> 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:

* Don't know where to start? Just pm me and we will sort it out directly, I am online every day.

* Join My Army. Sounds aggressive? It is! We can study anything from the most fearsome picking techniques to bombastic songwriting. A medal of honor awaits the brave. Seriously, this is an opportunity for you to get a personalised learning experience...what are you waiting for?!

* 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.

* You haven't missed my latest video lessons, have you?

* Finally I want to tell you a secret. Nah I changed my mind - pm me instead ;)

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> Yoncopin's Thread, for Gab's Army
Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 22 2015, 04:50 PM
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Well, this is normal. The tension on lower frets is higher and we need to do more strength. How to work on it? There are no shortcuts, work on vibrato on lower frets to get used to the strengh required for this, it's the only things you can do.

You could work chromatically using the classic 1 2 3 4 exercise on every string but adding the vibrato (like in the lesson) to each note.


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yoncopin
post Apr 29 2015, 01:56 PM
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I started reading the book, The Musician's Way a few days ago and am finding it really helpful in making an effective practice routine. Just thought I'd share, it's really interesting.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 29 2015, 11:10 PM
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Interesting! I've heard about it but never had the oportunity to read it. What things can you highlight from what you've read?



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yoncopin
post Apr 30 2015, 04:03 PM
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I started reading it because I know I need efficient practice and proper goals to improve my playing. Discipline has never been my limiter but a clear direction has. The topic of guitar is SO broad that I'd try to build a routine to cover everything and just never have enough time to see real progress on my overall playing. With work and family obligations I have about one hour per night and a bit more on the weekend. I started playing in 1995 and know exactly zero songs, my entire guitar life has been noodling (which I am decent at, though with a limited "vocabulary") and trying to find my voice through trial and error. Almost 20 years, off and on, and my skill level is that I'm fairly adept at box 1 minor pentatonic playing, basic open chords and power chords.

So, here I am at GMC again and trying the whole process over... Musician's Way had an example plan with a few main topics - repertoire, technique and musicianship. I liked that because I can't just play exercises, I need to make actual music to enjoy the guitar. Here are the best highlights so far:

  • Choose accessible material, 1-2 weeks to master
  • Focus on ease not speed
  • Mental focus, avoid mindless repetition
  • Emphasize excellence to imprint correct habits
  • Concentrate on efficient movements
  • Get out of your comfort zone

Here is the resulting plan I've been working with for the past few days:

Repertoire

Technique
  • Alternate picking
  • Pick grip - Tuck my fingers in, small movements
  • Right hand placement - Using the bridge as a reference point, try not to let hand drift
  • Left hand position - Emphasize correct hand placement based on the material (back of neck vs thumb over)
  • Use finger tips not flats

Musicianship
  • Minor pentatonic scale - box patterns, 3/4/5 note sequences, 1/2/3/4/5 notes per beat, ascend/descend in fourth intervals
  • Learn notes of fretboard - Smartphone apps and review strings note names aloud with guitar

There's a lot of focus on the pentatonic scale in there because it's kind of what I understand and it's the first chapter in Fretboard Theory, another book I'm using which progresses Pentatonic -> CAGED -> Major scale.

Lastly, here are a few tools I'm using to learn and keep organized.
Tools

I've also found some good exercises and technique instruction at Pebber Brown Guitar Studio and from his Youtube channel.

This post has been edited by yoncopin: Apr 30 2015, 06:58 PM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 1 2015, 03:01 AM
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Hi mate! It's awesome to see how much inspiration this book has bring to you. This plan sounds fantastic, it's focused on making music and that's the main thing! I'm sure that you'll see incredible results if you keep this routine and work every day on the different tasks. This is the direction that you need to achieve your goals.

If you want an extra excuse to practice and progress, you can use this thread to share your reports, progress, audios, videos and everything else related to this journey, I'll be happy to give my feedback and suggestions.



