> HEY MAN, I really need your help...

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> Robbiej's Composing Workout, for Gab's Army
Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 28 2015, 12:55 PM
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Hi Robbie! Great to hear from you! Thanks for this update.

4 hours per day is a killer quantity of time for a practice routine, you'll see results very soon if you use this time wisely and focused. It would be good for your mind and composing skills to dedicate at least 1 of those 4 hours to a more creative task like jamming, composing, working on your own licks. I'll wait for your videos.

About the typing problem, I think that you have the function called "Insert" activated. Check out your keyboard and look for the "Insert" key and press it, it should be fixed after it.

My band? This is one of our songs:



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RobbieJ
post Jan 28 2015, 05:34 PM
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Gab, fantastic video of your band...I actually watched quite a few of your videos. That's cool that you're fronted by a girl. Her vocals are great....The sound of the band is super tight...Awesome man! That's what I'm striving to do, not professionally, but I definitely want to get to the point of writing and creating music...I'd love to put a band together some day.

I'm able to practice usually from the time I get home from work (6:00PM) until I go to bed at 10:00PM....My wife works in the evenings and both of my kids are grown up, so I'm usually home alone with nothing better to do than to practice. I usually spend the first 30 minutes or so warming up and working on speed. I then spend the next 30 minutes working on scales and patterns....Then I will run through the previous GMC lessons that I've completed, just to keep them polished....and then will finish out working on the current lesson. I will definitely start adding the improvisational time to the practice.

I can't wait to come up with a song and record it....Hopefully you can give me some direction on the recording side of things too. Thanks again for all of your help...It's amazing to have you providing guidance.

Rob
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RobbieJ
post Jan 28 2015, 08:10 PM
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By the way...Let me know your thoughts on my practice routine and what changes you might like to see. If you could write out an effective practice schedule, what would it look like?

Thanks!!
Rob
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 29 2015, 01:47 PM
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Hi Robbie! Thanks for your words about my band. We've been working really hard for more than 10 years. We have 3 studio albums and we are now working on the 4th.

I think that your routine sounds good. It's only lacking some more creative sections. The addition of some improvisation tasks is an excellent idea. Please always remember to work on variations of the things that you practice "technically", mostly the musical GMC lessons. Take those licks, and create variations, change the beginning, the end, combine two, combine them with your own phrases, etc.

Besides this, it would be good to start talking about composing your own songs. This is something that you can start right now, you don't need advanced knowledge or technique to start making your own thing. First step:

- Share here 5 songs that you like a lot.

About recording guitar videos, this is a great video:



In order to compose your own songs, I recommend you to start using a multitrack software, this is one very used at GMC, and it has a free version: http://www.reaper.fm/

I personally use Cubase & Nuendo.


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RobbieJ
post Jan 29 2015, 08:32 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jan 29 2015, 12:47 PM) *
Hi Robbie! Thanks for your words about my band. We've been working really hard for more than 10 years. We have 3 studio albums and we are now working on the 4th.

I think that your routine sounds good. It's only lacking some more creative sections. The addition of some improvisation tasks is an excellent idea. Please always remember to work on variations of the things that you practice "technically", mostly the musical GMC lessons. Take those licks, and create variations, change the beginning, the end, combine two, combine them with your own phrases, etc.

Besides this, it would be good to start talking about composing your own songs. This is something that you can start right now, you don't need advanced knowledge or technique to start making your own thing. First step:

- Share here 5 songs that you like a lot.

About recording guitar videos, this is a great video:



In order to compose your own songs, I recommend you to start using a multitrack software, this is one very used at GMC, and it has a free version: http://www.reaper.fm/

I personally use Cubase & Nuendo.



Gab, I also use Cubase....I have 7.0 and 7.5.....I only know the basics of using it....But I can import a Superior Drum track in it and add guitar tracks...I also have Overloud TH2 for my guitar simulator. That's how I recorded the sample of the song I was working on and shared earlier on our thread.

