#1
I possibly have tons of questions.

1.
Okay, so technique wise, practicing is something I'm not bad at. I have time, and will invest even more into guitar, and I'd really like to reach a high technical point (whether I write the most complex neoclassical metal or punk rock). When it comes to that, I'd probably aim for a (cleaner) Yngwie. I like setting my goals high.

A)
Vibrato and bends. Now, when I listen to Yngwie, I really notice his vibrato more than anything. You can say whatever you like, but I ****ing LOVE it. I don't know how he does it. I really wouldn't like to become a copy of another guitarist, but his vibrato is too good to me. How can I emulate it? I'm not saying I don't have bad vibrato, or that I'm always off pitch or something, but Yngwie sounds SO much superior. How shall I look into this? I guess it largely applies to bends, too. Also, will I suffer from bad intonation, or all will be fine (even though I plan to intonate it)?

B)
General guitar practice. I warm up, and then start doing everything with metronome. I already said, I have the time and nerves and will (and it's fun practicing), so I really like to cover up every technique, and use almost all exercises I know for it (I do change them!). If there's anything wrong with this, please say so.

C)
Also, my action is actually pretty high. I can't really get someone to setup my guitar now, and I've seen some Fenders with lower action. If I lower it any more, I'll have horrible fret buzz. I mean, it's not that high but it's definitely not as low as I'd like. I can shred on it, and will I actually notice an improvement once I buy a good high end axe with superb setup?

2.
Ear practice, how? I don't have a bad ear or something, but I couldn't just go and tab something just like that. Is there anything else except learning every possible song by ear? Would it be of use to get a program for interval training (like on my Android), or that's unnecessary? Is it possible to reach perfect pitch, or it's something you have to be born with?

Also, tuning my guitar by ear. I'd like to be able to actually do it without some starting points, and I've seen some people play eg. the 2nd and then the 1st string (open strings, not the 5th fret), and tuning it by that. How?

3.
Composition, I guess I'd watch classical composers. I want to do some heavy neoclassical stuff (like, heavier than Yngwie or so). Now, should I take some known compositions (which I like and have elements I like), and then learn some parts on my guitar and go from there. Like, writing notes on a piece of paper, looking at certain patterns, key modulations and so on...?

Cheers guys, kudos to anyone with the nerves to answer this! I'm going to practice even more, as I've quit games and such. I found out that I'm actually having false satisfaction in the virtual world.
#2
Quote by BMusic
I possibly have tons of questions.

1.
Okay, so technique wise, practicing is something I'm not bad at. I have time, and will invest even more into guitar, and I'd really like to reach a high technical point (whether I write the most complex neoclassical metal or punk rock). When it comes to that, I'd probably aim for a (cleaner) Yngwie. I like setting my goals high.

If you can get a good[!] teacher, get one. You wont regret it.

A)
Vibrato and bends. Now, when I listen to Yngwie, I really notice his vibrato more than anything. You can say whatever you like, but I ****ing LOVE it. I don't know how he does it. I really wouldn't like to become a copy of another guitarist, but his vibrato is too good to me. How can I emulate it? I'm not saying I don't have bad vibrato, or that I'm always off pitch or something, but Yngwie sounds SO much superior. How shall I look into this? I guess it largely applies to bends, too. Also, will I suffer from bad intonation, or all will be fine (even though I plan to intonate it)?

Listen and experiment, it'll get more natural soon with this when added with technical development.

B)
General guitar practice. I warm up, and then start doing everything with metronome. I already said, I have the time and nerves and will (and it's fun practicing), so I really like to cover up every technique, and use almost all exercises I know for it (I do change them!). If there's anything wrong with this, please say so.

Sure, metronome is good but not always necessary or the best option. Make a schedule and practice scales (not just up and down, mix iiit uuup), arpeggios, chords without a metronome but with good technique. And of course... Songs.. You didn't really tell us your skill level right now, but I suspect you won't be playing too much neoclassical for a good while, find some other music to play and not just exercises.
Don't be obsessed with speed, just get familiar with the instrument bit by bit and speed will come.


C)
Also, my action is actually pretty high. I can't really get someone to setup my guitar now, and I've seen some Fenders with lower action. If I lower it any more, I'll have horrible fret buzz. I mean, it's not that high but it's definitely not as low as I'd like. I can shred on it, and will I actually notice an improvement once I buy a good high end axe with superb setup?

So you can shred? Then forget about the latter half of the previous answer, you won't have problems finding music to play.

