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Aris
post Jun 18 2015, 11:23 AM
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Hi Gabriel,

I really enjoy the backing .... from the first moment i started playing over it. The style was something new to me but became friends right away.

Ok, I still have lots of timing issues but I guess its due to focusing on finding the right note to play and visualize arpeggio shapes for each chord. I think this backing will help a lot as I am now working out with 4 different keys and shapes already. only 4 keys remain untouched for now tongue.gif If If I think about it this way ... I am half way there already!

My melody lines and phrases are not that interesting though. Should I take some specific measure to fix this or this is part of the standard procedure until I get there?

Below is a sample of my workout experimenting over the backing track. The starting is more interesting IMO, the ending is lesser and in between sounds pretty indifferent.

https://soundcloud.com/aris-33/cmajor-loop-...gsus4-g/s-cXlgN

This post has been edited by Aris: Jun 18 2015, 11:25 AM
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 19 2015, 03:34 PM
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Hi Aris! Good job!

All the things that you feel and noted of your take are part of the learning and practice process so you are on the right track with this. As soon as you feel more comfortable with the shapes you'll be able to make this more musical and start to think on other expressing elements.

By now you are on the right track, keep going!



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Aris
post Jun 19 2015, 09:25 PM
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Hi Gabriel,

This is very good news for me.

Thanks for your feedback. I ll keep you updated on my work.

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 20 2015, 08:46 PM
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QUOTE (Aris @ Jun 19 2015, 05:25 PM) *
Hi Gabriel,

This is very good news for me.

Thanks for your feedback. I ll keep you updated on my work.



Great!


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Aris
post Jul 22 2015, 01:36 PM
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Hi Gabriel,

We haven't spoken for a while. This is because I have not been following a strict everyday schedule with my practice and I felt that unless I do this properly I won't be able to give you a good idea of my progress.

Anyway, I 'm still a little loose with the schedule. I guess due to dealing with two kids now which makes my day much busier and probably routine repetition may have something to do with it. I m waiting to practice every day but after all day's tasks when I have time for myself it feels more natural to do nothing or better fall asleep on the couch tongue.gif. So I end up practicing every other day or so.

Just to sync you up with what i ve been doing all this time, I have focused on improvisation mostly and every so often I 'm doing the Rise Against, Social D lessons in a slower tempo.

About social D lesson: I have counted the solo and it comes out much better now in 145BPM. I m not planning to speed it up though unless I can play it without errors for most of the times.

About Rise against: I can play at 60bpm but since this is the first time i m playing octaves, it feels very hard to go up to 70BPM.

Finally about improvisation: I m practicing the beginner's track you suggested switching between 2 adjacent scale positions (The 3rd and 4th of C major pentatonic scale). I can spot the 3rds easier now for every chord change but still working on this though. Also I have been looking some basic major pentatonic licks online so as to apply them in my soloing but I quickly forget the licks when I play over the backing track. Applying them over the backing track seems like a completely different thing than learning to play the licks at first place.

I will try to send you anything I can tomorrow.

Thanks for reading smile.gif
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jul 22 2015, 03:23 PM
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Hi Aris, great to hear from you!

Well, this is something normal. We have moments when our life is very busy and practicing becomes more difficult. Even with all those occupations and two children you are keeping your practice and that's not a small thing. Based on what you said here, you are progressing and enjoying the process. This are the two most important things.

Remember the importance of diary practice. So if you only have 10 or 15 minutes and you think, oh that's not enough, do it! Pick up your guitar and practice for a few minutes. The diary practice has a very important impact in your playing.



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Aris
post Aug 13 2015, 10:13 AM
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Hi Gabriel,

I hope all is good and you are having fun.

My schedule:I have tried to play at least 10' per day if there is no time, but really somedays I just fall asleep even before I put the backing on.
As it is now, on average, I 'm improvising every other day or once in 3 days at worse but all sessions are at least an hour long.

Below, I am sending you 2 takes on improvisation over the backing track that I'm working on so far. Please also see some of my thoughts in the process.

1st take:
https://soundcloud.com/aris-33/improvization-take-1/s-OTgpg
Pls ignore experimentation from 03:00 onwards. Should have cut this part (working on a possible phrase using a double stop)

2nd take:
https://soundcloud.com/aris-33/improvisation-take-2/s-ukdsr

Bonus tongue.gif
https://soundcloud.com/aris-33/social-disto...-185bpm/s-573jf

I have paid some attention to the corresponding lesson as well to see how Darius makes his soloing sound melodic.
One thing I noticed, is that he builds up almost every phrase by using more than one scale position for each phrase (for the duration of one backing chord). I somehow thought that this is the most important thing I have to do so my playing won't sound static and will create a sense of direction. As you can see in my takes I have tried to always move from one position to another but I 'm still very clumsy in linking the positions in a nice way.

