View Full Version : Giving credit where credit is due.

12-14-2003, 01:14 AM
I just wanted to take a moment and give props to this website. It has been just over a couple weeks since I had originally stumbled upon this site and I am all the better musician because of it. I just wanted to thank everyone for providing such vital information to people, like myself, that are passionate about learning and mastering the instrument.

Not to take anything away from all of the great writers that post articles on ibreathe (especially since I haven't had a chance to read many of them yet), but I wanted to especially thank Jamey Andreas. His articles are always thought provoking, insightful, and extremely beneficial. If Jamey's playing is anywhere close to being as good as his articles, then I have got to hear this guy play now. I know that I am a better musician because of his articles and although I have used many of his recommended practice techniques in the past, I am constantly discovering nuggets of information from that will allow me to continue to grow as a musician. Now if I could just shake this damn finger injury I could start getting better!

Which leads me to my first question (finger injuries aside), has anyone purchased Jamey's practice manual and if so was it worth the money. Let me rephrase that since I do not doubt that its worth every penny; however, the real question might be does it provide enough NEW information concerning his practicing techniques outside of his free articles on this site that warrant a purchase? I feel like I've absorbed the base philosophy of his practicing regimine through his articles on ibreathe and therefore I am hesitant to purchase the guide.

Anyway, keep up all the great work guys. Now I better shut the hell up before they start charging us for this site. And once again, I apologize in advance for any spelling or typing errors.

12-14-2003, 02:42 AM
I am crushed!

I always found Jamey's articles a bit too touchy-feely and missing the 'meat and potatoes', and they always seem to be geared towards 'selling' his book, and waxing philosphical.

My obsevartions over the last couple of years about article writers here:

Eric is the King of 'Mechanics' based articles.
Real 'meat and potatoes' technique stuff, great stuff.

Guni, writes great theory articles,his articles are all about 'raising the floor' of the knowledge of the general readers of the forum but Guni is a busy man.

Jamey reposts his articles from his own site here.
Most are like 'zen' guitar. Now and then he posts one that has some substance, beyond philosophical musings.

I write stuff to try to get my ideas across, every once in a while I am successful, but most of the time I am unsuccessful.
I think maybe because I have a mathematical approach, that scares people away. Most of the stuff I have written is intended to help people reach an epiphany based on something they already know.
I think many people find my ideas to tedious, mabye my communication skills need refining.
I am working on one now that is likely to go over like a 'lead balloon'.

I am also thinking about writing a touchy-feely type one soon.

There are a few other people who write articles from time to time and lately some new guys are joining in.

12-14-2003, 02:46 AM
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA..... I can't believe this... everybody is entitled to his opinion, but I think the Jamey Andreas articles are the worst aspect of this website.

12-14-2003, 02:49 AM
szulic no disrespect to you. I just have not gone through ur articles yet. I recall you being the first person to reply to my very first post and I was blown away with your wisdom and insight. I just have not read any of your articles yet. But I promise I will be getting to them. Much love around guys.

12-14-2003, 04:33 AM
Hi guys,

I'm no pro, but just an oldie newbie to the acoustic guitar. Have been learning for just a month now... So you can take my observations FWIW... I have Jamey's 2 books and his DVD. I'm not trying to market his books here but want to point out that there is more to it than meets the eye.

No doubt there is some truth to what has been said in earlier posts in this thread, but his teaching aids do have enough info that can be beneficial, especially if you do not intend to use the help of a teacher - ie, you want to learn on your own. I plan to learn and teach my 9yr old...

That said, I began my research a couple of months back. Checked a bunch of beginner books and websites. Almost all of them start with a premise that you are ready for basic theory. After starting on a couple of the resources, I started noticing discomfort and pain during practice. Being a carpul-tunnel victim (computers) I quickly realized that there is a certain amount of pre-requisite knowledge required even before one opens a typical beginner book and strikes the first note. And that has to do with physical and mental preparedness.

