Wednesday, 30 April 2014

[Guitar TAB] 17 Scales Warm-Up: From Ionion to Locrian, to Melodic Minor, to Diminished & Altered, to Blues & Pentatonic

Hi there ! How have you been ? :D

Some of you might have known, or some of you might have not known - I have uploaded a new video quite recently and it features me playing 17 guitar scales as part of a warm-up routine.

Here's the video & there's wording in pink at the top right corner of the video highlighting the name of the scale as it is played.

*Guitar TAB at the end of blog post*

Take a listen and tell me how many scales in the video you are familiar with and how many you haven't even heard of.

Hahaha, so how was it ?

Now here's a physical list of the scales played (in order):
1. Ionion
2. Dorian
3. Phrygian
4. Lydian
5. Mixolydian
6. Aeolian
7. Locrian
8. Melodic Minor
9. Harmonic Minor
10. Half-Whole Diminished
11. Whole Tone
12. Altered
13. Whole-Half Diminished
14. Minor Blues
15. Major Blues
16. Minor Pentatonic
17. Major Pentatonic

Scale studies are endless, there are so many variations and possibilities - and to master even ONE scale only, it takes a very long time, and as my guitar teacher always tells me, he is still exploring the Major Scale even after so many years of playing guitar & working as a professional guitarist in the industry.

And so it goes - you can play around with the Major scale for 10 years, 20 years, 30 years or longer ! When coupled with all other aspects of guitar improvising and soloing or composition, eg. phrasing, rhythmic, sequencing etc, really the study of scales is endless.

Ionion, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian are categorized under Major Scale Modes.

And while the Pentatonic and the Blues can be the simplest choices to solo over certain chords and progressions, there are the more exotic sounding scales such as the Altered, Whole Tone, Half-Whole/Whole-Half Diminished that can be employed as creative choices to solo over very specific chords and harmonic situations - and THAT is a whole BIG topic on its own.

For now, if you would like to expand your scale vocabulary and immerse yourself in new sounds, come and learn more scales. You can learn the scale by ear from listening back to my video or you can just follow the Guitar TAB I've included at the end of this blog post.

1. Start by learning one scale at a time (you can first play it ascending & descending just like how I did) until you are comfortable with the new shape and sound
2. You can try playing all the different scales one after another just like how I did (& even in the same sequence as I did) - it could be a little tricky at first but you can start really slow
3. Single out any ONE scale and explore it ! 
  - Just play any lines you like using notes from the scale against a backing track
  - Make up YOUR OWN lines (this is VERY important) using notes from the scale
  - Come up with sequences for the fingering pattern of the scale
  - Invent and record cool phrasing/rhythmic lines using notes from the scale
  - Start applying the scale in a real-life band/jamming situation
  - Have fun !

Plus, isn't it a really cool scales warm-up routine to have ? Hahaha at least I think so because it involves a great range of sounds, from major to minor, to bluesy, to b9s, #9s and #11s.

Alright guys, let's practice hard together ! 
In fact, I really have a lot of things to work on for my improvisation and chord changes especially for the next 2 weeks.

Okay take care, all the best & keep following my blog !
Catch you again,
Sapphire Ng <3 <3 <3

[Guitar TAB] 17 Guitar Scales Warm-Up Routine
(Note: in the key of Bb)

Sunday, 27 April 2014

"Refine Your Guitar Tone" 6 Lesson Concepts (Using BOSS GT-100 Multi-Effects)

Hello there ! How are you ? :D
Well I just had another super inspiring and fruitful class with my guitar teacher Az !

Topics covered in this blog post:
1. Eliminating unnecessary pedals from the chain
2. Types of Delay/Reverb/Distortions etc
3. Compensation/Complementation between pedals & parameters
4. Reverb levels for comping
5. Compressors & feedback
6. Tone break-down for swing comping

I reckon that to start this post off I shall just show you a little note I made on my lead guitar tone settings for my upcoming Berklee audition hehehe.

Check this out:

Yes, really specific numbers - but that's because I use a digital multi-effects pedal, the Boss GT-100. 


You might have noticed the mini section "IMPT: Pedals to be EXCLUDED from the chain" and I really have to say this is a very SIGNIFICANT component towards getting a strong, beautiful lead guitar tone.

For guitarists who assemble their own pedal board with individual pedals I guess this would be less of a problem, but for guitarists like me who use the multi-effects, sometimes it becomes a source of problem that we didn't even know existed !

