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. Steve Hotra

    Steve Hotra Silver Supporting Member

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    A consistent schedule of practicing specific things, not just noodling. I listen to all types of music styles, to enhance what I do. This helps me to play "outside of my musical box"
     
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  2. Solarflares

    Solarflares Member

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    I’m the head-cleaner/caretaker and stockroom-controller at the school Jeff teaches in.
    Time and time again I’ve had to deploy other staff to clean up all that paper.
    It’s getting to the stage where we are now ordering extra supplies - and our local re-cyclers are stretched to their limit.
    I know he’s a good player and all that , but surely something has to give?
     
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  3. LockerRoomTalk

    LockerRoomTalk Member

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    Playing lead on acoustic improved my playing a lot. It immediately forces you to focus your playing and make every note count. There's no compression or distortion to hide behind, no "help" from delay and reverb, and, most importantly, you can't just bend the strings constantly to imply emotion. It forces you to get creative, and discard all of those tired blues licks you overuse.
     
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  4. bgh

    bgh Supporting Member

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    Now that you mention it, raising my guitar helped my fretting hand from getting so tired.
     
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  5. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    There's a great deal of truth to what you point out here...
    Could be a great subject for a discussion ...
    It can be "uncanny" how a certain axe facilities your playing and/or opens the intuitive side of your brain!!
    Insightful post ... Thanks ...
     
  6. Solarflares

    Solarflares Member

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    Playing-wise.....
    Learning the British “Royal College of Music” grade1-5 , and 5-8 classical fingerings for 1 to 3-octave scales and arpeggios.
    https://shop.abrsm.org/shop/prod/ABRSM-Guitar-Scales-and-Arpeggios-Grades-1-5/2005075

    That one taught me to read (a little) , and gave me a whole world away from the happy-go-lucky , self-tailored cage-system I’d always used.
    With a good metronome , the discipline of using a clean sound and clean picking - was very advancing , and very quickly too ( and NO-ONE in rock is playing from this hymn-sheet for definite , so it’s a necessary “back to basics” approach , which will then take you way beyond expectations).
    Through the full-gear , that Hungarian minor from earlier practice , with some wah and suitable sympathetic articulation - could be transformed into the most evil-sounding stuff , with some extra Paganini-type vibratos , and delay and reverb. Some of these scale’s fingerings lend themselves to picking-abuse in fact - and extra-emphasis and harmonic-content , all serve to transport a player’s identity into something unique very quickly.
    I was doing 2 hours of the books a night with the metronome , then playing freely for an hour after a coffee - then going back to the books for another hour , to learn the next page.
    Highly recommended behaviour.
    So there you go - top-tip!

    Frank Gambale’s Sweep Picking book (and cassette) was also an essential buy - especially when you study the whole thing and apply partial-sweeps and pick-emphasis/vibrato to your classical-fingered arpeggios.
    Only Frank’s book has correct method , including strengthening-exercises etc.

    Ok - Play me a downward pentatonic in D-minor , beginning on fret 22 of the first string - and using strictly 3 notes per string. At least 3-octaves please , and back up again. Feels good huh?
    Now - do it beginning on the 20th fret...........

    Take any scale , and remove any 2 notes from it.
    Now play it over 3 true octaves.
    That one will also give you some rather unique paths to explore.

    You will also find that continuing to play the second scale-book with metronome for an hour every night , is beneficial. This gives 2 hours of exploration , and an hour of consolidating - if you can manage a 4-hour session , that is. So you don’t have to quit work just yet!
    If you can eat,sleep,work,practice for 3 months - you will come out a new player , if you use the above books and discipline your expectations.
    The studies promote natural-flair to emerge fast , since scale-practice is like sensory-deprivation in a way. But temper that urge to do anything but play in a clean , even manner at first.

    There is a tiny conflict , in that Frank works with 2-octave arpeggios , in a hybrid 1 or 3 note cage system. But , if you learn the correct classical fingerings first - then when you study the sweeping book , you can see and feel the limitation of available expression from the more-fixed left hand in his tab. The more-expansive , and grand 3-octave arpeggio is already under your belt , and you will be looking for ways to break out - and exploit your classical stuff.
    Well , the 1 or 3 notes per string stuff , can give that facility , and when combined with Frank’s sweep-techniques - you can cover a lot of ground very fast on the neck.
    But the scale books first.
    Otherwise you won’t want to! At least not with the same conviction.
    Expect 6 months for everything , but you will also find that your memory is improved for further learning/exploration.
    You may also be drawn to musical scores by classical and more modern artists. These are a good way of seeing harmony in black and white - and a lot of that stuff is quite demanding , and good reading-practice. It all aids composition too.

