Guitar Signature Style. Part 4

Getting into the Most Important Subjects that will lead you to a better Player, Timing and Coordination.

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Welcome back to another Great Article of "Guitar Signature Style". In the first part we discussed the basics of an Advanced Guitarist and the second part about Practicing. Then we Learned that all I mentioned about basics and practicing was mostly important to get your Original Signature Style and get you moving on the Part 3; were we discussed the Importance of Tricks, Hearing the Chords, Improvising and much more Important things. In this Article I'm going to get deep and focus on 2 Subjects, which are 2 important subjects, Timing and Coordination. If you haven't read my past parts of "Guitar Signature Style" then read them first as they're extremely important to get you where you're getting to with your Signature Style. Here are the past parts of the article:
  • Guitar Signature Style. Part 1
  • Guitar Signature Style. Part 2
  • Guitar Signature Style. Part 3

    Introduction

    In the last part of "Guitar Signature Style", part of the readers questioned: "Using 5th chords is boring as hell" "I don't use all those chords, being in a metal band its mainly power chords,(fifths) and tasteful solos here and there, someone explain to me how to solo over fifth chords it probably has the same principle, and I know keys, and several scales, but someone should really make an article on soloing over fifths" First of all, in the last Article, I didn't talk only about soloing on 7ths, 9ths and all of those chords, but I talked about the general Improvisation of Guitar, but mainly if you're not playing 7th and 9th Chords, playing on 5ths is much more easier to Improvise, it's like when you're saying, if you play Blues and Jazz, Rock would be a peace of cake. Anyway, I need to get back to this article, so if you have any further questions E-Mail me and I will gladly answer you the questions.

    Introduction To Timing

    When you pick or strum the guitar, the actual point in time when you strike the strings determines the timing. Beginners should focus on being relaxed and keeping the rhythm even. It is very easy to start speeding up, so it is important to practice with a metronome to keep you from rushing the music. As for Advanced players, the timing should be more fixed into Fast Speed, and complicated Rhythms and focus on the actual point of the timing as well, keeping Relax at all times is another Key to Success.

    Timing In Rhythm Guitar

    In a bluegrass band, the rhythm guitar player provides a background, or "curtain of sound", as well as providing the backup for the singer or lead player. A good rhythm player is unnoticed -- until he stops playing. The guitar compliments the bass player, who is laying down the beat. The background chords by the rhythm player bring the whole band together. To play good bluegrass rhythm guitar, you play only two strokes per beat. On the beat, you play a single bass note, and then on the off-beat, you strum the chord with a down stroke. Here are some important notes about good rhythm playing: 01. Don't play "runs" or scales. This confuses the other players, and often conflicts with harmony vocals. 02. Don't play a shuffling rhythm, just stick to the single strum. There are other styles of backup playing which will be discussed in the following lessons, but on almost every bluegrass song, the style described here sounds best. 03. On really fast-paced songs, you can skip playing the bass note, and just play ringing chords on the off beat. This still sounds good even when there is no bass player.

    Timing Exercises

    Timing is one of the most important factors of playing music. Without precise timing your music lacks energy and clarity. One essential thing you need for practicing your timing is a metronome. Metronomes come in all kinds and shapes. There are also digital ones like Seiko metronomes. For this timing exercise we need:
  • 1 Metronome
  • 1 Guitar
  • 1 Pattern Here's the pattern Ascending:
    E|-----------------------------------------1-2-3-4------- B|---------------------------------1-2-3-4--------------- G|-------------------------1-2-3-4----------------------- D|-----------------1-2-3-4------------------------------- A|---------1-2-3-4--------------------------------------- E|-1-2-3-4-----------------------------------------------
    And Descending:
    E|-4-3-2-1----------------------------------------------- B|---------4-3-2-1--------------------------------------- G|-----------------4-3-2-1------------------------------- D|-------------------------4-3-2-1----------------------- A|---------------------------------4-3-2-1--------------- E|-----------------------------------------4-3-2-1-------
    1. Warming up exercise: set the metronome at 150 and play the Pattern both Ascending and Descending. When you can play it without mistakes and tension in your fingers and arms, drive up the speed by 5. Continue to do this until you're at a speed that's not comfortable for you to play anymore. Do this everyday and you'll see a huge improvement in your guitar technique. 2. Set the metronome speed to 80. Now the clicks of the metronome are the first and the third beat of a bar, so we're actually playing at a speed of 160. Have a look at this pattern:
    E|------------------------------------------------- B|---------------8-7-12-10-8-7-8------------------- G|-----------7-9-----------------7----------------- D|-10-7-9-10-----------------------9--------------- A|-----------------------------------10------------ E|------------------------------------------------- E|------------------15----------------------------- B|-------8-10-12-15---15--------------------------- G|-----7-----------------16------------------------ D|----9---------------------17-12-9---------------- A|-10-------------------------------10-7-5--------- E|-----------------------------------------7-3-1-3-
    Now all Notes in this pattern are Quavers (2 Notes in 1 Beat). After getting better and better on the timing and concentration, try speeding up the Metronome by 3. Back with the metronome, another exercise shown below will help improve your timing for good. This time timing on metronome will be up to you, try to speed up the timing gradually. These patterns below should be played all together: This should be played as Crotchets (1 Note per Beat):
    E|---------------------------------------------- B|---------------------------------------------- G|---------------------------------------------- D|---------------------------------------------- A|-----------------------3---------------------- E|----3-----5------7----------------------------
    This should be played as Quavers (2 Notes per Beat):
    E|---------------------------------------------- B|---------------------------------------------- G|-------------------------4--5--7-------------- D|--------------4--5--7------------------------- A|------5--7------------------------------------ E|----------------------------------------------
    This Should be played as SemiQuavers (4 Notes per Beat):
    E|-------5-7-8-10-8-7--------------------------- B|-5-7-8--------------10-8-7-------------------- G|---------------------------9-7-5-------------- D|---------------------------------9------------ A|---------------------------------------------- E|----------------------------------------------
    This should be played as Quavers (2 Notes per Beat):
    E|---------------------------------------------- B|---------------------------------------------- G|---------------------------------------------- D|---7--5--------------------------------------- A|----------9--7--5----------------------------- E|-------------------8--7--5--------------------
    This should be played as Crotchets (1 Note per Beat):
    E|---------------------------------------------- B|---------------------------------------------- G|---------------------------------------------- D|---------------------------------------------- A|---------------------5------------------------ E|--3--------7------------------7---------------
    This is a Semibreve (1 note per 4 beats):
    E|----------------- B|----------------- G|----------------- D|----------------- A|----------------- E|------3----------
    Play these exercises together, and speed up the metronome, fortunately in the end you will get greater results if you make this a daily routine.

