Familiar Rut - Lead Help

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by JoelWilliams24, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. JoelWilliams24

    JoelWilliams24 Member

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    Hey everyone, I'm 20 years old and I've been playing guitar for about 12 years now, and lately it seems like every time I pick up and play my guitar, by myself or with a band, I play very similar things as far as soloing. I just follow my familiar scales and modes. In addition I can often hum lead lines in my head that sound better than what I am playing, but have trouble translating that. I am wondering if anyone has any tips on how to move to the next level with my soloing, and spice it up and make it more exciting for myself and those who listen. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Seraphine

    Seraphine Member

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    Practice playing to the soundtracks / incidental music on tv shows and films... these cover many moods and feelings etc... Also great practice for the ears and turning on a dime and actually having the ability to improvise with "others"

    With a band.. try having the whole band improvise.. not with collapsing freeform.. but with cohesion that improvises within the form of some music and with the form as well... This might take time to get used to.. but it can be done... Grateful Dead is a prime example of that....

    If you need learn MORE scales modes and arps.. do so.. link them all together in form and not just boxes.. as well take notice of all nuances you use... after all there's 10 ways from Sunday to play even one note...

    Hope some of these ideas help.. I'm sure you'll get plenty of ideas soon enough!
     
  3. Ethn Hayabusa

    Ethn Hayabusa Member

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    The two most common things I see from people stuck in ruts, is that they lack a thorough understanding of intervals, and of rhythmic values.

    I'm not saying you suffer those issues, but a large percentage of lessons with my "stuck in a rut" students start with those talking points.
     
  4. anyone

    anyone Member

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    Hey Joel,

    For those lines in your head, try playing them without looking at the fretboard.

    Transcribing other peoples' lines helps me when I'm stuck.

    It's also fun to play in a slightly different key: Like playing bminor pentatonic licks over something you'd normally play eminor pentalicks over... or D major lines when you'd normally play G major ones.

    It's also fun to take a break for awhile... (haha)

    Cheers,

    Chris
     
  5. Hotspur

    Hotspur Member

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    This is the problem.

    You need to work on your ear in a dedicated fashion.

    Download the functional ear trainer from Miles.be and get Keith Wyatt's book "Ear Training for the Contemporary Musician."

    Make that a big part of your practice, and you'll see results in this area.
     
  6. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    Diversify. Start playing country licks and fingerstyle. Start playing a plastic string guitar if you don't have one. The worst thing any musician can do to themselves is stick with one or two styles of music for dear life and not explore others.
    For example, I am not a big jazz fan but I know quite a few jazz licks and chord progressions, they come in handy.
    Being diverse also makes you stand out in the crowd when you naturally start incorporating all the styles you know into what you like.
    It doens't mean much to be a fantastic guitarist if when you walk into a music store and plug in you sound like everybody else that walks in and plugs in. It is when you do the stuff not everybody else is doing that heads turn.
     
  7. Jeremy_Green

    Jeremy_Green Member

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    Get transcribing..lots..rut busters for me every time
     
  8. steam boat

    steam boat Supporting Member

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    +1 for rhythm
    +1 for transcription

    Personally, I believe rhythm is a thing you either have or you dont. You can learn it, but if you have to learn it, play Xbox instead.
     
  9. Seraphine

    Seraphine Member

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    I understand that... but some are rhythm players by nature and others melodic etc... lead... Thing is I could play rhythm alright, but when I was a founding member of a Funk Band I REALLY learned alot about rhythm... let alone listening to Bob Weir and the Grateful Dead members rhythm wise is a brilliant world, rhythm wise...

    Even people that have rhythm "learn"....
     
  10. Jday413

    Jday413 Member

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    Transcribe. But, transcribe something that is NOT a guitar. Take a saxophone solo, or keyboard solo, or vocal lines. Engages some different parts of your ear and brain since you don't necessarily have technical knowledge of those instruments to help you out. It's all in the ear.
     
  11. MGT

    MGT Member

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    Big +1 to that. When I was in high school (early 80's), I'd be playing/practicing with the TV on in the background so I'd play along with theme songs, commercials, etc. It's excellent ear training and it also showed me how so many melodies fit into the major scale, pentatonics, etc (so it encouraged me to keep practicing/learning scales). The other big benefit was when I was creating my own solos, I was much more likely to be able to translate what I heard in my head to my guitar.

    Another thing that helped was to learn those melodies in various areas on the neck.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
  12. rspencer

    rspencer Member

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    That's been a major practice component for me for many years. Jamming along to the radio can be good too, especially if you choose a station that plays a genre you don't know well.
     
  13. Seraphine

    Seraphine Member

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    hey rspencer... you anywhere near VB or Princess A?

    It's amazing how much atmosphere and mood, feeling can be provided from shows and films etc... from the music... even a line or a phrase used can be really effective with a band....

    Being able to quickly and seamlessly play with it is a brilliant practice and a great ability to have when jamming. Good to be able to play music and with music, right on the spot, especially music we haven't heard before...
     
  14. arthur rotfeld

    arthur rotfeld Member

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    Ding ding ding.


    I transcribed this absolutely crazy Coltrane lick last year. Couldn't wait to figure out what he was doing. Uh, nothing but Bb pentatonic minor. :omg
     
  15. Zappafreak

    Zappafreak Member

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    Uh NOOOOOOOOOOO FALLSEEEEEE... I dont believe in talent or being born with something like that. People who hear rhythm and are more "talented" than others just have a greater understanding of what they are doing from the start. the more music and different genres you listen to and are exposed to the more variation and selection of rhythm and sounds you'll have. My advice is listen to everything from barouch music to jazz to r&b to blues to rap to indy to funk. It wont come right away but youll learn it eventually. Never give up.
     
  16. JonR

    JonR Member

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    I agree.
    I do think there are differences in how easily and quickly different people learn various aspects of music - that much seems self-evident. But I agree no one is born with those differences (or rather that's my belief). It depends on your early experiences, how much meaningful contact you have with music as a child.
    I think there may be a difference, however, later in life, in how easily one can devote oneself to the discipline of learning. Maybe being able to stick at something long enough - through any kind of setback or frustration - is a "talent"?

    Personally I had no noticeable musical interest or "gifts" as a child. Zero. I just happened to get obsessed with guitar at 16 (mostly due to peer pressure) and clearly had the right personality to be able to stick with it, to find constant rewards in it at every level of progress, even though I struggled with developing a musical "ear". I got good enough in a few years for people to call me "talented" :rolleyes: (the poor fools...).
     
  17. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    Increase what is familiar. Look at it long-term. Find a lick from a song you don't know and learn it. Work it until it's familiar, add it to your bag-o-tricks and repeat.

    As for moving hummed lines to the guitar....it just takes some patience. Since the notes you are humming are likely not familiar patterns it may take a while to find those notes and a comfortable way to play them.
     

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