As far as 5 songs I like a lot.......There are sooooo many to choose from....Here is a list of some songs that come to mind (not in any order)

1. Steel Panther "Pussy Whipped" or "Eye of the Panther"
2. Van Halen "Panama"
3. Dokken "In my Dreams"
4. Skid Row "I remember you"
5. Tesla "Modern Day Cowboy"
6. Theodore Ziraz/Hand of God "Start Again" or "Monster5"
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 30 2015, 03:08 PM
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Ah! We already talked about Cubase, and that recording video! I get confused when you asked me about "recording":

"I can't wait to come up with a song and record it....Hopefully you can give me some direction on the recording side of things too"

What do you exactly mean about recording? If you mean mixing, mastering, and writing/editing midi and other recording tip, we will work on it while you create your songs.


Ok, thanks for the songs list. The first task is write down the structure of each of those songs. By structure I mean, find out the different parts that they contains and how they are organized. You can find Intro, Verse, Pre-chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Solo, Part C, Instrumental Section, Coda, and sometimes, when you analyze more progressive stuff or maybe orquestal music, you will notice that the sections are just parts that are usually described as "Part A, B, A'" and so... .


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RobbieJ
post Jan 31 2015, 04:32 AM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jan 30 2015, 02:08 PM) *
Ah! We already talked about Cubase, and that recording video! I get confused when you asked me about "recording":

"I can't wait to come up with a song and record it....Hopefully you can give me some direction on the recording side of things too"

What do you exactly mean about recording? If you mean mixing, mastering, and writing/editing midi and other recording tip, we will work on it while you create your songs.


Ok, thanks for the songs list. The first task is write down the structure of each of those songs. By structure I mean, find out the different parts that they contains and how they are organized. You can find Intro, Verse, Pre-chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Solo, Part C, Instrumental Section, Coda, and sometimes, when you analyze more progressive stuff or maybe orquestal music, you will notice that the sections are just parts that are usually described as "Part A, B, A'" and so... .



LOL....Yes, I guess I did confuse you. What I meant about meant about asking for your help on the "recording side" is the mixing, mastering etc....Like I said in a previous post, I am somewhat of a perfectionist....I want everything I do to be as close to perfect as possible.....So when I do write a song, I want it to not only sound professional from a musical standpoint, but also from a recording/audio standpoint as well. Hope that makes sense.

I'm actually working on your Anihillator lesson along with Marcus' solo......I need to start working and developing riffing ideas because I like the sound of it....That's why I worked your Zakk Wylde lesson too....Hopefully I will have your Anihillator lesson and Marcus' lesson down enough to record something by Sunday.

Thanks!!

Rob
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 31 2015, 04:37 PM
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Ah! Now I see, yes, we will wok on mixing once you have the song advanced. At first the only thing to have in mind is to record your guitar signal clean, by line, to then be able to improve the guitar tone using amp simulators.

I'll wait for your news about the lessons and song analysis. wink.gif


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RobbieJ
post Jan 31 2015, 04:38 PM
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Gab, I was practicing the Annihilator lesson and am on section 7....I have a couple of questions....remember that my knowledge of theory is very small...so forgive me if my questions seem silly.

The song is based off of Em....in this section you add the C# and the A# ....The C# is the note that takes it from being Aeolian to Dorian right? And the A# is the blues note from the Em Pentatonic scale right? So here are my questions:

1) Just because you added the A# does that really mean you are playing in E Dorian? All other notes in the riff are based off of E Aeolian (except for the pentatonic blues not of C#).....Would it be OK to say, "song is in key of E Aeolian, but I pulled in a couple of notes in certain spots that are outside of the scale"?

2) When you created this riff, did you just come up with a riff that was slightly outside of the E Aeolian scale and then determine that you were pulling from Dorian and Blues Pentatonic? Or was it a conscious effort to come up with a riff adding the dorian and blues scales? Which came first the chicken or the egg? I mean...did you come up with the riff first and then noticed it was outside of the Aeolian mode or did you come up with the thought first that you wanted to add a Dorian and Pentatonic blues flare to it and then came up with the riff?

