#1
Some guitarist friends and I have all decided that over our winter breaks, we're certainly going to play a ton, but more importantly, we're going to practice for what feels to me is the first time in years. Yep, I'm getting the PTE click track and going to work!

At one point, I had some proficiency with Mike Romeo's Sea of Lies tapping solo. I don't remember if I could play it at his original tempo (I doubt it). Anyway, my goal is to learn the tapping riff and be able to play along to the song. I also have a bunch of picking exercises so that I can alternate pick again and perhaps finally string skip; chiefly, I want to learn the skipping in the intro of Cliffs of Dover.

(School has impacted my technique in a negative way.)

I've made some progress with Romeo's lick. I'm going to be able to get it if I keep working at it. Then it occurred to me: "Sue, when will you ever think to skip-tap when you're improvising?"

I'd never thought about this before. So much of what I'm used to playing or used to wanting to play is not skip-tapping, but I really like Mike Romeo. What suggestions do you have for integrating skip-tapping (or any technique) into my playing, particularly since I will not play verbatim (or verbatim in a different key) Sea of Lies?

I'm using skip-tapping as an example. I plan to work on plenty else that I'll want to integrate into my improv.

Edit: As usual, I play in a heavy rock, metal, or blues-rock setting, and I have no intention to do otherwise.
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Dec 27, 2013,
#2
Stuff like skip tapping is just one motor skill. By changing one or two notes you'll target the chord tones for all the triads and seventh chords you want. But the muscle memory remains constant. So it seems like a lot of technical work, but its not really.

Improvising wise, it's knowing the sound you want with a technique over a certain chord. As you're well aware, knowing what chord you're playing over is key.
#3
Try making little variations in the lick, or playing it in different areas on the fretboard, to get some versatility in playing those type of licks.

The key is to get it down in a general sense, that you can apply to any improv you do, as opposed to "well I can play this cool lick in this song"
Peavey 6505+ Head (Left)
Line 6 Spider IV HD150 Head (Right)
Marshall 1960A 4x12
ESP DV-8
Ibanez RG T42DX
Agile Hornet Pro 727
#4
With techniques like skip tapping/sweep tapping/tongue wagging and the like, I phase them into my vocabulary of licks through actually writing them into solos - especially over my own stuff. As a result, I know perfectly how the lick works over a chord/progression - I wrote it with the chords in mind! The tapping solo in that song is composed anyway.

Sea of Lies was the lick that made me want to do more skip-tapping too, and obviously it begins in D minor. Try actually quoting the lick (verbatim to begin with), and putting it in around your improv licks? Something like playing the actual lick (of the first chord) using the same chord tones and then going into a more 'standard' minor tapping lick would be an idea. Once you've got used to it it will become more natural and you can change it around a little more. That whole section is pretty much just arpeggios, so theoretically it's a similar beast to using sweep picking licks, just using rather different motor skills haha.
I was bad with usernames at age 12. Ah woe.
#5
If you want to integrate this technique into your improv you'll have to do a lot more than copy what someone else played in their song.

String skipping/tapping is simply a way of getting from one note to the next. If you learn why those notes were chosen over than partiular song, you can apply the same reasoning to other songs.

To do this learn:
- Major/minor scales
- How to harmonise those scales
- How to identify the key of songs
- Accidentals and out of key chords

If you think you have this all down at the end of your winter break you'd be completely wrong. However if you are able to identify the key of some songs by ear, you'd have a good start on improv and integrating tapping/string skipping into your songs.

If your only aim is to outshred your friends and not necesserily improv, ignore the above and aim on those 30 second extracts of other people's songs that you mentioned above.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#6
Haha no I don't expect to have skip-tapping fully integrated into my playing in the next few weeks. Mostly, I want something fun and challenging yet reasonable to work on over break.

I'd have no problem with blasting through Cliffs of Dover or Sea of Lies and then being like "Which of you boys were talking about girl guitarists?" though.
#8
Quote by ImDesigner
^sounds hot..

I would of course be playing through those while wearing red lipstick and a leather mini-skirt.

