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  1. #1
    Top Of The World
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    When you accomplished lead players look back on the development of your playing...

    Can you actually in hindsight visualize the "important development stages" that were of great importance?

    In other words if you had to "teach yourself" all over again to improvise and just have that "great vibe" in your fingers could you document some of the key techniques that helped you get from plateau to plateau?

    I am an intermediate bluesy VH style player looking for any help I can get!!

  2. #2
    Hot For Teacher
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    There were two stages of my developement that struck me as milestones:
    Chromatic exersizes-up and down the neck-this was and important part of me finding my way around the board! It developes finger strenth and familiarizes you with your guitar.
    Second, learning the major scale in ALL positions on the neck. Once you can do this, it opens the board incredably.
    From the major scale it doesn't take too long to alter it to find modes (not as confusing as they sound)
    Try to be open minded. I can play jazz, blues metal, country rock, rockabilly etc. now and it does help you develope your own personality on the guitar!
    I used to practice 10 hours a day for a couple off years, not because I had to, but because as you develope, you can't help yourself-you just need to know and do more!
    Good luck and stick with it!
    The rumor: W.D.F.A-We Don't Fuck Around.<br />The truth: W.D.F.A-We Disregard Fans Abundently

  3. #3
    Hot For Teacher
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Sorry...
    one more thing, ignore any egotistical arsehole that belittles you for the stage you are at!
    The truth is that music is NOT a competition and it's these pricks that ruin it for people.
    They are not real musicians!
    The rumor: W.D.F.A-We Don't Fuck Around.<br />The truth: W.D.F.A-We Disregard Fans Abundently

  4. #4
    Sinner's Swing! el_jalepeno's Avatar
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    10.28.15 @ 05:22 PM
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    Donor

    Get a couple of scales under your belt, and then you can figure out just about anything. I do a major and a pentatonic, and that lets me play just about anything out there from classical like Mozart to VH. [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]

  5. #5
    Eruption rolsguitars's Avatar
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    01.22.09 @ 09:08 AM
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    it depends on what type of person you are, I'm 95% ear player, I may know tons of scales but don't know if I do or not I just play wtf:
    meaning I sat down and wasted years trying to be a player that I'm not, one that knows the fretboard up and down, trying to learn modes, mixolidian yadda yadda yadda, that just wasn't for me, I didn't break out or well get better than I was anyway till I got drum machine and a rig that I actually liked my sound on, I just picked a drum pattern, picked a tempo picked a sound I was in the mood for sat in my chair closed my eyes listened to the beat and started playing, I got better and better just by doing that alone.
    Now that was for me and honestly will probably not work for for a lot of people I'm an admitted kook, hey look I sat around with pictures and a magnifyinng glass scratching up guitars what else would you expect
    Rol.

  6. #6
    Good Enough
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    12.19.16 @ 05:15 PM
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    Donor

    I try to "play within my means" most of the time, meaning, I don't go for the noodley-noodley stuff unless I'm bringing the solo home. I try to play solos rhythmically...the better my rhythm section, the better I play. Let your band make you look(sound) good!
    Sometimes that one note (or 2-3) will set you up for some great outs on a solo.
    Sometimes (especially in a routine I-IV-V setting) I will try to hum a melody in my head and play it. Remember, the best solos are the ones you can hum later.
    Playing fast means NOTHING. If people can't remember your melodies at the end of the night, you haven't captured them.
    And lastly:
    HAVE BIG FUN!! Playing music makes you special. Everybody wants to be you, they'll just make fun of ya(musicians) the next day.

  7. #7
    Hot For Teacher
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    12.28.12 @ 10:39 AM
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    I don't consider myself anywhere near as good as I want to be.

    However, I'd like to add my own points to the already brilliant info that has been supplied so far.

    Couple of things that I found improved my playing.

    The first was due to me learning to sing when I'm playing guitar. I could never do this so I just sat down and tried. Before long I could do it. This then led to me banging a few tunes out whenever a few people came round to the house and we'd had a few beers. This then led to a few live performances (playing in people's garages, in pubs, etc.). This taught me how to keep playing on even if you make a mistake, and just generally to add my own influence to the music because one guitar and a voice can sometimes become boring, so you've just got to keep on going. Worst thing you can do is just stop...

    It's only the dickhead "musicians" that have already been noted on this board that will notice and pick you up on it anyway. And who cares about them ?