I typically use preset tones, which I have to choose from quite literally a SEA of guitar tones - many musical styles/categories to choose from, such as "Blues", "Soul Funk", "Liverpool", "70's Hard Rock", "80s Metal", "Fuzz Rock", "Surf Rock", "Country" etc and then within EACH style, there are a TON more preset tones for you to pick. 

Alright let's take for example "70's Hard Rock", within this genre category, tones to choose from include WholeStack, BurninRiff, Drivin' MS, Solo Delay, Phase Riff, Rockin' VOX, Long Delay, Mid Boost, Stack Crunch and BackinRiff.

So what I do usually would be to surf through the genres and tones and then select the one that I like most to work on. I would then save it to a patch and then start tweaking the tone from there and often I don't realize that the preset tones have TOO MANY pedals in the chain to start with !

At any given tone, there are at least 11 pedals "on" simultaneously & not counting any add-ons yet, thus contributing to the chaotic sound mess, or "jungle" as my teacher calls it.

Well I have to admit that I am no geek pedal - typically if a pedal stays "on" in the chain, I never had the intuition to tell myself to "off" the pedal. I would really just grope around in the dark and keep tweaking parameters and values but never seem to find the tone I want and eventually end up doubting the effect pedal. Hahaha ! How hilarious does that sound ?

There is always something I didn't like about my tone but I never was able to pinpoint the source of the unpleasantness. Alright, well I found the answer today !

Well I learnt that:
If there isn't any practical business for the pedals, I should just eliminate them from the chain. The culprits are:
-The double preamps when I could have just left them out totally because eventually I will be plugging my pedal through an actual amp.
-The double (& even triple) EQ pedals !
-The double Noise Suppressors

Again I realized it's easier to have thought of getting rid of the extras if the pedals were physically visible, but I guess that's one of the cons when it comes to a digital system whereby everything is contained within 2 LED-lighted screens. LOL or that I just ain't bright enough hahaha !


The settings noted above was adjusted by my teacher and I absolutely love how it sounds - which brings us to a more in depth look at how we arrived at those values:

Firstly, I need to ask you a few important questions. Ready ? Okay, let's go.

1. Do you know the sound difference between a Tape Delay, Analog Delay, Reverse Delay and Stereo Delay ?

2. Do you know the sound difference between a Spring Reverb, Plate Reverb, Hall Reverb and Room Reverb ?

3. Do you know the sound difference between a Blues Overdrive, Metal Distortion, '60s Fuzz, Metal Zone Distortion and Turbo Tube Screamer ?

The list goes on.

Well, are your answers to the questions above mostly "yes" or "no" ?

Well I don't know their detailed differences hahaha !

And that what I realized becomes a huge disadvantage when it comes to adjusting tones & parameters within the GT-100 which is packed with a hundred and one stuff.

So my teacher basically understands the different types of delays, reverbs, distortions etc, so it was pretty much a much more focused and directed effort as he decides the choices and parameters.

Lesson is:
Pedal-geek or not, it is always an advantage to delve deeper into the characteristics of the different gadgets.


Next on, compensation/complementation concepts between pedals & parameters when adjusting values.

Because yet again, my Ibanez semi-hollow is totally prone to feedback and thus the compensation concepts would really apply here. 

For example for "Distortion", if both the Drive and Effect Level values are adjusted high, it would be a feedback feast. To avoid feedback, there needs to be a little give-and-take - if you want to put higher Drive, reduce the Effect Level. High Drive and relatively lower Effect Level gives a very gain-y sound. On the other hand, if you want higher Effect Levels, be prepared to compensate on the Drive and lower its levels.

It's pretty cool especially when my teacher started to talk about how the Distortion pedal's parameters has to be adjusted in a way that complements eg. a Chorus pedal ! That instantly planted into my mind a very visual sea of sound effects that are very much in harmony ! That made me realize why my previous sound was very much chaotic and messy-sounding - the various effects and parameters ain't complementing each other and thus clashes.

So there is always an ideal balance and sweet spot between the different effect pedals that make them sound best when used together.


Now let's analyze together why certain tone settings are not effective for their respective purposes:

Firstly I had a tone patch, supposedly for swing/bossa nova comping that wasn't quite effective. And as my teacher called it "The sound is too wet" - because comping tones shouldn't have that high reverb, in fact reverb has to be at pretty low levels.

