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#1
I am a self taught guitarist but I was a metal fan before a musician. Consequently rather than learn to play the guitar, I just learnt to play metal and all my lead work is basically minor and pentatonic based.

I've been trying to expand my horizons and play different styles of music and this has meant learning to play lead in major keys. I'm okay playing riffs but when it comes to solos I seem to struggle. I thought that I could simply play the relative minor scale (i.e. if it's C major you can just play A minor) but I've been told that this does not always work.

When I do solo I end up either just running up or down the scale or just play a variation of the scale on one string with the open string as a peddle note.

Any advice you could give me would be really appreciated. Also if anyone could advise me on a well known song that has a good solo in a major key it would really help.

Many thanks
#2
listen to more music

music isn't scales

scales don't matter

forget everything you know about scales

just listen to the sounds you make
modes are a social construct
#3
I understand what you're saying but listening to music and being able to play it are totally different things. For instance I can listen to Mozart and Bach all day long but I'd have no idea how to play any of it unless I had it on tab.

The problem I've found with simply learning songs from tab is it just becomes about memorising rather than understanding the way the music is constructed.
#4
I should also add that a recent experience I had playing with a gospel band; I was told that my 'style doesn't really fit the music'

Regardless of the key, I was still using pinch harmonics, unison bends and fast legato runs which didn't seem to go down well. Are there other techniques that I can use that will help me stand out as a good lead guitarist whilst still keeping with the vibe of more mellow/chilled music?
#5
I totally understand your problem--I spent years playing almost exclusively in minor keys, and I felt that my fingers were completely lost in a major context. I've had some real progress breaking into major-playing by spending a few days on youtube learning dozens of major-key licks in a few different genres. I tabbed out the licks that I liked and practiced playing each lick in a series of different orders, tinkering and trying to mesh them together. Also, I should note that while learning the youtube licks, I made sure to understand the music theory behind the licks that I was learning.

Eventually, I developed a "feel" for major-soloing and was able to add my own flare to these licks, and was soon able to improvise. While I'm still not as proficient in major keys as minor, I'm getting there. And most importantly, I feel that my playing is more enjoyable and colorful.

I hope this helps!
#6
matriani...your descriptions of your capabilities if correct..defines your problems..it seems you can't "HEAR" .. so you can not relate the sounds/music to something you know..which seems to be a very limited style..(I would have loved to see you play with that gospel group)

now..IF your serious about learning music..study diationic harmony..learn all you can about it (at the same time learn to read notation-its not that hard) in doing so you will learn how to join chords and play over them smoothly..you will also begin to hear chord/voice movement and begin to relate that to the fretboard..OK it is NOT a quick study..but if your serious..what else would you rather do..give it a year..(a year is going to go by if you study of not..if you study you will be a much better musician(in theory) if you don't..you will more than likely be in the same place you are today.

hope this helps
play well

wolf
Last edited by wolflen at Jul 29, 2015,
#7
Quote by Matriani
I understand what you're saying but listening to music and being able to play it are totally different things. For instance I can listen to Mozart and Bach all day long but I'd have no idea how to play any of it unless I had it on tab.


that's your fault. listening and being able to play it are exactly what your goals need to be as a musician. if you can't hear something and understand what's happening in a meaningful way, and preferably in a way that relates to familiar orchestration for you, you're not doing your job as a musician.
modes are a social construct
#8
You may get better responses if you ask this in the Musician Talk forum https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=8

My very broad answer would be to study the major scale/ionian mode. Learn progressions, chords and the corresponding arpeggios.
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#9
Quote by BlueIceBox
You may get better responses if you ask this in the Musician Talk forum




modes are a social construct
#10
Quote by Hail



Let's find out...
Actually called Mark!

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#11
Quote by Matriani
I am a self taught guitarist but I was a metal fan before a musician. Consequently rather than learn to play the guitar, I just learnt to play metal and all my lead work is basically minor and pentatonic based.

I've been trying to expand my horizons and play different styles of music and this has meant learning to play lead in major keys. I'm okay playing riffs but when it comes to solos I seem to struggle. I thought that I could simply play the relative minor scale (i.e. if it's C major you can just play A minor) but I've been told that this does not always work.

When I do solo I end up either just running up or down the scale or just play a variation of the scale on one string with the open string as a peddle note.

