Page 1 of 2
#1
Now I know a lot of songs, possibly over 150 and I know most of them exceptionally well. But when it comes to the solos, I usually try to learn the solo from the album note for note or figure something that fits and play it that exact way every time I play it.

What I'm trying to say is one, I can't my own s ong to save my life nor can I really just start playing a solo and lose my mind and lose control like I see some of my friends do and they make it look effortless. I've been paying for over ten years now and I should be worlds better than what I am.

I've studied scales and videos and been trying to push myself more and more over the past 2 or 3 months now, but I feel like I'm making no progress. Am I just not creative?
Thank you #21! Tim Duncan!!!
#2
It sounds to me that you have a lot of information down, but your problem is extracting that information and using it to help you as a writer and musician. (At least from the description that you've given)

I think you have to learn to understand some of these things on a really deep level, that is when knowledge becomes feeling. Take the songs you know and break them down. What progressions do they use? How does two songs with the same progression differ from one another? What is the relationship between the notes in the melody and the chords underneath/or the key signature you are playing in? The solo phrases you learn, what chord(s) are they played over? How does those chords relate to the key? How does the notes of the phrase relate to the chord underneath? Are they chord tones, diatonic or accidentals?

There are loads of things you have to do in order to be creative and making music flow naturally. As an example the first couple of years when i first started getting into jazz i couldn't improvise anything at all, despite working on my scales/arpeggios and transcribing solos/comping/etc. Learning those things are only half the battle, then you have to learn to use them and understand them properly, and also connect your ear to your instrument and get the natural flow going. It is a long process for sure, but you can make big leaps very quickly if you just apply yourself to it.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#3
the probelm is that you are most likely trying to write the next Stairway To Heaven solo and are disappointed when you can't. start simple. record a simple chord change and then solo over it. just go with it and see what happens. chances are your first few attempts will suck or be very dirivative of a solo you know from a song. htat's ok and we all do that to begin with. after a few tries you will stumble on to something. don't try to play every lick you know either (another common mistake). often simpler is better. get a sense of melody and go with it. this is what i do when working on my original stuff. i always work out a rhythm track fist and then noodle over it until i get a solid idea to work with (link in profile)
Last edited by monwobobbo at Jul 30, 2015,
#4
Do you know your scales and triads and such? Do you practice them regularly?

Getting those rudiments down is essential to advancing from learning tunes to working creatively. It only takes about 15 minutes a day to keep all that stuff fresh under your fingers.
#5
Quote by cdgraves
Do you know your scales and triads and such? Do you practice them regularly?

Getting those rudiments down is essential to advancing from learning tunes to working creatively. It only takes about 15 minutes a day to keep all that stuff fresh under your fingers.


can't say i agree. while knowing your scales etc is benificial it has nothing to do with being creative. plenty of guitar players with little or no real knowledge of theory managed to write great solos. let your ears be your guide.
#6
Quote by ComaAlpha
Am I just not creative?


maybe not. This part always came easily to me, and it is more difficult for others. But, you can work on it for sure.

Knowing scales and chords is one thing. Knowing and understanding them, how they fit together from a sound perspective is another.

If you want to figure out the extent of your creativity or practice it, try soloing notes in your mind without an instrument. Remove "how" and just do it. Hear it in your mind. Don't think of any theory or fretboard or anything. I'm not sure how that will work for you, but that's really what the aim is when you solo, is to turn those ideas into sounds, basically.

It's not to find some theoretical system to create sounds for you.

It's a bit complicated exactly what you want to do, I can't really help you in a forum post. I think I could help you, but it would need to be live.

If you could find a good teacher in your area that would be good for you, but idk how you should go about being able to sort the good ones from the bad ones, for your goal you want to achieve.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Jul 30, 2015,
#7
Quote by monwobobbo
can't say i agree. while knowing your scales etc is benificial it has nothing to do with being creative. plenty of guitar players with little or no real knowledge of theory managed to write great solos. let your ears be your guide.


That a few guitarists managed greatness despite their lack of organization and knowledge doesn't mean anyone else should count on being that lucky. You might be able to name a dozen notable guitarists who "knew nothing", but there are thousands of anonymous ones who work professionally because they spent a lot of time in the woodshed. Considering the OP here is asking for advice after 10 years of playing, I'd venture to say s/he's not one of those who is going to suddenly jump out of the gate with amazing creative powers just because they set their mind to it a few nights a week. This practical advice for someone looking to take their playing to the next level (assuming they haven't already done those things).

Further, this isn't a trade off - I don't know why anyone gets the idea that learning basic musicianship comes at the expense of creativity. As I pointed out, rudiments take maybe 15 minutes a day once you have them down. That's a pretty small investment for something that almost universally helps people advance in their playing. Having those tools at the ready makes creative work much less laborious, which in turn provides the motivation to continue being creative.

