An Ethereal Guitarist's Path
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- ► 01/27 - 02/03 (5)
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Learning a bunch of jazz chords lately.
I recently had time to jam with my brother and ricky. Jamming is so liberating to me now. I only get to practice and play by myself and all that, but man when im playing with someone else, i just let everything flow. I also noticed my overall technique has improved greatly. Im so happy. My hands looks so fucking relaxed its great. I also never get any pain in my left hand like i used to. My pinky sitll needs a slight bit of work, otherwise my fingers look very well curved as they should be.
Just in a great mood tonight, tired, relaxing, thoughtful, captured by music.
Monday, October 6, 2008
I have also been thinking about adding bass to my own music. Especially when I have been playing guitar. Ive had many different bass ideas. I already started to make up my own song on bass too. Thus i have decided to buy one for myself
Onto guitar before i forget. Ive been learning some cool technical songs. Im learning this classical intro to In My Own Greed by SPawn of Possession. Once i get it down im going to add in rests, and rhythm variations as there would be in jazz, just to have some fun. Im changing up my practice routine nearly 100%. Im going back to playing more than practicing, but its more of a practice-play. I will improvise and jam on stuff but make exercises out of it or incorporate the exercises i need to work on. It makes it a lot more fun and practical. Im also not recording my practice time. It just gets me so unmotivated. It makes it seem more of a chore when i do it that way. Since then i have been picking up the guitar more often than not, so im glad to see it working. I have been noticing improvement again as well.
One thing i started working on was my left hand's finger placement. It seems like the way to be very accurate is to press the middle of your fingertip onto the string in order that no flesh touches the fingerboard. I should be able to look down at my finger and see passed the gutar. Im finding this makes it much easier not to slip. I think you get a better sound from it, but I am not sure of that. Im not sure of any other benefits but this feels better and more accurate to me. I shall contemplate the benefits more and more as time goes on.
Now...onto a rather strange topic. For a while now I have been getting visions as i listen to music. I did not realize this until somewhat recently though, perhaps a year ago. When i get very familiar with an album or band and I listen to it, i picture things in my head. A lot of the times its a swarm of colors that make other colors that dont exist in our spectrum. I also see textures and "forces". If you give me an album i can tell you what colors it brings up and the cool thing is each time it will be the same. I have tested myself on ceratin albums and they all bring up the same colors. I also see my guitar strings different colors depending on what i play. When I play for a long time and put my guitar down, i can in a way see them still very vibrant with colors. For instance, my low e string is red, and A string is blue, my high e is a bright silver/white. Im not sure of the others just yet. These come and go at different times sometimes.
Ive been listening to music i usually dont. More death metal, jazz, and other random stuff. Its been very fulfilling.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
On to my next topic
Ive noticed there are several phases of practicing guitar or any other art. This will be able the guitar though. Generally for me, in the first hour of practice, its all about warming up. The warm up is key to playing fast, to playing well, on time, accurately, and to express yourself better. Warmingup means to get the blood flowing through your muscles and making them more flexible for a period of time. Well not just your muscles, but more imporantly your tendonds. Warming up will lessen the stress on them, thus allowing you to move more easily.
Phase 1.5 This is sort of part of phase one and not so much its own phase, but it is a significant part in any sort of art as well. Establishing the muscle-mind connection as stated above. The benefits to this are pretty obvious. Become aware of the muscles you use, how you use them and how to RELAX them. All important concepts. Making the muscle to mind connection will allow you to establish coordination with all of your fingers. Building your fingers' strength is very important.
Phase 2 is to broaden the muscle to mind connections? So far thats what it seems like. After you make the first connections you must broaden them so that you can expand your fingers better, shift better, move aroundf the guitar better.
Im still in the process of examining the art of practicing guitar, so right now I have those 2 phases down. For me those are the first things to do when practicing. It usually takes a good 45 minutes for stage 1 and 1.5.