2.
Ear practice, how? I don't have a bad ear or something, but I couldn't just go and tab something just like that. Is there anything else except learning every possible song by ear? Would it be of use to get a program for interval training (like on my Android), or that's unnecessary? Is it possible to reach perfect pitch, or it's something you have to be born with?

Get a book on ear training or just google something. Interval training program could turn out useful... And perfect pitch, well.. I'd just concentrate on improving your relative pitch and possibly tonal memory

Also, tuning my guitar by ear. I'd like to be able to actually do it without some starting points, and I've seen some people play eg. the 2nd and then the 1st string (open strings, not the 5th fret), and tuning it by that. How?

Dun get it, sorry

3.
Composition, I guess I'd watch classical composers. I want to do some heavy neoclassical stuff (like, heavier than Yngwie or so). Now, should I take some known compositions (which I like and have elements I like), and then learn some parts on my guitar and go from there. Like, writing notes on a piece of paper, looking at certain patterns, key modulations and so on...?

Start to make music already, no matter how crappy, just get some done. And learning more theory (though I don't know how much do you already know?) and analysing music is a big yesyes.

Cheers guys, kudos to anyone with the nerves to answer this! I'm going to practice even more, as I've quit games and such. I found out that I'm actually having false satisfaction in the virtual world.


Shedding some light on how much you know and what your skill level is could help alot.
Last edited by Unrelaxed at Feb 25, 2012,
#3
Well you sure have a lot of good inquiries.
What I can tell you for sure is that you have to be born with perfect pitch. You cannot truly attain perfect pitch by "practicing." what is possible though, is training your ear to develop relative pitch. It sounds as though you have this already, but if practice learning intervals by ear, you develop extremely good relative pitch. This is as close as you can come to perfect pitch. With respects to tuning your axe, it's just a matter of learning what a Major 4th interval sounds like. This can be mastered, and it will allow you tune your guitar in various tunings as well as help with your chord recognition skills. There are several tricks to help you identify different intervals. If you think in your head the "hear comes the bride" tune the first two notes - 'here come' - is a perfect fourth. using little tricks like this will get you started but eventually wih practice these intervals will become second nature to your ears. Then you can tune your axe just by listening to the interval played.
#4
Quote by BMusic
A)
Vibrato and bends. Now, when I listen to Yngwie, I really notice his vibrato more than anything. You can say whatever you like, but I ****ing LOVE it. I don't know how he does it. I really wouldn't like to become a copy of another guitarist, but his vibrato is too good to me. How can I emulate it? I'm not saying I don't have bad vibrato, or that I'm always off pitch or something, but Yngwie sounds SO much superior. How shall I look into this? I guess it largely applies to bends, too. Also, will I suffer from bad intonation, or all will be fine (even though I plan to intonate it)?

Yngwie uses a really broad, well practiced vibrato technique. Essentially, you want to use your thumb as a pivot point and bend the string up a half-step, then back down to the original pitch, then up again and so forth.

Another thing about his vibrato is that he actually times it relative the tempo of the song, so it sounds really practiced and clean. That's something that you'll want to practice. You won't suffer from bad intonation as long as you practice bending up to the right pitch, then all the way back down to your root note.


B)
General guitar practice. I warm up, and then start doing everything with metronome. I already said, I have the time and nerves and will (and it's fun practicing), so I really like to cover up every technique, and use almost all exercises I know for it (I do change them!). If there's anything wrong with this, please say so.

There isn't anything wrong with this at all. If you want to target a specific technique to improve more rapidly, practice it for longer.

C)
Also, my action is actually pretty high. I can't really get someone to setup my guitar now, and I've seen some Fenders with lower action. If I lower it any more, I'll have horrible fret buzz. I mean, it's not that high but it's definitely not as low as I'd like. I can shred on it, and will I actually notice an improvement once I buy a good high end axe with superb setup?

You can ridiculously low action on almost any guitar with any strings if you knw what you're about. My brother has his Mexican Strat loaded with .13 gauge strings and still has a beautiful setup. If you learn how to setup your guitar to your liking, just about any guitar can play like a dream unless its hardware is unbelievably atrocious. My Ibanez GIO is one of the best playing guitars I own because I know how to set it up to my liking.

Devote some time to learning some basic maintenance and setup stuff that you can do on your own and you'll be amazed by how satisfying any guitar can feel to your hands.

2.
Ear practice, how? I don't have a bad ear or something, but I couldn't just go and tab something just like that. Is there anything else except learning every possible song by ear? Would it be of use to get a program for interval training (like on my Android), or that's unnecessary? Is it possible to reach perfect pitch, or it's something you have to be born with?