Listening to my takes, I also notice that there is a lot of jumping from one note to another and my phrases end up being very long or even a page long which of course sounds really bad or at least indifferent. From what we have talked so far, I should be using pauses and different note durations but when I do pause, my phrases sound funky or robotic.
I have also returned to learning well some phrases from the lessons and other interesting solo parts from other artists but even when I learn to play these, it's still hard to play them in my own compositions.
Perhaps I should first take the time and imagine where I would like to put each phrase I have learned over the backing track. Maybe at this stage I should not try to improvise over the whole backing track, but use a couple of standard licks in certain places to set the theme and keep the rest of my improvisation on track.
Is there something different I should also try to be able to put some of the phrases I learn in my own playing?

Looking forward to any comments and suggestions.

BTW, about this subsidual noise in my takes...I don't know where it comes from exactly but I notice that when I bring my picking hand closer to the strings it somehow drops a bit. It may also appears in combination with the impulse response I am using.
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 13 2015, 03:50 PM
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Hi Aris! Interesting stuff!

When hearing your take I also feel that your phrases are lacking something. You are trying to find where to use silences, trying shorter, longer notes, silences in between notes, phrases, staccato, etc. All are good tools to be used but the problem is that there are no phrases there, there are notes. You need to articulate better the phrases, and give a direction to each phrase. If you hear the original lesson, you'll notice that the solo is telling a story, is like a dialogue, you hear phrases that work like words over the backing.

I feel that you need to think more in sounds than in scales, frets and techniques. Try singing phrases over the backing and see if you get more musical ideas, record yourself singing and then emulate the notes with your guitar. Then analyze how you used notes length, silences, and the structure of phrases. Is it more natural?

About playing horizontally. It's a very good tool to get out of the same passages and licks, and it also helps to create melodies that sound more like vocal lines. Practice the pentatonic scale horizontally on each string for a while. Then try to create phrases horizontally, connecting only 2 strings. Record yourself, listen to it and analyze what you get.



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Aris
post Aug 14 2015, 03:33 PM
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Hi Gabriel,

Yes, this is exactly the problem I m trying to solve.
So I won't have to improvise in real time (at least at this stage) but instead I will have to pause and sing a nice melody over each chord or even a couple of chords. After I play it on the guitar, I can do the same with the next chords to fill the track.

I ll also try to analyze the resulting phrases and see how to mix all ingredients together smile.gif

Thanks mate
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 14 2015, 09:47 PM
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Great! Looking forward your results! smile.gif


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Aris
post Aug 24 2015, 01:58 PM
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Hi Gabriel,
I have good news today.

Based on our previous chat, I must say that it was hard for me to think of nice phrases for the backing. My ideas were poor and I had a lot of sessions with no single phrase added in my solo. One night I tried once, had a short nap literally with the guitar in my arms, I woke up and decided to stay up longer. This was the one time I figured out the whole take below. Now i need to work also some note durations to fit it better and to build it up with new phrases.

https://soundcloud.com/aris-33/besttakeab/s-8lDk0 (both loops but with some timing issues)
https://soundcloud.com/aris-33/sepab/s-mpQTf (recorded with small break between loops, but with better timing)

Here is how it worked this time, as you said I hummed the first phrase of the solo, recorded my voice and played it on guitar.
The following phrases were almost instant resulting from how I felt it could follow or other phrases came up after hitting a couple of first notes on the guitar. So the first loop of the backing went like that. The second loop felt even more effortless although I had to stop for a minute and think about the first phrase of the loop again.

My favourite part is between 00:37 - 00:44. This part also just happened with some shuffling of the notes and I'm glad for it since I am always looking to make it intense and soulful. I feel this time it clicked melodically.

Upon analyzing the phrasing, I see that I start my phrases at a convenient time (not always playing at the first beat of each chord). This allows for some breathing in between phrases or stringing with the phrase to follow tighter.
Also, I am trying to play with different note durations by playing some longer notes and it sounds some more natural this way.
I have added a couple of pauses too and I also tried to play some notes concurrently with louder drum hits.
Looking back in my phrases I notice that roughly 50% of the notes played over a chord are arpeggio notes.
This is it. I don't know if my analysis is good however.

I still believe that it is essential to somehow enrich my phrasing vocabulary since this time I feel pretty lucky. Please let me know if there is a certain most efficient way to do this, since time is not my forte.

I just found this lesson from Ben with some tips on creating less robotic phrases.
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Scales...c-Lead-Guitar/#

Looking forward for your comments

This post has been edited by Aris: Aug 24 2015, 03:00 PM
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 24 2015, 03:10 PM
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Nice playing Aris. I think that the composition of this solo sounds really cool and now it's time to improve two details:

- Tone: Your tone is poor and week on this recording. I think that it's lacking some bass/mid frequencies to make it sound warmer, bigger, as well as some ambiance fx (reverb or delay). Some more sustain could be also good. Experiment!

