#1
Hey guys,need some help. I've been playing for about 11 years, and have progressed well over this period of time. I know the scales, I can write solos and I can play comfortably till around 200 BPM, and I'm not too worried about speed either because I know how to gradually improve it. My problem lies with playing with emotion, and I don't mean in terms of 'Playing from the Heart' and 'feeling' each note that's played. I do that, and I enjoy what I play to the fullest, but there's a difference between running up and down scales with good speed and playing something that technical, yet very beautiful indeed.

There is definitely a science behind it, and I'm sure it's something you can learn. In short, it's a kind of a Trivium syndrome; the solos are fast and catchy (well,a good number of them), but each note in it doesn't mean anything. Alex Skolnick played just as fast (maybe even faster), but if you would decode his solos you'd find a picture to be painted. David Gilmour didn't play fast at all but his solos were phenomenal (partly due to his tone too,I'd say).

I don't want to end up like a lot of the new breed of guitarists who're decently fast and good at sweeps but can't really make a note sing. That seems to be the trend with a lot of guitarists today.

I know I'm not going to get very concrete answers with this one but my problem isn't that I've hit a plateau, it's that my growth as a guitarist seems to be pretty one dimensional. I try to learn some Steve Vai and Satch every now and then to get inspired, but it just doesn't do much more than being practice licks to improve speed.

So what can I do to overcome this problem? I've tried various things, learnt pretty much all the bends possible, learnt scales and modes, mimicked guitarists from Gilmour, to Santana to Buckethead (whom I believe is a very emotional guitarist, he can really make it cry,although he gets pretty one tracked after a while), but it's not worked, I'm still playing the same metal songs;yes, I can play them faster, but not better.

Any comments and input? Thanks.
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#2
There is nothing we can tell you about this. Practice practice practice. Play over backing tracks until you come up with licks you like. Other than that, you're pretty much on your own.
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#3
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
There is nothing we can tell you about this. Practice practice practice. Play over backing tracks until you come up with licks you like. Other than that, you're pretty much on your own.


agreed
#4
i believe a lot of it lies on where the melodies fall in the solo, and where you hold a note in comparison to the sclae that ur playing, if that mkes any sence. also which notes you slide up to instead of just hitting, what notes you bend. thats what i think.
#5
I'll give you an example of a technical piece of music that had a lot of emotion.

Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven

Every movement of that sonata has a lot of emotion and meaning to it. You know why? There is a reason why he wrote it. He didn't just do it for shits and giggles. Music was his everything. He put his heart and soul into it. That is why his music is still popular today.

Stop writing music and playing music for the sake of it and give yourself a reason to play it. Convey a thought in the music you write. I know a lot of this falls into your "play from the heart" stuff but it's really the best advice I can give you. No one can simply teach you to play with emotion or put emotion into the music you write.
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#7
Playing the guitar is a physical action. The angrier you are on the guitar, the angrier your music will be.
#8
Quote by eastern_riffs


There is definitely a science behind it, and I'm sure it's something you can learn.


I would say there is an art behind it, rather than science. It's an expression thing.

As far as a method for developing this artistic ability, the best advice I could give is to learn some solo's that inspire you, and that you think express emotion.

learn them, memorize them, play them authentically, feel them, enjoy them............. absorb

Do this often.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 5, 2009,
#9
I think the thing is you need to develop better phrasing. In blues phrasing is everything, in metal phrasing often gets forgotten by the new breed that you mention, it's what separates the average from the great. It's why satch, vai, gilbert, and all those are so awesome. they can shred, but they have great phrasing when they're doing it.
#11
Have you considered taking a step back and getting into some blues maybe, if you haven't already. I know I had a blues phase after playing the guitar for a couple of years, and it proved invaluable. I still play along, nice and loud, with generic blues backing tracks once in a while and just improvise for about 5 or 6 minutes and see what happens. Sometimes when I find a new bluesy backing track, I'll try soloing over it the first time I listen to it just for fun. Sometimes I come out with something i've never done before.
#12
I'm of the opinion that note selection makes a huge difference in the sound or emotion of one's playing. I would suggest playing around with various modal ideas to get a feel for them if you haven't already.
#13
It may be an idea to work on some easier stuff. I've found that if something is very difficult, even if I can play it well, it takes a lot of mental energy away from how the notes are played (subtleties of attack, vibrato, etc) because I'm really having to concentrate on the technical side. For example, if I have just bent up to a high B on the 1st string, and next note is a bend up to a B an octave lower on the 3rd string, then I'm much less likely to put some tasty vibrato on top of the first note because I am too busy thinking "easy does it - this next bit is tricky".
So that might be an idea. Other than that - the usual things - spend a portion of your practice dedicated to exploring new ideas and experimenting. And work on your vibrato. Good control over your vibrato will always make stuff sound better. In particular, getting control over the pace of the vibrato is a big one - for example matching the pace of the vibrato on long notes before and after a fast run can really glue the whole thing together - not that you would always want to match the pace.
#14
TS, your post is an oxymoron - you're looking for an answer that doesn't exist...nobody can tell you how to do this, it's just something you're going to have to work out for yourself.