It would be great if everyone could get awesome at music just by listening and playing, but if that hasn't already happened after 10 years, it sounds like a different approach is needed.
Last edited by cdgraves at Jul 30, 2015,
#8
Quote by cdgraves
That a few guitarists managed greatness despite their lack of organization and knowledge doesn't mean anyone else should count on being that lucky. You might be able to name a dozen notable guitarists who "knew nothing", but there are thousands of anonymous ones who work professionally because they spent a lot of time in the woodshed. Considering the OP here is asking for advice after 10 years of playing, I'd venture to say s/he's not one of those who is going to suddenly jump out of the gate with amazing creative powers just because they set their mind to it a few nights a week. This practical advice for someone looking to take their playing to the next level (assuming they haven't already done those things).

Further, this isn't a trade off - I don't know why anyone gets the idea that learning basic musicianship comes at the expense of creativity. As I pointed out, rudiments take maybe 15 minutes a day once you have them down. That's a pretty small investment for something that almost universally helps people advance in their playing. Having those tools at the ready makes creative work much less laborious, which in turn provides the motivation to continue being creative.

It would be great if everyone could get awesome at music just by listening and playing, but if that hasn't already happened after 10 years, it sounds like a different approach is needed.


so all of the blues players for instance back in the 30s, 40s and 50s knew what they were doing. kinda doubt it and yet many standards that are still played today were written. never said not to learn theory, scales etc just that that isn't essential to the creative process. any way you look at it it's not. does it help, yes. knowing a bunch of scales and getting bogged down in that can be detrimental to creativity after all it's about rules and structure. some of the greatest music breaks the rules and just comes from the heart. again not saying don't learn cuz you should but creativity comes from elsewhere. no balls no glory.
#9
Just go on YouTube and search on guitar backing tracks. There are thousands in all kinds of styles and keys. Play along. Since you are unfamiliar with the tracks you won't be swayed by any previous solo you memorized. Just relax and have fun with it. Play in different styles and different tempos. These are great learning tools.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#10
Quote by monwobobbo
so all of the blues players for instance back in the 30s, 40s and 50s knew what they were doing. kinda doubt it and yet many standards that are still played today were written. never said not to learn theory, scales etc just that that isn't essential to the creative process. any way you look at it it's not. does it help, yes. knowing a bunch of scales and getting bogged down in that can be detrimental to creativity after all it's about rules and structure. some of the greatest music breaks the rules and just comes from the heart. again not saying don't learn cuz you should but creativity comes from elsewhere. no balls no glory.


If someone has been doing stuff this way for 10 years and not gotten results, how much longer should they keep doing the same thing? The OP wants to do something different. Approaching music on a more technical level is something different, and if it hasn't already been tried, then maybe it will help kick the creative door open.

I don't understand this "bogged down with scales" thing. These are not difficult things to learn, and they take very little time. Rules and structure have precious little to do with it.

Again, I see no conflict whatsoever between knowledge and creativity. Insisting that one comes at the expense of the other is just silly, and completely discounts the demonstrated experience of thousands of extremely creative and successful musicians.
#11
Quote by Rickholly74
Just go on YouTube and search on guitar backing tracks. There are thousands in all kinds of styles and keys. Play along. Since you are unfamiliar with the tracks you won't be swayed by any previous solo you memorized. Just relax and have fun with it. Play in different styles and different tempos. These are great learning tools.


This^^

Just explore a little and see what comes. Over time you will probably discover some moves that are your own and sound cool over the changes. Experiment with different scales, riffs, arpeggios and when something starts cooking, figure out why. Realize too that everyone is wired differently and your "awesome" may be very different from another players awesome. Instead of trying to be more like them, be all of you.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#12
Quote by Cajundaddy
Realize too that everyone is wired differently and your "awesome" may be very different from another players awesome. Instead of trying to be more like them, be all of you.


This is a good thing to recognize on lots of levels. For one thing, a guy like Andy Mckee has completely different skill sets than a guy like Joe Pass. One is more improviser, and the other is more set pieces with alternate turnings. But they are both good at their own things. There are all kinds of guitarists that have their own strengths. Some are great songwriters, some have lots of strong and interesting techniques, some play simple and cool music, some super speed and lavish chords and lots of modulations etcetera. So many ways to be good, and no guitarist is all of them. But some are many, and that's mind blowing to me.

Also, there will be people that will not like your music no matter what. No matter how good you get, there will be people that don't like it, that don't get it, and there will be some that will love whatever you're doing.

Some people love Steve Vai, some people love Joe Pass, some people love Tommy Emmanuel, Some people love guthrie Govan, some Bucket head, some van halen, etcetera, and you'll ALWAYS find people that don't like every one of them. Always. So, focus on you and what YOU like, is good advice.


There is not a universally loved guitarist that is the best in all categories of guitar. It doesn't exist.
#13
Quote by cdgraves
If someone has been doing stuff this way for 10 years and not gotten results, how much longer should they keep doing the same thing? The OP wants to do something different. Approaching music on a more technical level is something different, and if it hasn't already been tried, then maybe it will help kick the creative door open.

