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> Chris S. Guitar Development Lab
Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 4 2014, 07:21 AM
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Hello Chris! This here is your thread! Since we already discussed and know what you need to be working on, I will only ask you to keep the communication in here, for the sake of having things as centralized as possible!

Thank you and see you around!

Cosmin


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Chris S.
post Oct 4 2014, 06:08 PM
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Hallo Cosmin,

So as basic as the first lesson you gave me is, I quickly realized that after years of not utilizing both a metronome and the use of backing tracks my timing is horrible!!! dry.gif

I will definitely have to begin using these as much as possible - they are after all, valuable tools.

So I recorded my first take of the lesson, after one day of practice:



It's not perfect (definitely not REC worthy), I know I still have to work on my timing but I was wondering if you noticed anything else?

Also, I thought if I cranked my amp that the audio quality would turn out okay, but I was wrong blink.gif

I'm thinking I would get a better result if I use headphones, load the backing track into REAPER (my recording software), and instead of using my amp, use my Line 6 UX1 and record right over the backing track in REAPER - do you think this would work out a lot better?

Thanks for being such a cool dude! cool.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 5 2014, 12:47 PM
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Hey mate smile.gif if someone would listen to you speak about yourself and not have this track alongside to listen, they would think you are THAT horrible laugh.gif But you aren't bad at all!!

The idea here is that you need to focus on the triplet part - it should sound more even in respect to note lengths and by that I mean that the triplets don't sound even among themselves, some notes feeling a bit shaky. Then, the 16th notes part has a little issue in respect to missing the last notes in each group of 4 16th notes wink.gif These are all things that can be solved with more slow practice over the slower backing tracks, so no worries, you are on the good path!

About the recording question - you need to try that definitely as it's how it's usually done smile.gif I know that the UX works with Gearbox and I know that you can build great tones with that software!

Let's see the improved version then and we'll take it from there, ok?

Cosmin


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Chris S.
post Oct 5 2014, 03:39 PM
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Thanks for the feedback!

I shall focus on those elements over the next few days and record an update by the end of the week ph34r.gif
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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 6 2014, 07:50 AM
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Hey mate! It's a pleasure, as it seems to me you are a dedicated person and I always like working with folks such as yourself wink.gif

Let's see the updates then and we'll take it from there - deal?


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Chris S.
post Oct 6 2014, 08:10 PM
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So I've been practicing and I feel like there is a slight improvement over my last video:



I focused on making sure I was picking all of the 16th notes in the last passage and not skipping any, and I feel like I've done a better job with that.

However, I'm not sure if the triplet part is any better? dry.gif

I've worked my way up to 130bpm and the triplet part sounds much better but when I slow it down to 120bpm and record over the backing track I don't feel like I've made any improvements... I don't know if it's because I'm just not used to using a backing track or if something else is the problem - any pointers?

P.S. Sorry for the video/audio being slightly out of sync, I don't like the new version of Windows Movie Maker and I was having a really hard time trying to sync them properly unsure.gif

P.S.S. You da man!
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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 7 2014, 02:19 PM
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Hey buddy!

Thank you for the video! There is improvement in the 16th notes section for certain! I noticed that you played each and every note this time and the balance is pretty ok.

Now, for the beginning of the piece, it takes you a few seconds to get the timing right. I think you should adopt a more natural playing position. Sitting on your bed is comfy but not productive wink.gif

Sit on a chair and try to tap your foot to the groove before it begins so that you will allow your body to feel the rhythm before your hands start to play - that will improve timing and feeling as well.

As for the triplets - ternary subdivisions are not so natural forthe human brain, so you have to give them a bit of time and focus on counting 1,2,3, 1,2,3 ... and so on over each beat, because when you play triplets, you are cramming three equal notes in duration over each beat in the bar - correct? Try to feel this happening and things will even out wink.gif What do you think?


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Chris S.
post Oct 7 2014, 05:52 PM
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I usually sit on the edge of my bed, but crossed legged on the bed made it a little easier for recording purposes - but now that you mentioned it, I can see how this would be impractical, considering I never even use the position laugh.gif

There is a comfy desk chair that slowly became my gaming chair because I would always bang my guitar body off one of the arms - so I just removed both arms of the chair and now I will use this from now on! cool.gif

And for the lesson I guess this take was 1 step forward 2 steps back, but since I will be using the chair I can use my foot for at least the first few bars just to get the feeling for the flow and see how that works - and hopefully that will solve the timing issue from the beginning.

And for the triplets... practice, practice, practice - I'm confident I can improve on it over the next few days!

I shall post a video update on Friday, that gives me 3 1/2, 4 days of solid practice to hopefully make some big improvements! cool.gif




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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 8 2014, 03:23 PM
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Hehe, self disciplining is always a good choice wink.gif

Now, tapping the foot to whatever you will be playing, is one of the best things that you can do for yourself - try it and make a good habit out of it. It'll feel a bit difficult at first, but then you will slowly get used to it.

