Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Technique: Are You Going To Use It ?
Ben Higgins
post Jun 20 2014, 12:30 PM
Post #1


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.785
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



Technique: Are you Going to Use it ?


There were a few definite periods in my guitar practising that I felt that I 'had to' master certain techniques. This was regardless of whether I used them much when composing.

These days, I take a much more relaxed view towards the technical side of guitar playing. Basically, 'Am I going to use it ? If so, how am I going to use it in my song writing ?' And another question I ask myself is 'When I do use it, is it for brief moments or does it feature in long, drawn out periods ?'

In other words, in the great scheme of my guitar playing, how much does this particular technique (or lick) feature ? Most of the time, the answer is 'Not THAT much'.

So, with that in mind, my approach is to get a technique to a satisfactory level where it works musically, tonally and rhythmically. Other than that, to focus on the technique beyond that is perhaps redundant. I don't want to build my guitar playing around a particular technique and be known as 'That guy who is the master of XYZ technique'. The music should come first in my view. If the only thing people focus on when they hear your music is how awesome you are at picking, or sweeping, then perhaps you're relying on that technique as a feature rather than phrasing ?

If you're aiming for a career as a session musician or such like, then it's a bit different. You have to know your way around a lot of stuff but I'm talking about the hobbyist or just the composer who's writing for themselves. How much further do you need to go with that technique ? Is there another way you can work with what you've already got ? Often, when we start looking at what we CAN do instead of what we CAN'T do, we realise that we've actually got a lot of different tools to express ourselves.

That's how we have the Steve Vai's, the Joe Satriani's, the Marty Friedman's and the Yngwie's. All those guys are drawing from the same hat of techniques but they're using them in a different ways. And they all will have a differing level of proficieny (or time served) in each technique. If you lined them up and made them play the exact same licks to test them, I'm sure they'd all cope differently. But when it comes to making music, they all make it work their own way and the results sound great.

So, with that in mind.. are there certain areas where you're spending time hammering away at a certain technqiue or lick that could be better served constructing something just as good out of a different combination of techniques ?

Instead of all alternate picking, how about a mix of legato, picking and tapping ? How about string skipping instead of sweeping ? How about all of those things ?

What do you guys think about this subject ? Can you think of an example where you substituted one technique for another and it worked better ?


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ben Higgins
post Jun 20 2014, 07:29 PM
Post #2


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.785
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



No replies yet ? I didn't think this was such a hard subject ??? biggrin.gif


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Bossie
post Jun 20 2014, 07:40 PM
Post #3


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 628
Joined: 22-June 10
From: Belgium
Member No.: 10.711



QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jun 20 2014, 06:29 PM) *
No replies yet ? I didn't think this was such a hard subject ??? biggrin.gif



Patience...i'm a slow reader! biggrin.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Monica Gheorghev...
post Jun 20 2014, 09:08 PM
Post #4


Learning Tone Seeker
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1.383
Joined: 12-July 13
From: Bucharest, Romania
Member No.: 18.479



To be a master in a certain technique, it's not a good idea from my point of view. I guess everybody must go with all the techniques how far they can. And I'm not talking about the speed of execution but the accuracy and how easy it's played ​​each technique.

My approach always will have the musicality as a priority. Even if I will choose to use in my playing some techniques more than others this doesn't means that I must avoid to learn some things less than others. To make music you need tools, if you need various tools you must learn all the techniques without exceptions. To use them in a good way you must to have them at a very high level. To make a step from a player in musicians aria you must learn how all these techniques works, like you said in a musically, tonally and rhythmically way.
I don't think that you can substitute a technique for another it will works better because every techniques has his shining. You must use all these to make a complex thing. But If I must to say an substitute (you already said one of my choices: skipping instead of sweeping) I will choose bend instead slide.



Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
liveOASISforever
post Jun 21 2014, 06:41 AM
Post #5


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 611
Joined: 14-March 10
From: Scotland
Member No.: 9.844



Rick Graham uploaded this video yesterday that touches on some of your comments Ben

Here is the video

Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
PosterBoy
post Jun 21 2014, 06:46 AM
Post #6


Learning Roadie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2.425
Joined: 26-October 11
From: Galway, Ireland
Member No.: 14.225



I definitely agree, and have wasted a great deal of time in the past on things that don't really suit me as a player the type of music I play.

I have two boxes, the music I enjoy listening to and the music I am more inclined to play and compose. I love melodic hardcore and some metalcore, but it's really not in me to do that as a musician.

I also recently found I need to embrace some techniques that I have avoided as they are something I naturally do. Economy picking is one I found myself using when composing the other day, even though I only practice Alt Picking, so I'll be working on that.

