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  1. #41
    yeah i miss all of the equipment but at the same time, it has forced me to focus almost entirely on my technical ability and the notes that i play rather than the tone and effects.

    effects i can live with out but i really miss the analog tone of a nice tube amp... or an acoustic guitar.

    ah well, when i return to the US i will be able to do all that, in the mean time i have been improving my speed and control of playing, i can play stuff now that i most definitely could not play 6 months ago.


    Have you ever written a song that you couldnt play? i seem to always have at least 1 song that ive written parts for that i simply dont have the technical ability to play just yet. it's really awesome when i finally am able to play it tho

  2. #42
    Absolutely. I write a lot of my tunes with Band in a Box and sometimes the chording is just too far out there for me. I have a Dean DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots) jones as a songwriter, shoehorning a lot of jazzy chords into my pieces and the fingering throws me sometimes. There are times when I can't work out a suitable scale to play over the changes.
    You're probably a better lead player than I am...I'm not awful but my concentration is on songwriting and I prefer rhythm and bass to lead. Speed is ok and I can shred if need be but that isn't what I'm about.
    Hidden Content
    "From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it." - Groucho Marx

  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by moderan View Post
    Absolutely. I write a lot of my tunes with Band in a Box and sometimes the chording is just too far out there for me. I have a Dean DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots) jones as a songwriter, shoehorning a lot of jazzy chords into my pieces and the fingering throws me sometimes. There are times when I can't work out a suitable scale to play over the changes.
    You're probably a better lead player than I am...I'm not awful but my concentration is on songwriting and I prefer rhythm and bass to lead. Speed is ok and I can shred if need be but that isn't what I'm about.

    chords are really one of my weakest points, i have had a lot of music theory training so intellectually i understand the theory behind building chords and such but i just never spend the time to learn new ones on the guitar.

    when it comes to actual songwriting i try to mix rhythm and lead together, it's more fun when you play mostly by yourself.

    as for speed, i like to play fast sometimes, but also being able to accurately play very fast gives you a lot more control and ability to improvise better at slower speeds. it's not just about technical ability but also how you think, if you can keep up with yourself when you play very fast bits, then when you jam at slower speeds you have all the control in the world. of course shredding can be a lot of fun too

    i tend to put more of a focus on how the notes are played rather than just something like playing fast. in that regard i really love jeff beck's playing, he can take a regular lick and turn it into something really cool just by the little things techniques he uses when he plays the notes.

    tone is also a huge thing for me, unfortunately all i have is the digital tones that my multi effects processor can make which drives me nuts, especially on long held out notes.

    people keep telling me that solid state technology has come such a long way that you can hardly tell the difference anymore... but i think it's BS, i can still tell a huge difference between tubes and solid state. i mean if you are putting a bunch of effects and distortion on it then maybe not, but the clean tone simply can not be beat on tubes. when i was in college, i would not play my amp for months at a time because it was up at my parents house. but when i went home to visit id go play and i would literally get misty eyed at the difference between the digital crap i had been using at college and the vintage tubes.

    anyway, for now i have to make up for the lack of tone/quality with the playing itself

  4. #44
    Tone is gigantic. It's why I have so many axes and amps and stompboxes. I have exactly zero formal training...what I do have is 35+ years of playing and 20 or so years of playing live. All of that was playing rhythm instruments, so chording and comping are natural for me.
    I did break down last year and get a little Line 6-I'm an analog tone freak but that's a nice-sounding amp. The fx are just ok-it's the amp that has sweet tone. The SG and the Ibanastrat love it, the hollowbody says "no thank you". I have a little Washburn amp that I use most of the time cuz the speaker's so teeny that it breaks up like a tube amp does.
    All of the clean tones on the country tune were done with those two amps and an Ibanez Tube Screamer.
    I spend most of my time playing my Ovation. Nothing like playing acoustic to sharpen one's skills-there's no way to hide. If I feel I need practice badly, I have an old Washburn that fights back when you fret chords.
    Agreed about Beck, btw. Another guy I like because he just personalizes the notes so well is Robin Trower. Far more than a Hendrix clone, that guy.
    Hidden Content
    "From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it." - Groucho Marx

  5. #45
    well my formal training sort of ended 4 years ago or so. I started playing music on the Trumpet way back in elementary school and played in the school band up into highschool when i picked up the guitar, i took lessons on the guitar until i went to college and while in college took 2 music theory course as well as number of other music history type classes.

    im not an expert in music theory by any means but i know enough to understand what im doing when i play something. it especially helps when writing lead parts in harmony with each other.

    although i have always played melodies or leads on all the instruments, i played lead guitar in the band i was in for a few years as well. at some point i realized that my rhythm was horribly lacking so the last few years ive been practicing a lot with just playing as rhythmicly(sp?) as possible instead of the fast sort of out of time playing.

    practicing with a drum loop or metronome helps a lot for me, going out of time can be cool in some places but if it's all you do then it gets old reaaallly fast.