All I'll say is that it sounds like you're thinking about this too much - techniques are a tool, nothing more. Technique alone amounts to nothing if you've got nothing to say...so you need to think more about the music you want to create rather than thinking about your guitar. Put the guitar away even and listen to a backing track, then think of a solo or melody to go over it.

The problem isn't in your fingers, it's in your mind...the way you're approaching the guitar. At the moment you're too concerned with the pure mechanics of playing and this isn't a technical problem, it's not even a guitar problem...it's simply about creativity. More techniques or more knowledge won't make you any more creative, but what they will do is give you more scope when it comes to expressing yourself on your instrument.

However, you need to figure out what it is you've got to say before you worry about how to say it on the guitar.
Actually called Mark!

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#15
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TS, your post is an oxymoron - you're looking for an answer that doesn't exist...nobody can tell you how to do this, it's just something you're going to have to work out for yourself.


This. I would have probably called it a paradoxical. People who play with true emotion do just that. Their songs are about something they have(often deep)feelings about. Although taking a "scientific" approach to imitate true emotion is possible, it will never be the same thing. You actually have to feel it. If you can't, say hi to Bender for me, because you may be a robot that wants to kill all humans.
#16
Yeah, I meant that the bit where he said "There's definitely a science behind it." was an oxymoron...that one statement pretty much sums up everything he's doing wrong.

Of course there's science behind music, it's structured and has rules - but when it comes to deciding how to use those rules in order to best convey how you're feeling or how you want other's to feel then that's just something you need to "do"
Actually called Mark!

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...it's a seagull

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i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


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#17
I agree. I also gave a flippant response, which was a bit of an insult to the TS, and I feel guilty, so I'll try again, and try to be more helpful. Wow, I just felt an emotion.

TS, actors do this all the time. They get into their own psyche, and retrieve a true emotion that matches the scene they are playing. A while back we made some jokes on another thread, about being a "Method" guitarist, but there is some validity to it.

If you can find a way to access your own emotional experiences, that match up with the song your playing, you'll get there. I can't tell you how to do that, it's up to you. That may not help, but I tried.

Or you are a robot.
#18
It's kind of like picking up women...

Some guys are naturally good at it, most guys aren't.

If you're not good at it, you can study and mimic the guys who are...

But the problem with that approach is that your pickup lines/strategy will never be original and after a while the women will catch on.

So the best option will always be to find what works for YOU.
Gear

Gibson '57 Les Paul Reissue
Marshall TSL 601
EHX: Big Muff, Metal Muff, Small Stone, POG, 2880
Ibanez TS808
Voodoo Labs Microvibe
Analogman Chorus
Morley Bad Horsie II
Keeley Compressor (C4)
Nova Delay
MXR 10-band EQ
#19
^ The picking up women analogy is really good for another reason. The more desparately you want it/her, the more you trip over your tongue in any attempts you make. The whole trying too hard thing. Or maybe you psych yourself out so bad that you don't even try.
For anything creative, the absolute worst thing you can do is kind of say to yourself "this is fuc*ing serious! This needs to be really expressive". I'm exaggerating a bit for effect, but I think everyone has fallen into this trap before at one time or another.
The only way is to try and relax and let it just happen. That said, there is a lot of things you can do to "put yourself in the right place at the right time". Like having 20 mins per day of complete pressure free noodling as part of your practice. No metronome or anything. Just pick up the guitar and noodle. If nothing comes of it, then so what? It is still fun, and a great release from all the intense, focused technique work. If you do happen upon something cool, have some sheets of blank tab laying around in your practice area, and write it down so that you get to keep it.