Az said that his usual levels of reverb are typically set between 20 to 30 for lead playing. And in fact, for the riff-ing tone that Az set for me, he actually put the Reverb effect level to ZERO ! Hahaha yup.


So how good are you guys' knowledge of Compressors ?

Hahaha well apparently Compressors are pretty guilty when it comes to causing feedback LOL. So this is definitely additional add-on information for me from my last Guitar Feedback lesson when factors introduced causing feedback are mainly Gain, Volume and physical placement of guitar relative to the amp.

And so Az mentioned that the Sustain parameter of Compressors has a close relationship with feedback - the higher the Sustain, the greater the Feedback.

This brings us back to the process we went through to rebuild a tone patch - we "off"-ed every pedal in the chain within GT-100 and trust me, that went up to more than 10 pedals. With all pedals "off", the moment the Compressor was "on", feedback occurred immediately, yes because Sustain levels are put too high.

Moreover when it comes to adding too many pedals into the chain unnecessarily that serve no whatsoever purpose - I am the master of it LOL. In the most exaggerated case, I have had patches whereby I switched on 2 pre-amps and 2 Noise Suppressors on top of the already super cluttered chain I have !

I'm glad that in this lesson, my teacher told me that since I always do plug my multi-effects into actual amplifiers, it would be great to just leave the pre-amps out of the equation.


Now to swing/bossa nova comping tone patches - what Az did was to only have ONE pedal, the Compressor, in the chain ! How awesome, now we're talking simplicity. And this contrasts sharply with my previous attempt at enacting a swing comping tone, that actually ended up sounding more like gypsy jazz comping tone I think.

The rest of Az's advice for swing comping tone included to 1. Roll back the Tone knob significantly, to between "2" to "3"
2. Roll back the Volume knob slightly, to between "7" to "8"
3. Set pickup to "Neck" Position
4. Just increase the volume when playing swing lead.

And guess what ? Those are the last bits to be covered in this blog post. Hahaha, hope that this has been a relatively informative and fun read for you, and that you benefited from it.

A blog post on "Rhythmic Soloing" would be up, hopefully soon. In the mean time keep practicing, stay awesome, be happy and keep following my blog !

All the best and love you guys,
Sapphire Ng <3 <3 <3

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Sapphire Ng | REV Mag April 2014: Cover + Spreads [& Behind-The-Scenes]

REV Magazine Singapore April 2014 Issue

Model: Sapphire Ng
Photographer: Peter Lee/Brian
Manager/Wardrobe/Styling: Mike S 
MakeUp Artist: Hazel

Big thanks to REV Magazine and awesome team ! <3 <3 <3

xoxo Sapphire Ng







Thursday, 10 April 2014

37 Super Handy Tips At Your Disposal: The Ultimate Blues Guitar Improvisation Crash Course

Hey there ! How have you been ? :D

I've been really busy with super packed schedules for quite some time, and now I'm back with a pretty comprehensive blog post that I hope would inspire and help you guys in many ways *smiles*. 

For this blog post, I would be writing about all the cool lesson points I've gathered from another guitar lesson I attended, the focus topic of which is on Blues Improvisation.

Do you like to improvise over the blues ? That's a question that I'm really curious to know your answer to hahaha.

Before I start proper, I guess I should start off with this really cool but profound thing I learnt from my guitar lesson. My teacher first asked me "Why do you like your most favorite music ?"

My answers are:
1. The music feels good
2. The music makes me feel good
3. The music sounds good

It made me realize that whenever I record a song or compose a song, I can just ask myself these simple questions:
1. Does my music feel good ?
2. Does my music make listeners feel good ?
3. Does my music sound good ?

Number 2 strike a chord particularly with me because I really never thought of it that way. All along it has been a process of just playing whatever I want to play and recording whatever I want to record, as simple as that. But I realized I really have to consider whether my recordings actually do make listeners feel good when they listen to them.

Az actually asked me those questions because when learning new material I have an inclination to play at a tempo that is faster than needed which results in a less than perfect execution of the notes. When playing, just bear in mind you want whatever you are playing - be it just normal scales or arpeggios - to sound really pleasant to the ears. 

And I know that as guitarists, most of us have a tendency to speed up whatever dry material we are playing because it is relatively easier to speed up in a sloppy manner on guitar; and that speed is really something close to the hearts of many guitarists.

As usual, I have to lay out some background details for you first just so you know the context and relevance of the lesson content.

