Guitar Signature Style. Part 4

author: info2new date: 08/08/2006 category: the guide to
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Welcome back to another Great Article of "Guitar Signature Style". In the first part we discussed the basics of an Advanced Guitarist and the second part about Practicing. Then we Learned that all I mentioned about basics and practicing was mostly important to get your Original Signature Style and get you moving on the Part 3; were we discussed the Importance of Tricks, Hearing the Chords, Improvising and much more Important things. In this Article I'm going to get deep and focus on 2 Subjects, which are 2 important subjects, Timing and Coordination. If you haven't read my past parts of "Guitar Signature Style" then read them first as they're extremely important to get you where you're getting to with your Signature Style. Here are the past parts of the article:
  • Guitar Signature Style. Part 1
  • Guitar Signature Style. Part 2
  • Guitar Signature Style. Part 3

    Introduction

    In the last part of "Guitar Signature Style", part of the readers questioned: "Using 5th chords is boring as hell" "I don't use all those chords, being in a metal band its mainly power chords,(fifths) and tasteful solos here and there, someone explain to me how to solo over fifth chords it probably has the same principle, and I know keys, and several scales, but someone should really make an article on soloing over fifths" First of all, in the last Article, I didn't talk only about soloing on 7ths, 9ths and all of those chords, but I talked about the general Improvisation of Guitar, but mainly if you're not playing 7th and 9th Chords, playing on 5ths is much more easier to Improvise, it's like when you're saying, if you play Blues and Jazz, Rock would be a peace of cake. Anyway, I need to get back to this article, so if you have any further questions E-Mail me and I will gladly answer you the questions.

    Introduction To Timing

    When you pick or strum the guitar, the actual point in time when you strike the strings determines the timing. Beginners should focus on being relaxed and keeping the rhythm even. It is very easy to start speeding up, so it is important to practice with a metronome to keep you from rushing the music. As for Advanced players, the timing should be more fixed into Fast Speed, and complicated Rhythms and focus on the actual point of the timing as well, keeping Relax at all times is another Key to Success.

    Timing In Rhythm Guitar

    In a bluegrass band, the rhythm guitar player provides a background, or "curtain of sound", as well as providing the backup for the singer or lead player. A good rhythm player is unnoticed -- until he stops playing. The guitar compliments the bass player, who is laying down the beat. The background chords by the rhythm player bring the whole band together. To play good bluegrass rhythm guitar, you play only two strokes per beat. On the beat, you play a single bass note, and then on the off-beat, you strum the chord with a down stroke. Here are some important notes about good rhythm playing: 01. Don't play "runs" or scales. This confuses the other players, and often conflicts with harmony vocals. 02. Don't play a shuffling rhythm, just stick to the single strum. There are other styles of backup playing which will be discussed in the following lessons, but on almost every bluegrass song, the style described here sounds best. 03. On really fast-paced songs, you can skip playing the bass note, and just play ringing chords on the off beat. This still sounds good even when there is no bass player.