    Coordination

    The biggest obstacle players face when learning guitar is coordination between their hands and brain. Typically, your brain knows what to do, but your hands just aren't cooperating. This is where practice comes in. There are no shortcuts; you have to put in the time.

    Exercise #1

    The diagram below represents the guitar fretboard. The left side represents the nut of the guitar and the vertical (up and down) lines represent the frets. The horizontal lines (side to side) represent the strings of the guitar with the one on the bottom being the low E (the fat wound string) and the top being the high E string. You would get the same view if you laid your guitar flat on the floor (with the headstock to your left and the body to your right) and looked down on the neck.
    E|-----------------------------------------1-2-3-4------- B|---------------------------------1-2-3-4--------------- G|-------------------------1-2-3-4----------------------- D|-----------------1-2-3-4------------------------------- A|---------1-2-3-4--------------------------------------- E|-1-2-3-4-----------------------------------------------
    This example is not very musical. It is simply an exercise designed to help you develop coordination between your left and right hands. Take your pick between your thumb and 1st finger. Start at the first fret of the 6th string. Use your first finger to fret the note on the first fret then pick the 6th string. Next use your 2nd finger to fret the note at the 2nd fret then pick it. Use your third finger to fret the note at the third fret then pick it. Use your 4th finger to fret the note at the 4th fret. Now repeat at the 5th string, then the 4th string, 3rd string, 2nd string and 1st string. Then move back down in the opposite direction (1st string, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th.) This will go very slow at first, but keep at it. Your speed will eventually increase. Spend about five to ten minutes a day working on this (I realize it is pretty boring) at first. As your speed increases, you won't need to practice as long, and increasing the time of this exercise is a must. Great satisfying results will be resulted in the end.

