I ran across this new (to me) progression. Briefly analyzing the notes, I could see it was written in A. Since I'm currently working in E, I transposed accordingly. Here's the progression:

vi b Δ
V7
I m7
I m7
vi b Δ
V7
I m7
VII░
VII░
iii b 7

Sometimes as I play this I change a few things. Sometimes I substitute a B+ for the B7. The augmented chord works really nice in this key because all you need to do is add two fingers to the previous chord.

Sometimes I prefer a closed chord for the Em7. I really don't like all the freebies that the uke offers such as the Am7, C, etc.

The progression has two D#░; however I prefer to play D#░, D░, C7. I am also obviously substituting a C7 for a C m7 in order to get that descending chromatic sound for a turnaround.

I didn't really experiment with making the D#░ a D#° because the dims have an easier fingering.


Aside from that I just practiced playing the whole fretboard. I would start on the 4th fret with E major and end on the 18th fret with the D# Lokrian. Then I go down to the E on the 19th fret (which gives a resolution of sorts to the modal run I have just accomplished) and improvise the tonic pentatonic shape, working my way back down the neck--until I am at the 2nd fret playing the dominant shape.

Yeah...I know I'm letting myself down by avoiding my goals of fingerpicking. Some days I just don't have the gumption for it. I really dislike playing songs and that's what the fingerstyle workbook does. I know, by inferring from the opinions of others, that I am in an extreme minority in this regard. Almost everybody wants to play songs. I, however, want to make songs. For example, with the progression I've been discussing today, I would like to be able to play it with some thumb droning. But I have to play song after song in my workbook until I pick up what the essence of fingerpicking is. Then I can apply it to my improv. It would have been nice if I could have found a resource that just instilled principles without songs. Alas! such are my woes.

My eventual goal is to apply the fingerpicking principles I deduce to my cigar box guitar which I have tuned to open D7 (D Gb A C). I have already made a fretboard chart for this new tuning and I have highliighted all the positions that use a note from the D minor pentatonic. There are a bunch of new shapes to play with...and by shapes I don't mean pentatonic shapes, but rather shapes of notes on the fretboard that contain appropriate notes. I see diamond patterns or a quincunx, or something that looks like a dom7 movable chord.