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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 2 2016, 07:19 PM
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Hi sidthekid! Welcome to your mentoring thread.

Before we start, I'd like to know a bit more about you.

- How many time have you been playing guitar?
- Favorite guitarists, bands and musicians.
- What are your guitar goals?
- How would you like to you see yourself in 5 years (related to music and guitar)?
- How many time can you play guitar each day?
- Do you have playing live experience?
- Which are your strong and weak points with guitar?
- What do you know about music theory?
- Can you record videos of you playing?
- Share here audios and videos that reflect your current playing.


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sidthekid
post Aug 5 2016, 04:55 AM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Aug 2 2016, 06:19 PM) *
Hi sidthekid! Welcome to your mentoring thread.

Before we start, I'd like to know a bit more about you.

- How many time have you been playing guitar?

Hi Gabriel!
I 22 years old. I started playing guitar 8 years ago. Played a lot for the first 4 years, then played very little/acoustic stuff to sing along during the next 3 years. Have started playing again since 6 months ago.

QUOTE
- Favorite guitarists, bands and musicians.

Fav band - GnfR for sure. Zeppelin and classic rock - love their songs. Santana, and Eric Clapton - guitarists I admire the most. Apart from that I like blues covers, Coke Studio, any type of song really as long as its good - pop, metal or whatever.

QUOTE
- What are your guitar goals?

I like blues-rock the best, so want to play at Slash/Santana/Clapton's level. Not looking to be a shredder but good to have technique/speed/vibrato etc.

QUOTE
- How would you like to you see yourself in 5 years (related to music and guitar)?

I want to be great at blues, songwriting, and soon start a band that plays gigs at the local Hard Rock Cafe! \m/ Learn to sing basic stuff too, that's the dream, and only have around 2 years not 5!

QUOTE
- How many time can you play guitar each day?

I can play 1-2 hours on weekdays, and several hours (3-5) in the weekend, though I can probably play more if I'm working on something particular.

QUOTE
- Do you have playing live experience?

Just in a few student stages, 100-300 people, nothing major but I know how easily the audience gets bored biggrin.gif

QUOTE
- Which are your strong and weak points with guitar?

Strong points - I'm confident in my blues improvisation and general sense of melody.
Weak points - sometimes my timing is off, vibrato is weak, sloppy playing, buzzing strings, and I don't realize it because I'm playing alone to myself. I'm pretty weak at ear transcribing, I can't confidently get the key/chords of even a pop song. For example, I learnt almost the whole of Europa from tabs without even knowing which key/chords the song is in biggrin.gif

QUOTE
- What do you know about music theory?

I know the basics, major/minor chords, know the theory for triads/aug chords etc but not well enough to play those chords. Know the 12-bar blues progression, can improvise over Em/Am pentatonic easily with some standard blues-rock riffs, but can't change scales according to the chords in the song (which is something that really bugs me!).

QUOTE
- Can you record videos of you playing? Share here audios and videos that reflect your current playing.

I can record vids. Here's two videos of lessons I was working on, so these are about my current limits of playing.
Alternate picking Workout -

Melodic Riffing -

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 5 2016, 01:58 PM
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Hi mate, thanks for the info. Based on your goals and videos, this is what I suggest as the first assignment.


ASSIGNMENT #1:

Goals:

- Blues phrasing development.
- Polishing your bending technique.



TASK 1:

- Learn this lesson: https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/BB-King-Blues/
- Improvise over the backing track of this lesson trying to create your own variations.


TASK 2:

- Read and play the examples of this section:
"1. Blues Scale Theory and Application" from the Blues Theory Guide.


Exam and deadline:

By August 16th you'll have to share 3 videos:

- A video playing BB King lesson (3 coins)
- A second video improvising over the lesson's backing using B pentatonic minor (3 coins)
- A video playing the scales and examples from the Blues Scale Guitar part 1 (4 coins)

Each of this videos will be evaluated (check the coins value below). You need to get at least 7 coins to pass. If you pass, we can continue, if you don't you will have a second "call" that would be the last one.

This post has been edited by Gabriel Leopardi: Aug 5 2016, 01:59 PM


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sidthekid
post Aug 8 2016, 04:30 PM
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Hi Gabriel!!
Thanks for this assignment, I'm making more progress since the last week than in a long time. Deadlines work!

