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> Attitude!, Just some thoughts...
Staffy
post Mar 19 2010, 12:27 AM
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After spending nearly my whole life as a musician, I want to share a thought of mine that becomes stronger & stronger the more I deal with music. When I hear Young players or not so experienced one's, it's always like: "-Why coulnd't he/she played with attitude, then it would have sounded good". It's not about the notes played or even the timing, if a phrase is played like "excuse me of being here", it will sound bad no matter how good/bad it is. Same goes for song writing - I think I threw away hundreds of songs, just because I didn't played them with the right attitude - and then it sounded bad. So what I'm saying here is that aspiring players should focus a lot more on this issue - its just a though from an old rocker.....

//Staffay


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Adrian Figallo
post Mar 19 2010, 12:51 AM
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10000% agree with you staffy, the words of wisdom biggrin.gif


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UncleSkillet
post Mar 19 2010, 02:36 AM
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+1 Staffy

This is one of the most important things besides playing in key. I have played with a bunch of technically really great shredders but there was nothing there.

Even myself when I was much younger playing all the time with bands and what not I was missing this very important part. I was worried about playing as fast as I could because that seemed like what everyone wanted and the cool thing to do. It is actually one of the reasons I stopped playing guitar for many years. I wasn't getting anything out of it because I wasn't letting myself go and getting caught up in the sound. I guess you could say I wasn't playing for me but to satisfy others to fit in with the group.

After I matured and decided to pick up the guitar again there was no pressure anymore to do anything. So I just started to play for me and that's when the feeling thing started to come along. I was having fun and really, really enjoying my own playing for the first time.

Even though we all want to play for people (a crowd) you still need to be true to yourself and what you honestly feel when you play a lick or what ever. If you don't then others will here it. This sound like it is one of the easier things when your playing guitar to learn but it is actually one of the hardest. Almost impossible to teach a student you might say.


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JVM
post Mar 19 2010, 05:09 AM
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Very true Staffay. I think I was lucky, at a relatively early stage in my guitar playing I was introduced to musician friends who aren't the best technically, but they put everything into it and it sounds great anyway. Even on those "wrong" notes, some really interesting sounds can come out when you give it the right attitude. And of course, that can vary from song to song... some song might require you to play it hard and heavy for the right effect while doing so on another song would sound totally wrong, even if you play the right notes.


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Kristian Hyvarin...
post Mar 19 2010, 06:10 AM
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It's a really funny thing, since many times I can't really tell the actual difference in how something is being played. If the strings are being hit harder at times or what. But I hear, and everybody hears, if something's played with attitude (and technique wise alright). Perhaps it practically means that the player somehow gives the piece such dynamics that they sound natural and convey the feeling the musician is trying to convey.

In my opinion, everyone should mainly focus on playing right -- the timing and the rhythm. But if a person wishes to actually play music, and not just play note after the other and hope that something'll come out of it, the attitude needs to be there. If not, it needs to be developed. I think developing attitude is the easiest with easier songs. To play simple licks right with the right attitude - then move on to more complex stuff.

Oh, and don't forget to play the guitar when you're sad, angry etc. That's a good relief and definitely good attitude training!
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Gitarrero
post Mar 19 2010, 08:30 AM
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Interesting thoughts...I was thinking to myself lately "what is the deal with attitude?" since I got that feedback on my last Slayer REC-take ("it's gotta be played with attitude"). I guess you really need to know a song or a lick to play it with attitude, so you don't have to think about other things (what do I have to play next? Do I mute right? Oh, there was an unwanted noise").
I think body language while playing is an important part, too.
"Body language while playing" would be a cool lesson, and who could do such a lesson better than Adrian?! Though Lian's headbanging is nice to watch as well wink.gif


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Mandos
post Mar 19 2010, 10:05 AM
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Great post Staffy. This was one of the first things my guitar teacher told me when we were playing Cemetery Gates. Attitude is everything and I was told to play at home with really high volume and really rock out.

Everyone should really try to practice on really high volume from time to time. It does wonders for your attitude. Maybe you should try that Gitarrero?


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jafomatic
post Mar 19 2010, 10:11 AM
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Attitude can come from a number of different places, the important thing is that you are feeling something appropriate to what you are playing. If you are already feeling that way, you're on the right path and may not need to change anything at all except to pay a little more attention to that particular emotion.

If you are not feeling an emotion that is appropriate for the song, there's some steps you can take just the same as you'd practice notes.

1. Stand up and tap your foot. You should be doing this anyway but physical motion that's matched up with tempo will have an effect on your state of mind. Free that foot and eventually the rest of your body will follow.

2. Fake it 'til you make it. Is it a happy song? Yeah? Then why aren't you smiling? I don't care if you don't feel happy, keep smiling and bobbing your head and eventually you will start to feel happy. Is it an angry song? Put the war-face on, stick out your chin, chest, pelvis, on pinch harmonics and other hard accents, bang your head, get your hair going around like a windmill.

