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> So You Play Guitar?, Well what do you play?
Jim S.
post Nov 23 2014, 11:59 PM
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Not being the first time someone asked me what kind of guitar do you play, but it always brings feelings of embarrassment with the typical answer "Im a weird kind of guitar player but mainly instrumental rock." Ive taken a break from guitar for a month because of work. When I got back playing I found that I didn't have anything to play. Why on earth would there be nothing to play? I should have something... So I do what I always do which is jamming familiar chord progressions and trying to improvise lead guitar in between the changes. I end up working out new chords and melody parts by never put it to good use.

Maybe I'm so sick of playing with headphones in my basement. The other day a plugged directly into a wobbly reverb Traynor Jazz amp and it sounded so good LOUD and I felt free to play whatever. I might need to switch things up a bit because from only practicing lessons takes away from the creative process a bit.

What are you thoughts?
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Todd Simpson
post Nov 24 2014, 04:21 AM
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Egad!!! I would NEVER suggest that a student practice only lessons. Such a thing would more than likely result in burnout and slow progress sad.gif I'd suggest taking a more instinctual approach and play whatever you feel like playing smile.gif

For example. IF you find you feel like jamming to a song you like, put on that song and jam to it! Learn it and play along, or just solo over the entire thing or whatever comes to mind smile.gif

Also, mix it up playing with an amp or headphones or without anything. Take your guitar on to the couch and watch a movie, Take it and walk around your house and find new places to play. Keep it interesting!

Todd



QUOTE (Jim S. @ Nov 23 2014, 06:59 PM) *
Not being the first time someone asked me what kind of guitar do you play, but it always brings feelings of embarrassment with the typical answer "Im a weird kind of guitar player but mainly instrumental rock." Ive taken a break from guitar for a month because of work. When I got back playing I found that I didn't have anything to play. Why on earth would there be nothing to play? I should have something... So I do what I always do which is jamming familiar chord progressions and trying to improvise lead guitar in between the changes. I end up working out new chords and melody parts by never put it to good use.

Maybe I'm so sick of playing with headphones in my basement. The other day a plugged directly into a wobbly reverb Traynor Jazz amp and it sounded so good LOUD and I felt free to play whatever. I might need to switch things up a bit because from only practicing lessons takes away from the creative process a bit.

What are you thoughts?


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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 24 2014, 11:50 AM
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Hey Jimbo!

That's entirely up to you smile.gif I mean, you learn stuff so that you can put it to good use. To me, it's futile to practice like crazy and not apply those things somewhere meaningful.

What if one knows 1000 jazz chords and 1000 scales, if they don't use them anywhere in a creative fashion? Look at Zakk Wylde - he knows the pentatonic, blues, natural minor and bluegrass scale biggrin.gif I honestly haven't heard ANYTHING else from him smile.gif Does that make him a lesser player than Pat Metheny? I think not smile.gif Each one has his own flavor and skills, but the one important things is - how they put their knowledge and experience to good use by creating music with it.

So - first of all:

- gather all your ideas and record them
- see which ones you like the most
- think of a structure that could include more of them together or just one which can be developed
- post the one(s) which fit in the above description and I will send my suggestions afterwards smile.gif


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Jim S.
post Nov 26 2014, 05:35 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Nov 24 2014, 06:50 AM) *
Hey Jimbo!

That's entirely up to you smile.gif I mean, you learn stuff so that you can put it to good use. To me, it's futile to practice like crazy and not apply those things somewhere meaningful.

What if one knows 1000 jazz chords and 1000 scales, if they don't use them anywhere in a creative fashion? Look at Zakk Wylde - he knows the pentatonic, blues, natural minor and bluegrass scale biggrin.gif I honestly haven't heard ANYTHING else from him smile.gif Does that make him a lesser player than Pat Metheny? I think not smile.gif Each one has his own flavor and skills, but the one important things is - how they put their knowledge and experience to good use by creating music with it.

