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Emir Hot
Hi Jafomatic

Finally we have it all set and ready to go smile.gif I hope we will both have some good experience with this. The first thing I would like to know is what you would like to learn and we can take it from there. Please write down your current playing abilities, post some recordings or a video (if you have) and specify which area you would like to focus on. That can be anything from theory, technique, some of my lessons - just whatever you want. I am looking forward to this and I hope that you will learn many useful things throughout this program.

All the best
Emir
jafomatic
Current Abilities:

I've played long enough that I'm mostly comfortable with guitar in a general sense, but I still have a few weaknesses in small parts of beginner areas. In technique I would say I have intermediate playing abilities at most, and beginner level techniques in the weakest which are listed in the "technique:" section below (to improve). Given enough time, I'd play anything that didn't contain tricky sweeping or tapping. I tend to tap with only 2-3 fingers and, again, never really during a song. My rhythmic placement is usually quite good while playing, and has only failed me a few times recently when going out on a limb in unfamiliar styles.

My theory was very weak until these last few (4?) months where I filled in quite a few gaps. I'm comfortable with diatonic and pentatonic scales, true modal theory, chord harmonization, note durations and the basics of music, I can improvise well enough to play out loud and there will usually be some moderately impressive ideas within it. I am weak on actually giving names to any rhythmic concepts beyond the very basic note durations we'd see in score. I can read sheet music but only VERY slowly.

I enjoy almost all musical styles but I am least familiar with jazz and metal I think. I don't think there would be any style that I'd find wholly boring except maybe the most extreme lazy side of death metal perhaps. with no other outside influence I seem to play mostly rock and (people tell me) "something like fusion."

Some audio (they're all short takes, I promise):
David's mixo collab: http://www.box.net/shared/m0fl568zp5
Gabe's southern metal collab: http://www.box.net/shared/l1j10rt4ao
Part of your Turski Mars: http://www.box.net/shared/nv885qzo9n
Skill O Matic original (DEMO): http://www.box.net/shared/kgdbvpff8l
Jafomatic Original (simple): http://www.box.net/shared/fkkedkhpq0

One video:



Goals/focus:
theory:
- the rest of it!
- rhythmic structures & terms
- composition ability! Interesting rhythms and melodic surprises

technique:
- practical application of tapping
- stronger legato
- worthwhile sweep picking
- alternate picking check, I'm never 100% sure if I'm cheating or not
- above all, better control & muting

engineering:
- tone check, figure out if my ear is right or wrong
- a few more tips on beginner mastering concepts

Wow, that's really too big of a list. I still would like it to be there and known, but to narrow that down to reasonable goals:

theory/composition:
- rhythmic structures & terms

technique:
- practical application of tapping or sweep picking

engineering:
- tone check, I'd like to know if I'm exploding people's eardrums
Emir Hot
Thanks man smile.gif This is a really helpful post. Your video looks ok but I am not sure if it is in sync 100%. I am saying this because I see that every first note you pick with an upstroke. That should definilety be a downstroke but it might be because the video is not in sync 100% so I couldn't really tell.

I have already heard you playing that Turkish March. So far I remember it sounded very good. Would you like to set that lesson as a goal throughout this MTP program and that we work hard on that one until we get it done?

About tapping and bending I will record some exercises so you can practice. The theory and the rest will be present along the way. Ask anything you want to know and we can take it from there.
jafomatic
Ah, actually.. I really do start with upstrokes a heck of a lot. especially when improvising at a low enough tempo where I am not forced to alternate pick. On-lesson, something brisk, I'll AP. Musical styles that are agressive, I'll start with downstrokes (I think), but something where there's freedom it seems I quite often start with upstrokes. I noticed it when I recorded that video a month ago.

Also, yes I think we can use the turski mars lesson as a smart and early goal; good idea smile.gif
Emir Hot
Sorry Jafo I am still looking for that backing and the tab smile.gif I will send as soon as I find it. In the meantime would you like to try this tapping thing that I'm doing with some other guys?



Here you have 2 speed backing, GP file and the chart smile.gif
jafomatic
sweet! I'll get right on it.
jafomatic
Short updates (nothing recorded):

- Wife is already sick of the tapping exercise, gonna sneak more of that in via smaller doses (or headphones)
- Will record the march some evening this week after warming up on other exercises
- Grabbed Hotel California tab & (hopefully) decent enough backing and starting that now

Emir Hot
Ok Jafo take your time. That's a lot to be done smile.gif About Hotel, we'll only work on the solo, not the whole song smile.gif That's because of some great bends
jafomatic
Aye, I started at the measure where Joe's solo begins. Muris is distracting me in chat, offers to personalize a myspace page. wink.gif

jafomatic
Couple days went by, figured I'd report in. Here's some bullet points:

- Learning/practicing Hotel California is a nice warm up, going to move to the second half shortly
- Started lowering tempo of Turski Mars to find out where I am losing AP and cheating with legato (~135 bpm)
- Worked the tapping exercise up a few bpm, but slowly, so that I'm not losing the rhythm
- Didn't get much chance to record this week, friday/weekend looks better

Picking hand's a little sore from playing Turski Mars back in proper AP again but it will be fine by Friday evening. I'm going to make sure I record some things then or during Saturday to make sure we're able to evaluate where I am with these things; at least with the march and with the tapping.