About the triplets, yes, try practicing with the original recording and with the backing tracks as well, but also, try to count as I suggested - it's very important to internalize the balance of the triplet. Just tap your foot and count 1,2,3 on each beat executed by the foot. Try this drill without playing, so that you may get used to it and then try it while rehearsing the isolated section with the triplets. Deal?


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Chris S.
post Oct 8 2014, 07:47 PM
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So I tried the foot tapping and it has helped slightly, but like most important things (metronome, backing tracks, etc) I have failed to use it/them until now so it will take a little time getting used to you like you said.

This might seem like a silly question but my foot gets really tired after a few measures, is this because I'm doing it wrong or because I'm not used to doing it?

And on a side note, as I mentioned earlier I took the arms off my computer chair but what I failed to realized is that the arms were what held the back on so as soon as I plopped my tookus down the back fell off laugh.gif tongue.gif

Now I have myself a really comfy stool!!!

cool.gif

EDIT:

On another side note, I created a basic drum loop to practice my lesson and when I was done I came up with this quick using the same notes from the lesson:

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/riffin

After 50s it was kinda just improv riffin so the picking is pretty sloppy. I was just wondering what you think overall?

Thanks!

This post has been edited by Chris S.: Oct 9 2014, 05:14 AM
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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 9 2014, 08:17 PM
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Hey mate smile.gif the foot tapping will come to you in time and it will feel more and more natural by the day, once you learn how to keep your foot relaxed - don't lift too high and don't tense. Take short breaks and things will be fine wink.gif
About the recording - I like the idea and the riff can be developed further, but please watch out for the following details:

Vibrato - 0:11 - it should be wider, more rhythmic and in pitch
Hand synch - from 0:52 onwards, there are slight issues with syncing your left and right hands - I think that slowing this down a bit and making sure you can play in perfect synch with the drums would benefit the piece nicely wink.gif Let me know what your thoughts are, ok?


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Chris S.
post Oct 9 2014, 08:55 PM
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Thanks for the tips! My psychic powers see me practicing some vibrato lessons in the future, perhaps? wink.gif

So I've practiced my butt off today using my foot, backing track, guitar pro file, you name it!

(Guest Appearance by Willow the Exotic Shorthair)


I hope I pass! I'm dying to get it good enough for REC! cool.gif

EDIT: I'd also like to apologize, I don't mean to bombard you with a new video every other day but as I mentioned in our messages I'm not really comfortable playing in front of people and as soon as I turn the camera on I get really nervous and start to choke under the pressure.

I feel like if I make an effort to film myself as much as possible I'll start to get more comfortable and one day it'll be like the camera isn't even there! Plus, it's extra practice for syncing my video/audio wacko.gif

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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 10 2014, 08:19 AM
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Hey buddy, no worries about any bombardment biggrin.gif

The 'REC fever' will disappear with time, don't worry wink.gif The idea is - the more you do it, the better you will become!

Now, I watched the video and I must say that you move nicely with the adjustments - the triplet section could use a bit more work, as it is a tiny bit rushed, but otherwise, I can say everything flows nicely. We can try and experiment and place this take in the REC zone, to see what the other guys have to say - what do you think?


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Chris S.
post Oct 10 2014, 06:16 PM
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Thanks Cosmin! I'm glad I've taken a few steps forward since my last take (it's a good feeling) biggrin.gif

That triplet part is going to be the death of me, though tongue.gif
But I just ask myself: "What would Cosmin do?" and the answer would be NAIL IT! So I'm just gonna keep practicing until I can do the same.

I'll submit the REC take like you said just to see what everyone else thinks as well cool.gif

Oh, and I've been reading and watching videos on beginner music theory and some things are finally starting to sink in, maybe I can post any questions about it here when I get stumped?

So far:

1.) I know where all the E A and D notes are (although sometimes it takes me a few seconds to find them) on the fretboard - and I can use those notes to find where a few others are (B would be a whole step up from any A, a G would be a whole step down from any A, etc.)
2.) I know the formula for a major scale W W H W W W H
3.) I know that each note in that scale gets a roman numeral (scale degree)
4.) I understand how to get a major, minor and diminished triad (mostly) - I III V, I bIII, V & I bIII bV
5.) I get the concept of the circle of 4ths/5ths but I have to do some more research because I did get a little lost
6.) I understand how to form a Chord Scale within the major scale but I haven't started applying it because I still have to do a little more research to get comfortable with it

I've never been so motivated to become a better guitarist (musically & technically) and I owe it all to you! Thanks for the continued support. laugh.gif

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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 12 2014, 11:43 AM
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Hey buddy!

Thank you for your kind thoughs and for the smile you just put on my face smile.gif I'm in a coffee shop in Budapest, after seeing Tesseract and Animals as Leaders last evening in a club here and I am full of musical energy! Keep tackling those triplets focusing on counting and seeing that each group of three notes fits equally over each beat, ok?

Now, you know pretty much the important elements in what regards the major scale and I totally recommend the next series of lessons, in order to get you acquainted on building triads and learning the notes on the neck with this occasion - please take a look on these lessons and see how the theoretical notions that you know apply in them wink.gif What say you?

