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> How Do You Keep Yourself "fresh", your methods?
Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 4 2011, 09:21 PM
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Hey guys,

Here's another interesting topic, one that we all experience each time we take the guitar. Did you ever stop and wonder from an objective side just how much you rely on previously learned licks and how much you actually think about the melodies and try to create new along the way?

To be honest, I was never really good at second option. I would sure like to be able to play everything that comes on my mind, but in many cases, usual licks, riffs and patterns came out. I battle with this by learning more patterns, more arpeggios, more licks, and just hope that in time it will turn out good, as ear is improving. The more complicated the patterns become, the more I rely directly on the exercises (and combinations of those exercises) when playing. If the playing becomes slow, I can usually spot the melody in my head and follow it through. If I cannot follow each note, I can at least anticipate how and where the phrases will end.

By working with various musicians, we tend to learn new things and tricks. This is another nice way to expand knowledge and style, and learn fresh stuff. Doing occasional big changes in practice routines is a good way to stay fresh too. Changing the way you practice is connected to the fact that nobody can learn everything there is to know on a guitar, so practicing anything that sounds interesting, motivating and fun is a good way to go, regardless what type of playing it is. Being unique and practicing something extraordinary can in fact only be an advantage, creating a distinction between countless other musicians with stock/standard licks.

How do you try to make your playing more natural, in order to "avoid" often use of usual licks/exercises, and various combinations of these, and how do you keep yourself "fresh"?


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Sinisa Cekic
post Jun 5 2011, 12:29 AM
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I try to explore exotic scales, you always can take something from there, a little modification, shape, and that's it wink.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 5 2011, 08:20 AM
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I sometimes make a loop of a chord using the MIDI synth in Cubase so it sounds like a drone... then I play over the top. I find that if you really slow the pace and give yourself time to think then you have a chance to construct something different. I'll try putting different intervals together and seeing how they sound over the chord.

I know the eventual goal of guitar playing is to play without thinking and from the heart.. but we can do all our thinking and planning in practice time, that's what practice is for after all smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 5 2011, 10:01 AM
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I usually follow Ben's approach up to the point when I'm using my voice while recording over a track, Instead of the guitar smile.gif it's a lot faster and it usually brings the most unexpected results smile.gif If I sing something which is interesting I stop, listen to what I recorded and try to emulate it with the guitar and thus maybe I'll have a somewhat unique phrase which would've never came by using my guitar directly.

This is my way of trying to avoid the trap of using licks instead of melodies or natural phrases smile.gif


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