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Thread: Practicing tips - taking a new direction.

  1. #1
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    Practicing tips - taking a new direction.

    I recently had to let my guitar teacher go and while I do plan on either picking him back up or picking up with a new one, I've been praticing on my own for the last month or 2. We started off with the basic major scales (playing them on the 6th string root, 5th root, single octave, double octave, etc.), and chords (playing the chords in their relative key, again open, 6th string root, 5th, etc..) and then moved onto minor pentatonic and blues scales. And that's where we left off. Since he's been gone, with my main goal being improvisation, I've started to practice a bit differently. While I still practice everything we've done and I've also been trying to build on that, I've kind of taken my own direction a bit. I've memorized the whole fretboard, all the major/minor pentatonic shapes and have been doing a lot of improvising with the shapes (in a specific key obviously). He never gave me any songs, but I've also been learning songs of my favorite artists (Jimi, Dire Straits, Metallica). First I listen to the song, try and identify the notes, then check the tab to see if it's correct and eventually learn it. In improvising, I've also been playing a part of a song (such as fade to black), then go on to add to it what I think sounds good or might go next. The problem is, even though I might practice 3-4 hours a day, I'm having a hard time knowing how to split up my time. I will say I'm noticing amazing amounts of improvement and am constantly challenging myself but I'm also a bit overwhelmed and kind of all over the place right now. I don't have any set pattern to my madness - I'm kind of just everywhere, which I think is bad. I was wondering if you guys had any tips and might be able to tell me if I'm taking the right approach.

    I also had a very specific question regarding scales. I understand how important they are, but I'm trying to figure out what's the best way to learn them. I'm not big on memorizing, so I don;t like knowing that my "scale library" is comming solely from memory of shapes. If someone says play a 6th string root c major scale, should my mental library turn on and see the "pattern" that I memorized, or should I see C, D, E, F, etc... I've lately been trying to learn scales by forgetting the patterns (1,3,5, 0,2,4) and seeing the notes instead. Without saying, I've been playing them MUCH slower, but is it ultimately going to be better for me in the end. The other alternative would be to play them by knowing the intervals, so sometimes I will say play them by saying, "whole step, whole step, half step, etc..". Any advice? If anyone has any tips to help me improve my improv, PLEASE share..

  2. #2
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    .....If someone says play a 6th string root c major scale, should my mental library turn on and see the "pattern" that I memorized, or should I see C, D, E, F, etc...
    I think we all at first said -- OK Major scale pattern -- starting on the 8th fret -- ready, set, go. Then we decided to recite the intervals as we played until we decided it would be better to be repeating the note names instead of interval names ......I fought this for a long time thinking intervals were the way to go. Finally it sunk in notes have to enter the picture. You are going down the same track most of us followed - perhaps a little quicker than I.
    I've lately been trying to learn scales by forgetting the patterns (1,3,5, 0,2,4) and seeing the notes instead.
    YES. OK to use the pattern and get it started at the correct place on the fretboard, and you've done the pattern so much it's muscle memory, however, when doing it recite the note name - like mentioned above.
    so sometimes I will say play them by saying, "whole step, whole step, half step, etc..". Any advice?
    Knowing how WWHWWWH works is important, however, I would not bother with "whole step, half step, to accomplish what you ask about. Instead learn the notes that are in each scale, i.e. If someone says play using notes from the C scale you know that C has no sharps or flats so it's notes are C, D, E, F, G, A, B and octave C. Same with the G scale, G has one sharp the F#. And D has two sharps the F# and the C#, F has one flat the Bb, etc. Here is a gift.

