> 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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> Robbiej's Composing Workout, for Gab's Army
Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 16 2015, 08:41 PM
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Hello RobbieJ! Welcome to our thread for Gab's Army, my mentoring program. Based on some info that Bogdan shared with me, you are interested in developing you composition skills, so that's what we will work here!

Before we start I would like to know a bit more about you. Please tell me about your musical tastes, favorite musicians, things and situations that inspire you, and also a bit about your music theory and technique knowledge.

Do you have experience with band? Have you ever composed a song? Do you have some riffs or ideas on progress? Any video of you playing?

And off course feel free to share here everything you think that can help me to know you and your goals more.

I hope you enjoy our work here! smile.gif


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RobbieJ
post Jan 16 2015, 10:36 PM
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Hola Gabriel!! I'm really excited to begin my journey with your help and guidance. I am definitely interested in composition....but I believe that goes hand and hand with becoming a much better guitarist. I think that as my guitar skills develop, so will my composition skills. I would like to work on riffing and creating riffs......building alternate picking speed....chord progressions (normal and some unusual stuff) and soloing improvisation.

I grew up in the 80's hair band era and love bands like Dokken, Ratt, Poison, GNR, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, etc ( currently am really in to Steel Panther, Satchel is incredible....I also love the playing styles of Theodore Ziras and Andy James).

I played in a high school band (20+ years ago) but I never took any type of guitar instruction. I learned everything either from friends, by ear or by a tab book. I could play songs, but I never really understood why I was playing the notes or chords while jamming the song. I definitely couldn't improvise because I didn't know any of the pentatonic or modal shapes. I stopped playing after high school and picked the guitar back up a little over a year ago. I decided I wanted to actually learn how to play the instrument rather than just being able to play other people's songs. So I started taking lessons and learning all of my shapes and modes. Although I can stay in a particular key when soloing, I don't really have a bag of licks to pull from...I kind of just move around the scales and try to come up with something that sounds somewhat melodic. I want to change all of that.

I hope this gives you a better understanding of where I am as a guitarist and where I want to be.

I will post a video on GMC this weekend...I started working on a video lesson and will post my take so you can see and hear.

Looking forward to beginning our journey. Thanks again!!!

Rob
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 16 2015, 11:21 PM
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Hi Rob! Thanks for your info!

I agree that you need to work in parallel on your playing and your composing skills, but the main goal here is to keep both things connected most of the times. Everything should be seen in a musical way because we hear to learn to play and make music, not just do some guitar gym.

Based on your comments, I think that it could be really good to organize a plan that covers this things:

Soloing

- Work on a musical GMC solo lesson.

The idea is that you choose a solo lesson that you like and learn it. This will be a good way to start here. The idea is that you learn the licks, check the instructor's explanations about how he created the licks. Play the lesson using the backing tracks. Create variations of the licks, and combine them with your own improvisations using the scale suggested by the instructors.

This workout will also let me check which technique need more work, so then I'll assign specific lessons or exercise for it. If it's possible, record yourself playing the lesson, and share the video here. Let me know what lessons you have in mind and I'll help you choose.

Composition

- Learn some basic harmony theory

Reading one topic each day from this board is enough. Please read it and play the ideas and examples in your guitar. LINK HERE

- Analyze a song (Structure)

On this first week, we will focus on song's structure. Please choose 5 songs that you like and analyze the structure of them. (Intro, verse, chorus, etc). Share your analysis here.

- Start creating your library of ideas.

Create a folder in your computer and start to record and save there all the licks, riffs, or progressions that you create and you like. Start building your library of ideas. Put a name that identifies each idea to find it later soon to continue it or to using it for a song in progress.


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RobbieJ
post Jan 17 2015, 01:23 AM
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I can't tell you how excited I am to start working with you. I really want to learn and get better.

I actually started working on Lian Gerbino's "Love Song Solo" last night (it's fairly easy and will be great for me to get my feet wet with here at GMC). I'll post a video of it either tonight or tomorrow for you to see. Where do I post the video? Here on our thread? If so, how? LOL.

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 17 2015, 02:44 PM
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Great! You can post your video here, or also at REC program and notify me here. The difference is that your takes are graded and commented by other instructors besides me at REC. This is an advantage because you have more feedback and more points of view. However both options are ok for me. wink.gif


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RobbieJ
post Jan 18 2015, 02:19 AM
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I'm trying to figure out how to record the video without using an external mic. I want the audio to sound great so I want to go direct drive. I just haven't gotten it quite worked out yet. I plug in to Focusrite 2i4 and that goes USB to laptop. I use TH2 as amp simulator. I tried coming out of 2i4 and back in to computer mic input but it's not working...Not sure if it's my mic input or what. Either way, there are other ways of doing it...Gonna get it figured out and then post the Lian lesson. It's actually a little harder than it originally looked.

