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(@frank2121)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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thanks geoo


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(@chris-c)
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Hi all,

As usual, I've been trying to do too many things at once... but I need to get back to doing this!

I need some help please.

Firstly, I'm a 'semi-reasonable' acoustic strummer but lead and electric guitar are both new territory for me. So I have a heap of questions. Two spring to mind immediately:

  • 1. How do I get near to that sound? I have Yamaha Pacifica Strat copy that has 2 single coil pickups plus a dual/humbucker style one near the bridge. So which setting would be best to use here? Just one pickup or one of the in-between settings? I have a basic Vox 15 watt amp with nothing much but vol/gain/treble/bass/tremolo speed/trem depth knobs. I also have a VoxAD30VT with heaps of settings. But rather than a precise setting list, some general info about setting your amp up (or a link to somewhere that covers the topic) would be great. :)

    2. Hand/ finger positions. I'm used to working in the first postion, where each finger pretty much has its own bit of 'territory' - ie, a fret to look after. Playing lead up the other end of the neck is new to me. My fingers dart all over the place on that TAB and soon get in a mess. Tips much appreciated.

  • If us beginners find the whole thing too much to chew, let's just break it down - maybe just work on the first few bars and see how we go.

    Cheers,

    Chris


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    (@ignar-hillstrom)
    Illustrious Member
    Joined: 18 years ago
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    I think the best way to set your amp up is by making a list of properties the sound should have. Should it be dark or piercing, smooth or rough, shimmery or crunchy. You then set all EQ knobs on the amp to neutral, open all pots on the guitar and start by selectring a pickup. The closer to the neck the warmer and fuller it sounds, the closer to the bridge the sharper and 'cutting' it sounds. Single coils sound thin (and one singlecoil on it's own is noisy!), humbuckers are more full and 'width'. Try them all and pick the one that's best. Then head over to the amp and start with the gain. Ignore the volume and just set it to where it sounds nice, then bring the volume down with the volume knob. The sound should not be close to what you're after. Make adjustments to the EQ as needed (start with the bass, turn it all over the place until it's best then continue with mids and treble). Add some reverb if your amp has it and play!

    If you want I could create a tone for this project tomorrow and explain what I did with soundclips at every step, let me know. Would be a fun excuse for me to pcik up the guitar. :D

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    (@chris-c)
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    Joined: 16 years ago
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    If you want I could create a tone for this project tomorrow and explain what I did with soundclips at every step, let me know. Would be a fun excuse for me to pcik up the guitar. :D

    That would be outstanding mate! :D

    Us newbies get very excited by terms like "crunch" and "dark" and stuff, but when we start fiddling with our amps it all sort of slips through the fingers... you start to hear the ghost of what you're after and then... as you try and improve it, it vanishes again.

    Some guidance would be brilliant. 8)

    Cheers,

    Chris


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    (@chris-c)
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    Joined: 16 years ago
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    A B C
    -------8--12/15-----15----|------|--------------------8-----------------------
    --8-10--------------------|------|13-13--8--6-8-9-8-6---8-8-6-8-9-8-65-5-----
    -----------------12----12-|-12-14|--------------------------------------------
    --------------------------|------|--------------------------------------------
    --------------------------|------|--------------------------------------------
    --------------------------|------|--------------------------------------------

    For us beginners, let look at the first line of TAB.

    It's been broken down into segments, that repeat through the song in various orders. So let's begin at....um.... the beginning looks good... Lets just try the bit marked A.

    It's only got six notes plus a couple of repeats, so that shouldn't be too tough. There's a slide from 12 to 15 that could be fun to try. What to work out first?

    Finger positions: Which one will play which note. When we slide up to 15 how does that affect our finger pattern and positions?

    Note length: How long does each one last? Do we need to jot down the notes on a staff, or is just listening to the clip going to be enough?

    What do you think everybody?

    I don't know all the answers, so I'm hoping for a sort of conversation here. 8)

    Fingers first - which ones go where do you reckon?

