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#1
Hi,

I just recorded myself doing an improvisation based around The House of the Rising Sun.

I'm far from the best guitarist in the world, but feel like I am able to express myself emotionally by playing guitar.
I was just wondering if some of you could listen to the recording (all of it if possible, I know it's long...), and give me some comments on it. I know it's noisy at times, and might just be crap, but still comments/constructive criticism would be appreciated (no "you suck" ones though).

Thanks

Recording can be found here

EDIT:
Here is an example of me playing more conservatively/normally: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyMrssKf8NU
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Last edited by dwally89 at May 30, 2011,
#2
Change "by far" to "far from", unless you mean to say you're the greatest.
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#3
After listening to this, it sounded like you could use help on everything. Phrasing, note choices, understanding the way bends work. I really didn't like it, except the part where you played the main melody. It was just painful to listen to. I don't know if you were expecting such a blunt statement, but I feel that the only way to get better at something is when people give you acess to the truth about how they feel. I hope this helps you in your quest to become a better player and say more musically.

For those who want to say that my comments are harsh, I accept that, but I'm also being honest about my opinion, where yours may be different.

I listened to the entire 13 minutes of the jam, in the future, when asking a favor, please make the jam much shorter, as while you may have not had a problem with it, consider your listeners time, and what you are asking of them.

Best,

Sean
#5
Listened to most of the track. On a few parts there were some technique problems. Areas where the note wasn't clearly stuck. Or where the notes were too sharp or flat. Around 1:29 in the song you did have a really good part with expression. From what I listened to the song was balanced between good and bad. What I would do is break the track down and sort out the good and bad. Listen to what you did in the best parts and see what you can grow on. Also I would consider to listen to the not so good parts and see what you can do to make them better. Maybe if you go back and hit the correct pitch on a few notes that part would be much better also.
#6
Quote by TheWizard42
Change "by far" to "far from", unless you mean to say you're the greatest.

Have changed now
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#7
Quote by Sean0913
After listening to this, it sounded like you could use help on everything. Phrasing, note choices, understanding the way bends work. I really didn't like it, except the part where you played the main melody. It was just painful to listen to. I don't know if you were expecting such a blunt statement, but I feel that the only way to get better at something is when people give you acess to the truth about how they feel. I hope this helps you in your quest to become a better player and say more musically.

For those who want to say that my comments are harsh, I accept that, but I'm also being honest about my opinion, where yours may be different.

I listened to the entire 13 minutes of the jam, in the future, when asking a favor, please make the jam much shorter, as while you may have not had a problem with it, consider your listeners time, and what you are asking of them.

Best,

Sean


I like to think that I know about phrasing, note choices (e.g. I know what notes to play over each chord, e.g. to play a C E or G over a C chord), and I think I know how bends work (bend from starting note to target note, e.g. bending from D to E over a C chord).
I can play more restrained when I want to, and do so most of the time, but sometimes I just like to really play what I feel, and this is what comes out.

In regards to the length of the jam, I didn't plan on it being 13 minutes long, I just planned on playing for however long felt right. I didn't plan on uploading the jam to the Internet, but was interested to know what people might think of it.

Sorry for wasting your time.
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#8
Quote by jesus3000
ever heard of "timing"? and please learn how to bend properly.


Did you listen to the whole track?
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#9
Quote by WesCThomp
Listened to most of the track. On a few parts there were some technique problems. Areas where the note wasn't clearly stuck. Or where the notes were too sharp or flat. Around 1:29 in the song you did have a really good part with expression. From what I listened to the song was balanced between good and bad. What I would do is break the track down and sort out the good and bad. Listen to what you did in the best parts and see what you can grow on. Also I would consider to listen to the not so good parts and see what you can do to make them better. Maybe if you go back and hit the correct pitch on a few notes that part would be much better also.


