Aileé's Riffs

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Aileé Guerra Aréizaga Aileé Guerra Aréizaga 3 months ago.

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    I joined the school on December 3, 2018. In lieu of a Riff page,(can’t upload any videos to my profile) I am creating this post to keep a chronological record of my progress videos. I have previously posted the first 9 on various relevant forum topics, I just want to keep them all together in one place for my personal records and to review them periodically as I’ve found this very helpful to improve. 🙂


    SGS Progress Week 1 ( Dec 10, 2018)

    The Synyster Gates School. 1st week of progress.

    This week I watched lessons 1-10 and practiced the concepts therein.
    The most useful lessons for myself personally were:

    Lesson 4
    – How to hold the pick. Something so simple made a huge difference in my playing.
    Lesson 6
    – The Guitar Fretboard Layout. I was fairly familiar with the notes on the fretboard, but this lesson lit a fire under my ass to learn them all. I’ve been practicing this every day by making it part of my warm up.
    Lesson 7
    – The major scale. Again, I already knew this concept, but this was a GREAT opportunity to do an in depth review of the major scale in every key with different fingerings.
    Lesson 10
    – Another concept I knew and use often, but I loved how simplifying the pentatonic scale to 6 notes pushes you to be more creative with limited choices using rhythm, intention, dynamics etc.

    I decided to showcase this week’s progress with a little improv session using the concept presented in lesson 10. I used a looper pedal.

    Any and all observations and feedback are welcome! Especially on my technique. 😉


    SGS Progress Week 2 (Dec 17, 2018)

    The Sinister Gates School. 2nd Week of Progress.
    Before moving on to the rest of the lessons I wanted to really spend time on the major scale and get it into my system.

    Lesson 6 has become an important part of daily my warm up, do not underestimate it! I really can’t stress enough how much it has helped me to get to know the neck.

    Last week I got feedback on my vibrato and bends, still a long way to go but I am practicing them. The goal is to put your heart & soul into every note you play, and those phrasing components express a great deal of a player’s personality.

    To showcase this week’s progress I did an improv in C Major, focusing on creating cohesive melodic phrases or motifs.


    SGS Progress 1 Month (Jan 4, 2019)

    Sinister Gates School, first month of progress.

    I’ve been working on Major scales for the last 3 weeks, using the 6 shapes all over the fretboard. (CA[A+G]GED) Practicing with the following exercises helped me get a better handle on the Major scale.

    -Warm up with lesson 6!
    -Play the chord shape and its corresponding scale shape. Do this on every (CAGED) shape to cover the entire fretboard.
    -Play the scale horizontally, one string at a time.
    -Target the root, third, and fifth. Alternatively, pay close attention to the scale degree you are playing and how it wants to resolve to the 1st,3rd,or 5th.
    -Practice the 2 shapes (CAGED) found on the same position, for example, E shape and A shape. That will allow you to alternate between two different keys on the same position.
    -Target the roots of both keys, then target the thirds, then the fifths.

    This week I am showcasing my progress with an improv where I alternate between the C Major & F Major scales, changing scale every two bars. I am targeting the root, third or fifth of each scale to end my phrases at the beginning of the chord change.

    Next week, I will continue with the lessons.


    Homework Lesson 10 (Feb 15, 2019)


    SGS Progress 2 Months (Feb 16, 2019)

    Sinister Gates School, second month of progress.

    I watched lessons 11-19, and for the last few weeks I’ve been focusing on my rhythm hand. Rhythm and timing have been a bit of a challenge for me in the past, but I definitely have noticed considerable improvement over the course of the last couple years.

    To showcase my work, I decided to share some of the rhythm exercises I practice with.
    -Changing note values continuously aka. “Rhythmic modulation” (this can also be practiced while playing scales.)
    -Skiping a beat of the rhythm.
    -Accenting different beats of a given rhythm (this one still proves to be the most difficult.)


    Homework Lesson 11 (Feb 20, 2019)


    Homework 12 & 13 (Mar 7, 2019)


    @rowan H12&13 (Mar 8, 2019)


    Homework Lesson 14 (Mar 31, 2019)

    Jak Angelescu
    Jak Angelescu

    WOW!!! Ailee this was A GREAT idea! I’m going to subscribe so I can follow it!! I can’t wait to watch these!


    Thank you Jak! 🙂


    SGS Progress 5 Months (May 13, 2019)

    Sinister Gates School, fifth month of progress.
    For the last few months, my goal has been to strengthen my basics to where my rhythm playing is very solid, I can do chord embellishments and go back and forth between playing rhythm and lead.
    I’ve been working on the major scale as well as the minor pentatonic with the aim of becoming proficient and confident while using them to improvise. I’d also like to pick singing and playing back up again and review songs I used to know.

    I quickly realized that my picking hand needed A LOT of work and although I wasn’t planning on jumping on to the INTERMEDIATE section until I finished the BEGINNERS’, I had to address my picking, it was all over the place and it was becoming an obstacle. So I started with the alternate picking lessons very slowly.

    To showcase my work this is the first exercise from lesson 40, it’s certainly improved over the last few weeks. Starting with an upstroke still needs work. Please give me some feedback on my picking hand and my synchronization!

    Calvin Phillips
    Calvin Phillips

    Starting with an upstroke is one I struggle with too. Especially going back down the next after going up. Once you get going it gets easier but the starting point is tricky.


    Thanks Calvin, yes, for now I’ll keep practicing those exercises slowly and build speed little by little. 🙂

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