I'll check in when I've got video to post. Hope you had a good week and that all is well smile.gif

jafomatic
Clang! I decided to record all takes. Broke a string in the FIRST take. Uploaded it anyway, mistakes and all:



So. I see a couple spots where my AP contains too little "A", a couple stumbles, and a pretty ugly loss of timing.
Emir Hot
Your right hand posture is very good. The left one looks a bit uncomfortable. Put your thumb behind the neck (on the half of the neck). I see that you changed some fingerings in that fast part. That's not a mistake as long as it sounds good smile.gif Sometimes you pick 2 strings instead of 1 and there is where that little noise is coming from. You just need to concentrate a bit more and control it better. I would be happy to see the whole thing in a bit slower tempo but with no mistakes. So far this sounds great and I am sure you can nail this one soon.

Waiting for more smile.gif
jafomatic
Funny how much my right hand looks like a hermit crab when I play that piece.

The left is actually placed for comfort and I wondered if I need to "get comfortable" with some other position in order to play better at this tempo. I will work on slipping the thumb behind more often. Currently it only does that if I'm reaching for strings 5 and 6, I think. When working on strings 1-2, however, I do prefer it up rather than behind; I'll see what I can do about that.

I am intentionally picking a double-stop there which isn't correct but became a habit while practicing the song at lower tempo. I need to remember not to do that anymore, especially when recording it as a lesson. Other string noise may still be coming from sloppy picking or fat-fingering with the left. I keep an eye on it at lower tempos but I'm clearly making more of a mess as we approach the target 145bpm.

I'll record it at lower tempos today but it will be without backing since I only have 100bpm and 145bpm tracks from you.

EDIT: Regarding the changes to the fingerings, my ability has increased since I did that and I've been pondering changing back to your original fingering (or closer to it) but it may require a little re-learning to break the habit. I'll see about doing that as well.

EDIT: Perhaps I won't rec/play much today, doesn't feel right on my spare guitar and I haven't restrung the main yet.

Emir Hot
QUOTE (jafomatic @ Sep 12 2009, 05:59 PM) *
EDIT: Perhaps I won't rec/play much today, doesn't feel right on my spare guitar and I haven't restrung the main yet.

Ok jafo take your time smile.gif
jafomatic
Took forever to motivate myself all the way to the music store, but I did practice (all three assignments) quite a bit more than I expected on the spare guitar. The best news is that the main guitar feels like 100% AWESOME now.

Here's video of tapping. I'm a poor judge of tapping rhythm after it's recorded, so I'm not 100% confident that these are clean triplets at all.



Still to do:
- learn the other half of that hotel california solo
- continue practicing turski mars at lower tempos to figure out where I'm losing AP. Seems to fall off around 130bpm.

Emir Hot
That was very good. I have uploaded a full lesson of this to GMC server so it should be published soon. When that one comes out we can go for the whole thing. There are some more interesting lines. Waiting for the other 2 tasks...
jafomatic
QUOTE (Emir Hot @ Sep 20 2009, 08:15 PM) *
That was very good. I have uploaded a full lesson of this to GMC server so it should be published soon. When that one comes out we can go for the whole thing. There are some more interesting lines. Waiting for the other 2 tasks...


Sounds good. Regarding the other two items:
- the march is ready around 130bpm, are you okay with me recording that without the rest of the arrangement? I have only the two arrangements you gave me at 100bpm and 145bpm. I can play it with just a metronome click if you don't have the backing already made at other tempos.

- hotel california... the first half sounds great, I continue to just not learn the second half. I'll pick that up tonight.

EDIT: Also, thanks smile.gif
Emir Hot
QUOTE (jafomatic @ Sep 21 2009, 02:19 AM) *
Sounds good. Regarding the other two items:
- the march is ready around 130bpm, are you okay with me recording that without the rest of the arrangement? I have only the two arrangements you gave me at 100bpm and 145bpm. I can play it with just a metronome click if you don't have the backing already made at other tempos.

- hotel california... the first half sounds great, I continue to just not learn the second half. I'll pick that up tonight.

EDIT: Also, thanks smile.gif

I'll try to slow down the 145 one when I find a minute. If you have a chance find a program called "transcribe". That thing can slow down anything without losing the pitch.
jafomatic
QUOTE (Emir Hot @ Sep 20 2009, 08:30 PM) *
I'll try to slow down the 145 one when I find a minute.


