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> Breakthru Moments
Azzaboi
post Jul 21 2011, 08:06 PM
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I'm sure everyone must have at least one, when you broke through something you might of be strugling with for ages, then it suddenly just clicks - your now that must more of a better player! Ever wondered what you did to get there?

Here's a place to share your breakthru moments and try explain a bit of how you got there - maybe even helping out the next player stuck on the same technique.

I'll start, my biggest break throughts where:

Rhythm Playing
Becoming a rhythm player, this was something I learnt a while back but thought I could of learnt a lot sooner. Jumping me from a beginner, upwards. Sure I could play and jam songs, but there was no sense of rhythm and timing when I first started off.

1) Muting, this should not be over looked as it's the basics of all great controlled music. Not only does it make your playing sound that much better but it's more under control and cleaner, without the addition unwanted noise. There's however more to it then just the palm muting of the picking hand when playing. Free fingers on the fretboard each add to muting the other strings or even padding strings inbetween notes creating a sense of rhythm. The book "Troy Stetina - Heavy Metal Rhythm Guitar" really was the stepping stone for me on this one - controlling both hands.

2) Counting out the timing. Taking pauses even if just for a split second or holding out notes. Sounds simple enough but when reading tabs I never understood this as it works into both hands (see above). Try play in time with a drum machine, metronome or even a band! Timing is so important and should be focused on, well before speed even becomes a factor.

Lead Playing
Becoming a faster player (as I started off slow blues, I never thought I'll be able to shred) for solos. There where a lot of factors for this but the main 'oh woah clicks' where...

1) Lessons with todd here on GMC, thanks to him alternative and eco picking skyrocketed! Yes, you need to practice your ass off and stick with it.

2) Pick rotation, I had my pick angling upwards, this made it easy to pick downwards but upwards picking would try flex the pick forcing it to slow down or shift position in the hand. Learning to keep the pick flat to the strings speeds up alternative picking a lot. Then if you also rotate the pick so your thumb is pointing downwards about 45 degrees and rather than playing sideways to the strings your more up and down (check paul gilberts style of playing), you get a totally better attack angle on the pick, use even less surface area, and speed goes through the roof once you get the hang of it.

3) Picking hand thumb, I flex to dig in and lighten to create emotion which is great for blues, slow rock, etc, but that was also slowing my picking down. At speed if you change this thumb position, lock it down straight you suddenly get more control, speed and attack! A slight roll forward of the thumb and the each grazes the strings with the pick creating some really easy, killer pinch harmonics you can throw in your solo at any time (something I struggled with changing between before).

4) Using just the tip of a pointed thick pick to graze the strings rather than cutting through them. Teach your picking hand this over and over, as you build speed, make sure your not digging into the strings. Stay relaxed, small, short movements from the wrist is all that's needed. Practice slowly reducing the amount of movement required. Less distance = way more speed.

4) Thumb position on the fretboard neck, ensure there's no pressure at all, as this just slows you down. Todd taught to remove the thumb when practicing sometimes and it was crazy at first but then helped a lot. I didn't even know how much grip I was applying and didn't even need. My fingers became so much lighter and faster on the frets. Syncing up with the new found speed in the picking hand (it's really important to get both hands to sync in speed as one is normally faster than the other and this can makes your playing a bit sloppy).

Perfect controlled playing, relax at speed, was something I thought I would never achieve. It's something that each time makes me go woah and surprise myself, how the hell do my hands do that! I want to share this with other slow players (like I was) and hope they to will break through (never give up and never say die)!

Every slow player should learn to shred, also ever fast player should learn to slow down and play things like blues and more emotional music (as I've found fast playing becomes more mechincal sounding). Get the best of both worlds and your got yourself some killer music!

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Jul 21 2011, 08:16 PM


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dark dude
post Jul 21 2011, 09:53 PM
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It's tough to remember these moments, they integrate so quickly - as soon as I hit a breakthrough though, I am ecstatic!

The last one I can remember occurred while working on my metal rhythm playing, more specifically, downstrokes. The technique that works for me is angling the pick, then 'bouncing' the pick on the string you want to downpick, muting as necessary. It all translates to minimal effort, to prevent your picking hand seizing up when playing those stupidly fast parts.

This post has been edited by dark dude: Jul 21 2011, 09:53 PM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jul 21 2011, 10:14 PM
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My breakthrough moments:

- when I could move, run and be free of fears on stage
- my first Steve Vai song played in front of an audience tongue.gif
- the first song written and orchestrated.


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 22 2011, 12:43 AM
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I've been very impressed with your progress Azza, and you've made great gains by working your fingers off! I"m very happy to hear how much the Saturday Video Chat Lessons are helping smile.gif Also, thrilled to hear how well you have embraced ardent practice as a means to achieve your playing goals.