    Major Scale Chart
    C D E F G A B...............Notice the C scale has no Sharps
    G A B C D E F#.............and the G scale has one, the F#
    D E F# G A B C#...........and the D scale keeps the F# and
    A B C# D E F# G#.........adds the C#. Then the A scale keeps
    E F# G# A B C# D#.......everything and adds the G#. See how
    B C# D# E F# G# A#.....it builds on it's self.
    F# G# A# B C# D# E#
    C# D# E# F# G# A# B#
    F G A Bb C D E.............Look what happens with the flat scales
    Bb C D Eb F G A...........F has one the Bb, then the Bb scale keeps
    Eb F G Ab Bb C D.........it's self and adds the the Eb. Same thing
    Ab Bb C Db Eb F G.......the sharp scales did...
    Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
    Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F
    Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb
    Memory pegs:
    See God Destroy All Earth By F#irey C#haos is the order of scales with sharps in them.
    Fat cats go down alleys eating birds are the sharps in the order they appear.
    Farmer brown eats apple dumplings greasily cooked is the same thing for flat scales that See God Destroy is for sharp scales. You figure out the mesmeric for what flats appear. That fish thing.

    Natural Minor Scale Chart
    A B C D E F G ................Notice how the 6th column of the
    E F# G A B C D................Major scale becomes the 1st column
    B C# D E F# G A..............in the minor scale and how the 7th
    F# G# A B C# D E............column of the Major scale is now the
    C# D# E F# G# A B..........2nd column in the minor scale. And
    G# A# B C# D# E F#........yep, the 1st column in the Major scale
    D# E# F# G# A# B C#......is now the 3rd column, etc. etc.
    A# B# C# D# E# F# G#....Ask your self why? Hint, think relative minor.
    D E F G A Bb C
    G A Bb C D Eb F
    C D Eb F G Ab Bb
    F G Ab Bb C Db Eb
    Bb C Db Eb F Gb Ab
    Eb F Gb Ab Bb Cb Db
    Ab Bb Cb Db Eb Fb Gb

    As complete scale charts, all on one page, are hard to find I recommend you print this off and keep it handy. I guarantee you will find it helpful.

    Malcolm
    Last edited by Malcolm; 05-21-2009 at 08:50 PM.

  3. #3
    bitter old fool Jed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evev12
    I also had a very specific question regarding scales. I understand how important they are, but I'm trying to figure out what's the best way to learn them. I'm not big on memorizing, so I don;t like knowing that my "scale library" is comming solely from memory of shapes. If someone says play a 6th string root c major scale, should my mental library turn on and see the "pattern" that I memorized, or should I see C, D, E, F, etc... I've lately been trying to learn scales by forgetting the patterns (1,3,5, 0,2,4) and seeing the notes instead. Without saying, I've been playing them MUCH slower, but is it ultimately going to be better for me in the end. The other alternative would be to play them by knowing the intervals, so sometimes I will say play them by saying, "whole step, whole step, half step, etc..". Any advice? If anyone has any tips to help me improve my improv, PLEASE share..
    Regarding learning scales . . my suggestion

    Learn the 2-octave triad arpeggios from the root. Study these until you know them in terms of note names and locations for each triad of the diatonic series for the key of C major.

    Then learn three fingering variations for those same triad arpeggios, again just from the root, for all triads diatonic to the key of C major. Study these until you know them in terms of note names and locations for each triad of the diatonic series for the key of C major.

    Then learn the 2-octave triad arpeggios from the third. Study these until you know them in terms of note names and locations for each triad of the diatonic series for the key of C major.

    Then learn three fingering variations for those same triad arpeggios, again just from the third, for all triads diatonic to the key of C major. Study these until you know them in terms of note names and locations for each triad of the diatonic series for the key of C major.

    Then learn the 2-octave triad arpeggios from the fifth. Study these until you know them in terms of note names and locations for each triad of the diatonic series for the key of C major.

    Then learn three fingering variations for those same triad arpeggios, again just from the fifth, for all triads diatonic to the key of C major. Study these until you know them in terms of note names and locations for each triad of the diatonic series for the key of C major.

    Then take each of these 2-octave major triad arpeggio fingerings and add the 2nd and 6th to the major triad arpeggios to learn nine variations of fingerings of the major pentatonic scale. Study these until you know them in terms of note names and locations for nine fingering variations of 2-octave major pentatonic scale arp for each major triad in the key of C major.