So - first of all:

- gather all your ideas and record them
- see which ones you like the most
- think of a structure that could include more of them together or just one which can be developed
- post the one(s) which fit in the above description and I will send my suggestions afterwards smile.gif


Hey Cosmin! Last night I sat down and just played, at one point I felt on fire and inspired so I stopped and started recording. By the time the red light flashed I lost all sense of what I was doing and took so long to get back into a groove.

In the meantime ive been playing a pop country song on repeat and its inspired me to sing it. I'll have to find a new place to practice if I plan on singing but the change might be very stimulating.

I think I may set up an area at my shop for my drum set and amps! No one can bother me their.
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Nov 26 2014, 06:16 PM
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This is a very good point! Sometimes we get so obsessive with practice and we forget the main goal why we decided play guitar. The main goal of everything behind learning scales, chords, practicing exercises was and always should be playing music. This can have different meaning depending on each one. Some guitarists like playing and interpreting cover songs, adding their personalities and touch to pieces composed by other musicians, while other want to create their own pieces of music. Both things are very valuable, but both things also require practice. We need to practice playing songs if we want to play songs, and we need to practicing composing if we want to compose. (this is also applicable to other aspects like arranging or improvising).

That's why I think that it's good to focus our diary routines around what we exactly want to do. As Cosmin said, we don't need to learn 1000 scales if we want to play some blues, we don't need to learn lots of extended chords if we want to play pop rock. It always helps to have more knowledge, but becoming obsessive on accumulating information is not positive or effective, I think that it's closer to the opposite.

About the recording thing, you should find the way to make it more natural. Record yourself more often, for longer periods of time and also have your equipment always ready to start recording in 1 minute.


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klasaine
post Nov 26 2014, 07:17 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Nov 24 2014, 03:50 AM) *
Does that make him a lesser player than Pat Metheny?


Everybody's a lesser player than Pat Metheny wink.gif (kidding ... well, not really).

But yeah, as stated, knowing how to use a few things in a musical way is far better than knowing a lot of stuff that you don't/can't use.


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Jim S.
post Nov 26 2014, 08:47 PM
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I'm just a corn-fused kinda guy Gabriel!

This post has been edited by Jim S.: Nov 27 2014, 01:21 AM
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 27 2014, 09:11 AM
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Jimbo - work with yourself smile.gif You have received great suggestions from everyone and I think you have got the right set of skills to come up with great stuff - but you need to persevere and work without letting thoughts disturb you.

I have an idea - why not hit the red light BEFORE anything else and just play until you forget it's there smile.gif Things will probably feel a lot more comfy after you don't care about it anymore - what say you?


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Darius Wave
post Nov 27 2014, 02:18 PM
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We all have thoughts similar to Yours on different fields of playing - not only doing practice stuff vs creativity workout. Thoughts like that give us a singnal to change the routine. It's pretty natural. What You learn in the lessons becomes a natural part of Your spontanious improvising. Some borrowed ideas will appear in Your playing even if not concious smile.gif I think You have nothing to be afraid of. You can keep doing lessons but add some more time for fre improvisations too see what kind of profits did those lessons give You smile.gif Monica can tell You something more about it - we had a conversation quite some time ago about and she had similar concerns ...I think she's best one to explain You smile.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Nov 27 2014, 02:32 PM
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QUOTE (Jim S. @ Nov 26 2014, 04:47 PM) *
I'm just a corn-fused kinda guy Gabriel!



What does it exactly mean? blink.gif


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Jim S.
post Nov 27 2014, 05:32 PM
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I've been using my phone to post here and the site has been super wacked out. Gabriel I used Corn-fused as confused. It means that I'm not really sure what I want to play. See I love instrumental music and as I get older I'm appreciating a good lyrical songs. I feel that if I played in a band settung Id get more out of my instrument.

