Bass in your face!
GMC Admin & Bass Instructor
28 years old
Joined: 30-November 07
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Local Time: Sep 22 2014, 08:13 AM
14.936 posts (6 per day)
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3 Sep 2014
I often used Youtube as a fast way of listening to a certain song but lately the quality has been dropping considerably. Ever since the songs detection mechanisms have been added by Youtube, people have become desperate and used pitch shifting of the music to get around it. This can really be annoying and I think there should be a way to filter out "random users" who upload music they don't own from official channels. Have you also noticed this? Last time I was searching for a song, I had real trouble finding the one which is not pitch shifted. Worst thing is that I bet a lot of listeners don't even know they are listening to a pitched shifted version of the song.
Spotify and Deezer are excellent services for listening to music but it is really interesting how Youtube as a video platform naturally took the first position as being also "audio listening" platform as well.
Do you think the YT platform will become more strict in the future?
...or the beautify of it is in the certain "chaos"?
16 Aug 2014
Hey guys - I have been thinking about something.
When artists compose songs, what can be related as original and what not? What got me thinking is that I met a lot of young musicians in bands, starting out with composing and sometimes it appears as they are "afraid" to do some things musically just because it doesn't feel "original enough". This often leads to pretty underground sounding bands and songs.
I'd assume that ALL musicians are influenced by each others music? We all on purpose or subconsciously play some things that we like and feel. It can be a lick, chord progress, melody. Is it bad? IMO - NO! Does this lead to some similar sounding songs (or maybe even too similar) - probably. To me, those are still unique songs and one is not better than the other even if they look alike, use a similar lick or chord progression.
My thoughts/questions having this in mind are :
* Is it ok to paraphrase stuff you like in other peoples music, when writing your own?
* Does the above make you more or less original?
* What defines an "original" song/music really? Does this even exist?
* Is it good or bad for young bands early in their composing carriers to barricade themselves out of "stuff that has been done" in ultimate quest for something "original"? This is in question especially if the "original" doesn't actually exist.
To me every band and song that is composed (and not really purposely stolen) can be considered as original. Barricading yourself out of stuff that hasn't been done is not a guarantee of being original (after all - how can you know that it hasn't been done?). Utilizing stuff that has been done can still bring out something new, that is the beauty of music and composing.
Sorry, this can be a mind boggling topic - I just wanted to see what you guys (and girls ) think about it?
24 Jul 2014
I'm following this guy and his stuff is so cool and looks so fun:
I was wondering if anyone has any experience making Dioramas as a hobby? Maybe you have any pictures?
What is it like and is it "impossible" as it appears to me when looking at the "how it was made" pictures of the process?
I never made any so I have no ideas how the process goes and which techniques are involved.
Anyone into this hobby?
24 Jul 2014
I have noticed that nowadays, a guitarist/musician needs a lot more skills than before in order to make it. Somehow, some of these skills which are not strictly guitar related have become "must have" and "standard" over time and with the technology advances. I'll try to go through some of them and add my impressions about them and why they are relevant to modern guitarists.
* Home recording skills
OK, this one is probably the most "standard" one and we usually assume a guitarist has these skills, especially if he has been around for some times and is not a complete beginner. The truth is, not so many guitarists have this add-on skill as its assumed. Even if they have been playing for years. I have met so many of them. I must confess that it often surprised me, I somehow thought this one is always on the top of the add-on skills you must have in order to be successful in playing in bands, making music, sessions playing etc - being a musician. Essentially, home recording is not really a guitar related skill except that you'd be playing guitar in the process. Why do we need it?
Here are some benefits of guitarist knowing how to record music/guitar tracks at his home :
- Sharing ideas : it is so convenient to be able to lay down some tracks and share them with your band mates over internet when working on the new songs. It makes the process so much more efficient in comparison to going to the rehearsal just to find out if the part you came up with works well with the song. Also, you get so much more composing freedom, for example you can do layers and immediately hear how they sound together. This is something which is often hard to do on band rehearsals and you only get to hear/try it out when you get to the studio which can be expensive to have your experiments on the spot there.
- Collaboration possibilities : if you can record at home it means that you can take part in projects which are not strictly local, rather you can get involved with musicians from all over the world and make music together. This is very powerful. Such workflow using a traditional studio would probably be impossible as lots of changes/composing is involved in the process of musicians collaborating strictly online. This is a very exciting prospect one should not miss.
