#1
How should I practice this? I love the sound of extremely long lines incorporating both legato and picking a la Slash and the like.

Lately, I've been putting a beat and a rhythm part on my ditto looper and practicing incorporating long lines over the top of it, but it's rough. My playing tends to have shorter, pentatonic based passages which I find to be predictable and boring.

Is there any other way to practice this that I'm not doing?
#2
You could try taking one of those Slash lines, and break it down, to see what he's doing, and then adapt with your note choices. You may find he's playing pentatonic in one place, a scale sequence in another, a blues lick in another ... notice how he joins them together.

You can plan out a line deliberately, as above. Work out a route over the guitar, perhaps start low, and up really high. Think what techniques you want to apply when (e.g. where you want to an arpeggio or sweep picking). Think where you want to repeat an idea.

Suggest you get hold of "Transcribe" by seventhstring. That'll really help you as a tool for digging in to someone's solo. Can easily loop, pitch shift and time shift, and the sound quality is really good.

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Nov 10, 2014,
#3
Thanks, Jerry. I have RiffMaster Pro which I think does all of the same things as transcibe--at least as far as looping, shifting and slowing.

My main issue is when I try to improvise longer lines on the fly, I can't play them up to speed. I can play longer lines slowly without error most often when I'm improvising but it isn't as fast as I'd like.
#4
Is that because of stamina in your hand? Or does it occur where changes of material (or required technique) occur in the line? Is your timing going out? Or are you stumbling over parts of it?

You could try recording yourself at the speed your comfy with, and then at desired speed, and listen for where you hit problems. It could be a fingering issue, or a shift issue (getting to another area of the neck horizontally). Or a synchronisation problem between both hands (maybe picking at higher speeds?) Hard for me to guess with hearing it, I'm afraid!

Once you've identified where the problem(s) occur, hone in on them specifically (loop around that part).

cheers, Jerry

(p.s the usual advice of course: play it really, really slowly also for a few days at least, where you are really consciously aware of what both hands are doing)
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Nov 10, 2014,
#7
I like Marty Friedman. I'm surprised by his take on discovering scales by himself, and I don't agree with that for new players. But it's clearly worked great for him. I do agree with exploration definitely but within a guided framework initially, otherwise confusion can easily set in. His explanations of linking stiff together is good, especially disguising patterns by using odd numbers of notes. That's a really fruitful area for ideas.

cheers, Jerry
#8
Quote by Shredwizard445
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31vgVliWwoU

Learn a bit of theory, learn how to hit target notes over changes. Record complex progressions with your looper and improvise over them. Try getting out of the damn pentatonic box, it's trapped guitarists into blues-hell for decades


Not to mention trapped unsuspecting audiences in blues-hell too! :-)
#9
learn how to navigate the minor pentatonic and other scales on two strings with slides etc to move across. One of the main issues when playing longer lines is position changes.
#10
Quote by jerrykramskoy
Is that because of stamina in your hand? Or does it occur where changes of material (or required technique) occur in the line? Is your timing going out? Or are you stumbling over parts of it?

You could try recording yourself at the speed your comfy with, and then at desired speed, and listen for where you hit problems. It could be a fingering issue, or a shift issue (getting to another area of the neck horizontally). Or a synchronisation problem between both hands (maybe picking at higher speeds?) Hard for me to guess with hearing it, I'm afraid!

Once you've identified where the problem(s) occur, hone in on them specifically (loop around that part).

cheers, Jerry

(p.s the usual advice of course: play it really, really slowly also for a few days at least, where you are really consciously aware of what both hands are doing)


I think it's timing, note selection and accuracy. I'm getting better at this aspect of it, but I'll come across my fair share of disharmonic notes. Also, my accuracy during very fast passages definitely is not up to snuff. It can be a little frustrating. I will sit with a metronome for hours and then when I try to improvise, I'll find that I'm still not able to play at the speed that I hear in my head.
#11
Quote by RyanMW2010
I think it's timing, note selection and accuracy. I'm getting better at this aspect of it, but I'll come across my fair share of disharmonic notes. Also, my accuracy during very fast passages definitely is not up to snuff. It can be a little frustrating. I will sit with a metronome for hours and then when I try to improvise, I'll find that I'm still not able to play at the speed that I hear in my head.


One fun thing to try is lay down a backing track, and for part of a solo, literally mute the backing and play at the speed you want ignoring the speed of the track. This can produce a really cool effect. It frees you up from worrying about being exactly in time, and if you can get your head around it when the track is unmuted, all the better.

For speed stuff, the advice of playing ridiculously slowly really does work (e.g 1 note per click at 30 bpm)... it gives you a chance to really concentrate on removing tension in your hand(s), which will always screw you (i.e us) up. Tensing up when you know you have a challenging part coming up is really common, and that will definitely cause timing issues. A huge amount of problems can be literally traced back to mental state and confidence.

It's not a good idea to play at speeds beyond your zone of accuracy for too long ... better for short periods of time (as a stamina thing, for a few minutes as part of your practise). Way better to keep improving your accuracy gradually, which you will if you have a mind to do so (which you clearly do have, as you're asking these questions!)

Good luck.

cheers, Jerry

(p.s. you may want to look into chromaticism also, which requires a good knowledge of where on- and off-beats occur ... this can let you get away with blue murder, note choice wise. I did a short lesson on soundcloud for a friend of mine you may find useful ... https://soundcloud.com/jerry-kramskoy-1/tips-for-using-chromaticism)
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Nov 10, 2014,