> HEY MAN, I really need your help...

...the thing is, I need you to start progressing faster then ever, but to achieve that I need your help:

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* Join my next video chat! GMC startpage holds a video chat schedule. We always cover a lot of ground and have fun. Remember that you don't need any previous knowledge, and you can be passive in the chat.

* Jam with me - you will find active collabs here.

* Post a topic on this board, guitar related or not - doesn't matter! You will find that chatting with instructors boosts your motivation to practice.

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> Aris's Thread, for Gab's Army
Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 2 2014, 09:46 PM
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Hi Aris! Welcome to your thread for Gab's Army as we agreed via PM! smile.gif

Here I will copy all the info that you've gave me about you because it will help me as a reference to start working.


"At first your style lessons came to my attention while I was looking to decode some of the techniques of my favorite bands so I can use it in my own compositions. At first I really liked the skate punk lesson although I don't listen to the style so often but it felt that the parts you composed are capturing the best of it. I was also very glad that you put up social distortion and the stooges (the latter was the least expected and I m glad you find it worthwhile even if it maybe too easy for your playing).

Lately I have watched a couple of your video lessons on soloing techniques and improvisation and tried practicing some of the materials on scales and patterns.

I would like you to be my mentor in my musical journey. My experience should be on a basic level. I am also familiar with minor/major scales but not fluent. I have also had four live performances with my band at small nights.
Since I am already 33 years old + full time job + kids, my time to practice is limited. However, I have decided to make a consistent effort to pursue this dream of mine and spend about an hour every day practicing. Due to this goal I mostly play guitar while practicing instead of learning covers. I understand I have to improve my technique, speed and accuracy before I can play the songs I like with confidence and come up with fresh ideas.

I believe you would make an ideal instructor for me since you definitely have the knowledge, technique and you are also very familiar with the styles that I am mostly interested in. I am only mentioning styles because I won't have enough time to start with classical music and end up where I would like to be smile.gif

To give you an idea, some of my key goals are:

- to be able to play guitar with confidence
- to be able to improvise
- to create tunes based on my personal ideas and musical styles of interest
* BUT you know better what it takes to do all this and more."



You goals are very clear and define our next steps. I would like to invite you to share here some audio and video of you playing to let me see your current level, your strong and weak points.


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Aris
post Oct 6 2014, 02:17 PM
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Hi Gabriel,

I just realized you already opened the threat for me so I am resending here some of the recordings that I pm 'ed you earlier today. I 'm really sorry I can't share the band's part in this threat. I hope you don't mind. There are no copyright issues of course (not such a bright idea anyway)

This post has been edited by Aris: Oct 6 2014, 02:20 PM
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 7 2014, 12:35 AM
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Hi mate, thanks for the videos! Based on what I could see I will suggest a guitar routine to start polishing your technique but also to work on scales and improvisation. The idea is to have a complete workout that you practice every day.

You said that you have 1 hour each day for practice. I was thinking on something like this for the first week:

Warming up (5 minutes)
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Picking-Arpeggios/

Alternate Picking (15 minutes)
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Altern...king-Workout-2/

Phrasing (15 minutes)
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/guitar_loves_piano/

Rhythm (15 minutes)

Improvisation (15 minutes)
Improvisation Course - Week#1


I let you choose the rhythm lesson since you have many in mind... what do you say?


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Aris
post Oct 7 2014, 12:19 PM
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Hi Gabriel,

Thank you for your advice. I feel so much better to have a routine that fits to my needs smile.gif This is very interesting stuff.
I 'll think of something interesting also for my rhythm practice and I will check with you first, to see if it fits the purpose.

I 'll also try to send you stuff from my practice so that you can also watch if I am in good pace and see where I'm struggling.

I have to say since I our first communication I 've been sleeping less but practicing more smile.gif. I must be pretty excited!
I hope I can squeeze some more time in my daily schedule as I did this week.







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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 7 2014, 03:31 PM
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Hi Aris! smile.gif

Great to know this! There are two main goals behind my mentoring program, the first one is keeping you motivated, and the second one is keeping you making music, exercises are an excuse but our main goal is making music.