    The second thing I've learnt is quite recently. I've just been recording myself. I just played it back to myself, and I'm like, "Wow, I don't really sound half as bad as I think I do !" Now, I don't sound as good as I would want to, but then again, no matter how well I played, I'd always want to get better, so that's never gonna change. Plus, playing my stuff to other people and hearing them say it is good has improved my confidence.

    Oh, and additionally, there is a third thing. Most of the time, I couldn't learn or play things because I just had it in my head that I couldn't do it and would never be able to do it. As soon as I started thinking, "Yeah, I can do this, but it's going to take some time." I started making progress. It was like releasing some mental block.

    An example is with Unchained. Because it's my favourite song, I used to tell myself I couldn't play it. I'd start trying to play it with this thought in my head, and then it would sound terrible, then I'd give up pretty soon, convinced that I had proved myself right.

    Then, I told myself I could do it. I tried playing it, and it still sounded crap, but this time I accepted it was going to take some time, and eventually, I nailed it.

    I'm no Eddie Van Halen, and I still can't solo for shit, but I just need to sit myself down and try working on that area.

    Hope I've helped, but it probably sounds like waffle.

    Bottom line is to enjoy yourself, and be happy with what you can play, and not get upset about the things you can't.

    "<i>You can please <b>some</b> of the people <b>all</b> of the time,<br />And <b>all</b> of the people <b>some</b> of the time,<br />But you can't please <b>all</b> of the people <b>all</b> of the time !</i>"<br /><br />(was Dave5150 on <b><i>The Pleasure Dome</i></b>)<br /><br />Check out some of my music at: <a href="http://www.dave5150.com" target="_blank">www.dave5150.com</a>

  8. #8
    Little Dreamer
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Some really cool and correct responses so far. I may as well add my bit.

    I have only just recently started to really improve wrt soloing at it has been due to three things that you can probably use as well.

    1. Play with other guys - This has nailed it for me. I have luckily stumbled into a band with a great attitude and it has really brought my playing on by giving me a REASON to have to get better (help the band) adn also a context for playing.

    2. Confidence - as someone has already said once you think you can do it, you are halfway there. Playing in the band has given me that confidence.

    3. BREATHE - I have only just learnt this, I read it in Steve Morses book. Physically breathe in your solos and also make sure your solos have pauses or rests in it so that the solo can "breathe". In much the same manner as a sax player has pauses to breathe, so shoud your guitar solo. In order to get started, make it a rule to play a phrase (maybe a repeating phrase) for 2 bars then rest, another phrase for 2 bars, rest & so on. You will be amazed at how much more proficient it will make you sound.

    Good luck and enjoy the journey.

    Glenn

  9. #9
    Top Of The World
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    07.30.08 @ 05:58 PM
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    I went through two stage of playing guitar. I got fast and flashy pretty quick (in about 5 years) and it took me another 10 to get lyrical.

    For me, after I got technically good, I had to figure out where the notes were that sound good and how to always know where they were.

    You have to start on a good note and end on a good note, and those two have to be different notes mostly, even when shredding. If you still bother doing that...

    What I found very helpful was to buy the two new Jeff Beck CDs. Beck has all the chops and technique of any player around.

    But his main strengths are note bending and combining challenging note sequences. For example, a lot of players pluck/pick a note then bend it. You can hear Eddie doing this all the time with those exagerated bend outs.

    But Beck will take a string, bend it first, pick and let the note drop down into the intended note.

    Just trying to incorporate this simple technique into you vocabulary will start you down the road to more meaningful playing because it forced you to concentrate on what you playing right from the start.

  10. #10
    5150 TheCaboKid's Avatar
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    06.24.15 @ 01:26 AM
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    One thing I learned that helps is to play along with a CD. Just try to play the rhythm and in the same key Now that doesn't mean to play the song note for note, but just to get a feel for the song. I like to pretend I'm VH's second guitar player. This will improve your playing greatly and improve your ear.
    "Well, he's an intelligent, well-read guy. But it's like he can't connect the dots somehow." (EVH Guitar World, March 1998).

    GP: "Did you use a pick for "Spanish Fly"?

    EVH: "Yeah, except for the part near the end that sounds like Montoya or something."

  11. #11
    Romeo Delight
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I'm also in a "rut" so the thing i enjoy most is grabbing 1/2 a dozen cans of beer and puuting on Fair Warning........then try playing.

    Its soooooooo much fun !!