I'm also working on your Zakk Wylde Pinch Harmonics lesson. So I'll have two to post for you to see a couple of aspects of my playing. Thanks again!!!
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RobbieJ
post Jan 18 2015, 06:46 AM
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Wow Gab...the 165BPM for the Zakk pinch lesson is FAST. Holy cow.
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 18 2015, 03:48 PM
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Hi mate, please check this video with tips to record guitar videos:



and let me know if you can apply it and works.


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RobbieJ
post Jan 19 2015, 08:14 PM
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Thanks Gabriel for the tips on creating a good video. I will give it a try this evening.


Here is a quick clip of a part of a song that I recorded the other day. Could be used as an intro and the chorus of a song. Let me know your thoughts on what I can do to make it better. I'm a bit of a perfectionist...That's a good thing...but can also be a really bad thing. It's "good" because I always want to put my best out there....It's "bad" because I always think I can do better......Let me know what you think I can do to spice it up and make it better.

I wanted the minor sound but also wanted the upbeat "swing" type rhythm and feel to it.

Rob
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Attached File  1_14_15_Aminor.mp3 ( 1.18MB ) Number of downloads: 42
 
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 20 2015, 03:07 AM
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Hi Robbie! I'm glad to know that the video helped! Looking forward your videos. smile.gif

I can say that the intro song is very promising. I like the groove, the note choices, and that turnaround idea that includes a higher melody added by an extra guitar. I'm not totally convinced of the drum kick, I wonder if the pattern used will be followed by bass. So the next step would be adding some bass to this one (You can use a virtual instrument if you don't have a real bass) to see how the whole band works for this intro.

About the repetitions, I think that once or twice would be ok, then the verse should start. Do you have some ideas for the next part?


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RobbieJ
post Jan 20 2015, 04:33 AM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jan 20 2015, 02:07 AM) *
Hi Robbie! I'm glad to know that the video helped! Looking forward your videos. smile.gif

I can say that the intro song is very promising. I like the groove, the note choices, and that turnaround idea that includes a higher melody added by an extra guitar. I'm not totally convinced of the drum kick, I wonder if the pattern used will be followed by bass. So the next step would be adding some bass to this one (You can use a virtual instrument if you don't have a real bass) to see how the whole band works for this intro.

About the repetitions, I think that once or twice would be ok, then the verse should start. Do you have some ideas for the next part?



I'm thinking playing it once for the intro..then in to the verse.....Then probably once or twice for the chorus (depending on how the lyrics work out)...I just recorded it three times just to get a feel for it....I then added the ascending run to the first time and the a descending run to the last two just to get a feel for which I liked best. I don't have or play a bass, so please let me know about this "virtual" bass that you are talking about.

I don't have any real thoughts on the verse yet....How about you? Are you feeling anything? LOL.....I'd kind of like to do some cool riffing with pinch harmonics like the Zakk lesson of yours.....But I don't know where to start. Any thoughts would be GREATLY appreciated. This is why I strongly believe that the better the guitarist, the better the songs will be.

I've just recorded the Lian Love Song lesson and am splicing the music with the video right now...Hope to have it up in a few minutes.

Thanks again!!
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RobbieJ
post Jan 20 2015, 05:08 AM
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Gab, here is my first video...woooohooooo!!! It's not great, but it's a start. Let me know your thoughts. I'll be posting your Zakk lesson video shortly for your review and comments. Let's come up with a game plan to help me become a better musician/guitarist/composer. Thanks man!!
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Attached File  Lian_Love_Song.wmv ( 16.17MB ) Number of downloads: 56
 
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RobbieJ
post Jan 20 2015, 06:19 AM
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Here is just the audio for the Zakk lesson. I'm still trying to figure out this video thing. I'll try and sort it out tomorrow. I did record a video for this audio, but I'm having trouble getting rid of the sound that the laptop mic picks up versus the live recording of Cubase.

Thanks!!

Rob
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Attached File  Gab_Zakk_Wylde_Lesson.mp3 ( 1.02MB ) Number of downloads: 39
 
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 20 2015, 11:34 AM
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Hi Robbie!! Congrats on your first video!! You look very confident in front of the camera! I can say that your take is VERY good, there is nothing very important to mark, and one thing that attracted my attention is how wide and balanced is your vibrato on this take. You have a good sense of timing and both your is very consistent. Great job!!

Zakk's lesson is also sounding really good. The harmonics sound good and the overall rhythm, except in some little section is played totally tight. You also have a good rhythm technique! Well done.