You actually can memorize pitches and commit them to memory for future reference. A lot of violinists, for example, memorize a concert A so that they can tune their instruments without a tuning device.

One thing I was recommended was to memorize a few "important" pitches (common ones like C and A, for example) and then worry more about my relative pitch so that I can identify how far away those pitches are from my memorized notes. I'm not so good at that, but it seems like it would work. That said, take that with a grain of salt unless someone more skilled at ear-training says the same thing.

Also, tuning my guitar by ear. I'd like to be able to actually do it without some starting points, and I've seen some people play eg. the 2nd and then the 1st string (open strings, not the 5th fret), and tuning it by that. How?

That might have been them tuning by harmonics. That's something I'm not too well versed in, so I'll leave that up to someone else to help you with.

3.
Composition, I guess I'd watch classical composers. I want to do some heavy neoclassical stuff (like, heavier than Yngwie or so). Now, should I take some known compositions (which I like and have elements I like), and then learn some parts on my guitar and go from there. Like, writing notes on a piece of paper, looking at certain patterns, key modulations and so on...?

I've got a lot more than I can say here about theory, but what it would boil down to amounts to this: learn some basic theory as applies to scales, chords, progressions, and timing. Then start looking at songs you like and see what kind of patterns they follow. In my mind, theory is a means of naming common patterns that you encounter in music. To that end, a basic knowledge of scales and chord construction will take you a surprisingly long way.

If anyone even utters the word "modes" around you, ignore everything about the subject that they mention. Modes are a subject of some controversy in music, but no matter how you define them, they're quite useless in almost every way and are hardly the end-all of music theory.

Hope that helped some!
#5
I hope my answers are useful!

1.
A) Bending and vibrato are about changing a note's pitch by altering the string tension at a certain speed or intensity. In order to control this action, I like the following drill:
-Identify 2 moments> 1. the note played plain, before shaking the left finger and 2. the note you make once you bended or shook it. Doesn't matter if it's a quick agile vibrato or an intense 1 1/2 step bend on the 3rd string, on both cases there you go from a note to another.
-Go from one to the other bending, but here's the key to the ex.: using rythm figures, grab the metronome or define a pulse, and play both moments: 1-2-1-2-1...in 1/4 notes, then 1/8, then 16th, whatever, but control the tempo at which you vibrate!
-If you are patient enough to go through this, you will be able to imitate different vibratos. I guess that Ygwie's so characteristic vibrato comes both from his brutal left strength hand, and the sort of "anxious/nervous/adrenalinic" energy of his approach to music, the volume he uses, among others. But what I'm trying to say is that you can control these parameters to get whatever vibrato you want.


B)
We all have an enthusiast phase which is wonderful when we practice even more than we need to, it's magic, and I think of it as the 1st weeks of a relationship.
My tip on this. Don't do more than 50/60 mins in a row without a break. Try to make your practice time as efficient as you can by having both your mind and fingers committed to the task. It's only the 2nd that remain there moving on their own if you don't do short sessions.

C)
What's your guitar? Do you callibrate it on your own? If you don't, it would be a good idea to have someone reliable doing this if you can afford it, someone with more expertis may give you a workaround on how to resolve this problem. ex. What about changing frets?

2.
Singing is the best way to connect with the notes, when you don't need the instrument to be there in order to spot the notes. Of course this is tough when you have long or fast runs. Start working it out from slow and short linear melodic ideas to faster and longer ones. 2 ways I think right now: 1. hum the stuff (mmm closed mouth singing) before playing - 2. grab a known passage (don't have to be a guitar run only, may be a sax solo you knew or whatever), try to guess the next note with your singing.

If you try and listen inside your mind, you'll find out you can play one of your close relative's voice or your home door/elevator sound. Yes, you are an ipod. Sort of. Those strings are in there too. Zen workout, play open string. Silence. Close your eyes, try to reproduce inside of you the sound that came in seconds ago! Not quite there? Some more!...

3.
I find the challenge of fingering stuff that is not meant for the guitar gives you great skills.
I really like that idea so much that I came up with a version of some tango contemporary music. Here's an orchestral version, then mine.
http://youtu.be/a2LdINsmWko
http://youtu.be/WlBmVfqHTeU

On gaming: After many years of guitar playing I skipped a many console generations and got a PS3, most known enemy on this forum XD. I must say that creativity always gives great things to an artist. Never quit completely unless you have issues with it!

