Help me Better my playing Please

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Static111, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. Static111

    Static111 Member

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    Hi

    I'm new here and joined to help improve my technique and get some wisdom from older and younger players who are more advanced than I am. Basically I have been playing since I was about 17...23 now and went the self taught no lessons route, as I am best at learning from books.

    I'm currently in the market for some good texts, or dvds on improving ability and musical knowledge as far as rhythym playing goes. I'd say now that I'm above average, but I would really like to bring my playing level up. I play both acoustic and electric, and any help would be appreciated

    And if style has any concern in recommendations my main influences are Nels Cline, Marc Ribot, Keith Richards and neil young
    Thanks
     
  2. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Interesting set of influences. I'm pretty sure Young and Richards are self-taught. I know Richards is a very self-schooled player, in that he's taught himself tons of music over the years in a number of genres. I think Young's playing has mostly revolved around his writing, though he's definitely got an amazing voice on the electric guitar no matter who's music he's playing. Nels Cline I know very well, he's a self-schooled player as well with an amazing ear. Ribot was formally trained as a classical guitarist, and if I'm not mistaken, a jazz guitarist as well. But again, he's another person like Richards and Cline that have cobbled together a very unique voice by closely studying a very eclectic assortment of music that interested them. I like all those guys a lot, Ribot is a big influence on me in particular, and Nels has been a friend of mine for a long time, and consequently has been big influence as well.

    I teach quite a bit (I'm on the full-time staff at GIT), but without hearing you play, I don't know what to offer, though I highly recommend Ted Greene's Chord Chemistry and Mick Goodrick's The Advancing Guitarist to any guitar player. They are not 'lick books' (I don't much like 'lick books'). They're not even really style specific. What they will do is open doors, and with some patience and imagination, they'll keep opening doors for years. I'm on my third decade with Ted's book and closing in on my second with Mick's...

    Please, feel free to PM me if you like
     
  3. sinner

    sinner Member

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    I saw Nels play live with just a drummer at this tiny hole in the wall Downtown LA place called "The Smell", it was really amazing! They were having a unique musical conversation, doing their own version of Coltrane. I didn't realize he was basically self-taught!

    Another Ted Greene book I like is "Jazz Guitar: Single Note Soloing". Unlike the Chord Chemistry books, this one focuses more on phrases, runs, arpeggios and scales. So if you like getting that stuff from books, this one is fun!

    What about DVD lessons? For acoustic blues, fingerpicking and slide many people like Bob Brozeman's books and videos; also Fred Sokolow has many book and vids showing many styles, including ragtime, jazz, bluegrass, and of course country blues! I currently take private lessons with Fred since getting my first National Duolian--the man is a walking encyclopedia of blues history!

    I have many of these books, but for me I do better with private lessons with the books supplementing the live lessons, but I see that we all learn differently--good luck!
     
  4. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    Vol I&II are both great books. One terrific difference about Ted's approach, in comparison to 90% of the other (jazz) improv. for guitar books, is that this one is completely chord tone oriented and not scale oriented. Although knowing scales helps, I think little emphasis is given to knowing chord tones in so many guitaristic approaches to improv. It's often like arpeggios themselves are just an afterthought to learning your scales.

    Anyway, not to derail too much but I heard some of Nels Cline on pandora.com and was immediately taken with the music. Aside from buying up his CDs (some of which I could tell from the sound samples I would not like) I'd like to know more about him. ...going to check his web site out now.
     
  5. Static111

    Static111 Member

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    Wow!!! What a helpful site. THe suggestions keep on rolling in. THanks
     
  6. Static111

    Static111 Member

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    dkaplowitz

    As for Nels Cline alot of people tend to not like his instrumentals, but I really dig them. If you are a Newbie to his music I really suggest strongly to buy Mike Watt; Contemplating the Engine room. He plays guitar with Watt on Bass and someone else I forget who on drums. Anyways THe songs "In The Engine Room" and "Black Gang Coffee" really turned me on to him and through that I moved on to some other stuff most notably the indie jazz classic Interstellar Space Revisited With Greg Bendian it's the CD from the shows mudslide mentioned where they jam out coltrane. Astonishing!
     
  7. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    Thanks for the tips, Static111. The stuff I heard and really liked was instrumental stuff from the one called The Nels Cline Singers. It was pretty progressive from what I recall. The stuff that I've heard and didn't care as much for was the very experimental and avant-garde 20th century quazi-Varese sounding pieces that didn't have a lot of form to them. The Coltrane one sounds very interesting to me.
     
  8. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Nels told me he took a couple lessons from Howard Roberts and Bill Connors and some kind of 'Basic Musicianship' class at Santa Monica City College when he was really young, but really Nels has just hung around a lot of great people, did a lot of hard listening, observing and asking questions
     
  9. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Agreed, 100%. That's what I like about those books too, and that's the way I try to teach playing over changes - chord tones & extensions first, then you learn to connect them chromatically or diatonically, but the chord tone approach is going to give you the 'sweet' notes of the scale anyway, right?

    But, yeah, Ted is who I get all that from. Ted was the man. What a loss
     
  10. Static111

    Static111 Member

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    Sounds like this could be just what I need. Though it looks like I'm gonna have to order it as no local stores have any Ted Green books mentioned available. Thanks again guys
     
  11. countandduke

    countandduke Member

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    Find yourself a good teacher is always helpful too. I have a stack of guitar related books about 8 feet high (no exaggeration...) and the Ted Greene books rank among the best.....no tab though..... I have been tabbing out the first book but don't have time to do it like I want to. I have just been using Powertab but it works fine.

    Videos and DVD's are always really helpful but again there are MANY to choose from.....I have found Scott Henderson's to be among the best.....Joe Pass', Danny Gatton's first one.....Eric Johnson's.....the list goes on....

    Good luck...

    Chris

    PS There will also come a time where you throw away all that knowledge and just "play".......oftentimes getting caught up in what the right scales and arpeggios are makes the music suffer. One of the best pieces of advice is to start transcribing sax solos. Start off with easy stuff. Maybe some Miles Davis (although he's trumpet) solos. There are books out there with the solos transcribed on the staff but try and figure them out just using your ear. This does wonders.......
     
  12. 1-Take-Wonder

    1-Take-Wonder Member

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    Tomo Fujita (A member here) has a great DVD (Accelerate Your Guitar Playing) that has a section for rhythm playing and reading. You may or may not be interested in his funkier side (based on your influences) but his rhythm drills are valuable regardless of style.

    There's a thread a mile long on the DVD in this section, scroll down, it won't be far...
     

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