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Guest theboltonfury

Guitar Tips And Stuggles

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Guest theboltonfury

I've been teaching a lot lately and really been enjoying it more than ever. I know there are some great players here already and also some very keen learners and improvers. I know what you're going through as you enjoy the quest to improve.

If any of you guys (not Guitarman or Spot as they are ******ing good already) need help with any struggles, chords, barrre chords, points of theory or songs you're struggling with, I'll see if I can help you. And I bet there are also a few others here with some great ideas for you try out.

If I get chance I'll do a laptop cam video for your individual requirements to see if it helps.

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I have a question, partially to do with technique and about recording guitar.

When I mic up my amp and record it it sounds quite peachy and with a little compression sounds much like guitar on proper records. However, my DI recordings with sotfware modelling sound sort of clangy, raw and hamfisted - actually it's not that bad, it just doesn't sound as great as I'd like. I've learned to not bash the strings so hard and it's better but the sounds still sounds quite poor in comparison to what I'v heard others achieve DI. I've used an audio interface with a proper 'high impedance' setting and a DI-box. Anything with ringing open strings sounds especially bad - power chords and stabbed chords are okay, my bass guitar sounds pretty good.

I'd quite like to get good DI recordings as my tube amp is a monster and I live in a flat so opportunities to record it are few and far between at home without getting an ASBO.

Any tips?

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Guest theboltonfury

You should make your own Youtube channel. There's money to be made there too.

No ta. A youtube guitarist is not a place I want to be.

PS. I am no authority on sounds through modelling systems. Sorry, but I'd be mostly guessing.

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I've been a bit hesitant about asking you things in the past Bolton because I've been a bit wary about asking people to ply their profession for free as a favour or whatever. But I would like to know how to constructively move beyond the "blues box" prison. I don't think I've improved in many years as a result.

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If there are enough players on here, and it's not too cheeky to impose on Boltonfury - why not a pinned Boltonfury guitar clinic on OTF of some sort?

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Guest theboltonfury

I've been a bit hesitant about asking you things in the past Bolton because I've been a bit wary about asking people to ply their profession for free as a favour or whatever. But I would like to know how to constructively move beyond the "blues box" prison. I don't think I've improved in many years as a result.

Easy, I have been teaching this this week quite a lot and is a common issue - people just using the same pentatonic shapes, which usually involves just a rehash of the same runs between pattern 1 and 2 of the pentatonic minor scale. At best most licks will finish on the standard flat 3rd blues tweak before resolving to the root.

Try this, it's the style and way of BB King and Clapton amongst many others. Insert the major tones in to your blues shapes.

Take Pattern 1 E minor at 12th fret and pattern 5 just behind it. Here are your two minor positions.

12 15 - (pattern 1) 10 12 (patern 5)

12 15 10 12

12 14 9 12

12 14 9 12

12 14 10 12

12 15 10 12

Now, overlay the major pentatonic, E major over it. E major is exactly the same as C# minor pentatonic, they aree relative to each other. Use patterns 1 and 2 of the familiar C# minor pentatonic. However, ignore the C# notes and use your E notes as home here, but otherwise continue to use all your bluesly pentatonic licks. Here are your 2 major positions, but we're thinking of them as minor shapes still as C# is the relative minor that uses the exact same 5 notes as E major.

9 12 12 14

9 12 12 14

9 11 11 13

9 11 11 14

9 11 11 14

9 11 12 14

Now, play minor licks with added major notes. You only have 4 scales to remember. 2 E minor positions and 2 Emajor (c# minor posiitons)

eg

10 10

12 10

12 9 9 (g string)

11 This is a minor lick with an added major 6th from the major scale. Tweak the 11 and vibrato the final e note.

Alternate major, then minor and keep them mixed up. Use the Major third (13th fret G string) as a great note to get away from the standard pattern. Don't resolve to it, just use it as part of your licks. Hammering 12 to 13 as a slur then hit the root, or bend up to it using the 11th fret on the G string, which would be your main bend in the C# pentatonic.