    Then take each of these 2-octave minor triad arpeggio fingerings and add the 4th and b7th to the minor triad arpeggios to learn nine variations of fingerings of the minor pentatonic scale. Study these until you know them in terms of note names and locations for nine fingering variations of 2-octave minor pentatonic scale for each minor triad in the key of C major.

    Then take the 2-octave diminished triad arpeggio fingerings and add the b6th and b7th to the diminished triad arpeggios to learn nine variations of fingerings of the diminished pentatonic scale. Study these until you know them in terms of note names and locations for nine fingering variations of 2-octave diminished pentatonic scale in the key of C major.

    By the time you are done with all that, you'll already know all of the various 2-octave fingering variations for the major scale in the key of C major (as well as the chord spellings and all the 2-octave arpeggio fingering variations for each chord diatonic to C major). Then it will be time to start working in another key. Each new key will be significantly easier than the previous key.

    cheers,

  4. #4
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    Another great post.. i love this sites,

    I had this post bookmarked i love this..

    Thank you
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm
    I think we all at first said -- OK Major scale pattern -- starting on the 8th fret -- ready, set, go. Then we decided to recite the intervals as we played until we decided it would be better to be repeating the note names instead of interval names ......I fought this for a long time thinking intervals were the way to go. Finally it sunk in notes have to enter the picture. You are going down the same track most of us followed - perhaps a little quicker than I.

    YES. OK to use the pattern and get it started at the correct place on the fretboard, and you've done the pattern so much it's muscle memory, however, when doing it recite the note name - like mentioned above.

    Knowing how WWHWWWH works is important, however, I would not bother with "whole step, half step, to accomplish what you ask about. Instead learn the notes that are in each scale, i.e. If someone says play using notes from the C scale you know that C has no sharps or flats so it's notes are C, D, E, F, G, A, B and octave C. Same with the G scale, G has one sharp the F#. And D has two sharps the F# and the C#, F has one flat the Bb, etc. Here is a gift.

    Major Scale Chart

    C D E F G A B...............Notice the C scale has no Sharps
    G A B C D E F#.............and the G scale has one, the F#
    D E F# G A B C#...........and the D scale keeps the F# and
    A B C# D E F# G#.........adds the C#. Then the A scale keeps
    E F# G# A B C# D#.......everything and adds the G#. See how
    B C# D# E F# G# A#.....it builds on it's self.
    F# G# A# B C# D# E#
    C# D# E# F# G# A# B#
    F G A Bb C D E.............Look what happens with the flat scales
    Bb C D Eb F G A...........F has one the Bb, then the Bb scale keeps
    Eb F G Ab Bb C D.........it's self and adds the the Eb. Same thing
    Ab Bb C Db Eb F G.......the sharp scales did...
    Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
    Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F
    Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb
    Memory pegs:
    See God Destroy All Earth By F#irey C#haos is the order of scales with sharps in them.
    Fat cats go down alleys eating birds are the sharps in the order they appear.
    Farmer brown eats apple dumplings greasily cooked is the same thing for flat scales that See God Destroy is for sharp scales. You figure out the mesmeric for what flats appear. That fish thing.

    Natural Minor Scale Chart

    A B C D E F G ................Notice how the 6th column of the
    E F# G A B C D................Major scale becomes the 1st column
    B C# D E F# G A..............in the minor scale and how the 7th
    F# G# A B C# D E............column of the Major scale is now the
    C# D# E F# G# A B..........2nd column in the minor scale. And
    G# A# B C# D# E F#........yep, the 1st column in the Major scale
    D# E# F# G# A# B C#......is now the 3rd column, etc. etc.
    A# B# C# D# E# F# G#....Ask your self why? Hint, think relative minor.
    D E F G A Bb C
    G A Bb C D Eb F
    C D Eb F G Ab Bb
    F G Ab Bb C Db Eb
    Bb C Db Eb F Gb Ab
    Eb F Gb Ab Bb Cb Db
    Ab Bb Cb Db Eb Fb Gb

    As complete scale charts, all on one page, are hard to find I recommend you print this off and keep it handy. I guarantee you will find it helpful.