Thanks much for mentioning me in your post. I appreciate it smile.gif Always great to know when the work I do is really sinking in and helping fellow players get better and better.


You RAWK!

Todd


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Azzaboi
post Jul 22 2011, 02:44 AM
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@Dark Dude - What do you mean "angling the pick, then 'bouncing' the pick", do you actually cut through the string or just bouncing it on top? Sounds interesting.

@Cosmin - Overcoming fear is a major! My next step probably to get up and run around on stage! Any tips? Ever jumped off stage and gone crowd surfing yet!?!!!

@Todd - Thanks for all your help Todd, and you RAWK too!

Oh one thing I forgot to mention... You got to annoy the hell out of other GMC members and instructors to achieve greatness! biggrin.gif
Try everything in more than one way, ask thousands of questions your unsure of - no matter how dumb, ask forum questions, ask to slow down the video chat lesson, do it again, how did you do that, what did you do with your other hand, request, etc. I must of been the most annoying, GMC is the most patience! Rock on! tongue.gif

Stick with a hard song and keep coming back to it till mastered.

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Jul 22 2011, 02:46 AM
Attached File(s)
Attached File  Paul_Gilbert___Scarified.mp3 ( 818.98K ) Number of downloads: 103
 


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jul 22 2011, 06:20 AM
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QUOTE (Azzaboi @ Jul 22 2011, 01:44 AM) *
@Dark Dude - What do you mean "angling the pick, then 'bouncing' the pick", do you actually cut through the string or just bouncing it on top? Sounds interesting.

@Cosmin - Overcoming fear is a major! My next step probably to get up and run around on stage! Any tips? Ever jumped off stage and gone crowd surfing yet!?!!!

@Todd - Thanks for all your help Todd, and you RAWK too!

Oh one thing I forgot to mention... You got to annoy the hell out of other GMC members and instructors to achieve greatness! biggrin.gif
Try everything in more than one way, ask thousands of questions your unsure of - no matter how dumb, ask forum questions, ask to slow down the video chat lesson, do it again, how did you do that, what did you do with your other hand, request, etc. I must of been the most annoying, GMC is the most patience! Rock on! tongue.gif

Stick with a hard song and keep coming back to it till mastered.


Hmmm, to give you an honest answer, I needed a little boost from the people I performed with - meaning that for instance, in Voodoo, everyone is full of energy, but before I joined, they had a guitarist who was still like a rock smile.gif) after I came the music moved me all the time so they felt it natural to move as well. In no time we had worked on synchronized jumps, heavy body banging and such things along with running on the stage as well. The thing is that, you need the appropriate context and boost to be able to let go smile.gif The music and the people always help and more, if you manage to make the audience move, then it becomes massive! biggrin.gif

One other thing, you have to analyze your body, the way it relates with the guitar, the positions and the things which come easy when moving. Understand what's happening and you can do a lot of tricks biggrin.gif About crowd surfing...not yet biggrin.gif but I most definitely will. I just jumped from the stage among the audience to play there surrounded by them, until now.

Cheers and let me know if you got more stuff biggrin.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jul 22 2011, 07:20 AM
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Some breakthru moments for me:

1) Going to see Joe Satriani live when I was 13.
2) Discovering Yngwie Malmsteen and deciding to learn all his style.
3) Discovering John Petrucci
4) Being selected after an audition to play in the power metal band "Damnation" (My first professional band).
5) Starting the band Cirse and becoming a song composer.
6) Working on GMC and defining my guitar style thanks to it.


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VilleFIN
post Jul 22 2011, 07:51 AM
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Last night I think I finally realized how to hold the pick right. I actually draw lines in the pick so I wouldn't forget the right position. happy.gif Then I shred some "Modal Madness" and damn it felt good.


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dark dude
post Jul 22 2011, 03:16 PM
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QUOTE (Azzaboi @ Jul 22 2011, 02:44 AM) *
@Dark Dude - What do you mean "angling the pick, then 'bouncing' the pick", do you actually cut through the string or just bouncing it on top? Sounds interesting.

I visualize it as a bounce, so what happens is that the pick does cut through, but travels the minimum amount away from the string, before coming back for another bounce. If I tried to cut through constantly, I'd overshoot a bit more, slowing me down greatly.