    Conclusion

    That's it Folks, hope you liked my 4th Part of "Guitar Signature Style", in the next Articles I will get all the parts together and show you the real hidden meaning, be sure to practice all of the exercises I mentioned in Guitar Signature Style. Part 1, 2, 3 & 4, so you will be able to the Article which will be Held from all the Articles I've written, to give you the True Hidden meaning out of all. Sorry for any kind of Bad Grammars that I might have done, once again, and like always, Questions, Suggestions, etc... will be appreciated either by E-mail or what comforts you best. In this part I'm going to conclude like the Past Parts, today I will conclude with some easy favourite Quotes: "Usually, in the studio, on this sort of thing... you just go out and have a play over it, and see what comes, and it's usually - mostly - the first take that's the best one, and you find yourself repeating yourself thereafter." - David Gilmour "I spent 20 years of my life building up Queen, and now I'm spending years of my life trying to get away from it." - Brian May "Just because you know umpteen billion scales, it doesn't mean you have to use them all in a solo." - Kirk Hammett Hope you liked some decent words in this article, Cheers, Lee.
  • 24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    comments policy
      jvangef
      its good and will let you rip really good fast solos if you keep practising.
      ENADSIDOG
      eh i personally find alot of this useless, i have my own style and in turn have developed my owns tyle of playing the guitar, just becarefull what you learn here, if anything and shreds dead.
      theusedrocks
      i think he's lessons make alot of sense...can't wait to try them out although i can't now... *adds to favourites*
      guitar_virtuoso
      to have your own signature style i believe its good to know some s**t first, in other words, dont rip into this guy on the merit that its not enhancing your "signature style" u need general practice before u can rip, its the same with style, u need a base, and thats waht hes giving, all the things hes said, ill agree, dont really have direction, but if u work on all of the things hes saying, it will put u well on your way to a signature style, more so than other articles, so take it for what it is, and shut up and play, then give an opinion
      xDoMyGuitarNoWx
      never start anything at 150 bpm... thats dumb. start off at 40-60.. it helps build and warm up muscle in your fingers to your fingers go to where u want wihtout your brain commanding it.. doing it slowly registers your finger movements..
      deportivo
      minim - half note crotchet - quarter notes quaver - eighth semiquaver - sixteenth
      Lydian_Mode
      Good article, but not really about signature style, just about becoming a better guitarist.
      Quoteman
      Cobalt Blue : yeah as this goes on it's less and less about signature style. infact signature style can probably be summed up in a paragraph... find the gear and the sound that you like, after learning basics steal some licks and riffs, change 'em around then just be creative.
      Brilliant!!! Start off immitating and then slowly develop your own uniqe style. A brilliant scientist said "I can see so far becasue I stand on the shoulders of giants" why not apply that to music?
      Cobalt Blue
      yeah as this goes on it's less and less about signature style. infact signature style can probably be summed up in a paragraph... find the gear and the sound that you like, after learning basics steal some licks and riffs, change 'em around then just be creative.
      riff_randle
      This is basically just finger exersizes. It's good he did it and all, but it really is not useful to anyone who's been playing for more than a little while.
      rafinski
      yeah, you guys are too impatient, building your own style wont come by simply reading through these atricles anyway, so i would try some of his ideas if you got nothing better to do anyway. hes building the "foundation" to creating a signature style, not telling oyu everything at once like a bad suspense novel. follow his steps and im sure the last article will not be dissapointing for you, as i'm sure he will incorporate all 4 articles into the 5th.
      slash-no1-
      piop : I AGREE! CHANGE THE NAME OF UR ARTICLE, PLEASE! THIS IS NOT DEVELOPING A "SIGNITURE STYLE". ITS "HERE LEARN SOME SCALES, PLAY IN TIME" ETC. YOU HAVNT EVEN MENTIONED THE WORD "TONE" YET WHICH I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT WOULD BE THE MAIN SUBJECT!!!!!
      Yes actually he mentioned the Tone, in the First Part, as it is the Main Important subject.. these articles should be read one-by-one and practiced one-by-one, either that or don't read the article at all, because the only way it's going to help you is do what it actually says, then rather quote on the article, find if doesn't find the result you've been waiting for, you can get your signature style just like that, at least these articles are going as they should be, because you can't say actually how to bring your signature style, and then after all of these, you'll find your signature style, I know it, I'M GETTING BETTER BY THIS ARTICLE!!! But I'm doing what it actually says, then rather comment all the time, and then we'll see the result, if the result isn't good, then ok, comment.. ok? thanks.
      Muppet
      It's very usefull for beginners, but not for semi-good, good players.
      slash-no1-
      sweet dude, this rocks, no if you really get to do it, than just reading it, you'll find out that it really makes you better, after-all this article comes in parts, and the writer said that in the end, you will have you guitar signature style, en I know that these tips from parts 1,2,3, and 4 will get us somewhere, but we need to practice them not just rate others' articles on how good or bad they are, we need to do them, to actually find if it's good or bad article.. you don't tell a great article from bad grammar, or the way it's written, try practice them from part 1-4 and find if you haven't found some improvement, practicing is better then sitting in front of a PC, always there and being lazy, after-all if you want to be famous or something, you won't get there by doing this..
      SethMegadefan
      ^Yeah, exactly. No guitarist automatically develops a signature style from playing the chromatic scale to a metronome. These articles don't seem like they're even going anywhere anymore. I'm rather disappointed.
      Inf1n1tY.
      You introduced me to bluegrass and showed me some basic excercises. This is just a basic guitar lesson. It may help beginners in some way, but it doesnt lead me to develop my "signature style"
      monkey_dancer
      That was quite good. But if the next one doesn't do what you say it will, I'll be quite disappointed. Actually, SethMegadefan, thats not a chromatic scale. It misses out some notes and doesn't end up on the note it started on.
      piop
      I AGREE! CHANGE THE NAME OF UR ARTICLE, PLEASE! THIS IS NOT DEVELOPING A "SIGNITURE STYLE". ITS "HERE LEARN SOME SCALES, PLAY IN TIME" ETC. YOU HAVNT EVEN MENTIONED THE WORD "TONE" YET WHICH I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT WOULD BE THE MAIN SUBJECT!!!!!
      mikeofthechimps
      its very useful but its not "signature" style is it? surely that would be developing your own sound and style of playing? so far you've been teliing us about general practise.
      habeeb420
      looks like ittl help with timing a bit ill try it out tommorow when every1 in my house isnt asleep lol ty for writing these.
      SethMegadefan
      ^It's a basic practice scale, though, is what I'm saying. I guess it's not chromatic, but it's still an incredibly common and beginner scale. You can't possibly derive a signature style from it, is all I meant.
      VectorminatoR
      not bad... this is helpful to many people i think, probably even i myself. ya these exercises seem basic... but i know they are essential to mastery of shredding... keep up the good work.