#1
okay then... been playing for a little over a year... don't know any complete songs, just a bunch of random scales, licks, and rhythms... i practice about an hour or so a day... mostly chord changes, working on barre chords now...

most of what i play doesn't resemble music in the slightest, just a lot of noodling but every now and again, when i'm doing a scale or something... actual music comes out of the amp and it sounds good!!! then i realize that what i'm hearing is actual music and of course then its gone and I can't get it back. this'll happen maybe once or twice a week for like 30 seconds each time.

so, i guess the question is, how do i stay in that "zone" where what i'm playing actually sounds like music or what can i do to sound more musical?

ok, bash away!
#2
learn some songs and model your playing on them would be my suggestion
#5
Quote by smokinblues
smoke a lot o weed

It appals me how many "musicians" are reliant on drugs for inspiration.
TS. As has been said, learn some full songs and try to understand what is happening in them. How are they progressing? What makes the individual sections sound good? How do the pieces fit together?
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#6
go to YouTube and put "Guitar Backing Tracks" in the search bar...

find something you like, and play along with it...

Give it a shot..
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#7
Quote by Aleksi
It appals me how many "musicians" are reliant on drugs for inspiration.
TS. As has been said, learn some full songs and try to understand what is happening in them. How are they progressing? What makes the individual sections sound good? How do the pieces fit together?

I actually started playing once when I was stoned, came up with some weird ass riffs in ridicolous time signatures. I was impressed with the results when I sobered up actually.
I don't think it "inspires" anyone, I think it just makes you think that what you're playing is better than it actually is :P

Anyway, OP, as others said - don't just learn songs from the tabs - analyse them as well. Ask yourself questions about the arrangements, try to relate what you're playing to chords or scales.
#8
Drugs are for image, a poor image at that. Let your actual talent work, not **** your brain.
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#9
If it lasts for around 30 seconds when you practice one hour, practice 10 hours and it will last around 5 Minutes.

Just kidding, what i mean though: it is not gonna magically happen, sure everyone can compose good sounding stuff with a couple of chords progressions or power chords, but unless you practice more and learn some theory it will stay a "magical" random moment.

Some theory and some scale knowledge would help you immensely.
Also work on your technique!! if you cant keep it hard for more than 30 seconds what use is it to know where the Gspot is ?
Last edited by Slashiepie at Nov 5, 2011,
#10
Quote by maxcupo
okay then... been playing for a little over a year..., just a bunch of random licks, and rhythms... i practice about an hour or so a day...

... and she's still not happy? *Sigh*, women.
#11
lots of good info here... thanks guys (and gals)...

anyone got a link where i learn about what chords sound good together?
#12
You want to skip to the part about harmonizing scales in this article: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/the_guide_to/the_ultimate_guide_to_guitar_chapter_ii_3_chords_-_basic_chord_progressions.html

To understand what he's talking though, it's likely you need to start from the basics: http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/ZeGuitarist/contributions/columns/

I'm assuming you want to learn the why, and not the how.

As for your earlier question, I'd say start focusing on actually learning songs. Even simple ones will do, if you're not technically as proficient as you'd like. Practicing "random scales" don't really help if you don't know how to use them, though the part about rhythm and licks probably did help you with your technique at least.

Edit: Nevermind. Didn't read your main question. Treat the last paragraph of this post as you will. I think it'll still at least do some good, though. More ideas for improvisation and phrasing.
Last edited by triface at Nov 5, 2011,
#13
I sat for a good hour last night just improvising along with music, completely in the zone. After a while I just got bored, so in thr beginning you have most genuine enthusiasm.

I never got frustrated though, just bored.
#14
The mentality that you have to be "in the zone" to write music is not a good one and is far too romantic, like most of the stereotypes people have about writing music.
About 90% of the time I'm not in the zone when I compose. You see, playing guitar and composing music are entirely different things. The more you learn about composing music the more you start to disregard the "little genius" in you.

If hypothetically you got a job doing a movie score and had to wait until you got in the zone to produce high fidelity music, then you wouldn't ever get another job.

Try this. Take a bit of material that you have (regardless of how bad it is), and develop it! Find every melodic transformation possible, then try every rhythmic transformation you can think of, try inverting, retrograding, retrograde inversions ect. You will eventually derive some good material by doing this.
Last edited by GoldenGuitar at Nov 5, 2011,
#15
thanks again for the help everybody....

i guess the "how" is what i am interested in... does the melody & rhythm of music come from the picking/strumming hand? like the main riff from "seven nation army" is just a few simple notes but the phrasing and spacing of it is what makes it come alive....

maybe that's what i am getting at... how can i improve my phrasing so that what i'm playing sounds like music?

oh, and one more quick question... what does it mean to "resolve a note"?
#16
Quote by maxcupo
oh, and one more quick question... what does it mean to "resolve a note"?

