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Aris
post Apr 29 2015, 03:47 PM
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Thank you Gabriel,

I am so grateful for this detailed workout and complete plan. You have put everything in place for me and I can visualize the stages I will have to go through through the process. I will be very happy to reach a good level.

This should surely maximize the efficiency of my practice from ZERO to 100%. This breakdown of exercise series is exactly what I need smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif

I 'll try to send you samples of my progress if you don't mind. I will surely need your valuable feedback to evaluate my progress and I have the feeling that there will be lots of times that I will need additional direction or to be steered back in track as my practice becomes more specific to a certain backing, arpeggio shape etc.

You have also cut out a lot of work for me with these examples of guitarists that use only a few notes as I could get a quick idea of what I should be doing more or less without getting lost again.

I will start right away. BTW I' m thinking to start with major pentatonic just to start things on the right foot. If this is not a good idea, just let me know.

I ll try to find a single chord backing and let you know.

Thanks lots!!!!
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 29 2015, 11:15 PM
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Hi Aris, I'm glad to know that this description clarified your direction. Please use a notepad to write down this ideas and organize them with your own ideas, and everything else related to this workout. Use it to have the scale shapes, the different backings uses, licks that you are working, etc.

I think that it's ok to start with Pentatonic scales. Please note that minor pentatonic is even more used in rock and blues so maybe you'd want to start with it, but well, by the way you need to learn both so start with the one that you prefer.

And off course you can use this thread to share your progress, questions, solos, backings and everything you need to keep progressing. wink.gif



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Aris
post Apr 30 2015, 02:00 PM
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Hi Gabriel,

I started very simply so as to take things step by step and I have tried to follow your instructions closely.

I have started playing the G major pentatonic over an one chord backing (Gmajor) to have as little as possible to think about in the beginning.
From the scale I have selected the notes G, B, D which coincide with the arpeggio but I do not mean to mix it up with arpeggio practice just to keep things clear.

I also share with you my notes as you recommended.

Practice Session 1: Major pentatonic position 2, octave 2 (3 notes selected: G , B, D)

E ----------------
B ----------------
G -------4---7---
D ----5-----------
A ----------------
E ----------------

Backing track of one chord: Gmajor

No notable licks found yet using 3 chords...Perhaps I will have to find and borrow some licks for starters and change them around.

(I figured it would be best to start with major pentatonic since I have the impression that most punk/rocker and rock & roll solos like SD, Rancid etc are in major but I see that there are lots of such solos in minor too. So tonality may not be relevant either. It would be interesting to know how this works in composing. )

I have also attached two very draft samples of my practice just to show you how I have tried to work on your instructions.
Is it meant to sound so crappy at the beginning. I 'm afraid I may have not understood what I should be doing for this exercise.
(one sample is using only 3 notes of the scale position)
(the other sample is using a full octave in the same position from the major pentatonic scale) - towards the end of this sample I was trying to follow a fictional spoken conversation in my mind but it's hard even for me to picture it by listening to the track

https://soundcloud.com/aris-33/iprov-practi...i-iii-v/s-FT9ro
https://soundcloud.com/aris-33/majorpenta-o...sition1/s-z9VS5

Just let me know if this is different than what you advised me to do start practicing.

This post has been edited by Aris: Apr 30 2015, 02:10 PM
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 30 2015, 03:13 PM
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Hi Aris, great job with this! It's exactly what I meant! If you keep patient and working like this, your improvisation skills will definitely progress. I'm not sure if you are doing this but I think that this workout can be combined with some ear training. While you play this melodies, you should sing the notes that you play, in order to incorporate the sound of each note. After a while of doing it, you could try this exercises:

- Sing and play the melodies at the same time (Benson Style)
- Sing a phrase, and then play it on guitar.
- Sing phrases and imagine the frets that you'd be playing. Then check if you were right.


This training will make the connection between your ideas and your guitar much smoother, and it's a great moment to work on it too.