If you are tense, uptight, stressed out, anxious, but you're playing a nice slow ballad, you are putting your performance at risk. Even if you can't really relax, try to ACT like someone who is relaxed. Imagine that you really ARE that relaxed virtuoso and you will start to feel that way. This will have a similar impact your playing. All of these emotions, really, can impact your timing and dynamics in tiny and subtle --yet hugely significant-- ways that are extremely difficult (currently impossible?) to really really communicate on the "paper" music notation and score.

Sitting in a chair really isn't the way to play anything other than uptight classical pieces with no groove, swing, or attitude. If you are struggling to really feel it, then take away as many limitations as you possibly can.



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Staffy
post Mar 19 2010, 10:27 AM
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QUOTE (jafomatic @ Mar 19 2010, 10:11 AM) *
Sitting in a chair really isn't the way to play anything other than uptight classical pieces with no groove, swing, or attitude. If you are struggling to really feel it, then take away as many limitations as you possibly can.


+1 on this post Jafo, also one very important thing here is that You shall NEVER try to play beyond your level live - eg. its better to play stuff that You really know than a couple of bad phrases than You can't get together. Music is a language that everyone can understand if its spoken clear, and thats what its alla bout - no one wants to listen to a guy/girl that mumbles in the corner. Its really bout telling a story here, You must BELIEVE the story You are telling, otherwise it will be worthless. Some of the great songs/solos has no no advanced technique at all - but they are spoken with a VERY strong voice!!!

//Staffay


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Gitarrero
post Mar 19 2010, 10:56 AM
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QUOTE (Mandos @ Mar 19 2010, 10:05 AM) *
Great post Staffy. This was one of the first things my guitar teacher told me when we were playing Cemetery Gates. Attitude is everything and I was told to play at home with really high volume and really rock out.

Everyone should really try to practice on really high volume from time to time. It does wonders for your attitude. Maybe you should try that Gitarrero?


Yeah, I just did that after the feedback I talked about and it really worked wonders. I cranked the gain and the volume up and suddenly the metal lessons I tried to master sounded much better and my head started to bang. There were song wrong notes in it, but who cares?
I also think Jafo has point. I believe you can play with more attitude standing up, it's what I realize when playing live and you really want to motivate the crowd, all my bandmembers start to move and dance (if you call it dancing...) on stage.


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Sollesnes
post Mar 19 2010, 12:21 PM
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QUOTE (Gitarrero @ Mar 19 2010, 10:56 AM) *
it's what I realize when playing live and you really want to motivate the crowd, all my bandmembers start to move and dance (if you call it dancing...) on stage.


Absolutely! The crowd wont get wild if the guys on stage are standing sentinels! If you are having fun (or look like you're having fun), the crowd will have fun, even if you are making loads of mistakes smile.gif
Our gig last weekend, we had to get a stand-in drummer. We met him the same day we were going to play.. so he learned our songs in hours, rather than days. We made a lot of mistakes, but we had fun, and the show was a success smile.gif

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Marcus Siepen
post Mar 19 2010, 12:56 PM
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I absolutely agree. If you want to play rock, then YOU have to rock too, period! A riff does not only turn heavy because of the running order of a couple of chords, you have to play it heavy, otherwise it will never sound great. And this goes for any other musical genre too of course.


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Pedja Simovic
post Mar 23 2010, 12:25 PM
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That is true Staffay , attitude is a must whatever you play. Execution in a way equals your feel and approach and audience picks up that when listening to the music.


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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Mar 23 2010, 03:06 PM
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Really interesting! Still, you still have to "know" the piece to be able to play it perfectly, it most be within your reach.


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Staffy
post Mar 23 2010, 08:42 PM
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QUOTE (Vasilije Vukmirovic @ Mar 23 2010, 03:06 PM) *
Really interesting! Still, you still have to "know" the piece to be able to play it perfectly, it most be within your reach.


Ofc. You must know the piece, but I found out that the difference really between a good amateur musician and a pro is really that the pro plays his stuff with confidence and attitude - as well as plays things he knows WELL, an amateur rather try to play above his level and no confidence & attitude. Of course this things comes with experience, but even beginners can benefit from this kind of thinking, since it doesn't have to be advanced or flashy to sound really good.

