#1
I wondered whether this might be better off in the Death thread but seeing as Improv falls under MT I decided to put it in here. I'm wanting to play around with some Death style licks in my improvisation, because I love Schuldiner's solos, but because he basically made up his own scales I'm a little confused as to where to start. Says in the wikipedia article:

Contrary to what many assumed, Schuldiner was in fact not well schooled in musical theory. He found "playing by ear" to be a more effective and advisable method. Schuldiner did "make up" his own scales and modes (many of which ended up being real scales, such as harmonic minor and melodic minor) which Schuldiner frequently utilized in his solos, a testament to his excellent ear. This also led him to create his odd fingering positions which very much defined his style.


So my question is, how should I approach an analysis of Chuck's style? Start with melodic and harmonic minor scales and just jam around in those, or should I try for something a little less rigid? Anything tips you have or things you've learnt about Chuck's playing from experience will be very welcome.
#2
Learn his solos and analyze them in the context of the song. Figure out what concepts and techniques he used, and incorporate them into your playing.

That article is ridiculous. Music theory has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you "play by ear".
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#3
Yeah, that article is pretty lame. Chuck played it very 'by the books' when it came to soloing. Sure, he might not have known theory, but he wasn't 'making up scales', he just didn't have a reference point for the notes he played. He pretty much used the minor/harmonic minor scales exclusively in his soloing. Chuck's signature was alternate picked runs, and his odd phrasing. He would cram a lot of notes into a beat, but it would always sound fluid.
Maybe U2 wouldn't suck so hard if they stopped preaching and started rocking instead. Of course, that's difficult to do with Pantera holding a near monopoly on all things that rock.
-Maddox.
#4
I see...Wikipedia has misinformed me once again! Thanks for the responses guys, it seems so obvious once you say "alternate picked runs, odd phrasing" etc, I can immediately think of all the different examples of that in his songs, but closely analysing how a particular guitarist plays is not something I've really done before so it helps for people to give me some starting points.
#5
Quote by YetAnotherMuso
I see...Wikipedia has misinformed me once again! Thanks for the responses guys, it seems so obvious once you say "alternate picked runs, odd phrasing" etc, I can immediately think of all the different examples of that in his songs, but closely analysing how a particular guitarist plays is not something I've really done before so it helps for people to give me some starting points.


Can you provide any tabs or songs/videos of any solos that particularly interest you? We could start from there.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#6
Well I've just learnt the "Crystal Mountain" solo (working off the power tab here on UG)...the fastest that gets is about as fast as I can play cleanly by the way...The "Symbolic" solo is one that really stands out for me (also looking at the UG power tab here)...I guess what gets me about these solos is the balance between melody and shreddy stuff...and strange intervals and stuff, for example this lick in the Symbolic solo:

F#5
|-----5-----| |-----5-----|

|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-19p14----19p14----19p14----19p14----19p14----19p14----|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------16-------16-------16-------16-------16------------------16-|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|

|-----5-----| |-----5-----|

|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-19p=14----19p14----19p14----19p14----19p14----19p14-----|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|--------16-------16-------16-------16-------16-------16--------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

F5 D5
|-----5-----|

|-22p16----22p16----22p16----22p16----22p16----22p16-|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------19-------19-------19-------19-------19-------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------|

We move from a melodic sort of staccatoed lick into this crazy lick which sounds so atmospheric and killer...that's the sort of thing I'm wanting to emulate.

EDIT: The "5" groupings don't seem to be coming out right, you get a better idea looking at the powertab.
Last edited by YetAnotherMuso at Oct 27, 2008,
#7
It could be that he played it that way, but he might have tapped it, too. I have the Live in LA DVD, but I can't remember off the top of my head how he plays it live.


In any case, I'd try working out the same lick, but on one string with tapping. To make things interesting, come up with a tapped arpeggio lick on one string, but then do the opposite; play with the string skipping, like how you have Symbolic tabbed out. This way you'll get a better idea and understanding of how Chuck phrased his solos, in regards to his note choices.
Maybe U2 wouldn't suck so hard if they stopped preaching and started rocking instead. Of course, that's difficult to do with Pantera holding a near monopoly on all things that rock.
-Maddox.
#8
I looked at the powertab. The intro to the song, up to the pre-chorus, seems to revolve pretty heavily around E phrygian. The pro-chorus changes pretty abruptly to E minor, and then starts making pretty heavy use of the natural seventh up until the solo.

They seem to change (abruptly) to F# minor as soon as the solo starts. The solo itself is basically in F# harmonic minor with a few chromatic tones thrown in. One thing I noticed is that he tends to avoid the root note religiously. He'll usually end a passage on either second or the (raised) seventh degree depending on whether he's descending or ascending towards the root note. It leaves the solo sounding constantly unresolved and seems to be a big part of the music's overall sound.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#9
Quote by Cafas
It could be that he played it that way, but he might have tapped it, too. I have the Live in LA DVD, but I can't remember off the top of my head how he plays it live.


In any case, I'd try working out the same lick, but on one string with tapping. To make things interesting, come up with a tapped arpeggio lick on one string, but then do the opposite; play with the string skipping, like how you have Symbolic tabbed out. This way you'll get a better idea and understanding of how Chuck phrased his solos, in regards to his note choices.


Tapping would make the second part a hell of a lot easier...but it's a pretty evil stretch on the first part of the lick! 7th to the 14th...gargh...I can just do it.
#10
Quote by Archeo Avis
I looked at the powertab. The intro to the song, up to the pre-chorus, seems to revolve pretty heavily around E phrygian. The pro-chorus changes pretty abruptly to E minor, and then starts making pretty heavy use of the natural seventh up until the solo.

They seem to change (abruptly) to F# minor as soon as the solo starts. The solo itself is basically in F# harmonic minor with a few chromatic tones thrown in. One thing I noticed is that he tends to avoid the root note religiously. He'll usually end a passage on either second or the (raised) seventh degree depending on whether he's descending or ascending towards the root note. It leaves the solo sounding constantly unresolved and seems to be a big part of the music's overall sound.


Now THAT is the sort of thing I would be unable to work out by myself, very interesting stuff! I'll have to have a play with that...thanks dude!