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Thread: Song study section.

  1. #1
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    Song study section.

    I was just thinking it might be cool if there was a new main section that was called song study or something, and there people basically submitted songs they like or want to know more about and people look at the theoretic structure of the songs, ideas on how to improvise over them and stuff like that.

  2. #2
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    Yep, that's not a bad idea.

    In fact, right now, behind the scenes, the mods are discussing various similar ideas to generate new and perhaps different lines of interest and discussion in all sections of the forum.

    So, if you have more ideas like that then please do suggest them, and hopefully we'll soon see some of it in progress here on the forum.

    Ian.

  3. #3
    Experimentalist Koala's Avatar
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    Hey, nice idea. Maybe a song a month, where everyone can pitch in, and in the end we can draft a final document with our conclusions, what we figured out and the processes that got us there. Yeah, I like this.

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    mmmmm goood

  5. #5
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    thanks, glad you guys like the idea.

    ya, actually, i think the song a month thing, or maybe even a fortnight or something (eh? not bad, some uk lingo there) might be a cool idea too because in just a simple thread there might be too much of new requests and not enough of input on a given song.

    but it would be nice for people to be able to ask for help with individual songs.

    so i was thinking also that maybe there could be some kind of voting system where people can submit songs for some period and vote on ones they'd like to do and the winner wins for that period or something.

  6. #6
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    I'm not so keen on the voting idea (without thinking much about it), but I think the basic idea to examine set pieces of music is good.

    Though I think it would need more than a couple of weeks on each piece. Depends how long and complex each piece is, of course. But I'd have thought we might need 2 or 3 months analysing and playing a complete song. But details like that don't matter so much at this stage. And anyway guys could stick with any one song for as long, or as little, as they feel is necessary.

    A few years ago some beginners had a similar idea on Harmony Central. They took the book Blues You Can Use (John Ganapes) and all tried to work through that together from page one. That thread was very popular and attracted loads of posts.

    Personally I don't rate that Ganapes book much (even for beginners), so that would not have been my choice. But I think that basic idea is very useful for "beginners" of all standards, ie anyone who is practicing every day (so that could be just about everyone). And working like that from a set book/DVD, has some advantage over analysing individual songs, because you are following a set instructional program in the book/DVD.

    But of course, if we also analysed a few instructional books/DVD's then that doesn't have to be an alternative to Fingerpickin's idea for analysing particular songs. I'd just regard those two approaches as really the same idea and complementing one-another very closely.

    So for example, you could take any one of the better books and/or DVD's and start with that as an ongoing project to work through it with one-another from start to finish. Some books and DVD's are obvious candidates, because they contain a lot of in-depth material which new players often struggle to understand and to master the playing. So I think it's obviously a big help if say a dozen of us can work through material like that together. Obvious candidates are Speed Mechanics, Paul Gilbert DVD (Intense Rock), Scott Henderson DVD (Jazz-rock fusion), Don Mock DVD (Blues from rock to Jazz), Barrett Tagliarino book (Chord Tone Soloing). All those contain a lot of theory and a lot of nice applications to serious playing (the Henderson and Mock DVD's also contain printable files which more or less make-up an additional instruction book for all the material on the discs).

    Ian.


  7. #7
    Registered User bluesking's Avatar
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    These are some really cool ideas. Well done fingerpickin for suggesting the concept.

    In terms of logistics, if we are studying from a book/course as Crossroads suggests then everyone will need to have a legitimate copy of the materials. This could be a license to pirate depending on how ethical the membership is.

    If we were to study set pieces at least these are widely available via youtube (I'm not sure how legal this is, but frankly I could cope with playing some tracks on youtube more ethically than downloading teaching materials). Set pieces would probably encourage more of the membership to participate.

    I agree that a couple of weeks would not necessarily be enough per piece. To increase tempo and variety perhaps it would be nice to have several songs on the go, one in each catagory. Say we had a shredder's piece, a bluesy piece, a fusion piece and a jazz piece on the go at any one time. Maybe these exact catagories aren't appropriate, but have a think about the concept.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesking
    In terms of logistics, if we are studying from a book/course as Crossroads suggests then everyone will need to have a legitimate copy of the materials. This could be a license to pirate depending on how ethical the membership is.
    I think there must be at a least several hundred members here who allready have Speed Mechanics and Intense Rock (Gilbert). But the idea is the same as the one on Harmony Central where they were all working from Blues You CAN Use .... ie - if anyone wants to participate in ongoing study from something like the Don Mock DVD (see post above), then they absolutely need to buy the DVD .