Thanks for the comment.
I know that for sure there are parts in the track that are bad (as most people have pointed out), but thanks for also pointing out that there are some good parts too.
Thanks for the constructive criticism too.
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#10
at first, i didnt think it was as bad as some people above said, but it gets bored kinda quick.
Practice your technique, learn more about note choice and phrasing, work on your timing... and if you want to share a recording, dont do a 13 minute improvisation, keep it short, like 2 - 3 min, people will get bored quickly and wont listen the whole thing, unless you're totally freaking awesome:P
#11
That was long winded! I mean, almost 14 minutes, that's about as long as Do You Feel Like We Do. Not crazy about the tone or the vibrato, I can picture what you tried to get, but it's just not cutting it. The phrasing could use some working on, it sounded really wandering, in the sense that I never really got a feeling that you knew where you were going to. And the bends just fell plain flat most of the time. Overall a lot to work on, but keep at it and remain focused.

EDIT: Dynamics. The song fluctuates, but your playing got stuck in high-overdrive-squealing mode. Tone it down at times. Allow yourself to go easy on the dynamics, not just on the amp, but on your picking. Spice it up a bit, variation makes it easier to endure a 14 minute track, repetition does not.
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Last edited by Garci at May 30, 2011,
#12
Quote by dwally89
Hi,

I just recorded myself doing an improvisation based around The House of the Rising Sun.

I'm far from the best guitarist in the world, but feel like I am able to express myself emotionally by playing guitar.
I was just wondering if some of you could listen to the recording (all of it if possible, I know it's long...), and give me some comments on it. I know it's noisy at times, and might just be crap, but still comments/constructive criticism would be appreciated (no "you suck" ones though).

Thanks

Recording can be found here


I hear notes....I can tell that you've studied some theory..... but it sounds like you lack experience actually playing. and I don't mean practicing scales & theory, but rather actual melodies and pieces of music.

Try learning some solos & songs 1st. Then come back to improvising when you have more to work with.
shred is gaudy music
#13
Quote by Ih5g
at first, i didnt think it was as bad as some people above said, but it gets bored kinda quick.
Practice your technique, learn more about note choice and phrasing, work on your timing... and if you want to share a recording, dont do a 13 minute improvisation, keep it short, like 2 - 3 min, people will get bored quickly and wont listen the whole thing, unless you're totally freaking awesome:P


As I said, I didn't record it with the intention of uploading, only decided to upload afterwards to have some feedback on it.
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#14
Quote by Garci
That was long winded! I mean, almost 14 minutes, that's about as long as Do You Feel Like We Do. Not crazy about the tone or the vibrato, I can picture what you tried to get, but it's just not cutting it. The phrasing could use some working on, it sounded really wandering, in the sense that I never really got a feeling that you knew where you were going to. And the bends just fell plain flat most of the time. Overall a lot to work on, but keep at it and remain focused.

EDIT: Dynamics. The song fluctuates, but your playing got stuck in high-overdrive-squealing mode. Tone it down at times. Allow yourself to go easy on the dynamics, not just on the amp, but on your picking. Spice it up a bit, variation makes it easier to endure a 14 minute track, repetition does not.


I was using Amplitube for the guitars (and "bass") and I always seem to pick the same tone for improvising. I guess because I like it, but I can understand what you mean about dynamics, it's just that it's hard to use dynamics when using such an overdriven tone. Maybe I'll pick a different tone in future.
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#15
Quote by GuitarMunky
I hear notes....I can tell that you've studied some theory..... but it sounds like you lack experience actually playing. and I don't mean practicing scales & theory, but rather actual melodies and pieces of music.

Try learning some solos & songs 1st. Then come back to improvising when you have more to work with.


I guess now wouldn't be a good time to say how long I've been playing for then...
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#16
Oh, and here is an example of me playing more conservatively/normally: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyMrssKf8NU
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#17
see, this is why these "skill vs emotion" debates are stupid. someone who has all the feeling in the world and next to no skill is just as limited as someone who has a lot of skill and doesnt feel it (which i doubt exists). i absolutly hate it when people say "im not as technically skilled, but i have feeling". first of all, even if that were true, so what? you are just admiting you dont play guitar well. second, notes dont "contain" emotion. neither do songs. music is just organized sound. theres no way to guage how much feeling someone plays with. if i hear music, i can either get a response emotionally, or not. but thats ME. someone else could have the opposite feeling. why? because it has nothing to do with the emotinal input of the artist.

basically, you need technique to properly convey the emotions you want to convey. whats your routine like? how often do you practice? what do you practice and for how long? how much time do you spend on improvising? good improvisers practice improvising a lot. its a skill like anything else. you should be playing every day with heavy focus on improv or at least equal focus.