Here are the first 2 videos, the BB King Blues cover and its improvisation. I initially thought the BB King vid was easy, no fast licks or anything, but when I sat down to record it - damn the timing was killing me! biggrin.gif It took some time, eventually I started taking cues from the bass on the backing track. And playing that repeatedly gave me a sense of which notes to go for with the blues progression while improvising.







I'll post the third video soon smile.gif
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 9 2016, 07:34 PM
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Hi mate! Great to find your first videos here!! smile.gif

It's also really cool to know that deadlines are working. Having specific guitar plans and dates to finish them is the way to go if you want to see notorious progress in your playing.

The videos are on the right track. As you've commented, the BB king lesson has some timing issues that need to receive some special attention and there is also some work to do with bending, a bit vibrato, and finally dynamics. It seems to be a lot of stuff but don't worry, focus on 1 element at a time, if you adjust timing and the bends pitch, this lesson can be considered passed with a high grade.

The improvisation is a good first step too. The phrases need to be more defined. Try to get inspiration by the structure of the original solo to create your improvisation.



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sidthekid
post Aug 15 2016, 07:46 PM
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Hi Gabriel!
I redid the BB King lesson again, this time paying attention to dynamics (soft/hard picking) a bit, and trying to improve timing and vibrato.



I've also added some vids of the Blues Guitar Theory lesson you linked to. I had some questions, which videos did you want me to practice exactly? I did videos of 4 sections - 1.1 to 1.4. There are many videos linked in section 1.5 and I didn't get which ones did you want me to play. Should I also include the scales of 1.6/1.7?




QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Aug 9 2016, 06:34 PM) *
The improvisation is a good first step too. The phrases need to be more defined. Try to get inspiration by the structure of the original solo to create your improvisation.


I tried recording another improvisation but it was just the same / worse than my previous one. As in, to follow the structure of the original solo, should I include parts of the original licks as well, or try to avoid those notes? Also, to create more defined phrases, should I create my own tune and practice that before recording? Or should the recording be spontaneous, I'm confused blink.gif
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 16 2016, 08:58 PM
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Hi friends! Congrats on your great job!!

You've been working very hard on all these lessons. I'll give you 5 extra days to:

- Polish the bends on BB king lesson. The pitches are not precise.
- Adjust timing on the blues lessons (pentatonic minor, major and blues sclae lesson).
- Share a free improvisation over the BB king lesson. You don't need to pre compose it, and you can use licks from the original lesson and variations of them.

Ok?


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sidthekid
post Aug 16 2016, 09:22 PM
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Thanks Gabriel! Ok, I'll make the bends better, the vibrato too, by practising with the original. I'll try and post 3 vids soon, thanks for the feedback!
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sidthekid
post Aug 18 2016, 08:32 PM
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Hi Gabriel!! Here's the three videos again-

I hope the pitches are better on this one i.e. the 22nd fret bend.


I tried playing along with some BB king jams on youtube before recording this improvisation to loosen up biggrin.gif though I realized what you wanted - that I should be able to use the licks I learnt above in my improv playing. Well, I tried to (without letting it sound too much like the original tune)


And here's the minor pentatonic/minor blues/major pentatonic exercise vid, its a bit more in sync I guess? But I couldn't really see what I could improve.
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 19 2016, 03:08 PM
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Hi mate! Well done!! smile.gif

Based on your submits these are your results:

TASK 1: 2 + 3 coins

TASK 2: 4 coins

TOTAL: 9/10 coins.



Everything is a lot better on this new takes! You did an amazing job man! We are ready to move forward and start with the next assignment.

What are your thoughts about this first days of practice? Anything to share about the experience?

This post has been edited by Gabriel Leopardi: Aug 19 2016, 03:10 PM


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sidthekid
post Aug 19 2016, 09:49 PM
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Woo! So many coins great!! Thanks for the comments, can't wait for the next one smile.gif It was tough to keep practicing the same and trying to improve, but I know that's important.

For the first time I felt what a solo on the 12-bar blues means, I got a little bit of what it means to improvise - there isn't any theory, you just jam out, experience the sound blending, remember which group of notes sound good with which chords, and apply that experience to future tunes - awesome. I thought there was some theory that everybody follows that I was missing biggrin.gif

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 21 2016, 12:53 AM
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ASSIGNMENT #2:

Goals:


- Blues phrasing development II
- Polishing your vibrato technique.


TASK 1:

- Learn this lesson: hhttps://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Blues-Vibrato-SRV-Style-Solo/
- Improvise over the backing track of this lesson trying to create your own variations.