This then leads to my final topic. Guitar/music philosophy. I think at a certain age, at a certain and experience/time with music and more specifically guitar, one starts developing their own philosophy on the instrument. That is learning to apply other concepts not directly related to the instrument, to the instrument. I cant tell you what my philosophy on guitar is, i doubt anyone can, but there are many philosophies on the smaller spaects of it. I think my own philosophy is starting to develop at this point. Its happening whenever I think about guitar/practicing/music outside of being involved with it. Music can be applied to nearly everything in life it seems and thats one quality that makes it so meaningful to myself.
Anyways, im not sure what else to put in this post or how to make it more in depth yet. I just figured i would post before i forget all this. Just making simple observations. I learned a lot of this just by thinking of it. THat is ultimately the best way to learn...to THINK.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Only bad thing i see to this is i might get sick of it. Im not worried about that though. That didnt happen when i practiced 6 hours a day
so today is the day where my laziness stops and I will put in the time and discipline in my art.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
i keep getting distracted from playing guitar because I want to listen to music. At least im not being a complete tool and doing nothing though. Im understand music much better and am listening to it more closely the first time i hear it. Its cool to see how my listening skills develop over time.
The new Cynic album, Traced in Air is a fucking masterpiece. It is going to be a huge influence on my writing in the future. It has already influenced me when I improvise. As a matter of fact im listening to it now. Its very good progressive jazz with a metal edge to it.
Im working on a lot of syncopation now. Im starting off slow and very simple for now. I always thought syncopation was fucking cool, and its hard to do so I want to become a master at it. I think it should be used more in death metal. But with death metal a lot of notes are usually all even, if not then its always beats 1 2 3 or 4 getting accented.
Next thing im working on is rhythmic variations. Im trying to think of jazzy type rhythms and will play them to scales to start out. Once i can get a few down with some scales, I will start writing some melodic progressions and applying the rhythms to those. Again im starting out simple and slow. Its hard to think of all this from the top of my head. I dont really know standard jazz rhythms. I listen to jazz but its hard for me to analyze it because i know very very little. I havent worked so much with my chords but will get back to that soon as well.I remember how they are constructed for the most part, im just looking for the different voicings.
I found a video on youtube that teaches like 240 + chords really fast. It takes different string sets and has like 4 different voicings for each chord. Its a very good exercise, hard to get down.
IM back to getting my practicing time up. Im gonna get to about 4 hours by the end of the day, if not more.
Right now im learning
Atheist: piece of time
Theory in Practice: Colonizing the Sun
Anata: Downward spiral into madness
Metallica: Pulling teeth
Im not sure what else to be learning.
Also Im not sure if I should make a practicing schedule or not. I guess it would make sense to make sure I work on every technique. I wonder if not having one is inefficient.
There are a lot of exercises and shit I do, I kind of just do them at random, when I feel like it. I think I might just at least write them down and make sure I dedicate time to each of them.
I also have discovered that playing ultimately comes from your spine/lower back. That is like the musicians power house. My deltoids control my right and left arms/hands. At first I wasnt sure about the right arm, but today i payed special attention and realized it does. Its great that I found this out because now i can correct my technique even more. It makes it so that I dont need to put any pressure on my thumb with my fretting hand.
WHen you fret you want to bring your fingers to your thumb, not the other way around. When the muscles struggle, other muscles tense up trying to sort of aid the struggling muscles. This is why you need to play slowly! Your larger muscles are what can handle the most tension thats why feeling tension in your hand muscles would be very bad. It will wear you out within seconds. Also, pressing from my rear delts, gives my fingers better control in moving.
My improvisation has developed a lot, and changed, really cool. Im just playing stuff I normally dont. I think part of that was from taking a huge break.
Ive got lots of new music coming in the near future. One or two ambient songs, then some black metal songs. May be something proggressive or jazzy, we'll see.
I think that finally concludes this post!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I havent sorted out a definite practice routine quite yet, but will work on that as I go along. One thing Ive noticed is that Ive been practicing in shorter time frames. I used to always practice for an hour at a time. Now Im doing 20-30 minutes at a time. My hands need the stretch and then I dunno I just want a mental break. It might be because I havent played in a while and my job requires a lot of concentration.
Im starting to find some more interesting death metal songs to learn. Looking for stuff thats tuned to standard preferably but if not ill learn it anyway. Right now Im learning some theory in practice and will probablytry some atheist soon.
