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> Problem With Playing Scales Over Backing Tracks
michaelwalker
post Mar 27 2012, 03:09 PM
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ok, I'm a beginner, I can play chords and such, playing riffs like the easy riffs on electric, but I was playing like scales like over backing tracks, simple ones, like minor pentatonic..and don't seem to get any satisfying result. Like any note combinations that sound good, I viewed the lesson on how to determine the key of a song or track I guess then I try to apply a scale to it..

any advise on how to proceed?

I seem stuck, it's either trying to learn songs on the guitar and memorization, which seems like it takes hours, i jump all over the place trying different things, should I just stick with one song till I get it down or what?

It seems like I waste endless hours trying a bunch of different easy lessons or whatever and then leave un satisfied..I hate that makes me want to give up..


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dark dude
post Mar 27 2012, 03:58 PM
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QUOTE (michaelwalker @ Mar 27 2012, 03:09 PM) *
I seem stuck, it's either trying to learn songs on the guitar and memorization, which seems like it takes hours, i jump all over the place trying different things, should I just stick with one song till I get it down or what?

Yes, you've answered your own quesiton - focus your practice.

Songs do take hours to learn properly.

As for playing scales over backing tracks, I assume you were playing in the correct key (you mentioned that key lesson), for starters, otherwise it'd sound terrible.

By not sticking with the memorisation of songs, you're missing out on the licks from those songs that you could be using in your improvisation.

Be wary of playing up and down scales in your improv., many people learn their scales by playing up and down boxes, and when it comes to trying to make something of it, that's all their licks end up sounding like, exercises.

What genre are you trying to improvise in? Could you post a track of your playing, so that we can see what you mean by non-satisfying, as that is subjective.

Take a look at this lesson, it will give you some pentatonic licks to use smile.gif


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SpaseMoonkey
post Mar 27 2012, 04:11 PM
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QUOTE (michaelwalker @ Mar 27 2012, 10:09 AM) *
ok, I'm a beginner, I can play chords and such, playing riffs like the easy riffs on electric, but I was playing like scales like over backing tracks, simple ones, like minor pentatonic..and don't seem to get any satisfying result. Like any note combinations that sound good, I viewed the lesson on how to determine the key of a song or track I guess then I try to apply a scale to it..

any advise on how to proceed?

I seem stuck, it's either trying to learn songs on the guitar and memorization, which seems like it takes hours, i jump all over the place trying different things, should I just stick with one song till I get it down or what?

It seems like I waste endless hours trying a bunch of different easy lessons or whatever and then leave un satisfied..I hate that makes me want to give up..


Hey man don't let it bring you down. Everyone has rough patches even the pros did when they first started. That is why its the beginning, you will always have hurdles to jump no matter how you get. I bet there is a ton of stuff that even the instructors here couldn't all do. A few may have master it, but not all of them. It just takes time, practicing is always the key to getting better. Even if you play a simple riff over and over for a week. If you recorded it I bet after a week of playing it hard you will notice change. Whether it sounds cleaner, faster, or your fingers are doing less motions to make it happen.

I honestly have put very little effort into learning a full song, I can play intros or bits and pieces of a song. Does that make me play any worse? Nope it has helped me find passages that I could use to better techniques without it seeming like a grueling task of a simple scale or pattern because well... It was part of a song that I liked.

Right I am glad to get mentoring from Cosmin and having a full staff of amazing guitarist and also people here on the board to keep motivation high. I wouldn't put myself over a Intermediate but I'm learning legato right now as a beginner because I never worked on it. So I am strengthening myself in other areas to improve my playing overall.

Like Dark Dude said, the more riffs/passages/solos you learn the more open you become into hearing more music in your own head. It will also help you take a little bit of everything and turn it into "YOU" and then you have your own style based off people who influenced you.

So just take a simple break go relax and then come back to it later, don't force yourself into long hours because you will in turn give up and may regret it down the road. I know I did when I was younger.