TASK 2:

- Read and play the examples of this section:
"2. Blues Arpeggio and Chord Theory " from the Blues Theory Guide.


Exam and deadline:

By August 30th you'll have to share 3 videos:

- A video playing SRV (3 coins)
- A second video improvising over the lesson's backing using E blues scale (3 coins)
- A video playing the scales and examples from the Blues Arpeggio and Chord Theory (4 coins)

Each of this videos will be evaluated (check the coins value below). You need to get at least 7 coins to pass. If you pass, we can continue, if you don't you will have a second "call" that would be the last one.

This post has been edited by Gabriel Leopardi: Aug 21 2016, 12:54 AM


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sidthekid
post Aug 30 2016, 06:10 PM
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Hey Gabriel!! I managed to record 2 videos of the SRV style blues. My vibrato doesn't sound cool at all right now! (Also I think the backing track is different from what is played in the video)

Here's the SRV style blues lesson -



And here's the jam on the backing track -




And I haven't been able to give much time the past 10 days, so didn't get time to practice the Blues Theory much. I finished the dominant 7th Arpeggio section but not much else. I can do the next 3 sections - Dom 9th/Minor 7th/Minor 9th - by tomorrow if that's ok?
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 30 2016, 11:38 PM
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Hi mate, good job!!

The two videos can be considered passed for the assignment. I also think that the main thing to improve in both of them is your vibrato technique. You need to try to do it more from your wrist, in order to get a wider and more consistent technique. The best would be to dedicate some time to play only vibrato over the backing track, focusing on your left hand movement.

Your improvisation is ok! It's lacking some structure but I can start visualising some phrases there, so you are on the right track man.

I'll give you two more days to finish the blues theory work, and to work on vibrato, but you don't have to provide new videos of the lesson and improv.

Keep on rocking!


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sidthekid
post Sep 2 2016, 07:09 PM
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Hey, thanks for passing them! Yes I'm practicing that crazy vibrato whenever I play, shaking my wrist etc

Here's the vid of sections 2.1-2.4, I did the boxes video and also tried improvising on the backing track but I think I will forget these scales soon if I can't use them generally, are there any songs that use them? Or how/where should I use them?



I did section 2.5 - Dominant 7th chords as well, and can generally play the chords mentioned there.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Sep 3 2016, 03:19 PM
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Hi mate! Great job!

Well, let's talk about the scales learnt. You've learnt these scales:

Pentatonic Major
Pentatonic Minor
Blues Scale
Dominant Arpeggios

These are the roots to play blues, and as blues is the root of many other styles like rock, jazz, reggae and funk, that knowledge will be really useful. I think that you know that you'll use pentatonic scales very often but let's talk about the dominant arpeggios.

When talking about blues with major chords, we can say that the 3 chords from the 12 bars blues progression are dominant, so you could solo over a blues backing, following the chords with each of the arpeggios. Blues masters usually combine this arpeggios with Pentatonic and blues scale. They take the arpeggio to connect their phrasing with the chords.

Another blues soloing approach which has some relationship to the previous technique is to mix Major and Minor Pentatonics. This is very used, but being able to visualise the arpeggios will help you even with this approach.

In other styles, you'll be able to use dominant arpeggio every time you find a dominant chord in a progression (which is the V chord of a major tonality), and also over Mixolydian progressions in which the I chord is dominant.

This info can seem to be too much, or too advanced but don't worry, you'll slowly start to understand this info. By know try to experiment over this backing tracks:




ASSIGNMENT #3:

Goals:


- 12 bars blues
- Mixing Pentatonics
- Dominant arpeggios


TASK 1:

- Learn this lesson: https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/12_bar...es_progression/
- Improvise over the backing track of this lesson trying to create your own variations.


TASK 2:

- Practice dominant arpeggio, G major and minor pentatonics over this backing track:

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


Exam and deadline:

By September 14th you'll have to share 3 videos:

- A video playing the lesson (3 coins)
- A second video improvising over the lesson's backing (3 coins)
- A video improvising over the Funky backing track (4 coins)

Each of this videos will be evaluated (check the coins value below). You need to get at least 7 coins to pass. If you pass, we can continue, if you don't you will have a second "call" that would be the last one.


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sidthekid
post Sep 8 2016, 06:14 AM
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Hi Gabriel!! The 12 bar blues progression is a really tasty solo, I'm having fun learning it! biggrin.gif For its improvisation, like how should the G major and minor pentatonic scales be mixed? Is it random, whatever sounds good, or should I follow some pattern like one bar G major, then one bar G minor, etc ?

