#1
So I've been playing guitar for a solid 7 years, and have never taken a lesson in my life. I've used the internet as a source for guitar tabs, chords and different scales, but have never learned the notes on the guitar neck. I have always improvised my soloing by ear and never realized how useful knowing the notes on the neck can be!

I consider my guitar playing along the lines of Jimi Hendrix, Black Keys and and touch of Zepp. Entering into the realm of Blues, but with a fuzzy distorted noise, and the occasional wah pedal thrown in there. Lately I have been jamming and playing whatever comes to mind which I find more fun.

Any tips on further progressing my playing to ultimately become a better guitarist?
Thanks!
#2
well, id start with learning the notes on the neck unless youve already done that... then learn chord construction.
Understand nothing, in order to learn everything.

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#4
Ask yourself what you do know. Make yourself a list. Whatever is not on this list, maybe try and learn?

Now if you want to enchance your apporach to the insturment, try learning;
Intervals
Scale Construction
Triad/Chord Construction
Chord Progressions (via Roman Numeral system)

After you learn these, try writing a Melody and then putting a chord progression under it. You can also do what Steve Vai and tons of other guitarist do and write a Progression, track it, Solo over it and use your ear to write a Melody. Then after you have your melody maybe break it down and see what intervals make it up. If you write a melody you really like you can just take the intervals you used and transpose it to any key that way. Maybe use it in your improv. You could also use the intervals as a Motiff (Or rhythm [AKA The Note Beats; Quarter, Eighth, Sixteenth, etc.]) in one of your compostions. A lot of Classical Composers like Bach use Motiffs.

P.S. Motiiffs is pronounced like Motive but with ve at the end replaced with ff!

Cheers,
Xter
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#5
Quote by VVCG33
So I've been playing guitar for a solid 7 years, and have never taken a lesson in my life. I've used the internet as a source for guitar tabs, chords and different scales, but have never learned the notes on the guitar neck. I have always improvised my soloing by ear and never realized how useful knowing the notes on the neck can be!

I consider my guitar playing along the lines of Jimi Hendrix, Black Keys and and touch of Zepp. Entering into the realm of Blues, but with a fuzzy distorted noise, and the occasional wah pedal thrown in there. Lately I have been jamming and playing whatever comes to mind which I find more fun.

Any tips on further progressing my playing to ultimately become a better guitarist?
Thanks!



What options are on the table? Are online lessons an option? We teach every one of those things.

Best,

Sean
#6
Heres the deal.

When I want to write a song, I usually make the Intro, Chorus, Bridge etc, as I am playing. I like the challenge of being able to create a song by just jamming, but jamming constructively. When you actually try to do create a piece all at once, it gives the song a different sound.

When I figure out a melody I finally like, I try picking out the most profound notes in the sequence and transfer them to chords and play a rhythm version of the melody. I've always wondered what other people have for techniques in doing not only this, but improving a solo or whatever else.
#7
Quote by Xter
Motiffs.




Quote by VVCG33


When I figure out a melody I finally like, I try picking out the most profound notes in the sequence and transfer them to chords and play a rhythm version of the melody. I've always wondered what other people have for techniques in doing not only this, but improving a solo or whatever else.


chord tones, chord tones, chord tones. the 'most profound notes' you're referring to are chord tones. learn the notes on your fretboard, then learn the circle of fifths, and your major/minor chords (at least up to 7ths, but that's just the foundation). from there you can take any chord you recognize and immediately know the notes in the chord. this way, you can instantly hit the "profound" notes, or, if you want dissonance, the notes directly adjacent to them, or whatever you need based on what you want to hear.

the important thing, for most people, when they jump into theory, is that they get obsessed with scale shapes/"modes". working off chord tones allows you to use all 12 notes in the western chromatic scale uninhibited, provided you use them intelligently and cautiously. over time, you'll develop your ear and know the function of each note over each chord based on intervals. from there, honestly, you don't "need" to immerse yourself in theory unless you legitimately enjoy it, contrary to popular belief.

also, when it comes to mastering your genre, or learning new genres, learn songs from artists you enjoy in the genre, then figure out what they're doing and why. if the structure of their songs are important to the genre, you need to remember that; if there's a certain instrument (like sax) that's common in that genre, you need to remember that to write that kind of music, etc. most of it's common sense and actively listening for each component to be able to say "oh, that's jazz" or "that's phrygiometaphoricalocrian metal"
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Last edited by Hail at Jan 6, 2012,
#8
Quote by VVCG33
When I figure out a melody I finally like, I try picking out the most profound notes in the sequence and transfer them to chords and play a rhythm version of the melody.

