Playing With the Anchor



Once you know the shape and the anchor, you can use them together to come up with some great-sounding ideas as you play.

To start, you can make up a beat with the anchor note, like this.


Then alternate the anchor with random notes of the shape, like this.


Now do the same thing, but play two random notes before you come back to the anchor.


Now let’s change it up a little. Start on the anchor note and skip every other note of the shape, like this.


Or, play the anchor note with one hand and play any other note of the shape with your other hand at the same time.

[play, then switch hands]

Then keep playing the anchor note with one hand, but try any two notes with your other hand, like this.

[play, then switch hands]

You can also try combining and expanding these ideas. For example, play two or more notes that skip every other note of the shape.


Play around with these ideas, and experiment to see what you come up with on your own.

The point is to think of an idea in advance, using the shape and anchor, and then try it out and adjust it as you play. So you’re still following your ear, only with a little more structure to work with.

So give it a try. Pay attention to the relationship between the idea you start with, and what you actually end up playing, especially when you try the same idea with a few different songs. And once you’ve started to get the hang of using the shape and anchor together to add some structure to your playing, then come on back for more.


Level 6 Playlist