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maharzan
post Jul 22 2011, 03:48 PM
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Wow, congratulations! It definitely makes you happy!! I am waiting to have that breakthrough right now. So not getting there. sad.gif


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Azzaboi
post Jul 22 2011, 09:10 PM
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@WeePee - I've seen picks with those finger and thumb position marks engraved on them, so you can feel where to position them at all times, never tried them out thou, but looked interesting. I myself, spent ages studying different picks and ways of holding them when i was improving on my alternative picking, etc. While it's true the saying, "There's no right or wrong way in holding a pick", it also makes a huge difference to your tone, attack angle and playing style, I think it should be "There's a good way, then there's a better way". Just don't go crazy over it, you also need to relaxing and let it come naturally. Modal Madness is an insane finger exercise, might try it myself biggrin.gif

@Dark Dude - YES! That's it, reducing the picking distance is a huge break through and majorly boosts performance. I know what you mean! Nice way of visualizing it.

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Jul 22 2011, 09:14 PM


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 23 2011, 12:49 PM
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from beginning:

buying a metronome
reading basic theory book
joining a band
first 1000+ crowd gig
joining gmc
playing with major star abroad
recording first album
studying arpeggios, chords and harmony
becoming good at songwriting
traveling abroad with bands
getting free of chasing good gear, any gear is good, as long as you know how to use it
recording second album
realizing I can cover variety of styles, music is universal




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Cosmin Lupu
post Jul 23 2011, 01:31 PM
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Nicely said mate biggrin.gif

I am ashamed to say I forgot to mention - joining GMC and being among you guys is a major Breakthrough for me smile.gif thanks for existing and making me feel at home!

QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Jul 23 2011, 11:49 AM) *
from beginning:

buying a metronome
reading basic theory book
joining a band
first 1000+ crowd gig
joining gmc
playing with major star abroad
recording first album
studying arpeggios, chords and harmony
becoming good at songwriting
traveling abroad with bands
getting free of chasing good gear, any gear is good, as long as you know how to use it
recording second album
realizing I can cover variety of styles, music is universal



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Todd Simpson
post Jul 25 2011, 11:58 PM
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Holy Crap Azza! Is that you playing Scarified? You freakin RRRRAAAAAWWWWWWKK!

I didn't know you could pull that off? Well done smile.gif

Todd


QUOTE (Azzaboi @ Jul 21 2011, 09:44 PM) *
@Dark Dude - What do you mean "angling the pick, then 'bouncing' the pick", do you actually cut through the string or just bouncing it on top? Sounds interesting.

@Cosmin - Overcoming fear is a major! My next step probably to get up and run around on stage! Any tips? Ever jumped off stage and gone crowd surfing yet!?!!!

@Todd - Thanks for all your help Todd, and you RAWK too!

Oh one thing I forgot to mention... You got to annoy the hell out of other GMC members and instructors to achieve greatness! biggrin.gif
Try everything in more than one way, ask thousands of questions your unsure of - no matter how dumb, ask forum questions, ask to slow down the video chat lesson, do it again, how did you do that, what did you do with your other hand, request, etc. I must of been the most annoying, GMC is the most patience! Rock on! tongue.gif

Stick with a hard song and keep coming back to it till mastered.



QUOTE (Azzaboi @ Jul 22 2011, 04:10 PM) *
@Dark Dude - YES! That's it, reducing the picking distance is a huge break through and majorly boosts performance. I know what you mean! Nice way of visualizing it.



Bingo smile.gif This is a KILLER tip. Economy of motion in the hand is critical. The more you can reduce wasted movement/pick sway/etc, the quicker you can make the next pick stroke smile.gif Minimizing the drift is a great thing to focus on when trying to improve precision/speed.


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Azzaboi
post Jul 26 2011, 03:25 AM
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I got the videos and tabs, etc from Shred Alert + Space Ship Live special in a Guitar World magazine and being trying to play it for ages. Let's just say that wasn't the first take. I love the way Paul Gilbert plays for eaze, something I've been trying to copy, recreate and develop, that song is a real challenge for me and something I always come back to...


Still can't beat the real player PG, watch the hands, facals are a extra bonus cool.gif

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Jul 26 2011, 03:29 AM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jul 26 2011, 04:45 AM
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QUOTE (Azzaboi @ Jul 25 2011, 11:25 PM) *
I got the videos and tabs, etc from Shred Alert + Space Ship Live special in a Guitar World magazine and being trying to play it for ages. Let's just say that wasn't the first take. I love the way Paul Gilbert plays for eaze, something I've been trying to copy, recreate and develop, that song is a real challenge for me and something I always come back to...


Still can't beat the real player PG, watch the hands, facals are a extra bonus cool.gif


This song is amazing! I learnt it here at GMC (there is a cover lesson) but I have to continue practicing it! it's amazing to see Paul shredding.


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Azzaboi
post Jul 26 2011, 05:42 AM
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Yeah I love it! Good on Daniel for the wicked lesson of Scarified on GMC as well. I checked it out smile.gif

ps. In the video they had to cut the wrists off the spaceman suits biggrin.gif
Also the drummer loses the stick near the end and still manages to continue.

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Jul 26 2011, 05:47 AM


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