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Velvet Roger
Please upload your assignments in this thread.
Praetorian
Hey Roger,

Well...after a break, I am back in the saddle! My mother is back home now and doing well. Everything has gone back to "normal" for now...we just have to wait and she how everything goes. I started playing regularly again and FINALLY got my video done for this lesson! I caught myself economy picking sometimes...without realizing it!

Thanks bro!

Velvet Roger
Hi Ben,

Great to see you uploading your take. I hope you everything is sorted for now again at least smile.gif

Regarding your take, there are a couple of things that need additional attention:

1) As you mentioned yourself already: try to really use only alternate picking with these scale runs. You really have to force yourself to do that, if neccesary try to do this at a slower backing speed (if you don't have a slower speed, let me know and I will slow it down for you).

2) Watch your fingerings. Especially when playing those stretched 3 notes (e.g. 8 - 10 - 12 on 6th string). When you went up, you played the 10th fret with your ring finger, whilst going down you played the 10th fret with your middle finger. Try to keep that the same, either both ring or both middle finger (whatever feels more comfortable to you).

Your timing was pretty good throughout the take, besides e.g. the glitch in the beginning (0:08).

As this lesson is actually meant to also play the alternating thirds patterns (see the video of Muris), your patterns of the C minor chord (2nd half of your take) are played over the C major backing, making it sound a bit strange as you may have noticed. If you like you could try to e.g. play only the 1st pattern, but then including the alternating thirds part which Muris also plays. Feel free to post a take on that 1st part if you want!

As part of your standard practice routine I would like to advise you to play these 4 patterns you learned each day using 3 notes per string for all 4 patterns against a metronome using only alternate picking. Currently you learned e.g. the 1st pattern to stop at the 12th fret on the top string, however you can (please do!) also play the 13th fret in addition to keep it 3 notes per string) and then go down.

Soon we will have another chat in which I will explain some extra theory bits and pieces for you to understand better what the 4 patterns actually are.

It would be great if you could take a look at the group assignment I just put up. You have already played some of the triad shapes in the past in the MTP, so the basics should be more or less clear I think. It would be great if you could focus on that assignment for now (I won't give you a new individual assignment just yet as you would like to have 1 assignment at a time - but if you can, try to record a take of playing the first pattern of alternating thirds lesson including the thirds part played by Muris).
Praetorian
Roger,

Here is the take of the first pattern, and the alternate scale!



HAPPY EASTER!!!!!
Velvet Roger
Hey Ben,

Thanks for uploading!

Very quick comment (as I have to run to my family now for Easter dry.gif ): You nailed the pattern in general, so that's great. I noticed that you had here and there some unwanted noises and such, try to work on that to make things a bit cleaner (just continue practicing it, and it will get better! smile.gif).

By the way, as you have learned the thirds pattern now, you will see that it is relatively easy to apply the same to the other 3 parts of the lesson.

I would suggest whilst continuing this pattern (and try to speed it up a bit later on), that you also start working on the group assignment?

Cheers!
Roger
Praetorian
Roger,

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.
Velvet Roger
QUOTE (Praetorian @ May 3 2009, 03:41 AM) *
Roger,

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 smile.gif

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 smile.gif

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 smile.gif .

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 wink.gif .

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 smile.gif .

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 wink.gif ).

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 smile.gif

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!

Cheers
Roger
Praetorian
Roger,

Here is my work in progress of Muris' Rocking Tune - Beginner. It is an mp3 file as I am still having some issues with my camera. It is at 100 bpm, as the 130 bpm of the actual lesson gets REAL messy! (Yes, even messier than this!)
Velvet Roger
QUOTE (Praetorian @ May 11 2009, 02:46 AM) *
Roger,

Here is my work in progress of Muris' Rocking Tune - Beginner. It is an mp3 file as I am still having some issues with my camera. It is at 100 bpm, as the 130 bpm of the actual lesson gets REAL messy! (Yes, even messier than this!)


Thanks Ben for the upload. Do you happen to also have a version of this with the backing as well (if not I figure it out smile.gif)?

Cheers
Roger
Velvet Roger
I've managed to link the backing to your recording and based on that here are a few comments:

You managed nicely to stay in time from the 1st bar to halfway the 10th bar I would say. Good job there! smile.gif However after you played the Bb 8th note (18th fret) in the 10th bar you let it ring until the next bar instead of immediately continuing with the quarter triplets pattern (Bb - A - G - E). It may be a bit tricky to switch from eight notes to quarter triplets on the fly, but you can practice this slowly using a metronome e.g.

