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Discussion Starter #1
Just had a quick question for some of you fellas who are veterans on the whole gig scene.
I'm wanting to join a band in the near future so I can do some gigs and what not. I'm a hardrock kinda guy, I like to play alot of Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue type stuff.
My question is what kinda techniques should I practice and learn to do that will help me with my playing for this kinda music. I can play lots of riffs and intro's and what not but I have a lot of touble with soloing. Any advice would be welcome. Keep Rockin :food-smiley-004:
 

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For soloing, you really have to learn some scales and modes.

If you look around the internet, or in some scale books, you'll find some patterns that let you play through a couple octaves of a major scale from one position... that is, without having to move your hand up or down the neck of the guitar.

Patterns like that are movable... so if you learn the pattern for the C major scale all you have to do is move the exact same pattern two frets up the neck and you are playing the D major scale. You can play any major scale with this one pattern, just by moving it up or down to the neck.

Similar single position patterns exist for all the major scale modes, as well as pentatonic and blues scales... any scale, pretty much.

What I did was learn these patterns for C major, and 3 of the common modes of C major... D dorian, E phrygian and A aeolean. I practice them every day using both 6 string patterns, and patterns that use only 5 strings and leave out the 6th E string. Now I can solo in C major pretty much anywhere on the neck of the guitar, and solo in any other major key just by changing which fret I start on.

doing scale drills might seem like a bore to some, but I know some folks who try and solo just by plucking away randomly until something sounds good... but that trial and error method is ultimately going to takes ages to get somewhere with, and will be pretty frustrating along the way.

Hope that helps...good luck.
 

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I learned a ton of stuff just by playing along with the music. There was no slower downer software. Just play the tune over & over and try to get every note exactly as it's played on the tune, try different positions for the same note ( A on the g string sounds a little different than A on the d string, etc...). Work on all parts of every note: timing, hand position, dynamics, sound(tone), etc...

Pick music that is easy for notes but difficult for musicality, and something that you want to learn, for example David Gilmore is a better choice than Paul Gilbert (I still like to play Wish You Were Here along with the album once in a while, and I still can't make it sound exactly like Gilmore for the entire album), more can be learned from trying to play something slow and really well than fast and miss all the subtleties. Remember "good" speed is a product of playing something slow over & over & over again for a long time.
 

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I find it's useful to tackle a number of guitar solos at the same time. And once you have them memorized, even if you get stuck just come back to them every once in a while and as your technique improves all of them are gonna sound better and better as time goes on.
 

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I learned a ton of stuff just by playing along with the music. There was no slower downer software. Just play the tune over & over and try to get every note exactly as it's played on the tune, try different positions for the same note ( A on the g string sounds a little different than A on the d string, etc...). Work on all parts of every note: timing, hand position, dynamics, sound(tone), etc...
If you start learning scales you'll soon discover that most everyones solos are based on scales... Then you won't have to learn the solos you like note by note. You'll just see what scale or combination of scales the player is using and you'll be able to follow along intuitively... and quickly.
 

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If you start learning scales you'll soon discover that most everyones solos are based on scales... Then you won't have to learn the solos you like note by note. You'll just see what scale or combination of scales the player is using and you'll be able to follow along intuitively... and quickly.
I didn't mean to say you could bypass scales, but it's really not that easy:

So, I checked out Skuzzy's profile, loves Slash. Learn the Pentatonic. Map the Minor/Major Pentatonic. Get some squared paper and Map it out, PM me if you want it, I scanned it and put it on my computer for a couple people in the past.

Find the campfire chord shapes in it, so, you know where to start based on the chord you're playing in. Learn it all over the neck try not to run the scale but finger it all different ways, pay close attention to the traditional (rock/blues) shapes. Combine these notes with practicing bends, vibrato, silence, slurs, pull-offs, hammer-ons and other techniques. That should cover a ton of Rock & blues music, including Slash. Find a good teacher, have them show you a little of this stuff to start. Or, find a local jam, watch other guys do it and don't be afraid to walk up & ask them how to do something.
Remember learn small amount really well. A great riff/technique/sound/etc per week is 52 great things a year, that's a couple of awesome solo's, and 1 great thing a week is not a lot of work.


Now scales & your reply, I fail to see how learning scales only can get you to intuitively be able to play good solos, it will help, but it's not everything by a long shot and it doesn't eliminate the need to transcribe other people's work, harmony is way more than a couple of modes. Even after you learn say 20 - 30 modes (McLaughlin, Gambale), or say 10 scales (Holdsworth), look at the keyboard of a piano. Watch any great piano player play a solo in C-major (Oscar Peterson, Chick Corea). He plays a lot of black keys, the black keys are as important as the white ones (again in C Major). Guitar offers even more options for non-diatonic & non-western-diatonic content (Robert Johnson).

Playing along with other players, exactly, note-for-note, technique-for technique, is very important (nothing has to be hit & miss, a planned approach should always be taken, work on your worst technique), music is made up of more than just harmonic content. Playing along with other players helps to develop things like timing, phrasing, dynamics, timbre, rhythm, etc... Learn & practice techniques for achieving variation in all different aspects of your sound with minimal equipment (Coltrane, Rak, Dyens, Buddy Rich), with any & all equipment (David Torn, Hendrix, Robert Fripp & Adrian Belew), how to use silence or minimalism (the Edge), how to hang on things that sound awesome, without overdoing it (David Gilmore), and how to use composition ("Great solos have a beginning a middle and an ending", probably paraphrased, Steve Vai). Mimicking exactly is the way to figure out how great musicians do it. It takes much more than scales to tell me how you're feeling today with only your guitar, 8 fingers and maybe a pick, I'll be trying to get it right for the rest of my life.