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesking
    I agree that a couple of weeks would not necessarily be enough per piece. To increase tempo and variety perhaps it would be nice to have several songs on the go, one in each catagory. Say we had a shredder's piece, a bluesy piece, a fusion piece and a jazz piece on the go at any one time. Maybe these exact catagories aren't appropriate, but have a think about the concept.
    Yep. That's the way I was thinking of it ... several different pieces/songs in differing genre's, with different guys concentrating on whichever one appeals most to them.

    Ian.
    Last edited by Crossroads; 08-11-2009 at 12:41 PM.

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    I'm not sure i completely understand everything you guys were talking about because i don't know those books and instructional materials you guys are talking about, but like you said maybe that would be something that people would need those actual materials things for.

    although following instructional material would be good also, i was thinking more along the lines of just random songs, popular songs, or less, songs that people want to learn about. that's why i was thinking the voting might be good, because otherwise someone will be dictactorially choosing songs, or maybe too many people will want to learn about a song for themselves and the power of a place like this will be diluted, because really things like this i find are a power in numbers and perspectives. i think, everybody has learned differently and has different influences and i think can bring something fresh to any song we undertake. so for every song, the more the merrier.

    if we have multiple songs going on in different genres we may lose a bit of that i find, but it would help solve the problem of people getting to learn the songs they want to learn, although maybe not the problem where i could imagine people just asking continuously about this song or that song, and then just having a huge list of songs some of which may not get any attention, which is ok for those contributing but less fun for those wishing to learn from them.

    plus i find that teaching often is a great learning tool, and i think for any musician analyzing a song you don't like or learning a song you don't like so much can still be really useful because you can still find something you learned from that and apply it in a way that you do like.

    so basically that's why i thought the voting thing might be good.

    as for how long we spend on each song, i think it would be cool if we left them indefinitely, but to have new ones frequently as well.

    personally i do find alot of value on sticking with the same song for a long time, but for me where i'm at right now, i'd personally prefer to go through many songs and compare them, so months on the same song seems a bit long to me, but really a thread lasts as long as people are interested in it, so we don't need to break our heads over that part i find. they'd just last a natural life. but personally i'd like for new ones to be born more quickly than that.

    as for instructional stuff, i was hoping it could be more of taking that stuff and applying it to just songs people like.


    to me, one thing i don't much like about instructional stuff is that it's kind of bland and soulless but if you take some song you really like with some nice solo in it, or even some jazz tune, then the information, the theory, i find would come more to life.

    the instructional thing on its own also i think could be interesting as well, but for me personally that would depend entirely on the content and the level it is. but really, to me, known songs are more fun to learn, teacher songs are kind of cold in order to isolate a specific thing they are teaching or something. but to me, it's more cool to see a song, and point those specifics out that are hidden it. i think that is of greater value. it would me more i think, at any rate.

    also for songs, I could learn any song as played in practice and look at it from a theoretical point of view, and build my musical map of knowledge for both individual fretboard configurations and chords as themselves, and in relation to each other relative also to the key they are in.
    Last edited by fingerpikingood; 08-11-2009 at 01:59 PM.

  10. #10
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    We did this on a piano forum I check in with. Picked a fake chord book and then used it to learn how to play chord accompaniment on the keyboard. String lasted for a month. I guess those that wanted to do chord accompaniment learned how and the string died.

    That same forum has a couple of songs - Autumn Leaves for example - and people analyze them and ask questions, make suggestions, etc. It resurrects itself periodically. http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbt...s%20Forum.html
    It's alive at the moment and has 2000 hits.

    Other forums have licks of the month, etc. If the Mod's have the time, let's go for it.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 08-11-2009 at 02:31 PM.

  11. #11
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    A problem with discussing details of an idea like this on the open forum, is that very quickly people can get quite opinionated about what they do or do not want. That's a real danger.

    So I'd just say - we have the ideas now (and many more in current progress behind the scenes), so please guys let's just be patient and see what the senior guys who run the site can agree too.

    Just re. individual songs vs. my similar suggestion of working from some well known tutorial material - I hope I was clear in saying that I'm NOT suggesting it's one or the other. Those would be two completely separate threads.

    Just re the number of songs and time spent - I think we should be careful about looking at more than say 3 or 4 songs at any one time. Otherwise I think it's obviously going to get really messy.

    Re. time spent - it takes as long as it takes. But I'd be less keen on guys saying "oh we've had that song for 2 weeks, and I've learnt it all, so lets get a new song now". Some guys will take longer to learn, some will have much more practice time than others, and some think they've learned the song when they just know the basic riffs and some basic theory explanation, and then they immediately want something new. I don't see much educational or study benefit in that ... I think we should focus strongly on choosing songs which have definite study benefit (not just someone's favourite tune), and to really study a song and really master it, may take some time.