- Travis S.


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michaelwalker
post Mar 27 2012, 05:04 PM
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QUOTE (dark dude @ Mar 27 2012, 02:58 PM) *
Yes, you've answered your own quesiton - focus your practice.

Songs do take hours to learn properly.

As for playing scales over backing tracks, I assume you were playing in the correct key (you mentioned that key lesson), for starters, otherwise it'd sound terrible.

By not sticking with the memorisation of songs, you're missing out on the licks from those songs that you could be using in your improvisation.

Be wary of playing up and down scales in your improv., many people learn their scales by playing up and down boxes, and when it comes to trying to make something of it, that's all their licks end up sounding like, exercises.

What genre are you trying to improvise in? Could you post a track of your playing, so that we can see what you mean by non-satisfying, as that is subjective.

Take a look at this lesson, it will give you some pentatonic licks to use smile.gif


I'm into the 80's and Classic Rock..

I think that's the problem they sound like boxes, so basically stick with leaning the songs? then use the licks in my improv's I also have a 99 rock licks of 99 different rock songs, really cool, would that help to learn the short licks of those 99? or just the song's like we discussed?

QUOTE (SpaseMoonkey @ Mar 27 2012, 03:11 PM) *
Hey man don't let it bring you down. Everyone has rough patches even the pros did when they first started. That is why its the beginning, you will always have hurdles to jump no matter how you get. I bet there is a ton of stuff that even the instructors here couldn't all do. A few may have master it, but not all of them. It just takes time, practicing is always the key to getting better. Even if you play a simple riff over and over for a week. If you recorded it I bet after a week of playing it hard you will notice change. Whether it sounds cleaner, faster, or your fingers are doing less motions to make it happen.

I honestly have put very little effort into learning a full song, I can play intros or bits and pieces of a song. Does that make me play any worse? Nope it has helped me find passages that I could use to better techniques without it seeming like a grueling task of a simple scale or pattern because well... It was part of a song that I liked.

Right I am glad to get mentoring from Cosmin and having a full staff of amazing guitarist and also people here on the board to keep motivation high. I wouldn't put myself over a Intermediate but I'm learning legato right now as a beginner because I never worked on it. So I am strengthening myself in other areas to improve my playing overall.

Like Dark Dude said, the more riffs/passages/solos you learn the more open you become into hearing more music in your own head. It will also help you take a little bit of everything and turn it into "YOU" and then you have your own style based off people who influenced you.

So just take a simple break go relax and then come back to it later, don't force yourself into long hours because you will in turn give up and may regret it down the road. I know I did when I was younger.

- Travis S.


Ok, so these 99 Rock Licks I have tabs for would work, songs like Smoek on the Water, "Heavens on fire" "you Really Got me" etc, all 99 of them would help me learn more? I like then cayuse they are easy to learn and short passages of the songs, in stead of trying to learn and memorize one song..I would spend hours on it I know. my memory is not what it use to be..

But I do want to play over tracks and make my own sound, that way I don't have to compare my playing to someone else s song, thus I people can't compare me to the song..


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dark dude
post Mar 27 2012, 05:24 PM
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QUOTE (michaelwalker @ Mar 27 2012, 05:04 PM) *
I'm into the 80's and Classic Rock..

I think that's the problem they sound like boxes, so basically stick with leaning the songs? then use the licks in my improv's I also have a 99 rock licks of 99 different rock songs, really cool, would that help to learn the short licks of those 99? or just the song's like we discussed?

80's and classic rock? Nice, man smile.gif

Yeah, choose a song you like, and pick some licks you like the sound of - it's important to stay motivated by playing material you actually want to play, and enjoy playing.

Ultimately, improvisation is the culmination of a person's influences. By learning licks and listening to more players, you'll start to use some ideas more than others, and perhaps tweak them a tad, too, making them your own (finding your own style).