I hope these questions make sense. Thanks,

Rob
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RobbieJ
post Feb 1 2015, 07:08 AM
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Here's another question for you....this time it's regarding harmonies....I have no experience with harmonies at all. I heard that harmonizing in the 3rd, the 5th, or octave sounds the best....I'm attaching a short clip of the beginning of "Weenie Ride" solo from Steel Panther....Can you teach me about harmonizing. I thought that this short recording would be a great starting point for me to learn...and then I can record the lead and the harmony for the entire solo.

Here are my questions.

1) So if I'm harmonizing in the 3rd, that means every note will be played a 3rd from it's original location right? Will the pattern of the melody or lick remain exactly the same? Or does the finger positions change? For example...If I played A-B-C.....Would the harmony in a 3rd would be C-D-E? If so, that stinks because you then have to really think about playing a harmony...because the first melody of A-B-C is whole step, half step relationship...but the harmony is whole, whole.

2) If you do harmonize in 3rds or 5ths...what is the easiest way to figure out the fingering for the melody/riff since there might be whole steps between notes where there were only half steps....or half steps between notes when the main plays whole steps. This is really confusing.

3) Would playing an octave higher or lower be the only time the fingering would be exactly the same for the harmony part as it is for the main melody? That would be the easiest obviously, because you wouldn't have to worry about whether things change from whole step or half steps, but you would play exactly the same melody/riff an octave higher or lower.

That's enough of my questions for now....thanks!

Rob

This post has been edited by RobbieJ: Feb 1 2015, 07:10 AM
Attached File(s)
Attached File  Weenie_Ride_Beginning.mp3 ( 190.14K ) Number of downloads: 30
 
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RobbieJ
post Feb 1 2015, 03:56 PM
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Gab, I watched a video on Youtube about harmonies and learned that a harmony in a minor 3rd is played two frets lower and one string higher than the original note (or two frets higher and one string lower.....except for the relationship between G and B strings which is only 1 fret difference)....With this, the minor 3rd harmony will play the same exact riff/melody fingering but 2 frets /higher (or higher depending on if you go to the next higher string or next lower string), or one fret lower/higher based on the G-B strings....Is this right?

I tried this and recorded the same Weenie Ride part ...here it is...Let me know your thoughts. By the way..there are timing issues, but I wasn't concerned about the timing as much as just trying to figure out the harmony part.

Thanks,

Rob

OK...sorry for so many questions...but I started looking at the 2 fret down theory and determined that if you do that, you actually play notes outside of the key that you are in...For example...If I go through the A minor scale, starting on the 5th fret of the E string, I would play the C on the A string....then B on 6th string is D on 5th string (so far so good)...but then I come to C on the 6th string and I would play D# on 5th string...the D# is obviously outside of the key of A minor. So how does this work?

I also started messing around with that same two fret pattern and determined that if I go up two frets and one string higher it will play the 5th...So here is same Weenie Ride clip playing harmonies in 5th....At least I think so...Please let me know if I'm on the right track....Let me know if what I am thinking and doing is correct. Thanks man!!

Rob
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Attached File  Weenie_Ride_Beginning_With_Harmony.mp3 ( 202.38K ) Number of downloads: 29
Attached File  Weenie_Ride_Beginning_With_Harmony_in_5th.mp3 ( 202.38K ) Number of downloads: 20
 
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 1 2015, 10:52 PM
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QUOTE (RobbieJ @ Jan 31 2015, 12:38 PM) *
Gab, I was practicing the Annihilator lesson and am on section 7....I have a couple of questions....remember that my knowledge of theory is very small...so forgive me if my questions seem silly.

The song is based off of Em....in this section you add the C# and the A# ....The C# is the note that takes it from being Aeolian to Dorian right? And the A# is the blues note from the Em Pentatonic scale right? So here are my questions:

1) Just because you added the A# does that really mean you are playing in E Dorian? All other notes in the riff are based off of E Aeolian (except for the pentatonic blues not of C#).....Would it be OK to say, "song is in key of E Aeolian, but I pulled in a couple of notes in certain spots that are outside of the scale"?

