Pivoting On Your Guitar
This blog isn't about the annoying tactic politicians use to avoid answering tough questions but is about an exciting musical technique I'll explain how to use!
I teach this technique to all my students. It has a classical-ish sound I think you'll like. In addition to sounding great, learning this technique will also greatly help your picking and left hand dexterity along with helping you become very familiar with scales and tonalities.
The formula for pivoting within a scale is very simple: begin on the root of any scale and instead of playing the scale in order ascending (ex: C - D – E – F – G – A – B ) after each subsequent note, return to the root note = C – D – C – E – C – F – C – G – C – A – C – B.
This technique works with every scale. Once you've gotten comfortably with the concept you can then apply the same idea but descending from the root = C – B – C - A – C – G – C – F – C – E – C – D
Finally, another application for pivoting is to use the 3rd or 5th as the pivot note that you return to. For example, if you're pivoting in a C major scale, play: E – D – E – C – B – E – A – E – G – E – F (descending pivot off of the third of the scale)
Pivoting is a great technique to add to your improvisational repertoire and for writing guitar or bass parts/lines – I particularly like to mix pivoting with arpeggios, the amount of variety and interest that can create is endless.