I don't understand this "bogged down with scales" thing. These are not difficult things to learn, and they take very little time. Rules and structure have precious little to do with it.

Again, I see no conflict whatsoever between knowledge and creativity. Insisting that one comes at the expense of the other is just silly, and completely discounts the demonstrated experience of thousands of extremely creative and successful musicians.


for those of us who can read the OP said he had been studying scales etc. the issue isn't that it's what to do with them in order to make a decent solo. writing good music is all about being creative and not about learning scales or theory. again those things help and i never said otherwise. when i was teaching an exercise along these lines i gave was to pick a 4 note box and only use that to create a riff and solo out of. i was often suprised at what came out of that.

not sure why you can't understand the "bogged down with scales (and theory)" thing. many concentrate far to much on that and not enough out of using the notes in a musical way. again never said that one comes at the expense of the other but rather that they can.

dude i'm not disagreeing with you per se just pointing out a few things in my view. when it comes to writing songs for most of us it's difficult and tests our confidence in a major way. i have some of my stuff in my profile. i'm fully aware that steve vai isn't gonna say holy shit that's awesome. a few people have liked them so good enough for me to go on (plus i write stuff for me as an exercise more than looking to be recognized as a great song writer)
#14
Quote by Rickholly74
Just go on YouTube and search on guitar backing tracks. There are thousands in all kinds of styles and keys. Play along. Since you are unfamiliar with the tracks you won't be swayed by any previous solo you memorized. Just relax and have fun with it. Play in different styles and different tempos. These are great learning tools.


I started doing that a few months ago and for sine reason just kinda stopped for no rhyme or reason, just kinda forgot I guess. But you're right, it was helping. But I noticed that every time something started in the key of E, I kept playing the solo from the unplugged performance of Angry Chair.

As for everyone else, thank you thank you thank you for your kind words and loving support. Trust me, I'm soaking in everything. Just please don't start a fight because I suck.
Thank you #21! Tim Duncan!!!
#15
I think a lot of us suck just at different levels and what other players we judge our abilities against. It's what keeps us going and trying to be better and suck less.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Aug 3, 2015,
#16
Well I noticed two of you started arguing and I'm here like "man, don't start a fight because of little old me"
Thank you #21! Tim Duncan!!!
#17
The best advice is to just play!!

Like you play something and then move it a fret or a string. Get into the habit of that. That is the start of improvising and just follow your ears!!! That is what Marty Friedman does and he does it well.

I have always played like that. I followed some TAB and got a stack of books but I just developed my skills from that. A thing here and there rhytm and solo and what not. Not that I can play any artist solo's note for note much at all as I never really got into copying 100% but the little bits helped me adjust my ears.

Like playing Jimi Hendrix which I did for some 2 years. He never played the same way twice and neither did I but I had my feel for the music so used the skeleton and improvised the rest.

Many times you will find basic pentatonic stuff in TAB solo's anyway. Creating your own licks and so forth makes it sound like you.
#18
Quote by ComaAlpha
Well I noticed two of you started arguing and I'm here like "man, don't start a fight because of little old me"


That's probably because they both have strong opinions on what helped them achieve their goals. It's a forum, so you will get different opinions. Trey 'em both for a bit and see what suits you.
#19
Quote by Rickholly74
I think a lot of us suck just at different levels and what other players we judge our abilities against. It's what keeps us going and trying to be better and suck less.


literally everyday that's what I do. Try and suck less. And I know that I will be able to keep doing that, forever, no matter how good I get. It is endless. That is a fact of the matter. There are two ways to take that, get depressed and give up right away, or feel blessed about it, because you can continue to solve all these puzzles forever, and as you do you get better and better at guitar, more and more free, able to do more and more cool things, and you can continue to get better, and feel more and more accomplishment forever.

If you look at it as one thing, like "be as good as guitarist x" that's depressing. But if you look at it as "complete the next cool small step." then you can be victorious and enjoy that, and take satisfaction in it, and pretty soon, after a whole bunch of those, you've gone a really long way.
#20
Quote by SpiderM
That's probably because they both have strong opinions on what helped them achieve their goals. It's a forum, so you will get different opinions. Trey 'em both for a bit and see what suits you.


yeah i can be a bit opinionated but try to keep it in check. Rickholly74 has a good point on how we judge ourselves and it is often way harsher than it should be. hey i've been playing for a year but can't nail that (fill in guitar hero here) song or solo. well no kidding those guys got to be "guitar heroes" by being the best. while comparing yourself to the best certainly can provide you with inspiration more often thant not it discourages you.

i think one of the best ways to judge your progress is to look at what you can play when you first pick up the guitar cold and just start to warm up. things that took you hours to sorta get right suddenly will become warmup fodder. if you start to pay attention you'll find that you are making progress after all.
#21
How many of those 150 songs and solos have you learnt by ear? I'm guessing zero, which is why you can't simply jam out ideas on the fly.

