#1
Hi guys,

I'm new here, hope I'm not breaking any forum rules I might not be aware of (please let me know if I am!)
I started electric guitar last August - I could do the open chords on an acoustic before that - and I'm learning on my own (no teacher), so I'm looking for all the constructive criticism you can muster. I just recorded my first 12 bar blues solo and I feel really happy about it, but I'm pretty sure there's a lot I'm doing wrong that my beginner ears can't understand (I did spot that sharp bend around the middle section! will be working on it). So please, tear away:

(Bonus points if you can figure out which famous guitarist I'm trying to copy )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGv4UD8kitY
Last edited by dia0369 at Jun 11, 2016,
#2
Quote by dia0369
Hi guys,

I'm new here, hope I'm not breaking any forum rules I might not be aware of (please let me know if I am!)


We technically have an "original recordings" forum, but I'm sure people won't mind too much (in before Hail rant.)

Quote by dia0369

I started electric guitar last August - I could do the open chords on an acoustic before that - and I'm learning on my own (no teacher), so I'm looking for all the constructive criticism you can muster. I just recorded my first 12 bar blues solo and I feel really happy about it, but I'm pretty sure there's a lot I'm doing wrong that my beginner ears can't understand



This is most definitely not bad for 10 months. Better than I was at that point Nothing about this solo sounds bad. But that doesn't mean it's great either.

The most obvious thing here is the fact that it's pretty shy and non-expressive. A tip: vibrato is great. Learn to do vibrato. Right now you're leaving a lot of gaps between phrases, which doesn't sound great. With a proper vibrato, you can make single, long notes sing and sound really sweet, with that and with better phrasing you can get rid of those silent bits in the solo. The problem is, that now it sounds like you're playing a simple lick, stopping, playing an another, stopping etc etc. It doesn't flow and sound coherent, it sounds like tiny bits of solo being played after another without continuity.

Your note choice and sense of rhythm aren't bad at all though. You clearly already have some ear for this so keep it up.

To spice things up, you could look into the "blues scale", simple outside notes (like lower chromatic neighbors) and blues bends. With blues bends, I don't mean basic note bends. I mean microtonal bends where you bend a note just a little bit to get a sweed edge to your notes. It sounds great and is often overlooked by beginners when searching for that blues sound.

Recap: the solo is pretty impressive for ten months in my opinion, but it lacked flow because you had noticeable gaps between separate phrases. You also really need to learn vibrato. After working on all this, you can look into "blue notes" via the blues scale, chromatic neighbors and blues bends. That's my two cents
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#3
Quote by Kevätuhri
Right now you're leaving a lot of gaps between phrases, which doesn't sound great. With a proper vibrato, you can make single, long notes sing and sound really sweet, with that and with better phrasing you can get rid of those silent bits in the solo. The problem is, that now it sounds like you're playing a simple lick, stopping, playing an another, stopping etc etc. It doesn't flow and sound coherent, it sounds like tiny bits of solo being played after another without continuity.


I disagree. Silence is as important as notes you play. Listen to some Kenny Burrell.
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#4
Quote by omidmash
I disagree. Silence is as important as notes you play. Listen to some Kenny Burrell.


Of course it is. It's just that in this solo he doesn't use silence, the silence is a byproduct of bad flow, and probably not intentional. using silence as a musical tool =/= leaving gaps in a solo because you're still lacking skills in improvisation.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#5
Silence is golden as long as people know how to use it.

It sounds fine from where you are, but it's a bit weak in presence, dynamically and musically - the listener needs to be able to hear what you're playing, and while they can, it's a bit hard. Also, at the moment, there's so much silence that it sounds like a few nice, but disjoint phrases.

How did you think the solo up?
#6
Quote by Kevätuhri
Nothing about this solo sounds bad. But that doesn't mean it's great either.


Haha don't worry, I wasn't looking for "great", I'm barely getting my feet wet in this guitar business. I'm only hoping for something that doesn't immediately drive people away!

Quote by Kevätuhri
Right now you're leaving a lot of gaps between phrases, which doesn't sound great.

That's very true, I've literally just (this week) discovered the power of simple licks (that sample is a jumble of my favorite 5 or so licks) but I can't quickly and cleanly change between them. Inexperience would explain most of those gaps. It may also explain why my notes sound shy. Then again, I've always been a shy person.

Quote by NeoMvsEu
How did you think the solo up?

I was improvising. I basically had a target tone in my head, I knew where it was on the fretboard and tried to get to it using a lick.

Quote by Kevätuhri
It's just that in this solo he doesn't use silence

"She"

Thank you, guys, this is very useful!
So far I've written down:
- learn vibrato
- smoother change between licks
- microtonal and blues bends
- chromatic notes

You can't believe how trippy today feels for me. I still can't believe I could do this after the junk I've heard myself give life to for the past couple of months on a two chord loop.
This "guitar" object - it may actually be playable!

