#1
1. There is no such thing as a wrong note, only bad note choices. Playing outside well
depends on establishing what is inside. If you want to learn how to play out, learn how
to play in.


2. Nobody that doesn't play guitar cares how many notes per second you can play if
what you play sounds like crap. And furthermore, if that's all you're focused on,
enjoy playing to rooms half-full of male guitarists for the rest of your life.


3. Modes are not positions!! Modes are not boxes!! I feel like I should give some kind of
grand explanation here, but I'm going to make you do all the work.

Record yourself playing the progression G-C-D repeatedly for one minute. Play
the recording from the beginning and improvise using just the G major scale. Do you think
that you're playing G ionian-C lydian-D mixolydian? Well, if you do, than you're wrong.
You're just playing good old G major. Modal music isn't going to contain these types of
progressions.

Now record yourself playing just an A minor chord for one minute. Play those same notes that
you were just using for the progressions, and look at you, you're A dorian.

Record yourself playing a B minor chord for one minute. Play those same notes again, and
you're making waves with B phrygian.

Record yourself playing C major, and repeat the procedure using just the notes
G, A, B, C, D, E, and F#, and you're playing C lydian.

You can probably figure out the rest for yourself, but just know that modal music depends
on those droning chords to make the sound of the mode obvious to the listener. There is
key-based music and there is mode-based music, know the difference.


4. The word of somebody on a forum, or the author of a book, is nothing if it
contradicts what your ears tell you is right. Seriously, if something sounds like ****,
don't play it just because it makes sense from a theoretical point of view or because
someone told you that other people play that way. To follow that up,
here's a quote that I always try to keep in mind:

"My belly is full of theory, but when I play I forget it all." - Al di Meola


5. Don't think that you have to learn jazz. If you don't listen to jazz in the first
place, you're going to have a hell of a time trying to learn to play it. I can't tell you
how many topics I've seen where somebody says that they want to learn, but if somebody
asks them how many jazz albums they've listened to, or who their favorite jazz musicians
are, they don't have an answer. All of this can be said about blues or any other genre.
You don't HAVE TO learn any genre that you don't want to.


6. Everybody is their own person, and everybody thinks differently. Just because you
like somebody's music doesn't mean that you'll be at home playing in their style. Finding
your own style is something that can get lost in an everlasting quest to play
faster or learn a musicians' entire repertoire.


7. Truths can be found in the deepest of lies. What does that have to do with music?
It's rare, but not unheard of, that a piece of music is meritless. Listen to every song
with an ear towards finding something that you like about it. Simply rejecting a piece of
music or an entire genre of music is madness. The above saying can go the other way too.
Don't assume that just because you really like an artist or band, that they're infallible.
Most likely, that perfect recording or performance that makes you want to put down the
guitar altogether is the result of hours and hours of excruciating rehearsal. You're not
the only one that has trouble coming up with new material or polishing existing tunes.


8. When listening to music, try to put yourself in the state of mind of someone who
doesn't know a thing about music and has never picked up an instrument before. For a few
moments, let go of everything you know, and let the music wash over you, not focusing solely
on the instrument that you play. This is important; the guitar is not the only instrument
in the band. Good music demands that each instrument contributes.


9. Melody, Harmony, Rhythm. These are the elements of music. Know them, use them, live
them. Rhythm is absolutely the most important thing to have control over; if you don't have
good rhythm, it will be the first thing that people notice. Dynamics are also a must in
good music. If all your songs are played at the same volume and tempo throughout, your
album is going to put people to sleep.


10. If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right.


Edit 1:

11. (Suggested by jewbaby667) Play with a friend and double your fun. What is the point
of playing the guitar? To make music, of course. Catalog all that you've accomplished
in the past week. If you're not satisfied with what you've done, than change your
habits. Get out there and associate with other musicians. Not all musicians know the
same songs, so you're going to have to jam and create something new or else you're going to
get very bored, very fast.

Okay, genius, but how do I jam? The easiest way to get started is for one of the musicians
to play a simple idea that everyone else can lock onto. A drummer can play a simple 4/4
beat a la ACDC for a bit, and the bassist and guitarist (and keyboardist if you have one)
can enter in at opportune moments. A guitarist could be the first one in and play a
simple comping pattern involving 1 or 2 chords. The point is to start simply; there will
be plenty of time later for complexity. If you've never jammed before, you'll find that
unless you have great chemistry with the other parties, there will be some initial
awkwardness to get over, but once you get into the flow of the music that will disappear
and you should be able to play from your own intuition, elaborating on and embellishing
what is being played at the moment. A good jam is going to depend on several factors.
The drummer carries a large responsibility in the context of a jam simply because he
creates the groove; try paying attention to the drums in a piece of music; a subtle change
in the drummer's beat can dramatically change the feel of the tune. The musicians need to
have good nonverbal communication; if all your focus is on conveying the emotion of the
jam, you're going to have a hard time yelling out the chord progression of a new section
over all the commotion while keeping up your end of the deal, so to speak.

