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> Old Habits, Pentatonics And Download Festival!
Marraboy
post Jun 11 2007, 12:18 PM
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I sent this as an email to Kris a few days ago and he, correctly, asked me to post it in the forum. So any thoughts would be appreciated, particularly the questions at the end...

Hi

I joined your website last week - I've been playing guitar for almost
15 years (on and off). I hadn't been playing for a couple of years
then decided I would like to give it another go, so I dusted off my
Gibson Les Paul, got my pick out and tried playing some stuff!!! Doh!
I was fairly crap!

I had played 15 years almost exclusively rhythm so when I tried to
play some Iron Maiden solos I failed miserably! BUT I found your
site, WOW what can I say - I've been doing the metronome exercises
for about 4 nights (1 hour each) and I can almost play some nifty
riffs - I still can't play the Iron Maiden solo but I guess with a
couple of months on the lessons I should be able to crack it. THANKS
a lot, it's a great site. It seems I was practicing the wrong things.

Just a couple of questions...

1) My worst habit was by picking in a down stroke only - I am really
trying to pick in both directions and short term it is slowing my
progress. In your opinion is this something that will fix itself if I
continue doing the exercises? I think my brain needs retraining!

2) I have been looking at your pentatonic scale stuff - again this is
fantastic and something I never even looked at in 15 years of
practice!!! I am struggling to 'improvise' at the moment (I suppose
I've only been really at it for about 4 days). Do you recommend I
stick to the exercises until I can get some confidence on the scales
or should I try to improvise at a slow speed to get a better feel for
moving around the fret board?

3) Can I become a rock start at 32? I hate my day job and I kind of
fancy doing the Download Festival at Donnington next year!!! Maybe
headline it the year after that!

Keep up the good work - Awesome stuff.
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Scott Gentzen
post Jun 11 2007, 12:43 PM
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QUOTE (Marraboy @ Jun 11 2007, 11:18 AM) *
3) Can I become a rock start at 32? I hate my day job and I kind of
fancy doing the Download Festival at Donnington next year!!! Maybe
headline it the year after that!


Blondie was in their 30's when they got big, I think.

Interesting thing (to me) about guitar (and music in general, really) is that you don't really have to be particularly good to make it. I don't think Kurt Cobain would have been able to play Maiden solos either.

I try to keep this in mind since I'm 33 now and I picked up a guitar for the first time in Mid December last year (long story, part of it's in the Introduce Yourself forum somewhere). While I'm under no delusions that I'm likely to become a rock star, sometimes all it takes is an idea that resonates with an audience and some people that believe in it and things can take off in surprising ways.


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Marraboy
post Jun 11 2007, 12:49 PM
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QUOTE (Scott Gentzen @ Jun 11 2007, 12:43 PM) *
Blondie was in their 30's when they got big, I think.

Interesting thing (to me) about guitar (and music in general, really) is that you don't really have to be particularly good to make it. I don't think Kurt Cobain would have been able to play Maiden solos either.

I try to keep this in mind since I'm 33 now and I picked up a guitar for the first time in Mid December last year (long story, part of it's in the Introduce Yourself forum somewhere). While I'm under no delusions that I'm likely to become a rock star, sometimes all it takes is an idea that resonates with an audience and some people that believe in it and things can take off in surprising ways.


Hehe

I don't think I'm gonna be famous either - it would be nice!!! Oh well at least I know there's two old foggies starting out!!! Good luck - I'll see you on the main stage next year!
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MickeM
post Jun 11 2007, 01:31 PM
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QUOTE (Marraboy @ Jun 11 2007, 01:18 PM) *
1) My worst habit was by picking in a down stroke only - I am really
trying to pick in both directions and short term it is slowing my
progress. In your opinion is this something that will fix itself if I
continue doing the exercises? I think my brain needs retraining!

I think you have to practice alternate picking as an instance of it's own, not include it as a task to do while praticing other stuff. To my beliefe that will take longer and be less effective.
I remember when I did it it took a lot of work until it was stuck brainwise. But as soon as it is, it will just be fluent. Hopefullt your brain can pick up on stuff like that faster than mine laugh.gif

QUOTE (Marraboy @ Jun 11 2007, 01:18 PM) *
2) I have been looking at your pentatonic scale stuff - again this is
fantastic and something I never even looked at in 15 years of
practice!!! I am struggling to 'improvise' at the moment (I suppose
I've only been really at it for about 4 days). Do you recommend I
stick to the exercises until I can get some confidence on the scales
or should I try to improvise at a slow speed to get a better feel for
moving around the fret board?

If you learn att the boxes (or any other method) so that you find your way around, improvising will be easier too. Same there, struggle with the boxes (or how you decide to build it up) until you got the fretboard.
And I said (or any other method) because what happened to me (many years ago) is that I got stuck in the boxes. There's a Kris's method for that aswell - Breaking out of the pentatonic boxes - or something like that.
So for my sake, I wish I had learned the scales in a less "boxy" way.

