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Daniel Robinson
post Oct 15 2008, 12:27 PM
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Hello GMC'ers

Following on my topic of songwriting ideas, i would just like to add my two cents on perspective for your playing and writing.



There are things that you as a player can do to become more focused and more unique, some of this you already do...the constant drills, learning lessons from here and learning covers etc.



The problem is sometimes these things can lead you into a rut in your playing. I am not by any means saying you should stop practicing or stop learning all you can. Playing guitar takes all of those things. Having fun with the instrument though is tanamount to the creative process, and sometimes all the practicing gets in the way of this. Your mind goes to a different place when you just play the instrument rather than playing ON it. I have found more times than not that i come up with some of my best ideas if i just let my fingers do what they want and noodle around and just get into what i am doing.

I will use a perfect example of what i am talking about in a student here at GMC. And forgive me Tjchep if i embarass you.

I am sure you have all heard him play his improv's, and if you havent i suggest you take a listen you can find them in the uploads sections.



In alot of ways he is well beyond alot of people his age in his tone control, sound and vibrato, sure he has some timing issues and what not. But the fact of the matter is he has his own way of doing things and likes it like that. It comes across in his playing, his tension building and all around creativity borders on genius from time to time.

What i am really getting at here is that sometimes you have to put down the books and all that and just play! Develop your chops by all means, but don't let your chops be a crutch to the real meat of what it means to be a guitar player. If you can play all the licks from your favorite artist thats great! But.....If i wanted to hear those artists i would go to the source. I want to hear you! The real you, not the artist your hiding behind.

Just pick up your instrument, with no backing track and play something...anything. Just let melodic ideas come to you. Really dig into the magic of the moment and grab something out of thin air. It really is magical when you do this with the proper frame of mind.

Sure, there are things you will do that copy others for now, thats ok. But try as much as possible to think outside of emulation and just focus on what sounds good to you. Some of the riffs and melody idea's you might come up with just might surprise you.

Myself personally sometimes i find backing tracks to be a real hinderance to creative ideas. Sometimes i will write an entire song from just a few melodic ideas i came up with in just a few minutes of just letting myself go on the instrument. Looking to others for inspiration is great! But let it be that...inspiration..and not emulation. The world needs your music, if i want to listen to Steve Vai, or Andy Timmons... i will listen to them. If i want to hear you, i need to listen to you.

Daniel



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audiopaal
post Oct 15 2008, 12:40 PM
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QUOTE (Daniel Robinson @ Oct 15 2008, 01:27 PM) *
Looking to others for inspiration is great! But let it be that...inspiration..and not emulation. The world needs your music, if i want to listen to Steve Vai, or Andy Timmons... i will listen to them. If i want to hear you, i need to listen to you.

Daniel


Great post Daniel!!!

Those last two lines are so true! smile.gif
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jer
post Oct 15 2008, 01:22 PM
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Wow.

That was great.

Thanks for posting that.



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Toroso
post Oct 15 2008, 01:29 PM
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Amen! I always end my practice sessions with a free jam. Thanks for the great post! smile.gif


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OrganisedConfusi...
post Oct 15 2008, 01:32 PM
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Jamming is crucial. I spend most my guitaring time writing original songs for my band and it's great smile.gif


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TheOldOnes
post Oct 15 2008, 02:16 PM
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I don't know if others are the same but I always have music playing in my head but its complexity is most often overwhelming and when I sit down with the guitar to try and formalize it, I tend to blank out and lose the thread as soon as I hit a wrong note or sequence of notes.

i.e. Lost in Translation


I am finding that in the more work I put into exercises and lessons, I am finding I am progressing in the ability to translate some of this stuff in my head when I set the lessons aside.
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Daniel Robinson
post Oct 15 2008, 03:50 PM
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QUOTE (TheOldOnes @ Oct 15 2008, 09:16 AM) *
I don't know if others are the same but I always have music playing in my head but its complexity is most often overwhelming and when I sit down with the guitar to try and formalize it, I tend to blank out and lose the thread as soon as I hit a wrong note or sequence of notes.

i.e. Lost in Translation


I am finding that in the more work I put into exercises and lessons, I am finding I am progressing in the ability to translate some of this stuff in my head when I set the lessons aside.


I definately know where you are coming from on this. And you are working toward the goal of being able to get the music out of your head into the real world. Just don't let your struggle with practice become a barrier to getting to where you want to be. There are alot of things you can do now to bolster your abilities, like just paying attention to your tone, note attack, vibrato, etc....All of those things go beyond learning licks and scales. Honestly, the idea of tone...vibrato etc we can give suggestions but in the end its your ear that matters. Those things can't really be taught. Sure I can show you how i do vibrato, give instructions about other people's vibrato...but when it comes right down to it i cannot teach you your style. Your on your own for that one.

