What was something little that improved your playing drastically?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Phil3, Mar 23, 2020 at 3:54 PM.

  1. oxtone

    oxtone Member

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    Learning all the songs on the Allman Brothers Live at Fillmore East. That's what improved my playing in the early 70's, and I did
    my first bar gig at age 16, playing those songs. We had a band of really good players.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020 at 10:30 PM
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  2. motokev

    motokev Member

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    Need a pick that has a radius that is between the pointy and the larger. The tone of the larger radius is different, less bright.
     
  3. dazco

    dazco Member

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    Yeah, been there done that. (file) I just kept going back to the point of a regular pick.
     
  4. otherplanes

    otherplanes Member

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    Just found this in a little free library the other day. I haven't given it a look, but now it is calling my name.
     
  5. blong

    blong Supporting Member

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    I'm sure this book is hard to find. It would be awesome if someone turned it, or a version of it, into video lessons.

    Bob
     
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  6. Marc Roy

    Marc Roy Member

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    What really helped my playing is/was jamming with musicians much better than myself. A friend of mine is a very accomplished guitarist (think Brent Mason caliber). I've jammed with him a few times (with my jaw on the floor), and his advice was always the same - "Forget the flash. Focus on taste". I always thought this was somewhat ironic, given his love for and ability to whip out hot rod country and rock licks with his eyes closed. I then had a chance to hear some of his session and sideman work, then I understood what he was saying. I picked up a guitar in the shred era 80's, so the concept of "less is more" wasn't exactly ingrained in my mind. Not that I could ever pull that stuff off, but it was sure fun to try. I gave up on it a long time ago. Now I concentrate on rhythm, different styles such as Motown and funk, and basically try to lay back a lot more.

    Approaching my guitar tone a bit differently was also a big thing. I've never been into high gain (it's a mess whenever I use a ton of gain - it's good for a laugh ;)). I always tend to dial it back, but now even more so. I also used to favor plenty of low end, nowadays I lower the bass and let the mids do the work. Sure, I have some tonal references (i.e. Warren Haynes, David Grissom, Audley Freed, etc.), but I've found that a thick Gov't Mule type tone rarely works for me. It's great for that music, but not always for mine. These days, it's more along the lines of Malcolm Young, Joe Walsh, Dickey Betts and Paul Kossoff, with a bit more sustain for leads. Playing with a cleaner, clearer sound just works better overall in my case.
     
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  7. NorCal_Val

    NorCal_Val Member

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    I think there's so much stuff out there, that what's contained in the book has been covered quite a few times. But "back in the day" it was the only book I found that presented the material for guitar playing. And, bonus, not in musical notation!!
     
  8. Coastman

    Coastman Silver Supporting Member

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    I've been a big fan of David Wallimann's online guitar lessons/tutorials. Try this short tutorial of his for a start on inversions:


    FWIW - I'm by no means an expert on this stuff. I'm still in the learning stages of mastering inversions.
     
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  9. Coastman

    Coastman Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey Biker Joe - See my reply at post #348!
     
  10. majorledhead

    majorledhead Supporting Member

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    The big C gave me guitar superpowers. .... or maybe I just been woodshedding for 5 years since the battle started, and practice and playing 50+ hours per week makes you better.

    Besides that, the purchase of a $75 Crate Vintage Club 50 2x12 combo. I have it in the living room and only play it on the clean channel plugged straight in. What is has done to advance my rhythm playing, chord voice stylings, and unaccompanied songwork, while vegging into the lazy boy has been a game changer. ( Think Robben Ford Rhythm Revolution) That big clean tone at volume with nothing to hide behind can really hone your technique, as well as your ear, learning to let notes breath and hearing the harmonies and overtones mingling.
     
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  11. pedalparty

    pedalparty Member

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    The thing that helped my playing more than anything was writing and recording music. It kind of shows you where your weak spots are.
     
  12. smv929

    smv929 Member

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    Hybrid picking allows you to not just chicken pick. It expands your whole world. Can use finger for soulful blues playing, bends, snaps, double stops and also play fast runs. I can play fast pentatonic runs that sound alternate picked; lines I could never alternate pick.

    Looper

    Listen to your recorded self

    Learn scales to understand it all, but play chord tones/arpeggios, which makes it musical.

    Using above technique to make the chord changes be heard when you solo

    Keep an audio recording of your favorite licks/lines/ideas. Record only gems. Then refer back to them over time. You'll be surprised what you forget. I usually have inspiring ideas after good nights rest. Hearing this when I'm not having inspiration helps. It's like taking lessons from the best version of you. Plus you will get down unique ideas I would have otherwise forgotten.

    Using a slow down device to really hear what's going on.

    Learn the head to Donna Lee. Chords too. Analyze it. Take a line from it and play it over a blues or r n b song or funk vamp. For me, I got a lot of ideas from this song. Life long lesson thing.

    Be able to do double stop 6ths like in brown eyed girl all the way up the fret board. On E and G strings and B and D. Those are most practical but also do A and G and low E and D.

    Use triads or four note chords to play 6 2 5 1 chord progression all up the fretboard.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020 at 3:42 AM
  13. leftygeetar

    leftygeetar Member

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    tweaking my pick hand position
     
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  14. Flogger59

    Flogger59 Member

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    For a period in my youth with no money ( spent it all on my first Gibson ) no radio or tv in my rented bedroom where I could not use an amp. So I played entirely unplugged that winter. I was also trying to suss out Blackmore. From memory (no record player, remember?). Good luck with that.

    And that is where alternate picking and using all four fingers came to be.
     
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  15. jrjones

    jrjones Member

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  16. ronmail65

    ronmail65 Supporting Member

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    Switching to a thick pick
    Getting Naked: Playing with a low gain setting, totally dry (no reverbs, delays, etc...), using a very touch sensitive rig (good pickups, and a highly dynamic tube amp)
    Getting in a Band
     
  17. Eric Rowland

    Eric Rowland Supporting Member

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  18. ColdFrixion

    ColdFrixion Member

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    Practicing progressively more challenging material.
     
  19. Pete Cage

    Pete Cage Member

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    Over the years I've had several episodes that caused me to up my game. One of the most notable: In HS, I had an older friend pick up my guitar and play much better than I could... in front of a sizeable group of my friends.
     
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  20. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    These two were the major items for me (and still are).

    I first played to backing tracks, which made me hear and lock into the rhythm parts. I'd play all the chords first, which gave me a good view on how people put together songs, too.

    Then I'd record my own work, which ... yeah, cringeworthy all right. But the tape doesn't lie and it forced me to get better.

    =K
     
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