I think that your guitar tone could be better, it's a bit noisy and not very clear. What are you using to record it?

This lessons doesn't show weak points yet so I think that you are ready for more advanced stuff. Do you have any lessons in mind?


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RobbieJ
post Jan 20 2015, 05:28 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jan 20 2015, 10:34 AM) *
Hi Robbie!! Congrats on your first video!! You look very confident in front of the camera! I can say that your take is VERY good, there is nothing very important to mark, and one thing that attracted my attention is how wide and balanced is your vibrato on this take. You have a good sense of timing and both your is very consistent. Great job!!

Zakk's lesson is also sounding really good. The harmonics sound good and the overall rhythm, except in some little section is played totally tight. You also have a good rhythm technique! Well done.

I think that your guitar tone could be better, it's a bit noisy and not very clear. What are you using to record it?

This lessons doesn't show weak points yet so I think that you are ready for more advanced stuff. Do you have any lessons in mind?



Wow, thanks for the kind words....It was completely unexpected.

As far as recording...I run in to my Focusrite 2i4 and in to the computer...I use Cubase7 to record and TH2 for my amp simulator. I don't really have a lot of knowledge on the recording side, so maybe you can give me some Cubase tips on recording a great sounding guitar. I don't know what to do about an EQ, Noisegate, compressor, etc.

I think I will start working on the Neoclassical Etude #1 Lesson. It has the same level 5 rating but it looks much harder. Thoughts? If you had to choose a lesson for me which would it be?

Here is an issue that has been on my mind that I hope you can help me with........most of the lessons on GMC are basically guitar solos or mini songs. I understand that by me playing the lesson I am working on certain techniques, but I'm afraid that I'm not really learning how to create my own solos or songs, but rather just simply playing other people's work. If I learned every Van Halen song out there would that make me a great guitarist? I don't think so...If I could play each of the Van Halen songs great it would make me a guitarist that can simply play Van Halen songs....How can I go from playing other peoples stuff well to writing great pieces that others will want to copy? Does that make sense? Maybe another way of asking is this....How did you go from simply playing songs to being able to write your own songs and solos?

Being able to copy a lesson is great....but I want to be the one writing stuff that others want to copy.....and I'm not sure of the path that I need to take to get there.

I hope this makes sense.

Thanks again for your guidance!!

Rob

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RobbieJ
post Jan 20 2015, 11:17 PM
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I think I changed my mind....I'm going to do the "Three Level Pentatonic Solo" lesson by Marcus Lavendell. I'll start at the beginner lesson and then move to the intermediate and then advanced. This will hopefully get me thinking about how a solo can evolve and progress and can take a different shape as I start at the beginner solo and then advance the licks through the next two solos. Maybe it will open my eyes to how licks can be changed with timing, rhythm and additional notes to create a different feel. Hope that makes sense.

Rob
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 21 2015, 02:46 AM
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Hi Rob!

Well, I think that you have the right equipment and software to get a good tone. Tone set is also something that requires practice, so my recommendation is to keep on exploring but also keep simple. Don't add lots of effects, processors, pedals, go simple, turn on an amp and a cabinet, and experiment with its settings. Most of the tones that you hear on albums and live are based on this basic combination, and many times guitarist only add a overdrive (tube screamer or similar).


About your question, that's a very important question! smile.gif

Let me give you my point of view. There are many kinds of musicians, and as each of them is a person, each one has different tastes, different goals, different thoughts and many other things, because each of us is a unique person. So I cannot say that you will or won't be a better musician if you just practice songs by other persons. If your goal as a musician is to interpret music and not compose it, maybe the answer it yes.

Based on your question, I assume that one of your goals is to be able to write and perform your own music. In this case, learning to play songs by other people or lessons will give help you just with one dimension: performing. This is not a small thing, great composers like Beethoven, Mozart, and even guitarists like Steve Vai or singers like Fredy Mercury are/were incredible performers. However, if you also want to become a good composer, improviser, arranger or all of that, you have to analyze what you learn, the theory behind, pay attention to structures, tools to arrange songs, scales used, chord progressions, rhythms and all the things that can make you understand what you are playing. GMC lessons include description with comments about how the ideas are composed and the theory behind them, mostly when we are talking about "musical" lessons. The most technical ones focus more on technique explanations.

If you also learn songs, you should also do the same, analyze the structures, progressions, scales, arrangement tools, etc, in order to then apply this concepts into your own compositions.

At the same time, there are two things that I consider very helpful to train your creativity:

- Use the lesson's backing track to improvise your own ideas using the suggested scales, and combine them with licks from the lessons, and with variations of these licks.