Hold that thought, I finally figured out how to make my DAW do it. I was overthinking the process, it's actually just click & drag rolleyes.gif
Emir Hot
QUOTE (jafomatic @ Sep 21 2009, 02:44 AM) *
Hold that thought, I finally figured out how to make my DAW do it. I was overthinking the process, it's actually just click & drag rolleyes.gif

Well done. I have that plugin but the quality decreases a lot. It's good for practicing though
jafomatic
QUOTE (Emir Hot @ Sep 24 2009, 05:53 AM) *
Well done. I have that plugin but the quality decreases a lot. It's good for practicing though


I didn't notice a drop in quality from mine, but I haven't compared them side to side. Anyway, new problem: rendering video causes thermal shutdown in my computer. So I have recorded a video of the march at 130bpm (it's still not great however at least the alternate picking is intact) but it looks like I'll have to render and upload from another pc here. I'll test that out today.

Emir Hot
QUOTE (jafomatic @ Sep 24 2009, 12:01 PM) *
I didn't notice a drop in quality from mine, but I haven't compared them side to side. Anyway, new problem: rendering video causes thermal shutdown in my computer. So I have recorded a video of the march at 130bpm (it's still not great however at least the alternate picking is intact) but it looks like I'll have to render and upload from another pc here. I'll test that out today.

Ok, take your time smile.gif
jafomatic
Well. Bah.

So, this is still butchery of the song, even at 130. The AP is still not intact. It seems like economy picking I guess? Also had far-worse-than-usual issues in the coda. Usually I only have trouble with that arpeggio (A,E,C#,E) in that section but in this take it's uncharacteristically bad. Also of note: some notes were either perfectly (and accidentally) muted or simply missed with the pick; I was trying a shallower inclination at Muris' suggestion.



Emir Hot
You're doing great man. Some timing issues here and there but you'll get that soon. It's true that you economy pick some of them. That should be changed. In that fast part it is noticable. I think it feels more comfortable because you changed the fingering. Octaves should not be like a bar. Press only 2 strings. Also you played them together. It has to be note after the note. Check the slow video. First you pick the top string then the botom (octave) one, not together. That's a tricky part though smile.gif The ending has to be learned properly as well. This still shows a great progress. You have pretty good control with muting and the overall feel. I am sure in a month you can nail this. Well done smile.gif
Emir Hot
Hi Jafo

Tomorrow I am leaving for a whole week and back on the next Monday.
Emir Hot
Hi Jafo, I am back now. How is it going? According to the new MTP rules I need to give you assignment every week. Have you been working on that HC solo?
jafomatic
QUOTE (Emir Hot @ Oct 16 2009, 08:26 AM) *
Hi Jafo, I am back now. How is it going? According to the new MTP rules I need to give you assignment every week. Have you been working on that HC solo?


Hey, hi. I'm really very sorry that I didn't respond sooner. I haven't been working on Hotel California at all. While you were gone --before the MTP rules changed-- I worked on on the following:

- fixing my alternate picking rolled up with 3nps exercises
- testing that same thing against turkish march

That all looks good on paper, but I didn't spend nearly as much time doing those things as I spent doing these things:

- playing guitar instead of practicing guitar
- quitting smoking (18 days now, I think)

So. Now I don't know what we'll be able to do for the required REC take. I suppose I can switch gears and finish up Hotel California. When will that need to be ready?

jafomatic
I guess I should talk about the AP as well. So far it's not really good in a practical sense but I think I know why that is. If I take a break from the exercise and just allow myself to play the same scale that I was exercising on, the AP is perfect when ascending in pitch and thus going from string 6 -> string 1.

The problem lies in descending (string 1 -> string 6). I believe what I'm doing is still all upstrokes when moving from a lower numbered string to a higher numbered string, when my hand is ultimately coming "back towards me."

I'm assuming the solution for that is, as always, "more practice" so that's what I've been doing.
Emir Hot
QUOTE (jafomatic @ Oct 22 2009, 09:32 PM) *
I guess I should talk about the AP as well. So far it's not really good in a practical sense but I think I know why that is. If I take a break from the exercise and just allow myself to play the same scale that I was exercising on, the AP is perfect when ascending in pitch and thus going from string 6 -> string 1.

The problem lies in descending (string 1 -> string 6). I believe what I'm doing is still all upstrokes when moving from a lower numbered string to a higher numbered string, when my hand is ultimately coming "back towards me."

I'm assuming the solution for that is, as always, "more practice" so that's what I've been doing.