Basically, take your minor blues scales, then take the major scale and find it's relartive minor. In this case E major is C'# minor. You now have 2 valid minor pentatonic keys that you know well. USe all the same licks in both keys but remember that your great notes are the E notes, or the B notes (the fifth)

Hope this helps. Load of other things to do but this is pretty fool proof to get a much better and fruitier sound and not lose the bluesy feel

edit, for some reason after posting, my tab spacing has become all squashed up.

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Do you have any recording facility TBF? I've a couple of music projects on the go at the moment - my guitar playing frustrates me a little. A lack of finesse particularly with finger picking. (I tend to play to sing.) I'm a bit lazy which doesn't help! :lol: Though I did learn Blackbird recently.

I'd love to master is Wish You Were Here, which is a great acoustic one.

Put my first song up on YouTube recently, working on a couple of others.

One song I have needs a jazz chord arrangement, which is beyond me.

Have you been watching that 'I'm a Rock 'n' Roll Star'?

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Guest theboltonfury

Question for you. Where do you stand re TAB? Should players just work hard and learn standard notation and the positions of the notes or cheat with TAB. I had a classical guitar teacher years ago so I sort of read standard notation OK (not too good at sight reading - surprise surprise)

I advocate reading music as once it is written it's only possible to play it in one correct way. Hard work though and time consuming unless you absorbed it as a youngster. I didn't.

However, sight reading rock music is an incredibly advanced skill and mostly classical guys will sight read.

TAB is great, but it doesn't show the timing. That's the problem, but it means that once you get used to the transcription styles any one can have access to the instrument, which is surely a good thing??

I would always say learn TAB and if you want to learn music then do, but there really is no need to as TAB is pretty foolproof if you can get yourself the timing.

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Guest theboltonfury

Do you have any recording facility TBF? I've a couple of music projects on the go at the moment - my guitar playing frustrates me a little. A lack of finesse particularly with finger picking. (I tend to play to sing.) I'm a bit lazy which doesn't help! :lol: Though I did learn Blackbird recently.

I'd love to master is Wish You Were Here, which is a great acoustic one.

Put my first song up on YouTube recently, working on a couple of others.

One song I have needs a jazz chord arrangement, which is beyond me.

Have you been watching that 'I'm a Rock 'n' Roll Star'?

Wish you were here, - good song to play as it's really not that hard. Shout me if you get stuck, but essentially you're just looking to be clean with the picked notes from a fingered chords and go to open strings as required.

Jazz chords - whats the big deal.

Here's a tip that will stand you in good stead. If the chord is beyond you then change it, but keep it in the same family. Ie Dominant, Major or minor. Altered chords tend to need to be more adhered to. flat and sharp 9s or 5s usually

If the chord is a tough one like a c13, c11 or maj9 or minor 9 minor 11. Just play the 7 - a shape you're bound to know.

ef Aminor11, try a simple Am7, A13, play A7 etc.

You will get the sameish sound, it will only be missing one note from the intended chord and allows you to play the song whilst you master the required chord. Jazz guys like to make it sound a lot harder than it needs to be on the chordal front. The solo lines are hard work though.

I use a Boss Br 900cd to record. Fantastic piece of kit.

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Nice thread. :)

not sure it's worth anything but I found it easier to learn the patterns along one string and then the names of the notes. After knowing the next note in any scale sequence, you can play more or less anything you'd hear on the radio once you work out the key and the mode.

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Guest theboltonfury

Nice thread. :)

not sure it's worth anything but I found it easier to learn the patterns along one string and then the names of the notes. After knowing the next note in any scale sequence, you can play more or less anything you'd hear on the radio once you work out the key and the mode.

Fine tip. I remember you once said you could play Bach's prelude in D Major, which is a cracking piece and a great level of ability.

Learn your E minor (or whatever key) a long each string. As Injin says, if you know what the adjacent notes are, not only do you always have a safe note nearby but you'll soon learn how all the patterns in any key join up. This is where loads of my students struggle at first to see.

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Guest theboltonfury

I actually use both! I agree that tab opens up the instrument and that is a good thing but the timing (lack of) with tab is its drawback. When both are together (very common) I tend to drift to reading the tab but if its complicated timing wise (eg Al Di Meola) I need to use standard notation and read it slowly. So to try and improve my reading I use scores where there is no tab eg (Miles Davis - Kind of Blue).