Much like Hendrix. He was blessed with abnormally good ears, but also I think what ouchies said, about learning Jazz would be good for you.

Even if it's not your preferred style, you'll benefit hugely from it.
I've always wondered what other people have for techniques in doing not only this, but improving a solo or whatever else.

Jazz. Chord Melody.

I'm tempted to explain the theory side, but don't want to confuse the issue.
#9
Quote by VVCG33
Heres the deal.

When I want to write a song, I usually make the Intro, Chorus, Bridge etc, as I am playing. I like the challenge of being able to create a song by just jamming, but jamming constructively. When you actually try to do create a piece all at once, it gives the song a different sound.

When I figure out a melody I finally like, I try picking out the most profound notes in the sequence and transfer them to chords and play a rhythm version of the melody. I've always wondered what other people have for techniques in doing not only this, but improving a solo or whatever else.


It depends what inspires the song. Was it a melody and music, or was it lyrics that just had to be put to music? The creative process can vary with me.

As for soloing, assuming the song is in a key that you can clearly define, then I determine it's major or minor character. I consider the dynamics or the impact I want the solo to have, the style...for example over a chord progression I may want an acoustically derivative Jim Croce inspired bluesy number, Or I may want something else..it's usually a "vibe" I shoot for rather than the actual notes.

How do you determine what notes are "profound?" I don't know if I've ever heard of that.

The best way in general to improve at anything, is keep doing it over and over, keep writing, keep playing, keep listening, evaluating, growing, exposing yourself to new ideas and personal challenges...just keep doing it. Improve your lot with understanding music if you like, or just create from a defined pitch collection and derive your own meaning from it. There are lots of ways to become familiar or functional as a player, personally I think that knowledge exposes more doors that may be great for one's writing ideas to go through.

But the old adage, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you have to" when writing. is definitely true.

Best,

Sean
#10
If your playing is literally akin to Hendrix and Page... then I'd say just go with it, just keep on doing what you're doing. Read up on what these guys suggested here. But... don't go limiting yourself to what some of them mentioned. Of course, learn your notes - even a basic knowledge of this will dramatically improve your playing knowledge. You'll start saying "Oh" a lot as things click into place.

Continue improvising by ear. With the addition of learning the notes and learning a Key structure, those "oh" moments turn into "oh....riiiiight, so that's why it worked!".

An easy system to learn from would be the "fretboard roadmaps" by Fred Sokolow. <--- That goes to the blues ones, you'll find others there too.

Quote by Sean0913
But the old adage, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you have to" when writing. is definitely true.

So true man... so true ... +1
#11
Quote by VVCG33
Heres the deal.

When I want to write a song, I usually make the Intro, Chorus, Bridge etc, as I am playing. I like the challenge of being able to create a song by just jamming, but jamming constructively. When you actually try to do create a piece all at once, it gives the song a different sound.

When I figure out a melody I finally like, I try picking out the most profound notes in the sequence and transfer them to chords and play a rhythm version of the melody. I've always wondered what other people have for techniques in doing not only this, but improving a solo or whatever else.


Quote by ouchies
I think you would enjoy learning jazz



DO IT
#13
Quote by Sean0913
Jazz without understanding theory, or recognizing that keys change so fast (Satin Doll has 4 key changes before the first verse is finished) that it could make your head spin? Really?

Hmmm

Best,

Sean


Hmmm maybe he shouldn't start out with a song that is that difficult then?

Autumn leaves is a good place to start.

Or parker blues, played slowly.

By the way, Sean you should listen to joe pass, he knows theory but not too much and is pretty much a legend. I dont have sound on my computer where I am, but theres a lesson where he explains how he views every chord as a triad with some extensions and he never gets technical with theory
#14
Quotes from him.

Regarding chords, "major, minor, dominant... simple."

Regarding chord melody, "Pick a note, then play a chord underneath it."

Lol.
#16
Quote by ouchies
Hmmm maybe he shouldn't start out with a song that is that difficult then?

Autumn leaves is a good place to start.