I have a quick sample recorded at 100 bpm of these quarter triplets patterns to help you out a bit, which is attached to this post smile.gif

I also noticed that after bar 10 you had in general more difficulty in staying in time (you tended to start a little after the 1st beat each time, and sometimes the eight note patterns were less smoothly. Try to get this right, practicing it really slowly and gradually building up speed as good rhythmic placement is crucial to let it sound nicely.

Now, the next thing to really focus on is your bending and the actual vibrato. As you noticed in the lesson, there are quite a few bends and even more very pronounced vibrato's available which really make it sound much better compared to no vibrato (it really adds feeling).

Besides the fact that some of the bends were out of pitch, you also have to work a bit more on making those bends a bit stronger, they sound somewhat insecure smile.gif . A way to do this is to actually pick the note a bit harder, which helps you to strongly bend notes (try it out and you will notice).

In order to practice to bend to exactly the right pitch, you should play the note you are going to bend to, followed by the bended note and those need to exactly match each other. Do this frequently all over the fretboard and you will notice an improvement quite quickly.

Regarding the vibrato, try to practice this with all fingers with a movement originating from the whrist. The most important thing here is: don't overdo it it terms of an extreme high frequency of small bends up and down, but it's much better to do really slow vibrato at first in order to make it stable, consistent and not too shaky. First practice vibrato e.g. in half notes frequency, then quarter note frequency and so up. Really listen to your vibrato when you are practicing, you will certainly hear the difference between stable and shaky vibrato (e.g. the vibrato I put on the last note in the attached sample is quite stable). You could also take a look at this excellent lesson by Marcus Lavendell: http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/solo-guit...ibrato-lesson1/

Regarding the matching bends, I would suggest that you first get those right without adding the vibrato on top of it. To add vibrato on bended notes is much more difficult, as you have to continuously return to the bended note position, which is not so much fixed as with just returning to a regular note.

I would suggest that you focus your practice on the above mentioned things and try to record a new take of this lesson until bar 16 (end of the matching bends). Let's leave the 2nd part of the lesson for now, as it is very important to first get rhythmic placement, bends and vibrato improved before moving to the 2nd part (you will notice that once you have the hang of the first part, the 2nd part will not be so difficult smile.gif ).

Good luck Ben and keep on going, we are not getting into a bit more difficult stuff to master, but once it's done it is really rewarding. biggrin.gif
Praetorian
Thanks Roger! I have looked at that lesson on vibrato before, but saw it was a difficulty 5 and passed it by thinking it was above my head. I have a lot of trouble with bending notes. I never know when it is too much or not enough. I know sometimes it sounds good...and sometimes it sounds like crap - but I don't understand why. How do you know how far to bend? You said to try and match notes...what am I matching?

Ben
Velvet Roger
QUOTE (Praetorian @ May 12 2009, 01:57 AM) *
Thanks Roger! I have looked at that lesson on vibrato before, but saw it was a difficulty 5 and passed it by thinking it was above my head. I have a lot of trouble with bending notes. I never know when it is too much or not enough. I know sometimes it sounds good...and sometimes it sounds like crap - but I don't understand why. How do you know how far to bend? You said to try and match notes...what am I matching?

Ben


Ok, lets give an example. If you see on a tab that you have to do a full step bend (also called 1) on the 13th fret on the B string (2nd string), you have to bend the string as far as it actually sounds like you are playing the 15th fret on the B string without bending.

In case you have to do a 1/2 step bend (also called 1/2) on the 13th fret on the B string, you have to bend the string as far as it actually sounds like you are playing the 14th fret on the B string without bending.

In order to practice this, you can choose any place on the fretboard, decide which bend you would like to practice (either a full step or a half step) and then play first the note to reach with the bend (so either the 15th fret or 14th according to the above examples), followed by the bended note (from the 13th fret). They should sound exactly the same as you are going to match the sounds smile.gif

With regard to the double stops with a bend on the g-string and a normal note played on the b-string: there you are doing a full step bend on the g-string (e.g. 10th fret), together with a normal note played on the b-string (e.g. 8th fret). Due to the bend on the g-string the sound will in fact be the 12th fret note (G), which is exactly the same as the normal note played on the b-string (8th fret = G). In other words, this is why these type of double stops with bends in it are called matching bends.