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yoncopin
post May 1 2015, 02:46 PM
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It's not only this book, but it did put some things in very clear terms I could use. The next challenge will come in a few weeks when I need to revisit this plan and make changes. Another problem I've had in the past is knowing when to move on to the next thing. How fast should I get at running the pentatonic scale before I move to the next step? 100bpm? 180? 999999? It can go forever but you have to push forward at some point and I've had trouble knowing when to do that, then eventually getting bored.

I do want an extra excuse to practice! You've been extremely helpful thus far, and I really appreciate the time you spend communicating with me (as well as the other instructors in REC). I don't have any other musicians in my life, so it's really motivating to have someone critically listen to my playing and give me a reason to record and strive for perfection. Your guidance is perfect for keeping me on the right track because I don't need so much hands-on instruction as I'm very self-directed.

As for my progress thus far, I've kind of "finished" the lessons you set out for me with the exception of the vibrato and alternate picking. I got some very good scores in REC on the stoner rock ones and really enjoyed them. Do you have any new suggestions which would be fun and complement my plan?

Status:
Ben's Vibrato Odyssey - Still working on this, just not quite there with the 16th notes. My vibrato is SO much more usable now, I want to get some musical variety and focus on using my new skills in real solos.

Alternate Picking Workout 1 - 180bpm is blazing fast, so this is a really long term goal. I'm a bit tired of the Canon Rock, so instead of continuing to try to bump the bpm on that one piece I'm going to work to make alternate picking a priority and second nature in other (slower) musical pieces. I was up to about 114-118bpm on the 16th notes.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 1 2015, 09:28 PM
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Hi mate, I'm glad to know that my work here is exactly what you need to keep going! I'm feel honored and inspired by reading your post. As you are already working on technique lessons I think that combining this work with more musical solo lessons could be a good idea, as well as some rhythm stuff to continue the work that you are doing with Stoner series.

I was thinking on something like this:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/guitar_loves_piano/
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Beginner-Summer-Tune/
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/The-Vo...Of-Your-Guitar/
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Instru...With-Melody-II/


What do you think?

and about rhythm lessons, I have lots of lessons in the style of that you could check and use the ones that are more close to your musical tastes: https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/instructo...briel-Leopardi/

This post has been edited by Gabriel Leopardi: May 1 2015, 09:31 PM


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yoncopin
post May 2 2015, 09:11 PM
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Those are some great solos to get outside of my comfort zone. With a little practice they seem mostly in reach and have lots of subtle technical bits to develop. For example, I'd love to learn some basic whammy bar stuff. Today I was able to spend two hours (kid's nap time) on guitar and was able to finish learning the solo in Paranoid. It feels so awesome to play along with the band, even slowed down, and brings me a lot of joy.

Looking at your lesson list I also just realized that now I have a drop C guitar and can learn your In Flames lesson. I heard that one a while back and the riffage is just awesome, really looking forward to it!

Thanks again for the guidance, hopefully I'll have the Black Sabbath Paranoid cover recorded before long.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 3 2015, 05:01 PM
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Great stuff mate. Yeah, that In Flames lesson is very cool to hear and play so it's a great choice!

I'm happy to know that my guidance here is helping, thanks for your words, I'll be waiting for some audios and videos to monitor your progress and suggest new ideas.

Keep on the good job!


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yoncopin
post May 16 2015, 01:44 AM
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Just saw your new Red Fang lesson, it's awesome!!!! I'm almost up to full speed on the Black Sabbath Paranoid solo, so hopefully I'll have a recording soon. I want to get it really tight though. Just wanted to tell you how much I liked the sound of the new lesson.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 16 2015, 04:35 PM
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Hi mate, thanks for your words about my new lesson and also for the update. Keep on the hard work!



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yoncopin
post May 24 2015, 05:57 PM
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Ok, I finally finished my Black Sabbath Paranoid cover and am really pleased with my playing. I tried some new things for the song production as I learn more too. I started a new thread in the Practice Room to see what other GMCers thought too.