If you need a push, sign up with Ben, Cosmin, Gabriel or Alex, they have have a mentoring service going - it would definitely add to your motivation and be easier to stay on track.

This post has been edited by dark dude: Mar 27 2012, 05:25 PM


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SpaseMoonkey
post Mar 27 2012, 05:36 PM
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QUOTE (michaelwalker @ Mar 27 2012, 12:04 PM) *
I'm into the 80's and Classic Rock..

I think that's the problem they sound like boxes, so basically stick with leaning the songs? then use the licks in my improv's I also have a 99 rock licks of 99 different rock songs, really cool, would that help to learn the short licks of those 99? or just the song's like we discussed?



Ok, so these 99 Rock Licks I have tabs for would work, songs like Smoek on the Water, "Heavens on fire" "you Really Got me" etc, all 99 of them would help me learn more? I like then cayuse they are easy to learn and short passages of the songs, in stead of trying to learn and memorize one song..I would spend hours on it I know. my memory is not what it use to be..

But I do want to play over tracks and make my own sound, that way I don't have to compare my playing to someone else s song, thus I people can't compare me to the song..

Everyone is different but for me it would work. I see it as getting to know the fret board and how notes sound and when you sting notes together because they sound right. I couldn't tell you what note what is unless I sat down like ok.. I hit the E string 5 Fret is A so the the 6th is B flat/A sharp. But I can't just go all these notes do this off hand. I know more from trial and error of sound. So the more music you hear the more you can feel if that note is right.

An exercise my friend got me to start to help with writing is simple. Just take a loop of a song you like that you enjoy and learn that solo to give you the feeling for the solo then slowly change it to what you feel is how you'd want it.

My example. I like the backtrack for Buckethead's Soothsayer so I recorded the loop and learned some of the solo because quite frankly the rest is out of my reach. I play what I can then add my own spin to it and it has helped me a lot with learning timing and why notes should go where they go.

http://soundcloud.com/spasemoonkey/bucket-improv-test


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michaelwalker
post Mar 27 2012, 06:13 PM
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QUOTE (dark dude @ Mar 27 2012, 04:24 PM) *
80's and classic rock? Nice, man smile.gif

Yeah, choose a song you like, and pick some licks you like the sound of - it's important to stay motivated by playing material you actually want to play, and enjoy playing.

Ultimately, improvisation is the culmination of a person's influences. By learning licks and listening to more players, you'll start to use some ideas more than others, and perhaps tweak them a tad, too, making them your own (finding your own style).

If you need a push, sign up with Ben, Cosmin, Gabriel or Alex, they have have a mentoring service going - it would definitely add to your motivation and be easier to stay on track.


what do you mean by Mentoring Service?, they do this separtly or charge for it or something?


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Guitars: Jackson DK2S, Jackson JS-20, Peavey AT-200 autotune, my homemade Gibson Flying V, ESP MH-301, Ibanez ARTCORE AF-75, Ibanez Mikro, Yamaha JR-1, Yamaha F-335, Epiphone Artisit 200, Ovation Idea, and last but not least a rare Brownsville Mini.

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dark dude
post Mar 27 2012, 07:16 PM
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QUOTE (michaelwalker @ Mar 27 2012, 06:13 PM) *
what do you mean by Mentoring Service?, they do this separtly or charge for it or something?

No charge, it's on the front page "The sky is the limit". For Ben's Bushido: https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=42622


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Miltonex
post Mar 28 2012, 02:26 AM
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Hi there
Just try to play ONE NOTE, yes sounds stupit, but belive me that works, if you can´t play one note so you never gonna play bunch of notes like a scales or riffs. Try to play one note with confidence and elegance, just one note over the entire backingtrack, it works
the tone of the backing is the first note and the last note, not always but is the most common case.

For play some songs my advece to you is:
just try one bar perfectly at a time. again with confidence and elegance.

Milton
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Southern Gent
post Mar 28 2012, 03:19 AM
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This may sound stupid, but it has worked for me.