Hopefully this helps, let me know if you still have questions as this is crucial to understand and to get the bending right! smile.gif
Praetorian
But how do you know which fret the note you are matching is? I mean, if it says a full step (1), how do I know which fret that correlates to?
Velvet Roger
QUOTE (Praetorian @ May 12 2009, 01:39 PM) *
But how do you know which fret the note you are matching is? I mean, if it says a full step (1), how do I know which fret that correlates to?


A full step bend means that you are bending a note one whole tone (= 2 frets) up. E.g. from C to D, and on the frets e.g. from fret 13 on the B-string bending up to the same pitch as if you would play fret 15 on the B-string.

A 1/2 step bend means that you are bending a note a half tone (=1 fret) up. E.g. from C to C#, and on the frets e.g. from fret 13 on the B-string bending up to the same pitch as if you would play fret 14 on the B-string.

So 1/2 step = 1 fret
1 step = 2 frets
1 1/2 step = 3 frets
2 step = 4 frets

Hope this helps, otherwise just let me know smile.gif
Praetorian
Ok...that makes sense! Does that rule always apply? I remember that the 2-2-1-2-2-2-1 formula...does that rule change things?
Praetorian
Roger - here is a take at 100 bpm. Still kind of sloppy, but I am working on it. Bars 13-16 are giving me some trouble. I can bend the note, but when I try to do vibrato, I end up hitting the b string and muting it with my ring finger that is doing the vibrato. Also, in this take, my left hand was TIRED and I was having a hard time even doing the bends! The tempo is up to the proper backing track though.
Velvet Roger
QUOTE (Praetorian @ May 14 2009, 01:41 AM) *
Ok...that makes sense! Does that rule always apply? I remember that the 2-2-1-2-2-2-1 formula...does that rule change things?


Sorry, missed your reply earlier on. Yeah that rule always apply and has nothing to do in principal with the 'formula' of the major scale which you write above.

However, you should always keep in mind the scale your playing an what type of bend you are going to do:

Just assume you have the C major scale: C - D - E - F- G- A - B. Assume you are playing the C note and you want to bend it 1 full step (2) to D. That's all fine as your bended note is also present in the C major scale. If you would have bended the C note 1/2 step (1) to C# you would have used a note which is not present in the C major scale which would not be OK.

QUOTE (Praetorian @ May 14 2009, 02:31 AM) *
Roger - here is a take at 100 bpm. Still kind of sloppy, but I am working on it. Bars 13-16 are giving me some trouble. I can bend the note, but when I try to do vibrato, I end up hitting the b string and muting it with my ring finger that is doing the vibrato. Also, in this take, my left hand was TIRED and I was having a hard time even doing the bends! The tempo is up to the proper backing track though.


Thanks for the upload Ben. It's good to see that you fixed the timing issue (with e.g. the quarter triplets) mostly in this take, so that's great.

You are still having quite some difficulty getting the bends sound in pitch, which is not really surprising as it will take much more than a couple of days to get that right. Please keep on practicing that the way we discussed, and you will at a certain moment recognize which ones are OK and which ones aren't.

It is also nice that you managed to record it at 100% backing speed, however as you probably noticed yourself, due to this your take needs to be cleaned up quite a bit (e.g. the eight notes ascending patterns (10th fret 6th string to 10th - 11th - 12th fret 5 th string etc.), and as you mentioned yourself during bending as well. Trust me, this will just go better with more practice, especially at slower speeds first. In general: get it clean first at a lower speed and than gradually speed up to get it clean at full speed smile.gif. You should in practice use both your right hand palm to mute some unwanted noises, and if possible also your left hand to mute unwanted noises whilst bending etc. This takes quite a bit of time as well, so don't worry too much wink.gif .

Let's give it a couple of more days practice and why not go back a bit in backing track tempo?

Looking forward to your next take! smile.gif
Praetorian
Roger, here is the latest take of the Rocking Tune lesson. I feel it is a bit cleaner, and I have been working on the bends quite a bit since we last spoke about how to match the sound. Some are still a bit off, but they are getting better!
Velvet Roger
Thanks for the upload Ben. This take is certainly much better, which is great smile.gif

Most of your bends were OK now, except for a few which need some attention like the matching bends (bar 13 - 16) in which you start of okish, but you have the tendency to lower the pitch slightly whilst progressing through the notes. Also the 1/4 bend in bar 19 was too high in pitch. For these 1/4 bends you only need to bend very little (almost always with 1/4 bends everyone has the tendency to bend to far).