Working on some ambient/black metal songs that will be released on a split. My friend Thiago knows some dude whose starting a label or something and will release about 50-100 copies of our cd, more details on this later
Thursday, September 4, 2008
The other day I tried playing the cello. I did a few years ago and it was too big for me then. When I tried it again, I already felt much better on it than I did the viola. I have a feeling if I pick this up, it will come more naturally to me. So I decided I am going to buy one once I have the money. I definitely want to explore another instrument, and there's something about the cello that I really like. Plus I will already have a teacher to teach me so that will work out well. Anyway, I'll end it here, I think there was something else I wanted to post about, but I don't have the time.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Anyway this new insight is what I want to incorporate into death metal. I want to have it reflect jazz somewhat. Not in just playing all these weird chords and melodies/harmonies that youd expect from a modern band who claims theyre influenced by jazz. I would like to specifically concentrate on dynamics , space between notes, rhythms, improvisation, and how to express the musical melodies. Also i want less repition. These are what I want to incorporate but its not like im going to limit myself to these. I think the way to make death metal less stale and more interesting is to vary the elements used within the music. Specifically im talking about repition.
In death metal, as well as general metal a riff is a musical phrase that gets repeated. THe whole thing. May be sometimes there are alternate endings. Aside from that the whole thing is basically repeated with no variation. It is repeated between 2-8 times generally. That can be good, but what happens if its a boring riff? You have to sit through that boring riff over and over. I think it would be a good idea to take a little section or part, or melody or what have you, from the riff you are working on and repeat that so the listener remembers it, and feels that it is important. From there you vary everything else that was originally in the riff. I guess that would sort of be like a riff/variation kind of thing. In my opinion metal needs that consistency, so I dont want to make something that just sounds like a blur of notes without a common ground. I think i want to structure songs keeping that in mind. I want to bring "sections" into death metal as opposed to riffs.
Why am I choosing to do this with death metal and not just make jazz of my own or something else, why death metal? Well what I like about death metal that i do not see in any other genre is the intensity and energy. Its a constant flow through out the whole song. I often dont feel that in classical music, jazz, and any other genres. Its heavy. I want to create heavy/intense music that is very well thought out. Energetic music is the best because it moves me the most. If i can make music that is both moving and well thought out, then I have filled two gaps. Death metal isnt 100% stale, but if you look at it every band has the same sort of formula. Repeated riffs, no variation on expression, etc etc. Music to me is more than just playing with feeling. Its more than just listening to the melodies. Its everything in between. More than what you hear. Its what is physically there. What im trying to say is, Music is a reflection of how I feel with an intellectual process of expressing it. Meaning that it is a combination of feeling and choosing how to express that feeling by thinking and planning rather than just playing stuff and say "oh!" that sounds cool. Thus I am figuring out more and more what I want to achieve.
So back to the original topic of the thread. This is why i havent been practicing, I am not sure 100% where I want to take my music. I want to play fresh again instead of doing the same old routines. So im taking a bit of a break. Im afraid to take too long of a break for my skill level will definitely decrease, but i just need to clear my mind and stop being so biased of how i play.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Im trying to work on some more theory. I wont be going to school for approximately a year, so i will buy a textbook or two soon and work on that and that will be how i practice. Not everything needs to focus on physical technique.
That being said ive been working more with jazz and trying to learn what the hell a I iv V progression is. I know what it is, but i dont understand specifically how you choose which chords work and which ones dont. Right now my guess is to choose a specific chord, ex. C7 and move that exact chord up to the 4th and 5th step of the scale. Then what happens when you want to move out of that? Im trying to learn the rules for that.
Pretty close to haveing the circle of major and minor fifths down cold. I am getting much better at knowing the frets on the guitar as letters and not numbers. I can play in the key of G very easily and fluently. My next goal is to be able to do that with every other key. I will try a minor key next. I want to pick something with a lot of accidentals because i can refer more easily to stuff that doesnt have that many.
I started teaching Ricky, my student some basic theory, and thats when i realized how well i understand it at this point. Im really happy that it has clicked strongly with me.
