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> Lester's Thread, for Gab's Army
Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 22 2015, 04:57 PM
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Hi Lester, welcome to our thread for Gab's Army! Here I will help you to achieve your goals as guitarist and musician with guitar routines, links and explanations as well as tasks and constructive feedback.

These are your current goals:

* theoretical knowledge: use of more chords and scales, but also recording and sound (effectswise)
* songwriting: anything that helps, also theory about chords inversions, progressions, etc.
* improvising: especially I would like to be able to improvise along the chords, not just in a key of a song. and I know only one scale...the minor natural one..
* and lastly I woud like to be able to understand and play the blues (and bluesrock)...


Have you ever composed a song? or music ideas? Do you have any stuff to share here?


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Lester
post Feb 23 2015, 09:49 PM
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Yeah, looking forward to it! biggrin.gif

I have been working on a little chord progression with Cosmin, it's here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJSTnLWTtgQ

It consists of 4 chords, which are then repeated with different inversions. Then I experimented with some phrasing with only root notes, 3rds and 5ths...more as part of an exercise to hear the difference, nothing fancy. An example of it is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3emr-tf7oI

And the little improvisation I did before that:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oT8CFdH1G2g

I've also added a song as an attachment, a little cover I did...I recorded three guitar tracks and some singing using audacity...it's a little bit higher than my comfort zone singing wise, but it was a request I did for someone so I just gave it my best smile.gif

Then I've added some other jams I did on a friend's wedding recently, but we are with two guitars...but to give you an idea anyway.


Attached File(s)
Attached File  Liedje_voor_Leen.mp3 ( 5.18MB ) Number of downloads: 95
Attached File  4._Rio_Funk.mp3 ( 4.55MB ) Number of downloads: 82
Attached File  16._A_real_father_for_ya__met_Stefan_.mp3 ( 7.25MB ) Number of downloads: 95
Attached File  4._Rio_Funk.mp3 ( 4.55MB ) Number of downloads: 79
 
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 24 2015, 02:07 PM
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Hi Lester! Great stuff! smile.gif

I have to say that I've enjoyed every single audio that you shared here. You have a good musical taste, you can create really enjoyable melodies, play guitar with good tempo, and your voice is very nice to hear! You have a lot of potential and I would like to help you to get the most of it to start your own career as musician.

You said that you want to become better at songwriting, music theory, improvising and I was thinking that the best for working on it is to focus your work here on your own music. I think that it's much more productive to learn theory while making music and analyzing songs that you like than just learning it to accumulate knowledge. So it would be interesting on working on composing and arranging some original songs by you.

The first thing that you should think, if you like the idea, is the direction of what you'll do. Do you want a couple of songs in a specific genre that could take part of an album? Do you prefer to work on different styles just to experiment and learn and see what happens then? Instrumental? with vocal?





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Lester
post Feb 24 2015, 10:45 PM
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Thanks Gabe! Apreciate it.

I just saw that I uploaded the same file twice, my bad, but you get the picture biggrin.gif

I like your proposal, it seems the most effective to put things I learned in songs of my own smile.gif

The direction is a bit harder for me to answer tongue.gif
This I know: I want to work mostly with vocals, maybe some instrumental songs/parts. but mostly vocals.

Other than that: I like both directions.
I would like to compose songs within the same genre...without too much of a band setting, since I don't have one at the moment. I like Jason Mraz (his early work) the best as an example, I really like him a lot and also a bit of John Mayer (mainly John Mayer trio and his acoustic work) and a little bit of Ed Sheeran kind of stuff.

But then again, I also want to branch out and be diverse in writing, especially in some blues concepts, I like some acoustic blues...sounds really tasty! smile.gif and I really like Joe Bonnamassa kind of stuff too! But I would also like to write a Bossa Nova song for example smile.gif

So I would prefer to do all of that. I don't have any concrete plans on making an album, but I'd definitely would like to do it. I just think I'm not ready yet. I need to learn about songwriting, but also about reording guitar and vocals as well as making backingtracks. So my plan is to put any finished stuff that I like on youtube and see how people respond. But I need better quality recordings for that, I really need to learn that smile.gif

I really hope this all makes sense biggrin.gif







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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 25 2015, 01:40 PM
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This sounds really good! Honestly, we are always ready for songwriting. This skill is not related to how many concepts you know, it's related to how many things you have to say. I can notice that your music direction is clear and the artists listed there are all related in one sense. This makes things easier since sometimes the direction is the thing that makes us lose focus while creating our own music.