    Malcolm

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    Thanks for the advice! I've been reading & watching a lot of interviews lately and it seems like most of the great guitartists of today all learned in a very similar fashion...or at least started out learning in a similar fashion. First off, it seems like they can all just about nail the exact moment they were inspired to play the guitar, whether it be seeing someone in concert or hearing a particular song for the first time - I just found that pretty interesting. From there it seems like most of them really didn't have any sort of method or systematic system for learning at all - they simply listened to the songs they liked, played by ear, tried to copy them and bought books of chords and scales and just sat down and memorized them (not knowing what the relationships between them were).While most of them seemed to make a conscious deciscion at some point (usually years later) to go to school or hire an instructor to teach them the theory they were lacking, they all seemed to pretty much learn in a pretty playfull/unorganized manner. That being said, I've really been tempted to go about it the same way. I'm the kind of person that always has to know "why". If you tell me these are the notes in this chord, instead of just playing it, I'm probably going to ask why those are the notes. I'm starting to wonder if my curiousity is "killing the cat" so to speak - in fact I'm prettty sure it is. I'm really considering shifting my practicing to mimic more of the way the greats seemed to have learned - just take a song or 2 at a time, work them out, play more by ear, simply buy a chord book and learn the 200 or so chords, and forget about why they're constructed the way they are. It just seems so much more free (and fun) and I'd finally have a plan (as chaotic as it may be), instead of trying to figure out what I should practice for the day. There would be no more questions...just work on learning those chords and work on your songs...that's all you have to worry about. I know it all may sound a little juvenile but all these interviews got my gears going. Am I completely wrong here?

    On a side note, if anyone knows of a good instructor in the NYC area please share. Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evev12
    Am I completely wrong here?
    Yep. I think you are completely wrong .

    Ian.

  7. #7
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evev12
    Am I completely wrong here?
    No, not entirely.
    Except you seem a bit confused. If you want to learn the way you believe those guys learned (and there is a lot of truth in that), why are you looking for an instructor?

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    You must have the 6th sense, you're good you...I AM...I'm more confused and conflicted than ever. I'm so torn between an instructor and a systematic approach and that of an entirely play-by-wire approach that I don't even know what to do. Part of my problem is that my focus is improv and I know I need to understand theory in order to get there, yet the same time I don't want to get overly distracted by the theory, I should just be able to pickup the guitar and play a chord without having to analyze what I'm playing. I guess I'm having a tough time finding that happy medium. I just went to Borders and spent $50 on magazines, which were actually a pleasant suprise...they might just have enough theory in them to get me to that level of being able to tie everything together. I'm just trying to find the right balance to get me to my goal of being able to improv, and being able to do it with an emotion that you can feel. I guess it's kind of tough for me to think I'd be able to do it without an instructor. Or maybe I should say, what's the shortest distance between the 2 lines?

    Quote Originally Posted by JonR
    No, not entirely.
    Except you seem a bit confused. If you want to learn the way you believe those guys learned (and there is a lot of truth in that), why are you looking for an instructor?

  9. #9
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    Like most things in life, guitar is a learning process. Off hand I can't think of any learning process which is helped by deliberately refusing to study or understand what you are doing, and certainly not a learning process as complex and technical as playing a musical instrument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evev12
    my focus is improv and I know I need to understand theory in order to get there, yet the same time I don't want to get overly distracted by the theory,
    If you mean improv. in blues, then as you yourself observed, in the past many well known guitarists succeeded without much formal understanding of theory. They just played enough, copied enough, & listened enough to recognise the sound of various notes and phrases, and they worked out a personal way of reproducing that on guitar.

    But as I say, I don't think that approach can really be justified as the most efficient route. Nor as a method which gives you a clearer understanding of what you are actually doing, or what you can do.

    So yes, it can be a big help to learn some basic theory. Just so you know which scales and arpeggios can be used over different chords.

