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(@benpari)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 34
10/11/2007 4:08 am  

I have been playing guitar about a year. My proficiency with my fingers is incredible, I have yet to find a song or solo I cannot play. The last thing I learned was the Revelation Mother Earth solo by Ozzy(Randy Rhoads was a god by the way), it took me a total of 2 days to learn. I also have rhythm and can mark time in my head.

Enough of that, my real problem is that i know practically nothing about modes, keys, I dont know any scales outside simple pentatonics. I have scans of a book called "Scales and Modes in the beginning created especially for guitarists," its a hal leonard book. I am pretty sure all the basics I need to know are in it, but I dont know how to actually learn all this information and be able to use it at a whim. This is a huge daunting task and I realize it will take time. I would also not like to add hours of brainless practice to my schedule of playing scales, after all I like playing music
.
Any and all advice would be extremely helpful.


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(@michhill8)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 420
10/11/2007 4:17 pm  

the hours of "brainless practice" will allow you to understand the "music" you are playing. In all seriousness, look at the articles on this website about what you want to learn. It will take time, it will take dedication, and reading skills... Practice a little bit every day, then go play or learn a song you want to learn. It will come, trust me.

ALSO!

Try out a book called Blues You Can Use, it's pretty good.

Thanks Dudes!Keep on Rockin'Pat


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(@benpari)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 34
11/11/2007 8:40 pm  

So I thought about it and I have actually put in what feels like millions of hours of 'brainless practice' to be able to play the way I do right now. I remember sitting in my living room playing a 6 note run over and over slowly for almost 2 hours(this helped my alternate picking incredibly). I see no reason why playing scales for hours wont benefit at least as much.

Are there any other books anyone would suggest. I took a look at blues you can use, it looks good but I would like more of a base to pull from then just blues. I figure that the more books on different aspects and genres I have to practice from the more I will benefit, though neo-classical shred is my favorite.

How beneficial would getting guitar lessons be? I am self taught(though like I said I have only been playing a year), but I have never taken lessons as a serious idea. Most people I know who take lessons never seem to actually learn anything, I have also never met anyone with a passion for guitar like I have who are taking lessons.

Thanks for your thoughts.


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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5384
12/11/2007 11:08 am  

Do you have a webcam or a way to record yourself? If so, record yourself playing some songs and upload them. Trust me when I tell you that there is a HUGE difference between 'being able to play every song' and 'being able to play every song'. Upload yourself and I'll gladly point out to you why you need guitar lessons. Sounds rude but dont intend it that way.

Apart from that: modes, scales, keys and all that jazz are really not the end-all of music. What you need to do is three things:

1) Be able to create musical ideas in your head
2) Be able to understand what the melodie/harmony/rhythm in your head exactly is
3) Be able to find those notes on your guitar

What you could do: pick a random fret on your guitar and play a bunch of nursery rhymes from there. Now pick a fret on another string and do the same. Pick a fret, hum a few notes and then play them. Take a random solo and play it WITHOUT tab or sheet music. Take a random metallica song and turn it into reggae. Take a random Bob Marley song and turn it into metal. Or in other words: play around with the very building blocks that make music. Identify intervals and chord progressions, when playing a song try to replace chords with other chords on the fly. When you're there you can learn the theoretical names of all the things you can do but being able to do it is vastly more important then knowing the names.

As for lessons: only guitarists are silluy enough to think that having an experienced and skilled fellow-musician guiding you is a bad thing. Find the right teacher and you'll learn much faster. You'll also prevent mistakes that every self-taught beginner makes, mistakes that'll cost you many, many months to correct once you finally figure out what's happening. Remember that learning an instrument takes time: the fast way is usually not the best way. And yes, had I known that myself when I started I would have saved myself a lot of problems.

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 pab
(@pab)
Estimable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 103
29/11/2007 4:46 pm  

i agree with ignar. i too am serious about guitar. how serious is a relative matter - i don't practice the 10 hour lessons that steve vai does, but i do practice for hours a day. lessons for me have been very helpful. here's why:

when i play for anyone (friends, family), they think that i'm very good and are amazed at how well i can play after just 9 months with a guitar. however, there has been more than once where i was extremely happy with a song that i'm playing, everyone else thought it sounded great, yet when i played it for my teacher, he wasn't as impressed. he told me "the timing's off at this point" or i "should have sustained this note for longer" or the notes are "too short" at different places. he is an amazing guitar player so he's able to see/hear things that other people that i impress cannot (including myself from time to time). also, sometimes we don't want to hear our shortcomings so we ignore them and pretend that they don't exist.

he gives me a real "kick in the butt" from time to time, which is what a good teacher can do. a good teacher will remind you of what you know when you think you don't know anything, and will remind you of what you don't know when you think you know it all. some people are scared of the 2nd part, which is one possible reason that they don't take lessons (others being time, money, motivation).

best of luck.

(btw ignar, is there a detroit in sweden?)

pab


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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5384
29/11/2007 5:14 pm  

Heh, amen to that. My violin teacher is like that too. Looks straigh through all the lame excuses, too. :lol:
(btw ignar, is there a detroit in sweden?)