Years ago I joined a band and I remember that while playing with the band Id pull out techniques and ideas I practiced but never implied them anywhere. I'd like to do that again.

Ken didn't methany loose his memory of how to play guitar then relearn guitar? I have his watercolors album and it's pretty good.

Darius! Where have you been man? I'm glad you chimed in. Your right I need to push through and keep the lessons and work on myself. It's hard to practice and keep motivated when your doing it all alone.

As with recording.... I can record but my computer is really on its very last leg and I'm not sure when I can afford a new one. This last year I've spent some time with programming drums and using plugins to help me write but the crashing computer kills the whole process. That's what is so frustrating. I know what I want to do "write original music," but I need s new computer to handle the workload.

In the meantime I need to find a way to play/practice without the need of a computer. I found a place and I'll be moving my stuff there soon!

Cosmin your also right about the good suggestions here. I really appreciate this site and the mentors keeping me on track more than I would by myself. So thanks to all of you!
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Monica Gheorghev...
post Nov 27 2014, 08:50 PM
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QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Nov 27 2014, 01:18 PM) *
Monica can tell You something more about it - we had a conversation quite some time ago about and she had similar concerns ...I think she's best one to explain You smile.gif

I had an unhealthy thinking and to be honest without Darek, which has an unbelievable patience, I would have stuck in the same place. He explained me many things, awoke me and guided me on the right way. What people don't know is that I was very stubborn at beginning and I'm still sorry for this sad.gif The fact that everything Darek told me become reality, made me to have 200% trust in him. Now I will explain what was in my mind 1 year ago and how I see the things right now wink.gif

My fears 1 year ago and some topics from my conversations with Darek: (i'm not proud with this sad.gif )
- I didn't want to learn lessons, because I was afraid to not keep in mind a phrase and use it unconsciously in my improvisations.
- I was scare that I will not have enough time for improvisation and I will "loose" all my time making lessons.
- I said that I hate blues because are 5 notes played in different ways (this was the most big stupid thing that I said in my life). The funny thing is that all the techniques that I love and I use right now are from blues, but I realized later this thing after Darek told me "You hate blues as long As You don't know it well" biggrin.gif Damn, had right smile.gif

My current thinking:
Lessons are the best thing which made me to progress very fast. When you work for details and you learn the technique behind the lesson, this will make miracle with your playing. With every lesson my playing changed in a good way. The profit after each lesson was 100%. In parallel with lessons I compose my stuff (never stop to work for your stuff) and I try to apply every new technique that I learn. I always record when I improvise and after that I listen very carefully. Lately I realize that I start to use details without thinking to use them. I remembered that Darek told me that at some point all our work for making millions of tiny details will became natural in my playing. He had right again tongue.gif I have moments when I listen what I recorded and I ask myself "how the hell I played that thing". I can't explain in words how happy I am in this kind of moments and how exited to tell this to Darek. The constant results give me the power to want more wink.gif

Of course I have a lot bad days when nothing sounds good, in my mind it's a big blank and I can't compose a smart thing or I'm stuck at a hard part in a lesson, but then I watch at couple of videos with my favorite guitarists and I realize that I can't afford to let a bad day to ruin my goal smile.gif For me this works and in 30 minutes I'm ready to play again smile.gif

I'm sure that you have just some bad days wink.gif Think exactly what you want for real.
BTW I feel the same as you about playing in a band. I love instrumental music and I want to show more than I can do as a member in a band.
You have a lot of good ideas to write music and your playing it's awesome! If your dream is to write music, make this real but keep doing lessons. I will do the same. Someday we will arrive where we want wink.gif

This post has been edited by Monica Gheorghevici: Nov 27 2014, 08:54 PM
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klasaine
post Nov 27 2014, 09:36 PM
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QUOTE (Jim S. @ Nov 27 2014, 09:32 AM) *
Ken didn't metheny loose his memory of how to play guitar then relearn guitar? I have his watercolors album and it's pretty good.