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Aris
post Apr 30 2015, 04:07 PM
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Great news!!! I'm really happy that I 'm on the right foot.

Thanks for your suggestion too. I will put this into play starting right away. It should help lots

We 'll talk again soon.

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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 1 2015, 03:06 AM
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Perfect! Let me know how it goes. wink.gif


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Aris
post May 7 2015, 04:02 PM
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Hi Gabriel,

I 'm trying to play every day even for 30' although the decision to stay up is hard.
Maybe I will have to drink one or two sips of coffee to avoid missing practice.
Playing before work does not seem doable.

About my practice, I try to follow your advice. My problem is that when we talk everything seems clear but when I go to practice I get confused and find it difficult to do it all at the same time (e.g. focus on playing call-response licks, experiment and sing every note that I have just played).
So when I go to practice it feels like I am missing something important for understanding theexercise and something doesn't feel right in the way I follow the instructions. Is this normal in the beginning?

I have also noticed the following difficulties:
--> I have to be really focused and make a conscious effort so as to play in call/response manner. To start with I am focusing on repeating the question with very small changes every time.
--> It's also hard to sing the notes I play in parallel with experimenting and reminding my self to stick with playing call/responses throughout the recording.

Below I am sending my last recording (1 session old). As you can listen it does not sound good.
https://soundcloud.com/aris-33/majorpenta-o...improv2/s-r3kzS
Attached are also the licks I have noted after experimentation up to now. The problem is that I could not stick to using only 3 notes in order to make them sound melodic. I 'll try to link a version of each one in the same recording and see what happens.

This post has been edited by Aris: May 7 2015, 09:21 PM
Attached File(s)
Attached File  My_licks.gpx ( 17.03K ) Number of downloads: 35
 
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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 8 2015, 03:17 PM
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Hi Aris, how are you?

Yes! All these things are normal. Please re-read again the plan that I suggested and remember the main message there: You need to go slow and be patient. It's more difficult to see progress when we work on creativity and phrasing, but trust me that the more you practice this tasks the better your playing will become. Just be sure to practice one or two of these ideas every day. You don't have to focus on many things at the same time, focus on one at a time. If you decide to work on call and response, focus on it, if you go for singing / ear training, focus only on it. In the end, everything will connect together naturally.

The improvisation that you shared is ok, I can notice that you are getting familiar with the notes from the scale and that's the main goal now. I recommend you to start practicing over other backing tracks, if possible that have different sections, to avoid monotony.


PS: Could you please save the guitar pro file in version 5?



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Aris
post May 8 2015, 03:42 PM
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Thanks a lot Gabriel,

I 'm feeling so much better again.
Great news for me, this should be very simple now and doable smile.gifsmile.gif
I just have to go slow, be patient & do one thing at a time.

I will also change the backing as you said... I was wondering if I should.

Attached is also the converted GP file to GP5





Attached File(s)
Attached File  My_licks.gp5 ( 2.59K ) Number of downloads: 30
 
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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 9 2015, 03:56 PM
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Exactly! That's what I suggest doing. It's cool that you have a gp where you are creating your own licks, it's a very good way to develop your own vocabulary and style. Keep the good job!



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Aris
post May 12 2015, 10:33 AM
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Hi Gabriel,

I feel it's going better.
I follow the plan and practice on improvisation daily (for at least 30 mins).
Then for the rest of the time I'm following my routine practice (alternate picking & rhythm mainly).

Before I start with it, I refresh my memory on the licks that I have already noted down from previous sessions.
Then, I just have the backing track running and play over it until something good pops up and when something seems good, I may repeat it several times while the backing is still going just to find different options or improvements.
Just to keep the flow and build some momentum for new and better ideas I also try to link the noted licks together or with new or random phrases.

In last night's session I was also targeting on the bends that fit better over G or C chords of the backing track (G , D chord progression).
Maybe it's time to blend in some slides or pull offs but I'm not sure if I should take it slower.