Any advice you could give me would be really appreciated. Also if anyone could advise me on a well known song that has a good solo in a major key it would really help.

Many thanks


Soloing isn't a thing you learn to do from a theory standpoint. It's not some set of direction of what notes to play, or where to put your fingers, and then you do that, and music comes out.

It's the intent of sound. You need to desire to hear notes, and then find those on the fretboard.

But finding the ones you want can be tough. In a major key, you will mostly want the notes of that major scale, which are the notes of the relative minor, same notes.

But that doesn't mean just randomly play those. It's a way to find the notes you want. Play around with them, randomize the order, and learn what they sound like that way. This will sound like shit, a lot of the time, but you are learning the scale by sound, so its ok. Practice imagining the notes you want to hear. Hum solos without thinking of any theory.

Then you will see how helpful the key scale is to finding those, and you will see how sometimes you don't want key scale notes, and you will see how sometimes chords in a major key use notes that aren't key scale notes.

There is no how, other than that. Music isn't like painting a wall or something like that, where you just learn what to do and do it. It's art, where the artist is fully in charge of deciding what to produce, and where what they decide is the difference between one artist and another.

It's not an on off thing, where you either know how to solo or you don't. Anybody can technically solo, just like anyone can draw and anyone can speak. What differentiates us, is what we choose to draw specifically, the specific lines we draw, the specific words we use and what we say, and the solos we imagine.

So practice your imagination, use the scale to realize what you imagine, and learn from the imagination of others.
#12
Quote by Matriani
I should also add that a recent experience I had playing with a gospel band; I was told that my 'style doesn't really fit the music'

Regardless of the key, I was still using pinch harmonics, unison bends and fast legato runs which didn't seem to go down well. Are there other techniques that I can use that will help me stand out as a good lead guitarist whilst still keeping with the vibe of more mellow/chilled music?

pinch harmonics didn't fit in with a gospel band? you're kidding.

your issue boils down to one exact point, the fact that you don't seem to listen to anything other than metal. if you're going to play with a gospel band or anything else that's outside your comfort zone, you need to put in the requisite work familiarizing yourself with the genre before you waste your time as well as everyone else's

the same goes for your original point: just listen to as much music outside of your "normal" music as you can. ideas will come from this after you hear the work of others, and from there you can begin to develop a style of your own
#13
also gonna point out after rereading more carefully - you don't have to stand out. it's not about you.

especially in church...having an ego is the opposite of the purpose of gospel music
modes are a social construct
#14
Quote by Hail
also gonna point out after rereading more carefully - you don't have to stand out. it's not about you.

especially in church...having an ego is the opposite of the purpose of gospel music

Yes.


Also, you will not stand out by using certain techniques. Or you will - in a bad way. For example pinch harmonics, sweep picking, tapping, tremolo picking and all that shred stuff will not work in gospel music, and if you use those techniques, you will stand out in a bad way. (You could of course use them more musically, and I'm sure you could make them work, but to do that you should forget about shredding and think more musically.)

But if you want to "stand out" in a good way (or I would just say "play good sounding solos"), just play music. You need to play musically. Play good melodies. It doesn't need to sound technically difficult. If you can get a good tone out of the guitar (good tone also has to do with technique) and play some melodic leads, I think that's enough. But yeah, the point of playing in a gospel band is definitely not standing out as a good guitarist. If you think that's the idea of playing lead guitar in a gospel band, I'm not sure if you should even play in one.

Don't try to stand out. You'll stand out if you play musically and don't try so hard. Don't try to be good. Be good. Be yourself and just play music.


It's a lot about listening. Listen to other musicians in the band. Get ideas from what they play. Try to hear melodies in your head, and play what you hear. Play less notes, and give them more "meaning". Long sustained notes are good (if you can make them sound good). Rests are good.

I'm not saying a fast lick can't sound good. A fast lick can sound good if you play it in a proper place. I'm just saying don't overplay. Don't try to impress others. Just serve the music. Use your ears and listen. It's not all about you, it's about the music. Even your solos are not all about you.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Aug 2, 2015,
#15
There's a common thread of advice here, for good reason. Listen, learn, understand, and especially what fits the tune. Above all listen.

You'll find one of the big differences is melodic approach. A great way to pick up on this is to choose a simple tune (simpler the better), with a great vocal melody ... and analyse the vocal.