No. Close. That was Pat Martino. Brain aneurism and after successful surgery he was sadly left w/o his ability to remember how to play guitar. So after folks reminded him that he did in fact not only play but influenced and inspired an entire generation of jazz guitarists he decided to have all the guys that could really play just like him re-teach him how to play ... like 'him'. I 'think' a lot of it started to come back as he re-learned.

Back to the OP ...
Because I'm constantly being handed a guitar by family and friends (mostly the friends of my wife - musicians never ask you to 'play' in social situations) I have about an hour's worth of solo pieces I can play to quiet them down. I think it's good to have at least two or three songs you can play (or play and sing) for those moments that inevitably come up. Like tonight as it's Thanksgiving here in the states.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Nov 28 2014, 12:17 AM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 28 2014, 09:20 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Nov 27 2014, 08:36 PM) *
Because I'm constantly being handed a guitar by family and friends (mostly the friends of my wife - musicians never ask you to 'play' in social situations) I have about an hour's worth of solo pieces I can play to quiet them down. I think it's good to have at least two or three songs you can play (or play and sing) for those moments that inevitably come up. Like tonight as it's Thanksgiving here in the states.


I can totally relate to this situation, Ken smile.gif For a bit of background - I am organizing my first fundraising event - it's a joint venture concert, featuring big names in the alternative metal scene here in Romania. We are all friends and everyone answered my call to join forces and do this charitable event to support a center called Hospice - The house of hope - a place that takes care of people suffering from incurable diseases, in their final days. This place offers them treatment and acceptance in a small society and proper living conditions, especially for children. We went to visit the place 2 days ago and the folks there, asked us to bring a guitar along. Of course, when the time came they asked us to play something and we were all like - uh oh what do we play now? I knew only one easy song that could be played without I don't know what rehearsals and all that - Nutshell from Alice in Chains and I did that one sharing vocal duties with our bassplayer - it came out very well, but there was a loooot of sweat there laugh.gif There was one moment exactly like the ones described by Ken - 'Here's a guitar! Now play something!'

The idea is that it's always good to learn tunes because people in a social environment don't give a rat's a... about how many complicated chords or scales you know - you need to entertain them smile.gif It's actually easier than it sounds - but when we're all focused on learning scales and exercises, it can be a really big issue when you face the tiger, right? laugh.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 29 2014, 12:06 AM
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Great point!! smile.gif Being able to just pick up an accoustic guitar and play some songs people will recognize and appreciate is a very handy skill smile.gif They really don't care how articulate your scales are, they just want to hear something familiar that's well played. If you can sing at all it's huge bonus for crowd points smile.gif


QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Nov 28 2014, 04:20 AM) *
I can totally relate to this situation, Ken smile.gif For a bit of background - I am organizing my first fundraising event - it's a joint venture concert, featuring big names in the alternative metal scene here in Romania. We are all friends and everyone answered my call to join forces and do this charitable event to support a center called Hospice - The house of hope - a place that takes care of people suffering from incurable diseases, in their final days. This place offers them treatment and acceptance in a small society and proper living conditions, especially for children. We went to visit the place 2 days ago and the folks there, asked us to bring a guitar along. Of course, when the time came they asked us to play something and we were all like - uh oh what do we play now? I knew only one easy song that could be played without I don't know what rehearsals and all that - Nutshell from Alice in Chains and I did that one sharing vocal duties with our bassplayer - it came out very well, but there was a loooot of sweat there laugh.gif There was one moment exactly like the ones described by Ken - 'Here's a guitar! Now play something!'

The idea is that it's always good to learn tunes because people in a social environment don't give a rat's a... about how many complicated chords or scales you know - you need to entertain them smile.gif It's actually easier than it sounds - but when we're all focused on learning scales and exercises, it can be a really big issue when you face the tiger, right? laugh.gif


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Jim S.
post Nov 29 2014, 02:54 AM
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I think getting a better grip on my Vocals is a big key to my playing and I better learn one at some point LOL. So this song which is not one that Id ever publicly admit to liking has been on repeat for days. I love it..... and my voice seems to fit nicely as I sing along. What I enjoy is the dynamic elements. For starters its very catchy but not cheesy.

