Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ditones how to: what are ditones and how to use them part II (Guitar practice)

Here's the second installment of the  "Ditones how to: what are ditones and how to use them" that explains ditones, the guitar technique method created by Donato Begotti. In the first part we've seen what are ditones, now it's time to see how to use them. It's time to shred with ditone!

2. How to Use Ditones?
Now that we've learnt the basic philosophy of ditones, we can see how to use them. The idea i to use the previous 24 single string exercises, expanding them into more complicated mechanics. Here are a few examples:

1) what about playing ditones on a string and its attached one - 1234 on B string and 1234 on E string - then go up a position and go for the inverted ditones; 4321 on E, 4321 on B? Then repeat for the other 23 combos and on different sets of two strings...
2) what about playing on sets of 3, 4, 5, 6 (or 7 and 8, if you have them) strings?
3) what about ascending in groups of strings?
4) what about using string skipping when playing ditones?
5) what about having legato ditones?
6) what about changing rhythm figures, e.g.: How many 1234 4321 repetions you need to fit triplets or sextuplets patterns?

That is the way to unleash the power of ditones. A few combinations - 24 - cover all the finger independence mechanics. Once you master them, you can create different exercises covering all the other guitar mechanics that goes beyond the finger indepence: changing strings, picking different rhythmic divisions, odd meters, legato, string skipping.

For you own convenience, here's again the ditones chart for you to apply some variations on:

ditones chart

[image credits: Donato Begotti]

As already said in part I, there's little music involved into the combinations but that's better because it makes you focus on your sound and technique.

If you want to know more about ditones, consider the ditones book by Begotti and Fazari which has backing tracks, progressive goals and bonus levels. Remember that ditones can be further extended.

If interested in more development please subscribe and share: join the ditones journey!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ditones how to: what are ditones and how to use them part I (Guitar practice)

Ditones is the name of the guitar technique method created by Donato Begotti.
You can find them online on Donato's website (here is the presentation the videos and pdf). Later on, given the success of the method, it become a book (this one, and that's how I entered ditones).

The idea is simple: if you want to achieve coordination and finger independece, you are going to try out all the possible finger combinations. Given 4 fingers on the fretboard and the fact that you are not going to use any finger more than once (at least for now) - i.e. no 1124 - doing all the 1234 combinations gives you 24 combinations (6 different patterns for each finger you use to start).

1. How Ditones Work?
This is how ditones work:

1) you pick one of the combinations, say 1234 or 2143:
2) you play it from left to right (1234 or 2143);
3) you shift the position of your fretting hand moving down one fret;
4) you play the ditones, this time from right to left (4321 or 3412). This one is called the inverted-ditones.

This sounds pretty easy and strightforward for 1234, but what about inverting (and playing) a 3142 into 2413?
That's a lot of extra value in working through the 24 combinations (and you also find out that there are 24 combos for 3 fingers and 12 for 2 fingers).

This easy mechanics gives you a nice way to move your fingers and coordinate your hands. You already have 24 exercises that combine 24 + 24 mechanics (the straightforward ditones and its inverted-one).
All the 48 mechanics are connected: when you play the exotic 3421 you'll be reliefed to find the most usual 1243 as its inverted-ditones.
So the mechanics are all connected and you can use the easy and known combinations (basically the one involving the first finger) to learn the unknow ones.

Summing up:

tabella ditones

[image credits: Donato Begotti]

Note that there's little music involved into the combinations. That might be a problem, but it also gives you less "nice melody" distracting you build you own sound and technicque (if you have a nice sound even a 1234 exercise sounds as your music).
You set progressive goals, find a way to track your efforts and see that the more you invest in your playing the more you get. And that's simply amazing!!!

The ditones book has progressive lessons and ad-hoc drum-based backing tracks for each exercise. Goals are progressive and completing the book becomes a challenge. That's really the gamification of guitar technique (you have bonus super sayan levels at the end of lesson 1, 2 and 3 ;))!
The book also covers 2 and 3 fingers combination as well as rolling and some sweep picking. It further provides you with the ditones mind set that allows you to see your path into discovering the guitar and music.

The book and its approach can be extended and further explored.
Subscribe to this blog, share it and join the ditones journey!

[update: Part two (how to use ditones) is on this page]

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Ditones how to: what are ditones and how to use them part II
From Shred Guitar Mechanics to Music Theory and Music

Saturday, July 26, 2014

From shred guitar mechanics to music theory and music

As guitarists, we all came across 1234 exercises, guitar gyms, picking workouts, speed methods, chops development and so on. You may find them boring, you may find them useful but as a shredder you'll have to spend some time on them.

That book had me started practicing on a daily base with goals in mind, having and idea of where I was going. Something that I have never experienced before.
I also started to use it to approach music and see a lot of guitar stuff ditones-like or ditones-oriented.

Here I’d like to discuss how ditones can be further extended, what are the best ways to practice them and approach the guitar without getting stuck into the playing-exercise guy and explore ways in which we can fill that technique to music gap.

Too often in shred guitar you can play a scale at 200 bpm but still not nail down a tune from Led Zeppelin IV and, when asked to strum some chords and sing along something from a nice Tegan & Sara album you make an ugly face.
[That’s me, except that I also fail the 200bpm scale]

So here we go: how can we get the most out of ditones?
How do we go from ditones to music?

Subscribe and stay tuned!
These are the issues we're gonna cover...

shredding ditones guy