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Interval Workout Chapter One (Guitar Lesson)

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Brendan Burns

Interval Workout Chapter One

Brendan Burns demonstrates an exercise that will help you locate and play octaves on the guitar.

Taught by Brendan Burns in Theory & Improv with Brendan Burns seriesLength: 12:35Difficulty: 0.5 of 5


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Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


samuelparksamuelpark replied

What exactly is the use of Cycle 5? Is it simply just a finger excercise?

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied

It's a device to move through all 12 keys in a common/familiar sounding way.

demmykrodemmykro replied

Hi Brendan, my name is Demmy and 2yrs ago I started playing guitar with my son (he wanted to learn). I have practiced everyday now for 2-4 hrs. while taking lessons online. My background is in art and I am a graduate from the SF Art Institute. I just have to thank you whole heartily as your teachings in the Eric Clapton with the Yardbirds series and others have helped lift my playing up to a great sound. It is in fact a joy to have you explain in such detail the "how and why" things work as they are applied on the guitar and the history of it. That is just wonderful (coming from a great students point of view). Now I am taking your Circle Five lessons and it is putting many many pieces of the guitar puzzle together for me. I am 56 yrs young and as with my art, I expect to be in front of large audiences someday. Only this will be with a new type of brush, my Gibson SG, ha! Demmy Crompton

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied

Demmy, Thanks for sharing your story. Keep it rocking! I'm glad these lessons are helping.

davidinladavidinla replied

Been playing four years. Familiar with Circle of 5th and Intervals. Watching this video and seeing your I IV V comment from 8/10 just gave me a big Ohhhh! in regards to improve over progressions. Thanks for these lessons. A mental window just opened and now the finger work starts.

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied

Brilliant! That's great to hear! Keep it going!

omaertinomaertin replied

What are these used for?

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied

Calisthenics for guitar!

snake068snake068 replied

what kind of guitar is that?

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied

That's a Klein Electric Guitar. It's an ergonomically designed instrument that is not currently being manufactured. I'll have a video explaining the instrument soon.

ltaylor3188ltaylor3188 replied

Does that mean you had the guitar custom made? So in learning Cycle 5 should we learn it clockwise or counterclockwise and does it make a difference truly?

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied

Klein guitars used to be available for purchase from a luthier. I'm sure they will be available again soon. Learn Cycle 5 the way I've explained it here. This moves through chords in a very common/useful way.

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied

Interesting..... that might not be a problem. Stick with it, see what happens in another 7 days. Either way, your fingers are stacking in the correct direction & that's a good thing.

jndaiglejndaigle replied

Maybe this is a different kind of problem. The issue is that the little finger wants to go down just before the note is played, not when the first finger goes down. How to practice making them go down at the same time?

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied

I feel hesitant to answer this question without seeing exactly what's happening. The only advice I can give is to move slow and accurately.

jndaiglejndaigle replied

I'll try to explain. Say I'm starting with C on first and third strings. I play the two Cs and then move up to strings 3 and 5. First finger goes down and I hit that C. Then , and only then, does the pinky go down and I hit the higher C. What I think I am supposed to be trying to do is to put the first finger and pinky down at the same time and then play the two notes one after the other. One exercise I though of is to just force myself to wait until I get both fingers down before playing anything.

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied

A slight toggle between the two fingers is acceptable. I wonder if playing the exercise descending might help your situation. In that case that pinky would have to come down before the index finger. Have you tried that direction as well?

jndaiglejndaigle replied

Yes, I am doing both directions exactly in the order you are giving. In the descending case, the pinky goes down first then the first finger, and also the third before the first, so I guess it is the same problem.

jndaiglejndaigle replied

I really enjoy this lesson set. The only problem I have so far is reach on the lower end of the guitar. Hopefully that will improve as time goes on.