As you learn the theory (which is simple by the way ... it's the application where everything to do with musicality applies) one reaction is trying to chase the chords of a tune. Very often, a vocalist doesn't do this, instead (s)he brings out the tonality ... use melodies weaving around the 1,3 and 5 of the key (and the 6 gives a "bluesy-ish" feel).

Listen carefully to how the melody is phrased ... massively important, and pay attention to what notes they start and stop on. Often it's the 1,3 or 5.

Listen for when/if the melody passes through adjacent scale notes, and when it jumps ... which will make the target note stand out more. What note has it jumped to?

Clearly there are loads of variation to the above, but it'll get you going.

Above all, sing the melody yourself (doesn't have top be perfect), but being consciously aware of which intervals are used against the key.

There's an old saying ... "less is more" ... it's very true. It is much harder than it seems to play well a few notes musically at a reasonable speed, than to play legato flat out etc. Both approaches have their place.

cheers, Jerry
#16
Quote by Hail
also gonna point out after rereading more carefully - you don't have to stand out. it's not about you.

especially in church...having an ego is the opposite of the purpose of gospel music



There are different ways to stand out to different people also. Some people will be amazed at how fast and technical you are. Some by some flashy techniques they've seen before, like jimi hendrix style playing with your teeth, or something like that.

To me, what is vitally important, and what I want to do to stand out, is the musical choices I make. The music itself. If you have a unique and interesting style that way, you will stand out to some people, but you will also not stand out to many people.

Especially if you play blues or something like that.

Some people just don't get it. Some people see someone playing guitar and they think of it as "oh that guy can play guitar" like if there is playing guitar and not playing guitar, and if you want to play guitar you just go to school and learn how to do it, and then whether or not you become successful is just luck. They don't differentiate really with how one person plays versus another. Except for technical skill.

This is where flashy techniques and showmanship really shine, because those people will have something to latch onto when they justify whether or not you are a special guitarist.

You could also stand out by being terrible.

To me, the goal is to be as creative as possible, learn and practice all the techniques you need in order to create freely, and create in a unique way, the way your honest self wants to create. Then hopefully you stand out for that. You definitely won't to some people. But you might to others.

So, I wouldn't worry about it too much, and just concentrate on accomplishing the music you want to make, and the music that you feel.
#17
Gospel music is lame though.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#19
For traditional gospel I'd say it was safe enough to stick to major pent. Worked for Sam Cooke....
#20
^Yeah, don't go busting out that Phrygian Dominant scale unless you can do it in a gospel-y way.

Which you totally can, probably.

I would argue, reading OP's posts, that regardless of the idea of pinch harmonics and shred legato in gospel band, the real problem is this gem right here:

"Regardless of the key"

Play in a key. That'll do WAY more than swapping your style up will.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#21
Keys > Scales. What does that mean for your practice learning right now? Well, find backing tracks in a major key. Play along. What works? What doesn't? The major scale is most likely to work, so start with that. But don't sit there and go, "Song is in Gmajor! I should play X scale." Instead say, "Let's play in Gmajor!". It's a subtle difference, but one that is important.
#22
Quote by Matriani

I've been trying to expand my horizons and play different styles of music and this has meant learning to play lead in major keys. I'm okay playing riffs but when it comes to solos I seem to struggle. I thought that I could simply play the relative minor scale (i.e. if it's C major you can just play A minor) but I've been told that this does not always work.

When I do solo I end up either just running up or down the scale or just play a variation of the scale on one string with the open string as a peddle note.

Any advice you could give me would be really appreciated. Also if anyone could advise me on a well known song that has a good solo in a major key it would really help.


So a couple of thoughts.

The first, you want a safe, easy solo? Play the melody of the song. A tremendous number of memorable solos are just slightly embellished versions of the melody. Most non-guitarists learn to play a melody before they learn to play a solo, but too many guitarists learn scales as shapes, and therefore think of solos as something you do with your fingers, rather than your ears.

Just practice playing melodies. If you struggle to quickly play the melody, then your ear needs work, and nothing will improve your solos more than developing your ear so that you can quickly play a melody that you hear, but this is a lot of work and takes time.

