If you played half the notes, you'd be twice the guitar player

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by kenoflife, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. JonR

    JonR Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Yeah, well you really shouldn't have been doing that in the studio, now should you?
  2. kenoflife

    kenoflife Supporting Member

    May 18, 2006
    somewhere in Oregon
    Getting back to my original post - I KNOW its an important thing for me to remember - and yet I forget - guess I didn't have it ingrained in my head when I was 20. Now I'm in my 40s and how to teach this dog to remember?

    I sincerely think maybe the best thing I can do until I'm 'trained' might be to get out that Sharpie again and write the 4 Letters upside-down on my left fingernails the way I did that night "L" "E" "S" "S"...for then as soon as I start up that solo - there it is, making me laugh at myself and at least consider I have the option to slow down fast.
  3. Chris_F

    Chris_F Member

    Nov 10, 2006
    The best advice I've ever gotten regarding this concept is as follows:

    Sing every note you play when you're improvising. You'll become intimately aware of what you're playing, and you'll occasionally have to stop playing in order to breathe. It'll force you to create phrases, because you'll want to at least have "finished a sentence" when you need to inhale oxygen.

    I've been playing twenty years, and only started doing this a year or so ago, and it's the single most important thing I've ever learned (YMMV) in terms of improvisation.

    This is something that should be drubbed into every first year music student, and I cannot believe I had to wait twenty years to learn this from Herb Ellis on youtube.
  4. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Denver, CO
    He made me take the sex toys outside too. :(
  5. Gigbag

    Gigbag Member

    Jan 14, 2005
    Can you teach me the Yngwie Malmsteen Melodious Velocity method that you learned? Is it the best of both worlds?
  6. Zexcoil

    Zexcoil Vendor

    Sep 24, 2005
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) - So then, you liked it? You really liked it, sire?
    Emperor Joseph II (Jeffrey Jones) - Well, of course I did! It's very good! Of course, now and then...just now and then...it seemed a touch...
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) - What do you mean, sire?
    Emperor Joseph II (Jeffrey Jones) - Well, I mean, occasionally, it seems to have...How shall one say?
    How shall one say, Herr Director?
    Count Orsini-Rosenberg (Charles Kay) - Too many notes, your Majesty?
    Emperor Joseph II (Jeffrey Jones) - Exactly. Very well put. Too many notes.
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) - l don't understand. There are just as many notes as I required, neither more nor less.
    Emperor Joseph II (Jeffrey Jones) - My dear fellow, there are in fact...only so many notes the ear can hear in an evening. I think I' m right in saying that, aren't I, court composer?
    Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) - Yes. On the whole, yes, Majesty.
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) - This is absurd!
    Emperor Joseph II (Jeffrey Jones) - Young man, don't take it too hard . Your work is ingenious. It's quality work. And there are simply too many notes. Just cut a few and it'll be perfect.
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) - Which few did you have in mind?
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  7. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    Now that's funny Gigbag!

    Sorry guys without smokin' sweet solos like Cliffs of Dover, Eruption or Yngwie licks I wouldn't have come to know this wonderful friend that has been there through the thick and thin with me. If it moves you, it's good.
  8. Ang3lus

    Ang3lus Member

    Feb 10, 2008
    just remember music is the same as any language and you'll be fine.

    timing/space is like punctuation, extremely important, if you don't use it, everything is a big mess.

    I also think of a major scale played over a blues sounds sweet (like saying some nice things to a girl)
    and pentatonic being very aloof (being very to the point and making a big statement).

    i use it accordingly.
  9. JonR

    JonR Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Emperor Joe was right, dammit!
    It doesn't matter how great the notes are, you can have too many.
    That Mozart always was a show-off. As Miles Davis might have said to him: "take your f***** hands off the keyboard!"
  10. ivers

    ivers Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    Some of my favorite guitarists are very 'notey', like Raphael Rabello, Yamandu Costa, Vicente Amigo, and perhaps my favorite musician today, (mandolin player) Hamilton de Holanda, but I think these guys play notes that express something..that's the crucial thing for me, do you have something to say? How should it be said? How is you best expressed? Slow/fast/aggresive/mellow/etc? And only the individual can find what's true for them.

    As for Miles, he hired very 'notey' guys to his band, so I don't think he really can be used to promote the less is more thing, as such. But sure, sometimes it's a good idea to just quit making sound and let the music breathe, no matter if you're a slow player or a fast player in the approach.