There is just one simple rule for that. DOWN and UP... If you practice scales (maybe take that 5 positions of major scale) it will get better. I am sure it will come soon that you won't even think about it.
jafomatic
Frankly down and up aren't helpful. My bad economy habit was also purely down and up. The difference is in the number of notes played during any one of those motions. My problem was that I was totally willing to play 2 notes in one motion if I was changing strings in that same direction.

So anyway! The practice gave some interesting insights and new information. I used to have to think to even answer my own question: was that last note a down or an up? With this practice I noticed that I can feel the difference in attack at the finger tips far more clearly and immediately than trying to remember which way the wrist was going.

Here's the good news: if I'm thinking about it while playing, it's already kind of okay. If I'm not thinking about it, it's okay when ascending a scale, and it's not okay when descending a scale. Again, that's if I'm NOT thinking about it. I thought the objective was to be able to do this naturally and without thinking much about it.

I had three of these breakthroughs in the last two days, seems like the rate of progress increased.

Anyway, how about this part?

QUOTE (jafomatic @ Oct 22 2009, 03:05 PM) *
So. Now I don't know what we'll be able to do for the required REC take. I suppose I can switch gears and finish up Hotel California. When will that need to be ready?


I didn't see any guidance about that.

Emir Hot
QUOTE (jafomatic @ Oct 23 2009, 08:51 AM) *
I had three of these breakthroughs in the last two days, seems like the rate of progress increased.

More of these moments should happen shortly. That's exactly what I'm talking about. I'll try to do a video and explain some basics. I don't really have a tip that will change your life when playing alternate picking apart from saying Down and Up smile.gif One thing I can say is that you should practice slowly. That way you won't miss anything without noticing. When you get to the point where you're safe then you can increase tempo. I know it's hard to change habbits but sooner or later you'll have to do it if you want to get ready for some complex solos which require AP.
jafomatic
Understood. I did start slowly and I stayed slow with it for a while but during that time there was a pretty high level of frustration because at slower speeds there's a LOT more time to think and make bigger motions. It didn't feel (at first) like it was actually re-training myself.

Changing over to 3nps and "checking" by feeling the pick pressure on one finger or the other appeared to be the bigger breakthrough so far.

Anyway, I'm practicing it right now. Still muttering down and up to myself wink.gif
Emir Hot
Hi

Sorry for this huge delay. I had to fly home a couple of times, had some trouble there but now is all ok.

Where did we stop? smile.gif Was it HC solo? If you're ready I can open the assignment thread for you and give you a week to post it. Before that you can post some parts on this thread so we can fix all the bits and pieces if there are any. Are you happy with that?
jafomatic
Actually, I think I'm going to step out of the program entirely. While you were gone the only thing I really worked on was sneaking alternate picking practice into my regular schedule of collaboration addiction. I find myself much happier being "off lesson" and making my own music. At least, happier for now. I've hit a nice enjoyable plateau in ability and knowledge. I'm going to milk that feeling for a while smile.gif

You can find some recent examples in the collaborations forum or a huge collection here if you're interested.

I hope it's not a disappointment for you, I really did (and do) appreciate your time and effort here in MTP and around GMC as a whole. I'll still be around GMC of course.

Thanks for checking in, I hope everything was resolved okay for you "back home."
Emir Hot
No problem Jafo. I am not dissapointed. Why would I be smile.gif Are all these songs yours? Some really cool stuff there. Did you make this user interface? This play list looks really cool. I am going to listen more now smile.gif
jafomatic
QUOTE (Emir Hot @ Nov 15 2009, 03:23 PM) *
No problem Jafo. I am not dissapointed. Why would I be smile.gif Are all these songs yours? Some really cool stuff there. Did you make this user interface? This play list looks really cool. I am going to listen more now smile.gif


All of those tracks are my GMC collaboration takes except for 2-3 of the longer ones. Those are my playing to Wallimann's arrangements. I'm glad you're enjoying those. smile.gif

The interface is an embedded object from box.net that NoSkill and I use to collaborate in our virtual band. I haven't moved my original material around yet, but I've been considering it. That collection I embedded on my website to make it easier for my mother to find stuff. smile.gif

Thanks again smile.gif
Emir Hot
QUOTE (jafomatic @ Nov 15 2009, 09:33 PM) *
All of those tracks are my GMC collaboration takes except for 2-3 of the longer ones. Those are my playing to Wallimann's arrangements. I'm glad you're enjoying those. smile.gif

The interface is an embedded object from box.net that NoSkill and I use to collaborate in our virtual band. I haven't moved my original material around yet, but I've been considering it. That collection I embedded on my website to make it easier for my mother to find stuff. smile.gif

Thanks again smile.gif

Cool man smile.gif Really great way of storing your own music.
Emir Hot
Hi

Just wanna say that this round has finished. I have received a list of new members and I am now closing this thread.

Thanks for taking part in the MTP program smile.gif
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