A minor and C major share the same notes, so playing in "a minor" over a C major song will work, kind of. The problem is that while all the notes are the same, the function of each of those notes are different. I suspect that you have internalized a set of soloing tricks that resolve on A, which works great when you're in A minor, because A is the root. However it can feel clunky because A won't feel resolved in C major.

So I would start by practicing lots of simple melodic ideas that start and end on C. Four, five notes. Make 'em count. You've got to reprogram your brain a little.

The other thing is, you mention pentatonic, but I'm guessing you just mean the minor pentatonic? I would start with the major pentatonic.

The major pentatonic omits two notes (the 4th and 7th, that F and B in C major). So I would say, just practice with the major pentatonic (really being aware of your tonic) and then, once you're comfortable, start by adding the 7th back in. The 7th has one of the strongest functional relationships in the major scale - it really "wants" to resolve up to the tonic. So one exercise you can do - once you're used to the major pentatonic - is to never play the root without hitting the 7th first, just as an exercise to get that sound into your head. Once you've got the 7th in your head, add the 4th in. The 4th is trickier than the 7th because it's functional role is more complex, and it is more likely to clash with the tonic chord (which contains a 3rd, a half-step away).

(This process will probably take several practice sessions. Do not rush it. Move on to the next step only once you're comfortable with the previous step.)
#23
Quote by HotspurJr
So a couple of thoughts.

The first, you want a safe, easy solo? Play the melody of the song. A tremendous number of memorable solos are just slightly embellished versions of the melody.


In many genres, 99% of solos are based on that principal.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#24
Thanks for all the advice guys. I guess the key thing for me to take on board is that there isn't a quick fix solution and I need to go back to basics and work on my musicianship rather than just learning a few tricks that will impress my mates.

As I said before I've come to realise that there is far more to being a good guitarist than being able to play fast shred solos and I can see that I've picked up a lot of bad habits and clichés from my preferred style of music, i.e. rock/metal.

I think I'm going to bite the bullet and actually invest in some lessons and (even though it fries my brain) try and delve more into music theory so I understand how the music is constructed better.

I don't think I'll be returning to gospel music anytime soon though!
#25
Just go to a different church where they play more sinister gospel music.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#26
Quote by Matriani
Thanks for all the advice guys. I guess the key thing for me to take on board is that there isn't a quick fix solution and I need to go back to basics and work on my musicianship rather than just learning a few tricks that will impress my mates.

As I said before I've come to realise that there is far more to being a good guitarist than being able to play fast shred solos and I can see that I've picked up a lot of bad habits and clichés from my preferred style of music, i.e. rock/metal.

I think I'm going to bite the bullet and actually invest in some lessons and (even though it fries my brain) try and delve more into music theory" so I understand how the music is constructed better.
I still think your focus is wrong - or maybe you're not telling us everything (because you don't need to).
You're talking about "musicianship", "being a good guitarist" and delving "more into music theory", but not actually saying anything about music. Those goals are fine, but they're only means to an end.

As Hail said back there, it's not about your ego - if anything it's about losing your ego, by immersion in the music. Express yourself as a composer, by all means, but when playing other people's music, you're expressing the music, not yourself. Even when improvising, it's about your take on that particular tune (how it makes you feel it at that moment), not a chance to demonstrate your technical skill.

Think of yourself as a musician who happens to play guitar, not as a guitarist wedded to (or looking for) any particular style. The guitar is obviously the coolest instrument - - but it's still only a rather clumsy tool, that we all struggle to wring something expressive out of. What you say and how you say it is more important than what you say it with.

What matters is to play music - any kind of music you like (not any kind of music you think you ought to be playing to "expand your horizons" or improve your "musicianship")
If rock/metal is still your preferred style, stick with that (you can always get better at it!).
If you're developing a taste for other styles (which seems to be the case), study them as they are - learning from recordings - rather than studying theory in the hope of being able to get into them that way.
"Back to basics" can mean reading up on theory, but it should also mean basic types of song, to look at how they're constructed and played - theory in action, as it were. Folk songs, country songs, blues. Those are the DNA of all kinds of rock.
(Gospel too - nothing wrong with wanting play that, but as with any new style you have to immerse yourself in listening to it, absorbing the vibe and attitude, and trying to copy it. You don't learn it from books or theory.)