Thank you!
#7
Quote by dia0369
"She"


My bad. We don't have gender specific pronouns in Finland so it's an old habit

Quote by dia0369
"She"

Thank you, guys, this is very useful!
So far I've written down:
- learn vibrato
- smoother change between licks


These are something I think you should look into anyway as they're both necessary skills for good guitar solos.

Quote by dia0369

- microtonal and blues bends
- chromatic notes


And these are maybe a bit more blues specific, so if you want to play great blues, you can start working on these too in a while. Not saying that they're not useful in other situations though.

Quote by dia0369
You can't believe how trippy today feels for me. I still can't believe I could do this after the junk I've heard myself give life to for the past couple of months on a two chord loop.
This "guitar" object - it may actually be playable!

Thank you!


It's definitely a great effort for someone at the 10 month mark. Just be patient, and in a few years you'll be all set to throw gigs with ease.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#8
Maybe a bit heavy on the classical background with sheet music in my head, but I've always found it useful to listen and play other people's ideas and mix them into my own. If you can break these ideas into phrases, it will help with almost everything.
#9
In addition to all the great advice here already, learning solos by ear from your favourite songs will help a lot in speeding up your progress. Take this from someone who played around for a lot of years but until relatively recently, was too lazy to do just that.
#10
This is wierd, but I actually really like it!

And I actually subbed to ya lmao.

You should check me out too, I have been playing for a similar time that you have, (A little over a year) And I have tried in making my own music. My main genre is hard rock and metal, but I do have a bit of blues

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjTJkA019Y2HIMXEWSQZzfQ
Last edited by MetalStrat at Jun 30, 2016,
#11
Thanks MetalStrat, that really means a lot to me! Improv is why I wanted to learn guitar, I think I may be on the right path

I subbed to your channel as well, keep posting updates!
#12
It's probably better than I could do after 10 months. Then again, I was too busy playing Metallica or something.

I agree with Kevätuhri that the playing is kind of shy and not very expressive. That seems to be a common problem among beginners. Also, it doesn't always need to be just single notes. Throwing in some harmonic intervals can make things more interesting.

I, too, can hear the potential, though, so just keep working on it. This was your "first 12 bar blues solo"? Now do 1000 more :P
Last edited by Elintasokas at Jul 11, 2016,
#13
Not bad for 10 months. But, it didn't sound all that bluesy to me.

Here's a practice method you could try. Try improvising without the rhythm track -- just listen to it in your head -- and see if you can get across the I-IV-V changes and make it sound like blues. This will make you hit the chord changes more and greatly improve your playing. You can use the I minor pentatonic as your basic structure, but when the I chord plays, try throwing in a major 3rd. Similarly for the IV and V chord hit the major 3rd a bit.

If you do that, people will be able to "hear" a I-IV-V progression even without a backing track.
Last edited by edg at Jul 12, 2016,
#14
1) You're doing great - keep up the good work - you definitely have a lot of natural talent and if you practice a lot, the sky is the limit.

2) I checked out your other videos and you seem to like Mark Knopfler, which is, to me, one of the greatest lead guitarists of all time, particularly when it comes to phrasing. You're off to a great start learning some of his work. It transformed my playing when I started learning his work .

3) I don't have much to comment on as far as what you recorded, it's very good for where you are at - better than most will ever get, honestly. I you were my student, I would recommend that you try adding a bit of aggression into your playing so that you can vary the emotion when needed. If you want to improve your blues playing, I would suggest you learn a few solos from the following players to get a bit more variety in your lines and open your mind a bit:

a) Albert King - check out his 60's recordings - Born Under Bad Sign, Blues Power etc. - similarly to Knopfler, he is amazing at phrasing and using space and articulation, except his bends and lines can be a bit more biting. He will be a good fit for you. He really is the foundation for most as far as blues playing goes. Listen to how he bites the notes.

b) Hendrix - learn "Hey Joe" - the solo is definitely attainable for you, and it's in your wheelhouse. Also, check out Voodoo Chile ( on Electric Ladyland - the long blues jam version, NOT the more popular wah wah version) - it's one of the great blues performances and you will find a goldmine of lines in there.

c) SRV - Lenny - learn this - he's like Albert King and Hendrix had a beautiful baby. Also, check out his version of Little Wing, which THE version and has the best blues soloing on record in history according to me - the first few sections of the solo ( the clean ones) are learn-able and have a great variety of lines for you.

4) learn as much as possible by EAR - only use tab or videos to unlock trouble spots. Great lead players have great ears, and great ears come from learning by ear.
Last edited by reverb66 at Nov 6, 2016,
#15
Hi guys,

Thank you for your feedback last year, it really meant a lot to me.
I've made some progress since then, but since I'm more of a rock fan, I went in that direction instead of the blues.

If you're curious, this came out while I was practicing a Comfortably Numb lick (the one I keep repeating):


Always looking to improve, so I'm not afraid of comments. Thanks


Diana
Last edited by dia0369 at Aug 1, 2017,
#16
You've definitely come out of your shell; your technique development is doing nice things with that nice bold tone.
Quote by reverb66
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