    But ... if we just get the ideas up and running, then we can presumably refine the mechanical procedures as we go along.

    Ian.

  12. #12
    Registered User bluesking's Avatar
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    I think I lean on the song side rather than the tuition materials partially because tuition materials (DVDs, books etc) are already constructed with a view to being easily understood. If the DVD/book is not clear enough to start with, it is unlikely to be chosen as a basis for a thread. If it is a great DVD/book, then why not just let everyone use it in their own time, at their own pace?

    Conversely, most songs don't come shipped with a short introduction explaining how to play them!
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesking
    I think I lean on the song side rather than the tuition materials partially because tuition materials (DVDs, books etc) are already constructed with a view to being easily understood. If the DVD/book is not clear enough to start with, it is unlikely to be chosen as a basis for a thread. If it is a great DVD/book, then why not just let everyone use it in their own time, at their own pace?

    Conversely, most songs don't come shipped with a short introduction explaining how to play them!
    OK, then maybe there's not so much general interest in the idea of following some set tuition material.

    I was just comparing it to Fingerpicking's suggestion of specific songs, because I recall how those guys on Harmony Central got together and worked through Blues You can Use...that seemed to be a great success for less advanced guys on that forum. And I know my practice sessions are all composed from tuition books and DVD's etc.

    But I'm happy just to hear whatever suggestions guys have .

    Ian.

  14. #14
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    I tried a "now analysing" type thread a million years ago and it didn't go very far, but nevertheless it would be good to try again and see if more people are up for it.

    We might have to "ban" a few people until near the end, because some folks on here could give us the full answer on the first hit Then again if sweet home alabama's three chords (*) can lead to such a big debate then maybe not !!

    (*) yeah, I know there is a fourth chord that makes a very brief boo-hoo appearance.

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    I'm not sure a full answer is possible. I don't think music can have answers. just ideas and interpretations and developments. stuff like that.

    but i think i know where you're getting at, we should try to keep our posts to a minimum, maybe posting about one specific subject at a time or else reading posts might get too complicated, and i think the back and forth discussion is the key component of the excercise.


    as for simple songs with 3 chords. great, i'm fine with it. i don't judge a painting based on how many colors the artist used. nor a sculpture on how many sharp edges or smooth edges.

    i don't judge music on how many chord changes or key changes or tempo changes, or at what tempo it is either.

    just on how it sounds.

    and i think every song that is liked by people is worth analyzing.

    the songs don't have to be incredibly complicated, you can learn little bits at a time.

    idk imo a good song is a good song not matter how simple or complex.

    rhythm is also just as or more important imo than melodies or harmonies, so it's not just the chord sequence you use but how you play it.


    also we can take a simple song and then make it complicated as well which would be way more fun.


    idk in my experience songs generally used for study, and in instructional kits and the such are bland and boring.

    songs like those i can only really enjoy in the hands of a master. now if you'd want to analyse a master playing such songs, that's something i'd be more into, because masters take simple things or bland things, and by virtue of improvisation and rhythmic manipulation turn them into something interesting.

    the thing is that analyzing a full blown jazz great doing his thing would be quite difficult.

    although i have a cool oscar peterson book that has his improvising transcribed which is cool, if we had stuff like that, i'd be interested also.

    I think that guy could play pretty much any song in the universe and make it sound good. 3 chords or 12.

    so really to me it's less just analyzing the theory of a written song, but that plus the artistery of the musician playing also.

    like if we could base our analysis on a given recording, or live performance we could all have access to. not just the framework of the song itself.

    and i find the more it is music people like and want to learn about, the more it's enjoyable.


    I agree though, we don't want a sloppy mess. but the value of learning many songs is that since you would be keeping in mind what key they are in you would be learning how to compare songs, and by ear figuring out what's the role of which chords in songs and how they sound. because you'd be comparing one song to another, essentially making them the same song by doing that if you know what i mean. that's the value of the key to me.

    if you just study one song for a long time, you miss out that part. which is not so bad for improvization, but not so great for songwriting.

    so idk, like i said some might be interested in sticking around longer than others, but that's fine i think, so long as, as you said, it doesn't get all out of hand and sloppy.

    but again, that's why i was thinking we could have some kind of voting system.

    idk, i think we need some kind of way to keep it organized and to select tunes without following some kind of pre-written songlist.

    to me it would be more fun to like do a beatles song and then a michael jackson song, and then idk, some r&b song, and then a ray charles one, then just a classic blues from a great, then maybe a more heavy metal kind of tune. I would like to explore every style every genre and good tunes in those genres.

    so i'm not super picky of the tunes, there are many people in the world with many tastes, but still, i need to like the tune and be into it and for that i need to hear a performer perform it.

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