- Performance / Feeling: You could embelish even more this solo with some more vibrato, and ornamentation (slides, bend, harmonics, etc). Add more feeling to this.

About expanding your vocabulary. It's easy. Learn 1 new lick everyday from any GMC lesson that you like. Learn to play it but also the theory behind it to know where to use it. Practice it over different backings, keys and create your own variations. Share your diary or weekly results here.



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Aris
post Aug 26 2015, 12:44 PM
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Hi Gabriel,

I 'm glad you liked it. I ll see where I can fit some expression techniques like slides etc.

I'd love to fix my tone. Could you give me some guidance of how to find and add ambiance fx (e.g. delay) in Cubase 5?
What can I do about sustain too?





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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 26 2015, 06:51 PM
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Hi Aris,

I'll share with you two print screens with ideas on how to start adjusting your tone to get ambience and sustain. Check this, try it, experiment with your own variations and let me know what happens:

Delay:
Attached Image

Sustain:
Attached Image


Looking forward your results. smile.gif


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Aris
post Aug 27 2015, 10:49 AM
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Thanks very much Gabriel,

I used both TS808 and mono delay using the exact settings in the screens to start with. I also have all mid,bass,treble to 6 now.
I am very happy with the result. The tone is fatter and warmer now with much more sustain-almost sounding professional.

I 'm working on the collab, so you can check my new tone when I post my soloing there.

I will also try to experiment gradually just to familiarize with the controls in the effects. Hopefully I will have the melody today and record it properly tomorrow night. fingers crossed.

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 27 2015, 02:40 PM
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Awesome! Great to know that the images helped to improve your tone! Looking forward your new videos. smile.gif


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Aris
post Nov 5 2015, 12:37 AM
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Hi Gabriel,

Hopefully i m now starting to get a grip with more hours at work.

Due to lack of time, I have been trying to keep up (in stealth mode tongue.gif) with the improvisation course at the practice room which by the way I believe it is an essential course to take and it's also brilliant that you give more time and depth to each week's lesson.

Since I am way behind the class, I am posting here instead of the practice room until I manage to synchronize and jump in there. So I am sending two recordings for now:

- one for the first week's task. I have focused more on the major scale notes and arpeggios against the backing track played in two positions of the scale. No phrases were calculated in advance and all came up at real time. It felt good though!
https://soundcloud.com/aris-33/c-major-begg...isation/s-E1fDQ

- second one is on the complementary lessons of week 2. I have started with the first on the list which is:
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Beginn...-C-Major-Scale/

I have mostly focused on the strategy used in this lesson (repeating phrases, change from ascending to descending, change octave, etc) using also the linear pattern and playing almost the same phrases. So Here it is:
https://soundcloud.com/aris-33/improvisatio...r-scale/s-181BV

Not much time for perfection, so i focused on the lesson elements and less on hitting the right notes at the right time.


Thanks Gab!


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Nov 5 2015, 01:48 PM
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Hi Aris! Great job!

I can say that these takes show that your work on the improvisation course is exactly as suggested. I like the fact that you are exploring the scale and arpeggios but always trying to create phrases and focusing on a melodic playing. By now you'll feel that sometimes your phrasing becomes predictable but don't worry about it, we are now at a learning stage and the idea is that you get used to the sound of the scale and how following the chords with arpeggios sound. We are setting the basement for improvisation so please keep on experimenting in this way.

About sharing takes here or at the impro course thread, it's the same for me. It doesn't matter if you share takes based on previous assignments there, on the other hand I think that it can be helpful to encourage and motivate other students to work on the course. So please share some stuff there from time to time to keep it growing!



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Aris
post Nov 5 2015, 10:03 PM
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Hi Gabriel,

Although I am moving slowly, I am glad to know that I 'm not wasting time by practicing in the wrong direction.
I also wanted to share that my playing feels a bit more like music lately since my ear seems to be looking for some phrasing more instinctively.
It used to sound totally flat in the past.

Although I haven't been able to practice every day, still with your direction and past work with Kris and Todd, I realize I have gained a lot so far and I have also started to have fun with it. I am very thankful for this.

Since you think it's a good idea, I will be glad to share all future stuff about the improvisation lesson in the practice room.

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Nov 6 2015, 01:53 PM
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Hi Aris! I'm so happy to read what you have to say about your work at GMC! I also notice that your playing is evolving really well and it's really inspiring to see how your guitar phrasing is becoming more and more musical. You're on the right track, keep going!! smile.gif


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