Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:33 am Post subject: A little of topic...but any help would be appreciated.
Recently, i have discovered guitarist such as Zappa, Vai, Malmsteen, Govan, Petrucci, Landau, Jeff beck, (been a fan of SRV for a while) and the list goes on...I have also been introduced to these "botique" pedals and mods, such as keeley, z vex, analog man, way huge, and full tone. I have been playing guitar for about 4 years, and i have to say...seeing these players is VERY inspiring, but also rather intimidating. I listen to a lot of jazz (miles davis, coltrane, hancock, all charlie christian, mclaughlin, all the greats.) I listen to a lot of blues too, and rock and funk.
Seeing these guys, has really made me want to get my butt in gear and start laying down some SERIOUS practice. I was wondering if you guys could give me any pointers on where to start... It seems like there is just a huge gap between these guys, and average players, its hard to think where to start. I know it takes TONS of practice, but i want to practice the right stuff.
To let you guys know where im at as player, i will list somethings im able to do. Im a junior in highschool, I have a strat...its pretty nice actaully. Its a reissue of a 57, and im getting tom anderson single coils but in there, with a JB in the bridge. Anyways, iim pretty good with my penatonics and blues scales (obviously im nothing compared to SRV). I feel pretty confident with those. Im in my HS jazz band, so i know about 2-5-1's and chord changes and different voicings. Im familiar with some diatonic modes, like major, dorian, and mixo. Im not too good with all of them, but working on it! (With jamie abersold books). I cant site read to well, but i can read both cleffs becuase i used to play piano when i was younger. Anways, i was hoping you guys could give me some things to practice, cuz i realy want to practice my improv, technique, speed, the works.
Thanks for the help guys! ANY pointers are appreciated, feel free to recomend any books, CDs, DVDs. Thanks!
Seems you have a good grounding in the basics. My suggestion for you at this point in your development is to get familiar with scales of all types - the modes based off the major scale, the melodic minor and its modes, harmonic minor and its modes, diminished scales, whole tone, altered scales, etc. Practice them in all keys. Use them to jam over backing tracks and understand the tonality of each scale and which work best over certain chords. Practice 'em over different tempos. Play fast, play slow, play 'em descending only, ascending only, triplets, sixteenth notes, eighth notes, odd meters, whatever... After that, work on the arpeggios. But scales are where it all starts and the basic building blocks of melodic improvisation. Now get busy!
hey thanks man! by anychance, can you be more specific in routines i could run? Ive messed around with some harmonic minor too, and i know my arpeggios for major7h, dominant, and minor7th, and i plan to practice those a lot. Any good cds you coul recomend for backing tracks? I have the jazz one, maiden voyage, the jamie abersold one. thanks.
Im open to anything else! please, keep the suggestions coming please!!
Do not have time to post at length, but there are two very good things you could do.
1. Transcribe! Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, and Kenny Burrell are good places to start.
2. Find a good teacher, someone who inspires you with you playing, someone who is willing to teach, and someone who is humble (if someone is cocky, you don't want them to teach you, especially if you are just getting started, trust me).
May post again later! Best of luck!
P.S. Don't focus too much on videos/books, they are handy, but everything you need is on your records and hidden in the recesses of your fretboard.
I don't need to recommend songs for you to transcribe, just listen to them and transcribe whatever you like. Have fun with it, sing along to the solos. Charlie Christian would be a great start if you enjoy listening to him and think you'd enjoy playing it. Transcribing is tedious at first, but persistence pays off, you get better and better and you get better very fast early on (but only if you persist!). Also try to work out what chords they're playing the licks over (hints: listen to the bassline, try playing the major 3rd/minor 3rd of you like what you think is the root over that chord to ascertain it's quality if you're not sure, be creative, whatever works is good).
It's easy to get stuck in the mindset of 'what do I NEED to practise to progress?'. And although it's good to entertain such thoughts on occasion, it's really all about practising whatever gives you fulfilment, and everyone knows what that is, it's just however much worry and doubt that they've stacked on top of it that varies. Don't think of practising so much just yet, think of learning, and what it is you want to learn how to do, and then do it! If you don't know how, just do your best to figure it out! If you keep it up you'll make it through to the other side, and find that there's a bigger challenge waiting for you, ALWAYS.
Also jam with other people, and don't be afraid of making mistakes or sounding shit. Try new things, go out there, play your guitar like you've just picked it up for the first time. And when I say 'don't be afraid' I REALLY REALLY REALLY MEAN IT. If people say it sounds bad or more importantly if YOU think that other people think you sound bad, just acknowledge it and keep going. All is revealed in the music if we listen hard enough.
Best of luck old chap! HO HO HO!
P.S. Buy the Django Reinhardt album 'Jazz in Paris: Nuages', recorded in the early fifties.
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