#1
i consider myself to be pretty fast at playing guitar, especially since ive only been playing a year, and im constantly getting faster

but listening to people like eric clapton, he can play 1 note and it sounds beautiful. how the hell do you achieve that? is there a way you can "practise" making your notes sound amazing, or is it just down to the tone of the guitar and amp? or is it just one of those things that comes automatically after youve been playing for years?

and then today i saw some classical guitar on youtube and i thought "wow - how the hell do they do that?", so ive decided to start learning some classical stuff to see if i can improve my overall guitar skill.

does anyone have any suggestions of any songs i can learn or exercises i can do to help me, and anyone else who might have similar problems, play things like that which seem almost effortless to classical guitarists? or does anyone know how you can achieve a state of playing 1 note and it sounding completly beautiful?

thanks very much
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#2
the 'one note' phenomonen you speak of is something that comes from years of experience but can be a lot more black and white than it seems. guitar speed is something we all seem to aim for but that can also be your worst enemy too. great guitar playing comes from knowing when to play fast and when to play slow, that's why blues is so great, it's mainly slow but every note played has feeling. try getting some blues backing tracks and spending time improvising to them using all the minor modes in the key that the backing track is in. spend time inventing licks around the minor scales and then spend an hour a day revising them to a backing track and learning different ways to piece it all together. still do your speed practise work because this will come in handy for other forms of music, then in time you'll be able to put the speed and feeling together to make great sounding solos.
#3
the sound is generally down to tone and gear


Quote by Black60Jack
WTF is a scale any way.


#4
Facts: you've been playing for a year (approx.)
Your Imagination: play like Clapton

You've eventually get that 1 note phenomenon, just continue to play and practice, everything comes in time.
#5
ur too focused on technique.. give it a rest.. try some old fashion jammin for instance..
"I don't mind making sissy rock. I'll rock your ass sensitive style" - John Mayer
#6
cheers everyone
Quote by mr.happyman
so she took off my pants and was gonna give me dome (head). fukk yeah, free dome (head) (i'm used to hiring prostitutes).as she inched her head closer to my pen0r, she pulled her hand outta nowhere and sandpapered my mini mr.happyman!
#7
vibrato might be what you're looking for. You probably already know what it is so I won't explain it but it can help you give emotion to long notes.
#8
^Yep, vibrato is so important.
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#10
Interpretation is abig part. Some people say he is 'full of emotion' but I can hardly listen to his playing. For one, his reputation precedes him. You expect him to be good because he is a 'guitar god'. I don't think he has released anything of value since Cream, but to each his own.

Also, slow music has the inherit ability to be 'emotional'. Why ? Because it allows the tensions and releases of each note to be fully felt and processed by your mind. Large, slow bends are a staple in the stereotypical 'emotional' solo.

You should begin learning some theory if you don't know any, too. That way you will have confidence in each note.

Classical guitarist tend to practise a fair bit. Hmm, let me rephrase. Classical guitarists often pay more attention to their practise than a rock guitar player. For one, the tone is largely coming directly from them. It's completely the relationship between them and the guitar, so if they are lacking, you are going to notice right away. The effortless playing just comes from practise, very precise practise. If you watch any technically skilled musician, he/she will generally always be able to play many of their pieces with a relatively relaxed look on their face (should they choose). They've done the work, now they can play, sort of thing.
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#11
+1^
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#12
Quote by nightwind
Interpretation is abig part. Some people say he is 'full of emotion' but I can hardly listen to his playing. For one, his reputation precedes him. You expect him to be good because he is a 'guitar god'. I don't think he has released anything of value since Cream, but to each his own.

Also, slow music has the inherit ability to be 'emotional'. Why ? Because it allows the tensions and releases of each note to be fully felt and processed by your mind. Large, slow bends are a staple in the stereotypical 'emotional' solo.

You should begin learning some theory if you don't know any, too. That way you will have confidence in each note.