    But what do you mean by "overly distracted by theory"? That seems to me a loaded statement ... the word "distracted" is immediately implying that theory will be bad for you ... and "overly" is really just a fudge word used to hedge ones bets.

    If you take those two words out, then you are just left with "I don't want to learn theory". Well that's just the statement you started with, and which you explained earlier by saying you thought the great guitarists (whoever they are) had all learnt without theory ... and hence you thought you should take the same route.

    As I say - that route is possible, and 50 years ago it was much harder for those players to learn & use formal/basic theory (no modern teaching aids). And of course it's true that it's very important to learn classic songs (eg in blues), because that will teach you a lot about the way those players created and expressed their phrasing/licks/riffs. But I think it's completely wrong to imagine that process will be improved by refusing to learn basic theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evev12
    I should just be able to pickup the guitar and play a chord without having to analyse what I'm playing.
    But why should you be able to "just" do that? Why should any of us be saying "oh I ought to be able to just do X, Y, Z", as if these things were something that would one day be acquired as if by magic?

    As far as finding the "balance" is concerned ...

    .... if you are specifically talking about chords, then you don't have to be "distracted" by analysing every detail as you play. But it helps if you know how the chords are constructed in terms of intervals and scale notes. That way you can quickly make more sense of the shapes you playing ("shapes" meaning notes and intervals), and that makes it easier to remember them, because you "understand" them. It also means you have a good idea of how to alter those chord shapes to make different chords ... and again that saves you from a pure memory job of learning dozens of more chords as if they were all just unrelated abstract shapes.

    Of course it's true we do all memorise lots of chord shapes without formally thinking of much theory, especially when we first start playing. So memorising is fine. But I don't think it can ever help to deliberately refuse to learn the basic theory about why the chords are constructed in the way they are, what variations you can have, how the chords function within a progression and how they function to support the melody.

    Those are all basic aspects of theory (still not easy, I know), but they will help you to make much more sense of your own playing, as well as to explain how & why other players are doing things.

    Ian.
    Last edited by Crossroads; 06-03-2009 at 08:09 AM.

  10. #10
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evev12
    You must have the 6th sense, you're good you...I AM...I'm more confused and conflicted than ever. I'm so torn between an instructor and a systematic approach and that of an entirely play-by-wire approach that I don't even know what to do. Part of my problem is that my focus is improv and I know I need to understand theory in order to get there,
    Well, yes and no.
    Think - for a moment - about Django Reinhardt and Wes Montgomery, arguably the two greatest jazz guitarists of the 20th century.
    Django was a gypsy, he could barely write his name. How did he learn? He started at a young age and learned from those around him (music being a big part of gypsy culture). A little later, he heard jazz records and fell in love with it, adapting his style by copying people like Eddie Lang.
    Wes taught himself to play by copying Charlie Christian solos - again from listening to records.
    Neither of them knew any theory, in the sense of the kind of stuff you read in books. But of course they "knew" it in the way you know English grammar - you know how to string words together so they make sense, without having to consult a book or a teacher. How did you learn to speak? By listening to others, and trying to copy them, right? You made cute mistakes for a while, but eventually you picked it up.

    Of course, music is different from talking. To begin with, we tend to learn it later in life. (Think how hard it is to learn a foreign language totally by ear, once we've grown up.)
    But exactly the same process applies. It's a language of sounds, and its "grammar" is all there in the music itself.

    I'm not saying a teacher is a waste of time - far from it. Just because a few geniuses managed without teachers... the rest of us non-geniuses can always do with a little guidance.

    [metaphor]
    Music is a foreign country. Theory is a map, and a teacher is a guide book. You don't need them (you can explore on your own), but if you want to get the lie of the land as quick as possible, you need both. At the same time, you'll want to roam off the beaten track now and then, finding your own paths. A guide book is often biased - it tells you what it thinks are the best routes and the best places to go. You respect their experience but you don't have to agree.
    And remember that the most beautiful scenery often doesn't appear on maps...
    [/metaphor]

    Your best teachers are the great players of the past. Of course most of them are dead, so you can't hire them to teach you! (And the living ones are either too expensive or no good at teaching.) But you can easily get their recordings, very cheaply. Amazingly cheaply, considering the wealth of knowledge and information contained in each track. Sometimes even free, thanks to the internet. (Think how much easier it is for you and I to listen and copy stuff than it was for Django and Wes, who only had phonographs and 78s...)