Not sure if you've studied much theory before, but have a nose at this...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resolution_(music)

It'd help if you knew a bit of basic theory though to understand this.
Last edited by mdc at Nov 5, 2011,
#17
i remember reading a quote from a jazzman somewhere saying "you can play whatever note you want as long as you resolve it"

does that mean... if i'm playing a riff based on the g minor pentatonic.... i can only use g-notes to resolve that phrase?

i think i might be getting ahead of myself here....
#18
Quote by maxcupo
i remember reading a quote from a jazzman somewhere saying "you can play whatever note you want as long as you resolve it"

does that mean... if i'm playing a riff based on the g minor pentatonic.... i can only use g-notes to resolve that phrase?

i think i might be getting ahead of myself here....

Yeah, it's true, but at a stage where you still don't really know how to improvise/write music I really wouldn't bother myself with it. Just focus on simple stuff and ther hard stuff will come with time.
#19
use guitar pro tabs. I couldn't play a single song all the way through until I started using them. Now I don't need them ( I do still like them ), but they were essential in giving me the extra help to learn how to play solos and how to play full songs.
#20
Quote by iup788
use guitar pro tabs. I couldn't play a single song all the way through until I started using them. Now I don't need them ( I do still like them ), but they were essential in giving me the extra help to learn how to play solos and how to play full songs.


agreed,i love guitar pro
#21
Quote by iup788
use guitar pro tabs. I couldn't play a single song all the way through until I started using them. Now I don't need them ( I do still like them ), but they were essential in giving me the extra help to learn how to play solos and how to play full songs.


This.
GP was huge for me picking up rhythms when I first started playing and I think if its used right it advances your learning curve very fast. This site has thousands of good pro tabs to work from too.

My main advice would be pretty much what every one already said. Try learning songs you like and noticing patterns in them. In lots of music there are basic licks and scale patterns that can be used and slightly modified to work in an infinite number of other songs. You already know your chords and basic scales, so now its just time to use them.

Another thing that I don't know if you know, but I'll say anyway. Rhythm is key in making noodling on scales and chords turn into music. If its not in time it has no pulse to hold it together and it comes out mostly as noise. Many people like using metronomes to help with rhythm. I prefer to use jam tracks I find online. I think they make your practice more applicable to playing with other people. You get a better feel for when changes should happen, and you get more familiar with drum beats and bass lines.

I didn't mean for that to be a short book but it wasn't too long ago I was in almost the exact same boat as the OP...so I guess I feel like I can relate to his deal and try to help him with what took me a while to figure out.
#22
guys, thanks so much for all the info and recommendations... i'll definitely check out GP...

Art, its funny that you mention rhythm cuz that's where i get stuck a lot of the time... right now i'm trying to learn Nirvana's Polly & About a Girl and I'm okay with the chord changes if I'm going slowly but once i try to combine the parts and go a little faster or if i try to do it with a metronome, i get tripped up...

I'm also trying to learn a Johnny Cash-style rhythm with some palm muting and am having some difficulty with it... it has a simple bass line mixed with a chug-a-chug sounding rhythm... any tips/tricks about how to palm mute?
#23
Quote by Aleksi
It appals me how many "musicians" are reliant on drugs for inspiration.
TS. As has been said, learn some full songs and try to understand what is happening in them. How are they progressing? What makes the individual sections sound good? How do the pieces fit together?


It appalls me how many morons keep calling marijuana a drug but refuse to call the things they do every day a drug. Do you smoke cigarettes or drink coffee/energy drinks? Then you do a much harsher and less safe drug than marijuana. I know most people here are in middle/high school and probably just got out of D.A.R.E. class, but seriously get off your high horse.

TS, you need to get comfy and warmed up on guitar. However you do that (coffee, beer, weed, cigs), just do it, and put on a backing track. You tube has a ton of them for free. Jam along and try to find 3-4 chords that sound amazing over it. Once you find the chords that fit, just mess with the rhythm. Try to slam the rhythm really fast, try to make it 4/4, try to make it NOT sound 4/4, anything will help. Doing this with other musicians will increase your guitar ability 10 fold.

And just like everything else, practice makes perfect.