For these two reasons, I want to suggest this:

- Please let me know, every time you start to feel motivation or that you start to feel tired of an exercises. That's when it's time to change things and make the "new" again.

- Learn the lessons as they are, master them, but also, at the same time, use the backing track to improvise with the scales suggested, create variations of the licks from the lessons, play random notes, combine your phrasing with the lesson phrasing, in other words: make music.


Finally, it will be great if you can post here videos or audios frequently to let me monitor your practice. Share stuff playing the lessons, practicing them, improvising, and everything... I will be happy to give feedback.

Ok friend! I hope that you enjoy your first week of practice at Gab's Army!


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Aris
post Oct 8 2014, 12:40 PM
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Yes!!! I so hope I can make music.

I already started with the routine you proposed last night. Felt good!

Since I want to learn a few of your lessons , I chose Social distortion style for my rhythm practice. https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Social-Distortion-Style/.
I know I should focus on the rhythm parts more than the melodies.
Please let me know if this will do the job or you had something different in mind.

Below, I'd like to share some difficulties I had during my practice:
- Phrasing: For now I seem to be straggling with the timing of each note when I need to count "Q." durations. I understand what I need to do but in practice I need to really focus and play very very slow to hit the key at the right time. (I also tap my foot ) I guess I need to get used to it.

-Improvisation: The G shaped chord in CAGED system seems impossible. I can't reach the barre with my 1st finger on 2nd,3rd,4th strings.
Is it normal at the beginning?

I had many questions about how to approach each set in the routine but you covered me already smile.gif
I will surely send you stuff as frequently as possible. Your feedback is valuable.

I 'm really grateful for your help

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 8 2014, 03:16 PM
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Hi Aris! smile.gif

Social Distortion lesson is a very good idea! Yes, you have to focus on the rhythm part but it is also a good one to start working on rocker soloing. It's also a good backing track to practice the scales that you are working on, since it's in G major.

Regarding the phrasing thing, the timing and the notes duration, I have to say that the best I can recommend to master the is practicing the lesson over the original lesson, in order to copy the instructors timing, the notes duration and everything related to phrasing and expression. Maybe you will have problems to play everything at tempo, but be patient and dedicate some time to play along with the lesson to incorporate these details.

And about that chord shape. Yes, it's the less comfortable to play and honestly the one that I use less, but it's good to know it just to visualize the arpeggio and the scale around it. In order to get used to this type of shapes, just dedicate some minutes every day to keep on fretting the shape with your left hand, to stretch your fingers and get used. You will feel more and more comfortable with the pass of days.

Please feel free to share stuff and questions here every time you need it, the more interaction we have, the more connected, and this will make big things happen. smile.gif


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Aris
post Oct 9 2014, 09:25 AM
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Hi Gabriel,

I have uploaded also the guitar that I wrote in a song that we play with the band <file #01> so that you can have more information on my competency if you need it. I 'm sending it altogether with the first stuff I sent originally so that you can find it all in one place here.

I also watched your improvisation lessons week #8 yesterday where you pointed out a lot of great ideas on how to practice and learn it (As you usually do in all of the lessons I have watched). Since according to my routine I 'm working with stuff from week 1 and my free time is limited, would you recommend to practice VChat lessons also?

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 9 2014, 09:54 PM
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Hi mate! Thanks for the update. Thanks for your words on that message video, it make me feel very proud. smile.gif

It's good to have those videos as reference for the future and also to let me know where you are now regarding technique. There are things to polish and to work, off course, but you already have a good background.

I can see that you are working very well on tasks from the Improvisation Course Week#1. You are still getting used to the shapes and notes, but with some more days of practice, you will be able to create more musical phrases. That should be the next goal. So, please continue with Week#1 and also start working on Week#2. Replay those sessions.

I would like to see you playing the lessons from the first routine soon, is it possible?




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Aris
post Oct 10 2014, 10:46 AM
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Hi Gabriel,

Thanks for staying close.