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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 24 2015, 10:59 PM
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Wou!! This cover sounds fantastic! Your playing is excellent on both rhythm and solo sections! I also like your guitar tone and how it fits with the backing track. Congrats friend!!


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yoncopin
post Jun 1 2015, 01:55 AM
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Alright! Finished recording my REC take of your In Flames Style Lesson. That riff in part 6 is seriously awesome, I could just sit and play it over and over again biggrin.gif



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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 1 2015, 01:29 PM
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Commented HERE.


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yoncopin
post Sep 10 2015, 06:24 PM
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Hi Gabe,
Now that the Borderline program is over and I'm back from vacation, I want to start putting together a new practice plan. As it is, I have too many interests and not enough time, and don't want to get off track with my guitar playing. I need to start focusing on some home improvement projects on the weekends, because we are expecting a new baby girl in January!

When I sit down with my guitar to practice, I know I'm going to do these exercises first to focus purely on technique at least a bit every day.

+ Alternate picking, left/right synch
+ Bending / vibrato
+ Finger independence / legato

Secondly, I'm drawn to practicing this lesson to learn something challenging and musical with my guitar (aside from only doing exercises)
Winter Tune II

Here's where I'd like to grow, but I'm not sure how to approach it. I'm not sure exactly where to start and this is where time starts to be an issue.

+ Songwriting, composition, and arranging
+ Audio production for writing my own songs & backing tracks (I have a copy of Propellerhead Reason I'd like to learn more about)
+ Mixing techniques

On vacation I was doing a lot of reading and watching video tutorials.

Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio
Music Habits - The Mental Game of Electronic Music Production: Finish Songs Fast, Beat Procrastination and Find Your Creative Flow

and a lot of video tutorials on mixing/production from a trial subscription to Groove3.com

I know you learn by doing, not reading, so I want to put some of this into action. I was hoping you could help me form a practical plan to continue growing my music. I know you'll have some good advice, what do you think?

- Brian


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Sep 11 2015, 05:30 PM
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Hi Brian, this is a fantastic plan, very creative and modern. I also think that it's very wide so being able to focus on too many things is possible only by following a very well organized schedule. At the same time, I consider all this topics really important so it's ok to want to cover them all.

There are some tricks to do many things at the same time... for example, if you want to train your alternate picking, you can compose your own alternate picking etude, record your backing, mix it, practice the idea over if and then record it and maybe upload it to youtube.

This is exactly what you've said on the last line: learning by doing. If you focus mostly on this mode and combine it with some specific extra reads and exercises you'll keep moving forward.

The first question is, how many time per day can you dedicate to your musical works?


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yoncopin
post Sep 11 2015, 06:20 PM
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I have roughly 1:30 per day to spend.

"There are some tricks to do many things at the same time... for example, if you want to train your alternate picking, you can compose your own alternate picking etude, record your backing, mix it, practice the idea over if and then record it and maybe upload it to youtube."

I think my weakest points in this plan are the ability to compose satisfying melodies and backing harmonies. My creative voice is very basic, what should I focus on to improve that?

I just found the thread for your Creativity Workout, I think that method (photo as inspiration) seems like a good place to start. It looks fun to participate, but I can't produce one piece per week. I need more time. Is it ok to just work on ones that inspire me and take my time producing them?


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Sep 11 2015, 08:15 PM
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Hi Yoncopin, yes! That's a good place to start mixing everything. I would divide the practice time in:

30 minutes: Technique

1 hour: Creativity works. In this moment you can dedicate to record your own ideas, and you can also dedicate some minutes to explore any tutorial about mixing and software.

In order to make your creativity time efficient you should set weekly goals. For example, this week, you'll improve your mixing skills, so you do everything related to that. The next week you'll want to develop your melodic composing so your goal will be to create a tune with backing track. Write a list of long and short term goals and build your map.



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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 3 2015, 08:01 PM
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Hi mate, here I am ready to help you to organize your creativity time. smile.gif

Are you in?


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