrased the way you expected, or less "on the beat", but it is not out of time...that is totally different  :-)  Good Work!!!!


Marc Graci
Marc Graci Jul 31, 2018

Thanks, Dennis. You make some good points. Clearly, I have a lot to learn from you. There's a portion of my practice time that I set aside for improvising & applying the concepts I worked on that day. I usually do this to a jam track, but I'll start using a metronome on some days.

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jul 31, 2018

Marc - Also spend time just practicing rhythm. Playing a shuffle rhythm to a jam track. Over and over and different tempo jam tracks. It's a GREAT way to get better not only at the rhythm technique, but especially at keeping time and building a steady meter. Boring, perhaps....but it gets results!!! 

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