I'd like to make an analogy here: while a performance is like a speech, polished and
full of all your best talking points, a jam is like a private conversation, where no one
but nosy neighbors ever know what was said between the participants. If you have a point
you need to make during the course of the jam, don't leave it unsaid and regret it later.
There are practically no consequences of messing up during a jam, so if you mess up a bunch
of times but come up with a few great ideas, you should consider the time a success.


I'm of the opinion that you can never hurt yourself by learning
more, so if you have an idea to contribute, I welcome you
to share it.
Last edited by titopuente at Feb 2, 2008,
#2
You should post this as a lesson.
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#3
This needs to be stickied.

I award titopuente 7.5 kudos' and a congratulatory virtual handshake.
Dissonance is Bliss


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Member #4 of the Carvin Club
#5
great post.

Quote by titopuente

"My belly is full of theory, but when I play I forget it all." - Al di Meola







I like that quote alot.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Feb 1, 2008,
#7

That's the best thing I've read in a long long time.

╠═══════╬═══════╣

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Electronic Audio Experiments
#9
It's really refreshing to see something like this in MT. Sadly I don't thing we're going to get much discussion about this because I think everyone completely agrees (and if they don't they should).
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#11
meh, someone should just sticky this topic and you should read it before you post in this section of the forums
#12
Spot on, deserves to be a lesson
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


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#14
If 50% of UG-ers begin to act like that this would be a better place.

I like your way of thinking, Tito.
Quote by Johnljones7443
my neew year reslosutions are not too drikn as much lol.

happy new yeeae guyas.
#16
Let me just add my 2cents

11. Play with a friend and double your fun.

I almost quit playing because it got boring just sitting at home playing exercises and rhythms to songs. Having like minded friends who play guitar or any other instrument will break open the can of joy that guitar playing brings. Competition breeds better playing.
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Playing since 03-11-07
........Uber Noob Skillz
#17
This is a great insight to the way guitar players should think/play. Great work.
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FAB Chorus
#18
Quote by jewbaby667
Let me just add my 2cents

11. Play with a friend and double your fun.

I almost quit playing because it got boring just sitting at home playing exercises and rhythms to songs. Having like minded friends who play guitar or any other instrument will break open the can of joy that guitar playing brings. Competition breeds better playing.


actually i HAD this problem till i got some decent stuff. in a matter of 10 - 15 minutes i'll lay down a basic drum beat w/ DFH, put a bass line and a guitar line over it and then play it back and jam with myself all night long.
#19
Quote by z4twenny
actually i HAD this problem till i got some decent stuff. in a matter of 10 - 15 minutes i'll lay down a basic drum beat w/ DFH, put a bass line and a guitar line over it and then play it back and jam with myself all night long.


You DFH is cool. have you tried EZ drummer at all? I believe its by the same company.... very cool program as well.
#20
+ 100000000.

Too many people trying to copy what has been done a million times before. Developing your own style, knowing what you like and don't like, being able to relax and go with the flow of music is SOO much more important than playing at 36347892973 bpm.

This deserves to be stickied and/or turned into a lesson.
#21
Just wanted to bump to call attention to the edit, and let everybody know that if you want to contribute, have at it.
#22
possibly add something about how music is tension, release and rest (or somesuch) and how to (commonly) generate thease feelings in a peice?

(i apologize for all my spelling errors, ive just got up)
#23
i noticed titopuente said

There are practically no consequences of messing up during a jam, so if you mess up a bunch of times but come up with a few great ideas, you should consider the time a success.

i'd go so far to say that if you mess up everything and only come up with 1 great idea (great being better than good which is better than ok, which is above mediocre etc etc) then you should consider it a success.mainly because you've learned something new yknow.
#25
Quote by tehREALcaptain
possibly add something about how music is tension, release and rest (or somesuch) and how to (commonly) generate thease feelings in a peice?

(i apologize for all my spelling errors, ive just got up)



I'm actually planning on starting a whole other topic to discuss tension in (almost) all its forms. I've got all the ideas outlined, but I just need to make sure it's an interesting read.
#26
Quote by Peaceful Rocker
how do you "mess up" while jamming?


i would assume by hitting a sour note or a note that is OBVIOUSLY out of key
#27
This topic is HUGE SUCCESS.

While I haven't anything to add at the moment, it was a refreshing change from what I've read lurking here for the past two years... Thanks.