    Timing Exercises

    Timing is one of the most important factors of playing music. Without precise timing your music lacks energy and clarity. One essential thing you need for practicing your timing is a metronome. Metronomes come in all kinds and shapes. There are also digital ones like Seiko metronomes. For this timing exercise we need:
  • 1 Metronome
  • 1 Guitar
  • 1 Pattern Here's the pattern Ascending:
    E|-----------------------------------------1-2-3-4------- B|---------------------------------1-2-3-4--------------- G|-------------------------1-2-3-4----------------------- D|-----------------1-2-3-4------------------------------- A|---------1-2-3-4--------------------------------------- E|-1-2-3-4-----------------------------------------------
    And Descending:
    E|-4-3-2-1----------------------------------------------- B|---------4-3-2-1--------------------------------------- G|-----------------4-3-2-1------------------------------- D|-------------------------4-3-2-1----------------------- A|---------------------------------4-3-2-1--------------- E|-----------------------------------------4-3-2-1-------
    1. Warming up exercise: set the metronome at 150 and play the Pattern both Ascending and Descending. When you can play it without mistakes and tension in your fingers and arms, drive up the speed by 5. Continue to do this until you're at a speed that's not comfortable for you to play anymore. Do this everyday and you'll see a huge improvement in your guitar technique. 2. Set the metronome speed to 80. Now the clicks of the metronome are the first and the third beat of a bar, so we're actually playing at a speed of 160. Have a look at this pattern:
    E|------------------------------------------------- B|---------------8-7-12-10-8-7-8------------------- G|-----------7-9-----------------7----------------- D|-10-7-9-10-----------------------9--------------- A|-----------------------------------10------------ E|------------------------------------------------- E|------------------15----------------------------- B|-------8-10-12-15---15--------------------------- G|-----7-----------------16------------------------ D|----9---------------------17-12-9---------------- A|-10-------------------------------10-7-5--------- E|-----------------------------------------7-3-1-3-
    Now all Notes in this pattern are Quavers (2 Notes in 1 Beat). After getting better and better on the timing and concentration, try speeding up the Metronome by 3. Back with the metronome, another exercise shown below will help improve your timing for good. This time timing on metronome will be up to you, try to speed up the timing gradually. These patterns below should be played all together: This should be played as Crotchets (1 Note per Beat):
    E|---------------------------------------------- B|---------------------------------------------- G|---------------------------------------------- D|---------------------------------------------- A|-----------------------3---------------------- E|----3-----5------7----------------------------
    This should be played as Quavers (2 Notes per Beat):
    E|---------------------------------------------- B|---------------------------------------------- G|-------------------------4--5--7-------------- D|--------------4--5--7------------------------- A|------5--7------------------------------------ E|----------------------------------------------
    This Should be played as SemiQuavers (4 Notes per Beat):
    E|-------5-7-8-10-8-7--------------------------- B|-5-7-8--------------10-8-7-------------------- G|---------------------------9-7-5-------------- D|---------------------------------9------------ A|---------------------------------------------- E|----------------------------------------------
    This should be played as Quavers (2 Notes per Beat):
    E|---------------------------------------------- B|---------------------------------------------- G|---------------------------------------------- D|---7--5--------------------------------------- A|----------9--7--5----------------------------- E|-------------------8--7--5--------------------
    This should be played as Crotchets (1 Note per Beat):
    E|---------------------------------------------- B|---------------------------------------------- G|---------------------------------------------- D|---------------------------------------------- A|---------------------5------------------------ E|--3--------7------------------7---------------
    This is a Semibreve (1 note per 4 beats):
    E|----------------- B|----------------- G|----------------- D|----------------- A|----------------- E|------3----------
    Play these exercises together, and speed up the metronome, fortunately in the end you will get greater results if you make this a daily routine.

    Coordination

    The biggest obstacle players face when learning guitar is coordination between their hands and brain. Typically, your brain knows what to do, but your hands just aren't cooperating. This is where practice comes in. There are no shortcuts; you have to put in the time.

    Exercise #1

    The diagram below represents the guitar fretboard. The left side represents the nut of the guitar and the vertical (up and down) lines represent the frets. The horizontal lines (side to side) represent the strings of the guitar with the one on the bottom being the low E (the fat wound string) and the top being the high E string. You would get the same view if you laid your guitar flat on the floor (with the headstock to your left and the body to your right) and looked down on the neck.
    E|-----------------------------------------1-2-3-4------- B|---------------------------------1-2-3-4--------------- G|-------------------------1-2-3-4----------------------- D|-----------------1-2-3-4------------------------------- A|---------1-2-3-4--------------------------------------- E|-1-2-3-4-----------------------------------------------
    This example is not very musical. It is simply an exercise designed to help you develop coordination between your left and right hands. Take your pick between your thumb and 1st finger. Start at the first fret of the 6th string. Use your first finger to fret the note on the first fret then pick the 6th string. Next use your 2nd finger to fret the note at the 2nd fret then pick it. Use your third finger to fret the note at the third fret then pick it. Use your 4th finger to fret the note at the 4th fret. Now repeat at the 5th string, then the 4th string, 3rd string, 2nd string and 1st string. Then move back down in the opposite direction (1st string, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th.) This will go very slow at first, but keep at it. Your speed will eventually increase. Spend about five to ten minutes a day working on this (I realize it is pretty boring) at first. As your speed increases, you won't need to practice as long, and increasing the time of this exercise is a must. Great satisfying results will be resulted in the end.

    Conclusion

    That's it Folks, hope you liked my 4th Part of "Guitar Signature Style", in the next Articles I will get all the parts together and show you the real hidden meaning, be sure to practice all of the exercises I mentioned in Guitar Signature Style. Part 1, 2, 3 & 4, so you will be able to the Article which will be Held from all the Articles I've written, to give you the True Hidden meaning out of all. Sorry for any kind of Bad Grammars that I might have done, once again, and like always, Questions, Suggestions, etc... will be appreciated either by E-mail or what comforts you best. In this part I'm going to conclude like the Past Parts, today I will conclude with some easy favourite Quotes: "Usually, in the studio, on this sort of thing... you just go out and have a play over it, and see what comes, and it's usually - mostly - the first take that's the best one, and you find yourself repeating yourself thereafter." - David Gilmour "I spent 20 years of my life building up Queen, and now I'm spending years of my life trying to get away from it." - Brian May "Just because you know umpteen billion scales, it doesn't mean you have to use them all in a solo." - Kirk Hammett Hope you liked some decent words in this article, Cheers, Lee.
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