- Increasing recording experience : truth is that we all get nervous when recording. Some more than others of course but it is essentially a skill which is trained the same way you practice your alternate picking runs. With time and practice you do get better at it with manifests itself in being more comfortable when recording in the studio, being more creative on the spot and generally used to playing against a click track for example or other specific things you only get to experience when recording.
* Video recording/editing skills
Youtube is no doubt a extremely powerful tool every musician has access to. The problem is - it is video based. You need a video in order to take part. In order to get it, not only you need to know how to shoot it, you also need to know how to edit it and get it uploaded online. It is really annoying in essence, after so much guitar practicing we need to essentially be computer wizards and practice video recording techniques as well? What is the alternative, get professionals to shoot it? It is always an option but it is not very efficient one because : not all professionals have necessary equipment or know how to shoot the guitar videos (they'd be extremely good at shooting weddings though for example ) ; sometimes you need to wait much more than you'd like, for example to schedule the shooting session, for materials to be edited and delivered etc etc. Of course, with the right professionals this job can be done really fast as well so probably the biggest downside is that there is less flexibility in this solution. If you hire a professional, you only get one chance to do it right and that is it. No changes afterwards, unless you are prepared to book multiple sessions for the same project.
This brings us back to the benefits of video recording/editing skills :
- You can expose yourself and your music via Youtube and other video services. Good video and audio will make you stand out of the crowd and if you are creative, unique and have that x-factor, you might just strike it big and get a popular video. Once it becomes popular, it is like playing hundreds of regular bar gigs where 100 people see you - but globally. Thinking more about it - it is so powerful isn't it?
- Collaboration projects : again, in order to collaborate with other musicians online in most cases you'll need to be able to provide a video. If you can do it, it means more opportunities for you (and fun! ).
- Band benefits : being able to shoot video will mean a lot to the band you are playing in. You could shoot promos, short interviews, shows, tour diary or any other videos. It can help the bend reach more people tremendously with those materials. After all, you need a lot of fresh "materials" to keep it interesting.
* Promotion/marketing skills
This one probably completes the circle of add-on skills you need to have in order to stand a chance of being noticed. If we are good in the promotion and marketing department, that can really change the level and help us reach more listeners and ultimately expose our music to more people. I once read about a young band which made a simple agreement : they will consider playing in a band like a job and they'll work X number of hours on it every day. They will have different assignments/tasks and they will try hard every day. For example, one member would work on social networks presence, other will contact offline media like radio/tv etc, the other one would book/promote local concerts etc you get the picture. When I read it I was like : but of course! That is a brilliant idea. How many young bands do such a thing? What is stopping them from doing it?
Here are some benefits of honing those skills :
- You are able to meet new people and expand your network - possibly the most valuable thing for the working musician btw.
- You can market your music and things you do more effectively, ultimately exposing your music as it deserves it.
- Be able to get and play more gigs. In the end, it is all about the gigs and you need to be able to play live as much as possible.
- Get experience (and exposure) from attending radio interviews and TV shows.
- Getting the feedback from the people who listen to your music. As you promote your music, you'll get all sorts of comments on your music which only means one thing : someone has been listening to it! Its so cool to get that feedback, even if it is negative I don't know about you, but my fear has always been that I'll make music which no one would hear in the end for this or that reason.
Now on the other hand, this is as much frightening prospect as it sounds exciting. IF you MUST have all those skills we talked about above, when do you get a chance to do actual music and practicing? I guess those who can do such multitasking have much better chances than others at "making it". I'd agree that the best approach is the one of the past where you get others to do all those distracting things and you focusing on the music, but those times are behind us now? Are they?
What do you think about all this? Have you ever thought in that direction and what where your conclusions?
Some of those "extra skills" can be as hard or harder than playing the guitar itself. Are they worth putting the time in?
Which skills do you think will become "a must" in the coming times?
16 Jul 2014
Comments by Gabriel Leopardi
Your take was noticeably in the style of Iron Maiden and you captured their vibe really well. The intro section was ideal spot for recording another guitar playing Maiden harmonies. If you don’t have experience with this, I recommend you to check my Iron Maiden Masterclass lesson where I explain how to harmonize guitars and give more info about Maiden’s music.
