QUOTE (Praetorian @ May 3 2009, 03:41 AM)
Here is an mp3 of my Group Assignment. It is a little basic, but I have to be honest with you...this assignment was a little intimidating for me! I have never in my life tried to come up with music on my own! I think it sounds pretty cool, although like I said...a little basic! Sorry for the mp3...my camera is acting up and I couldn't get a video.
Thanks for the upload Ben, glad you did it
First of all, it's really great that you started now to come up with some music on your own. It will surely be a major step forward in your own development as a guitarist! And the good thing is: you did certainly a good job with it on for this blues backing
You nicely played only the allowed notes for each of the chords throughout the complete backing which is great!
It was sometimes a bit tricky to hear, but I tried to figure out which shapes you used throughout your take and I noticed a couple of occassions where you did not switch from chord shape as far as I could hear.
Let's see which ones those are:
In the first 12 bars of the backing you started with the Em chord (E-shape combined with C-shape), followed by the Am chord (A-shape) and back to Em chord (C-shape). Then you ended this first section with the Bm chord (E-shape) to Am chord (C-shape) and Em chord (C-shape). And only this last transistion from Am to Em should have gone from C-shape to either the E-shape or A-shape for this assignment
In the second 12 bars of the backing you continued with the Em (C-shape) to the Am (A-shape), back to the Em (E-shape combined with C-shape). You ended this section by Bm chord (C-shape) followed by Am (C-shape) and finally Em Chord (C-shape?). Again, although quite logical from a musical point of view, you did not switch the chord shapes
The final 12 bars started with Em chord (C-shape) followed by the Am chord (A-shape) to Em (C-shape). Then you continued with the same chords as in the previous 12 bars.
What I particularly liked about your take was the variation in timing you chose throughout the backing (e.g. you had some longer notes during the Bm - Am passages), which made the take much more bluesier
In addition, you started of with quite a bit of strums in the first part, followed by more arpeggiated runs in the middle and ending again with strums, which also gives variation to the listener (that's a good thing
A couple of things what I noticed which can be improved are:
1) Because you probably had quite a difficult time to obey the rules of the assignment, you did not apply a lot of vibrato to any of the notes as far as I could notice. What you could have done e.g. is to play at certain moments only half notes and give them quite a bit of vibrato. This brings more feeling to the solo and increase the time-feel.
2) Try to work a bit more on applying the actual switches correctly (those I pointed out above). I also noticed that you stayed completely in the lower region of the fretboard. Try to go over the 12th fret as well sometimes, which will make your solo also more dynamic
I would suggest that you keep practicing the shape shifts e.g. using this backing (you can use any standard blues backing for this exercise), as it really helps if you can on the spot shift positions all over the fretboard. These standard triad shapes can easily be expanded later on to 7th chords or even further, which enables you to improvise much better in the future without any preparations.
Another thing that I would recommend is to start participating in collabs organised by the Instructors. They are incredibly helpful to improve your playing as well!