There was a small timing issue (e.g. at 0.09 in the video), but that's easy to resolve smile.gif Also at the end of the take when you gradually release the bend (13th fret) throughout the bar: try to listen to the take of Muris to make this a bit smoother.

The only other thing that still needs some work is the cleaness of playing (but it is again certainly improved compared to the previous takes smile.gif ), especially bar 9 - 10 where you have to play the same fret but one string higher, as mentioned before. Try to isolate that part and practice this a lot in order to get that clean. It will help you an awful lot later on as you will have to play those type of licks more often in many occassions. smile.gif

We are getting there Ben smile.gif , and I am glad that you kept on going with this one. I would suggest that you try to fix the above mentioned comments by keeping this lesson on your regular practice routine. I would also like to ask you to take a look at the new monthly group assignment (to keep a bit variation in your practicing), which is an extension to the previous one you did.

Cheers,

Roger
Praetorian
Thanks Roger! I'll keep at it!!!
Praetorian
Roger,

Here is the first take of the SRV Collab that I came up with. I made it up as I went along, but this seems to be what I have to work with. Still rough...some screwed up notes here and there but this is just a take for you to check out...not the final upload one.

Ben

p.s. I think I need to turn up the guitar volume in Audacity for the final take...think it is too low in this?
Velvet Roger
QUOTE (Praetorian @ Jun 16 2009, 03:58 AM) *
Roger,

Here is the first take of the SRV Collab that I came up with. I made it up as I went along, but this seems to be what I have to work with. Still rough...some screwed up notes here and there but this is just a take for you to check out...not the final upload one.

Ben

p.s. I think I need to turn up the guitar volume in Audacity for the final take...think it is too low in this?


Have to run to work now, will listen to it when I get back later today smile.gif
Velvet Roger
Ok, back from work and listened to your take a couple of times.

First of all, I am really happy that you did it! It's the best way to improve your playing besides doing lessons and regular practice smile.gif. There are definitely some nice bluesy sounding licks in your solo, so you are heading in the right direction!!!! rolleyes.gif

---
Ok, here is a bit of an analysis on your take and I tried to give you some pointers to work a bit on:

You start of nicely in a syncopated way (2 1/2 beats rest before starting playing) with a nice slow bend to the F# and pre-bending back to the E (due to the slow bending the so-called blue-note will be heard as well (the F note), which gives it a very nice bluesy character.

The repetitive lick thereafter is also nice, however you can accent the first note (D note) a bit more of that lick to give it somewhat more power.

Then you go for a couple of 3/4 bends from the D note on the high E string (if I am not mistaken) at 0:18. 3/4 bends can certainly be added some nice variation to solo's however to my taste it's too dominant and too long in it's current form. I would rather go for a full stop bend instead in this case instead of 3/4 bends (or if you experimental a bit a longlasting full stop bend followed by a very quick 3/4 bend to taste it up a bit smile.gif). After these bends I have the feeling that you lost a bit track whilst playing for a while?

At 0:28 you have a somewhat faster descending lick which is nice, but you ended it quite abrupt wink.gif . Some wide vibrato after that (or 1/2 step bends if you like) which sound good and stable! Try to apply some more vibrato on the longer duration notes (which was noticable especially in the middle part) to add more feeling to add (otherwise it stays a bit sterile).The slide down the neck could be a bit slower and smoothly (sounded quite short).

The ending was nicely done, except maybe for the very last note, which is the 5th of the B minor pentatonic scale. I would suggest that you end on the root note instead.
---

I tried to give you quite extensive comments, as I think that is most useful at this stage. You did a nice job so far already, try to let all the passages flow a bit better, apply some vibrato if you can and think about a couple of bends and it will be killer rolleyes.gif rolleyes.gif !

I hope this is helpful and feel free to upload another take smile.gif
Praetorian
Thanks Roger! Great tips...I have already started playing it with your advice and can notice a big difference!!
Velvet Roger
QUOTE (Praetorian @ Jun 17 2009, 04:31 AM) *
Thanks Roger! Great tips...I have already started playing it with your advice and can notice a big difference!!


Thanks, looking forward to your next take smile.gif
Praetorian
Ok Roger, my take is up and posted! I made some changes like you said...and added some all new stuff too. Not by choice...I couldn't remember exactly what I did the first time!! tongue.gif
Velvet Roger
Well done Ben! Overall it's certainly better than the previous one and you certainly have some nice bluesy licks in it smile.gif
Velvet Roger
Hey Ben,

How are things going?

Cheers
Roger
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