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied

Do you mean lower by Pitch or lower by Direction? In the low-pitch area of the guitar, some of the grips can be a bit wide. Stick with it, and over time it will come together. On the high-pitch side of the instrument, there are some impractical fingerings/grips. This area is more important for your brain than it is your fingers. Enjoy the rest of the lesson set.

jndaiglejndaigle replied

I mean the low pitch end. But the stretch is already getting less difficult. I find I am spending too much time on the exercises compared to the small amount you recommend. I guess it is supposed to take at least several weeks to get through the whole thing, right?

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied

At first, these exercises can feel like forever. Keep with it, and you'll notice that things will speed up. Once you've got the Cycle 5 memorized and in your ear, brain and fingers, these exercises will start to become reflexive. They will get very fast after a while. Stick with it and keep track of your progress weekly. Remember, the work you do today will help you out for tomorrow. Glad to hear the stretches are becoming more manageable. Keep rockin'

dhpdavisdhpdavis replied

Btrendan Its funny the two instructors i enjoy the most, or at least the two most enlightening for me so far are yours and Kenny Rays. Stark contrast eh? Anyhoo, your a great teacher and your lesson content is great.

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied

Cycle 5 can be explained either way. I'm using this direction because it's a common chord movement. C moves to F as the I to the IV chord, or the V to the I chord. It's a good progression to get into your ears, fingers & brain.

ootieootie replied

Hey Brendan Mark Brennan showed the circle of fifths that went the opposite way Does this make a difference?

pencilneckpencilneck replied

Good stuff been looking for something like this.

Theory & Improv with Brendan Burns

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Brendan Burns talks about the circle of fifths, intervals and more to help you in your playing.



Cycle FiveLesson 1

Cycle Five

Brendan Burns explains the circle of fifths and how to navigate it on the neck of the guitar.

Length: 11:22 Difficulty: 0.5 FREE
Interval Workout Chapter OneLesson 2

Interval Workout Chapter One

Brendan Burns demonstrates an exercise that will help you locate and play octaves on the guitar.

Length: 12:35 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Interval Workout Chapter TwoLesson 3

Interval Workout Chapter Two

Brendan Burns focuses on the fifth interval in chapter two of the interval workout.

Length: 6:58 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Interval Workout Chapter ThreeLesson 4

Interval Workout Chapter Three

In the third interval workout chapter, Brendan discusses and demonstrates the perfect fourth interval.

Length: 6:30 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Interval Workout Chapter FourLesson 5

Interval Workout Chapter Four

In chapter four of his interval workout series, Brendan discusses and demonstrates the major third interval.

Length: 3:43 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Interval Workout Chapter FiveLesson 6

Interval Workout Chapter Five

In chapter five of his interval workout, Brendan demonstrates the minor third intervals.

Length: 4:10 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Interval Workout Chapter SixLesson 7

Interval Workout Chapter Six

Brendan Burns demonstrates the tritone intervals.

Length: 3:51 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Interval Workout Chapter SevenLesson 8

Interval Workout Chapter Seven

Brendan Burns demonstrates the major second intervals.

Length: 3:02 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Interval Workout Chapter EightLesson 9

Interval Workout Chapter Eight

Brendan Burns demonstrates the minor second intervals.

Length: 2:42 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Interval Workout Chapter NineLesson 10

Interval Workout Chapter Nine

Brendan Burns demonstrates the major sixth intervals.

Length: 3:15 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Interval Workout Chapter TenLesson 11

Interval Workout Chapter Ten

Brendan Burns demonstrates the minor sixth intervals.

Length: 2:54 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Interval Workout Chapter ElevenLesson 12

Interval Workout Chapter Eleven

Brendan Burns demonstrates the major seventh intervals.

Length: 2:26 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Interval Workout Chapter TwelveLesson 13

Interval Workout Chapter Twelve

The final interval workout from Brendan Burns features the flat seventh or minor seventh interval.

Length: 4:46 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Modal Navigation #1Lesson 14

Modal Navigation #1

Brendan returns to show us how to navigate modes on the guitar using one string up and down the neck.