Or parker blues, played slowly.

By the way, Sean you should listen to joe pass, he knows theory but not too much and is pretty much a legend. I dont have sound on my computer where I am, but theres a lesson where he explains how he views every chord as a triad with some extensions and he never gets technical with theory


No I understand... and respect the hell out of Joe Pass, Van Epps and a personal favorite Kenny Burrell, I get it, I've not studied him, but I've seen those explanations, and yeah I get it, but 23 years ago, I think it would have gone over my head, without having a modicum of theory.

No I understand, I studied under Jimmy Bruno, and he's the same way, and hates the thought of theory. And if these guys wanna study under Jimmy, that's one thing, but self taught...? hmmm

Hell even Holdsworth has some out there approaches to this question, but I'm just saying, in general I wouldn't recommend Jazz to someone that hasn't much footing in the basic simplicities of Diatonic harmony. How are they going to recognize ii V I without knowing what that is? I mean, I could grab a simple Abersold jam track in one key and carpet bomb my pentatonics all day and convince myself this is "Jazz" because of the training wheels, but I think it has limited benefit. I wouldn't throw most people into the deep end until they've learned to stay afloat.

And by the way every chord pretty much IS a triad with extensions, well, I'd argue the 7ths are a lot more important/endemic to the triad side than the extensions side, because from the 9ths on, you're developing tensions, whereas I see the 7ths as the perfect chord and much more melodically rich than tense. That last sentence is a personal opinion, and not a statement of fact, just so you understand, I'm speaking philosophically from a personal viewpoint.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Jan 6, 2012,
#17
Jody Fisher's books take you from the beginnings of theory. Beginning Jazz Guitar.

There's so many books out there though, man.
#18
Quote by mdc
Jody Fisher's books take you from the beginnings of theory. Beginning Jazz Guitar.

There's so many books out there though, man.



Jody Fisher's 3 books on the subject and in fact almost all of NGW is quality stuff, in my opinion. One of the best for self taught students willing to take their time and discipline themselves.

Best,

Sean
#19
Quote by Sean0913
No I understand... and respect the hell out of Joe Pass, Van Epps and a personal favorite Kenny Burrell, I get it, I've not studied him, but I've seen those explanations, and yeah I get it, but 23 years ago, I think it would have gone over my head, without having a modicum of theory.

No I understand, I studied under Jimmy Bruno, and he's the same way, and hates the thought of theory. And if these guys wanna study under Jimmy, that's one thing, but self taught...? hmmm

Hell even Holdsworth has some out there approaches to this question, but I'm just saying, in general I wouldn't recommend Jazz to someone that hasn't much footing in the basic simplicities of Diatonic harmony. How are they going to recognize ii V I without knowing what that is? I mean, I could grab a simple Abersold jam track in one key and carpet bomb my pentatonics all day and convince myself this is "Jazz" because of the training wheels, but I think it has limited benefit. I wouldn't throw most people into the deep end until they've learned to stay afloat.

And by the way every chord pretty much IS a triad with extensions, well, I'd argue the 7ths are a lot more important/endemic to the triad side than the extensions side, because from the 9ths on, you're developing tensions, whereas I see the 7ths as the perfect chord and much more melodically rich than tense. That last sentence is a personal opinion, and not a statement of fact, just so you understand, I'm speaking philosophically from a personal viewpoint.

Best,

Sean


The majority of my friends who play jazz, don't think about that stuff while they play. ii V I is the backbone of jazz, if someone doesnt understand it they should be able to learn it rather quickly (especially if they played blues). Jazz as a whole is daunting but people forget, like everything else they're supposed to take it a step at a time.
#20
I'm also a big fan of Joe Pass, and the way he approached jazz guitar playing. I think it's important to keep in mind the thousands of hours of practice and performing he put in though, theory- or not theorybased. He had such an amazing ear and so much sound in his fingers that you could put all kinds of fancy names on what he played, he just choose not to.
#21
Thank you all for the responses. I feel a little better about my playing now that I know I'm not "technically playing wrong" I have been working on memorizing the notes in chords and figuring out different places to play them up and down the neck. I feel like if I really grasp this concept, not only will it dramatically improve my improvisation on solos, but also solidify my rhythm playing as well.

I love taking on new challenges and the cool thing about guitar is there is ALWAYS something to work on. I'm stoked to work on this!