So what I will be working on for a while is learning different jazz chords, how theyre constructed, and multiple voicings. Then i will start learning progressions. I will work on I iv V in the key of C, and then move that to different keys. Soon i will refresh my theory knowledge from where i left off in school and continue on at my own pace. Hopefully by the time i go to a new school i will be able to take more advanced theory classes, that is my ultimate goal. Also, I want to start being to easily count up major/minor 3rds, and perfect fifths in every key. It is easy to play, but the more fluent and fast i am at recognizing intervals by myself the quicker i will be able to learn and analyze music.
-one more thing in addition to the jazz chords, i want to learn different jazz rhythms and stuff like that. Hopefully my book will explain that.
I think I will focus more on playing slowly, rather than always stressing for speed. At the beginning of the summer i did a great deal of playing slowly but also a great deal of playing fast. Im going to take a break from death metal playing and work a lot on jazz/classical music/random progressive music. I dont need to be playing super fast all the time. Plus i want to develop an even stronger foundation. The way i see it thus far is, the stronger the foundation, the easier it will be to play fast. So far it has proved true.
One other thing i am learning is that you can apply nearly everything to music, its really cool to see the different connections.
Im starving so im going to end my post here. I may have a band in the works very soon ill keep updating about that. Right now im gong to eat and start looking for some new jazz theory stuff to have ingrained in my head
Saturday, August 16, 2008
To finish off what i started, my last few classical gutiar lessons were all about playing slowly with a metronome.After months of practicing electric guitar like that, I have noticed how much it helps
Playing slowly is essential for everything. It helps you get way more accurate, find mistakes, and play faster. That is what boggles my mind. Playing slower will make you able to play faster. It is such a great technique, I could write a fuckin 5 page paper on it but now is not the time.
So over the summer, now that summer is just about over i focused a ton on electric guitar. I was just totally unmotivated to play classical guitar. I hated growing my nails and still do, but im finally parting with that. I practiced 6 hours per day with a metronome using a variety of exercises. Those boosted my skill level so much. I shall go more in depth on this later on.
Ive taught some people how to play guitar, and my friend Ricky has improved greatly. Not only can i hear it, but he has noticed it too. ALl thanks to a metronome and the art of playing slowly. I need to thank my guitar teacher Harris Becker for just talking to me about playing slowly. One quote which ill never forget is that the key to playing fast is to be able to relax quickly. Its 100% true. The way you get to relax quickly is by playing slowly and gradually building up speed. What hasppens is, you effortlessly play something, then stop/rest after each stroke. Eventually that rest comes quicker and quicker as you get more used to it. He also told me that once you play something so slowly many times over, and then you perform it, it will feel that it is going in slow motion. That was also true. I experienced that with my frist piece i learned. It was such a cool feeling.
I will post some practice samples later on and talk about teaching, but for now I want to fast forward to today.
Today I saw my brother perform in two orchestras. The first one was ok, nothing too remarkable honestly. THe second however was truely amazing. It was so inspiring and motivating that it got me thinking more and more about going back to classical guitar. It has given me a whole new outlook on classical music. My teacher gave me a bunch of stuff to work on over the summer, and i havent touched a single bit of it until today. I used to struggle with reading music, but its coming a lot easier to me now strangely. Im so glad. I plan to be practicing a lot everyday. I want it to seem like i practiced throughout the whole summer. Ive gotten through a decent portion of the stuff he gave me considering today was the first day i looked at it. So who knows how far ill be in a week. That being said i only have two weeks (well probably three) to get this stuff down. Its coming along very well now though, and i can only see myself getting better at it considering i know better practicing methods.
Im so glad this day happened and wish it happened sooner
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Other than that im finding that I like playing death metal/my own thing more than anything else. I do however enjoy playing classical music very much. Im working on this waltz piece and it sounds pretty sad, atleast to me, and when i play it i feel so much emotion in it, its really cool.
Ill quickly describe my viola lesson here.
Basically she showed me third position, which is placing your palm right where the fingerboard touches with the body. The first note is supposed to be right across from my my thumb and it pretty much fits perfectly. So she showed me how to get into that position, and its pretty easy for me. Then we worked on more bowing, which im still having a lot of trouble with. Pretty much the thing i need to work on is not keeping my elbow too high or too low and to bow parallel to the bridge...
