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Old 01-08-2013, 03:58 PM   #1
SimonGrounsell
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Spontaneous playing

I've been wondering a few things recently, I started playing guitar a little while ago, 10-12 weeks I'm not really sure. Basically my father was ill so while staying home from school and caring for him with mum ( I'm only 15 ) I didn't have much to do so I decided to pick up a half decent guitar and amp so I could learn/play for Dad. That's why I got into all this,and dads passed away recently so I have a lot of time to kill and to be honest playing guitars helping a lot at the moment



While playing for dad I quickly found that I had problems playing existing songs and chord progressions but I could learn chords, and put together some of my own with different rhythms. One that I put together has stuck into a piece I play , but the majority of my chord progressions I kinda just make up on the spot and forget. Some stick for a few days but that's all really. Is this normal and something to not worry about? Or should I be writing them down all the time?

Also because I'm playing on an electric guitar mainly for chords or picking I often come up with pieces I like but don't write them down because there only 20, 30 seconds long. Do most people just come up with something then let it float around in your head until it develops more?

I hope Im making sense and thank you in advance , Simon
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:28 PM   #2
MaggaraMarine
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Yes, it's normal that when you have just started playing, you can't instantly play all the songs. It takes time.

And yes, write down everything you come up with if it sounds good. I have many short ideas that just need to be finished. If you come up with many short parts, you might try if they fit together.

I suggest you to learn some theory, it helps your writing (coming up with chord progressions and remembering them is a lot easier when you understand them). And when you understand your instrument better, it's also easier to play the guitar.

But I think it's great that you are making your own music. Not everybody who has been playing for such a short time can come up with anything of their own. Most people will just read tabs and play the most famous rock riffs and maybe learn the pentatonic scale to be able to improvise a half-decent solo over their favorite songs.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine : 01-08-2013 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:05 PM   #3
Keth
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If you can, there's no reason why you shouldn't/record notate little ideas/riffs. Vocaroo is a great way to record something quick for future reference, in my experience.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:41 PM   #4
SimonGrounsell
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Okay thank you , I've managed to turn the piece I kept playing over into a full four minute song now. Got the intro, verse , chorus, a little bridgey bit and a outro. I'm really happy with that and I'm gonna write that down soon once it's practiced and revised over and over. Recorded it and its for Dad anyway so I won't forget it.

I've got a tab book that I've wrote one or two existing songs into in a way I can read properly , if I get another tab book just to jot anything down as ideas would that be okay? Then like I did earlier on e I'm happy with everything for a new song ill just grab some paper jot it all down rough revise it whatever then it can go in the complete song book. So , just book for idea and a book for complete songs.

Sorry if I ask stupid questions I don't mean to , I will definitely look into music theory thanks again
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:48 PM   #5
AlanHB
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Sorry to hear about you dad dude, keep up the good work.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:16 AM   #6
CarsonStevens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHB
Sorry to hear about you dad dude, keep up the good work.


Yeah, seconded.

Also seconded is the idea of writing everything down. You've already admitted they don't "stick", so it's the only way you'll be able to hang on to the ones you like. I'm personally not very diligent about that, but I have a pretty good memory for such things so it's not terribly necessary.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:23 AM   #7
MaggaraMarine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonGrounsell
Okay thank you , I've managed to turn the piece I kept playing over into a full four minute song now. Got the intro, verse , chorus, a little bridgey bit and a outro. I'm really happy with that and I'm gonna write that down soon once it's practiced and revised over and over. Recorded it and its for Dad anyway so I won't forget it.

I've got a tab book that I've wrote one or two existing songs into in a way I can read properly , if I get another tab book just to jot anything down as ideas would that be okay? Then like I did earlier on e I'm happy with everything for a new song ill just grab some paper jot it all down rough revise it whatever then it can go in the complete song book. So , just book for idea and a book for complete songs.

Sorry if I ask stupid questions I don't mean to , I will definitely look into music theory thanks again

Now you have chorus, verse, intro, bridge and outro. Great. But a chorus really isn't a chorus if you don't repeat it. I would try to make an arrangement of those parts (like the basic intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-brige-chorus-outro - of course you don't need to use that formula but that's the most basic). Experiment. But that way you can make a minute song last three minutes. It's always good to repeat some parts because that makes the song more catchy.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:27 PM   #8
CarsonStevens
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In addition to writing everything in a tab book, you also might want to look into some notation software. Tux Guitar and Power Tab are both free. I personally find it easier to use than jotting stuff down longhand, but I do that also on occasion.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
Now you have chorus, verse, intro, bridge and outro. Great. But a chorus really isn't a chorus if you don't repeat it. I would try to make an arrangement of those parts (like the basic intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-brige-chorus-outro - of course you don't need to use that formula but that's the most basic). Experiment. But that way you can make a minute song last three minutes. It's always good to repeat some parts because that makes the song more catchy.



I've ordered it like this ,

Intro ( picked )
Verse
Chorus
Verse
Bridge ( picked )
Chorus : played gentle
Chorus : played harshly
Outro ( picked )

Makes it all pretty much bang on four minutes
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:30 PM   #10
SimonGrounsell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarsonStevens
Yeah, seconded.

Also seconded is the idea of writing everything down. You've already admitted they don't "stick", so it's the only way you'll be able to hang on to the ones you like. I'm personally not very diligent about that, but I have a pretty good memory for such things so it's not terribly necessary.



Thank you ill definitely be writing everything down
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:17 PM   #11
Bazz22
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I would definitely say that you should write down any riffs that sound cool, especially as a beginner. Nothing is more satisfying than looking back on the riffs of your early years of playing and seeing how you've progressed. And, you never know, you might write a really cool riff.

Condolences to your family, as well.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:13 PM   #12
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When I was starting like you, I never wrote anything down. In my 3rd year I took a year off of everything and just played guitar - I played around 12 hours a day. Everyday I wrote something new, and sometimes wrote 3 pieces that day. Next day, brand new shit and the cycle repeated ad infinitum. Every week I experimented with a different tuning too. One hell of an ear training exercise and memory builder came from this experiment.

I attempted to write stuff down but would never be interested in trying it as I was always on to something new. If I did try it I would usually be like wtf? How the hell did I play this cos this sounds like shit. I couldn't notate rhythms because I didn't know how to. So learn this aspect.

So I am from the other school of thought where I say you don't have to write it down. Your brain can compartmentalise and its stuck there anyway. Something I made in that 3rd year (close on 17 years ago) I still remember to this day and I give it a whirl every now aand again as I had never finished it. Its a classical piece and its not easy (also not difficult) but the brain kept it. I've never recorded it either - one day I will, just not today.

As you are still in the entry level of your musical journey I'll say this: learn as much as you can. Experiment with everything. Never be satisfied with an authors words or explanations, always push yourself to know why it works but do it on your own terms. Once you have figured out it's structure and demystified it, do yourself a favour and listen to its magic again as a whole (something I neglected to do for many years).

In a nutshell: write it down or memorise it but always expand the awareness
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