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Understanding the Relative Minor (Guitar Lesson)


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Don Ross

Understanding the Relative Minor

Taught by Don Ross in Building Finger Independence seriesLength: 14:21Difficulty: 3.0 of 5


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Building Finger Independence

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

This series is all about fostering the ability for your fingers to play independent of each other. Mastering this skill will give your playing a living, organic feel and open up previously unimaginable doors. During this process you will also learn two of Don Ross' songs, both perfect for showing off to your family.



Lesson 1

Introduction to the Series

Don Ross introduces the series, and talks about exactly what you will learn. He also demonstrates two songs that will be taught in this series, so it's informative and inspirational.

Length: 6:25 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Breaking out of Typical Rhythm Patterns

In this lesson Don Ross introduces the concept of polyrhythms, or playing two different rhythms at once. This technique can add depth and flexibility to your playing, but be warned, it is challenging!

Length: 7:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Polyrhythmic Picking Patterns: 3 Against 2

Don Ross introduces a 3 against 2 polyrhythm. He starts off by demonstrating how to get the rhythm "in your bones" by tapping it out with your hands, and then goes on to demonstrate how it can be applied...

Length: 14:40 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Playing 3 Against 2 Part 2

It's time to take the 3 against 2 polyrhtyhm one step further. In the previous lesson Don showed how this could be applied on two strings; this time around he breaks that barrier.

Length: 8:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Playing 3 Against 2 Part 3

Don Ross ups the complexity of the 3 against 2 polyrhythm he has been teaching. The fun is just starting!

Length: 6:11 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Playing 3 Against 2 Part 4

These polyrhythm exercises are really starting to get interesting. Don complicates the bass line further in this lesson, giving us an alluring mix of a 3 against 2 polyrhythm, arpeggiated chords and a...

Length: 11:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Polyrhythmic Picking Pattern #2: 4 Against 3

It's time to graduate to a new polyrythmic pattern: 4 against 3. Think of this as 3 against 2's big brother; it's more complex, it's a little harder, but it also packs a bigger musical punch.

Length: 18:21 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

4 Against 3 Part 2

It's practice time! Get your guitar out and follow along to learn how to apply the 4 against 3 polyrhythm with a more complex pattern. This will astound and impress your friends.

Length: 5:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

4 Against 3 Part 3

Don once again returns to the mesmerizing world of 4 against 3 polyrhythms. This time he teaches a more complex variation with an alternating bassline. These exercises may seem challenging, but remember:...

Length: 7:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

4 Against 3 Part 4

Head up! We are almost there! This is the last exercise in the 4 against 3 polyrhythm section. This time Don makes the bassline more difficult. Remember, once you have these techniques down, you will unlock...

Length: 14:25 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

Using Polyrhythms in Compositions

In this quick yet powerful lesson, Don demonstrates how polyrhythm can be used in musical compositions. Apply these tips to your own playing and watch as your friends and family gasp in awe.

Length: 13:29 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Stop Driving, Start Playing Introduction

Now that you have a basic understanding of polyrhythm, it's time to move on to a song. In this lesson Don demonstrates his song "Stop Driving ,Start Playing," and talks about it's history and gets you...

Length: 18:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Stop Driving, Start Playing: The First 8 Bars

Don Ross teaches the first 8 bars of his original song "Stop Driving, Start Playing."

Length: 22:35 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Stop Driving, Start Playing: The Second 8 Bars

Don Ross teaches the second 8 bars of his song "Stop Driving, Start Playing."

Length: 32:18 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 15

Stop Driving, Start Playing: The B Section

Don Ross moves on and starts teaching the B section of his hit song, "Stop Driving, Start Playing."

Length: 14:18 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Stop Driving, Start Playing: The B Section Part 2

Don Ross moves on and teaches the rest of the B section of his song "Stop Driving, Start Playing."

Length: 22:10 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

Understanding the Relative Minor

In this lesson Don Ross talks about the concept of relative major and relative minor. This gives you an easy way to transition between two related keys and expand your musical prowess to previously unimaginable...

Length: 14:21 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Using the Relative Keys in Standard Tuning

In this lesson Don Ross takes the concept of the relative minor and major keys and demonstrates how it can be utilized in standard tuning.

Length: 11:29 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

Relative Minor and Major Keys in Alternate Tunings

Don will discuss how the relative minor and major keys can be used with alternate tunings. In specific, he will look at the Open F, or FACFCF tuning.

Length: 10:01 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 20

Reviewing the Ripple Effect

Don Ross reviews the ultra-cool technique commonly known as "The Ripple Effect." This will impress your friends and family without a doubt, and will be necessary for upcoming lessons in this series.

Length: 8:47 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

Cup of Pop Tunings: Eb Major 9th Tuning

It's time to start learning the song "Cup of Pop," as it is an excellent way to reinforce all of the skills taught in this series, and sounds amazing to boot. In this first lesson we will look at the tuning...

Length: 10:12 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 22

The Ripple Effect in Eb Major 9th Tuning

Before we can learn the song "Cup of Pop" we need to make sure we can play "The Ripple Effect" in this stunning tuning.

Length: 3:05 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 23

Ripple and Tap Technique

"The Ripple Effect" is insanely cool on it's own, but insanely cool isn't good enough for Don Ross. In this lesson we learn his modification of the technique which he calls "The Ripple and Tap." It's even...

Length: 8:14 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 24

Ripple and Tap in Double-time

Don Ross takes the "Ripple and Tap" technique from the last lesson and demonstrates how it can be used in double-time.

Length: 4:31 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 25

Cup of Pop A Section

Don Ross teaches the first section of his hit tune, "Cup of Pop." Limber up your hands, because this will be a challenge!

Length: 44:03 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

Cup of Pop B Section

Don Ross launches into the B section of his illustrious and highly difficult song, "Cup of Pop."

Length: 18:58 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 27

Cup of Pop C Section : First Re-tuning

In this lesson Don Ross takes a look at one of the signature moments from "Cup of Pop," an on-the-fly re-tuning of the guitar.

Length: 9:07 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
Lesson 28

Cup of Pop D Section

Don Ross returns to the song "Cup of Pop" to teach the venerated D section. This comes after the re-tuning, and acts as a bridge in the relative minor key.

Length: 7:31 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 29

Cup of Pop E Section : Second Re-tuning

It's time to return to the original tuning for the song. Don discusses the E section in which this phenomon occurs.

Length: 5:57 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
Lesson 30

Cup of Pop Ending

"All good things must end" may sound rather cliche, yet at the end of this fabulous song the words ring true. Join Don as he wraps the song up.

Length: 10:52 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only

About Don Ross View Full Biography

Don has toured regularly since 1989, across Canada, the USA, a dozen European countries, Japan, Taiwan, China, Australia, Russia and India. He has played with symphony orchestras in Canada and Germany, and collaborated live and on recording with Andy McKee, Canadian singer/guitarist Brooke Miller, & Toronto bassist Jordan O’Connor. He also composes scores for television, radio and film, and does production and recording engineering for a variety of other musicians. In addition to acoustic guitar, Don also plays electric guitar, slide dobro and lapsteel guitar, voice, piano, keyboards, bass guitar and drums.

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