An Ethereal Guitarist's Path

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

1. Improvisation 2. motivation

1. My first post was actually supposed to be done like a week ago, didn't mean to do two in one day.
But anyway, Improvisation is a wonderful thing. I have had a very narrow view on what improvisation is and how to incorporate it when jamming with somebody or even recording music. Lately I've just sort of figured improvisation was picking up an instrument and randomly playing stuff. Sure I would map out a bit what I would play and things like that but not really much else. Sure I could try to concentrate on a specific style or sound but that was about it. I hadn't really known how to properly create the sounds I was aiming for. I would just pretty much play whatever came to mind and whatever sounded good, but I'm starting to realize there is much more than that. I feel that "playing whatever" is a big portion of improvisation, but not all of it. There are things like scales and modes that can go deeply into consideration.

2. Lately I have been on this huge streak of feeling unmotivated to play and to create. part of it was probably picking up a metronome and realizing I'm not as tight of a player as I thought I was. This is good, now I have a reason to improve, but where is the drive? I'd like to think that this is just a small phase and I'll grow out of it quickly like I usually did, but it has been on-going for a while now. Usually I could watch some videos of guitar players and get right back into it, but that has not been working. This sucks because There is a whole lot I want and need to accomplish, but practicing is seeming to be a bit forced and not as natural as it used to be.

First post: An introduction

I'm starting this because I've been inspired by my brother, once again. Pretty much, Id like to write about guitar but more specifically my personal experiences and feelings about it as i go through so many of them throughout time. I like to read my thoughts over, it helps for self reflection and makes me understand them better, so thats one reason I'm writing this. Also, I figured id share with other people into music as much as I am, as its just interesting to hear others thoughts and perspectives.

So I'm going to start off by first describing all the musical projects I have underway so far.

1. Subjugate- This is my technical death metal project. Its more than just regular old death metal, I am adding new ideas to the table. Things like using whammy bars and effects pedals in normal riffs, something that isn't done very often if at all. Also, I am arranging songs, of course how I think they'd flow naturally, though my arrangements, to me, seem different than the common death metal band. This is my favorite project, It is just me doing this, though I may get people to help with vocal duties.

2. Archon- This is a HIGHLY experimental black metal side project. I emphasis the experimental part, because as it will be primarily black metal, there will be many other songs that don't fit into metal at all. I am working together with my friend Pagan, it is just the two of us. We plan on including elements of ambiance, sound scape, drone, jazz, classical, most kinds of metal, and whatever else we think of. Even though a good portion of this will be black metal, we chose to not limit what we write at all.

3. (Currently no name)- This will be my own free-form jazz and classical project. This will probably move along the slowest because I am just starting to study jazz and classical music, whereas I know metal very well. I want to incorporate elements of death metal, such as certain guitar techniques and song arrangements but keep this completely jazz and classical.

4. (Currently no name)- This will be a classical/ambient/experimental project with my brother playing cello. We dont have so much time to jam and write, so this isnt too big yet, though I am very ambitious about it.

Lately I have been learning and figuring out what tension is and how it relates to and effects my guitar playing ability. Staying relaxed is very important in everyday life and to playing an instrument. It keeps the body more comfortable and easier to maintain. Ive noticed things become much easier ti play when I'm very relaxed and im not stressing my muscles. One technique Ive begun learning, rather quickly I might add, is the use of a metronome and slowing everything i play down. This helps dramatically. It makes apparent the mistakes I am making in a piece, because I play the same way fast or slow, thus if I am making a mistake on this one little part when playing it fast, I will do the same when playing it slow. The key to recognizing the mistake is to listen to how I sound rather than listening to the techniques I am playing.

To end this introduction, I would like to say that this will be more than merely talking about guitar and how its a part of me. I will also include anything I do musically, and anything i think musically. Ill have times when i talk about unrelated things if they intrigue me enough, but most importantly, I want to focus channeling my thoughts in a different way and not keep everything inside.

P.S. A quick explanation of "An Ethereal guitarist's Path"
Well pretty much I'm an ethereal guitarist. By that i mean i don't really have a strong foundation. Ive sorta been floating around blending in and working with what sounds good and whats appealing to me. So basically now after years of playing im trying to find direction, and that is my path