The first thing that I'd like to ask you is to share here 10 of your favorite songs which we'll analyze as a starting point.



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Lester
post Feb 25 2015, 08:55 PM
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Oh, this is so hard! I always like to search for new artists that could surprise me, but if I had to choose a playlist right now, this would probably be it smile.gif

Not necessarily in any order and they are not all guitar songs, but I guess that's ok:

1. Geek in the pink - Jason Mraz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4X_AgLfpndM

2. You Fckn did it - Jason Mraz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grK2IrVKylY

3. True Sorry - Ibrahim Maalouf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXzv7P7qGdM

4. Seven nation army - Ben L'oncle Soul

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWWZx8P9MAA

5. Neon - John Mayer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DfQC5qHhbo

6. I see fire - Ed Sheeran

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TgiH5Rr3M0

7. Stop! - Joe Bonnamassa

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMXXnLSRdBE

8. Sloe gin - Joe Bonnamassa

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1_6yCHnSI4

9. Goodbye - Tingsek

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9n699dykRXs

10. Englishman in New York - Sting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d27gTrPPAyk

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 26 2015, 02:57 PM
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That's a very interesting list! Now it's time to analyze each of them to have a map of the structures, tonalities, progressions, and arrangements most found in your favorite songs. I can help you with theory stuff once we have the chords and scales used.

The idea is writing down the structure and then write a short description of each part that shares the tonality, the chord progression, and how it's arranged. Please share your results here, but if it's possible, use a real notepad for you to have this analysis there.

This is also a good excuse to learn how to play each of this songs.

Deal?


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Lester
post Feb 26 2015, 11:56 PM
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Deal! biggrin.gif

I'll get an example of one soon, so you can see if I did it right before attempting the rest
And I'd like to add Human Nature by Michael Jackson...I totally forgot that one, but it has some GREAT guitar versions smile.gif

I'll keep you posted on the progress!
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 28 2015, 01:48 AM
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Ok! Sounds good, I'll wait for your news. wink.gif


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Lester
post Mar 2 2015, 11:33 PM
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Hi Gabe,

As promised a test version of the first song. biggrin.gif
I've just uploaded two photo's of my notes, I think I've structured it clear enough, so it shouldn't be a problem and hopefully the thought process is clearer this way.

I've got a question on a few things:

I wrote down the Bbm scale on top of the page, this I know from the formula, but how about the 7ths? Is this always the same interval? I've got a D#m7, that's why I ask, I suppose it belongs in the scale. smile.gif

Then, I've got some chords in the bridge, and I'm really having my doubts about the 3rd chord. according to the formula it should be F minor, but it sound more like an F to me. maybe an F5 at best. and the bridge most definitely ends with an F. I know I shouldn't get too hung up on theory rules, so can I just trust my ear on that one? I don't know what to do with the tonality of the bridge though smile.gif

And I have a question about the Cm7/b5, I wrote it that way because of a chord book. This is just the same as a Cdim with a minor 7th, right? so why not write Cdim7?

Any other thoughts and feedback? smile.gif Is this the way you meant it?
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 3 2015, 02:53 PM
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Hi Lester! Great stuff! You did a very good job with this. I can say that your notes look very good. I can see the structure and progressions used there very clearly. The overall tonality is as you said: Bbm.

About your questions, the difference between diminished and m7 b5 is that the second also includes the minor seventh. There can be a confusion there because a diminished 7 chord is a bit diifferent. This is how I describe them technically:

dim:
Root, m3, d5,

dim7:
Root, m3, d5, d7

m7b5 (half dim7):
Root, m3, d5, m7


When you are on Bbm tonality, the second chord build over C root, is m7b5, but off course you can avoid using the seventh and that's when the chord can become more mysterious since it can be one of both depending on the overall tonality and also on what's happening with the melody at that moment.