there were some decent points, but mostly around when you focused on the main melody. honestly, i never found that to be a good jamming song anyway. some of the bends werent on pitch, didnt like the tone very much but thats just my prefrence.
#18
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
see, this is why these "skill vs emotion" debates are stupid. someone who has all the feeling in the world and next to no skill is just as limited as someone who has a lot of skill and doesnt feel it (which i doubt exists). i absolutly hate it when people say "im not as technically skilled, but i have feeling". first of all, even if that were true, so what? you are just admiting you dont play guitar well. second, notes dont "contain" emotion. neither do songs. music is just organized sound. theres no way to guage how much feeling someone plays with. if i hear music, i can either get a response emotionally, or not. but thats ME. someone else could have the opposite feeling. why? because it has nothing to do with the emotinal input of the artist.

basically, you need technique to properly convey the emotions you want to convey. whats your routine like? how often do you practice? what do you practice and for how long? how much time do you spend on improvising? good improvisers practice improvising a lot. its a skill like anything else. you should be playing every day with heavy focus on improv or at least equal focus.

+1

can we just link future threads about "feeling vs technique" to this statement
#20
Quote by z4twenny
+1

can we just link future threads about "feeling vs technique" to this statement


please don't


Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
see, this is why these "skill vs emotion" debates are stupid.................


I'd say this is equally to blame.....


Quote by Blind In 1 Ear

music is just organized sound. theres no way to guage how much feeling someone plays with. if i hear music, i can either get a response emotionally, or not. but thats ME. someone else could have the opposite feeling. why? because it has nothing to do with the emotinal input of the artist.


Sad to see that archeoian point of view linger. it's the opposite mistake to what you're complaining about, and equally wrong.


Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
notes dont "contain" emotion


Neither do words, yet humans organize and express them in ways that convey emotion.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at May 30, 2011,
#21
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
see, this is why these "skill vs emotion" debates are stupid. someone who has all the feeling in the world and next to no skill is just as limited as someone who has a lot of skill and doesnt feel it (which i doubt exists). i absolutly hate it when people say "im not as technically skilled, but i have feeling". first of all, even if that were true, so what? you are just admiting you dont play guitar well. second, notes dont "contain" emotion. neither do songs. music is just organized sound. theres no way to guage how much feeling someone plays with. if i hear music, i can either get a response emotionally, or not. but thats ME. someone else could have the opposite feeling. why? because it has nothing to do with the emotinal input of the artist.

basically, you need technique to properly convey the emotions you want to convey. whats your routine like? how often do you practice? what do you practice and for how long? how much time do you spend on improvising? good improvisers practice improvising a lot. its a skill like anything else. you should be playing every day with heavy focus on improv or at least equal focus.

there were some decent points, but mostly around when you focused on the main melody. honestly, i never found that to be a good jamming song anyway. some of the bends werent on pitch, didnt like the tone very much but thats just my prefrence.


1. Most people who play an instrument tend to fall between the two categories that you said, i.e. they have some skill, and they also feel what they play partially too.
2. Why should someone let technical limitations stop them from expressing themselves? Not everyone needs to be as skilled as Vai, in fact there are many great guitarists who are not as good as him, but still manage to produce good music that contains emotion.
3. From a scientific view, notes may not contain emotion, but from listening they do. Sure I understand how two people can listen to the same piece of music and connect to it in different ways, but just because they connect in different ways, doesn't mean there isn't emotion in the music.
4. I'll be straight here. I play guitar every day, and have been doing so for over 6 years now. I don't often do disciplined practice, I just tend to play what I'm feeling at the time, but sometimes I do disciplined practice. Most of the time when I play guitar I'm improvising, and have been doing so for many years now. Of course I still learn songs too, but I tend to spend most of my time improvising.
5. Thanks for recognising that there were good points in the track, and personally it's one of my favourite songs of all time. Listening to the emotion that Bob Dylan or The Animals (or others) put into it is astounding.