See you'round! Take care,
Mariano
Last edited by zyryab at Feb 26, 2012,
#6
Wow, that's a lot of detailed answers guys, thanks to everyone!

I'll shed some light on some of the stuff you might have been confused with (in the order of the posters etc.)

Unrelaxed, yes, I can shred. I mean, I'm no Andy James, but I can certainly play technical stuff. However, I always think there's lots of room for improvement, and I want to take advantage of that. And, while I'm not obsessed with speed, fast runs pump me with adrenaline and aggression. But, of course, I'm in love with lots of slow songs and melodies.
I do know theory (not too much), like I can read notes, construct scales, chords, intervals and such. But I'm no expert.

Owen, I'll concentrate even more on training my ear now, besides learning songs, I'll get a grip on learning intervals. There's an Android app, so I can chill with it in school.

Geldin, well, the thing is, my guitar doesn't have as much relief as it should (probably), and I don't want to add more of it because I can sense some resistance when turning the truss rod, so lowering the strings more wouldn't really be good (because I already have some buzz, especially on the low D). And yes, I'll definitely go more with theory and analyzing songs.

Zyryab, I guess I'll take a bit more brakes, and I will concentrate even more when practicing. My guitar is (unfortunately) and Alexi 200 (yeah, I was a stupid kid, but I have a special relationship with that guitar), I'll probably get a Jackson RR24 after summer work. I already explained my truss rod issues! I'll do the singing thing, for sure! And I must say, I watched your version of Fuga y Misterio, and I really liked it! It was refreshing listening to acoustic guitar after my long electric runs!

And to all the vibrato answers, thanks guys! It's probably one thing I'll concentrate most on now. I'll take all of your ideas to practice!

Thanks for actually having the time to read that huge wall of text and reply with another one.
#7
Quote by BMusic
Also, tuning my guitar by ear. I'd like to be able to actually do it without some starting points, and I've seen some people play eg. the 2nd and then the 1st string (open strings, not the 5th fret), and tuning it by that. How?


Tuning like this you'll only be able to tune the guitar to itself so it only works if you're already in tune but the idea is pretty simple:

If you know your intervals really well then you should be able to pick out the sound of an interval when you hear it, so working from there if you take two strings, for example the A and D strings:

If the A string is in tune then you need to tune the D string until you hear that it's tuned to a perfect fourth. If the D string is in tune then you need to tune it until you hear a perfect fifth below the D.

It's pretty simple really but you do need to have pretty good ears to be able to make it work and if all the strings on your guitar are out of tune then you'll end up with an instrument that's in tune with itself but nothing else. You can't really guarantee that you'll end up with a guitar that's properly in tune without some kind of external reference, be it another instrument or a tuner. Unless you have perfect pitch but then whatever, you'd already know about that by now I would have thought.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
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Album.
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#8
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Tuning like this you'll only be able to tune the guitar to itself so it only works if you're already in tune but the idea is pretty simple:

If you know your intervals really well then you should be able to pick out the sound of an interval when you hear it, so working from there if you take two strings, for example the A and D strings:

If the A string is in tune then you need to tune the D string until you hear that it's tuned to a perfect fourth. If the D string is in tune then you need to tune it until you hear a perfect fifth below the D.

It's pretty simple really but you do need to have pretty good ears to be able to make it work and if all the strings on your guitar are out of tune then you'll end up with an instrument that's in tune with itself but nothing else. You can't really guarantee that you'll end up with a guitar that's properly in tune without some kind of external reference, be it another instrument or a tuner. Unless you have perfect pitch but then whatever, you'd already know about that by now I would have thought.

So, is it possible to actually memorize a certain string's note (or all the strings), so I can tune it without reference, or perfect pitch is needed? Cheers!
#9
You can indeed memorize pitches, though I personally trust a tuner more than I trust my memory.
#10
Quote by BMusic
So, is it possible to actually memorize a certain string's note (or all the strings), so I can tune it without reference, or perfect pitch is needed? Cheers!


Possible, yes. Worth it? Very doubtful. A half decent tuner costs less than £10 these days and if you're jamming with someone else in a more impromptu fashion there's no reason to not just tune to the other guitar.

Hell, bands have recorded whole albums that are technically "out of tune"; a lot of Pantera's middle material is tuned down roughly a quarter step, I think a lot of Van Halen material is out of tune because they all tuned to a busted old piano in their practice space and that was out of tune... it doesn't really matter that much as long as your singer is capable and everyone is tuned to the same note.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.