I found this particular site, available from the NorthWestern School of Music:
http://music.northwestern.edu/links/projects/guitar/elementaryGuitarHome.html. Thru an interactive QuickMovie it teaches the importance of proper body posture: Left/Right hands/fingers, wrists, arms, and feet. Further research led me to Jamey Andrea's website http://www.guitarprinciples.com. His Guitar Principles (GP) book and associated DVD are to do with proper posture, practice methods/regimen and mind set. They do not teach an iota of theory. In the absence of a real teacher, I felt they have provided valuable pre-requisite insights. Don't get me wrong - they are not a substitue for a real teacher - but are the next best thing. Those along with these 2 websites:
. iBreathMusic (of course ;-)
. Guitar Noise: http://www.guitarnoise.com
have provided sufficient educational material such as theory, etc.

Lastly, I chose the MelBay's Guitar Method 1 book, because like many teachers he also uses/recommends it to newbies. Its not important that he recommends it, but using it as a beginners book and his GP thoughts, he highlights 16 elaborate checkpoints so folks like me (without teachers) can know that we are headed in the right direction. More at: http://www.guitarprinciples.com/Courses/Mel_Bay/melprac.htm. This level of logical feedback laden approach was not available to me anywhere else.

He admits a lot of the info in his material is experienced by many students, teachers and players... If one can overlook some of the fluff, there is definitely info worth in the material - especially since they cost as much as ~1hr of one-on-one class from a typical teacher. BTW, whose book doesn't have fluff :-)

Just so you know, there's more to it than meets the eye. I felt the review of his books/DVD here were being made unfairly based on his articles and possibly by not checking his books/DVD out...

Also, note that I hope this did not come across as an online ad to sell his stuff... I'm in no way associated with GP, other than a user of the material - and I don't get a penny from Jamey or GP for this...


12-14-2003, 05:14 AM
cīmon Szulc, your articles rock...let the pride bloom

12-14-2003, 06:09 AM

I'm sure Jamey is a good musician, great guy, and that his sold materials are worthwhile... but you can't convince me that his articles on this website are not crap.

by the way... i can't wait until i have a kid to teach... good luck with that.

12-15-2003, 02:28 AM
Originally posted by szulc
I write stuff to try to get my ideas across, every once in a while I am successful, but most of the time I am unsuccessful.
I think maybe because I have a mathematical approach, that scares people away. Most of the stuff I have written is intended to help people reach an epiphany based on something they already know.
I think many people find my ideas to tedious, mabye my communication skills need refining.
I am working on one now that is likely to go over like a 'lead balloon'.
FWIW, you are one of a few posters for whom I will usually read every post from (unless I miss it by accident), just because of the poster. I gotta a lotta respect for your knowledge, but my limited knowledge of music theory often limits the usefulness to me of some of your articles and posts. But I like the way you think about music, and the connections you make between different pieces of theory (if that makes any sense), and I look forward to being able to glean more from your articles and posts as I continue to learn.

...and be sure to include a little meat and potatoes in that touchy-feely article you got coming.:D

12-15-2003, 02:39 AM
The current article I am writing is about Moveable Chord Forms that can be used in Jazz Progressions. Because their interval structure makes them be one of several chords depending on which note you choose to be the root (sometimes not even one of the tones being voiced!). This all ties in with tritone subs and this ambiguity of the Dim7 chord but, alas, this is not for the faint of heart. You will have do a little bit of work if you are going to follow this one. I am presently trying to decide how to present the forms themselves in Power Tab, and which ones to actually include.

12-15-2003, 03:42 AM
I like Jaime's articles.

For a long time, guitar was really the most important thing in my life. I've now slowed it down a bit, but its still something I think about constantly, so to read things Jaime wrote is like reading something from Steve Vai. It may not be "heres how to do a sweep arpeggio in 5 easy steps" but it appealed to me, my love for the instrument and my strong desire to get really good at it and create something beautiful. I think thats what they are meant to do, build motivation and desire and respect for the instrument. It's a nice change from some of the typical articles we get here.

I remember people laughing at the "I AM THE MUSIC" quote,
but for me it almost hit home. I remember when I first learned to play some steve vai, or satriani or something really expressive and difficult. It was a real accomlishment, and while I may not have ran around yelling that, I can see where he was coming from. It really felt like something meaningful to me, rather than the typical powerchords I had been used to playing.