I haven't manage to record something new with a little flow since I was interrupting frequently for experimentation throughout the several takes. I should have something soon.

That's all so far. Let me know on your thoughts.
Thanks smile.gif

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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 12 2015, 06:45 PM
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Hi Aris, this sounds very good. It's ok to balance your practice between these 3 directions: improvisation workout, technique and jamming. And it's also cool to know that you superpose them and incorporate some technique stuff while you are practicing improvisation and vice versa. In the end, everything should be connected to develop your own voice on guitar.

I'll wait for your recordings, keep on the hard work.


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Aris
post May 18 2015, 03:00 PM
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Hi Gabriel,

How are you doing?
I would like to share my latest recording:
https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=KEmaYHBvQ8w

I tried to improvise using any of the licks I have found so far that would cross my mind at the time.
This recording occurred while I was experimenting for new licks.

I have to admit that I mostly experiment in finding better sounding licks while playing over the backing track.
On the other hand, I tend to skip singing the notes I play or focus on playing call-response patterns - I need to keep my focus and force myself doing these things.

I am also using more than 3 notes of the scale and I am occasionally moving around different positions of the scale.
Perhaps I should stick with using only less notes and stay in the same position for longer to progress smoothly.

Any thoughts are appreciated.





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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 18 2015, 04:11 PM
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Hi Aris, the link is wrong. It takes me to my youtube channel.... blink.gif


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Aris
post May 18 2015, 08:33 PM
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Hi Gabriel,

This link should work. Let me know if it is still problematic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEmaYHBvQ8w...eature=youtu.be
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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 19 2015, 04:13 PM
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Nice! Great to see you getting familiar with the scale and chords. There are some moments in which you connected really well with the chords, for example at 2:58.

The next work that I'd like to give you over this backing is start following the chords. How? It's simple, you take a part of the neck and search where you have the chords of the progression. You can start with the verse that has only 2 chords. At first follow it with rhythm and visualize the notes from the chords and if possible try to see the pentatonic scale too.

Once you can see the notes from each chord, start playing single notes from the chords, starting with the thirds. Play B note every time G sounds and play E every time C sounds. Do this for a while in different octaves.

When the chorus section appears do the same with those chords.

As soon as you feel comfortable with following the chords with thirds, start adding notes from the pentatonic as passing notes but keep on focusing and staying on thirds.

Try to create musical phrases using this concept. Many guitarists from Pat Metheny to Steve Lukather and Andy Timmons usually follow chords with thirds in their phrasing.

Experiment and record what you get. smile.gif


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Aris
post May 21 2015, 01:09 PM
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Hi Gabriel,

I was very happy to see the new exercise. This should make some more melodies pop up easier. I'm working on it every day.
For the moment I have occasions that nice melodies pop up but it does not happen very often.
Perhaps it's because I m just playing all notes of the chord one after the other almost repeatedly (up to now I was hopping that the trick will work automatically on its own) and maybe I should stop more often to think about an idea for the next phrase to follow.

I will describe how I have interpreted the exercise you gave me just in case I might be missing anything:
Every time the chord changes I play the 3rd note of the chord and follow using other notes of the chord(arpeggio notes) and some passing notes from G pentatonic scale. This is what I do for all chords in the verse and chorus as well. I hope I have understood the exercise well.

I have not sent last night's recording since I think I could have a better one if I play also some less spontaneous licks during my take by modifying some from my GP File or searching for newer ones in advance. I guess this is not against the purpose of the exercise. Is it?



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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 22 2015, 03:09 PM
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Hi Aris, you're on the right track. Everything is exactly as I suggested and expected to please continue working on this for a few days (3 or 4) and share a recording when you feel it's time for it. Ok?


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Aris
post May 22 2015, 09:36 PM
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Great,

Yes I will send something after a few more sessions.
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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 23 2015, 03:36 PM
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QUOTE (Aris @ May 22 2015, 05:36 PM) *
Great,

Yes I will send something after a few more sessions.


Great! smile.gif


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