And in the video, for this lick -
E S S S S S S E T S S S S S ]
----------------------------|------------]
----------------------------|------------]
---------------5---4---3----|------------]
-----------6-7---7---6----5-|------5---5-]
----------------------------|--6-7---7---]
----------------------------|------------]

Where did the G#, D# notes come from?? They sound like blues notes, but they aren't in the G blues scale right? (the G major/minor blues notes are A#/C#)

And for the third task - the G7 backing track is cool - again the same question - G minor pentatonic fits in, G7 Arpeggio a little bit here and there fits in, but G major pentatonic sounds like trash, how can I mix them better?

QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Sep 3 2016, 02:19 PM) *
When talking about blues with major chords, we can say that the 3 chords from the 12 bars blues progression are dominant, so you could solo over a blues backing, following the chords with each of the arpeggios. Blues masters usually combine this arpeggios with Pentatonic and blues scale. They take the arpeggio to connect their phrasing with the chords.


Since the progression is G7-G7-G7-G7, C7-C7-G7-G7, D7-C7-G7-D7, do I use G7 C7 D7 arpeggio scales over the chords in sync?
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Sep 8 2016, 01:51 PM
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Hi mate!

It's really cool to see how, the deeper you get into blues, the trickier it seems and the more tools you have to solo over the same progression. There are different ways to see the same things. The answer is in the masters. The best is to analyse what the biggest blues players play/played over each of the chords. Check SRV, Muddy Waters, BB King, Hendrix and analyse how they use all this tools over a progression.

Besides this, experiment by yourself following this two principles:

- All the notes in between the blues scale can be used as passing notes if you do it wisely, with a clear direction and start and end on chord tones.

- Which are chord tones? The notes from the chord, so in the case of the dominant progression, the chord tones are also the notes that build each arpeggio.

- Major scale usually sounds good over some chords and over others not. Try it by yourself and write down your conclusion.

- About following the chords from the dominant progression with the dominant arpeggio of each, yes, that will work, but if will sound more interesting if you find the way to stay on blues scale and suggest the arpeggios. I mean, imagine that you have a fader that lets you mix both tools. Don't switch, move this fader from one to the other... mixing it... I hope that it makes sense. If not check this video that applyes the same princpile mixing modes with pentatonics: https://youtu.be/OkaqfgSqtHg


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sidthekid
post Sep 14 2016, 07:30 PM
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Hi Gabriel! I'm back with the vids!

So here's the original lesson. I really enjoyed playing the bends, timing and structure.


And an improvisation over its backing track




Here's the jam video in G major/minor. Its 5 minutes long, so long biggrin.gif I played almost all of my usual licks, ran out of steam in the middle, this is basically where I'm at with improvising. I used the minor pentatonic mostly, and also the hybrid major/minor, limited to 2-3 positions mostly. Tried adding the arpeggio scale at the end, it's all very haphazard and random sad.gif



Guess I haven't integrated much till now from the BB King or SRV lesson. SRV is now my new favorite guitar player though \m/



QUOTE
I mean, imagine that you have a fader that lets you mix both tools. Don't switch, move this fader from one to the other... mixing it... I hope that it makes sense. If not check this video that applyes the same principle mixing modes with pentatonics: https://youtu.be/OkaqfgSqtHg


Watched the video, got an idea of what you're saying about mixing, the hybrid major/minor pentatonic is used by Slash alot right?


QUOTE
- Major scale usually sounds good over some chords and over others not. Try it by yourself and write down your conclusion.
- Which are chord tones? The notes from the chord, so in the case of the dominant progression, the chord tones are also the notes that build each arpeggio.


I couldn't get started on matching the major scales to chords, and couldn't figure out how to use chord tones either, this stuff seems important, can you recommend some videos/exercises for that?
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Sep 15 2016, 03:19 PM
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Hi friend! Great to find your new videos!!

Based on your submits these are your results:

TASK 1: 2 + 3 coins

TASK 2: 3 coins

TOTAL: 9/10 coins.



There is off course a lot of work to do but this videos show that you are on the right track, and that you have been working really hard! I'd like to recommend you again to watch as many blues masters improvising as you can. The more you listen, the more you practice jamming and the more licks you learn, the better your improvisation will become.

About mixing pentatonics, don't worry about it. Give time to get used to the concepts learnt during the current assignment, and keep on practising them. We'll cover everything along the assignments.



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