I have no use for sweep picking in the 'traditional' METAL sense, so why bother practicing it, at least in that context.

Hybrid picking is something I haven't spent enough time on, yet for what I play it's crucial, and should be 2nd nature to me.

I think the easiest way to work this stuff out, is asking the question, What do I need right now, this can be in technique, musical vocabulary, fretboard knowledge and theory. Don't waste time on what you will never use, don't need until the future or maybe aren't quite ready for.


--------------------
Currently Working on

PosterBoy's Modern Riffing with Gabriel

PosterBoy's Bootcamp with Todd



Gear
Tyler Burning Water 2K
Burny RLG90 with BK Emeralds
Fender US Tele with BK Piledrivers
Axe Fx Ultra - GCP Pro
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ben Higgins
post Jun 21 2014, 08:52 AM
Post #7


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.785
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



QUOTE (Monica Gheorghevici @ Jun 20 2014, 09:08 PM) *
I don't think that you can substitute a technique for another it will works better because every techniques has his shining. You must use all these to make a complex thing. But If I must to say an substitute (you already said one of my choices: skipping instead of sweeping) I will choose bend instead slide.


In a certain situation, like if you were playing somebody else's music in another band, then you may have to follow the original piece as closely as possible.

But when it comes to our own work, we can do what we like. So, if somebody is having trouble trying to fill a couple of bars with fast runs.. maybe they're trying too hard to use a technique that they are not the best at. If this person was better at tapping than picking then maybe that person should play to their strengths and choose the technique that gives them the best results and makes the overall solo more unique to them ?

I think what you were saying is that you can't substitute one technique for another and make it sound the same.. you're correct. It won't have the same vibe to it... it will be different. But sometimes we need to embrace the 'difference' in our playing.. so although we may not be able to do what Guitarist XYZ can do but what we can do is THIS !! smile.gif

QUOTE (liveOASISforever @ Jun 21 2014, 06:41 AM) *
Rick Graham uploaded this video yesterday that touches on some of your comments Ben

Here is the video



Stop listening to yourself and start listening to other people and then you might learn something. Very good ! biggrin.gif

QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Jun 21 2014, 06:46 AM) *
I have two boxes, the music I enjoy listening to and the music I am more inclined to play and compose. I love melodic hardcore and some metalcore, but it's really not in me to do that as a musician.


Very interesting point. I think this subject doesn't get covered much actually and maybe we can open that up a bit.

There's music that we like to listen to... and then there's the music that we feel we want to play. Technique can be like that. There's the flashy techniques that excite / impress us when we hear them... and then there's the techniques that we actually use / need to make our music.

How many of us have been stuck on that invisible line of struggling with what we inherently want to play and what we feel we should be able to play ?

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Jun 21 2014, 08:46 AM


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
klasaine
post Jun 21 2014, 10:08 AM
Post #8


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2.748
Joined: 30-December 12
From: Los Angeles, CA
Member No.: 17.304



I don't worry too much about it anymore but I def worked on my 'chops' when I was really learning how to play.
I don't use most of that technique anymore but learning it actually helped me to maybe 'hear' a little differently in certain situations.

Here's a relevant example ... You (Ben) had a 16th note triplet lick challenge that I did because I really liked the pattern. I have since incorporated that little triplet lick into my vocabulary - THANK YOU!

I studied classical guitar in college for awhile - that helps my right hand fingerpicking independence.
I love latin and african music - that helps my rhythmic conception.

The trick is to let them incorporate themselves into the music that you do naturally. That takes awhile but is worth the wait.


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mith
post Jun 21 2014, 02:35 PM
Post #9


Learning Apprentice Player
*

Group: Members
Posts: 428
Joined: 19-May 14
From: Australia
Member No.: 19.821



There are 2 sides to this. you can see it as, Why master a technique if your not going to use it or you can look at it that maybe your not using it because you haven't mastered it and thought of ways you can use it.

I for one never really worried about learning chords since I never really used it in the music I wrote. It wasn't until I got an acoustic guitar I realized my playing is horrible unless distorted. Now after looking into chords my overall playing has gotten alot better.

I guess what I'm trying to say is looking at mastering any technique shouldn't be a priority until you have a fundamental ability in everything and you can then decide what will be the cornerstones of your style.


--------------------
I don't suffer from insanity, I love every minute of it
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ben Higgins
post Jun 21 2014, 07:53 PM
Post #10


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.785
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



QUOTE (klasaine @ Jun 21 2014, 10:08 AM) *
Here's a relevant example ... You (Ben) had a 16th note triplet lick challenge that I did because I really liked the pattern. I have since incorporated that little triplet lick into my vocabulary - THANK YOU!