QUOTE (Marraboy @ Jun 11 2007, 01:18 PM) *
3) Can I become a rock start at 32? I hate my day job and I kind of
fancy doing the Download Festival at Donnington next year!!! Maybe
headline it the year after that!

Keep up the good work - Awesome stuff.

A success story, kind of, there was this guy who picked up a guitar, learned everything about it and became a "rock star" in just two years. It was only in his town but still, he was the local guitar hero.
It lasted for a couple of years, I just googled him and saw that now he's running a music management company of some sort.
I don't think age matters that much really but it takes time to establish and you have to have something original to offer.

Hope things work out for you smile.gif


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mattacuk
post Jun 11 2007, 01:54 PM
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QUOTE (Marraboy @ Jun 11 2007, 12:18 PM) *
I sent this as an email to Kris a few days ago and he, correctly, asked me to post it in the forum. So any thoughts would be appreciated, particularly the questions at the end...

Hi

I joined your website last week - I've been playing guitar for almost
15 years (on and off). I hadn't been playing for a couple of years
then decided I would like to give it another go, so I dusted off my
Gibson Les Paul, got my pick out and tried playing some stuff!!! Doh!
I was fairly crap!

I had played 15 years almost exclusively rhythm so when I tried to
play some Iron Maiden solos I failed miserably! BUT I found your
site, WOW what can I say - I've been doing the metronome exercises
for about 4 nights (1 hour each) and I can almost play some nifty
riffs - I still can't play the Iron Maiden solo but I guess with a
couple of months on the lessons I should be able to crack it. THANKS
a lot, it's a great site. It seems I was practicing the wrong things.

Just a couple of questions...

1) My worst habit was by picking in a down stroke only - I am really
trying to pick in both directions and short term it is slowing my
progress. In your opinion is this something that will fix itself if I
continue doing the exercises? I think my brain needs retraining!

2) I have been looking at your pentatonic scale stuff - again this is
fantastic and something I never even looked at in 15 years of
practice!!! I am struggling to 'improvise' at the moment (I suppose
I've only been really at it for about 4 days). Do you recommend I
stick to the exercises until I can get some confidence on the scales
or should I try to improvise at a slow speed to get a better feel for
moving around the fret board?

3) Can I become a rock start at 32? I hate my day job and I kind of
fancy doing the Download Festival at Donnington next year!!! Maybe
headline it the year after that!

Keep up the good work - Awesome stuff.



Hello and welcome to GMC ! biggrin.gif
With regards to alternate picking, i started doing this from scratch so its all i know. But I can tell you, its simply a matter of brain training. Heres what you can do, try any of the speedpicking/alternate picking exercises here on GMC. Grab your metronome and practice these everyday - your brain will just click into the habit when you do it long enough! biggrin.gif Its just about building habit. Put in the effort and you will be rewarded with an awsome technique!

With regards to pentatonics, heres how i went about it. I first learn all the scale boxes in the key of Am (kris shows these in his lessons). I first started by simply playing the 5 or so boxes up and down so i could remember where they were without thinking about it. Then i did the "mental exercise" as kris calls it, about shifting between boxes - the great thing about this is its really fun!

So in conclusion, learn the boxes first, then do all of kris's suggested exercises as presented in the videos.

And yes you can become a rockstar with practice and dedication! cool.gif


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Andrew Cockburn
post Jun 11 2007, 02:14 PM
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QUOTE (Marraboy @ Jun 11 2007, 07:18 AM) *
2) I have been looking at your pentatonic scale stuff - again this is
fantastic and something I never even looked at in 15 years of
practice!!! I am struggling to 'improvise' at the moment (I suppose
I've only been really at it for about 4 days). Do you recommend I
stick to the exercises until I can get some confidence on the scales
or should I try to improvise at a slow speed to get a better feel for
moving around the fret board?


When you build your training schedule, make time for straight technique practice - both alt picking and Pentatonic boxes, but also make sure you make time to practice some improv. Use the pentatonic, and one of Gabriels Blues backing tracks - Gabriels lessons are full of ideas for bluesy pentatonic playing, and would be an excellent place to start getting ideas.

QUOTE (Marraboy @ Jun 11 2007, 07:18 AM) *
3) Can I become a rock start at 32? I hate my day job and I kind of
fancy doing the Download Festival at Donnington next year!!! Maybe
headline it the year after that!

Keep up the good work - Awesome stuff.



You are never too old - its about whether you want that kind of life and if you have something to offer.


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Marraboy
post Jun 11 2007, 06:20 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Jun 11 2007, 02:14 PM) *
When you build your training schedule, make time for straight technique practice - both alt picking and Pentatonic boxes, but also make sure you make time to practice some improv. Use the pentatonic, and one of Gabriels Blues backing tracks - Gabriels lessons are full of ideas for bluesy pentatonic playing, and would be an excellent place to start getting ideas.
You are never too old - its about whether you want that kind of life and if you have something to offer.