I am a fool piano and this chord structure, its so beautiful. So there's that I like Piano. The words of the song can be related in some way to my life and it gave me some goosebumps.

Next the sections build and build then a mini guitar solo ends into a nice silent breakdown. When it comes back it it is charged and continues to build until the Finale.




How would you guys go about learning this tune? Any suggestions?
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 29 2014, 07:35 AM
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Hey Jim biggrin.gif I also admit on having guilty pleasures with some songs that are so not metal laugh.gif For instance this one - speaking of vocals and piano:



But man does this voice and augmenting piano do the trick...

I'd be curious to hear your version of the song you posted - can you also sing and play? Use simple chords and focus on staying with the groove when singing - it will be A HUGE benefit for your playing - trust me on this one, as I have been experimenting with the idea for the last almost 2 years. Your ears will be developed to a great extent and the gap between what you hear in your head and what you can play will be diminished greatly smile.gif


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Jim S.
post Nov 30 2014, 09:11 PM
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Hey Monica thanks for your encouraging words and for sharing your personal struggles. I'm happy your braking them too!


I finally broke down and devoted a corner of my auto shop to Music! Things are coming out of storage and I'm setting up a band space. Not sayin I'm starting a band but at least it's not my main goal currently. Hopefully this place will allow me to open up and write and sing. There is a plastic barrier I put to insulate me from the metal building. So far the drum set sounds pretty good too. Not boomy but full crisp. Funny thing is the high hats sound much quieter on here. Here's some pics

[attachment=40014:image.jpg]

Cosmin to answer your question this is not my forte and it is uncomfortable. However I know that my voice is good and the times I have sung before were very beneficial. 2 or 3 times I can recall my voice going into a nice mix with my guitar and I just lit up. I even wrote 1 song completely improv and the chords were not my typical chords. But I chose those ones and had to listen back to what I was playing. Luckily I got it on my phone.
Here are some old clips from years back when I just joined a band and got forced to sing. It's an original I was working on but what was so cool was soloing over my own song. I remember this moment I was really nervous and excited!
https://soundcloud.com/jim-seekford-music/killing-me-1

this is a very odd defamation of red house and probably why the band wanted to only play funk after. Lol

https://soundcloud.com/jim-seekford-music/jimmys-red-house

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Cosmin Lupu
post Dec 1 2014, 09:19 AM
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Jim!!

I have listened to both recordings smile.gif Mate - you have a tremendous advantage because if your voice wink.gif Keep this in mind - the more you learn how to use it, the more you will be able to express what you hear in your head with your voice and then transpose it on the guitar. It's a crucial aspect of playing and I think you should definitely take advantage of this smile.gif I have a little suggestion here - why not pick up a backing and make up some lines which you come up exclusively by singing? Record your voice singing the lines and then transpose them on the guitar - you will be amazed of how different they sound from what you are usually playing - but there's one thing to it smile.gif Your voice is who you really are inside, musically speaking. Usually when you play the guitar and try to come up with lines, you will be tempted to play what you know and what you have practiced - the voice only reproduces what you hear in your head, without thinking of positions, arpeggios, scales and so on - take advantage and let me know how it goes wink.gif


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Darius Wave
post Dec 1 2014, 11:54 PM
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Ha ha! biggrin.gif I knew I could count on Your help Monica but didn't expect that much biggrin.gif Yes - it is all about stuff we do and practice so it later becomes a part of our natural guitar behavior smile.gif

Jim - I've been busy what can I say...my explanation is still the same but only this can describe a total amount of duties I lately have smile.gif But...I never forget about this wonderfull place and people wink.gif


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