Not really sure, never heared of it myself anyway. Maybe ask one our Swedish members. :lol:

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 pab
(@pab)
Estimable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 103
29/11/2007 5:44 pm  

i just noticed that your location is listed as detroit, sweden. thought i'd ask. of course i was partly joking, assuming that you shared time in both places.

pab


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(@jerboa)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 79
29/11/2007 6:01 pm  

Ok....

First, music theory is not about scales and modes. Nor is it about whipping out kicking riffs at a moment's notice. Music theory is about what makes music...music. Scales (and their modes) play a part, but so do chords (why is a D chord a D chord? Why are the notes D F# and A? etc.), as does the relationship between melody and harmony, and the use of different voicings. There is a lifetime of topics to study in music theory, and almost none of it requires you to even look at your guitar, let alone pick it up. But all of it can improve your playing. It can tell you *why* something sounds good.

Second...it sounds like you really aren't interested in all of that. You simply feel that sticking to pentatonic scales is holding back your improvisation. One of the best things you could do for this is to find a teacher. Find one with a very strong background in improvisational playing, and I guarantee you will learn loads. A good teacher will be able to talk about scales, and modes, and how they apply to chords, melody, and songs, and how they translate to the fretboard in a way that you understand. They don't have to have your 'passion' for they guitar. A good teacher is passionate about channeling *your* passion into improving your playing. :)

Third...learn a bit of humility. You have been playing only a year. I haven't heard you play, but I can guarantee that you aren't 'all that'. You haven't found a song you can't play yet? You mentioned a metal guitarist, so I'll start with a few that come to mind in other genres that you probably haven't tried yet: Wildwood Flower (a Carter Family classic), Arabesca No12 (Enrique Granados), and Against The Grain (Garth Brooks) . Work on those. Wildwood Flower especially sounds amazing up to tempo.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I have been playing 8 months, and I stink. Then again, guitar is my 4th instrument...)

Hang in there, and remember..no matter how good you are, there is always someone out there better. :)

There are two kinds of people in this world:Those who think there are two kinds of people in this world, and those who don't


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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5384
29/11/2007 6:06 pm  

It can tell you *why* something sounds good.

No it can't.

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(@jerboa)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 79
29/11/2007 6:35 pm  

It can tell you *why* something sounds good.

No it can't.

;) Look this isn't an argument! An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition. :lol:

Seriously though, why not? Maybe I should elaborate? What I mean is that you can take a nice line, and analyze it to see how it is put together...the artist's use of chord and passing tones, use of space, etc. Also, from a mechanical point, you can see why some notes sound good together, and others don't due to concordance/discordance and the like. In this sense, one can compare and contrast similar aspects of different pieces to find objective features that they have in common from a structural stanpoint. I certainly don't mean to address the personal subjectivity issue (if that is what you are getting at)

There are two kinds of people in this world:Those who think there are two kinds of people in this world, and those who don't


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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5384
29/11/2007 7:11 pm  

No, all I'm saying is that 'musical theory' is, at it's core, an overview of what people have done before. It doesn't say *why* it is good, just what is going on. Theory doesn't result in more good new music, but good new music results in more theory. For example, Chopin (and many of his fellow-composers of the Romantic era) made lots of use of dissonances, sounds that were practically unheared of a century before him. Theory didn't say it was good, on the contrary. Yet after Chopin and his pals theory was changed to incorporate the new music.

Look at it as a painting: theory can tell you what is blue and what is red, how sharp the light falls into the faces of the people etc. But it can't tell you *why* it is so beautifull. The ancient Egyptians had a pretty solid grasp of perspective, yet they always, for the *entire* duration of their empire (go figure, imagine 1500 years of just big-band music!), chose to depict humans in a different, unrealistic way. We can say it's unrealistic, but not if it's good or bad, beautifull or ugly.
Look this isn't an argument!

Yes it is! :P

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(@jerboa)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 79
29/11/2007 8:08 pm  

Ahh..now I understand your position, and concede the point.

Perhaps I should have stated is more like: It can guide you to what is known to sound good. 8)

There are two kinds of people in this world:Those who think there are two kinds of people in this world, and those who don't


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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5384
29/11/2007 9:26 pm  

Perhaps I should have stated it more like: It can guide you to what is known to sound good.

Hehe, that's more like it. :wink: I might seem terribly uptight about stuff like this. It's mostly a note to people just startingto learn. Plenty of people around me learn themselves to use theory as some sort of ruleset, locking them up instead of setting them free.

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(@alangreen)
Member Moderator
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5358
30/11/2007 8:48 am  

I like a Joe Satriani quote on theory, which went (roughly):

Let's say your favourite guitarist is Jimi Hendrix and you want to play like that. You can either learn some theory which will give you an understanding of why he sounded like he did, or you can ignore the theory and just hope you've turned into Jimi Hendrix when you wake up one morning.

And there's a great one from John Frusciante:

Not learning theory is like saying "I don't want to talk to you but I want to rub my [genitals] all over you"

Everybody needs to learn some theory, otherwise how are you going to figure out (say) Bbm9 on the fly in the middle of a recording.

Best,

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5384
30/11/2007 1:13 pm  

Kinda. But as with grammar: to talk with people you need to know grammar, but you don't need to know what the technical term for it is. Unless you like to discuss grammar with people, but most probably don't really dig that.

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