Yesterday was day 3 of my routine practice.
I feel I'm familiarizing with the material very slowly (given 15 minutes per section) so since I have not learned a full section yet, I guessed it would not be worthy to send you something with just a couple of parts from each section. I 'll try to record something during the weekend anyway...even parts.

My methodology for working at each routine section (15 minutes each) is the following:
Within 15 minutes, I try to memorize the next part and rehearse older parts. Sometimes 15' seem to be little time to do both.
In improvisation section, after studying the sequences and arpeggios, next time I will start to play over the backing track. I will try to play both arpeggios and scale.
If I feel confident enough I will try to play random notes and phrases also. I hope I 'm going the right way.

I am not sure if I 'm ready for week 2 but I will check.

I figured that I need to be more disciplined with the schedule since sometimes I play way over 15 minutes and I end up with no time left for other sections (even though I always play more than 1 hour per day).
The rhythm section has paid the price twice already. Just sharing some thoughts....

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 10 2014, 02:59 PM
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Hi Aris, this is a very valuable analysis of your diary work.

It made me think on something that I think it's an interesting thing. Every time I say to a person, you have to practice between 1 and 3 hours per day to become a better guitarist. They think, oh that's a lot! But the curious thing is that if you have a well organized routine, covering the important aspects, and divide your time to practice each one, you start to feel that 1 hour is the minimum that you need. You finally have to dedicate 15 minutes to each thing and while you practice you notice that you need more for it. This is something that happens to me even when I create 3 hours routines, so I think that the more focused we are, the more time we will want to practice each topic.

My recommendation to your time issue is to be a bit ore flexible with the routine. If one day, you are more inspired to practice AP, you can let one of the techniques for the following day, but at least dedicate 5 minutes to the other technique just to make you muscles keep on feeling familiar with the motions. The main goal is always keep on motivation at the top level so I think that the best is to be enough flexible to keep it flowing.

About your recordings, it's ok if you want to dedicate some more time before you share stuff just to play the whole thing, but remember that I'm here to help you so maybe just sharing a short fragment can make me discover something that can be fixed to make your practice more effective. As this is not a face to face course, we need to use technology to stay closer and connected. smile.gif

The phrase "week" and the number are added just to identify each routine, but most of the times it can take more time to master the lessons of each one. Your comment made me think that maybe I should use another terminology to identify routines... I will think on it. Thanks for the inspiration.

Ok friend, keep on the hard work and please updating me here.


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Aris
post Oct 14 2014, 12:19 PM
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Hi Gabriel,

Thank you for your advise.
I prepared some stuff to show you regarding my routine so I send them with this message.

I feel that out of all the routine, only alternate picking seems to be feasible for me right now (even with lower speed). However I surely make some progress in all of the stuff even if it is successfully switching from one chord to only one other chord.

Some small insight on the videos I sent today:

- warm up - picking arpeggios: I originally had much difficulty to switch from the first chord to the second one. Now at day 5, I seem to manage better. What still seems impossible is stretching my hands to reach chord 3 and even worse chord 4 as you could tell from the video.

- alternate picking: this seems possible (i m not sure about speed yet) if I manage to remember the queue of all the notes while playing. I will need to play on this a little more time to get familiar with it. I'm currently playing at 160bpm which for the moment gives me time to think what comes next.

- phrasing: I'm not sure about the timing here. I try to imitate the lesson but this is very subjective. I find my self waiting to hear the note play from the lesson so that I will follow. If I try to play on my own over metronome then I m not sure where to start each phrase. I will focus some more on the details and perhaps set a few checkpoints.

- rhythm: The only problem at slow speed (140bpm) is hitting the lower strings when I change from the first G chord to the D chord. I tend to miss the lower strings since my right hand naturally follows the pointing finger of the left hand (which is placed at string 3 for D chord) and the right hand strikes the higher strings mistakenly.

- improvization: This really hurts!... I hope you won't kill yourself from boredom. [Caution: You might have a nervous laugh tongue.gif]. I hope tonight the patterns and arpeggios will be more connected in my mind eventually. So I will hopefully have something better to show very soon. At this point I feel that each chord in the backing track is played for very short time for me to have time to play the scale/arpeggio for each chord. Maybe I shouldn't try to play a lot of notes.
I also tend to play over each chord starting from the same couple of notes which does not give me room for interesting variations.