When I first started to learn, early tab notation was clustered together in boxes above the standard notation with the fret number. There is no doubt that tab helps people to play better, quicker but equally learning standard notation is worthwhile but yes hard work and for me its the timng that is hard work not the note placement! Could be just laziness on my brains part.

I have (somewhere) a book of Frank Zappa solos in standard notation transcribed by someone called Steve Vai - wonder what became of him...

It is my guess that you are a fine player. Zappa alone strikes fear into many players. Even tackling Al D is crazily difficult IMO.

Vai?? Never heard of him.

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Err the stuff above is way beyond my knowledge and abilities. Could you suggest a few simple rock songs to have a stab at? I'm at the level where Heart of Gold by Neil Young looks to be doable but I couldn't master anything much more complicated at my present level of ineptness.

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Guest theboltonfury

Err the stuff above is way beyond my knowledge and abilities. Could you suggest a few simple rock songs to have a stab at? I'm at the level where Heart of Gold by Neil Young looks to be doable but I couldn't master anything much more complicated at my present level of ineptness.

Choose a song you really like and committ to learn it.

Here's 3 I could recommend - remember if the fidddly bits are too hard, you can always play the backing chord.

Pretty Vacant

Rocking In the Free World

Freebird - just the chords.

Play them all the way through with the record to work on timing as well as chordal accuracy.

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I've been learning guitar the last 6mnths or so as a 30 year old I'm finding it incredibly frustrating (especially as I remember begging my parents for guitar lessons when I was 7 but alas we couldn't afford it)

In your experience is it possible for somebody of this agegroup to get to a decent standard and how long would it usually take?

Also when reading chords what does it mean when its written D/F# and Bm/F# etc, what is the purpose of the /?

Thanks for the thread theboltonfury!

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Guest theboltonfury

I've been learning guitar the last 6mnths or so as a 30 year old I'm finding it incredibly frustrating (especially as I remember begging my parents for guitar lessons when I was 7 but alas we couldn't afford it)

In your experience is it possible for somebody of this agegroup to get to a decent standard and how long would it usually take?

Also when reading chords what does it mean when its written D/F# and Bm/F# etc, what is the purpose of the /?

Thanks for the thread theboltonfury!

I have taught a 71 year old who can now play great.

You are 30 FFS, not 130. You could be as good as you want.

Your question. D/F#. The D is the chord and the slash means you need to play a F# as the bass note. In this case it is very common as if you play a D chord you'll see that on the high e string you are already fretting the F# note. The F# is part of the chord D (the major 3rd) Play a D chord and use your thumb to take the F# on the 6th string, (the thickest one) - you are now playing a D chord but with an F# as the bass note. Sounds hard, it's a piece of piss. Play the chord then just find the note after the slash and make this the bass note.

Same for Bm/F#. You'll see again that the note F# is already in the Bm chord (the fifth) This time play the BMinor and nudge your first finger bar up to the top string and fret the same F# note at the 2nd fret, along with the rest of the chord.

It's usually a way of notating inversions of triads.

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I'm loving this thread!

I can play portions of the following songs:

street spirit - radiohead

creep - radiohead

just looking - stereophonics

strip my mind - red hot chilli's

anyone else but you - moldy peaches

drugs don't work - the verve

i went through a phase of playing quite often about 2 years ago but lost interest after hitting a kind of wall. I've picked it up a couple of times this past month and I like the idea of improving my skills.

When I pick it up I tend to play the songs I know (with lots of mistakes). Is this the way to practice or do you recommend focusing on learning new songs or perhaps learning scales?

Also, I broke the knuckle on my left pinky snowboarding 8 weeks ago so I'm having to learn to compensate the position of that finger.

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Guest theboltonfury

I'm loving this thread!

I can play portions of the following songs:

street spirit - radiohead

creep - radiohead

just looking - stereophonics

strip my mind - red hot chilli's

anyone else but you - moldy peaches

drugs don't work - the verve

i went through a phase of playing quite often about 2 years ago but lost interest after hitting a kind of wall. I've picked it up a couple of times this past month and I like the idea of improving my skills.