Daniel


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opeth.db
post Oct 15 2008, 03:55 PM
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Very much agree with this Dan.

Its amazing how simple riffs can develop into something big. Just have to build it. With all the tools availble to us on our PC's these days its very easy to do. I think people get to worked up the the end product and feel stumped on what to create. If anything create simple songs.

Dan


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coffeeman
post Oct 15 2008, 03:55 PM
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Awesome thread Daniel , thanks for sharing.

I was talking the other day with Lian, and we were discussing about this. He told me that a lot of guys want to be really skillfull(shredding), but a few were really into making good music, so he told me that it is most important to create a good piece of music from your heart , than to shred at 3000 bpm, and I totally agree with that. We are more worried for playing fast , than creating music.



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Daniel Robinson
post Oct 15 2008, 03:59 PM
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QUOTE (coffeeman @ Oct 15 2008, 10:55 AM) *
Awesome thread Daniel , thanks for sharing.

I was talking the other day with Lian, and we were discussing about this. He told me that a lot of guys want to be really skillfull(shredding), but a few were really into making good music, so he told me that it is most important to create a good piece of music from your heart , than to shred at 3000 bpm, and I totally agree with that. We are more worried for playing fast , than creating music.


I couldnt agree more, you take someone like Randy Rhoads for example, he was by no means a shredder...at best he was a 13nps guy, but very very rarely did that. Instead he focused his attention on his ability to compose great music. Some of his licks and ideas are such genius, the way he would string riffs together to create this awesome music was astounding.

Daniel


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kjutte
post Oct 15 2008, 04:05 PM
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I agree to most, but I think that you can develop greater ideas with the proper theory knowledge.
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mattacuk
post Oct 15 2008, 04:06 PM
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Excellent post Daniel biggrin.gif


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Toroso
post Oct 15 2008, 04:08 PM
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QUOTE (TheOldOnes @ Oct 15 2008, 09:16 AM) *
I don't know if others are the same but I always have music playing in my head but its complexity is most often overwhelming and when I sit down with the guitar to try and formalize it, I tend to blank out and lose the thread as soon as I hit a wrong note or sequence of notes.


Huh? huh.gif And I thought it was just me. biggrin.gif


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jer
post Oct 15 2008, 04:13 PM
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Its me too.

This is what leads me to "practice" and try and "learn" something.

Rather than just pick up my guitar and play random stuff.

I dont feel I know enough to be able to come up with anything anyone wants to hear.....


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coffeeman
post Oct 15 2008, 04:17 PM
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QUOTE (jer @ Oct 15 2008, 10:13 AM) *
Its me too.

This is what leads me to "practice" and try and "learn" something.

Rather than just pick up my guitar and play random stuff.

I dont feel I know enough to be able to come up with anything anyone wants to hear.....


Try it. Pick your guitar and make a melody that you want to hear. I think thats the first step , to create something for you not for other people.


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opeth.db
post Oct 15 2008, 04:29 PM
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QUOTE (coffeeman @ Oct 15 2008, 11:17 AM) *
Try it. Pick your guitar and make a melody that you want to hear. I think thats the first step , to create something for you not for other people.


Yea Jer- Listen to coffee. tongue.gif


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Bogdan Radovic
post Oct 15 2008, 04:43 PM
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All musicians have different influences and there is nothing wrong in it..You learn songs from your favorite artists or just listen to their music and next when you're composing - some of those ideas stuck in your brain somewhere get their spot light...I mean even if you play something similar to other artists ideas it will still sound like YOU and be unique in its own way (if you don't take exact songs note for note or licks)...Composing is influenced by so many factors , but mainly depends on your creativity...And its always cool to "just play" and don't think about the rules of the game..Maybe you will end up with something special! smile.gif


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jer
post Oct 15 2008, 04:54 PM
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QUOTE
Try it. Pick your guitar and make a melody that you want to hear. I think thats the first step , to create something for you not for other people.


I hear ya.

To me thats similar to standing at a construction site and picking up a hammer. And trying to create something with just the hammer.

A lone guitar to me is just that. Its one part of what I see as the end result. I want to create songs. I guess I'm not interested in being a "guitar player" per se. To me all of it is useless if there isnt a complete song. The type of stuff I want to do will have drums, bass, a guitar or 2, some keys at times, and vocals. So I guess I want to be a song writer that can play the guitar.