Start learning solos by ear ( blues is easier to start with - 60's Albert King etc.) and start improvising every day. Learn basic theory and apply what you learn as you go. Good lead playing and the ability to write and improvise are skills that can be practiced - but you need to work those neurons. You've already got a great repertoire of actual songs, so at least you've gotten the "covering music" part down - now work on the creative side. It doesn't just happen, you need to work it.
#22
Reverb66 is right (in my opinion). I learn a song by listening to it, not because it's easiest way to do it (I could go online and find some chord chart or tab) but at least for me, once I've figured it out myself I don't need to write it down or try to memorize it. I guess it's also just the way I've always done it since the word "internet" wasn't even a word when I was learning to play. It was play the record, figure out the chords, pick up the needle and try again.

The same with solos. Unless it's a rare song where the lead is considered the signature piece of the song, I just play something in a similar style to that artist. Unless you are in a "tribute" band that clones the original songs note-for-note, no one expects you to copy a lead note-for-note and frankly I just don't want to. Playing a variety of songs by different artists and then creating a solo off the top of my head in the style of that artist is what I enjoy doing and what makes playing a fun challenge. My solos are never the same way twice, not because I consider myself such a great player but because I just don't memorize my solos so whatever notes I'm playing are what I am feeling at that moment. I am not criticizing anyone who learns solos note for note. I can't imagine how time consuming and difficult it would be to remember all those solos on the other hand it's just not "me" and there has to be "me" in there somewhere or it's not satisfying.

Nothing wrong with doing it any other way.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Aug 7, 2015,
#23
Quote by Rickholly74
Reverb66 is right (in my opinion). I learn a song by listening to it, not because it's easiest way to do it (I could go online and find some chord chart or tab) but at least for me, once I've figured it out myself I don't need to write it down or try to memorize it. I guess it's also just the way I've always done it since the word "internet" wasn't even a word when I was learning to play. It was play the record, figure out the chords, pick up the needle and try again.

The same with solos. Unless it's a rare song where the lead is considered the signature piece of the song, I just play something in a similar style to that artist. Unless you are in a "tribute" band that clones the original songs note-for-note, no one expects you to copy a lead note-for-note and frankly I just don't want to. Playing a variety of songs by different artists and then creating a solo off the top of my head in the style of that artist is what I enjoy doing and what makes playing a fun challenge. My solos are never the same way twice. I am not criticizing anyone who learns solos note for note. I can't imagine how time consuming and difficult it would be to remember all those solos on the other hand it's just not me and there has to be "me" in there somewhere or it's not satisfying.

Nothing wrong with doing it any other way.


learning by ear is an aquiered art and isn't easy for sure. being an old fart i had to learn songs that way back in the day as well. thing about doing that way is it is very hard to figure some things out and sometimes you're wrong.

i don't think that learning by ear necessarily makes for better solos. i agree that it helps though. personally i think that soloing is more about being confident in your musical abilites. everyone pretty much starts with cliche ridden solos and then gets discouraged. truth of the matter is that tht is natural and you just have to learn to get past it. like anything it takes practice.

i'm not a note for note guy either. funy thing is that even on the songs i wrote i probably can't play my own solos note for note .
#24
Quote by monwobobbo
thing about doing that way is it is very hard to figure some things out and sometimes you're wrong.


Yeah. You sort of need to have a certain level of proficiency for doing it by ear to be useful (granted you could say if you never start, how will you get that proficiency?). I remember when I started, sort of just before the internet tabs etc. took off (or else I just wasn't aware of them), trying to work out songs and solos by ear. I'm sure it helped my ear a bit (though my ear was already alright I think because I played other instruments before guitar), but in terms of playing the song "correctly"... yeah it pretty much wasn't. Even if I had the notes right, I probably wasn't playing the thing the way a guitar player would play it because I hardly knew any of the stock licks etc.

It probably would've been more useful to learn the basics first I guess.
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?
#25
Quote by Dave_Mc
Yeah. You sort of need to have a certain level of proficiency for doing it by ear to be useful (granted you could say if you never start, how will you get that proficiency?). I remember when I started, sort of just before the internet tabs etc. took off (or else I just wasn't aware of them), trying to work out songs and solos by ear. I'm sure it helped my ear a bit (though my ear was already alright I think because I played other instruments before guitar), but in terms of playing the song "correctly"... yeah it pretty much wasn't. Even if I had the notes right, I probably wasn't playing the thing the way a guitar player would play it because I hardly knew any of the stock licks etc.