Then again, the difference is I'd like to consider myself a real musician, almost like a composer would, have all the knowledge and technique, rather than just a hot-shot guitarist, and have my music reflect my moods and all that type of stuff. Maybe I'm just a dork too, but I say let the Jaime articles stay! :D

12-15-2003, 04:58 AM
with respect for Szulc:
"you are one of a few posters for whom I will usually read every post from (unless I miss it by accident), just because of the poster. I gotta a lotta respect for your knowledge,"

well said Danster, I feel the same :) Don't feel "Crushed"

Szulc you are a very helpful extremely active member of the IBreathe community please know that you have helped many members of this community as well as musicians in general.

I find it refreshing how you analyze music, & I especially appreciate your objectivity.

"I write stuff to try to get my ideas across, every once in a while I am successful, but most of the time I am unsuccessful.
I think maybe because I have a mathematical approach, that scares people away."

I would not only say you are a Teacher but I would also say that your a leading Consultant when it comes to mathmatical theory when applied to Music.

Obviously the challenge you are presented with is, how do you help others to understand and apply these theories and how do you communicate this knowledge

What I mean is It's somewhat obvious to me that you "eat, drink, and sleep" Mathmatical theory so that you are quite versed at mathmatical knowledge & have applied it to Music so how then do you communicate this knowledge?

Most of the stuff I have written is intended to help people reach an epiphany based on something they already know."

That's exactly how I currently approach your theories,

Personally I have found it to be a challenge to understand the way you share some of your ideas, maybe only because I do not frequently analyze from a mathmatical point of view, but rather since I have studied music from a Musical Theory point of view I have that as a reference to build upon so that in the future I can apply a more mathmatical theory.

"I think many people find my ideas to tedious, mabye my communication skills need refining.
I am working on one now that is likely to go over like a 'lead balloon'."

"You will have do a little bit of work if you are going to follow this one."

Take for instance your Speaking in Tongues thread, originally I had to do more than "a little bit of work to follow this" theory. I spent a considerable amount of time to understand what you were trying to explain and have musicians apply,

And I know others have voiced the same concerns,

None of this is criticism, (especially since I have not written an article for IBreathe) but based on your comments above I sense that this is a souce of frustration for you.

Well I for one am willing to do the work but let me tell you what I found especially helpful, with regards to your Theories

When after many questions that showcased that many were not understanding the original Speaking in Tongues(at least not understanding the theory enough to be able to apply it)

you then created a 2nd much more detailed Speaking in Tongues Thread which clarified, had more detail, and explained as concisely as possible your theory.

I have since many times reviewed this 2nd Speaking in Tounges thread and based on the responses I read, more musicians were understanding your ideas.

and ideally that's what it's all about.

So to summarize
IMHO I don't think people are so "scared away" by your mathmatical approach so much as they are not as fluent in their knowledge of mathmatical theory when applied to music that they need you to very specifically and with attention to detail explain as concisely as possible your theories, and as a benefit you & your peers will be less frustrated.

Thanks for your effort in trying to help us to be better, more educated, creative Musicians

12-15-2003, 06:21 AM
come on now, lets just be honest

we guitarists are a lazy bunch. there. i said it. thats why nobody likes szulc's articles! too much damned work involved!

12-15-2003, 07:20 AM
"come on now, lets just be honest

we guitarists are a lazy bunch. there. i said it. thats why nobody likes szulc's articles! too much damned work involved!"

(I hope your joking and being nonmaliciously sarcastic LarryJ :) ) because I am being honest.

I put a lot of effort into my original reply in this thread, and also put alot of effort into the Speaking in Tongues as well as other threads Szulc has created.

I wrote my original response because I have been a member of the IBreathe Community for awhile, have contributed to many threads, and I wanted to hopefully help with the frustration many have voiced most notably Szulc by his own words.

I'ts obvious to me Szulc would really like many of the members of this community to not only understand his theories but be able to apply and take them to even higher levels with regards to composition, improvisation, etc. And thereby using these theories in ways Szulc hasn't currently thought of, maybe giving a little something back to him.

After all that's what the IBreathe Community ideally is all about.

12-15-2003, 12:20 PM
Iwas half joking when I said I was crushed.