Its tough to pick up something that represents 17% of that and get anywhere. I feel like the guy holding the hammer and trying to build a building.

So what I am trying to do, is learn how songs are created. Thats where keys, scales, chords, etc come in. Then when I pick up my instrument I can take a melody that is in my head and get it to come out of the speakers on my amp. That part by itself isnt much to listen to. I'm a metalhead. Nobody wants to listen to a lone metal guitar player. Whether its me or Kirk Hammet. One dude riffing it out is as boring as it gets. But in a song, its different entirely.

Where was I going with this?

Oh yeah... Solo guitar playing.... To me it doesnt fit in my chosen genre. I need the band. So I prefer to use backing tracks. Perhaps trying some improv soloing over. Or drums to help riff creation. Etc....

I do agree that just drilling exercises isnt the be all end all.



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Ivan Milenkovic
post Oct 15 2008, 07:25 PM
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Very nice post Daniel, I agree with your perspective on things here. Every player should develop himself through playing as well. I myself did similar thing, and although it took a while to sound decent (compared to early days), I think I made the right choice, when pushing with my own system of doing things.
Miles Davis said once that he would be a much more original musician if he didn't listen to any records at all. Being a music genius, he could develop something very extraordinary that way, he just pushed things his own way, and actually feeling regret because he didn't made himself completely free of influences.
I'm not saying I'm any musical genius or anything, but I think we all can progress through hard work and accomplish our goals, with a good will and love for the music we do. In time it can only get better with hard work, so keep rockin hard guys! smile.gif


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Daniel Robinson
post Oct 17 2008, 03:14 PM
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QUOTE (jer @ Oct 15 2008, 11:54 AM) *
I hear ya.

To me thats similar to standing at a construction site and picking up a hammer. And trying to create something with just the hammer.

A lone guitar to me is just that. Its one part of what I see as the end result. I want to create songs. I guess I'm not interested in being a "guitar player" per se. To me all of it is useless if there isnt a complete song. The type of stuff I want to do will have drums, bass, a guitar or 2, some keys at times, and vocals. So I guess I want to be a song writer that can play the guitar.

Its tough to pick up something that represents 17% of that and get anywhere. I feel like the guy holding the hammer and trying to build a building.

So what I am trying to do, is learn how songs are created. Thats where keys, scales, chords, etc come in. Then when I pick up my instrument I can take a melody that is in my head and get it to come out of the speakers on my amp. That part by itself isnt much to listen to. I'm a metalhead. Nobody wants to listen to a lone metal guitar player. Whether its me or Kirk Hammet. One dude riffing it out is as boring as it gets. But in a song, its different entirely.

Where was I going with this?

Oh yeah... Solo guitar playing.... To me it doesnt fit in my chosen genre. I need the band. So I prefer to use backing tracks. Perhaps trying some improv soloing over. Or drums to help riff creation. Etc....

I do agree that just drilling exercises isnt the be all end all.


I very much agree Jer, my point about the backing tracks though was just pointing out that sometimes i feel like it gets in the way of the creative writing process.

When listening to certain backing tracks or whole songs by different artists has a tendency to steer you in a certain direction. At least it does for me.

As an example, lets say i spend half my day listening to Dokken, when i sit down to write i come up with a George Lynch Esque idea, even the way i phrase things has a weird Dokken tilt on it. If i come at it with fresh ears without listening to anyone but myself, it is more ME and less someone else.

I am sure others may view this differently, i just feel that anything you listen to steers you in a certain direction. This is not wrong especially if you are trying to write a song that is similiar to an artist you like. But dont let it be a hinderence to your true goals.

Daniel

QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Oct 15 2008, 02:25 PM) *
Very nice post Daniel, I agree with your perspective on things here. Every player should develop himself through playing as well. I myself did similar thing, and although it took a while to sound decent (compared to early days), I think I made the right choice, when pushing with my own system of doing things.
Miles Davis said once that he would be a much more original musician if he didn't listen to any records at all. Being a music genius, he could develop something very extraordinary that way, he just pushed things his own way, and actually feeling regret because he didn't made himself completely free of influences.
I'm not saying I'm any musical genius or anything, but I think we all can progress through hard work and accomplish our goals, with a good will and love for the music we do. In time it can only get better with hard work, so keep rockin hard guys! smile.gif



This was definately my approach as well Ivan, i tried to stay away from learning covers and what not early in my playing because i wanted to develop my own style. Later on in order to push the boundries of my technical skills i had little choice, but i think i set the foundation of my playing on my own ideas about the instrument. So even when i learned covers i did so with my own flair and thought patterns.

Daniel


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