Apologies if I've misread you or made patronising assumptions .
#27
i have some chemicals to suggest if you really want to lose your ego btw OP
modes are a social construct
#28
Maybe I should explain slightly more and it will give you an insight...

The reason that I ended up playing with a gospel band is because my friend plays bass for them and he invited me to come along and play with them. I don't really like gospel music and infact would regard myself as an atheist. I explained my reluctance to him because of this but he persuaded me to come along to a practice session.

I quickly learnt that playing guitar in a gospel band amounts to pretty much playing the same 4 chords over and over (at least in the compositions they do anyway) whilst the singer gets to show off all their vocal talents.

I could see that the rest of the band were feeling the music but as a non-Christian, it did nothing for me. This meant that I became bored rather quickly and it wasn't long before I started adding in licks and little lead parts, mainly to stop me from falling asleep. I then persuaded them to let me have a solo in a few of the songs but as I mentioned previously, playing a Kirk Hammett style solo in a gospel song didn't go down too well (I personally think it sounded awesome )

I have no desire to play gospel music but I would like to develop into a more rounded and versatile player which for me actually means moving away from all the 'shred' stuff and being able to play simpler stuff (but at the same time still feeling challenged enough that I don't get bored and fall back into old habits)
#29
wow you really must not like listening to music
modes are a social construct
#30
Quote by Matriani
Maybe I should explain slightly more and it will give you an insight...

The reason that I ended up playing with a gospel band is because my friend plays bass for them and he invited me to come along and play with them. I don't really like gospel music and infact would regard myself as an atheist. I explained my reluctance to him because of this but he persuaded me to come along to a practice session.

I quickly learnt that playing guitar in a gospel band amounts to pretty much playing the same 4 chords over and over (at least in the compositions they do anyway) whilst the singer gets to show off all their vocal talents.
Well, to an atheist (I'm one too, btw) it would probably look like that. To a believer, I suspect that counts as feeling the spirit move within you.

But what's wrong with the same 4 chords over and over? At least it's not 2 or 3! (In any case, I can have a lot of fun playing one chord over and over, if the groove is good....)
Quote by Matriani

I could see that the rest of the band were feeling the music but as a non-Christian, it did nothing for me.
I don't see that one's religious persuasion (or absence of) should affect how one responds to music.
Gospel is one of the foundation stones of rock music. Robert Plant wouldn't have sung the way he did if it wasn't for Little Richard and Ray Charles. And they sang the way they did because... you guessed it.
There's a feeling in that music which transcends its Christian content. Or maybe it's that us atheists interpret the "spirituality" of it in other ways. It's not too different from the feeling in blues, after all, the "devil's music". (And one might say that it comes from non-Christian African sentiments anyway, which simply got applied to European church music.)
Quote by Matriani

This meant that I became bored rather quickly and it wasn't long before I started adding in licks and little lead parts, mainly to stop me from falling asleep. I then persuaded them to let me have a solo in a few of the songs but as I mentioned previously, playing a Kirk Hammett style solo in a gospel song didn't go down too well (I personally think it sounded awesome )
OK, I see the smiley, but I hope you see the fundamental issue.

No one says you have to like all kinds of music, but you'll be a better musician if you can feel your way into why other people like it.
All music is "good", if enough people like it. As a musician, you should be open enough to appreciate that - and ideally be able to enter into the "spirit" (or whatever you want to call it) if required to play it.
Personally I get enjoyment out of playing any kind of music, even stuff I don't normally choose to listen to. Getting into the genre, understand its parameters and working within them - hugely satisfying.
Live music is a social activity, a group event, and not liking the music of that bunch of people is equivalent to not liking those people.

OK, you can choose to stay in your metal ghetto if you want - nothing wrong with specialism. But if you want to get out of it, broaden your tastes, you have to understand what's required. A broadening of taste for a start!
Last edited by jongtr at Aug 6, 2015,
#31
the problem is a fundamental confusion of physical activity with the sound it produces

your technique is a means of producing sound. sound is not a playground by which you exercise your technique.
modes are a social construct
#32
I quickly learnt that playing guitar in a gospel band amounts to pretty much playing the same 4 chords over and over


Literally all but maybe three or four of the best tunes ever are the same four (or less) chords over and over though so I don't see why that's bad.

Your problem is that you are musically immature and self-centered and want the music to be all about you rather than all about the music.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#33
Quote by Matriani
Maybe I should explain slightly more and it will give you an insight...

