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Breaking out of metal.

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SagaciousKJB2
(@sagaciouskjb2)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Well, I've been playing around a year and a half. I started learning playing metal, as most of my influences for guitar were metal, and most of my friends played metal, so it was easier to pick up. Lately, though, I'm starting to question whether or not metal is really my style of music.

When I play metal, I don't feel like I'm ever being very creative. It seems like any old standard ped tone and powerchords, with a random breakout into a lick will do to make a metal lick. When I start to be creative with it, however, I generally tend to make things that I like the sound of, but are whoely unimpressive on a whole to my friends. This, of course, makes it difficult to write music with them, as they want nothing to do with what it was I made.

I can't really give a clear word for the type of music that I would like to play. But, it's mostly acoustic harmony type music, finger picked and strummed. I guess a few examples could be Hotel California, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, White Moutain Side... But usually what I think of in my head sounds a lot more different than those.

Of course the step to this, would be to start learning chord shapes, etc. I find myself trapped in convention, though. I've messed a little with creating my own chord shapes, but I always find that I don't like the sounds of them; the same goes for some of the other chord shapes you can find in a chord encyclopedia.

Now, a lot of people's idea of playing guitar is to just play, and find a sound that you like. However, what I find frustrating, is that I have a sound in my head that I need to learn how to tranfer onto the guitar. No one seems to be able to tell me how to do that, though.

Does anyone understand what I mean? And if so, can they help teach me how I can pull something out of my head (the sounds, chords, rythyms, that I can't visualize on a fretboard) onto a guitar?


   
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kingpatzer
(@kingpatzer)
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Yup! I actually answered a form of this question earlier today. It's the same answer here.

It's actually not hard to do, but it takes a lot of work.

Start with a simple song in your head that you know absolutely cold. Since this is the first time doing this, start with a single note melody -- some child-hood tune like "Ol' MacDonald."

You got it in your head?

Good. Now pick a key and play it.

If you're like most people you'll find that it takes you a good while to work out the song. That's ok. Take the time to work it out till you can play the whole song in the key you choose exactly as you heard it in your head.

Got it? Great, now think up another single note melody that you know cold , say "Silent Night." Do the same thing.

Keep donig this over and over and over again. Do it several hundred times till it takes you a mere fraction of a second to play what you're thinking. At that point you've mastered single notes.

Now think of two melodies together, and play them at the same time!

When you can do that, start thinking up chord sounds and playing them.

It's hard work, but it's the only way to get to the point where what you think is what you play.

What does this excercise do? Simple, it connects what you hear in your head with the fretboard. You learn to "speak guitar," and you learn it in a way not unlike how you'd learn to speak french or some other foreign language.

When you go to learn how to express yourself in a foreign language, you don't start out by writting a novel. You start out by repeating simple phrases that you know by heard in English and translating them, sometimes painstakingly slowly, until you get to the point where you don't really translate at all, but start to think in that language.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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SagaciousKJB2
(@sagaciouskjb2)
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That's really good advice, actually. The thing I'm wondering, though... I'm not too good with scales and the like, and it might take a while to be able to play one of thsoe things... You know, to get the "right" sound. Is this natura(i.e, one of the things I need to overcome)l, or do I need to study more theory before trying this?


   
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kingpatzer
(@kingpatzer)
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It's actually a great thing to do WHILE you're learning theory.

It's easier if you know at least one of the major chord "box" shapes. But even if you don't, it's a good way to discover those patterns.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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Rodya S. Thompson
(@rodya-s-thompson)
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I feel you on this one - I honestly don't know what kind of music is "my style", because I draw a lot of elements from blues, rock, metal, and now, even country. All I know is that you keep practicing what sounds good to you, and you'll eventually make beautiful music. I've got a year and a half under my belt too, so don't give up just yet because you don't feel creative - I get the same way sometimes, but the best approach is to give up for a few minutes and draw inspiration from something else. :)

Henry Garza, Saul Hudson, and Darrell Abbott could not be here tonight, but they all had sex and are proud to announce the birth of their two-headed baby, Rodya S. Thompson.

- Paraphrased from the Tenacious D series


   
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E.Sherman
(@e-sherman)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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I can tell you how I do it.

You are what you listen too. Find something truly unique or innovative, and absorb it. Learn how to play some of the songs. Get inspired. Mess around. Forget about chords. Just mess around.

As for music to suggest, try Radiohead, Wilco, Beck, Kevin Max or The Flaming Lips.

The king of rock, some say lives
the lizard king, is surely dead
the king of France, lost his head
the King of Kings... bled
( email me at [email protected](com). I almost never check my hotmailaccount.


   
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mapscientifik
(@mapscientifik)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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I also figured out that metal isn't my style of music... you know I've got bored of playing those horse ythms from Iron Maiden and those E songs from Metallica.

I had a band who used to play all this kind of stuff and I figured out that they didn't progress at all.

Something that helped me alot, I bought a poster on which there is all the chords you can do on a damn guitar! I also started to download tons of songs on my computer... I know some people will say : you steal music ! let's burn this guy !, well when I found out great bands, I started to buy their cds...

If you don't have that much money, get new friends !

Seriously, meet new people with different music taste.


   
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Crank-N-Jam
(@crank-n-jam)
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I can totally relate. When I first got my guitar last year, that's all I wanted to learn to play was metal. As said above, that's what I listened to, so that's what I wanted to play. Well, even as a beginner I quickly found out that it wasn't really what I had envisioned. Not that shredding isn't hard or difficult, it's just not what I wanted to play.

So I started reading boards like this one. When I'd see someone talking about some great guitarist, I'd find some tunes of theirs and give them a listen. I started listening to people like Jeff Beck, John Mayer, Steve Vai, SRV, BB King, Muddy Waters, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, etc. Pretty much anything I could get my hands on that involved some good guitar playing. Not only has it broadened my musical horizons, but it has given me a better idea as to what types of music I'd like to play on the guitar.

One of the things that has helped me is to pick up song books with a variety of music in them as well. So between listening to a wider range of music and picking sheet music for different styles of music, it has helped a lot.

"Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution"


   
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97reb
(@97reb)
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It's definitely cool to look for a variety of musical influences. Don't give up on Metal. There are lots of metal styles out there and you can still bang your head incorporating classical, jazz or blues styles. Look into progressive metal for any type of classical influenced music. There are some progressive metal bnads that have jazz influenced. Stoner Rock/Doom bands have huge blues influences with touches of Jazz and Progressive.

It really is all about combining sounds and hearing what you like and making your own sound from what you hear. Don't discard anything or any influence, except RAP cause that is crap, crap, crapola!

It is a small world for metal fanatics. I welcome you fellow musicians, especially the metalheads!


   
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