Which Berklee Online Course to take?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Soundhound, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

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    I'm thinking about taking either their online Guitar Chords 101, or Guitar Scales 101 class and am having trouble deciding which to take. Here's my situation:

    I've played for 40 years (!), played in bands from the time I was 13, studied a bit (did a summer session at Berklee in 1974) and earned a living playing until my mid twenties, then gave it up. Always played, but didn't do it full time anymore.

    I've started playing again avidly the last few years and have been studying with a terrific teacher here in L.A. When I started with him I said I wanted to pick up where I left off all those years ago, and wanted to learn to play like Robben Ford (ha!). He's given me a lot of great material to learn, taught me about the resolved and resolved sides of the modes, harmonic and melodic minor. And he's focused on trying to get me to see how things all work together, as well as various scale application, like playing melodic minor up a half step, etc etc.

    I do have good feel and time (if I do say so myself) and am playing in a couple of bands locally and am having a blast. But even there some things get in my way. For example, I'm a lefty and have always had a good fretting hand, good vibrato etc, but my right hand is useless. I can pick slowly, or Dimeola fast, but have trouble with clean 8th note or 16th note runs. Always been that way.

    My main problem is that I just don't have enough time to devote to all he's given me, and as a result I don't have as good a roadmap of the neck as I'd like to. And so when I'm trying to play over changes, I'm always searching for chords tones, scales etc, changing positions, instead of being able to find the different chord tones and scales in one place.

    My thought was that I needed some kind of 'boot camp' that would give me the chord tones, arps, scales, so I could see them inverwoven everywhere on the neck etc. So I'd be able to stay in one position and change scales/arps. He's given me all the tools for this, I just haven't been able to work enough to put it all together.

    I mostly still use the seven positions of the major scale (the modes, basically) that I learned as a teenager, but my picture of the neck is sketchy.

    I'm just starting to learn the importance of arps in soling, knowing where chords tones are etc.

    So if anyone is familiar with these two courses, which do you think would be better for my application?

    Here is information on the classes:

    http://www.berkleemusic.com/school/course?course_item_id=1737637&program=guitar

    http://www.berkleemusic.com/school/course?course_item_id=7837110&program=guitar

    thanks!
     
  2. Ooogie

    Ooogie Member

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    Hi Soundhound,

    I'm new to the forum (been lurking for awhile) but thought I'd chime in since I've taken both of these courses. I took the chords class last semester and just finished Scales last week. Both courses are excellent and would help you meet your goals but it sounds like the chords class might be a little more useful in your case. I'm basing this mostly on a couple of comments that stood out in your post (mainly the comment about knowing where chord tones are). The chords class really focuses on building chords in all inversions up and down the neck and you really have to learn to look for the notes rather than rely on shapes.

    The scales class is great as well since you play all of the scales in all positions but it sounds like you already have a good handle on scales. You should try saying the notes of the scales as you play them rather than just playing the patterns...start thinking about how the scales and modes are built and play them in unfamiliar keys forcing yourself to say and search for the notes until you can visualize them...

    Hope this helps, also some of the lessons are online at youtube if you want a sample...just search for Berklee.

    -Mark
     
  3. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

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    Thanks Mark. Funny that you posted just now, I just enrolled for the chords class. I was thinking of taking both at once, but i thought it might be too much to do with full time job etc. etc. Did you find that the chords class was a good building block for the scales class taken after?





     
  4. Holliman

    Holliman Triad Abuser

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    I just signed up for the chords 101. Look me up in class. I'm stoked!

    Alex Holliman
     
  5. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

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    Me too. See ya in class!

     
  6. Ooogie

    Ooogie Member

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    It was a good building block in the sense that I was already thinking of the notes on the fretboard and had a much better grasp than I did before. A lot of guys in the scales class were taking it first thinking the knowledge gained there would help them in building chords which makes perfect sense. I think it would work well either way but I'm happy I took chords first...think it may have helped me get more out of the scales class.

    Like most things, the more effort you put in the more you'll get out of the classes. Try to participate in the discussions/chats and listen to everyone else's assignments as much as you can to get the most benefit. Taking two classes and working full-time is a stretch, it can be done but I doubt you'd get the full benefit of the courses...plus I think it's much better to be able to relax and enjoy the courses rather than stress about assignments.:)

    Have fun,
    Mark
     
  7. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

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    That sounds great. I'm hoping to get a clearer picture of the neck from this class - and then from the scales class after, maybe the jazz guitar classs after that... To be able to see more possibilities rather than relying on a series of grips, and be able to explore more, get more colors into my playing - if that makes any sense.

    And I really like your advice about being able to get the most out of the class, and to enjoy it. I'm doing this for one reason, I love it.
     

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