It probably would've been more useful to learn the basics first I guess.


ear training like anything else takes time and patience to develop. unfortunately for most of us it's not hard for the ear to be off a little when it comes to fast runs etc. havig some basic ideas of hwat th guitar player is doing helps. if say teh solo appears to be based on an A minor pentatonic scale then if you know the scale it will be far easier to hit the right notes even by ear. i'm a fan of using a bit of everything available rather than relying to much on one or two methods. still when it coems to creating your own solos you have to be able to think in musical terms and just kinda go with it. if you overthink it that hurts and if you are clueless that hurts.

i've often found that playing along with vocal melody lines helps me develop soloing skills. forget the rest of the song just feel the flow of the vocal lines and try to duplicat that.
#26
transcribe!
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
#27
Quote by monwobobbo
learning by ear is an aquiered art and isn't easy for sure. being an old fart i had to learn songs that way back in the day as well. thing about doing that way is it is very hard to figure some things out and sometimes you're wrong.

i don't think that learning by ear necessarily makes for better solos. i agree that it helps though. personally i think that soloing is more about being confident in your musical abilites. everyone pretty much starts with cliche ridden solos and then gets discouraged. truth of the matter is that tht is natural and you just have to learn to get past it. like anything it takes practice.

i'm not a note for note guy either. funy thing is that even on the songs i wrote i probably can't play my own solos note for note .


I actually don't feel like earing out songs really helped me at all in so far as soloing, or anything like that. Looking at the solo, and hearing it, and recognizing where it sits in the key definitely helped a lot though. Which you could get from seeing the music written and playing it as well.

But tabs are not dependable, and standard notation takes a while to learn, and also you need to find the music you'd want, which would probably end up costing you money also. So, earing out was just faster, easier and more dependable for me. Although I would make mistakes also, but I guess when you can't get something, and it sounds a bit wrong, the search and then victory findings might get it to stick a bit more in your head.

Kind of like if you drive someone to their home for the first time, and they tell you where to turn, your brain doesn't really record anything, and you didn't really learn how to get there any better, but if you are looking for how to get there yourself, then your brain sort of takes notes, of landmarks etcetera so you don't forget it. But you could get that from notation as well, as long as you actually observe and look at it. If you just follow directions blindly, then you learn nothing.

So, I think the time savings if I could have just had someone show me right away, or if I had an infinite library of correct sheet music and could read it, would have been nice. I would have preferred that, over earing out the music. The key would have been.. the key. Looking at how everything fits relative to it.

For solos I'm the same as you. The total number of solos I could play note for note is zero. I don't know a single one. Not even any I've written. I could maybe remember some sound-wise, if I tried, I could sing along to some, and I could play around a theme of some solos, just from memory of how they sound, but when I'm in solo mode, it's all spontaneous. I've never tried to play solos I know by sound off the cuff, but I would imagine I would get some of it decent, and then make some errors here or there. I haven't achieve a 100% success rate yet. Some stuff I could easily get no problem, but other things, on the fly, I would probably need to compromise if I'm not sure, in order not to mess up, or I would need to do some repairs on the fly.

I learned some melodies I play over the progressions of some tunes though, but never any solos. To me, that sort of defeats the purpose of the solo. I find solos are at the very least the small snippet of time where you can just let it all out. You might have to be tame for the rest of the song, but the solo is your time to express yourself freely.
#28
Quote by monwobobbo
ear training like anything else takes time and patience to develop. unfortunately for most of us it's not hard for the ear to be off a little when it comes to fast runs etc. havig some basic ideas of hwat th guitar player is doing helps. if say teh solo appears to be based on an A minor pentatonic scale then if you know the scale it will be far easier to hit the right notes even by ear. i'm a fan of using a bit of everything available rather than relying to much on one or two methods. still when it coems to creating your own solos you have to be able to think in musical terms and just kinda go with it. if you overthink it that hurts and if you are clueless that hurts.

i've often found that playing along with vocal melody lines helps me develop soloing skills. forget the rest of the song just feel the flow of the vocal lines and try to duplicat that.


yeah, agreed. at the time i'm talking about i wasn't even aware of scale shapes (i was aware of scales from piano) so I just really worried about getting the right notes.

the other thing i'd say (as you and fingrpikingood implied) is that the two aren't mutually exclusive- even if you're using tab (or a mixture of tab and notation), to actually make it sound good you have to use your ears as well.
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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 7, 2015,
#29
Quote by fingrpikingood
I actually don't feel like earing out songs really helped me at all in so far as soloing, or anything like that. Looking at the solo, and hearing it, and recognizing where it sits in the key definitely helped a lot though. Which you could get from seeing the music written and playing it as well.

But tabs are not dependable, and standard notation takes a while to learn, and also you need to find the music you'd want, which would probably end up costing you money also. So, earing out was just faster, easier and more dependable for me. Although I would make mistakes also, but I guess when you can't get something, and it sounds a bit wrong, the search and then victory findings might get it to stick a bit more in your head.

Kind of like if you drive someone to their home for the first time, and they tell you where to turn, your brain doesn't really record anything, and you didn't really learn how to get there any better, but if you are looking for how to get there yourself, then your brain sort of takes notes, of landmarks etcetera so you don't forget it. But you could get that from notation as well, as long as you actually observe and look at it. If you just follow directions blindly, then you learn nothing.