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Triads..._Series_Part_1/
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Triads..._Series_Part_2/
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Triads..._Series_Part_3/


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Chris S.
post Oct 12 2014, 04:48 PM
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Sounds good Cosmin!

I've been watching some basic videos on the web but I didn't really know how to practice them on the guitar and the lessons you provided are perfect!

Do you think that when I finish one video and the take becomes good I should try to apply to it a different key? Like once C major sounds good I should try to apply the video to D major, etc. ?

Thanks biggrin.gif

EDIT:

After giving the first part of the lesson a go - boy is my fretting hand tired! I've only ever really dabbled around with basic open chords so forming these triads and moving them up the neck is a killer workout - I'm lovin' it!

So far the only real problem I've run into is when I start to move the triads up the neck I find that I'm slightly bending a string or two from time to time. Usually it's not enough for the triad to ring out of tune but sometimes it is.

Any pointers? biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by Chris S.: Oct 13 2014, 03:48 AM
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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 13 2014, 08:20 AM
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Hey mate! Great to hear you are digging these lessons biggrin.gif Now, applying the concepts to other keys is a perfect way to exercise the concept and to become familiar and natural with using it, so yes, by all means, do that!

Now, about your issue - it is only normal, because as long as you aren't aquainted to the forms, your brain will feel insecure and it will urge you to rush into changing them to stay on time. That's why your fingers are pressing hard on the strings and you have no control. Exercise each change slowly, by making sure that you can place all your fingers into the desired shape at once, just like a stamp, not one at a time wink.gif Practice this overthe metronome for each change and you will feel much more confident when you will play them all over the backing track then. Let me know what your thoughts are and we'll take it from there, deal?

QUOTE (Chris S. @ Oct 12 2014, 03:48 PM) *
Sounds good Cosmin!

I've been watching some basic videos on the web but I didn't really know how to practice them on the guitar and the lessons you provided are perfect!

Do you think that when I finish one video and the take becomes good I should try to apply to it a different key? Like once C major sounds good I should try to apply the video to D major, etc. ?

Thanks biggrin.gif

EDIT:

After giving the first part of the lesson a go - boy is my fretting hand tired! I've only ever really dabbled around with basic open chords so forming these triads and moving them up the neck is a killer workout - I'm lovin' it!

So far the only real problem I've run into is when I start to move the triads up the neck I find that I'm slightly bending a string or two from time to time. Usually it's not enough for the triad to ring out of tune but sometimes it is.

Any pointers? biggrin.gif



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Chris S.
post Oct 13 2014, 10:34 PM
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Alright, will do! smile.gif

I think I'm also going to play them as arpeggios that way instead of just knowing the chord name I'll also become familiar with the note names individually which can maybe help me learn where all the notes are on the fret board faster?

And not to go off topic, but I saw your youtube videos of your sword and sword strike - badass! cool.gif

Are you a self taught? I knew you were an awesome guitarist but I didn't know you were a dragon slayer in your off days! wink.gif

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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 14 2014, 02:17 PM
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Hey mate! That is once again a very good choice wink.gif Try to phrase in 16th notes, 8th notes or even triplets when arpeggiating - you will not only develop your picking technique, but as you said, becoming aware of WHAT NOTES you play (their names, not numbers as in tabs) and THEIR POSITION on the neck, is pretty much the most natural and organic way to learn your fretboard in the standard tuning. When changing tunings, well, that's a different story alltogether biggrin.gif But the most important step is to learn the neck in standard tuning and then, you will have the necessary experience to make a fluid transition to other tunings as well wink.gif

About the sword.. well, I am passionate Japanese classical swordsmanship practitioner - that is called Kenjutsu and that there was my actual first cut smile.gif I practice daily as it calms my mind, sharpens my spirit and it has taught me a lot of great things about life so far. I am not self taught, as I go twice a week at a fencing school where I study Taisha Ryu and Niten Ichi Ryu - two very old Japanese fencing traditions biggrin.gif


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Chris S.
post Oct 14 2014, 07:26 PM
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So I've come to the conclusion that this one is going to take me a while tongue.gif
I haven't really ever formed chords up and down the neck so I'm gonna have to take my time making sure everything is fluent and my notes are ringing through clearly.

However, I did run across a new problem relating to my guitar. I recently put a new bridge on my strat (it has a super fat trem block for more sustain) however the saddles were set up horribly!

I set most of them up however the low e string won't budge. When I play the very last C triad on the 4th 5th and 6th strings it sounds horrible and when I clipped my tuner on the C note on the low E string is halfway between C and C#.

I moved the saddle as close as it can go towards the fretboard but it changed nothing mad.gif
Any suggestions?

Also,

Since this lesson is going to take me a while I started working on this with any spare time I have when I'm finished with the triad lesson:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Altern...king-Workout-2/

Gab recommended it in my REC take. It's going a long pretty well, so you might see a video update for this one before the triad one tongue.gif
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