Edit: Girl power! Womyn unite! Et cetera. If I wore that outfit I think that men doubting my ability to play would be justified.
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Dec 27, 2013,
#9
Learn Jazz. It's the ultimate genre; hardest to play, most harmonically complex, and almost all improvised. There's a reason it's at the top of the chain.
#10
best way to be comfortable with improvising in general is first developing your ear - start with pentatonic scales and actively focus on hearing how each individual note relates to the 'tonic' - you may notice how 1, 3, and 5 are the easiest to identify at first - ask yourself why

then start adding in the missing notes from pentatonic scales till you have a full 'scale'. keep in mind that these notes can and should vary depending on situations - there really is almost never a catch-all scale, and if there is the chords are ****ing boring

next are chord qualities, chord tones, and how chords relate to the tonic

once your ear is well rounded you can start to form basic ideas by audiating what you hear over chord changes. this is when you can start to explore what you hear in your head (more in a private setting). if you actually improvise with other people, it should be more of a conversation where you listen to everyone else and build ideas off of that (the only time I can think of tapping in a group setting was after a sax player started playing metaly shit during his solo haha)

but yeah, once you can audiate and form basic ideas, you can start to work in other things like tapping


Quote by macashmack
Learn Jazz. It's the ultimate genre; hardest to play, most harmonically complex, and almost all improvised. There's a reason it's at the top of the chain.


#11
I dislike jazz, and I have no desire to play or learn it. I have disliked jazz for a long time. I want to play in a hard rock or metal context where I will probably be playing over powerchords or maybe a keyboard or a piano playing in a minor key.

I will go edit the original post to reflect this lack of interest in jazz.

What, though, does learning jazz (broad idea) have to do with integrating skip-tapping into my playing?

I will not touch the comments about jazz being the hardest to play and at the top of the chain.

Edit: Haha is that from Gran Torino?

Quote by smartguyreviews
general improv ideas


Right, and this is all good advice. It's what Marty talks about in the linked video that I like so much and should watch again. My inquiry isn't about improv in general, though. What I noticed a few years ago was that as I became comfortable with simple sweeps (major and minor triads over 3 or maybe 4 strings), they popped up all over my playing. I was never thinking "Okay now I want a Dm triad sweep." I just did them because my hands were getting used to them and they sounded good. With skip-tapping, I don't want the integration into my playing to happen mostly by accident, though "Just do it" doesn't strike me as necessarily being the best way, either.
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Dec 27, 2013,
#12
Quote by macashmack
Learn Jazz. It's the ultimate genre; hardest to play, most harmonically complex, and almost all improvised. There's a reason it's at the top of the chain.


Well some of the people who play it definitely think that they're at the top of the food chain....
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#13
Quote by smartguyreviews
if you actually improvise with other people, it should be more of a conversation where you listen to everyone else and build ideas off of that (the only time I can think of tapping in a group setting was after a sax player started playing metaly shit during his solo haha

The song is Jazz Crimes by Joshua Redman
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Do--fKMd33U
Last edited by mdc at Dec 27, 2013,
#14
Sue, it will happen accidentally as it would feel natural to grab melody/chordal notes in string skipping ideas as it would catch the ear better. To "just do it" applies to composing ideas which is a very good thing altogether as you would think purely in that form at the time. This way the natural element comes into play again, future-speaking of course. whichver way you choose will be the right way as both result in action and application.

Jazz really isn't the top of the foodchain, merely one avenue amidst many. It doesn't teach one improv as improv can occur within any genre. Each person applies their own train of thought to improv as well, so there won't ever really be a common ground unless two or more people are playing the same song at the same time. If one of those people detracts from the flow between the other members, well, he's just fkd up and ruined the whole thing and is probably gonna get beaten up afterwards.

And back to bangable... seeing as it is initially the technique to grasp, perhaps hearing some old school cats doing it would help in applying it differently. Richie Kotzen, Nuno Bettencourt and Eddie van Halen. Amongst others like Reb Beach and Michael Fath and the list could go on (but it won't). Try find some of Jennifer Batten's old guitar mag columns as she dealt with that particular topic quite a lot. Whether you go for 8 finger tapping or not, the columns still provide many ideas to work with.

And once it's all done, it becomes natural et voila... it is done and many other things can be focused on more intently. Good luck and enjoy
#15
So much hate for jazz

Quote by AlanHB
Well some of the people who play it definitely think that they're at the top of the food chain....

#16
Quote by bangoodcharlote
I will not touch the comments about jazz being the hardest to play and at the top of the chain.\

That's because you know it's the truth.
#17
Jazz and Classical music are hard because you have to know what you're doing to do be any good at them.

You can make harmonic complexity and improvisation a part of "hard rock" music, but it takes a concerted effort to become that familiar with your instrument and the sounds it makes.

Quote by mdc
The song is Jazz Crimes by Joshua Redman
youtube.com/watch?v=Do--fKMd33U


In all fairness, that was awful.
Last edited by cdgraves at Dec 27, 2013,
#18
Quote by macashmack
Learn Jazz. It's the ultimate genre; hardest to play, most harmonically complex, and almost all improvised. There's a reason it's at the top of the chain.

