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Seven uses for dice in your guitar practice – for intermediate and advanced players

by René Kerkdyk



Advanced players are sometimes perplexed what you can get done with simple tools. Take a die for example. Many of you would probably dismiss this as not connected to the guitar at all. But I tell you you can get much better using this simple tool. Indeed there are several ways in which dice can help you in your guitar practice. Here are seven ideas for you to train with:

Technique 1.

There are seven pitches in a lot of scales. You can let the die decide which pitches to play in a melody. Simply roll the die and add one to the number shown (or do not for different results). Write that number down. This is the first note you will play. Repeat that process until you have a number of notes you like (e.g. 5 or 12 notes). Play the melody in a straight rhythm or try a more complicated rhythm.

Example: Numbers rolled: 1 4 5 3 4 and I am using the G major scale: (G) A B C D E F#
I would then play A D E C D.

You will get more creative in your improvisation.

Technique 2.

You could use the results to create chord progressions. Simply use the numbers rolled as the chords in that scale. Do not use the diminished chord for those purposes.

Example: Numbers rolled: 1 4 5 3 4 and I am using the G major scale: G Am Bm C D Em (F#°)
My chord progression is G C D Bm C.

This trains your understanding of the chords in a scale and gets you more familiar with writing chord progressions.

Technique 3.

Make a list of things you practice and decide the order with a die.

This keeps your practicing fresh and more interesting.

Technique 4.

Try a new odd meter. Throw a die add two and use that as an eight rhythm.

Example: I roll a 4. I will play in 6/8.

You will get comfortable in different odd meters.

Technique 5.

Try to play with different accents. Use a steady 8/8 meter. Roll the die twice. The first number shows how many accents there should be and the second results shows you on which eighth noteone of the accents should lie.

Example: I roll a 2 and a 2. That means I should play two accented notes and one of those accents should lie on the second eighth note. If + denotes accented notes and – denotes unaccented notes one possibility looks like this: | - + - - - + - - |.

This will improve your ability to get creative with accents and your ability to play accented notes.

Technique 6.

Use on of the former techniques six times and note them down with the numbers 1 - 6, roll the die a few times and note down the sequence of results. Play through your exercises in the order of the random sequence you rolled.

Benefit: This will improve the exercise you chose in a way that does not get boring.

Technique 7.

Decide which of the above methods to use with a die.

About The Author: This article was written by René Kerkdyk, leading guitar instructor of Rock Gitarre Hildesheim. If you have any questions regarding guitar playing or are interested in guitar lessons, do not hesitate to drop by at Rock Gitarre Hildesheim.