    Cheers,

    Chris


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    (@ignar-hillstrom)
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    Joined: 18 years ago
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    The biggest issue I see here is the 'hawaiian' bend (the first time you play the 12th fret 3rd string), which the author forgot to notate. I can see three ways to do it:

    1) use the whammy bar. Play the 12th string with your index finger, drop the tone a full step (so from G to F) then bring it back up and hit the next note with your pinky. This is harder then it sounds, staying in key with the whammy is pretty tough, espescially if you've never tried.

    2) (chick-escape :D) use slides. Play the 12th fret with your index, slide down two frets and back up again, don't re-pick the string. Play the next note with your pinky again. This lick very much depends on the smoothness which you don't get with slides on a fretted instruments so try the other two ways first.

    3) Use a bend. Start with your index finger on the 10th fret 3rd string, pick the string, quickly bend up to the 12th fret, bend down slowly and back up again. It should be one smooth movement. This is the best way for those without a whammy, although getting the bends smooth and in tune ain't that easy either.

    You could play the first three notes a string lower and play the entire lick in 12th position, using either method 1 or 2 for the 'hawaiian' lick. If you want to use method three you either have to switch positions or play the hawaiian riff a string lower as well. Luckily we have a license to go apeshit on reverb on this track which means that the tail of the reverb will cover your behind when you switch position to hit the 15th fret, it gives you a bit of a margin for error. With reverbs like this it's ok to stop a note too soon, just don;t start it too late. :D

    As for when to play, listening to the recording should make things clear. It''s a very easy rhythm, smooth and relaxed, nothing complicated to worry about.

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    (@thetallcoolone)
    Estimable Member
    Joined: 15 years ago
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    ...

    Finger positions: Which one will play which note. When we slide up to 15 how does that affect our finger pattern and positions?

    Note length: How long does each one last? Do we need to jot down the notes on a staff, or is just listening to the clip going to be enough?

    What do you think everybody?

    I don't know all the answers, so I'm hoping for a sort of conversation here. 8)

    Fingers first - which ones go where do you reckon?

    Cheers,

    Chris
    Chris, I seriously think you're going at it way to cerebral.
    Of course there are techniques involved but you're supposed to apply whatever technique you already have and take it to what you're trying to acheive.
    Only then will you be able to see if your already aquired technique is applyable.

    One can safely say, the first note you want to play will be your first finger that will fret it.
    Of course, it depends on the other notes around, the first finger (the Index) might not be the wise choice.
    But it is a good choice to start with.

    At first, forget about how it is supposed to sound, just lay your fingers on the frets and finger the notes and see what feels good to your hand. You can assume that there is one finger per fret.
    Taking the tab you posted, position 8, second string, is your 1st finger, two frets up is your ring finger.
    Then 1st finger again at position 8, 1st string, then the trick part is you could stretch and lay your pinky on the 12th fret, or jump with your ring finger to that position. That would put you in a strong position to slide up to the 15th fret a lot easier than if it was your pinky (a less powerful finger with less control)
    Then your 1st finger is ready to get to position 12, 3rd string.

    Fingering position is a very logical technique, to get the proper fingers at the proper position with the less effort possible, whenever possible. So depending on your fingers flexibility and size, you'll develop a technique that will suits you the best.

    There's no easy route, the trick is practice, practice and then practice some more.
    Until it becomes natural.
    Unfortunately, for some of us a life time is not enough.

    http://www.soundclick.com/thetallcoolone


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    (@smokindog)
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    Joined: 17 years ago
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    thetallcoolone, Thats very good :D I throughly enjoyed it. 8) Santo and johnny would approve

    My Youtube Page
    http://www.youtube.com/user/smokindog
    http://www.soundclick.com/smokindogandthebluezers

    http://www.soundclick.com/guitarforumjams


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    (@chris-c)
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    Joined: 16 years ago
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    Chris, I seriously think you're going at it way to cerebral.