Classical guitarist tend to practise a fair bit. Hmm, let me rephrase. Classical guitarists often pay more attention to their practise than a rock guitar player. For one, the tone is largely coming directly from them. It's completely the relationship between them and the guitar, so if they are lacking, you are going to notice right away. The effortless playing just comes from practise, very precise practise. If you watch any technically skilled musician, he/she will generally always be able to play many of their pieces with a relatively relaxed look on their face (should they choose). They've done the work, now they can play, sort of thing.


hey man not cool he has released a shit load of good stuff since cream...2 of his arguably most famous songs layla and tears in heven are post cream

and to work on noetes souning good...find some good blues backtracks and just play...with practice you will figure out what u think sounds good over diferent cords also try melodic permutations, its realy more of a jazz aproach to soloing but can be used in any typed of music if u get good at it
#13
Quote by IclaptonisgodI
hey man not cool he has released a shit load of good stuff since cream...2 of his arguably most famous songs layla and tears in heven are post cream


...

Quote by nightwind
Interpretation is abig part.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


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#14
^ Ah, someone who gets it.

Fame is quite low on the list of things to consider when I think about what makes something 'good'.
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#15
Quote by nightwind
Classical guitarist tend to practise a fair bit. Hmm, let me rephrase. Classical guitarists often pay more attention to their practise than a rock guitar player. For one, the tone is largely coming directly from them. It's completely the relationship between them and the guitar, so if they are lacking, you are going to notice right away. The effortless playing just comes from practise, very precise practise. If you watch any technically skilled musician, he/she will generally always be able to play many of their pieces with a relatively relaxed look on their face (should they choose). They've done the work, now they can play, sort of thing.


Yes, people sometimes seem to miss this; your tone is NOT just about the guitar you play, it also has to do with your playing technique.


And I agree wholeheartedly with Resi and nightwind on the fame bit.
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#16
then today i saw some classical guitar on youtube


Classical music has that effect, sadly, on people.

See, classical involves a lot more musical knowledge than your other genres like rock, metal, folk, etc. However, some guitarists, like Randy Rhoads, took classical lesson to polish their theory, and then applied it to their playing - resulting in mind-numbing riffage & solos.

My advice, get a teacher; a good one, at that. You'll waste a lot of time trying to learn theory on your own. Ask me, I know. =D
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#17
Quote by nightwind
^ Ah, someone who gets it.

Fame is quite low on the list of things to consider when I think about what makes something 'good'.


Actually I'd say there are very many more master guitarists who you've never even
heard of who are at least as good, if not better, than those that "make it". Many
that are WAY better than thier famous counterparts. To a good extent, fame is
being lucky in the right place at the right time.

At the same time, from my lowly perch on the music ladder, I'd never dismiss someone
with the longevity and musical contribution of someone like Clapton. I might think
there's better, much better players, but he's certainly earned a spot for himself.

And to the original poster, if you want to leanr to play better:

www.guitarprinciples.com
#18
practie playing just one note and try see how many different voicings you can get out of it
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#19
Check this link for guitar theory: http://www.zentao.com/guitar/theory/
It have everything you need to understand why and what you are playing.
Besides being a guitar player, I'm a big fan of the guitar. I love that damn instrument. Steve Vai

Gear:
Kramer Striker FR422SM
Roland Microcube
Digitech Bad Monkey
Dunlop Tortex 1.14mm picks


MY VIDEOS
#20
I pretty much never cry, even from family deaths and such...

last night, I was playing guitar all alone and put every ounce of feeling and emotion into it.

I had a tear to my music. When I played it back, I looooooooooved the sound more than anything I have ever played. KEY!
#21
Quote by bigmanwithanaxe
Learn music theory. That'll make all the notes you play sound how you want them to.