Thanks for the comments anyway.
Did you check out this link? This is a video of me playing in a much more organised/conservative way. Let me know what you think of it.
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#22
Quote by jesus3000
ofc

Yes I have heard of timing, and I do know how to bend properly, but sometimes when playing I get a bit carried away and end up doing bends out of tune. When I'm more focused with my playing (like in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyMrssKf8NU) my playing tends to be more in time/tune.
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#23
Quote by GuitarMunky
please don't


I'd say this is equally to blame.....


Sad to see that archeoian point of view linger. it's the opposite mistake to what you're complaining about, and equally wrong.


Neither do words, yet humans organize and express them in ways that convey emotion.


Nice to know that someone thinks like me :-)
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#24
Quote by dwally89
Did you check out this link? This is a video of me playing in a much more organised/conservative way. Let me know what you think of it.


Your solo in this one was better. I took issue with the part towards the end of the solo where you jumped from playing around the 3rd/4th fret to the 12th to play that sixteenth note repeating pattern. It was way too sudden for my taste: it sounded like something Eddie Van Halen would do on a bad day.

I noticed someone in the comments mentioned you sounded like the Ramones, haha. It really does, though--minus having a guitar solo of course.
#25
Quote by soviet_ska
Your solo in this one was better. I took issue with the part towards the end of the solo where you jumped from playing around the 3rd/4th fret to the 12th to play that sixteenth note repeating pattern. It was way too sudden for my taste: it sounded like something Eddie Van Halen would do on a bad day.

I noticed someone in the comments mentioned you sounded like the Ramones, haha. It really does, though--minus having a guitar solo of course.


Thanks, fair enough about the bit towards the end, I thought it fitted the song personally.

As for the Ramones comment, it's funny that you and that person say that because I hardly know the Ramones music at all, maybe one or two songs, the only punk I really know is Green Day and a bit of the Sex Pistols.
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#26
After listening to this, and a few other tracks on your youtube page, I've noticed that a lot of the time, the things you play are just slightly 'off' in some parts. You'll occaisionally slip out of time, or you wont bend to the correct pitch. I'm not sure if it's been mentioned yet, but you also seem to have a complete lack of any sense of dynamics, which is often a big part of 'emotional' playing.

Don't get me wrong, you certainly don't suck, but you're playing is very unpolished.

EDIT:

Quote by dwally89
Yes I have heard of timing, and I do know how to bend properly, but sometimes when playing I get a bit carried away and end up doing bends out of tune.



After reading your responses, like the one above, it seems to me that you seem to think that because you're playing with 'feeling' it excuses your sloppiness. Now, I'm not saying you have to play like a god damn robot, and I'm not saying that playing with emotion is bad, of course it's not, but if you just make excuses for these things then how are you ever going to improve as a player? Having a good, consitant sense of pitch and timing is important to any musician, because that's what music is..
Last edited by JetPackBlues at May 30, 2011,
#27
I love the house of the rising sun.
I listened to your take,
I think you need to work on phrasing and timing, you have a few nice ideas. This was a long solo which was constructed almost only on the pentatonic scale, and although the pentatonic scale is great if you dont handle it with care it could get boring. Also you should try telling a story in your improvisation and if you want to play such a long solo the story needs to be really interesting.

If you are interested to hear my interpretation on this tune, here is a take a while back
http://www.box.net/shared/7i0v0ehlhu
Last edited by jayx124 at May 30, 2011,
#28
Tone. Given the backing track, you picked a tone with way too much gain. The laid back rhythm really clashed with biting sound of your lead. I suggest doing a more warm sort of tone. I think a more Santana-esque tone (gain wise) would be more appropriate for the backing.

As others have said, working on timing, phrasing and dynamics will really help. Here's a Gary Moore solo that exemplifies that. At times, your work seemed a bit like guitar wankery. It didn't compliment the rhythm section.

You did have some really good ideas in there though. I really liked your leads around the 1:20 mark.
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#29
Quote by GuitarMunky


Sad to see that archeoian point of view linger. it's the opposite mistake to what you're complaining about, and equally wrong.


Emotion in music is entirely subjective. A lot of people say that Jimmy Page's playing is full of feeling, I however, don't get anything from it (most of the time). Jeff Beck on the other hand, gets me every time.

