#1
Hoi,

So lately I've been just thinking, what actually improves our playing. Well actually it could be said everything does in a way or another though some less than others. If someone only plays other bands' songs using tabs all the time, does it actually improve anything that much?

I don't know why but I find playing my own stuff a lot more interesting and fitting for myself than just playing other bands' songs. However, I do sometimes play other bands' songs but usually avoid using tabs unless I encounter something that I just can't quite get. But more often, I just play my own stuff, riffs and such. Sometimes I make songs with lyrics, sometimes I only concentrate on guitar. What kind of material do I have? My stuff is highly influenced by guitarists like Slash, Joe Satriani, Jimmy Page and so on. I also consider some songs as a source of inspiration. One example could be the song "Canon Rock" which someone of you probably know.

Like, when I listen to music I just might suddenly get an idea for a riff, I just somehow "create" it in my mind. It's not long when I was in a sauna (yes, I'm from Finland lol) and suddenly a riff started ringing in my mind. When I got out of the sauna I took my guitar and applied what I had in my mind to the guitar. Sometimes I mind be cycling outside with headphones. Sometimes it's pretty windy outside and the volume is low so you might not here the songs that well. In cases like this I might "mishear" a riff and actually invent a riff at that very moment.

Now a little side question. Sometimes when I have a riff in my mind I try to apply it to the guitar. But not always do I find the correct notes and I hit the wrong ones. Sometimes when this happens the riff I had in my mind just fades away. It's like a glass and when a part of it hits the ground, the whole glass shatters. Why is it like this ._.

Do you think the way I'm doing it is a good way? There aren't any magical ways of improving in a nutshell but still, would you consider this one a proper way?
Last edited by Billie_J at May 15, 2015,
#2
Quote by Billie_J
Hoi,


Now a little side question. Sometimes when I have a riff in my mind I try to apply it to the guitar. But not always do I find the correct notes and I hit the wrong ones. Sometimes when this happens the riff I had in my mind just fades away. It's like a glass and when a part of it hits the ground, the whole glass shatters. Why is it like this ._.

Do you think the way I'm doing it is a good way? There aren't any magical ways of improving in a nutshell but still, would you consider this one a proper way?



Get into some ear training, and start transcribing your favorite songs. Once your ears really start to develop you won't even have this problem. It's more of an intuitive thing when you develop your ears. It's like your subconscious mind starts to memorize all the sounds the frets on each string makes when; you slow down records, and figure them out note by note, by listening.

I don't even think in terms of "Scales", even though I have a lot of knowledge about them. I think in terms of sound when it comes to anything, to do with the guitar. In the back of my head I understand the theory behind what's going on, but i'm predominately thinking sound wise. If I hear something in my head my fingers automatically go to those set of notes. It's like magic, and I think you'll tend to notice how this certain intuitive ability will develop when you transcribe records. Your fingers tend to start flying to that set of notes your hearing or that chord you're also hearing.


That's why I feel as if music is more of a language if anything. You're not amazed by the way you can speak, and write because it's nothing new to you. You've been practically doing it your whole life, but with music people tend to think it's different when it's really not. At first you might not be able to figure out maybe even a simple melody because your ears aren't developed, but that's the phases a child has to go through when it first learns to speak. Everything they say tends to sound like gibberish; Then one day magically everything they start saying. Starts to sound all coherent, and articulate it's like you never noticed what was coming out of their mouth didn't even make sense.


If anything I think you're losing the riffs in your head because you're just randomly guessing where the sounds are at, but when you start to develop your ears you won't have to guess anymore you just know what everything instinctively sounds like.

EDIT- I know you play a lot of your own material, but even then you should really sit down and transcribe a lot of the records you take from your influences. Notate the rhythms, and understand the dynamics where they're accenting on beat or off beat? What does Jimmy do a lot that tends to be more habitual in his playing?


All the nuances in every musicians sound is what gives him that signature sound you really have to look deep into it, and pay attention to every detail. Maybe even if you don't like playing their songs you can still make it your own by covering it, but not covering it note for note. Put your own spin on the song, and play it the way you would do it.
Last edited by Black_devils at May 15, 2015,
#5
Quote by Billie_J
If someone only plays other bands' songs using tabs all the time, does it actually improve anything that much?


Well you can certainly be a very good player by doing that and have good technique.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#6
Quote by Billie_J


Do you think the way I'm doing it is a good way? There aren't any magical ways of improving in a nutshell but still, would you consider this one a proper way?


