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Chris

The improve your musicianship thread 2014

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Acoustics are for hippies, campfires, and total willies like Frank "Tory Cunt" Turner.

 

 

 

 

I'd like to get back to a good playing level. I'm so rusty right now, as I haven't really practised much at all this year. I pulled out my Tele for the first time in ages this afternoon, and dived straight into Thrash palm mutes and triplets. Sloppy. Cramped up immediately. I'm pretty disappointed in myself. I need to work on my 80's Hetfield chops.

 

I really want to do some doom at some point, which suits me, as I don't quite have the speed I used to, with my gammy finger on my fretting hand. I need to work on my groove though. My movement is totally robotic through lack of hardly ever playing guitar.

Edited by Joda Serk
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Hybrid picking is mine. Drives me nuts. Colb good book I picked up a while back is Hal Leonard Music Theory Guitar Method. It's theory geared towards guitarists rather than general theory. Otherwise there is a book called first steps to music theory grade 1-5. In a bullet point structure but good small book for toilet reading.

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I'm the same as you Chris. Learned completely by ear. Never learned the theory. I can do the basic scales but only by memorising the shapes. No idea which notes I'm playing. I can sight read on piano but I'm pretty slow.

I've barely touched my guitar in two years tbh. Don't enjoy playing at home alone, haven't been able to get a band going so pretty much given up for the moment. I am planning dabbling a bit in electronic stuff in 2014 though. Ambient kind of stuff. Never tried it before, total beginner so it'll probably be ass, but hey, everyone was a beginner once.

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This site has a load of really good one page summaries on various theory topics:

http://academic.udayton.edu/tobyrush/theorypages/

 

Had a look through a few of those and while the tone is amusing they still gave me a headache: they're mainly pretty advanced and esoteric and pertinent to the student of classical music. Most of it is about the Common Practice Period in which apparently "composers used harmonic minor by default", which doesn't seem too relevant to the average rock musician (Yngwie fans excepted). He also notes that "dominant 7th" chord means a slightly different thing in jazz/pop theory, which sounds problematic... The single one under "20th Century", "The Modern Modes" is pretty much the fundamentals for rock/pop/jazz. I think altered chords could be explained in a simpler, more practical way for rock/jazz as well.

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More pinch harmonics.

 

Totally this. I've always wanted to develop my ability with pinched harmonics. However, learning pinched harmonics on a budget guitar and a 15 year old solid state amplifier is not especially satisfying. I'll persevere, but I am definitely not a natural guitar player or musician, so it'll take some time and dedication as well as patience with my equipment. Firstly, I need my guitar professionally set up, but honestly, the two primary guitar-based music shops in Edinburgh are fucking terrible at providing the necessary information and advice. The guitar techs are never there, even when they are advertised to be. I subsequently emailed them both individually for information and advice, and got a response from neither. Why have an enquiry email address if you do not respond to enquiries? Anyway, I digress.

 

Music theory has always passed me by. I genuinely don't even know the names of the majority of chords I play. They are derivations of major and minor chords, but with massively convoluted names, I suspect. I could probably work them out with the assistance of an online chord identifier. I've always preferred a more instinctive and experimental approach to music and creativity, rather than the predetermined approach that music theory affords. That said, my desire to learn pinch harmonics does sort of rely on a bit of theory knowledge, or at least advanced fretboard knowledge.

 

A lot of the music I am currently creating relies on bass lines, so this year I plan to get a shotty of a bass and get quite good at it. That's two musical aims for me this year. Two more than usual.

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Acoustics are for hippies, campfires, and total willies like Frank "Tory Cunt" Turner.

 

 

 

 

I'd like to get back to a good playing level. I'm so rusty right now, as I haven't really practised much at all this year. I pulled out my Tele for the first time in ages this afternoon, and dived straight into Thrash palm mutes and triplets. Sloppy. Cramped up immediately. I'm pretty disappointed in myself. I need to work on my 80's Hetfield chops.

 

I really want to do some doom at some point, which suits me, as I don't quite have the speed I used to, with my gammy finger on my fretting hand. I need to work on my groove though. My movement is totally robotic through lack of hardly ever playing guitar.

Losing the use of a finger sucks, I broke my left hand pinky a few years ago and didn't get it set properly. I can use it for chords on the lower frets but it's useless for single note playing. Took a long time to get used to playing with three fingers....

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Acoustics are for hippies, campfires, and total willies like Frank "Tory Cunt" Turner.

only just read this as I ignore your posts. Why does no one onhere like acoustics? Some of the best music was done onacoustic

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Totally this. I've always wanted to develop my ability with pinched harmonics. However, learning pinched harmonics on a budget guitar and a 15 year old solid state amplifier is not especially satisfying. I'll persevere, but I am definitely not a natural guitar player or musician, so it'll take some time and dedication as well as patience with my equipment. Firstly, I need my guitar professionally set up, but honestly, the two primary guitar-based music shops in Edinburgh are fucking terrible at providing the necessary information and advice. The guitar techs are never there, even when they are advertised to be. I subsequently emailed them both individually for information and advice, and got a response from neither. Why have an enquiry email address if you do not respond to enquiries? Anyway, I digress.