The reason that I ended up playing with a gospel band is because my friend plays bass for them and he invited me to come along and play with them. I don't really like gospel music and infact would regard myself as an atheist. I explained my reluctance to him because of this but he persuaded me to come along to a practice session.

I quickly learnt that playing guitar in a gospel band amounts to pretty much playing the same 4 chords over and over (at least in the compositions they do anyway) whilst the singer gets to show off all their vocal talents.

I could see that the rest of the band were feeling the music but as a non-Christian, it did nothing for me. This meant that I became bored rather quickly and it wasn't long before I started adding in licks and little lead parts, mainly to stop me from falling asleep. I then persuaded them to let me have a solo in a few of the songs but as I mentioned previously, playing a Kirk Hammett style solo in a gospel song didn't go down too well (I personally think it sounded awesome )

I have no desire to play gospel music but I would like to develop into a more rounded and versatile player which for me actually means moving away from all the 'shred' stuff and being able to play simpler stuff (but at the same time still feeling challenged enough that I don't get bored and fall back into old habits)



I actually love gospel music, and I find it is a very elaborate style musically. There are lots of interesting chord changes, Key changes, and lots of lush chord extensions in gospel music. I am also an atheist so the content side of things of gospel is not of interest to me, and I wouldn't play with a gospel group for that reason alone, but I would certainly love to play some gospel style music. Michael Jackson's man in the mirror is very sort of gospelish. A lot of cool R&B style piano comes from gospel also. I think Gospel is great, musically.

To me, music is music. The way I solo is to hear and feel the music whatever it may be, and then contribute to it what I think it needs. Sometimes, that might be something real simple. Which I don't particularly enjoy all that much, but also kind of do, the same way I will enjoy just listening to great music and tapping my foot along. But I do have to restrain myself, which is a bit less fun I guess.

So, for me, I don't think of this style or that style, in so far as my playing goes. I don't think of using this lick from that genre, or anything like that, ever. I just listen, and feel, and play whatever it is that I feel.

However, some techniques lend themselves well to some genres, which is why I might practice one genre or another for a bit. For instance, if you give me an electric guitar of the sort that is suitable for shredding and then give me music I'd want to shred to, I'd be a little stuck, because I can't shred, so I would play other things that match the style but are less technically demanding. So, for me, practice is a lot of getting the muscles and flexibility to be physically able to do certain things, in order to create the freedom of potential for doing whatever I think of. And I try to think of only what the music makes me feel, and play that. With an empty mind, not thinking of this lick, or that one, this style or that one, this drill I learned or anything like that.


Be water my friend.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Aug 6, 2015,
#34
Band playing is not masturbating. It's about making the song sound good. And many times that requires playing simple and "boring" parts - for guitar that means repetitive chord progressions. And that applies to most music, not just gospel. I find enjoyment in playing good sounding music, no matter how simple my own part is. If it serves the music, it is good. For example the bassline of Runnin with the Devil is very simple, but without it the song would't sound so good. You need to play music. Also, just because you are an atheist and the music is religious, it doesn't mean you couldn't enjoy it. Just listen to it as music. For example a lot of Bach's music is religious but non-religious people still enjoy it. Of course you don't have to like it, but you boeing an atheist is not really a reason to dislike music.
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
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Aug 6, 2015,
#35
This thread has somehow morphed into a discussion on gospel music which wasn't my intention. I merely used it as an example as it is the polar opposite of my usual style (metal). I am equally bad at playing jazz and folk!

I know that most songs only have a few chords but when you play 10 songs in a row which are all essentially G, D and A over and over it gets boring real fast! I think the issue there was their previous singer had a limited range so they'd ended up transposing every song into his preferred key of G major.