What feelings do you get from this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_t8QFU3_q4&playnext=1&list=PL73B973F80E22DC0C

I can guarantee you it won't be the same as me, or infact anyone who listens to the same piece.
#30
Quote by griffRG7321
Emotion in music is entirely subjective.

A lot of people say that Jimmy Page's playing is full of feeling, I however, don't get anything from it (most of the time). Jeff Beck on the other hand, gets me every time.

What feelings do you get from this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_t8QFU3_q4&playnext=1&list=PL73B973F80E22DC0C

I can guarantee you it won't be the same as me, or infact anyone who listens to the same piece.



The fact that people may perceive an artwork differently doesn't negate the relevance of an artists expression.
shred is gaudy music
#31
Quote by GuitarMunky
The fact that people may perceive an artwork differently doesn't negate the relevance of an artists expression.


How can you tell how much an artist is expressing, even if you can't feel it yourself?
#32
Quote by griffRG7321
How can you tell how much an artist is expressing, even if you can't feel it yourself?


I don't have a gauge for that kind of statistic. Are you suggesting that since an artists expression can't be measured in an exact way, that it doesn't exist at all? (or is irrelevant)
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at May 30, 2011,
#33
Is this thread over? It really should be in cover songs, discussing how good/bad his cover is.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#34
Quote by GuitarMunky
I don't have a gauge for that kind of statistic. Are you suggesting that since an artists expression can't be measured in an exact way, that it doesn't exist at all? (or is irrelevant)


I'm saying it can't be measured, for it is subjective. If someone mindlessly plays a bend with a nice vibrato on it, someone might perceive it as emotional, even though the artist has put no emotional input into it whatsoever. In the same way someone could put feeling into their playing and the listener receive nothing from it.

It's all in the listener.
#35
Quote by griffRG7321
I'm saying it can't be measured, for it is subjective. If someone mindlessly plays a bend with a nice vibrato on it, someone might perceive it as emotional, even though the artist has put no emotional input into it whatsoever. In the same way someone could put feeling into their playing and the listener receive nothing from it.

It's all in the listener.


You're making this into a classic case of "If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to here it, does it make a sound?"
#36
Quote by griffRG7321
I'm saying it can't be measured, for it is subjective. If someone mindlessly plays a bend with a nice vibrato on it, someone might perceive it as emotional, even though the artist has put no emotional input into it whatsoever. In the same way someone could put feeling into their playing and the listener receive nothing from it.

It's all in the listener.


So you think that what we get out of listening to the music has nothing whatsoever to do with the person that wrote it?
shred is gaudy music
#37
No, but just because someone plays emotionally doesn't mean the listener will receive it that way.
#38
This thread is getting way off track.

TS, if you are trying to say that it's ok to play sloppily because you have "emotion", well you can't. Technique helps you express yourself better. A teenage girl may be full of emotion when they rant on their facebook status, but to the onlooker it just looks like "OMG not meeeeeeee nooooooo ". Perhaps if she employed better technique in conveying her emotion we wouldn't laugh.

But if you solo randomly over a song, and it goes to 13 minutes because that's when it "felt right", you're really not listening to yourself then. It's boring, and more importantly, that tone is very, very harsh. I had to turn my volume way down to even listen to it, and finally succumbed at the 5 minute mark when my girlfriend told me to "turn that crap off".

Pay attention to everything that's been said above, and listen to yourself! You're supposed to be making music, not practicing your scales and licks. I have soloed over that song many, many times, and found the "right" length for me is around 1 minute, tops. I can only imagine what would occur if I had a 13 minute solo, that's stretching it even for a professional guitarist.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#39
Quote by griffRG7321
No, but just because someone plays emotionally doesn't mean the listener will receive it that way.


I understand that, but that doesn't mean "it's all the listener", it doesn't negate the relevance of the artists expression as you're trying to imply.
shred is gaudy music
#40
Quote by AlanHB
Is this thread over? It really should be in cover songs, discussing how good/bad his cover is.


Seeing that he practices daily and has played for 6 years...its discouraging. But to each their own. If that's what turns him on, then that's all that matters. I appreciate that you liked your phrasing and tone and notes. Art is subjective. If you like it then thats all that matters in the end. Outside of your own ears, I think it would have limited appeal.

Best,

Sean
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