 

Music theory has always passed me by. I genuinely don't even know the names of the majority of chords I play. They are derivations of major and minor chords, but with massively convoluted names, I suspect. I could probably work them out with the assistance of an online chord identifier. I've always preferred a more instinctive and experimental approach to music and creativity, rather than the predetermined approach that music theory affords. That said, my desire to learn pinch harmonics does sort of rely on a bit of theory knowledge, or at least advanced fretboard knowledge.

 

A lot of the music I am currently creating relies on bass lines, so this year I plan to get a shotty of a bass and get quite good at it. That's two musical aims for me this year. Two more than usual.

 

I learned my pinch harmonics on a stagg les paul copy and a 10W amp. They're not hard but it's one of those there's-a-knack-to-it things where it seems really hard until suddenly you can nail it every time (although the exact result is always a bit unpredictable). Just find the point(s) on the string(s) where it works (most of the string, really, I find), get used to making them work in isolation and then proceed. If you're struggling, I use the edge of my dangling third finger to "pinch" (it's more like "pinging", I find) rather than the conventional edge of the thumb. Also, the more distortion and especially TREBLE, the easier it'll be.

 

I remember the second point about chords coming up before. I imagine most of the indie-rock-shoegaze type guitarists on here create their chords by starting with a familiar major or minor barre chord shape and then shifting one or two fingers up or down. The result, if it's not horrible, is likely to be something like a major chord with an added 2nd, 6th or 7th, or the major third gets shifted up or down to create a neutral chord with a 2nd or 4th (which is ambiguous but more sophisticated than the basic 5th power chord). These are also (some) of the chords you'd find in a jazz book. The convoluted names turn up when you do more than one finger/note tweak (like A7sus4 or E6add9 say) and/or put a note other than the root as the lowest note (which results in the / with another letter after it...).

Edited by scottyboy
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only just read this as I ignore your posts. Why does no one onhere like acoustics? Some of the best music was done onacoustic

 

See Frank "Tory Cunt" Turner. His music alone is enough to fuel the desire to banish the acoustic guitar forever. That guy needs a right good talking to. And a more appropriate vocation. He gives all acoustic guitars a bad name. ALL OF THEM.

Edited by Eupraxia
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I learned my pinch harmonics on a stagg les paul copy and a 10W amp. They're not hard but it's one of those there's-a-knack-to-it things where it seems really hard until suddenly you can nail it every time (although the exact result is always a bi unpredictable). Just find the point(s) on the string(s) where it works (most of the string, really, I find), get used to making them work and then proceed. If you're struggling, I use the edge of my dangling third finger to "pinch" (it's more like "pinging", I find) rather than the conventional edge of the thumb. Also, the more distortion and especially TREBLE, the easier it'll be.

 

I remember the second point about chords coming up before. I imagine most of the indie-rock-shoegaze type guitarists on here create their chords by starting with a familiar major or minor barre chord shape and then shifting one or two fingers up or down. The result, if it's not horrible, is likely to be something like a major chord with an added 2nd, 6th or 7th, or the major third gets shifted up or down to create a neutral chord with a 2nd or 4th (which is ambiguous but more sophisticated than the basic 5th power chord). These are also (some) of the chords you'd find in a jazz book. The convoluted names turn up when you do more than one finger/note tweak (like A7sus4 or E6add9 say) and/or put a note other than the root as the lowest note (which results in the / with another letter after it...).

 

Excellent post, and thank you for the encouragement and advice.

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I also disagree that knowing theory "predetermines" one's playing: even if one does use it in such a way (say, you have a riff/hook that you don't know where to take next, so you consult your progression/modal theory to see what might fit), there's always options (whether to use a standard major chord or a natural or altered extension etc.; and that's just for chords).

 

It's always worth noting that the "rules" (which are really a particular Western tradition of describing things) can be "broken". The most overused blues progressions and licks actually look really crazy or impossible from a (Western, classical) theory perspective. Satriani has this "pitch axis" theory (I've both read that he learned it in high school and that he dreamed it up himself :S) whereby you can do absolutely anything, as long there's just one note underpinning it.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gSXZRgWzp8 loads of different scales over just one drone note (this particular example is really noodle-y but you can see how someone could develop something Indian or doom-y from the same concept)

 

And here's how it might work with a nice chord progression (the guitarist has elsewhere gently ribbed Satch's theory, funnily enough): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIDdVvz3JNQ (chords start at 1.30). As he says it's otherwise "random" and doesn't "make sense" but has one note running through all the chords.

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Losing the use of a finger sucks, I broke my left hand pinky a few years ago and didn't get it set properly. I can use it for chords on the lower frets but it's useless for single note playing. Took a long time to get used to playing with three fingers....

 

Same, my ring finger is fine for chords, but riffs and hammer-ons using that finger can be difficult alot of the time.

 

Luckily I'm not a shredder or anything. I'm all about the rhythm and big, fat chords, so it's not holding me back too much.

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only just read this as I ignore your posts. Why does no one onhere like acoustics? Some of the best music was done onacoustic

 

I wasn't being completely serious. I haven't played an acoustic for quite some time, but I do like a limited amount of acoustic stuff. The guitars themselves, I find boring to play though. Different strokes, and all that.

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Ahh I'm not really a electric guitarist myself, I'm more a heavy acoustic player just imagine Ben Howard with shit loads of multi fx that's me. Try pick up an acoustic not everyone who plays it is a hippy just the ones who can only play G,D, C, A and EM ocassionally

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