    Personally I would put off the decision about a teacher for the time being. I would also STOP buying books and magazines, and start buying or downloading CDs of players you admire - and add a few of the standard greats, even if you're not a big fan. (I always think about how Pat Metheny is a Louis Armstrong fan - you wouldn't guess, would you? But Satchmo was simply a great improviser, regardless of style or period. You can learn an immense amount from ANY improviser, whatever kind of music they play.)

    Then get a copy of Transcribe software (at $50, it's probably the biggest single outlay I'd recommend - and it's free for the first month anyhow), and get to work taking the tracks to pieces. Don't rely on tab or notation (even if you can find some). Slow them down, play along. Work out the chords. Learn the head melodies (very important). Then work out the solos - not necessarily whole solos, but start with phrases that stand out, and see how they fit the chords.
    http://www.seventhstring.com/

    Playing with "emotion" is often misunderstood. You need the technique and vocabulary first - the boring nuts and bolts. You need to know it like the back of your hand. When you no longer have to think about the notes, then you can play "with feeling".
    At the same time, you can play emotionally with very little knowledge - as long as that knowledge is appropriate and well absorbed. (Eg, blues players don't know very much, compared to jazz players. But then can play with at least as much emotion.) It's not about feeling the emotion yourself. You don't need to be sad to play the blues! (In fact if you're really depressed, you probably can't play at all.) It's about being comfortable with the genre, feeling that it's a natural language for you.

    You need to have something you want to "say", that's the bottom line. A teacher will NOT give you that. (To get back to the country metaphor: you have to want to go to the country yourself. You don't expect a guide to tell you why or where you want to go; only to perhaps help you once you've decided.)

    And inspiration doesn't come from the air by magic (any more than a desire to visit a foreign country comes from nowhere). It comes from playing as many tunes, chord sequences, riffs and solos as you can get your hands on. A library of vocabulary will produce its own inspirations, because that's how your brain works - the stuff doesn't just sit there, it's "live", it gets sifted around, and little things pop up.
    In particular, when playing a chord sequence, little melodic ideas will suggest themselves; just as when you're listening to a conversation, you get ideas about comments you can add. But as with speech, you need to have absorbed the necessary vocabulary. Which - to repeat myself - comes from copying stuff to start wirh.
    Last edited by JonR; 06-03-2009 at 09:55 AM.

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    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for all of your great advice - I loved the analogy, that was good. Sorry I didn't write back earlier to thank everyone, I've been too busy working and practicing In any case, thank you, you definitely helped me get some sense of direction back. I've decided to kind of do both; concentrate on the theory and ignore it at the same time. I'll rotate between excercises/days of practice, where one day I'll think of the theory behind what I'm doing and the next day I'll just sit try and immitate a peice completely by ear (not worrying about why it's played the way it is) or just play whatever sounds right to me. I think I have to find that happy medium. So far it seems to be working. I'm definitely noticing big improvement in my general playing overall. It's my improvisation that's kind of stagnant which is bothering me. I seem to be stuck in that box that everyone seems to find themselves from time to time, but I guess that's expected. I feel like I just keep doing the same thing over and over. I've gottta figure out how to break out. I'm thinking about just stopping the improv alltogether for the next week or 2 and just focusing on a bunch of new licks which might help freshen me up. Does anyone have any other good tricks or tips?

    JonR: Thanks for recommending that transcribe software, that's exactlty what I need - how well does it work though. My concern is the vocals. For example, the song I'm working on now is Metallica's "One", and there's a part that I'm having a tough time figuring out, simply because the vocals are too strong and the guitar too drowned out - it doesn't seperate each "voice" does it? You don't know of any software that does such a thing OR website that has just the instrumentals of songs do you? The other thing that would help me A LOT, is a website that breaks down the composition of songs - what chord is being played, what's being played on top of the chord (is it an arpeggio, scale, etc..) - do you know of any such site, book, or software? Or does anyone else know of any such thing for that matter?