its easy to say "go learn theory, and you will sound good", but the blues has very little theory to it. most of clapton's old blues solos (like on the beano album, or crossroads with cream) are just pentatonic or the blues scale. his really emotive notes can be a long, sustained bend from the b7 up the the root, with vibrato; or a huge-sounding bend from the 4th up to the 5th and back again. the great thing about the blues is that you dont need to know much theory to sound good, like you might in classical music. you just play by ear, with the blues scale over a 12 bar progression. it's all about listening to what you're playing, and feeling each note - as you're playing, think about where you would expect the solo you're playing to go, if you were listening to someone else play it.
Last edited by blue_strat at Mar 24, 2007,
#22
^ Did you read my first post? I briefly talk about the nature of slow music being able to sound 'soulful'.
#23
Quote by blue_strat
its easy to say "go learn theory, and you will sound good", but the blues has very little theory to it. most of clapton's old blues solos (like on the beano album, or crossroads with cream) are just pentatonic or the blues scale. his really emotive notes can be a long, sustained bend from the b7 up the the root, with vibrato; or a huge-sounding bend from the 4th up to the 5th and back again. the great thing about the blues is that you dont need to know much theory to sound good, like you might in classical music. you just play by ear, with the blues scale over a 12 bar progression. it's all about listening to what you're playing, and feeling each note - as you're playing, think about where you would expect the solo you're playing to go, if you were listening to someone else play it.


Why not spice blues up a bit with some theory? What is there to lose?
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#24
^ yeah you can do that, but he was asking how to get a single note to sound good
#25
It's a good point. What guitar are you playng? I find some guitars have a neutral sound, sounds like nothing really, unless there's loads of effects. For a guitar that sounds like something special go for one made of one piece of wood (rather than bolt on neck) I dunno about EC and all that, but check out diembag for how you can make a pretty straightforward riff go v. far with a bit of attention to how you play it. One exercise you might try is to give yourself only a few notes and try to make them sound as good as you can, nevermind shredding.
#26
OK, i've been playing for a good few years now and there are secrets everyone has to learning how to make stuff sound good. First of all, get rid of that ONE chord you have running from your guitar to you amp. Buy two good chords and about five or six 6-inch chords.

Now you need to buy some pedals. A lot of famous musicians use pedals very secretively(is that a word?) A Line 6 V-amp plug-in will do WONDERS for any musician. I NEVER play a show without one. it can change the pitch and tone on your guitar so dramatically you will kick yourself for not owning one beforehand.

Other than that, a year don't mean jack shit in the music world. No bands(other than Fallout Boy etc.) ever get good after a year. Just practice more tone, vibrato, harmonics and tricks of the like. Concentrate less on speed. I can play near 20 notes persecond but RARELY ever NEED to do it. The world only needs one Dragonforce...
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#28
Quote by feenxfire
OK, i've been playing for a good few years now and there are secrets everyone has to learning how to make stuff sound good. First of all, get rid of that ONE chord you have running from your guitar to you amp. Buy two good chords and about five or six 6-inch chords.

Now you need to buy some pedals. A lot of famous musicians use pedals very secretively(is that a word?) A Line 6 V-amp plug-in will do WONDERS for any musician. I NEVER play a show without one. it can change the pitch and tone on your guitar so dramatically you will kick yourself for not owning one beforehand.


Advocating more equipment isn't particularly the best advice. Beyond a fairly minimal
threshold you don't need really need it to sound good. There's already too many
people who think their playing problems are equipment problems. In a purely
acoustic setup you're totally responsible for your tone and that's also not a bad
way to approach electric.

Quote by feenxfire

Other than that, a year don't mean jack shit in the music world. No bands(other than Fallout Boy etc.) ever get good after a year.... Just practice more tone, vibrato, harmonics and tricks of the like. Concentrate less on speed...


Now that I can pretty much agree with.
#29
^ is right, the sign of a good musician is to be able to grab some crappy equipment and make a killer song regardless of the fact that the guitar and everything else is el cheapo. my friend and i were actually talking about this last night during recording.
#30
For most of my playing, I only use an EQ, chorus and a delay, and a noise gate.

The way I see it, effects are there for just that - effects. They create a sound; they also suck tone. Specifically, the high-end shimmer that I care so much about that I stick with single coils even though they're noisy as hell.

Apart from a few select things (EQ, Noise Gate, Exciter) they are there to create a noticeable sound, which may or may not cover up mistakes and make you sound good. I practice without any of them and on the clean channel.


Anyway - that really does come with experience. It is possible to practice it if you are able to isolate certain qualities; but that can be harder than you think.