Pick 3 or 4 songs every 3 months that you want to learn. (or one month or six months, or two weeks, whatever, depending on your current skills/dedication level/free time)

For instance, "Purple Haze" by Hendrix, "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine, and "Set You Free" by The Black Keys. Try to pick songs that will challenge you, but aren't light years beyond your current skill level. If you have been playing guitar for 2 years, Steve Vai and Dream Theater songs probably aren't the best choice, unless you are progressing quickly/just love Steve Vai or John Petrucci or whatever.

Anyway, after you pick your songs, learn the main riff. Record yourself playing it after you learn it. Then, each week/day or two, learn another part of the song. The verse, the bridge, etc. Continue to practice each part of the songs you learn, and each week record yourself playing what you have learned up to that point. Then start working on the solo if the song has one.

Sprinkle this into your normal practice regimen of chords and scales and legato and whatnot, whatever you normally work on.

It will make practicing more fun as you are working toward a goal of learning songs you really like and want to be able to play, and you will hear the difference from week to week. And, as you are working toward a goal of learning multiple songs at once, you are more likely to really focus and practice each song instead and just learning one cool riff and noodling for 30 minutes. It will also help you learn techniques that are in the type of music you really like, whether it be power chords, pull-offs, barre chords, etc.

You will be surprised how quickly things that used to be hard for you like tremolo picking or string bending will seemingly improve by themselves, and when you feel like you have learned the songs pretty well, the new 3 songs you pick will seem less daunting. Just continue to practice all the songs and record yourself as much as possible. You have to be your own worst critic, but at the same time you have give yourself credit when it is due, and listening to your progress will also afford you the possibility to actually hear improvement and give you incentive to practice the "boring" part of your practice regime.

Hope that was good advice. Just something I kinda started doing after I had been playing for about a year and I feel it has helped me when I feel bored or like my playing has plateaued (which i often feel. like every day)

This post has been edited by Southern Gent: Mar 28 2012, 03:27 AM
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Michael AC
post Mar 28 2012, 04:18 AM
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Everyone is giving you some good advice.

I really got hung up on scales and box patterns. They are great but you can get stuck in them. What is helping me get out of them is a few things:

1. Consistent practice on a specific item. At least 30 min of very focused work...yes work.
2. Playing very slow and listening to the notes and how they naturally sound over a given chord.
3. I always warm up with the C major scale up and down the neck with a metronome. All scales come from this one. It is really helping my ear.
4. Lastly, patience. We all want to shred or just rock out, but I have found that the in the race the slower turtle always wins in the end.

You will get there. Definitely you are on the right forum to get encouragement. We all get frustrated. Actually I was tonight, just could not get the fingers to relax.

The REC program and now the mentoring are great things to keep you focused and to have fun also! I wish you the best!
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Alex Feather
post Mar 28 2012, 07:39 AM
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QUOTE (michaelwalker @ Mar 27 2012, 02:09 PM) *
ok, I'm a beginner, I can play chords and such, playing riffs like the easy riffs on electric, but I was playing like scales like over backing tracks, simple ones, like minor pentatonic..and don't seem to get any satisfying result. Like any note combinations that sound good, I viewed the lesson on how to determine the key of a song or track I guess then I try to apply a scale to it..

any advise on how to proceed?

I seem stuck, it's either trying to learn songs on the guitar and memorization, which seems like it takes hours, i jump all over the place trying different things, should I just stick with one song till I get it down or what?

It seems like I waste endless hours trying a bunch of different easy lessons or whatever and then leave un satisfied..I hate that makes me want to give up..

I understand your frustration!
There is an easy way to figure out the key! Just look at the last chord of the song most of the times it will be the main key!
I can help you out! Just started my mentoring program and if you join I can guide you through and give you a lot of cool exercises to practice!
Here is the link where you can sign up!
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=43564
Hope to see you there!


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