Length: 29:45 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Modal Navigation #2Lesson 15

Modal Navigation #2

Brendan continues his navigation series by showing us how to play the modes on two strings.

Length: 23:33 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Modal Navigation #3Lesson 16

Modal Navigation #3

Brendan wraps up his Modal Navigation mini-series by showing us how to play the modes on three strings.

Length: 37:14 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Harmonic Pentatonic Improvisation #1Lesson 17

Harmonic Pentatonic Improvisation #1

Brendan teaches us how to improve our improvisation using just the major pentatonic scale.

Length: 27:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Harmonic Pentatonic Improvisation #2Lesson 18

Harmonic Pentatonic Improvisation #2

Brendan continues in the Harmonic Pentatonic Improvisation series by showing us some exercises with the minor pentatonic scale.

Length: 11:30 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Harmonic Pentatonic Improvisation #3Lesson 19

Harmonic Pentatonic Improvisation #3

Brendan wraps up his Harmonic Pentatonic Improvisation series by showing us how it all fits together when improvising over diatonic chord progressions.

Length: 16:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Chromatic Approaches for Triads #1Lesson 20

Chromatic Approaches for Triads #1

In this new mini-series, Brendan shows us various chromatic ways to approach triads on an arpeggio level. This first lesson deals with approaching the major and minor triads from one half-step below the...

Length: 20:23 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Chromatic Approaches for Triads #2Lesson 21

Chromatic Approaches for Triads #2

Next up in Brendan's mini-series, Chromatic Approaches for Triads, he shows us approaches from one chromatic note above the chord tones. As Brendan would say: "Super fun, super easy, super awesome!"

Length: 14:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Chromatic Approaches for Triads #3Lesson 22

Chromatic Approaches for Triads #3

Brendan demonstrates the next chromatic approach in the series: one chromatic note below and one from above the chord tone.

Length: 15:37 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Chromatic Approaches for Triads #4Lesson 23

Chromatic Approaches for Triads #4

Brendan concludes the first half of the Chromatic Approaches to Triads series by reviewing the "one above/one below" approach to the chord tones.

Length: 13:57 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Chromatic Approaches for Triads #5Lesson 24

Chromatic Approaches for Triads #5

In the second half of Brendan's series, he looks at double chromatic approaches to the triad chord tones from below.

Length: 17:02 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Chromatic Approaches for Triads #6Lesson 25

Chromatic Approaches for Triads #6

Brendan continues to explore the cool sounds of chromatic approaches. Here, he looks at double chromatic approaches to the triad chord tones from above.

Length: 15:46 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Chromatic Approaches for Triads #7Lesson 26

Chromatic Approaches for Triads #7

Brendan continues in his Chromatic Approaches series by showing us the double approaches from below and above. There are some great sounds here to integrate into your improv!

Length: 19:51 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Chromatic Approaches for Triads #8Lesson 27

Chromatic Approaches for Triads #8

Brendan concludes this mini-series with a look at the last set of chromatic approaches: two half steps from above and two from below

Length: 17:37 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brendan Burns

About Brendan Burns View Full Biography Brendan has been passionate about music since childhood. He began his studies on trumpet, in elementary school, and then moved to guitar as a teenager. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Berklee College of Music, and has studied with Norm Zocher, Joe Stump, Bret Willmott, Bob Pilkington, Jay Weik, Tim Miller, & Charlie Banacos.

While at Berklee, Brendan was a member of the Music Mentoring Program, teaching private lessons to gifted high school students. He is currently teaches, and is chair of the guitar department at Brookline Music School. Brendan also teaches guitar for Tune Foolery & privately at his home in Cambridge, MA.

Along with educating, Brendan plays out often as a Solo Guitarist, performing standards, pop, and classical repertoire. He has recorded and played with the chamber-fusion band Ra Quintent, and as well as Vessela Stoyanova's Eastern Stories Under Western Skies Project. Brendan also performs as a leader, director and sideman for various Boston art-rock projects, and is former member of MIT's Gamelan Galak Tika.

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