    Thanks agian!

  12. #12
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evev12
    JonR: Thanks for recommending that transcribe software, that's exactlty what I need - how well does it work though. My concern is the vocals. For example, the song I'm working on now is Metallica's "One", and there's a part that I'm having a tough time figuring out, simply because the vocals are too strong and the guitar too drowned out - it doesn't seperate each "voice" does it?
    If you have a stereo track, and the vocals are mixed dead centre (which is pretty common) then yes Transcribe can remove the vocals (using the "karaoke" function). But it will also remove anything else panned dead centre - if that's guitars, bad luck (but it's not common for guitars to be dead centre).
    AFAIK, there is no software capable of separating tracks in the way you mention (other than this phase-based centre removal). Unless of course you have access to the master tapes...)
    You can adjust EQ this way and that, which can help highlight (or remove) certain parts of the frequency spectrum. Again this will affect anything in the same frequency range.
    I have found that listening over and over (usually at 50% speed), I can disentangle guitars from vocals reasonably well. It does take some practice and concentration tho.
    (The real hard thing is excessive distortion, esp if there's 2 or 3 guitars hammering away, a wall of noise... Transcribe gives up at that point too. If the sound is a mess, then it's a mess.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Evev12
    You don't know of any software that does such a thing OR website that has just the instrumentals of songs do you?
    There are such things as backing tracks for well-known songs, but I don't use such things myself - maybe others here will know.
    Quote Originally Posted by Evev12
    The other thing that would help me A LOT, is a website that breaks down the composition of songs - what chord is being played, what's being played on top of the chord (is it an arpeggio, scale, etc..) - do you know of any such site, book, or software? Or does anyone else know of any such thing for that matter?
    All good questions!
    Chords played are easy to find of course - but not specific shapes, arpeggios etc, unless you can find tab (and even then it's the transcriber's guess).
    Any further analysis is quite rare - except for the odd classic band. (There's a great site analysing Beatles tracks: http://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/...alphabet.shtml

    But you will learn a lot (and have fun) using transcribe and getting your hands dirty doing it yourself!

    (BTW, the basic riffs of "One" are pretty easy, even both guitar parts - most of the time - so it's not a bad one to cut your teeth on.)
    Last edited by JonR; 06-09-2009 at 08:20 PM.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    8
    Thanks again JonR, you've been more than helpfull! What a great Forum! For what it's worth I was able to find DVD's available through Netflix which sound like might help in anlayzing some composition;

    http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Guitar_...1436898725_4_0

    They have a number of artists, including Metallica and Jimi, which are 2 of the 4 artists/bands I'm trying to analyze/breakdown. Now if they only had Mark Knopfler and Stevie Ray! I tried to pick 4 artists/bands that all have very unique and DINSTINCTIVE sounds AND a noticable compisition (that I enjoy of course) than what I decided I'm going to do is lean 3 or 4 songs from each artist consecutively (so 3/4 Metallica "Black Album" songs, than 3/4 Jimi songs, etc). I'm guessing that each time I switch an artist I should get a nice feel for how they differ in playing style and compistion, and hopefully be able to mimic them on a smaller scale. I'm also trying to "complete the sentance" so speak while improvising. I'll start off with where I last left off in the song that I'm currently playing, than I'll try to improvise with what I think should go next. I think think this, along with my scale/chord drills and some music theory along the way, might just be the practice recipe I needed. Let's just hope those DVD's are any good. I'll be sure to let you know. Thanks again buddy!

    Oh yeah; these are also great little references as well: http://www.guitarworld.com/articles/...g%20strategies

  14. #14
    I want to learn guitar. But i can't start my learning session due to some family problems. However you tips will be more helpful when i start my learning. Thank you mate.

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