I have unusal ideas and try mest best to communicate them in an unambiguous manner. (I Kind of failed with the attempt at rhythm counting recently, since even I was confused about what I posted)
I intend to continue 'peddling my wares' , and trying to get my ideas across.
Maybe I'll get some good echos from the edges of the pond (from the pebbles I drop).
Even if I don't I must try to share that which has become useful/ interesting to me.

I may get better response if I 'wax philosophical' on on 'feel' or 'emotion' so I do have an article like this planned.

12-15-2003, 03:34 PM
James (Szulc):

I bow and take my hat off to your knowledgeful and insightful writting, no matter what approach you take to music it just works, you are among the musicians that has influenced me and taken my playing/teaching to a new level, when I first read your articles I realized once more that we are nothing but eternal beginners... no matter how long we've been playing or how good we think we are, there's always someone to look up to, someone who's better, someone to learn from. For many of us you are one of those "someone" guys out there.
Thanks a lot James.


12-15-2003, 04:36 PM
In many ways I agree with Danster and Larry J. The reason Jamey's articles appeal to me is because they are not too heavily if at all bogged down with the technicalities of playing the guitar. They are more like inspirational hai·ku, that not only move me on an emotionally and intellectual level, but also provide me with quintessential practicing methods. I am quite certain that as my own knowledge of musical theory begins to blossom, I will begin to take a greater appreciation for the more technical aspects of Szulics (and others) writings. Anyways, I have nothing but respect and admiration for all members of this board. At ibreathe an act as simple as posting a thread almost always turns into a humbling experience. I continuesly find myself being humbled by most everyone's knowledge, wisdom, insight, and penchant for the guitar and music as a whole.

12-15-2003, 08:33 PM
I agree with Bpharm. He said what I was trying to get across, in alot less words. I believe Jaime's articles balance out the Ibreathe site, and provide sort of the 'yin and yang' factor (threw that in since we're getting philosphical here). If nothing else they are a nice break. It's what makes IBM very much a "complete" site.

As for Sculz, I was joking. I was playing off the common idea that we guitarists are lazy (its probably truer than on any other instrument). Thats probably why people claim to not get the articles, they dont want to do the work/have the knowledge backing them up. Maybe I should change that to "rock guitarists'.....but anyways, I didn't try to disrepect your post, I spent a bit on my own, trying to portay exactly what I wanted to say/my emotions.

To be honest, I may have only read a few of Sculz's articles in my time here, and I think they were above my head, but I never once though "oh these suck" I just thought...well, "oh i suck". :D

As such, I dont feel qualified to post on his so called 'mathematical approach' to writing articles, so I wont, but I find it hard to believe he has any serious problems communicating them, its probably just the subject matter he's dealing with. I posted a message shortly after I first started reading this site, to everyone on the ibreathe staff/contributors to keep up the good work all around, and I still truely mean it.

12-15-2003, 08:46 PM
Originally posted by bparham77
The reason Jamey's articles appeal to me is because they are not too heavily if at all bogged down with the technicalities of playing the guitar. Funny thing is, his book IS mostly about the technicalities of playing the guitar, ad nauseum almost.

12-15-2003, 11:40 PM

Just listen to some music you like. That should be inspiring enough. I don't need to read somebody's autobiography. But then this is the case: I do not need to read the articles if I don't want to.

You're right it balances the site out... useful and not useful. Alright that was just a joke. But you make a good point, however I remember Szulc saying something a long time ago in a different thread. Jamey's articles are promotion for Jamey's books. This, I believe, goes against the spirit of Ibreathe. These opinions are all speculations of course.

concerning humility,
Everything is humbling. The apparent complexity of Szulc's posts is. The technique of Greg Howe is. The soul of SRV is. The simplicity in those british pop groups is. The jazz language is. The attitude that some of those trash bands have is.

This is why it seems ridiculous for people to say "I want to be the fastest guitarist ever." (or the best at something) There is going to be somebody that is always better than you. And the people that are outstanding in one area usually suck in others (there are exceptions). But for example, michael angelo... or that guy that's written some arpeggio exercises for this site (fransico ferreri i think)... to me there music is complete crap. They had the mindset "I'm going to be the fastest guitarist ever." And that's what they did, got really fast. Too bad it's unlistenable. There needs to be a balance.