So, I think the time savings if I could have just had someone show me right away, or if I had an infinite library of correct sheet music and could read it, would have been nice. I would have preferred that, over earing out the music. The key would have been.. the key. Looking at how everything fits relative to it.

For solos I'm the same as you. The total number of solos I could play note for note is zero. I don't know a single one. Not even any I've written. I could maybe remember some sound-wise, if I tried, I could sing along to some, and I could play around a theme of some solos, just from memory of how they sound, but when I'm in solo mode, it's all spontaneous. I've never tried to play solos I know by sound off the cuff, but I would imagine I would get some of it decent, and then make some errors here or there. I haven't achieve a 100% success rate yet. Some stuff I could easily get no problem, but other things, on the fly, I would probably need to compromise if I'm not sure, in order not to mess up, or I would need to do some repairs on the fly.

I learned some melodies I play over the progressions of some tunes though, but never any solos. To me, that sort of defeats the purpose of the solo. I find solos are at the very least the small snippet of time where you can just let it all out. You might have to be tame for the rest of the song, but the solo is your time to express yourself freely.


well despite the fact that tabs can be off a bit to (after all most of them are learned by ear by the transcriber) they can be a very good guide. standard notation is useless for many things in rock. whammy bar dives etc don't translate well. i think you need to have a balance of methods to really make things work in the long run. it will come down to your skills in the end. creating your won music is a pretty big challenge and it often comes down to confidence.

most of the material found in my profile was done the same way which may seem odd at first but if you really think about it makes sense. i put together a drum track (mainly out of loops) first. this isn't done with anything specific in mid (most of the the time). just hey this loop works well with this one and so on. then i work out the rhythm guitar parts and the bass. after i have all that then i do the solo sections. a song may go thru several re-writes before i get a recorded finished track. having drums to bounce ideas off off tends to force me to be creative rather than have a riff or two and base the song on that. solos are noodled out until an idea forms and then it's tweaked form there.
#30
Quote by monwobobbo
well despite the fact that tabs can be off a bit to (after all most of them are learned by ear by the transcriber) they can be a very good guide. standard notation is useless for many things in rock. whammy bar dives etc don't translate well. i think you need to have a balance of methods to really make things work in the long run. it will come down to your skills in the end. creating your won music is a pretty big challenge and it often comes down to confidence.

most of the material found in my profile was done the same way which may seem odd at first but if you really think about it makes sense. i put together a drum track (mainly out of loops) first. this isn't done with anything specific in mid (most of the the time). just hey this loop works well with this one and so on. then i work out the rhythm guitar parts and the bass. after i have all that then i do the solo sections. a song may go thru several re-writes before i get a recorded finished track. having drums to bounce ideas off off tends to force me to be creative rather than have a riff or two and base the song on that. solos are noodled out until an idea forms and then it's tweaked form there.


I used to use TAB, but I will never use it again. I don't find it is useful to me at all anymore. I stopped using them early on as well.

For me, most of the tracks I made in my acoustic tracks list on my soundcloud, were written with the guitar chords first. The other digital ones in the Goaler U soundtrack list, and other ones I made, I tend to start with the beat first, but never loops. I make everything from scratch, except for that Michael Jackson remix.

When I write a part, I like to noodle around with an instrument until I find something I like, but I might also do it with straight programming as well, or a bit of both.

For solos, I never write one until I produce the song. Then when I go to produce it, I'll record a bunch of solos, even if I loved the first one, I like to record a whole bunch, and then I find the one that really excites me most.
#31
The purpose of learning by ear is to develop the ability to instantly play what you "hear" or imagine in your head. There's really no other way to get there. Otherwise, you're simply playing visually or guessing or playing pre-established patterns that have been practiced, all of which make for weak solos. If you want to be able to jam along with people properly you need to spend some time on it. There's no shortcuts in that regard.

Guthrie Govan does a better job of explaining this than I can - see his you tube video interviews - he stresses the importance of learning by ear and then sorting out the theory after the fact.
#32
Quote by reverb66
The purpose of learning by ear is to develop the ability to instantly play what you "hear" or imagine in your head. There's really no other way to get there. Otherwise, you're simply playing visually or guessing or playing pre-established patterns that have been practiced, all of which make for weak solos. If you want to be able to jam along with people properly you need to spend some time on it. There's no shortcuts in that regard.

Guthrie Govan does a better job of explaining this than I can - see his you tube video interviews - he stresses the importance of learning by ear and then sorting out the theory after the fact.



That's not necessarily true. I learned almost no solos by ear, and didn't learn that much by ear at all, really. I do however, play by ear what is in my own mind, and I pay attention to to where sounds are.

For instance, if I learn the C major scale, I will learn it playing in C major, and I will learn by ear how every one of those degrees sound, and then I can access whichever I want.