What I notice is that your guitar/playing sounds just slightly out of tune for some reason. Have you checked your tuning? Maybe your tuner wasn't set to frequency of 440hz? If the guitar is perfectly in tune, it might be that you are pressing the strings with too much force to the frets which can sometimes detune the notes slightly. I would like to ask you if you note this issue, because if you don’t you should add some ear training into your diary routines. You should be able to recognize intervals, triads, chords and the best way to train this is transcribing music by ear, you can even start transcribing GMC lessons!
Another thing that I noted in the intro section is that you have some timing issues starting at 00:11. It seems that the reason is that you are not 100% comfortable with the idea yet, so it needed more practice. It’s a pity because the melody was pure Maiden. Remember to practice the ideas before you record them some more time and focus on details as expression (vibrato, dynamics) and groove/timing. Talking about expression, the long notes on this melody are asking for vibrato! Remember to use this technique that makes this type of phrases sounds cooler!
Solo section : very good idea to start with shredding and bending one note, that really puts in the Iron Maiden flavor. The landing note after the long solo intro note sounds slightly weak against the backing track (0:48-0:50). That lick could utilize a stronger note(s) and when I say stronger, I think mostly about notes that form the chords in the backing played in that section. Those notes always sound "at home". Once again, your ear should be trained enough to make you notice that there are better notes to stay there. The use and practice of triads and arpeggios can help on this topic so I recommend you to give a look at this section from our Theory Board: link
Overall the playing energy and performance of your solo was really good and what I like to name to as "convincing". This is something which can be hard to achieve, especially when the REC light is shining on the camera. Please check the tuning issues with the guitar, that can be very damaging to your playing as for example you might train your ear not to bend to the correct pitch or get used to playing slightly out of tune.
On a very first impression, you had the best guitar tone in this collab. Really organic and suitable for Iron Maiden. The intro section is strong and sounds authentic. The main solo was very good and balanced. I would suggest focusing on the notes which you used to slow down the pace (long bends etc) + the starting, long notes of licks (for example 0:15). The bends felt slightly problematic when it comes to pitch and those sections might need a bit stronger licks to support the solo as a whole. The main problem is that this is a tricky part to solo since we have a diatonic power chords movement that seems to be more like a riff, so in this case, you have to be careful with the notes selection and even more if you decide to use a few long notes. My approach to tricky rock/metal backings is to trust on my ear instead of thinking too much about scales, arpeggios and all that stuff, but I obviously need some trial and error when progressions become difficult like this one. I can hear that the licks starting at 00:26 sound like if you were playing out of scale, and everything becomes better when you decide to follow the power chords. A melody more connected to the chords rhythm and notes would be a safe option.
Try experimenting with those "landing" notes to see which one sounds the best to you and feels that it doesn't have too much tension in it. I think those landing notes are what currently holds you back from strong solo phrasing. Besides this, I think that there are just some timing details in the first half .
You have played over a trickier part of backing and pulled it off - great job there! Kudos again for the tone, really organic!
Your solo is the most Maiden style in this collab. You used many licks and melodies that remind me of them and you organized them wisely during the whole solo. I think that your solo has a good structure and a balanced combination of shred and melody. The main thing that I think you have to pay attention on your next solos is intonation and pitch of your guitar and/or playing. There are some artificial harmonics, bends and sections that have this problem and the reason can be your guitar or your playing. You must check your guitar tuning if everything regarding strings and calibration is ok, you have to polish your playing and the way you press the strings to be sure that you aren't generating this issue that affects the overall quality of your take. Check from 00:47 to 00:50 and you will hear a bend and a harmonic that have this pitch problem.
You also should pay some more attention to your timing and work on your vibrato since I think that your playing deserves a wider and more consistent vibrato. For this, I extremely recommend you to work on Ben Higgins Vibrato series.
Your tone is very good and I really appreciate the time you dedicated to create the amazing video that you edited for this collab. To summarize, your composing skills are very promising but you must be careful with the intonation of your guitar and playing. Keep on rocking.
Comments by Cosmin Lupu
This was a very interesting take! Sounds like Iron Maiden on steroids and its very unique. The sweeping intro is really technical and you pulled it off! It could be played just slightly cleaner but you managed to get it in shape very nicely. The lick that stood out as slightly weaker in the solo, was the one at 0:26-0:30 due to the groove it has which stops the flow a bit yet still feels busy.