//Staffay


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Smikey2006
post Mar 23 2010, 10:05 PM
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I don't 100% agree with the idea of "attitude" I personally feel that every sound that comes out of a guitar is a "technique" and "tone" and if you have the right tone and the right technique you can make your playing have as much feel as anyone could imagine. The problem isn't attitude and it is at the same time. If your trying to play something wayyyy over your head you wont enjoy it and you wont try and play it to sound good you will try and play it technically correct. Technically correct just means you hit the right notes( your going to miss accents and bends and vibrato and trills and all the things that make music fun) This will make what your playing sound well.. kinda average. I think attitude is not only being able to play it technically correct but when your having fun doing it your going to be hitting all those notes AS WELL as accenting with the music and then adding onto the music. For example I played a show last saturday where there was one song i couldn't play very well so i spent the whole time on stage like a rod trying to hit all the notes and comments after the show basically were that they didn't care for the song. Every other song i was in my normal groove playing the song like it was meant to be heard and people seemed to love it. But i will never believe that attitude comes before technique because if i COULDN"T play those songs no matter how hard you try and get them to sound great or no matter how much you "groove" they will still sound bad. Another example i have is i know alot of tech-death bands who just sweep for the whole set, but they groove harder than any band i know and i love every minute of it smile.gif

TL:DR - attitude isn't everything, you still need the skill to be able to play technically correct in order to enjoy and then add attitude. I think others have said this already biggrin.gif sorry for the long post smile.gif


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Staffy
post Mar 23 2010, 10:55 PM
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QUOTE (Smikey2006 @ Mar 23 2010, 10:05 PM) *
I don't 100% agree with the idea of "attitude" I personally feel that every sound that comes out of a guitar is a "technique" and "tone" and if you have the right tone and the right technique you can make your playing have as much feel as anyone could imagine. The problem isn't attitude and it is at the same time. If your trying to play something wayyyy over your head you wont enjoy it and you wont try and play it to sound good you will try and play it technically correct. Technically correct just means you hit the right notes( your going to miss accents and bends and vibrato and trills and all the things that make music fun) This will make what your playing sound well.. kinda average. I think attitude is not only being able to play it technically correct but when your having fun doing it your going to be hitting all those notes AS WELL as accenting with the music and then adding onto the music. For example I played a show last saturday where there was one song i couldn't play very well so i spent the whole time on stage like a rod trying to hit all the notes and comments after the show basically were that they didn't care for the song. Every other song i was in my normal groove playing the song like it was meant to be heard and people seemed to love it. But i will never believe that attitude comes before technique because if i COULDN"T play those songs no matter how hard you try and get them to sound great or no matter how much you "groove" they will still sound bad. Another example i have is i know alot of tech-death bands who just sweep for the whole set, but they groove harder than any band i know and i love every minute of it smile.gif

TL:DR - attitude isn't everything, you still need the skill to be able to play technically correct in order to enjoy and then add attitude. I think others have said this already biggrin.gif sorry for the long post smile.gif


I dont think its a matter of what comes first or not, attitude or technique. To be able to perform well, You must do it without actually thinking - eg. acting naturally and play naturally. This can't be done, if You tries to play stuff that are beyond Your level, I will even say that playing someone elses copied licks will in most cases sound bad, at least in a live situation. But if You in-coorporate them seamlessly in Your style and can type of talking to the audience while playing them - then its another thing. Beeing a good musician is in most cases a matter of sorting things out - eg. taking away some of the playing rather than doin a show-off. I've seen so many bands with 4-5 players and everone wants to play the best they can all the time, and it just went messy and ruined something that could have been good.

I also want cite Miles Davis: "If I play ONE new note in an evening, its a success!" It really describes to play what You know and do it with attitude rather than trying to be innovative on stage. Practising is another thing - since nobody's other than Yourself is listening, but when it comes to a performance, it has to be done with attitude, otherwise it's worthless.

//Staffay


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Smikey2006
post Mar 23 2010, 11:11 PM
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QUOTE (Staffy @ Mar 23 2010, 05:55 PM) *
I dont think its a matter of what comes first or not, attitude or technique. To be able to perform well, You must do it without actually thinking - eg. acting naturally and play naturally. This can't be done, if You tries to play stuff that are beyond Your level, I will even say that playing someone elses copied licks will in most cases sound bad, at least in a live situation. But if You in-coorporate them seamlessly in Your style and can type of talking to the audience while playing them - then its another thing. Beeing a good musician is in most cases a matter of sorting things out - eg. taking away some of the playing rather than doin a show-off. I've seen so many bands with 4-5 players and everone wants to play the best they can all the time, and it just went messy and ruined something that could have been good.

I also want cite Miles Davis: "If I play ONE new note in an evening, its a success!" It really describes to play what You know and do it with attitude rather than trying to be innovative on stage. Practising is another thing - since nobody's other than Yourself is listening, but when it comes to a performance, it has to be done with attitude, otherwise it's worthless.

//Staffay


i agree


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 25 2010, 01:53 AM
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Attitude is the main thing, not just attitude on stage, but towards music and life in general, it's a must.


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Kristian Hyvarin...
post Mar 25 2010, 10:35 AM
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A really funny thing has been going on. Recently I've been readjusting my way of living so that I can feel I'm doing things the way I want to. And something happened - it feels as if something like 30% of the limitations between my and my guitar just vanished. I feel the guitar. I feel the music. My technique has improved, too, but the main thing is the attitude towards music.

This is amazing.
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