I prefer it that way, because the C major scale has no other information you would get from learning a solo, or some lick somewhere. It's just the notes, so you don't have to separate it from anything, or whatever.

I find learning what a sound is, whether I figured it out by ear, or whether I was shown, is the same. It depends on how approach it.

There is a difference between seeing things and observing things. If I learn some thing I'm not accustomed to, I will often play around with it, and look at what it is and build a definition for the sound, and then I can access it afterwards.

How I found the sound, whether it was by ear, or someone showed me live, or whatever, doesn't make much of a difference to me.

I'm not saying people shouldn't ear things out, but I think the big difference is not whether you are earing things out or not, but more in your approach, whether you are learning about music and how it fits together, or if you just want to know where to put your fingers so that you can play something you like. There is another sort of side of that coin imo also, and that's the theory side. If you approach theory as logic that tells you where to put your fingers, or what notes to play, and stuff like that, you are also missing that crucial component. That would only tell what to do, but you are not making a record of where the sounds are. What you really want, is to will sounds, and design music by sound, and know where to find those sounds. earing stuff out, is kind of practice for that, but without proper observation, it is kind of wasted practice, imo, without placing it in the key and really knowing what it is, and you can get the same result by making appropriate observations for things you didn't ear out, I find.

But it's a bit ambiguous, because technically, when you play that way, you are constantly earing stuff out. I will ear out songs sometimes from memory, which is actually a bit of a different skill set. But I think my ability to be able to do that comes less from earing stuff out over and over, and more from understanding music, how it fits together and naming and labeling sounds, and then associating those as well with the patterns on the fretboard. It's like that for me, anyway.
#33
Quote by fingrpikingood


But it's a bit ambiguous, because technically, when you play that way, you are constantly earing stuff out.


bingo

which you should be

there's a reason prodigal musicians listen to music by reading the scores
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
#34
Quote by reverb66
The purpose of learning by ear is to develop the ability to instantly play what you "hear" or imagine in your head. There's really no other way to get there. Otherwise, you're simply playing visually or guessing or playing pre-established patterns that have been practiced, all of which make for weak solos. If you want to be able to jam along with people properly you need to spend some time on it. There's no shortcuts in that regard.

Guthrie Govan does a better job of explaining this than I can - see his you tube video interviews - he stresses the importance of learning by ear and then sorting out the theory after the fact.


can't say i agree. being able to learn a song by ear isn't the same as translating original ideas from brain to fingers. i don't know anyone good enough to be able to listen to a song and play it right along with the song. most take a few times through (at least) to get it down.

as for your contention that guessing or using practiced patterns make bad solos. nonsense. when i come up with phrases i may practice them for years before i find a use for them. guessing in different terms is winging it and many do that with great results (me included). granted you can have epic fails as well but not balls no glory.
#35
Quote by monwobobbo
can't say i agree. being able to learn a song by ear isn't the same as translating original ideas from brain to fingers.


if you have original ideas in your head, it will translate to your fingers. because you can hear it. just like hearing a song. and learning it. it's not rocket surgery

don't know anyone good enough to be able to listen to a song and play it right along with the song. most take a few times through (at least) to get it down.


depends on how simple the song is. i don't see how that's relevant. writing an entire song in your head is not the same as transcribing a melody or progression.

as for your contention that guessing or using practiced patterns make bad solos. nonsense. when i come up with phrases i may practice them for years before i find a use for them. guessing in different terms is winging it and many do that with great results (me included). granted you can have epic fails as well but not balls no glory.


if you start playing and don't have full control of your sound, you're not a good player. you can improvise without throwing shit at a wall and hoping it sticks.
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
#36
I would safely argue that if you can't learn a song or solo by ear, you're in no way going to be able to improvise a coherent solo that is musical and fits the context. At best you will be hashing out some pre-fabricated licks, which is mediocre playing, not impressive playing, to use the terminology of this thread.

There's really no argument to be had here - if you want to be a great soloist/musician you need to spend time learning solos and songs by ear. If you can't transcribe a solo by ear, you most certainly cannot play what you imagine in your head on the spot in real time- since that is even more difficult and requires "real-time" transcription. If all you're doing is playing visual patterns on the fretboard, then you have work to do.

Simply focusing on scales and intervals is a bad approach to recommend - you need musical context to truly interiorise these things.
#37
Quote by reverb66
I would safely argue that if you can't learn a song or solo by ear, you're in no way going to be able to improvise a coherent solo that is musical and fits the context. At best you will be hashing out some pre-fabricated licks, which is mediocre playing, not impressive playing, to use the terminology of this thread.

There's really no argument to be had here - if you want to be a great soloist/musician you need to spend time learning solos and songs by ear. If you can't transcribe a solo by ear, you most certainly cannot play what you imagine in your head on the spot in real time- since that is even more difficult and requires "real-time" transcription. If all you're doing is playing visual patterns on the fretboard, then you have work to do.