If you wanted to create a nice contrast with the blazing fast licks that go before and after that one, you could experiment with adding few melodic, long notes with added expression tools like vibrato or bending. The part at 0:40 - was very unexpected and neoclassical sounding and it acts as a cool build up for the solo that goes after it. The ending solo was very Maiden like, but maybe you could try holding more sustain on the bended double stop notes and minimizing pauses when switching positions. If you want to develop your phrasing a little bit more in the Maiden direction, I think this lesson would be suitable for your level: Janick Gers Style and it has a lot of fast stuff as well as longer notes, precisely the kind of combo in the discussion You could also brighten up your tone a bit, as it's too muddy, if you ask me. I am more of a definition dude and this is why I usually like recording with the bridge pickup, as it makes my sound more defined usually, but that's just me
Overall - this was a furious and very creative collab take with lots of stuff going on. I really liked how you added your unique style and phrasing to it while at the same time keeping the Maiden vibe by using their signature techniques/licks here and there. Great job!
Interesting take, mate! The intro section was the perfect spot for classic Maiden harmonies! Technique wise, it could have been played a bit tighter and cleaner (there are some missed notes and unwanted noises here and there). The part from 0:19-0:44 sounded a bit weaker in comparison to the intro and the main solo and this is most likely due to backing tracking being a bit tricky in that section and that type of backing track which can suck you into it and make you play or try to reinforce the melody which the backing track rhythm guitars are playing. You should take a bit of time to analyze the chords being played there and the possibilities that could arise from the sheer trickiness of the track - you never know what sort of creative idea could spring out
What makes it tricky is that the melody which rhythm guitars play is not very suitable or strong as the lead guitar melody and needs a different lead approach for squeezing the best effect on the listener. The main solo was very nicely done and I really liked the tapping ending - technically, please focus on the bending pitch and cleaning up the unwanted noises using the muting technique on the strings that are not being played. Your tone is clean and I can hear the defined notes, so nothing much I'd add there. Maybe you'd wanna take one of Ben's lessons dealing with bending and vibrato for a ride: Ben's Vibrato Odyssey - it's a great series that will hone a lot of your articulation skills! Overall, authentic Maiden vibe - great to have you in this collab, Neil!
Great to see you participating in this collab, Ulrik! The intro solo had a very good idea, but technically, there are timing issues which break the flow a bit. Please try focusing on the hammer-on/pull-off combinations, as these seem to throw you off a bit, or maybe even cut a few notes here and there to help go through the passages with a stronger flow. The main (ending) solo was very similar to the intro one and I noticed that you are playing in the same position on the neck. This limits the potential of the solo a bit and makes it slightly flat, so maybe try contrasting sections starting on lower parts of the fretboard and building up towards a climax. You could do it by finding out how to connect two or 3 scale boxes smoothly. Maybe working on some legato will definitely strengthen your left hand for the future collabs and I think that the best drills are definitely Ben's: Ben's Land Of Legato - this one may look easy at the beginning, but it's not It'll work your fingers very hard! As for the tone - it's definitely very 80s style, although I'd take the highs a bit down a notch, if you ask me, but overall - really nice solo and it had a sort of 80s vibe due to effects and phrasing.
Gentlemen! Thank you for making this collab happen! We are looking forward to having you on the next one as well, but in the mean time, take a little time to implement our thoughts above in your playing and I'm sure you'll take one step forward on your wonderful journey.
Original collab thread : link
19 Sep 2014 - 1:12
16 Sep 2014 - 14:09
16 Sep 2014 - 0:22
13 Sep 2014 - 1:06
13 Sep 2014 - 0:11
Happy B' Bogdan wish the best for this day \m/
7 Jan 2011 - 1:47
hehe no problem :) then i hope you will have a nice party and much gifts.
8 Jan 2010 - 1:22
Happy Birthday Bogdan.
7 Jan 2010 - 23:30
Cool Bogdan! Looking forward to see/hear what you come up with, if you do :)
1 Aug 2009 - 13:27
Hi Bogdan, thanks for the add! :) Any chance of some Heavy or Thrash Metal bass lessons? ;) Even if that's not your style really, am I right? :)
31 Jul 2009 - 20:31
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