Thanks everybody for your input. I'm going to check those blues lessons out. I want to play some fast stuff but I guess you gotta walk before you can run!

My first album is just around the corner I can sense it!
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Scott Gentzen
post Jun 11 2007, 08:09 PM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ Jun 11 2007, 12:31 PM) *
I think you have to practice alternate picking as an instance of it's own, not include it as a task to do while praticing other stuff. To my beliefe that will take longer and be less effective.


I'm a little lucky here that I decided to start with alternate picking from the ground up. I've been banging on a C Major scale exercise just for alternate picking for a month. That's kinda my 'alt-picking' default exercise. Then from there, I try to alternate pick whatever else I can (I know some things shouldn't be) just to reinforce.


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Amps: Peavey Transformer 112, Epiphone Valve Jr head with custom 2x12 cab
Pedals: Boss TU-2, Budda Bud-Wah, Chuck Collins Harmonic Percolator clone
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Marraboy
post Jun 12 2007, 09:11 AM
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QUOTE (Scott Gentzen @ Jun 11 2007, 08:09 PM) *
I'm a little lucky here that I decided to start with alternate picking from the ground up. I've been banging on a C Major scale exercise just for alternate picking for a month. That's kinda my 'alt-picking' default exercise. Then from there, I try to alternate pick whatever else I can (I know some things shouldn't be) just to reinforce.


Woohoo

I think it's starting to pay off already. I sat down with the axe last night and started doing the scales and stuff... Then I suddenly realised that I had been picking in both directions without even knowing it!!! How weird! It just goes to show that once your brain learns a particular pattern it does it automatically!

Again - thanks to this site!!!
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FretDancer69
post Jun 12 2007, 10:30 PM
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QUOTE (Marraboy @ Jun 12 2007, 02:11 AM) *
Woohoo

I think it's starting to pay off already. I sat down with the axe last night and started doing the scales and stuff... Then I suddenly realised that I had been picking in both directions without even knowing it!!! How weird! It just goes to show that once your brain learns a particular pattern it does it automatically!

Again - thanks to this site!!!


I believe that no matter your age, if you practice very hard, and stablish your goal, you can make it. Thats my goal, im only 16 but it really doesent matter, just practice very hard. and you will make it. Keep practicing dude, and enjoy your stay at GMC smile.gif


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jammer91
post Jun 15 2007, 10:34 PM
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QUOTE (Marraboy @ Jun 11 2007, 03:18 PM) *
I sent this as an email to Kris a few days ago and he, correctly, asked me to post it in the forum. So any thoughts would be appreciated, particularly the questions at the end...

Hi

I joined your website last week - I've been playing guitar for almost
15 years (on and off). I hadn't been playing for a couple of years
then decided I would like to give it another go, so I dusted off my
Gibson Les Paul, got my pick out and tried playing some stuff!!! Doh!
I was fairly crap!

I had played 15 years almost exclusively rhythm so when I tried to
play some Iron Maiden solos I failed miserably! BUT I found your
site, WOW what can I say - I've been doing the metronome exercises
for about 4 nights (1 hour each) and I can almost play some nifty
riffs - I still can't play the Iron Maiden solo but I guess with a
couple of months on the lessons I should be able to crack it. THANKS
a lot, it's a great site. It seems I was practicing the wrong things.

Just a couple of questions...

1) My worst habit was by picking in a down stroke only - I am really
trying to pick in both directions and short term it is slowing my
progress. In your opinion is this something that will fix itself if I
continue doing the exercises? I think my brain needs retraining!

2) I have been looking at your pentatonic scale stuff - again this is
fantastic and something I never even looked at in 15 years of
practice!!! I am struggling to 'improvise' at the moment (I suppose
I've only been really at it for about 4 days). Do you recommend I
stick to the exercises until I can get some confidence on the scales
or should I try to improvise at a slow speed to get a better feel for
moving around the fret board?


Keep up the good work - Awesome stuff.


OMG!!! This is exactly and i mean exactly my story except ive ben playing guitar for 6 years and mostly rythm. Im now branching off into lead and built a bad habit of only down picking not alternate. I atempted the Iron maiden lesson a few days back and faired off pretty well in the first bit i attempted but at slower speed. Im also new to scales and am having difficultuy memorizing penatonic scales. I also have dreams of quitting high school and just form a punk band and play in concerts like download.

I suggest you form or join a punk band as a rythem guitarist. It would be a peice of cake witha few month of practice as you mostly play power chords. I joined a metal band called Throwdown as a rythem guitarist. Luckily we have an awesome lead so we still gig and next year weve been booked for a few concerts at community centres and stuff. So good luck my 30 year old twin...

Oh yea, Im 16


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