    i like the tubescreamer, it's fun to use on SRV type stuff where you want a little crunch added to your clean tone to give it some edge, but not like full on metal distortion. i have the tubescreamer turbo tho,



    that pedal, my delay pedal and my wah pedal are the 3 i used the most

  6. #46
    *nods* I'm not knocking formal training, I just don't have any on guitar or bass. I did take keyboard lessons for a couple of years when I was a kid, and I started out on accordion.
    That doesn't mean I'm not up on theory though. The lead player in my band was a Berklee grad, and I read the literature that's available. I'm just self-taught. Can read music but I usually don't bother.
    Playing in time is huge. I learned how to do that early and it's stuck with me. As a bass player, my primary job was to hit a note in tandem with the bass drum. I also learned how to play ahead or behind the beat to influence the mood of the piece, and to emphasize certain beats (funk on the "one", rock on the "two" or "four").
    As a one-man band, versatility is the key. I need to be able to make any sounds that fit what I'm writing, and function in any genre. I'm basically a progrock act anyway...
    Zappa taught his band to play any of their material in any style, and had hand signals for them to do so at the drop of a hat. Our band used to do that, and play commercial jingles, etc, while someone was tuning, just to keep the people involved.
    Hidden Content
    "From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it." - Groucho Marx

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Sigg View Post

    i tend to put more of a focus on how the notes are played rather than just something like playing fast.
    To that end, I've started writing -- or more accurately, planning my lead solos. Here's one I thought out note-for-note and I'm really happy with it. The song's in progress -- so just scrawled filler lyrics.

    Also, caught on to recording two rhythm tracks, which makes a big difference. I like the tone of the lead, but not the rhythm -- again through the Pod and and not my amp.

    http://76.12.0.196/dont_take_me.mp3

    Quote Originally Posted by moderan View Post
    *nods* I'm not knocking formal training, I just don't have any on guitar or bass.
    I don't have any either. I don't even know the names of most of the chords I play. I learned by listening and playing by ear. So far, it hasn't been a drawback.

  8. #48
    nice song joe, i can tell that you put time into working out the lead, i like the tone too.

    as for formal training... i think as a beginner it can be important to have the structure and organization that private lessons or classes in school can bring.

    how useful the theory actually is really depends on what style you play. the southern rock or blues doesn't really need much knowledge of musical theory to play. i personally love both of those styles but when im playing the blues im not thinking about harmonies or musical structure as much as i am just jamming to a riff or beat.

    on the other hand if im playing something with a much more rigid structure, like neo classical, you really do need to be aware of how it is put together to be able to create your own parts in that style.

    that's not to say that you can't learn theory on your own, as moderan said, i just think the classroom environment is more conducive to learning those sorts of things.

    also, learning theory in conjuction with the piano is decidedly more intuitive and easier to do than any other instrument ive encountered.

  9. #49
    Good solo. Has a nice flow and ring to it, very fitting to the material. I like that rhythm sound, actually, has a nice growl to it that gives the material a little heft. You might consider getting closer to the mike when you're singing to get more bass in-that's a tad thin-sounding.
    Learning chord names is simple...you can buy books or a chart-I have a big poster on the wall of my office here that has most chord variations on it. The fun comes in when you're using fragments or composite chords, then you have to rely on theory to name them *laughs* I had to learn a lot of that to use Band in a Box as a composition tool, and it was a good lesson. Instead of telling someone to "put your fingers here", which I can't do in netjams anyway, I can tell them to play E7#9/G in the open position and wonder whether they use the thumb or the pinkie to fret the low G.
    That's a scenario in which a lack of chordform knowledge could be a potential drawback...but you sound good, Joe. I can hear improvements and I can hear your instrumental confidence building. That's very cool.
    If you want your twin rhythms to sound REALLY fat, make em just a hair out of phase. I like to do that, and change the panning-one set will be 50% l/r, and the other something like 75% l/r, so there's some separation. Gives a track some beef. The alt-method would be to singletrack each part and pan them apart. That works too but I have a mania about a balanced stereo field.
    Hidden Content
    "From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it." - Groucho Marx

  10. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Sigg View Post
    nice song joe, i can tell that you put time into working out the lead, i like the tone too.
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigg View Post
    the southern rock or blues doesn't really need much knowledge of musical theory to play.
    Yeah. Good thing.

    Good solo. Has a nice flow and ring to it, very fitting to the material.
    Thanks too.

    Quote Originally Posted by moderan View Post
    I can hear improvements and I can hear your instrumental confidence building.
    I feel that also. I play a lot better with a better drummer too. You can hear us playing off each other in that solo.
    Quote Originally Posted by moderan View Post
    Instead of telling someone to "put your fingers here",
    Heh. That reminds me -- I'm teaching my wife to play bass. She's played some acoustic guitar and seems to be picking it up quickly. Should be interesting.

    And thanks too for the recording tips, as usual.

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