I have to admit Chord Changes really ain't much of my thing. For my upcoming Berklee audition, I swear I stuck to G Blues as my teacher gave me the G Blues framework on the very earliest lessons. And I have been practicing over that ONE arpeggio shape for quite some time now, and since for a blues progression in the key of G, it goes G7, C7 and D7 - all I did is to transpose that ONE arpeggio shape from the 3rd fret to the 8th fret and then to the 10th fret.

Could you predict what are some of the possible problematic areas when trying to master chord changes for blues in this context ?

Well because it involves position switching, for a while I was stuck in a rut and pretty much didn't know the best methods to transition from position to position especially when the fretboard gap is supposedly "far".

So the first question I asked my guitar teacher during the lesson was "What are the techniques/methods to connect phrases and lines especially when traveling bigger distances across the fretboard ?"

Here's the first method: Slides and Articulations

Yet another cool thing is that I realized a lot of limitations we guitarists encounter in our playing or otherwise are usually built on our own perceived restrictions.

I have always been a player who jumps from position to position or stays in a position, I never really practiced MOVING across the fretboard. So for me, when I have to jump a 5-fret gap to reach the 8th fret position from the 3rd fret position, I would perceive it as far. Hahaha.

So my teacher gave a couple of exercise when involves jumping from this end of the fretboard to the other end, then he asked me again "Do you think it's that far now ?" when referring to the same distance. My answer is "No", hahaha so I realized it's all just practice, knowing the right thing to practice and not being fooled by preconceived notions. 

Don't perceive something as "far" or "difficult" or anything of the sort until you try it :D

Az gave another pretty cool interval practice exercise, and here's the TAB I wrote for it:

This exercise is based on the minor pentatonic, and really I think it's one of the simplest scales for anyone to start with or to base a new exercise on.

So this interval exercise serves to break down any barriers a guitarist has towards string skipping. Because really, usually if a guitarist does string skipping, the norm would probably be a 4-strings distance at a maximum. How often do you see a guitarist play lines and jump from the 1st to 6th string or to the 5th string - UNLESS you are an acoustic guitarist of course and you play melody and chords at the same time. But that is different. 
For this exercise, it targets soloists. The idea is to include lines that jump that far in our solos.

And trust me, I heard it used in a solo, amongst other cool sequences and lines and I absolutely LOVE the sound of the lick. To me, when my teacher did a quick improvisation and added the vast string skipping thing at the 5 to 6 strings-length distance, the line that caught my attention and that came across as the most outstanding is really and actually the string skipping lick. 

So guitarists, time to add that into our practice repertoire. I will practice it along with you :D :D

Alright, going back to the TAB: 
There is a pedal bass note starting with first the "A" note in this case of A minor pentatonic. And then for the 2nd example, otherwise labeled as lick B, the pedal note changes to the next note of the scale, which is the "C" note, ie. 8th fret. And then for the 3rd and last example of the TAB, the pedal note becomes the "D" note. And so on, to the "E" note, to the "G" note etc.

Along with this, my teacher also said that as much as we shouldn't self-conceive limitations across the fretboard, we also shouldn't think there ought to be any restrictions when making up lines along the distance of the 6 strings. 

I love this concept because for many guitarists who have been wanting to break out of all the pre-existing habits that have been formed due to finger-muscle memory, it reminds us that there really ought to be no limits.

Okay, onto slides. So now, instead of just shifting hand positions fluently in a 5-fret distance, you have to slide across 5 frets. Wow, to me that's really a feat LOL. Of course the typical thing is sliding in a half step distance or one step distance. How often yet again do you see guitarists sliding up to 2 and a half step distance. 

So an example would be me holding the "G" note at 5th fret, in the G7 arpeggio 3rd position, sliding all the way up to the "C" note at 10th fret, thus settling into C7 arpeggio 8th position.

A very simple but super handy tip to make this sliding technique more manageable would be: LOOK at the note you want to slide to.

Really simple, but everyone needs such reminders - Because I didn't do that until my teacher told me to. Before that, my slide was really inaccurate, and I overshot and came short of the intended fret multiple times - and then after my focus was shifted onto the GOAL-fret, woohoo it became a whole lot easier and I hit the note pretty accurately. Remember, don't look at the EXISTING fretted note - look at the fret you are aiming. 

Wow, does that sound like an advice that totally applies to everyday life too ? Hahaha yup, it's best we focus on our dreams and goals rather than occupying our minds too much with current problems.

