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> Are You Getting The Most Out Of Your Instrument?
Daniel Robinson
post Apr 22 2008, 07:38 AM
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I wanted to chime in here and talk about something that is important to me as a player and as an instructor. Playing guitar to me is more then just fretting and picking notes. With that being said are you getting the most out of your guitar while playing.

I find when teaching people that one of the biggest mistakes i see people making is no dynamics in their tone or playing. Subtle or drastic variations in pick attack and where your picking the notes (closer to the bridge ..closer to the neck etc.) Can have a huge impact on the emotional content your trying to convey.

I challenge you to experiment with a simple solo lick (any one will do) and try to play it in as many different ways as you can. Change the accents within the phrase. Try it legato, try it staccato, try it all alternate picking etc. Try moving your picking location to different locations at different places try altering the angle of your pick. Experiment with different vibrato styles. There are near infinite possibilties of how a phrase can be played.

Another thing is play with the knobs on your guitar, i know alot of people whose only adjustment is pickup selection switch. But you have those knobs there for a reason experiement with what you can do with those tone knobs. Turn the volume knob up and down and see what different tones you can get out of your guitar.

All of these things will help you find your own style and sound. When it comes to style there is no "Wrong way". As a player i am constantly working on these subtle things. I will play a new phrase i came up with in all different ways trying to get the most out of it. You may feel a certain way when you compose a lick and it comes out the way your feeling but the next time you play it you may not feel that emotion and it has subtle changes. Take notice of how it has changed it can really make a difference in understanding how you alone approach music as a whole.

Another thing you can experiment with his the angle of your fingers on the string and how heavy or how lightly you touch them. For instance if i want to play a passage that has an ethereal quality to it i will use a very light touch with the very tips of my fingers it creates a sound that seems to have no real pulse but takes on a surreal dream like quality.

On the other hand lets say i want to create a sound thats very matter of fact, i will use more of the pads of my fingers have a heavier touch and pick much more aggressively.


All of these things will help you to start to unlock the style that is unique to you. Don't be afraid to experiement with all different techniques to make them your own.


Daniel


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Marcus Lavendell
post Apr 22 2008, 07:50 AM
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Excellent post Daniel! All the things you mentioned are very important stuff imo.


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SamJ
post Apr 22 2008, 08:02 AM
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Cool, thanks for the advice Daniel.

I'll try some of this stuff out. smile.gif
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DeepRoots
post Apr 22 2008, 08:16 AM
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Nice advice! Although i do experiment with dynamics alot (paul gilbert fan, what can i say rolleyes.gif ) i rarely change pickup selection, when i know i should be- and honeslty playing with the volume and tone knobs has ever seemed that important to me.

I'll take your advice on board smile.gif
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audiopaal
post Apr 22 2008, 08:30 AM
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Excellent post, very true!
I know I could be better at trying variations of my riffs, solos as well as play with the knobs on my guitars...

I even got a little inspired by your post, thanks biggrin.gif
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Daniel Robinson
post Apr 22 2008, 08:44 AM
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QUOTE (DeepRoots @ Apr 22 2008, 03:16 AM) *
Nice advice! Although i do experiment with dynamics alot (paul gilbert fan, what can i say rolleyes.gif ) i rarely change pickup selection, when i know i should be- and honeslty playing with the volume and tone knobs has ever seemed that important to me.

I'll take your advice on board smile.gif


Playing with the tone knob is obvious..it can change the tone. I do on occasion mess with it to get a specific tone. I do however use the volume knob quite often. One of the biggest things you can expect with the volume knob adjustments is it tends to remove alot of the "honkyness" out of the guitar sound. I play with alot of gain for the most part but alot of times i want to have alot of gain but not as much harshness so i will back the volume knob down about halfway. It allows me to maintain the "base" tone that i want but it takes away that honkyness i was talking about. Try it at different levels and see what it does on your guitar.

I would expect all guitars to be different in what it accomplishes it will also depend one if you have passive or active pickups. If you mess with the volume knob on a guitar with active pickups the variation will be more subtle. Passive pickups will have a much bigger change. It will also be even more drastic on a guitar with single coils vs humbuckers.

If you want an example of what the volume knob can do for your sound just check out Andy Timmons, he often has high gain but turns his guitar volume down about half way. He keeps his sound nice and creamy by doing this but still has that gain punch.

Daniel

This post has been edited by Daniel Robinson: Apr 22 2008, 08:46 AM


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Siggum
post Apr 22 2008, 08:52 AM
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Great post Daniel, and very usefull for all players( all skill levels) smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Apr 22 2008, 09:34 AM
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Excellent advices Daniel! smile.gif


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Kristofer Dahl
post Apr 22 2008, 11:31 AM
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Very interesting and informative post Daniel - thanks! biggrin.gif


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Trond Vold
post Apr 22 2008, 11:41 AM
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Daniel, your posts should be put in a stickied section smile.gif
You got some of the most informative and useful posts


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Bogdan Radovic
post Apr 22 2008, 02:20 PM
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Great post Daniel ! Some really important stuff there ! Thanks ! smile.gif


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Fran
post Apr 22 2008, 03:30 PM
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Good advice Daniel, thanks! wink.gif


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Jad Diab
post Apr 22 2008, 03:33 PM
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excellent topic wink.gif


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