When I pick it up I tend to play the songs I know (with lots of mistakes). Is this the way to practice or do you recommend focusing on learning new songs or perhaps learning scales?

Also, I broke the knuckle on my left pinky snowboarding 8 weeks ago so I'm having to learn to compensate the position of that finger.

Hello Cattius

There's nothing worse than a player who knows the intro to a dozen songs and can't complete the song!

Your music tatste is very similar to mine. I would perhaps pick just one song and committ to learn it all the way through. Any of the ones you mention will do, but street spirit is harder due to the constant arpeggio picking, even if it is brilliant.. Try Califoniacation or maybe Fake Plasrtic trees.

When practicing, do whatever you want. It's meant to be fun.

If your aim is to play concert pieces then you'll need to few hours a day divided across scales, arpeggios, picking etc. The works.

If you want to be a campfire player, learn a few dozen chords and barre chords. If you can count to 4, you can play guitar.

If you want to be a good pub rocker, you'll need to be aware of the joining scales and pentatonic (blues scales) majors and minors and know which notes you can add in to create modes. Scales are great to warm up and get the fingers working well, but be careful not to jst hammer scales. Virtually no song uses just ascending and descending scales. Know the scales to show you your choice of notes and top highlight which tones are available to you when you bend or slide. Make the scales work musically. Work on playing them in triplets or sixteenths notes, WITH A METRONOME, for example. This will give you a really good way to use the shapes more effectively. If you are not sure on what I mean here, say, and I will explain further.

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Excellent thread. I've picked up regular practise again after a few years off, but I've been playing over 20 years. I'm currently having lessons but I'm not sure I'm getting the best out of it. I have made massive progress with the pentatonic scale and my lead playing in general but I actually think a lot of this has been down to me religiously learning positions myself rather than any specific techniques from my tutor.

Where are you based Mr Fury? (I note not in Bolton).

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Guest theboltonfury

Excellent thread. I've picked up regular practise again after a few years off, but I've been playing over 20 years. I'm currently having lessons but I'm not sure I'm getting the best out of it. I have made massive progress with the pentatonic scale and my lead playing in general but I actually think a lot of this has been down to me religiously learning positions myself rather than any specific techniques from my tutor.

Where are you based Mr Fury? (I note not in Bolton).

Pretty near Manchester airport.

A good teacher can accelerate your playing in double time. I'm sure this is not applicable to you, but some teachers really are awful. Spot them easily by looking out for them eager to show off their skills at any point, as opposed to developing yours. You're paying to learn not listen to me rattle off stuff that has no real relevance. You need that person to get your head and fingers to comprehend the concepts and understand. Demonstration by the teacher is vital as imitation is a great way to learn to a degree, but I know guys who teach, who, if given the chance, will use it as a session for them to practise in. However, if what your teacher is achieving is to get you to go home and learn these shapes then I would say that's a big part of a teachers role.

You need to make sure this happens with a teacher. That you are given something relevant, whether it a new scale, mode, technique or chord progression. Then you will only get your moneys worth if you are shown some ideas regarding how you can apply this musically and involve it in your own playing. Stick a backing track on, or band in the box, or whatever and make that new lick work in all keys, and make it work in many ways. What can you do with it? Can yoiu play it using the same notes but with different emphasis? What happens if you change just one note a semitone? Try it and note what happens, then work out for yourself what you've done.If you are learning a new scale or mode (no difference) don't just hammer the pattern, get to know it then apply it musically. Make errors and learn.

A good teacher should know your playing and have a lesson ready each week to work on things. Ideally well writtten up and ready to go. Then when the basics of those are there, revisit and expand those now embedded skills. I still work on this everyday.

I bet I'm not even the best player on this thread, but I've seen all the struggles and know what you're all going through. We all get platos, when this happens, relax and keep your practice structured and try something new. Push yourself into trying something different. You will make prpgress even if you don't think you are. You must be as this is a motor neuron skill.