I have actually heard gospel music which has complicated jazz/funk style arrangements such as Ron Kenoly and there are actually genres such as Christian rock which (apart from the lyrics) are more my cup of tea (but again this was about the styles of music I struggle with not ones I'm comfortable with)
#36
i don't even like gospel music. like, at all. but there's an issue here

Quote by Matriani
I know that most songs only have a few chords but when you play 10 songs in a row which are all essentially G, D and A over and over it gets boring real fast!


if you're gonna be playing cover gigs in any situation, especially any that make money (which, if you plan on being professional at all as a musician, you will, a lot), you better get over this reaaaaal fuckin quick


it's like you have selective hearing and don't understand that there are transitive properties at work here. the music you aren't "good at playing" is music that is simple and repetitive. doesn't that say something about a) your attention span and b) your enjoyment of music?

you might need to take some time and either play another instrument or quit playing guitar altogether for a while so you can begin to take in music at face value

when you watch a movie, do you go in wanting to watch something that was really hard to film for the director? i mean, it may or may not have been, but as a viewer, you don't know or care. it doesn't matter. what does is the end result. you need to get a better scope of the big picture and understand that being unable to play the same 3 chords for a whole set is an indication of musical immaturity moreso than it is a demonstration of what you're actually able to do

restraint comes with experience, humility, and accepting that everything doesn't always have to be moving to be good. i suggest sticking with this gospel group and actually learning to play and appreciate music that's foreign to you rather than figuring out how to solo and looking like a cocky kid
modes are a social construct
#37
Quote by Matriani
This thread has somehow morphed into a discussion on gospel music which wasn't my intention. I merely used it as an example as it is the polar opposite of my usual style (metal). I am equally bad at playing jazz and folk!

I know that most songs only have a few chords but when you play 10 songs in a row which are all essentially G, D and A over and over it gets boring real fast! I think the issue there was their previous singer had a limited range so they'd ended up transposing every song into his preferred key of G major.

I have actually heard gospel music which has complicated jazz/funk style arrangements such as Ron Kenoly and there are actually genres such as Christian rock which (apart from the lyrics) are more my cup of tea (but again this was about the styles of music I struggle with not ones I'm comfortable with)


Again.

Your problem is that you are musically immature and self-centered and want the music to be all about you rather than all about the music.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#38
Quote by Matriani

I know that most songs only have a few chords but when you play 10 songs in a row which are all essentially G, D and A over and over it gets boring real fast!
That's a problem with your attitude, not with the music.
Think of all those blues musicians who based a lifetime career out of 3-chord songs. Were they ever bored? Or were they just lacking in brain cells? Neither of course.
Quote by Matriani

I think the issue there was their previous singer had a limited range so they'd ended up transposing every song into his preferred key of G major.
I'd agree that's maybe more of an issue. Playing in the same key all night can be boring for an audience as well as a band. Or rather, making things interesting becomes one level harder than it is when you only have 3 or 4 chords per song, but in different keys.
It also exposes the dumbness of the singer (or maybe the band), who believes that his limited range means every song needs to be in the same key. Wrong!
(The keynote of a song might be anywhere within its melodic range.)

I'm not trying to be offensive here, this is constructive advice: learn to appreciate simple music. Then you will be a happier musician - and a more popular one too, and possibly a richer one.

A zen quote from John Cage to consider:
"When something is boring for two minutes, try it for four. If it's still boring, try it for eight. And so on. Eventually you find it isn't boring at all, but extremely interesting."

It''s about paying proper attention.
Last edited by jongtr at Aug 8, 2015,
#39
Quote by Matriani
This thread has somehow morphed into a discussion on gospel music which wasn't my intention. I merely used it as an example as it is the polar opposite of my usual style (metal). I am equally bad at playing jazz and folk!

I know that most songs only have a few chords but when you play 10 songs in a row which are all essentially G, D and A over and over it gets boring real fast! I think the issue there was their previous singer had a limited range so they'd ended up transposing every song into his preferred key of G major.

I have actually heard gospel music which has complicated jazz/funk style arrangements such as Ron Kenoly and there are actually genres such as Christian rock which (apart from the lyrics) are more my cup of tea (but again this was about the styles of music I struggle with not ones I'm comfortable with)


A lot of songs use similar progression structures, because chords tend to have functions and work with each other in certain ways. No matter what you play, if you always play in the same key, it will get a bit tedious that way, from time to time. It might be because of the vocalist, but I find that for my range, one song might work better in one key, whereas another song will work better in another key, depending on how the melody is.

Changing things up a little, is definitely not a bad idea, if you can. Transposing shouldn't be too hard for the band to do, and due to the characteristics of instruments players will do different things with them, than if they were in the same key, and going from one key to the next, one song after the other, can disguise how similar they are, and make them sound very different, even if some of the progressions might be similar progressions, function-wise.