Also, I think people should post their... diarrhea... and we could make this a sort of musician's wiki. Like a giant, steaming pile of- Ok, I won't go there.
#29
Quote by Ultraturtle0
This topic is HUGE SUCCESS.

While I haven't anything to add at the moment, it was a refreshing change from what I've read lurking here for the past two years... Thanks.

Also, I think people should post their... diarrhea... and we could make this a sort of musician's wiki. Like a giant, steaming pile of- Ok, I won't go there.


i had an article i wanted to write for UG which was basically how to use the chromatic scale to highlight ANYTHING and how to add extra chromatic notes to any scale to push the sound of the notes out. i submitted a rough draft to a college level music theory teacher and she told me i was wrong and had no idea what i was talking about..... i then sent her a hypothetical chord progression with a hypothetical chromatic melody around it and she never responded back...... so i dunno if i should or not.... what do you guys think?
#30
Quote by z4twenny
i had an article i wanted to write for UG which was basically how to use the chromatic scale to highlight ANYTHING and how to add extra chromatic notes to any scale to push the sound of the notes out. i submitted a rough draft to a college level music theory teacher and she told me i was wrong and had no idea what i was talking about..... i then sent her a hypothetical chord progression with a hypothetical chromatic melody around it and she never responded back...... so i dunno if i should or not.... what do you guys think?


I say you post it on this forum. That way, if the higher-ups here at UG don't agree or think it's worth their time, we would all still be able to read it, and hopefully get something out of it.

I know I would read something like that.
Strat / SH-201 -> DOD Mixer -> ZVex Mastotron -> Fulltone Clyde -> BYOC OD II -> Ibanez FLL -> VS Chorus -> DOD FX 96 -> Boss DD-6 -> MXR 10-Band EQ -> Boss RC-2 -> Stereo Mixer -> Alesis PicoVerb -> Peavey Delta Blues 210/Yamaha Fifty112
#31
^ sweet, its pretty long lol (like seriously, its at least a 3 chapter kinda thing, beginner concepts, intermediate and more advanced concepts) maybe i'll start on it tonight
#32
Awesome, I'll be looking forward to it.
Strat / SH-201 -> DOD Mixer -> ZVex Mastotron -> Fulltone Clyde -> BYOC OD II -> Ibanez FLL -> VS Chorus -> DOD FX 96 -> Boss DD-6 -> MXR 10-Band EQ -> Boss RC-2 -> Stereo Mixer -> Alesis PicoVerb -> Peavey Delta Blues 210/Yamaha Fifty112
#33
Just in regard to the Al Dimeola quote:

People shouldn't take that the wrong way. He's really saying he's gone over so
much of theory again and and again, he doesn't have to think about when playing.
That's exactly right. If you're having to think theory when playing, its too late.
#34
i am still a little confused about the difference between modal stuff can you explain that more?
#35
Quote by farcry
i am still a little confused about the difference between modal stuff can you explain that more?


Here are the best explanations that I've seen that are available:

Guthrie Govan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnOV7iKR1vE
At the beginning the backing is a C major chord; he changes later to a D minor chord. He doesn't specify in the video what they are, so that's just for your information.

Ted Greene
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7821531272280033510&q=ted+greene&total=414&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

Guthrie's focus is more on the melodic and soloing aspects of modes, while Ted is more focused a bit more on the harmonic implications. The Greene seminar video is about 50 minutes long, and even though he only really discusses modes near the beginning, you can learn a lot from him (and his books, too).

If you ever go to http://tedgreene.com/, some of his former students have posted his lessons and the forums are frequented by some very knowledgeable individuals.


My short-term goal is to keep this topic more conceptual in nature. I'm a bit overwhelmed with the reaction that this topic got, but I'm considering doing a series of Diarrhea topics, with a bit more of a theoretical focus. I've been poking at some ideas for months, but haven't been motivated to complete anything substantial. Now I think I can really get at it. I think I heard a collective groan when I mentioned theory above ("We've already got a ****ing sticky!! And 18 million theory topics!! Who does this bastard think he is?!?"), but I really want to take a look at some fresh topics and examine them in different ways. My long-term goal is to destroy the idea (at least in the minds of MTers) that everything you could possibly think of playing has been done before.
#36
I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the difference between mode based music and key based music. It really seems to me like they should overlap, like Key based music is the foundation of mode based music. I should probably just buy a book about it I guess because I get the relationships between the sounds and how the modes are composed and it's easy to memorize them, I just don't get what you are talking about when you say playing G-C-D isn't G ionian I just think why not? It's got every single note of it in there, why can't you apply the modes in that situation?
#37
Man that was almost religous lol.

How about preaching some technique in there. Ive known plenty of guys with theory spilling out of there ears but cant quite turn the corner simply because there missing different techniques.