Onto another method my teacher showed me: sometimes we can just shift our first finger down the fretboard by playing some "in-between" notes that allow our hand to transition from a position to the other.

For example, we are at the 8th position, using our first finger ONLY, we can play the 2nd string 8th fret, then 6th fret then 3rd fret, thus moving our hand position all the way down the fretboard already.

Also as advised, it is great to play the 6th note of the arpeggio as my teacher said gives a more blue-y sound, which is the "E" note of G7, "A" note of C7 and "B" note of D7.

After so long, finally we are onto the SECOND method: Sequencing - This is probably the most common method used and the easiest. It simply refers to transposing the same lick pattern over the fretboard.

3rd method: Double Stops.

The first lick under the double stops section shows a D minor chord fragment. Without thinking, I asked my teacher "What has a D minor got to do with a G7 ?"

And he replies that yes, it is related to G7 and I instantly recalled all my theory knowledge. LOL how often do we blurt out questions sometimes without thinking, but often we actually DO know the answer hahaha !

Yes, the "D" note is the 5th note of G7; the "F" note is the b7th note of G7 and the "A" note is the tension 9th of G7. Hahaha so Az went on to explain that by playing fragments of the D-7 chord whilst on G7, it could facilitate some form of hand position switching, as it allows our 3rd finger to travel to the 7th fret and thus nearer to our C7 chord at the 8th fret. 

Really there are tons of inventive and cool ways to travel across the fretboard and oftentimes we really just need to sit down and think twice, and we would know the answer :D

The 2nd example under the double stops section just shows a simple double stop lick traveling down the G7 chord. And I personally love the sound created so I am going to add that into my guitar practice routine hehe !

A little reminder here on a really important tip to take note: No matter what type of transitions used, always make sure hand position changes don't give themselves away, ie. Don't attract attention to the position change itself because oftentimes when it is not fluent enough, people notice the break in the flow.

Thus, position changes have to sound as smooth and fluent as when NO position changes are done.

Alright, now I have to admit too that usually I shun any scales or arpeggio shapes that involves playing the open string - because technically speaking, you can't transpose the entire shape across the fretboard.

But now, what my guitar teacher advised me is that open string position or not, it's good to practice. Moreover, we can definitely find some good lick/shape fragments that can be applied elsewhere too. So this again goes back to the basic idea that EVERYTHING can be an inspiration and a take-off point for more greatness.

Now here's another cool thing: you can control whether you want a more clean or more "messy" playing. When you play the guitar with your fingers too near to the fret wire, you get a more muted sound rather than a fuller sound. I feel that this is such a great concept because this is really zooming into all the finer details of guitar playing. 

Thus sometimes when you want to switch up your playing to be that much more edgy and attitude-laden, be sure to start playing nearer to the fret wires and remember to record yourself, you will hear how different it makes you sound :D :D

Now onto the biggest topic (in my opinion) covered in the 1-hour lesson: Surround notes.

It's great to have a lesson that clears up all my questions and doubts on the topic. Without further ado, here we go ! This is a big topic and be prepared to spend a lot more time practicing this hahaha.

Let's look at the exercises for surround notes:

This TAB is based on the G7 arpeggio.
The first example, Chromatic From Below simply refers to playing a chromatic note right below the chord tone (or target note) and then hitting the target note.

Alright, you have 3 choices on how you want to approach the target note here:
1. Pick both the notes
2. Slide to the chord tone
3. Hammer-on to the chord tone

My teacher demonstrated all 3 to me and here's my take on them:
1. Pick - Sounds pretty ordinary/normal, nothing that special due to no articulation present
2. Slide - The hardest to master out of all 3 techniques
3. Hammer on - Articulation gives it dynamics differences and thus more expressive-sounding

My personal favorite would be using the Hammer-On, and thus I would choose to incorporate it in my surround notes practice routines. 

Once you think you have mastered that ONE technique on the ENTIRE surround note topic and can pretty much play without needing to think about it, you can go ahead and add a different articulation technique to your practice. And there you are, you have to start all over again in all your exercises just applying a DIFFERENT way of playing the notes. Woohoo ~~~ 

Now onto the "Scale From Above" line from the TAB. Since it's G7, it's scale would be the G Mixolydian Scale. Scale From Above means that we would play the note from the Mixo scale that is directly above the chord tone of the G7 arpeggio then play the note from the original chord. This adds spice to the sound since we would be playing tensions.

