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> Wrong Approaches Get You Nowhere Fast
PosterBoy
post Jun 16 2014, 07:17 AM
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I had another breakthrough / epiphany in my guitar playing journey yesterday.

It was one of those moments where you slap yourself on the head for being so slow.

Anyway, I was in my car going over a chord progression in my head that we were using in a song at church that morning and I heard a nice sequence, so as soon as I grabbed my guitar I worked out what it was. Nothing groundbreaking just 3 arpeggios that followed the chords and a nice descending run with some repeated notes in with some rhythmic phrasing.

But it was the descending run that made the lightbulb in my head go off!

Every now and then I'll hear a run or sequence that sounds so cool (usually by Paul Gilbert, Nuno or someone) and when you work out what's going on it's nothing unusual just a basic scale with some repeated parts etc. So I'll try and make some up of my own and they sound 'meh'

And that's where it clicked for me, it's about function and context. The reason the runs sounded cool was the phrasing and repeated parts served a function over the progression and rhythm they were played over, hitting chord tones or creating syncopation etc.

So now when I what to practice composing sequences and runs, I'll give myself a musical situation for context.

It seems so basic and like common sense, but I firmly blame all the instructional videos out there that teach this way, Yes even you Paul Gilbert!


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Darius Wave
post Jun 16 2014, 09:24 AM
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I understand Your point. Same as You a grew on Gilbert and Bettencourt...but in case of both it's rather a great speed and articulation workhop. Not a composing and not a creativity task. When I did a lot a work trying to make some stuff from both guys done, I went to completely different players to fill the lack of phrasing and harmony concepts. I remember I was going back to the roots a bit - like Brian May (his insane power of bends and vibrato combined with some simple but tasty and agressive few notes that were "doing the thing"). Then I took some more listening to Pink Floyd. In both cases - Gilbert and Bettencourt it was mostly based on the pentatonic or blues scale so when I needed something that would be next step, I kept watching guys who Use pentatonics as well but with a lot of different colors. I think this is pretty nice combination. I would not advice to go from guys like PG and NB directly to guys like Holdsworth smile.gif It worth tryingtpo learn just a one thing at the same time smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 16 2014, 12:27 PM
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Heh! Great idea man! I am glad to hear you discovered important stuff simply by listening biggrin.gif

In my case, I usually sing a lot in my head and imagine all sorts of phrases, so I have never actually found it strange to invent runs or lines, but indeed, sometimes, diversity can be a problem.

What I mean by that? The idea in which you can come up with a run that doesn't sound linear! How to do it?

- use odd groupings - accentuate each 5th note when playing 16th notes, for instance
- use interval based runs - they have A LOT more dynamic in comparison to scalar ones smile.gif

I will recommend a lesson based on intervals that can open your possibilities a bit wink.gif

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Intervals-Etude/

Let me know how it feels, ok?



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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 16 2014, 01:42 PM
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Hahaha yes, those fantastic 80's, early 90's video clinic had lots of killer licks but where lacking something very important. Musicality, or maybe an explanation of how you should work on those licks. This happened mostly with the clinics made by the most popular guitarists, which didn't include backing tracks and most of the times they used to share licks and scales without explaining how to use them.

I can say that I'm with you with this. Videos from Gilbert, Vinnie Moore, Tony McAlpine, Richie Kotzen, Yngwie Malmsteen where my bibles when I was trying to become a metal guitarist that could shred. I could name just a few that included interesting stuff about how to make your playing more musical: Melodic Control by Marty Friedman and Rock Discipline by John Petrucci.

I can say that I clicked when I was around 18/19 and I got a book which analyzed Steve Vai's techniques and approaches to composition. This book shared not only the guitar licks, it included the theory behind the backing, the theory behind the phrasing and extended backing track to improvise and work on variations of Vai's licks. This was what I needed to work if I want to find my own voice on my instrument. It was the right path to start composing music that I liked and stop repeating licks from videos.

GMC lessons are musical, and that's a great thing. We have the extended backings, the chord progression used, the theory and scales used, everything clearly explained. But using them wisely depends on us.

I would like to give you a suggestion, choose a lesson from GMC archive and follow the following steps:

A) Listen to the backing track, feel its groove and how each chord is connected with the previous and following.

B ) Check the backings progression, play along with it.

C) Learn the scales suggested by the instructors for the lesson. Practice them over the backing, just random notes, see and feel how each note sounds over it.

D) Start working on part 1. Learn it, analyze the connection between the notes played and the chords played at that moment in the backing track. Is the instructor playing one of the scales suggested? Is he playing chord notes? Which notes are longer?

C) Play part number one over the backing, play it as a loop. Does it work all the time as a loop or just over the chord it was composed? What happens if you create variations or if you divide it in two and play just the first (or second part) as a loop? Experiment! Create your own licks based on it.

E) Repeat D & C with the remaining parts.

Don't you think that you can get much more from a lesson if you work them in this way?

This post has been edited by Gabriel Leopardi: Jun 16 2014, 01:42 PM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 17 2014, 10:42 AM
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I certainly agree with Gabriel and I can only underline his words:

GMC lessons are a starting point - they provide principles which should be understood, learned and then applied in a personal manner in an appropriate context.

The main idea is that you shouldn't stop after learning a GMC lesson - 'milk it' by using Gabriel's approach.

I have an idea on which I'd like you guys to work with me - later on this evening wink.gif


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