2) When you created this riff, did you just come up with a riff that was slightly outside of the E Aeolian scale and then determine that you were pulling from Dorian and Blues Pentatonic? Or was it a conscious effort to come up with a riff adding the dorian and blues scales? Which came first the chicken or the egg? I mean...did you come up with the riff first and then noticed it was outside of the Aeolian mode or did you come up with the thought first that you wanted to add a Dorian and Pentatonic blues flare to it and then came up with the riff?

I hope these questions make sense. Thanks,

Rob



Hi Rob! This are very interesting questions!


1) Just because you added the A# does that really mean you are playing in E Dorian? All other notes in the riff are based off of E Aeolian (except for the pentatonic blues not of C#).....Would it be OK to say, "song is in key of E Aeolian, but I pulled in a couple of notes in certain spots that are outside of the scale"?


The fact that I'm using the note C# and not the note C explains that I'm using Dorian instead of Aeolian. Why? Because that's the difference between both modes:





The addition of the blue note is a trick very used when we use Dorian mode and it's commonly explained as a Dorian variation. you can learn more about it here: LINK


2) When you created this riff, did you just come up with a riff that was slightly outside of the E Aeolian scale and then determine that you were pulling from Dorian and Blues Pentatonic? Or was it a conscious effort to come up with a riff adding the dorian and blues scales? Which came first the chicken or the egg? I mean...did you come up with the riff first and then noticed it was outside of the Aeolian mode or did you come up with the thought first that you wanted to add a Dorian and Pentatonic blues flare to it and then came up with the riff?


This is another interesting question. I think that I use both possibilities when I'm composing. Sometimes, when I'm looking for an specific vibe, I define the scale that can generate it and start to jam with it until I get something cool. The advantage of this method is that your compositions, phrases and riffs have the feeling that your are looking for. The disadvantage is that your creation can be more predictable and less original.

Other times, I just look for the notes that sound cool, without thinking too much on scales. I think that this is what I did this time, since Dorian is not a common mode for Thrash Metal. So in this case, I just have seen the 12 notes as notes and let my ear decide, then I searched for a theoretic explanation. The advantage is that you can get some really fresh ideas that can surprise you. The disadvantage is that the feeling that you get can be different to what you wanted... but maybe this is not a disadvantage! biggrin.gif

There is no one method better than the other, it's good to change from time to time to keep creative.


QUOTE (RobbieJ @ Feb 1 2015, 11:56 AM) *
Gab, I watched a video on Youtube about harmonies and learned that a harmony in a minor 3rd is played two frets lower and one string higher than the original note (or two frets higher and one string lower.....except for the relationship between G and B strings which is only 1 fret difference)....With this, the minor 3rd harmony will play the same exact riff/melody fingering but 2 frets /higher (or higher depending on if you go to the next higher string or next lower string), or one fret lower/higher based on the G-B strings....Is this right?

I tried this and recorded the same Weenie Ride part ...here it is...Let me know your thoughts. By the way..there are timing issues, but I wasn't concerned about the timing as much as just trying to figure out the harmony part.

Thanks,

Rob

OK...sorry for so many questions...but I started looking at the 2 fret down theory and determined that if you do that, you actually play notes outside of the key that you are in...For example...If I go through the A minor scale, starting on the 5th fret of the E string, I would play the C on the A string....then B on 6th string is D on 5th string (so far so good)...but then I come to C on the 6th string and I would play D# on 5th string...the D# is obviously outside of the key of A minor. So how does this work?

I also started messing around with that same two fret pattern and determined that if I go up two frets and one string higher it will play the 5th...So here is same Weenie Ride clip playing harmonies in 5th....At least I think so...Please let me know if I'm on the right track....Let me know if what I am thinking and doing is correct. Thanks man!!