What you have to do is hope for yourself to be humbled into your own style. Struggle with other people's ideas or techniques, but realize there is something that they lack and are struggling with as well. I know that my favorite musicians realize that there are people a lot better than them at many different areas of music. Luckily there are many different aspects of music to work at.

Sorry, I got off the topic... but that was so much writing. It would be a shame to delete it.

12-16-2003, 01:09 AM
I agree for the most part. I'm not quite sure where the inspiration comes from, but since I view many guitarists as almost being personal 'heroes' of mine, they set an example for me to follow. I have since developed my own style in the 4 or 5 years I've been playing, but I still owe it all to guys like Randy Rhoads who got me started on the path, and gave me something to strive for, and try to emulate, because of that, I find reading about them to be an inspiration in itself.

Since you mentioned it, Jaime's articles do seem to promote his stuff, and I disagree with that, but from what I remember, most of them were still enjoyable on their own.

Finally, I believe Micheal Angelo actually has some decent stuff, and gets a bad name. His music may not be listenable on a daily basis, since its almost impossible to absorb, but there is definitly well though out melodies working there, and many interesting licks going on. "No Boundaries" is an excellent example of a song I feel has alot of cool stuff in it. People act like its just him playing the same note, or notes that dont make any sense at 1000 mph, but thats not true. If that is the case, then Yngwie, Vinnie Moore, Jason Becker, anyone who plays fast arpeggio's, are all rubbish. Hell, we wouldn't have many famous classical composers either, Bach comes to mind as one who liked to rip around scales really fast, or Paganinni or even Vivaldi.

I've since realised that speed is only part of the total packadge, and very few players can weild it well enough to use it on its own (racer x/paul gilbert comes to mind) but I think these guys get an undeserving bad name. While some of the songs may not have much going on in terms of interest, some of them are really good. They can say just as much in 50 notes as some blues-er could in 4.

12-16-2003, 02:26 AM

I agree with you... emulation is what drives a lot people, me included. I also enjoy reading about my favorite musicians... however they aren't proliferously writing and trying to pack in as many metaphors in order to fill up space. To me there is a difference.

On michael,
I'm sure you're right. The only stuff I've heard of his, is him doing fast things that, to me, seem only for the sake of going fast. I might be wrong. I didn't mean to come off saying that all fast is bad. Only that when fast is all you concentrate on you're going to sound stupid and immature. A balance is what you need... I think that those other people you mentioned realize(d) this. Also the classical composers seem different... they weren't trying to be macho b/c they could play fast... for them it was all about musical composition.

However, making generalties is almost always a bad thing.

12-16-2003, 02:36 AM
i dont read the articles. i just look at the pictures. :D

12-16-2003, 08:29 AM
Well, in reality alot of the classical guys were just as guilty as playing to be the best. Especially Paganinni, he was a real showman, he'd break strings and play things differently, and play as fast as possibly, and many people were so impressed they would work on speed and crazy stuff to be like him, including a few famous composers (one famous one from poland I believe, pianist, name starts with an L ?) and classical composers didn't actually write for enjoyment or personal meaning or anything other than a job and to outdo eachother until the romantic era. Music was a very mechanical process up until that point, although certainly some good stuff came out of it. I imagine the classical composers must have been alot like the guys we had coming out of the 80's. Strict competition, and sort of eccentric guys who did nothing but play their instruments for 12 hours a day from age 9 on.

I didn't mean to go out on a rant about speed, because I dont own any of micheals cd's or mp3's, but I do have his speed kills tape which I found quite helpful. He's a really great guy, nice to talk to, and a entertaining/helpful teacher. I could see from the video and talking to him on a message board, that he really puts alot of effort into music, although he did say in the 80's there was a goal to be the top shredder, play 4 guitars at once or whatever, and outdo eachother because of the heavy competition. John Petrucci really opened my eyes to the whole balance thing and when speed is needed. The only time a solo was slow in rock was when it was a ballad , but he did some impressive stuff on songs and also did some very tasteful fast things (under a glass moon). In fact one of my favorite solos by him is on the song 'speak to me' and its like a total of 6 notes.

btw, Anyone know what this topic was about again? :D

Spin 2513
12-16-2003, 11:45 PM
i BM , i love you , man!