    Hope this might be helpful to aspiring “lead” players.
    Especially ones that want to break the mold.
    You’ll need to be a reasonably proficient guitarist to get the best from this , and the above speedy learning-path really requires a player that has standard proficiency , but is stuck in a rut.
    Enjoy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020 at 4:50 PM
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  7. Buck Private

    Buck Private Member

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    You jest,but Berlin is top shelf as a player and owns the school,so you should indulge his churlish disregard for America's forests.
     
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  8. dargiles

    dargiles Member

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    Realising that listening to the drummer is more important than listening to yourself in a band setting
     
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  9. Sunil

    Sunil Gold Supporting Member

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    Simply relaxing and being conscious of body tension. It took well over 20 years for me to realize that I was gripping much more hard with my fretting hand and tightening up on my picking hand than is necessary, which has stymied my ability to reach new plateaus technique wise, chord movement wise, smoothness, etc. Trying to unlearn years of this bad habit is a continuing struggle.
     
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  10. Solarflares

    Solarflares Member

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    Very good point.
    That’s why I stressed that evenly-executed ,2-octave or more , classically-fingered scales - are a superior way of quickly gaining mobility around the neck , and breaking any habits. Gripping lighter comes naturally , as less becomes more.
     
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  11. ultimerazzia

    ultimerazzia Member

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    Playing with a backing track and paying attention to what is happening in the background, not just to what I play.
    If you want your licks to fit in, you need to listen!
    Also, to play more which means to spend less time chassing that tone...
     
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  12. DV52

    DV52 Member

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    I have my straps adjusted the same way , I get my guitar put the strap on and sit or stand and it is the same .
     
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  13. Bill Hershey

    Bill Hershey Member

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    I learned to play angling my pick the opposite way as most people, like Tosin Abasi. But as I got older, I starting having difficulty holding on to the pick. There were also some handicaps I had to deal with as far as moving from string to string. I decided to change my picking style a few months ago, and took a pointer from Chris Broderick on how to hold my pick. Changing wasn't all that hard, because I have been playing over 30 years. I have noticed a difference in the quality of my picking, and no longer have to deal with that handicap moving from string to string. Also, watching speed kills by Michael Angelo Batio. He really does give you the keys to the Lamborghini!:)
     
  14. DV52

    DV52 Member

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    Thanks for that sir ! We have all said we've heard that enough on the radio.
    But, to watch this reminds us of how lucky we were at that time because The Girls were just outstanding how fantastic they were in that time period ! I am from that time so , thanks again .

    And nice lesson advice as well .
     
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  15. SirGilmour

    SirGilmour Supporting Member

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    Switching to a smaller, thicker pick. Jazz III type.
     
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  16. fingertip

    fingertip Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah, by-passing the pedals and turning off the trem and reverb while practicing helps me. Also, I like a real metronome going slowly so I can see the beat coming. Blinking lights don't work for me.
     
  17. DV52

    DV52 Member

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    And ,What did it Mean ?
     
  18. Chuck Snider

    Chuck Snider Supporting Member

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    learning how to adjust neck relief( or lack of it) and experimenting with nut slot height to my preference ..BIG difference!
     
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  19. DV52

    DV52 Member

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    Teaching is learning . I taught Tae Kwon Do for twenty years . I learned more from them , as Master Pak would say ,,, Form One !!
    The kids are eye openers to us more than them . I am thankfull for the opportunity to participate in their progression.
     
  20. Buck Private

    Buck Private Member

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    Seriously? Ok. The lesson is that by picking up a single paper that the room was indeed "cleaner" even if only by a single piece of paper. The student could then infer that cleaning a room in that fashion is a metaphor for practice. "ie" you may only improve a little now and with more practice,a little later, but after a time the room will be cleaned by removing paper a little at a time,and by practicing the student will improve a little at a time. I hope that clears that up. I really was not expecting a controversy. When I saw Jeff Berlin do it on a video,it made perfect sense,took little time and as you well know, music students are often impatient with the pace of their development.
     
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