    As for breaks in the music, meaning shorter phrasing, not long lines, I think this comes naturally if you approach the music very rhythmically, you don't need to sing or think like a horn player at all.
  11. dead of night

    dead of night Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    I remember reading an interview with Mick Ronson about the solos on the album Ziggy Stardust. He said Bowie "sang" the solos for Ronson to play.
  12. SyKrash

    SyKrash Member

    Oct 1, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I guess John Coltrane is half the sax player.
  13. guitbeef

    guitbeef Member

    Apr 10, 2007
    (Not a politically correct example in this day and age , but it's the first scenario I can imagine)...

    So, you're 7 years of age and you opened the gas cap on the lawnmower and poured sand in the tank. You're dad goes to mow the grass and realizes what you did. He grabs you and in true old-school fashion and proceeds to spank you. He says one word with each swat on the ass (imagine the tempo of that)- "NEVER" (thwack)- "NEVER" (thwack)- "DO" (thwack)- "THAT" (thwack)- "AGAIN!" (thwack).

    Now imagine you're hanging at a table in a restaraunt with your buddies, and one sitting next to you slightly stands up to reach across the table to grab the ketchup. When he rises the front two legs of the chair rise up also. He sits back down and one foot of the chair comes down on top of your foot and he proceeds to unknowingly put his weight down right on top of the foot. You scream out loud and fast (imagine the tempo of this)- "OUCHOUCHGETOFFGETOFFMYFOOTYOUMORONOWWWOWWGETUPGETUP!".

    One outburst is slow, one is fast- both in and of themselves seem valid to me- why wouldn't they? I just don't think I want anyone to talk to me in either style all the time. To me it's context, and intention and the "feeling" behind it, fast or slow.
  14. Drumongus

    Drumongus Member

    Jan 1, 2009

    funny. Miles once talked to coltrane about how he could better play his instrument and coltrane said "take the F****** horn out of your mouth."

    implying miles was overplaying and not giving the band enough room.
  15. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

    Aug 14, 2006
    Monterey, CA
    U guys are all full of it ... :)

    Full of what I'm not sure ...
  16. Julia343

    Julia343 Member

    Oct 31, 2007
    But listening to a 60 second solo of 32nd notes blazing constantly at a quarter note = 100 without any pause or break is very inspiring.... to click the stop button after about 15 seconds. It kind of sounds like a fly trying to get out a window, but fortunately even the fly has to light so you have time enough to smack it.
  17. dlguitar64

    dlguitar64 Member

    Dec 30, 2008
    You have it all wrong.

    The story is Miles asked Coltrane why he played so long-he said he
    didn't know how to stop-Miles said Why don't you take the horn out of your mouth?
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2009
  18. kimock

    kimock Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    Where the Palm Tree meets the Pine
    Julia, did you ever check out Coltrane's record Interstellar Space?
    I don't usually go for the high rate of information stuff, but there are some passages on that record where Coltrane literally plays faster than you can hear.
    You're listening, and it makes total sense, and then you realize he's way out ahead of you, you're listening from behind, and it still makes sense.
    Never heard anything quite like it.

    Otherwise, yeah.

  19. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    The Greater San Jose Metroplex
    There are people who can play a jillion notes fast and say something, and then there are people who play fast but don't say anything with any of the notes they play. I'm not one of those guys who thinks everyone should slow down. There are some fast players who knock me out - chrissakes, I just got back from a Twang workshop where the instructor and John Jorgenson played *way* fast and made it meaningful. And scary.

    But I think everyone hear has heard the guy who plays 10,000 notes and it's a yawn. THAT'S the guy who would be twice the player if he played half as many notes. It's not universal - it's local. And I think the OP took it to heart because he was that guy before getting the wake up call.

    Or not - WTF do I know?
  20. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    i don't care about being "twice the guitar player".
    i don't care about being "half the guitar player".
    hell, i'm not sure i care about being "the guitar player", at all.

    i do love playing & writing music, though,
    and in that regard:
    i'll make my own damn decisions, thanks very much.

    i mean: come on.
    life is complex, humans are complex.....
    a little latitude & generosity for that can go a long way;
    it might even serve to help fuel yer own musical "journey".

    in any case:
    clearly, people are free to play useless crud at any speed,
    as we have done so, we do so & we likely will do so.

    dt / spltrcl

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