1) start learning songs and solos by ear. start with slow blues or rock - it's easier. This is what makes real musicians, rather than "paint by number" musicians ( i.e. nothing but tab).

2) when you have a riff in your head - sing it into your phone ( use any recording app) immediately. At least this way you have captured some form of the initial idea before you lose it trying to sort it out on guitar.

3) learn basic theory - major scale, modes, chord construction and progression naming such as II, V, I etc. This, in conjunction with learning by stuff by ear, will drastically improve your ability to quickly play what is in your head.
#7
^ are classical musicians "paint by number" musicians?

I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#8
Quote by Dave_Mc
^ are classical musicians "paint by number" musicians?




Never that I've listened to a lot of classical music in my time, and they're very detailed oriented. Flamenco IMHO is amazing they play fast, and with articulation every note they play has meaning. I've been getting heavily into Paco de Lucia's guitar playing, and I must admit the man not only has incredible technique but even more phenomenal phrasing.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhccIfevjCU
Last edited by Black_devils at May 15, 2015,
#9
As Dave said, playing songs improves your playing technique. It doesn't matter whether you use tabs or not. But not being dependent on tabs does improve your ear. Your technique won't get better any faster, but your ear will, because you are actively using it. (Actually by using tabs your technique may get better faster because you don't have to spend time on first listening to the song a million times to hear the right notes. By using tabs you can play the song straight away and focus on the technical parts.)

But yeah, if you hear something in your head (and that's a great thing), just try singing/humming it and record it on your phone so that you remember it, and then figure it out on your guitar.

Yeah, you want to improve your ear. Just learn a lot of songs by ear. That will help. Maybe try playing what you sing.

If you hear something in your head, sing it. That way you can be sure that you are hearing actual pitches. Because sometimes people think they hear something, but they are really not able to think in pitch and they aren't actually hearing any pitches in their head. They just have some kind of a general idea, but don't actually know what they are after.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#10
Always carry a recording device so you can at least sing the riff enough to work out what it is later. Great riffs sometimes get lost in short term memory fog before you grab the guitar and find the right notes. Hitting the right notes when you have the guitar is a matter of ear training and applied to the fretboard in real time. It can be easy with something like a pitch collection, like a Pentatonic, but try doing it to a melody like the chorus of Take Five with its chromatics and tasty but subtle melodic changes, and you'll start to see just how exposed your lack of musical note awareness is in relation to playing it on the fretboard. Not just you, but with most people. But a commitment to making what you hear in your head, something that you can do on the guitar, involves much time and consistent practice. Melody playing is a great tool, but it will humble you when you see how bad you are at it. That's the only way to get better at it though.

Start listening to Jazz melodies, like Blue Bossa - easy on the ears but you'll appreciate how challenging it is to find on the guitar. Or the melody line to Norwegian Wood with its melodic leaps.

Best,

Sean
#11
Quote by Black_devils
Never that I've listened to a lot of classical music in my time, and they're very detailed oriented. Flamenco IMHO is amazing they play fast, and with articulation every note they play has meaning. I've been getting heavily into Paco de Lucia's guitar playing, and I must admit the man not only has incredible technique but even more phenomenal phrasing.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhccIfevjCU


I've never actually listened to much if any classical guitar playing I just meant regular orchestral classical music (which I do listen to fairly frequently). But the point is the same, I'm guessing the classical guitarists can read music and are encouraged to do so just the same.

Quote by MaggaraMarine
As Dave said, playing songs improves your playing technique. It doesn't matter whether you use tabs or not. But not being dependent on tabs does improve your ear. Your technique won't get better any faster, but your ear will, because you are actively using it. (Actually by using tabs your technique may get better faster because you don't have to spend time on first listening to the song a million times to hear the right notes. By using tabs you can play the song straight away and focus on the technical parts.)


Yeah that's a good point. It just depends on what you're after. I just don't like the implication that using tabs makes you a "trained monkey" (I've heard that phrase used before) or that it's "painting by numbers"- if it were, more people would be killer guitar players. I guess I just kind of resent people belittling something which is perfectly valid and which still requires a fair bit of skill. And being super-cynical, often the people who belittle something are not that great at it themselves and are bigging up what they are good at.

Don't get me wrong- I'm not saying having a good ear isn't important. Of course it is. But I'd also say that most decent players will be using their ears as well, even if they're exclusively (or almost exclusively) dependent upon tabs. The two things aren't mutually exclusive.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?