Simply focusing on scales and intervals is a bad approach to recommend - you need musical context to truly interiorise these things.


I disagree. I think be able to ear out a solo is a genetic thing, and requires no practice, really. It's just your ears hear, and you hit or miss until you find the same sound. Nothing to practice there.

Getting a very high success rate of finding what you're looking for, comes from more than just hearing and trying to replicate, it comes from the knowledge you've built, which does not require earing out pieces to do.

Someone could ear out a bunch of solos, and also still be the type to just cookie cut them together, without attention to phrasing or anything like that.

If you can get your hands on everything in written form, and you study everything, and build an environment that lets you know where sounds are, then you don't ever need to learn a solo or song someone else wrote.

But like I said, it is something you would do easily anyway, and without ever even trying, and something you do off your own thoughts.

I get just as much from earing something out as I do from seeing it written. For some complex pieces, if they are very fast, or what have you, I wish I could read standard notation, and had a note for note transcription. That's often not possible, so you'd have to ear it out anyway, but I don't benefit from earing stuff out I don't find.

I benefit afterwards, after I've found what I am to play, and look at what it is from a theoretical standpoint. Then I have built a sound with a definition.

If I just ear stuff out, then I just know how to play things, and have not really made myself much better at playing what I think and feel. That's the job for theory, for me. The ear hears what I want, the real ear, or the mind's ear. That is easy, just natural. But then I need to learn how to turn that into sound. Just doing it over and over on the guitar, will sort of help, because you will build some sort of theory of your own, but it won't be nearly as efficient as learning actual theory.

If guitar was always only in one key, you might be right, but it is not. So, unless you make that recognition, you are just learning where to put your fingers for this thing you're learning. To really learn, you need to see truly what you are playing, and you need to name it correctly. That, to me, is where the learning comes from. Not simply from hearing and repeating. And you can gain that simply from analyzing something you've learned from reading standard notation. Of course, if you just sight read through a piece, and then put it away, you will also have learned little, unless you are already very good at theory, and notice a couple things that are new to you, and recognize what they are, as you pass through.

That said, every great guitarist has eared out a lot of things. Why wouldn't you? They constantly do that anyway. I would much prefer learning a complex piece faster, than by earing it out though. Because the process of earing it out is not what teaches me. It's knowing it, and seeing it, and hearing it, and recognize what it is in my theoretical map.
#38
Quote by reverb66
I would safely argue that if you can't learn a song or solo by ear, you're in no way going to be able to improvise a coherent solo that is musical and fits the context. At best you will be hashing out some pre-fabricated licks, which is mediocre playing, not impressive playing, to use the terminology of this thread.

There's really no argument to be had here - if you want to be a great soloist/musician you need to spend time learning solos and songs by ear. If you can't transcribe a solo by ear, you most certainly cannot play what you imagine in your head on the spot in real time- since that is even more difficult and requires "real-time" transcription. If all you're doing is playing visual patterns on the fretboard, then you have work to do.


I guess I am an outlier here. I nearly always write my own solos for cover songs these days. I can learn the original note 4 note but the process is often excruciating and takes me weeks to nail it. I often disagree with the choices made on the original solo and I sorta feel uncomfortable parroting it straight. Instead I will spend an hour or so creating my own lyrical style solo with my own signature on it. I can nail this quickly and easily repeat it on stage or in a subway station at rush hour. I can also improvise on the spot as the groove dictates or bounce off the drummers changes with freedom. A knockoff solo is always at risk of being fat-fingered even if I have played it flawlessly 500 times in practice.

Different strokes, different cognitive wiring.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#39
Quote by Hail
if you have original ideas in your head, it will translate to your fingers. because you can hear it. just like hearing a song. and learning it. it's not rocket surgery


depends on how simple the song is. i don't see how that's relevant. writing an entire song in your head is not the same as transcribing a melody or progression.


if you start playing and don't have full control of your sound, you're not a good player. you can improvise without throwing shit at a wall and hoping it sticks.


guess you don't listen to much Gratefu Dead. often improvising is throwing shit at the wall and hoping it sticks. again no balls no glory. can it be a mess, certainly. to me a good player is one that takes chances and succeeds more than fails. Hendrix did this more often than not. when it worked it was a musical journey that took the listener to places never imagined. when it failed oh well jimi was good enough to salvage it most of the time. i guess we aren't going to see eye to eye on this. rocket surgery?
#40
Quote by monwobobbo
guess you don't listen to much Gratefu Dead. often improvising is throwing shit at the wall and hoping it sticks. again no balls no glory. can it be a mess, certainly. to me a good player is one that takes chances and succeeds more than fails. Hendrix did this more often than not. when it worked it was a musical journey that took the listener to places never imagined. when it failed oh well jimi was good enough to salvage it most of the time. i guess we aren't going to see eye to eye on this. rocket surgery?


why are you quoting music from 50 years ago
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
Page 1 of 2