Rob


Hi Rob! It's great to see you exploring this harmonization concepts. There is a basic rule that you are missing on this and it's that we usually harmonize in "DIATONIC" thirds, or "DIATONIC" fifths, and you could even use sixths. What does it mean? It means that you have to alternate between major and minor thirds (perfect, diminished and augmented when you are using 5ths) depending on the scale that you are using. This is the only way to harmonize a melody and to make it sound in key. In other words, in your last example, you should play E instead of D#. Does it make sense?

So, in order to make sure that you understand this concept, please tab a simple melody using Guitar Pro, just 1 measure using 8th notes in A minor and also tab its harmonization in diatonic thirds using a second track.



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RobbieJ
post Feb 3 2015, 08:10 PM
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Gab, thanks for the clarification with the harmonies. I think I understand now...I can use the 2 frets lower/higher method but might need to go a half step or a whole step on certain notes in order to stay in the key.....correct? So the basic fingering pattern of the riff will be similar, but might not be exact since we are harmonizing in diatonic intervals....right? I will come up with a simple melody in a GP file using Tux Guitar and add a 2nd guitar with harmonies. I've ever created something in Tux Guitar before.....I'm guessing I just type the fret number on the string and it will put in the note....right? Is there a way to play something and have it transcribe what you're playing?

Thanks again!!

Rob
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RobbieJ
post Feb 4 2015, 05:43 AM
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Ok...here is a quick little melody in A minor with a harmony in diatonic 3rds. I think I've got it...the pattern for the melody in the harmony is similar...but not exact because of the diatonic notes....I think I get it now. Let me know your thoughts.

Rob

I just recorded both guitar parts....It's nothing fancy, I just wanted to hear what it sounds like with real guitars.

This post has been edited by RobbieJ: Feb 4 2015, 05:41 AM
Attached File(s)
Attached File  Guitar_Harmony_Aminor.gp5 ( 1.81K ) Number of downloads: 33
Attached File  A_minor_Harmony_Diatonic_3rds.mp3 ( 205.95K ) Number of downloads: 36
 
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 4 2015, 02:52 PM
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Wou!! Iron Maiden style!!! Hehehehe that's perfect! It's exactly what you have to do if you want to harmonize in diatonic thirds. The harmonization in thirds can be downwards or upwards, and the results will be different. Sometimes you'll prefer one, while other times you'll prefer the other one. As I said earlier, you can also use other type or harmonization like fifths, sixths or sevenths. Seconds and fourths are less common but can be used a bit when applying the trick explained above. The results can be weird in some cases but maybe that's what you need for some pieces.

Marty Friedman is a lover of weird harmonization so you could check his music and Cacophony to see the different effects that he gets.




- A good trick to get less predictable harmonization is combining thirds, fifths and sixths (and maybe seconds and fourths). There are not big rules about this, just try and let your ear decide.



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RobbieJ
post Feb 12 2015, 05:29 PM
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Hey Gab....I'm still working on a couple of the lessons (your Annihilator....Marus' 3 level Pentatonic) as well as incorporating more improvisation in my practice schedule. That brings me to my question...How do you go about recording the backing tracks that you use with your lessons? The sound absolutely incredible. Do you use something like Band in a Box? What drum program do you use? All of your backings sound awesome!

Thanks,

Rob
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 13 2015, 01:55 PM
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Hi Rob, great to know that you are working!

I use Cubase to record audio and midi, as well as to mix and do the mastering to everything. Cubase is just a multitrack in which you record each instrument. For the sound, I use Steve Slate Drums as a VST virtual drum, Trillian for the bass sound and I also have Massive (for electronic/industrial sound) and Miroslav Philharmonik for orquestal sounds. My guitar patch is always shared in the lesson so you can download it and use it, as well as the amp plug-ins.

If you don't have Cubase, you can try Reaper which has a free version to start experimenting. There are many options for Bass and Drum sounds so you can check youtube and listen samples to decide the one that you like more.



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RobbieJ
post Feb 13 2015, 05:02 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Feb 13 2015, 12:55 PM) *
Hi Rob, great to know that you are working!