Do not just practice in one or two keys. I know a guy who is a great sounding player, but has to put every song in E or A. Don't be a guy who has just absorbed a couple of keys. Play in all keys and get to know how the shapes connect. Not just where all the A or E boxes are. Force yourself to find a backing track in odder guitar keys like Bflat minor or C# minor, get used to playing those same old bends on different frets.

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If your teaching is a thorough as your responses to these queries then I'd be very interested in having a lesson. I live in Leeds but I work in Warrington a few days a week so not far away.

Could you drop me a PM if you currently have availability for a chat/ trial lesson?

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Guest theboltonfury

If your teaching is a thorough as your responses to these queries then I'd be very interested in having a lesson. I live in Leeds but I work in Warrington a few days a week so not far away.

Could you drop me a PM if you currently have availability for a chat/ trial lesson?

You aren't set up for PM. Here's what I wrote

Hi there

I live near Wilmslow. I used to live in Warrington and it's a good 25 miles further out of your way for me. I have very little availability these days but am always happy to see what I can do for an HPCer, but evenings are rammed completely. With a little 20 month old, I can't teach as late as I used to.

I know a couple of very fine teachers in Leeds who I can put you in touch with though. These people have diplomas in guitar teaching, not just happen to be ok on the instrument. Maybe go fortnightly, and be clear that you want a structured development plan.

I assume you are familiar with www.justinguitar.co.uk - just check some of the video lessons within the blues, rock and jazz sections. It's great stuff and he's one of the very best teachers in the game. I confess that I now use his site to give me good ideas for lessons. I seriously advise though to pick one thing and learn how to use it before casting the net all over the place. Maybe really try to focus on some pentatonic lead runs to put into practice the work you've put into understanding how the shapes connect. Eg start on the A note at the 5th fret 6th string and finish on the A note at the 19th fret on the D string. You must come up with a run, that will go through all shapes, involving your bends in all positions, pulls, hammers and slides. Try it, there are only about a trillion ways of doing it!!

However, it sounds like you are heading in the right direction. If you want to practice, you cannot and will not fail.

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I'd be up for giving a tip or posting a video - and cheers, boltonfury! Yet to learn more, though.

It dawned on me the other day I've been playing for 8 years, but only really practised for two/three! Shocking.... My downfall was trying to learn jazz - not my style but I saw it as THE GOAL. Learnt a lot about theory but found playing to the changes wasn't my strong point, instead preferring to learn 80s rock tunes! So I've reverted.... now I stick to my major scale modes and just play THE ROCK! God I love it... must work on my phrasing though! Oh, and I've also been doing a little bit of fingerstyle! Definitely guitar is more a hobby for me now, whereas before I thought I could become a rock star lol..

Two nights ago I learnt 'Dude Looks Like a Lady,' 'Get The Funk Out' and 'Livin On A Prayer' - gets easier to learn the more you play. And yeah, nothing worse than learning just the solo to a song or whatever.. Learning songs - that's how I prefer to do it nowadays - no more technical practice for 8 hours+! Maybe I should do 'musical practice' for that amount of time.

Back to work for now - good thread!

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I've been teaching a lot lately and really been enjoying it more than ever. I know there are some great players here already and also some very keen learners and improvers. I know what you're going through as you enjoy the quest to improve.

If any of you guys (not Guitarman or Spot as they are ******ing good already) need help with any struggles, chords, barrre chords, points of theory or songs you're struggling with, I'll see if I can help you. And I bet there are also a few others here with some great ideas for you try out.

If I get chance I'll do a laptop cam video for your individual requirements to see if it helps.

Thanks for the compliment!

Although I may be a half decent player you can always learn more. Every few years I start feeling a bit stale and i'l have lessons for a few months and learn something new. Last lot of lessons I learnt DADGAD and was playing stuff by Adrian Legg and Pierre Bensusan which is really different for me as i normally just play rock.

Funny, but i'd started getting the urge again and on Tuesday night I got the number for a new teacher, I think this is the year i'll learn to play slide properly.

Not slide, but this is something i'd love to sit down and learn sometime. Brian Setzer - Sleepwalk - If you fancy tabbing this Mr. Fury? :)

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