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> Gun Control !, Different Ways to Play the Same Notes
Ben Higgins
post Apr 22 2015, 10:36 AM
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Made you look, didn't I? tongue.gif

Of course I'm not going to talk about guns... I'm going to talk about boring stuff like guitar playing. So if you like that kind of thing then stick around as I'm going to talk about Different Ways to Play the Same Notes

If you were to take a small combination of notes there is most likely a few different ways (or at least more than one) that you could play it. I'm talking physically and with different techniques involved.

As I'm always saying, music is about making sound happen. Putting together a collection of sounds that sound pleasing to our ears and, hopefully, other people's as well.

With that in mind, it's always good not to get too attached to using certain techniques all the time. A lot of people invest so much into certain techniques that the techniques end up becoming part of their musical identity, more so than the music itself.

"I'm a picker..", "I'm a tapping guy.." "I prefer to use this scale.." and it goes on. In fact, we can become so enamoured with a specific way of playing that we will consciously avoid doing it another way because it doesn't gel with who we think we are.

In the interest of bringing some balance to the situation.. it's not a bad thing to know what you like and to follow that. After all, isn't that what's involved when forging your own path? So, taking what you like and ignoring what doesn't work for you is definitely a beneficial attitude to have when it comes to streamlining your practise sessions and focusing on the right stuff.

However, the paradox is that it doesn't mean you have to become close minded to anything else. It's always good to have options with playing guitar because more options gives you more ways of expressing your ideas.

So this takes us back to the idea of being able to choose different ways of playing the same group of notes. It may not always work.. certain riffs may just need to be played a certain way. I'm thinking more about lead guitar playing, where we have the freedom of being whoever we want to be.

I'm just going to throw out an easy example of a lick which can be played differently.

Here's a classic Gilbert style sextuplet lick. I've just given you the first 6 notes but it's usually repeated or carried off elsewhere through the scale. This is the 'classic' way of playing this lick, using 2 strings and alternate picking.

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Now, this is what you can do when using all 4 fingers a la Rusty Cooley.

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The lick can be applied to one string which cuts out the need for string crossing. If speed is a factor in your choice of finger positions then this will allow a big hike in speed.

What if you turned it into a legato lick? There you go.

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And then, for our last variation, we could tap the 5th note instead, going back to 3 fingers on the fretting hand.

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This is just a snapshot of how you can alter a lick's finger position to aid either speed or smoothness of tone. You can alter how you articulate the lick too by choosing whether you pick all the notes, some or use extra techniques in the form of tapping.

Next time you run through a solo that you already know just toy with the idea of finding another way to play the same notes. Take note of what it does to the tone and whether it's easier or harder to play. Having more options can really help you if you're feeling that your playing is getting stale or it may just help you out of a tight spot every now and then. Whatever it's good for, it's always better to have more choice.


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Chris S.
post Apr 27 2015, 05:03 AM
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Did someone say gun control?!

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Ahhhh I just had to wink.gif

In all seriousness though - another great topic, Ben! Keep the words of wisdom coming, my friend. biggrin.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Apr 27 2015, 06:31 AM
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Egad!! Don't get JSTCRSN started!!! smile.gif



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Ben Higgins
post Apr 27 2015, 09:41 AM
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QUOTE (Chris S. @ Apr 27 2015, 04:03 AM) *
Did someone say gun control?!

Attached Image

Ahhhh I just had to wink.gif

In all seriousness though - another great topic, Ben! Keep the words of wisdom coming, my friend. biggrin.gif


What's with the stubby length? Are they 0.38's to fit into a ladie's purse? biggrin.gif


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Chris S.
post Apr 27 2015, 11:31 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Apr 27 2015, 08:41 AM) *
What's with the stubby length? Are they 0.38's to fit into a ladie's purse? biggrin.gif

They conceal better in my cheetah print man bag tongue.gif



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Ben Higgins
post Apr 27 2015, 03:11 PM
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QUOTE (Chris S. @ Apr 27 2015, 10:31 AM) *
They conceal better in my cheetah print man bag tongue.gif


Oh sister, you have taste, baby!! biggrin.gif


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