  12. #12
    Hot For Teacher
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Originally posted by mondola:


    The first was due to me learning to sing when I'm playing guitar. I could never do this so I just sat down and tried. Before long I could do it.

    I'm no Eddie Van Halen, and I still can't solo for shit, but I just need to sit myself down and try working on that area.
    Mondola, do you mind if I throw a suggestion your way?
    You said you could sing and play at the same time.
    Mark Knopfler once said that he approached the solo aspect of playing the guitar the same way as singing.
    He considered that a guitar solo should say what the voice didn't.
    I've actually tried this (it's similar to the call and responce intro on Best of both worlds on the LWOAN video) and it is excellent for building an expressive lead vocabulary and being that you already sing.....
    Just a thought... [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]
    The rumor: W.D.F.A-We Don't Fuck Around.<br />The truth: W.D.F.A-We Disregard Fans Abundently

  13. #13
    On Fire
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    11.26.07 @ 11:06 AM
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    This is a great thread. There are lots of very interesting comments.
    Here's my 2 cents.
    I have been playing for 15 years, but only more seriously for the past 3 years. I take lessons once a week with a very talented and open minded L.A.-based musician who did a lot of session work for various artists in the 80's and even auditionned for Ozzy. (Didn't get the gig, though)
    Anyway we started of with minor pentatonic theory, major pent, then modes, and every week, we just keep learning new chrod progressions, new voicings, and how to solo over them.
    I don't play in a band, but have made most of my progress by recording a rythm track on the computer with Pro Tool, then a solo track. I play the whole thing back so I can take distance and see how I evolve.
    The best sessions happen when I play on a rythm loop for long enough until the improvisation takes a turn—when I am no longer very conscious or deliberate about the notes I play.
    I hope I don't sound like a jackass... but as we all are, I am pretty passionnate about playing the guitar.
    My first time in the spotlight was from a helicopter.

  14. #14
    Hot For Teacher
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Originally posted by Canyon Carver:
    This is a great thread. There are lots of very interesting comments.
    Here's my 2 cents.
    I have been playing for 15 years, but only more seriously for the past 3 years. I take lessons once a week with a very talented and open minded L.A.-based musician who did a lot of session work for various artists in the 80's and even auditionned for Ozzy. (Didn't get the gig, though)
    Anyway we started of with minor pentatonic theory, major pent, then modes, and every week, we just keep learning new chrod progressions, new voicings, and how to solo over them.
    I don't play in a band, but have made most of my progress by recording a rythm track on the computer with Pro Tool, then a solo track. I play the whole thing back so I can take distance and see how I evolve.
    The best sessions happen when I play on a rythm loop for long enough until the improvisation takes a turn—when I am no longer very conscious or deliberate about the notes I play.
    I hope I don't sound like a jackass... but as we all are, I am pretty passionnate about playing the guitar.
    Another suggestion?
    I downloade a program called 'Anvil Studio'- it operates like a studio console.
    I you download midi tunes (of which there are thousands of Van Halen ones!) you can run them through Anvil and delete the crappy tracks ie. vocal track that sound like a '70's rock organ and the guitar tracks which sound more like a flatulence problem.
    What you are left with is a drum track which is very usable and a bass track that's so, so.
    If you plug a standard tape deck with line ins on the back into the line out on the computer (you may have to rig a cord-RCA,RCA to small stereo canon plug) you can record some very usefull backing tracks!
    Some midis on the guitar sites are actually written with this concept in mind.
    The demo version of Anvil will let you record about 30 secs of your guitar or whatever to these songs. If you buy the full version you can record until your computer runs out of memory!
    I've already got a comprehensive set list of backing tracks including VH, Metallica, Zeppelin, AC/DC etc. etc.
    Works great...no arguments with band members!
    The rumor: W.D.F.A-We Don't Fuck Around.<br />The truth: W.D.F.A-We Disregard Fans Abundently

  15. #15
    Hot For Teacher
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Originally posted by Canyon Carver:
    The best sessions happen when I play on a rythm loop for long enough until the improvisation takes a turn—when I am no longer very conscious or deliberate about the notes I play.
    I hope I don't sound like a jackass... but as we all are, I am pretty passionnate about playing the guitar.
    Not at all!
    Isn't that what they call 'in the moment'?
    That vibe is is what it's all about!
    Cool!
    The rumor: W.D.F.A-We Don't Fuck Around.<br />The truth: W.D.F.A-We Disregard Fans Abundently

 

 

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