Regards
 

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I didn't mean to say you could bypass scales, but it's really not that easy:

(snip)

Now scales & your reply, I fail to see how learning scales only can get you to intuitively be able to play good solos, it will help, but it's not everything by a long shot and it doesn't eliminate the need to transcribe other people's work.

(snip)

Playing along with other players, exactly, note-for-note, technique-for technique, is very important (nothing has to be hit & miss, a planned approach should always be taken, work on your worst technique), music is made up of more than just harmonic content. Playing along with other players helps to develop things like timing, phrasing, dynamics, timbre, rhythm, etc... Learn & practice techniques for achieving variation in all different aspects of your sound with minimal equipment (Coltrane, Rak, Dyens, Buddy Rich), with any & all equipment (David Torn, Hendrix, Robert Fripp & Adrian Belew), how to use silence or minimalism (the Edge), how to hang on things that sound awesome, without overdoing it (David Gilmore), and how to use composition ("Great solos have a beginning a middle and an ending", probably paraphrased, Steve Vai). Mimicking exactly is the way to figure out how great musicians do it. It takes much more than scales to tell me how you're feeling today with only your guitar, 8 fingers and maybe a pick, I'll be trying to get it right for the rest of my life.

Regards
I guess we both misunderstood then. I never suggested learning scales and nothing else... and I agree with you that learning and playing along with others, note for note, is important and useful... I was just trying to say that learning a solo note for note with no knowledge of scales would be much more time consuming than if you had some awareness of scales, and could see what scale or combination of scales was being used, and have that as your starting place to learning the solo note for note.

It also seemed to me that the original poster mostly wanted to create his own solos, and not just copy others', and in that case it seemed especially usefull to gain a knowledge of scales.

You seemed to be saying that knowledge of scales wasn't very important. If I misinterpreted you, my apologies.

P.S. When I said you wouldn't have to learn the solo "note by note" I meant that you wouldn't have to learn the solo one note at a time. My point being that if you could hear a chunk of a scale being used in a solo, you would already know the notes if you already knew that scale.

Perhaps you thought I meant you wouldn't have to learn the solo "note FOR note" as in note perfect or exactly... which isn't what I meant to say. Maybe that is where the confusion came in :)
 

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Wow thanks a ton for all the great advice I understand what you guys mean about how scales are kinda the backbone to all solo's haha I played piano for 8 years so i'v done my fair share of scales.
Once again thanks for all the great advice and well i'm off to start learning some scales so take it easy and keep rockin :rockon2::food-smiley-004:
 

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I guess we both misunderstood then. I never suggested learning scales and nothing else... and I agree with you that learning and playing along with others, note for note, is important and useful... I was just trying to say that learning a solo note for note with no knowledge of scales would be much more time consuming than if you had some awareness of scales, and could see what scale or combination of scales was being used, and have that as your starting place to learning the solo note for note.

It also seemed to me that the original poster mostly wanted to create his own solos, and not just copy others', and in that case it seemed especially usefull to gain a knowledge of scales.

You seemed to be saying that knowledge of scales wasn't very important. If I misinterpreted you, my apologies.

P.S. When I said you wouldn't have to learn the solo "note by note" I meant that you wouldn't have to learn the solo one note at a time. My point being that if you could hear a chunk of a scale being used in a solo, you would already know the notes if you already knew that scale.

Perhaps you thought I meant you wouldn't have to learn the solo "note FOR note" as in note perfect or exactly... which isn't what I meant to say. Maybe that is where the confusion came in :)
No problem, no offense taken, I didn't mention scales in my post at all (negative or positive), in fact I think they're very important. But, I thought you were saying that they're more important, and to that, I disagreed.

What I was saying as a reply to you just to clarify, is that even if you do know a run there's huge value in learning it one note at a time, note for note, technique for technique, nuance for nuance even if that means copying the other player, or 10 years from now you're still going "I know the notes but how do those guys make it sound so musical? I'm still not doing it right", but I agree knowledge of scales helps you learn it faster, of course because the notes are taken care of.

Check this out: get some music Leonard Bernstein conducts or plays with the score if you can, watch for every time he does a ritardando, it's almost never - decrease volume, slow down & start back up, it's almost always - increase volume, full stop and start back up increasing tempo until you're back at tempo (the first method is correct by definition), if you can't find a Bernstein score & matching music, check out Roland Dyens he learned it from Bernstein and there's lots of Dyens music + score. Even if you learned the Bernstein tune from the score, note perfect, you would miss the ritardando action without listening and playing along, and it's a cool effect as a substitution and sounds very musical.

My point clarified: Find these wonderful tidbits, so you can decide if you want to use them discard them or take them further & make them your own. Decisions like this and "which black keys I like to use best in C major", define your personal preferences within your music (improvised or contrived solo) and therefore make it more musical, because it's more personal.

So, since you said the original poster mentioned constructing his own solos I would suggest that along with learning scales he also take say a 12 bar blues in A and try to construct an interesting/audience captivating solo using only all the frets on the guitar that are the tonic of the chord being played, or maybe just "A" only (played normally, all octaves), bend them play with them rhythmically, slide back and forth between them, play staccato, mute, vibrato, harmonics (pinch or true), play the exact same note on different strings, etc... for say 24 to 36 bars. Try to get away with this at a Blues Jam, if you can then you should also be able to do it easily with a bunch of notes.

Cheers
 
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