    That'd be right... Thanks for all the tips, and also for posting your great clip - something to aim for.

    Of course there are techniques involved but you're supposed to apply whatever technique you already have and take it to what you're trying to acheive.
    Only then will you be able to see if your already aquired technique is applyable.

    The queue was too long at the technique counter, so I just came home with the amp and guitar...

    Seriously, my soloing is only at the toddler stage. I mostly just fret chords. So I was fishing for ideas about whether the same logic applies to assigning a fret to each finger. It all looks logical to me until I start shifting around out of my 'reach', then I sort of lose my place.

    I think that the same problem happens with most beginners, you favour your strongest fingers too much instead of working at giving your weaker fingers a job to do. This works OK at first, but gives problems later when you try and do harder or faster stuff.
    Taking the tab you posted, position 8, second string, is your 1st finger, two frets up is your ring finger.
    Then 1st finger again at position 8, 1st string,

    So far so good, that's what I had done. :)

    then the trick part is you could stretch and lay your pinky on the 12th fret, or jump with your ring finger to that position. That would put you in a strong position to slide up to the 15th fret a lot easier than if it was your pinky (a less powerful finger with less control)
    Then your 1st finger is ready to get to position 12, 3rd string.

    That was where I hit the "oops - choices" moment. So it's good to hear that it is a choice, and that either way can work.
    Fingering position is a very logical technique, to get the proper fingers at the proper position with the less effort possible, whenever possible. So depending on your fingers flexibility and size, you'll develop a technique that will suits you the best.

    Ah... but that's the key question for us beginners though - which are the proper fingers and where are the proper positions? You've said that is the case, but then slid away from saying what they are. I have fingers of normal size and flexibility.
    There's no easy route, the trick is practice, practice and then practice some more. Until it becomes natural.

    I'd agree with that, but as NoteBoat says "Practice doesn't make Perfect, it makes Permanent". The reason I want to be 'cerebral' about it at this stage is that I don't want to entrench a whole heap of bad or pointless habits, even if they seem to work in the short term. I'd rather have some ideas about what the 'correct' approach is, even if I choose to reject or alter elements of it at some stage.

    But I'm on me way.... Thanks for taking the time to give such good help. I'm sure that others will be reading with interest too. :)

    My thinking about this was that a solo should have some sort of logical 'centre' as far as the fingering goes. A sort of 'home base' that you return to and get set from again after you've digressed up or down the neck a bit.

    When I improvise - which is what I mostly do - I know where I am and where I'm going. I know the patterns that I'll be following, so I always know where the centre is and how far away from it I am. I suppose you usually (but perhaps not inevitably) start at or near a centre and eventually work your way back.

    But when I'm attempting somebody else's work I don't 'see' that pattern yet. No doubt I'll pick up the knack of it with practice. But this really is my first go at this kind of exercise, on that part of the neck. So it's all still bandit country out there right now...

    I think what I need to do is just step back from that TAB (which I don't usually use) and have a little look at what the solo is doing musically. I think this discussion is showing me that I'm looking at it the wrong way round. Need to forget the fingers for a moment and check some other things out first... 8)

    First few notes sound OK when I play them though, so that's something.

    Thanks.

    Cheers,

    Chris


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    (@dan-t)
    Illustrious Member
    Joined: 18 years ago
    Posts: 5072
     

    Great job on your version TCO! 8) Now you've inspired me to give this one a shot. :D

    Dan

    "The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge


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    (@demoetc)
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    Joined: 19 years ago
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    Chris C: Note-duration is sometimes a big problem with TABs. TAB has a lot of shortcomings but there are problems in standard notation as well; not so much the duration of notes, but articulation, bowing, breathing (for singing or wind instruments) and other instrument-specific techniques.

    Guitar music in standard notation, i.e. classical guitar transcriptions, lots of times have suggested fingerings. You can find suggested fingerings in violin music and etc., but I hear what you're saying - they give you a basic idea of when the hand moves, and what finger to land on - which really helps. Most internet TAB and even musical scores you can buy or print out don't offer these little roadsigns however.