In this case, the 3 technique choices would be instead:
1. Pick
2. Slide
3. Pull-Off

For this, I would actually settle for merely picking the notes hahaha because my pull-offs ain't that strong, plus sliding across a whole step is still pretty challenging for me to maintain perfect accuracy and tone especially when at faster tempos.

The 3rd line from the TAB: Chromatic From Below, Scale From Above simply refers to playing a chromatic note directly below the target note and playing the scale note from above then landing back on the target note. So it's adding an extra note before we resolve to the end goal.

The Scale From Above, Chromatic From Below is similar, only difference is the order of the notes. For these licks, you can actually mix and match the Picking, Sliding and Hammer-on/Pull-off to give variety. 

For all 4 types of exercises shown above, you can actually treat the G7 as a G triad when you first practice it so that it is more manageable. Eventually after you get more comfortable, go ahead and add that "F" note into the equation haha !

I asked my teacher regarding a Chromatic From Above variation that I've seen some people play as well, and this is how he explains it: Usually books will introduce Scale From Above simply because it sounds more melodious. 

And I noted as well that Chromatic From Above actually gives an altered sound, that my teacher points out that only certain specific notes give rise to that altered sound, not all chromatic notes from above.

Also, a really important note on the Surround Note TAB above is that you would have noticed that despite requiring hand position shifting, it is encouraged (according to my teacher) to have the Scale From Above note on the SAME string as the target note, because a tendency would be to play the note within the position and thus on a different string - AND !! I've actually done that pretty often until ... this lesson hahaha !

Another cool trivia on this Surround Note topic: 
Az was saying that this Chromatic From Below, Scale From Above or its counterpart actually already uses up 10 notes from all the available 12 notes !! For the case of G7, all notes are used except the "Ab" and the "Eb" notes. 

For "Chromatic From Below & Above" combined with "Scale From Above", it would mean ALL available notes from the chromatic scale would be used for soloing !

Note that there are a lot more even more complex options under the Surround Note topic that are not yet given in the examples in the TAB above, that includes 
1. "Embellish Whole Step From Above"
2. "Chromatic From Below, Embellish Whole Step From Above"
3. "Embellish Whole Step From Above, Chromatic From Below"

These when used really gives a really bebop sound.

Other handy tips from the lesson: When soloing (as long as it's applicable and done tastefully), you can combine different positions throughout the fretboard for soloing, for example to solo over the G7 chord, you can use the G7 arpeggio shape at 3rd fret combined with the shape at 10th fret - Don't be restricted simply because of the perceived distance. 

You will be surprised as to how much more spice it adds to your lines during your solo by soloing a single phrase over at least 4 octaves.

Other fun learnings from the lesson: --
My teacher is really into gypsy jazz in this period of time, so he demonstrates and explains gypsy jazz techniques for quite a bit and I found them really interesting. 

Here's one: 
They pick using rest strokes, whereby you don't alternate pick, but instead whenever you play a different guitar string, you have to play a downstroke all over again. You never consistently go "down, up, down, up, down" and so on. This technique really does need some getting use to.

The rest strokes give a much heavier sound that thus makes it sound more authentic if ever anyone wants to play gypsy jazz guitar.

Pretty much one of the final points for this blog post: You can and should practice playing wrong notes and hear how it sounds like against the prevailing chord. 
How relevant is this in today's lesson context, you may ask.

It is totally relevant as my teacher demonstrated that for example "Chromatic From Below", we are playing a note that is not in the scale before we resolve it to the target note. It will definitely sound wrong to us if we are not used to it and we may even wonder whether we can start the lick on downbeats.

But my teacher has shown that really, it doesn't matter whether you start the licks on the downbeat or upbeat - as contrary to what I was taught when I was back in school !! Last time I was taught not to play the "wrong note" on the downbeat so I must always start the lick on the upbeat. But I'm glad this lesson cleared many doubts LOL.

Upbeat or downbeat, when done tastefully, both sounds great !

To end this blog post, I will end with a cliche but one that is well worth repeating to ourselves in our music learning journey, that "Music is a language" - No matter how hard or tough, we have to master the nitty gritty details the same way we would learn grammar and vocabulary if we were learning a new language - there are no shortcuts.

All the best for your guitar practice and all your endeavors in life !!

Catch you again :D

Take care and love ya,
Sapphire Ng <3 <3 <3