This post has been edited by Aris: Oct 14 2014, 12:33 PM
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 14 2014, 01:37 PM
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Hi Aris! Thanks for this great report! I think that you missed to share the videos to let me analyze your playing and comments... Sending a PM right now! wink.gif


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Aris
post Oct 14 2014, 02:40 PM
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Yes I'm sorry about that.
I was trying to send it but it was failing. After a lot of tries all files are now uploaded.
So as it seems the problem was caused by big file (119MB) which needed more time to be uploaded and eventually timeout occurred. I have now reduced the size and it worked.

This post has been edited by Aris: Oct 14 2014, 03:59 PM
Attached File(s)
Attached File  part1.zip ( 51.79MB ) Number of downloads: 80
Attached File  part2.zip ( 32.13MB ) Number of downloads: 77
Attached File  part3_last_part_.zip ( 61.73MB ) Number of downloads: 81
 
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 14 2014, 09:36 PM
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Downloading everything now! Have you thought on uploading your videos to youtube to make it easier to upload and watch?


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 14 2014, 10:51 PM
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Hi again! I've been checking the progress of your videos. Here are some comments:

- Alternate Picking lesson: This one needs more practice every day. You are not comfortable yet with the different sections but it's evolving ok. It's just a matter of time. Please check out the section starting at 00:44 because you are playing different notes comparing it with the original lesson.

Phrasing / Guitar Loves Piano: Yeah, I can notice that you are not playing it with the correct timing. The best will be to practice this one over the original lesson for some days until you incorporate the melodies. Sing along with the tune, and also try to sing it when you are not playing the guitar. Get familiar with the different phrases and the timing, and notes length issue will be fixed.

Picking arpeggios: It's clear that you are still getting familiar with the chord shapes so just keep on practicing it. Divide it in smaller sections and practice them as a loop. Once you can change the chords smooth and can make the notes sound without being cut as if you would be playing with staccato, connect the different sections.

Week#1 Improvisation: Great to see you experimenting with this one. You are now experimenting with the different shapes, getting familiar with the notes and how they sound over the different chords. I can feel that you are also trying to make it sounds musical, and I have to say that's the road you have to take. Try to create nice melodies with this stuff, that's the main goal. Keep on exploring this major shapes!

Guitar loves piano take 2: The same than the previous one for this lesson.


The zip file 3 fails here, don't know why...


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Aris
post Oct 15 2014, 09:32 AM
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Hi Gabriel,

Thank you for the valuable feedback and advice.

I also agree with your comments, I will follow your advice. I am pretty glad that I am on the right track with improvisation lesson.

Here, I was able to download and watch part 3 successfully.It may work if you try again. In any case I have re-uploaded it directly (non-zipped).
Please see if ti helps. I will also check youtube option later on.
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Aris
post Oct 15 2014, 01:33 PM
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Hi Gabriel,

Please let me know if you have now managed to download the rhythm video.
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 15 2014, 03:46 PM
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Hi Aris! yes, the video is working now! wink.gif

Social distortion: The first thing that I note when the video starts is that your guitar is not correctly tuned. Remember to always check the tuning before you start a new recording. Your timing is good on the first part but I heard some little timing issues in the palm muting section. If you check my palm muting part, you will note that I use only down strokes. You should play it in that way to get a good palm muting sound as soon as you start practicing this one with some drive. It would be good to hear you playing this one over a drum track and with a guitar tone closer to the original.



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Aris
post Oct 16 2014, 08:41 AM
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Hi Gabriel,

Thanks again. BTW it is very embarrassing to be caught out of tune.
I will follow your recommendations and will try to send you new samples as fast as I can.

For improvization, I recorded a backing track with the same chords but playing each note for longer time (4 bars instead of 2 bars) so that it will give me more time to move around each scale/arpeggio shape. I hope it's a good idea. I think the first signs are positive but I'm not sure yet.

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