Your other question was about the V chord, in this case Fm. I can say that the chord used in the bridge is F, but this doesn't mean that you aren't on Bm anymore. The use of a major V is something very common on minor tonalities and has been used since the baroque days to give more tension to the V chord to then release to I. It can be explained as a minor key variation but since you will have to make a slight change to the scale used at that moment we can say that this chord is borrowed from Bb harmonic minor scale since it's the V chord that you get if you harmonize the scale. I can be also explained in other ways, but you just need to know two things:

- The V chord in minor tonalities is usually switched to Major to create more tension.
- Melodically you should use a minor scale that includes the major 7th interval. Besides harmonic minor, you can also try melodic minor depending on the context.



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Lester
post Mar 4 2015, 02:04 PM
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Allright, glad you like it! smile.gif

Thank you for the explanation. I understand the differences between the diminished chords and I really like the trick of making the V major biggrin.gif

I don't really quite understand the last sentence

QUOTE
- Melodically you should use a minor scale that includes the major 7th interval. Besides harmonic minor, you can also try melodic minor depending on the context.


Maybe that's because I don't know what harmonic minor and melodic minor are, I never looked into that. What I meant with my question was that there is a formula for minor natural scales:

I is minor, II is diminished, III is major, etc.

But which 7ths do I use? Is I Bbm7, or Bbm/maj7? Maybe you already explained it, but in that case I've missed it tongue.gif

In the meantime I will keep on working on the other songs! smile.gif
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 4 2015, 02:19 PM
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Harmonic and melodic minor scales are scales that have a major 7th, check out the structure of each scale:

C major: C D E F G A B
Intervals: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

C Harmonic Minor: C D Eb F G Ab B
Intervals: 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7

C Melodic Minor: C D Eb F G A B
Intervals: 1 2 b3 4 5 6 7


So starting from a major scale, you get the harmonic minor lowering the 3rd and the 6th to minor while you only have to lower the 3rd to get the melodic minor scale.






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Lester
post Mar 4 2015, 10:29 PM
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Ofcourse, it's so obvious rolleyes.gif

I must have been very sleepy wen reading it, thanks for the reply though biggrin.gif
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 5 2015, 02:09 PM
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Great! It's been interesting to see how you can learn new music theory concepts thanks to the analysis of your favorite songs. This is exactly the main goal of this first step in our work together. Keep going!


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Lester
post Mar 10 2015, 11:37 PM
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Hi Gabe,

I'm still working on the next song, although I haven't finished it yet, I thought I'd upload it to see if you have any suggestions smile.gif

This one is a little bit harder, especially some variations in the bridge, I do see some similarities between this song and the last on though. I'll try and finish it soon smile.gif

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 11 2015, 01:57 PM
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Hi mate, what version of the song are you analyzing? Because I'm checking the original one and it's in Am while you are working in Bm.


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Lester
post Mar 11 2015, 03:07 PM
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This one wink.gif
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grK2IrVKylY

This is a live version, but it's on the album I bought years back...which one do you have? smile.gif
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 12 2015, 01:54 PM
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Ah ok! I was checking this one:



Now I could play the chords that you've transcribed along with the song and it sounds great. You are on the right track with this one. It's a very interesting tune. The curios thing is how many words he uses in the verses, that's a lot!


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Lester
post Mar 12 2015, 10:31 PM
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Right biggrin.gif

There are a lot of versions on youtube in Am actually...Jason does it that way a lot apparently.
I've finished the song, sorry for the messy last line...I looked at a video at what he was doing and I forgot I was in Am, so I had to adjust everything smile.gif

I might even like it better in Am tongue.gif

I guess the chord progression is pretty straight forward again when you analyze it, Jason uses the V degree in major again a couple of times, but also the IV in major (E)...which I noted as a V on the paper I see now... mellow.gif

I will take a look again at it tomorrow, but I think I got all the exceptions...I'm pretty tired right now smile.gif

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