I don't think there is necessarily anything wrong with you. If I was playing with people that all had similar songs, and played them all in the same key, all of the same style, and all I could do was play a real simple sameish strum pattern over and over again, always the same basic chords, I would get the hell out of there, personally. That's not for me. But that certainly doesn't mean guitar is not for me.

There are lots of styles of music. Someone brought up blues being the same 3 chords, and ya, sure, it is. But nobody plays the blues always in the same key, and always like a backing track. That, would, be, soo tedious. What makes blues a thing is the liberty, and number of thing someone improvising can do over those 3 chords, and people are dancing around all over the place in blues. What makes one blues good, and one just average, is the creativity and the freshness of the improvisation.

If you find that band boring, then find a less boring one to play with.

There is music like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-NOZU2iPA8

Or there is music like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_XJ_s5IsQc

Obviously, you always have to play as a band, and you can't just always be the focus and do whatever you want, but you want to play music that you love, and that suits you.

Every style is fine. Music is about honest expression to me. It is about being yourself. It is about the love of the music. If you're not loving it, then that's completely missing the point. To me, it's not like, factory work. You're not on an assembly line, just doing your job. It's a dance, and if the music doesn't move you, it doesn't move you, and it's not for you, imo.

It's also not about how complex or simple what you're doing is. Sometimes doing something simple is the right thing, and it feels right, and that's what you want, and that's what fits, but if I'm standing there, and I'm bored, I'm out of there. If I can't be creative, and the music is not interesting to me, and it doesn't light me up, I'm not interested.

That's me. Maybe you're like me, and that's ok. But that doesn't mean you should always want to be the focus of attention and just go all wailing all the time, the music is a composition of many parts of which you are one.

i mean, it would make no sense to put Oscar Peterson on the keyboards in that "jesus is my friend" tune and have him play those 3 chords over and over again, or whatever it was. The guy would go crazy repeating that sameish thing over and over. Especially that it would not be that one song, but every song, that you play over and over and over, forget it. That's like claustrophobia almost. All of these possibilities and stuff like that, the drive to just explode and be creative and dance all over that progression, and you have to just stab 3 chords over and over. No thanks.

There is an infinite supply of styles of music you can play. Not just genres, but every shade of improvisation as well, and all are great, as long as the people playing them enjoy them. Just find what you like. It's cool to look into other styles to learn stuff, but I would focus on what you love. I would play in a band that's into what you're into. You can explore other stuff on your own time. If you are bored playing with that band, I don't see why you'd stick around. Music is not for being bored, and monotonously drudging along laboriously doing crap you don't like. I mean, you gotta grind it out sometimes, but it should be a celebration of the love for the music you enjoy. That's where all the feel and greatness comes from, imo. Just going through the motions will sound bland and generic, I find.

At the end of the day music IS about you. It's an expression of you. Whether you're playing the cowbell in a dixie band, or the single guitarist putting on a clinic on stage, it needs to be you, imo. And represent you, and be something you enjoy. To me, that's music. Really, what someone else says you should be doing, doesn't really matter. I don't think art works that way. Obviously the hope is others will be interested in what you're doing, and the more the merrier, but I think you need to be into what you're doing first and foremost, whatever that may be. Right?

Oscar Peterson is one of the greatest pianists to have walked the earth since the invention of recording devices. I don't think you could tell him anything is wrong with him, because he likes to be all over the place. I wouldn't give him the advice to shutup and play simply. But, of course he does tone it down, when others improvise their solos. Even then, he does diddle around a little though. There are all kinds. Art is beautiful that way. You just need to find where you fit honestly, I think, rather than try to become something you're not, in order to fit with some ideal or whatever.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Aug 8, 2015,
#40
Listen to good players solo in major keys and take ideas from them. Analyze their note choices and figure out how they're getting from chord to chord. I'm not saying you have to learn their solos note for note, just do some serious listening and a bit of transcribing and try to incorporate it into your own playing.


You might not like country or bluegrass, but a lot of it is in a major key and has guitar or "guitar-like" instruments that frequently take solos, so it could be beneficial. Not to mention, a lot of bluegrass players shred pretty hard


EDIT: god dammit, if I see that Lingus video on here one more time...
Last edited by MeGaDeth2314 at Aug 8, 2015,
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