    I used to (for whatever reason, probably weirdness on my part) go to watch the university's symphony orchestra rehearse. Boring to most people, but I found it fascinating to see the conductor grooming the piece, stopping, correcting. But I also noticed lots of pencils wiggling around on various music stands. I later found that part of that was each player scribbling in their own fingerings, or reminders of fingerings, for certain passages. It's not always laid out logically, and sometimes one has to go beyond the logic of 'correct' fingerings.

    Basically though, so this doesn't get too long (let me look, oops too late!) when you're in the starting hand position you pretty much know what fingers to place where - one string/fret/finger type of thing. When you shift up to another position, I find it helpful to find where the 'next' note is after the shift; not so much the note you land on but the one after. That will give you an idea of what finger is supposed to land on the shift-note. This is just generally now, not particular to this piece.

    For this piece I'm actually going to attempt it on a lap steel guitar (with no actual fingerings, lol), but the same concept applies - like when to move the bar to get to the next 'cluster' of notes. Maybe that's a good way to think of any hand shift - going from one clustered area of notes where the fingering is logical and comfortable, to the next cluster where things make sense in some sort of scalar or chordal pattern.

    See I'm also working on Crossroads (The Cream), and watched a few people's interpretations of it on YouTube. I wanted to compare their fingerings to mine, and I have to say there were some that were jumping all over the place. They hit the notes they were after, but...from having played for awhile you get to know that those same notes were right where they'd been - no awkward shift needed. So yah it's a 'connect the dots' sort of thing up to a certain point, but the lines between the dots don't have to zigzag all over the fretboard.

    Then I watched Clapton playing it, and aside from the fact that he never plays it like that one famous recording, I can see why they call him "slowhand." That also aside from the theory that he used to take his time changing strings if one broke in concert. He pretty much keeps the notes in one place - or rather, selects places where a majority of notes are - and only shifts when he absolutely has to.

    So again, try to zero in on the second note after a shift to line up the rest of them.

    Hope this helps :)


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    (@teleplayer324)
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    Chris,
    You're not really playing a solo on this, in the sense that we usually think of a solo. You are playing a fixed melody and adding your own interpretation of it. No matter who plays this, the melody is the same, one person may bend to get a note, another may slide into it while the third does a hammer or pull off to get it but all 3 are still playing that same note.

    It's not as intimidating if you think of it as a 6 note melody, when you think of it that way it's not much different from Mary had a Little Lamb or London Bridge

    Looking forward to hearing your version Chris

    Immature? Of course I'm immature Einstein, I'm 50 and in a Rock and ROll band.

    New Band site http://www.myspace.com/guidedbymonkeys


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    (@ignar-hillstrom)
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    Chris (and other interested people): http://www.soundclick.com/bands/songInfo.cfm?bandID=361288&songID=4876375

    My deepest apologies for the accent, that's what you get when your government cuts corners on public education. Feel more then free to ask any specific questions. :)

    In general:

    1) strat, centre pickup, all knobs on guitar open. The amp is a model of a clean fender tweed. All knobs in neutral position (12 o'clock). The cab is the matching 4x12", mic position off-axis.

    2) More pre-amp gain, more sag (works only on tubeamps or modelers that model it), mids and treble boosted, higher presence.

    3)Reverb added directly after the cab. Room size large, mix medium.

    4)Delay added between the amp and cab, short time, low feedback, low mix.

    5) Compressor added to the end of the chain.

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    (@smokindog)
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    Don't tease us like that man We want the rest of it :D

    Nice tone! BTW you speak English very well :D

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    http://www.soundclick.com/smokindogandthebluezers

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    (@ignar-hillstrom)
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    Sorry Ken, there ain't no rest of it. I learned 'part A' and then got bored so I can only improvise from there, which is hardly the goal of this topic. Maybe I can compensate by working extra hard on the country jam? 8)

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