I use Cubase to record audio and midi, as well as to mix and do the mastering to everything. Cubase is just a multitrack in which you record each instrument. For the sound, I use Steve Slate Drums as a VST virtual drum, Trillian for the bass sound and I also have Massive (for electronic/industrial sound) and Miroslav Philharmonik for orquestal sounds. My guitar patch is always shared in the lesson so you can download it and use it, as well as the amp plug-ins.

If you don't have Cubase, you can try Reaper which has a free version to start experimenting. There are many options for Bass and Drum sounds so you can check youtube and listen samples to decide the one that you like more.



Gab, thanks for sharing...I do have Cubase 7....I also have Superior Drummer....and I use TH2 for my amp. So you actually write and record your backing...wow...That must take a lot of time. This kind of ties in to how I want to write and record my own stuff. Not only is it important to write good songs, but it's equally as important to record them properly and with the best sound possible. This is definitely an area that I want to explore...any help you can provide would be AWESOME.

Thanks,

Rob
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post Feb 14 2015, 07:51 AM
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On a different topic...I was looking at Daniel Robinson's "George Lynch" lesson and I'm only on the 2nd section of the lesson

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/rhythm-gu...h-style-lesson/

and I have a question hopefully you can help me out with.....He states that he's playing in E Phrygian but he starts out the hammer-on/pull offs at the beginning by playing the D#...this note is not in E Phrygian...So why does it work? Why can the D# be added? The D# would be added to the E Harmonic Minor scale correct? But not the phyrgian...Help me understand. I haven't gotten past the first two sections yet, so I'm not sure about the rest of the song...but so far, it seems like he's playing in E Harmonic Minor and not E Phyrgian. Let me know.

Thanks,

Rob
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 14 2015, 02:37 PM
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QUOTE (RobbieJ @ Feb 13 2015, 01:02 PM) *
Gab, thanks for sharing...I do have Cubase 7....I also have Superior Drummer....and I use TH2 for my amp. So you actually write and record your backing...wow...That must take a lot of time. This kind of ties in to how I want to write and record my own stuff. Not only is it important to write good songs, but it's equally as important to record them properly and with the best sound possible. This is definitely an area that I want to explore...any help you can provide would be AWESOME.

Thanks,

Rob



Great! Well, a good way to start is recording a song cover. This makes you forget a bit about the creativity side but it makes you explore all the technical possibilities of your software. I think that if you are able to emulate a song that you listen, you will be able to transpose from your mind to your daw the songs that you create. When I was around 21, I worked for two years creating backing tracks for singers. This has been a great training for my ear but also for my writing midi, mixing and recording skills. So, a good way to start could be with something like that. What about choosing a simple song and start writing it? I can guide you during the process. At first please share some song choices and I'll decide the best one for this...


QUOTE (RobbieJ @ Feb 14 2015, 03:51 AM) *
On a different topic...I was looking at Daniel Robinson's "George Lynch" lesson and I'm only on the 2nd section of the lesson

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/rhythm-gu...h-style-lesson/

and I have a question hopefully you can help me out with.....He states that he's playing in E Phrygian but he starts out the hammer-on/pull offs at the beginning by playing the D#...this note is not in E Phrygian...So why does it work? Why can the D# be added? The D# would be added to the E Harmonic Minor scale correct? But not the phyrgian...Help me understand. I haven't gotten past the first two sections yet, so I'm not sure about the rest of the song...but so far, it seems like he's playing in E Harmonic Minor and not E Phyrgian. Let me know.

Thanks,

Rob



yes,you're right, he sometimes switches to "harmonic minor" because the note D# is played by the rhythm guitar. Just check out the chords played on part 1 and you'll note that the chord played on measure 2 includes the notes A and D#. In order to make your phrasing sound good you'll have to avoid playing the minor 7th and play it major (D#), at least at that moment. On measure 4, the chord played includes D so there the process is inverse, you have to switch to the minor 7th.



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