Learning Jazz is pointless if you don't even like the genre. A huge part of jazz sounds like shit to me. Harmonically complex does not necessarily mean good. Sometimes a plain major chord sounds better than one with 30 extensions and sometimes a melody or lead line sounds better without 50 chromatic passing tones.

I'm a fan of Jazz (and especially fusion) but this kind of an attitude you have is stupid.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Dec 27, 2013,
#19
Quote by cdgraves
In all fairness, that was awful.

The person I responded mentioned "conversation and building ideas off of each other."

The response between the two of them is just like a convo. The audio below is a much better example of that.

Thanks for taking the time to actually listen to that btw. I don't think a lot of ppl on here actually bother with my links. Their loss.

I appreciate fusion and jazz is not for everyone.

Trading of solos start around 2min. It's worth listening to the head and structure of the song from the beginning just to get your bearings. But this band is immense.

Often the best musicians are the ones who are hard to find and don't bother with self promotion. It's all about the music for them.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PKlqXQXiUvk
Last edited by mdc at Dec 27, 2013,
#20
Quote by macashmack
That's because you know it's the truth.


I guess it depends what you mean by "top of the food chain". If you mean "the genre of music with the most amount of improvisation" you'd probably be right. If you're talking about popularity and money making you'd be incorrect - I don't recall seeing any jazz tracks on the Billboard.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#21
Quote by Elintasokas
Learning Jazz is pointless if you don't even like the genre. A huge part of jazz sounds like shit to me. Harmonically complex does not necessarily mean good. Sometimes a plain major chord sounds better than one with 30 extensions and sometimes a melody or lead line sounds better without 50 chromatic passing tones.

I'm a fan of Jazz (and especially fusion) but this kind of an attitude you have is stupid.

Fair enough.


Quote by AlanHB
I guess it depends what you mean by "top of the food chain". If you mean "the genre of music with the most amount of improvisation" you'd probably be right. If you're talking about popularity and money making you'd be incorrect - I don't recall seeing any jazz tracks on the Billboard.

I meant in terms of musical ability in regards to improvisation. TS wants to get better at improv, Jazz is the king of improv.
#22
There should be some on the contemporary jazz billboard.

Unless you're talking about mainstream, which is pretty likely.
#23
Quote by macashmack
I meant in terms of musical ability in regards to improvisation. TS wants to get better at improv, Jazz is the king of improv.

Well TS isn't super keen on the jazz "sound" so not necesserily the right genre to be looking at.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#24
Quote by macashmack
Jazz is the king of improv.

What are you talking about? Tis all about the metulz.
#26
Obviously Jazz, with all it's harmonic density and background in improvisation, is quite high up in the proverbial 'improv food chain'. Still, for learning to use Michael Romeo-esque skip-tap-hop-jump lines, it's about as useful as nipples on a breastplate.

Well not quite, but if anything that mentality would make it ridiculously tougher - the solo in question is purely diatonic based around 3 chords (Dm - Dm#5 - C - Dm). All he really does is spell out the chord tones using the 9th as a passing note, and even then, it's pretty bloody tricky!

If you plan on sticking to that purely hard-rock-with-maybe-a-little-neoclassical style as per the song, then learning those major and minor shapes he's playing, then trying it in different keys. Getting accustomed to those alone would go a long way - after that perhaps figuring out a diminished shape would make for some fun times.
I was bad with usernames at age 12. Ah woe.
#27
There are two things you have to do in jazz that make it the "king of improv"
1) know where you are in the song
2) know what you want to play

Fortunately, you don't have to play actual jazz to do either of those, but you do need to know just as much about music and how to play your instrument. If you want to improvise creatively, you still have to develop a deep familiarity with your instrument by practicing lots of musical concepts and lots of actual music.

Quote by mdc
The person I responded mentioned "conversation and building ideas off of each other."

The response between the two of them is just like a convo. The audio below is a much better example of that.



I don't really consider trading solos the "conversational" part of group improvisation. It's good entertainment, but is usually just a show-off thing when it happens.

When I think of musical conversation, I think of the real time communication between the soloist and the rhythm section. When players have serious chemistry, they can anticipate what the others are going to do next, pick up on subtle cues, and play with expectations.

here's some serious "conversation": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQRrk3StTVE

Listen frm about 2:00min, where does that badass continuous breathing thing
Last edited by cdgraves at Dec 28, 2013,