That must have been one of the Bushido licks.. I'm really pleased to hear that !

QUOTE (Mith @ Jun 21 2014, 02:35 PM) *
There are 2 sides to this. you can see it as, Why master a technique if your not going to use it or you can look at it that maybe your not using it because you haven't mastered it and thought of ways you can use it.


That is another possible angle too..... if we can't play something then we cant use it ! tongue.gif

Is there a clearer way in which we can work out when we're perhaps wasting our time on something or if we're making excuses because we can't do something ?

Does anybody have any ideas on that ?


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 23 2014, 09:00 AM
Post #11


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 22.808
Joined: 14-June 10
From: Bucharest
Member No.: 10.636



Definitely something to think about smile.gif When I was around 18-19 years, I was thinking that I HAVE TO BE ABLE TO PLAY ALL THE TECHNIQUES! But now, I think about the fact that I WANT TO MAKE MUSIC laugh.gif

If there's something that I hear in my head which requires a certain technique, I will practice that piece with the afferent technique until I can implement it in my composition smile.gif It all goes down to that. Sometimes, I feel like I want to practice technique for the sake of doing it, but that occurs more and more rare, in the last period..

I was talking to the guys in Karnivool when we performed together this Friday and I asked them about how they perceive practicing. Guess what the general answer was:

'It is something with a great dynamic and as long as there is no routine involved, things get creative - one day you might write something andthe next day you might be spending time to polish your creation by practicing it with a metronome or over the drum line - and THAT is our utmost purpose to transform practicing into something creative'.

This is what their thought on the matter was smile.gif So, I was glad to see that I was on the good path with my mental approach.


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ben Higgins
post Jun 23 2014, 09:17 AM
Post #12


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.785
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jun 23 2014, 09:00 AM) *
Definitely something to think about smile.gif When I was around 18-19 years, I was thinking that I HAVE TO BE ABLE TO PLAY ALL THE TECHNIQUES! But now, I think about the fact that I WANT TO MAKE MUSIC laugh.gif


Yeah I think the goal that we have in our minds shapes how we practise. I've always gotten more results from keeping things musical. Practising an isolated lick is like a snapshot of something that you haven't attained. You'll have to get it up to speed before it makes sense. But a musical phrase already sounds good.. you can already hear it in context so it's more inspiring to make one carry on with it, I think.


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Bossie
post Jun 23 2014, 11:37 AM
Post #13


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 628
Joined: 22-June 10
From: Belgium
Member No.: 10.711



Look what mr Lee said.. cool.gif
Attached image(s)
Attached Image
 
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 24 2014, 07:08 AM
Post #14


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 22.808
Joined: 14-June 10
From: Bucharest
Member No.: 10.636



To keep the quote line going smile.gif



I always wondered what he really meant with this, but seeing it from the perspective of technique in guitar playing in the context of Ben's question, I realize it's true meaning.

On the other hand, he also said that: 'In all things have no preferences' - now, for me that could mean to be so proficient in mastering techniques, that regardless of what you have to play, you will never be put in difficulty because you will always be able to react due to your abilities.

Now how could this one be interpreted and which would the truth more akin to reality be? smile.gif



--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ben Higgins
post Jun 24 2014, 09:18 AM
Post #15


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.785
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jun 24 2014, 07:08 AM) *
On the other hand, he also said that: 'In all things have no preferences' - now, for me that could mean to be so proficient in mastering techniques, that regardless of what you have to play, you will never be put in difficulty because you will always be able to react due to your abilities.

Now how could this one be interpreted and which would the truth more akin to reality be? smile.gif


Yes, it can definitely mean that, I think. To be so prepared as to not need to rely on any one thing.

I interpret it mainly to mean adaptability. Don't have a default preference too much.. you may need to adapt to something else at any moment.

Or as our friend Bruce Lee also said: Be like water !


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 25 2014, 06:37 AM
Post #16


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 22.808
Joined: 14-June 10
From: Bucharest
Member No.: 10.636



Exactly smile.gif That's one of the reasons why in last year's video chat sessions, I always liked to bring to the folk's attention one very important fact:

If you have to learn a musical phrase/lick, try to play it by using the following ritual:

- learn it in as many positions on the neck as possible
- play it by using as many techniques as possible - alternate picking, legato, sweep, hybrid picking, bending, vibrato and slides
- play it soft/play it loud

These aspects will allow you to control your technique and be ready for just about anything that is thrown your way wink.gif Have you guys tried this?


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Fast ReplyReply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 


RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 29th March 2017 - 04:22 PM