- Start composing your own ideas and songs. You don't need a lot of knowledge to start, you can do it now!








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RobbieJ
post Jan 21 2015, 04:37 AM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jan 21 2015, 01:46 AM) *
Hi Rob!

Well, I think that you have the right equipment and software to get a good tone. Tone set is also something that requires practice, so my recommendation is to keep on exploring but also keep simple. Don't add lots of effects, processors, pedals, go simple, turn on an amp and a cabinet, and experiment with its settings. Most of the tones that you hear on albums and live are based on this basic combination, and many times guitarist only add a overdrive (tube screamer or similar).


About your question, that's a very important question! smile.gif

Let me give you my point of view. There are many kinds of musicians, and as each of them is a person, each one has different tastes, different goals, different thoughts and many other things, because each of us is a unique person. So I cannot say that you will or won't be a better musician if you just practice songs by other persons. If your goal as a musician is to interpret music and not compose it, maybe the answer it yes.

Based on your question, I assume that one of your goals is to be able to write and perform your own music. In this case, learning to play songs by other people or lessons will give help you just with one dimension: performing. This is not a small thing, great composers like Beethoven, Mozart, and even guitarists like Steve Vai or singers like Fredy Mercury are/were incredible performers. However, if you also want to become a good composer, improviser, arranger or all of that, you have to analyze what you learn, the theory behind, pay attention to structures, tools to arrange songs, scales used, chord progressions, rhythms and all the things that can make you understand what you are playing. GMC lessons include description with comments about how the ideas are composed and the theory behind them, mostly when we are talking about "musical" lessons. The most technical ones focus more on technique explanations.

If you also learn songs, you should also do the same, analyze the structures, progressions, scales, arrangement tools, etc, in order to then apply this concepts into your own compositions.

At the same time, there are two things that I consider very helpful to train your creativity:

- Use the lesson's backing track to improvise your own ideas using the suggested scales, and combine them with licks from the lessons, and with variations of these licks.

- Start composing your own ideas and songs. You don't need a lot of knowledge to start, you can do it now!



Gab, excellent words of advice!! I was actually thinking the same thing about taking the lesson backing and changing it a bit to start tapping in to my creativity. The first time I might only change a couple of notes....the second time I will change more.....but my goal will be to change something...anything, a little bit every day....until the solo is something completely my own. EXCELLENT advice!! I also like the thought about not simply playing the lesson, but spending time to actually dissect it and understand the scale structure being used for the lesson. Another fantastic tip. This is exactly why you totally ROCK!!!

I'm going to work on Lian's love song and change a few things...I will re-record it and post it for you to check out. That will be my homework.

Thanks!!!

Rob
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 21 2015, 12:25 PM
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QUOTE (RobbieJ @ Jan 21 2015, 12:37 AM) *
Gab, excellent words of advice!! I was actually thinking the same thing about taking the lesson backing and changing it a bit to start tapping in to my creativity. The first time I might only change a couple of notes....the second time I will change more.....but my goal will be to change something...anything, a little bit every day....until the solo is something completely my own. EXCELLENT advice!! I also like the thought about not simply playing the lesson, but spending time to actually dissect it and understand the scale structure being used for the lesson. Another fantastic tip. This is exactly why you totally ROCK!!!

I'm going to work on Lian's love song and change a few things...I will re-record it and post it for you to check out. That will be my homework.

Thanks!!!

Rob



That's exactly what I mean. smile.gif

I'd really like to hear your variations and own versions so feel free to share it here too.


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RobbieJ
post Jan 28 2015, 06:41 AM
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Hey Gab, I'm practicing like crazy. Since I work at my full time job, I can usually come home and practice 3-4 hours a night. I think that's a pretty good amount of practice time each night. I'm currently working on Marcus Lavendell's 3 level lesson. I can tell you that even though it's only a level 4 lesson, it is way harder than the level 5 Lian Love Song lesson. I almost have it down. I should be able to record a video by Friday. So be on the lookout for it.

Since I started typing this post, I must have hit a button, now when I try and correct a word previously typed, it doesn't push the remaining text to the right, it replaces each letter and doesn't push the rest of the words to the right. Does that make sense? For example...I can't type this sentence and then cursor back to the word "example" and add a word after it or make a correction because it won't push the rest of the sentence to the right.

I'm heading over to Youtube to see if I can find your band....I'm anxious to watch you and your mates jammin'!



Thanks again!

Rob

By the way, I'm working on changing up the Lian Love Song Lesson a bit and adding some of my own parts....I'm still trying to figure out a tapping sequence to replace his tapping sequence with. So stay tuned for that as well.

Thanks,

Rob
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