Im getting tired of writing these, but ill keep it going, sorry if theyre getting a bit boring
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Stress. Yes I get stressed out a lot. I thought of a great idea. Stress wil be the name of an album I will write in the future. The point of the album will be to help relieve some stress. Im thnking musically it will incorporate a lot of tension in melodies, and big buildups of tension and then have these very strong cadences. Im not sure what ill do for vocals or singing. I would love to get a girl with an amazing voice to sing on this as well as myself once i get much better at singing. As far as a style goes...I want to make it similar to nightwish. nightwish songs was soooooo emotional and evoke so much feeling. Mostly through the vocal melodies for me atleast. So basically id like to make it similar to them but make things more complex and obviously in a pretty different style. As i said, I want there to be a lot of tension build ups. Each time i get super stressed out, I want to write part of a song. Then when im not so stressed add to it to make it come together and harmonize or something. Pretty much everytime i get stressed i want to add on to what i had before. I want to make this an album thats basically one song in many parts. Something that you can select individual tracks to or listen straight through and it will still flow very well and creatively. This then brings me to my next point...
Nightwish!!! One of the best bands ever in my opinion. Ive been fucking addicted to them. Im a sucker for female vocals, but the vocals are the most powerful and emotional part of the band. So beautiful and so strong. I love bother Tarja and Anette equally. I think one reason ive been loving them so much is because theyre not too heavy, not too fast, not too slow, and have a fair share of soft songs. So much can be said about this band, and they are now one of my favorite bands of all time. Im looking into finding more bands with female singers now.
All of this has been going through my head for days now. I havent worked on my classical and jazz stuff im supposed to be, I just havent been up to it. Which reminds me, I need to get myself a footstool. Slowly im getting my motivation back which is a good thing and exactly what i need.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
I feel like anytime i hang out with people im just not inclined to practice my instruments for most of the day. The days where i did practice a lot were days where i didnt hang out with anyone. It seems the only solution is to stop being so social... dont really know though
Saturday, February 16, 2008
The other day i forgot to write that i started composing a song. Im writing it in A major and so far in 3/4 time signature. Its a guitar piece thus far. Im totally adding another part to it, may be cello, dont really know yet. The interesting thing is that I wrote it with no instrument present. I just sorta put notes on the staff. I didnt do it completely randomly. I did it based on the relationships of the notes. I thought it my head how certain melodies and rhythms would sound together. I emphasized the repetition of certain notes, and things like that. I arbitrarily (word choice?) gave it structure just by writing it and visualizing it on a staff. Im not good enough to read it well yet, though I have been progressing in my reading skills lately. Once i can read it well, thats when ill work on changing it and tweaking it.
Ive been reading this si your brain on music lately, a great book which ill delve into later. One part of the book explains that its the combination of neurons in your brain that evokes emotional responses and mental images from music. Then I realized (dunno if this is really true or not) that opening up to music is changing those connections to evoke positive emotions from music. The goal ultimately would be to keep the links very open to change to listen to other kinds of music. The same goes for rap music. Ill admit there has been a little bit that ive liked about rap music, but there was a whole lot that i did like. I unfairly judged rap music without researching and looking more into it, because everywhere i went i heard the same garbage. But there is some awesome rap out there, and this one artist i found (ironically on a death metal forum) blew my mind away. They incorporated some hjazz elements in the music more so than ive ever heard. It was very well thought out. The lyrics arent just about "shootin up bitches and banging my hoes," they have something more to say, something with substance. One thing ive been learning and understanding about music is that its a way of expression. Expressing thoughts and emotions. In essence saying something through melody and rhythm. Who's to say you cant make something good out of rap music, because you can. Im getting this idea to create my own rap music. I want to study rap a lot more and listen to it often enough to get a good sense and feel of it, and see how songs are written and put together etc. Then I want to emphasize melody in rap music. Melody of instruments. Not just a beat and a few chords of a synth with rhyming behind it. I want to make it a real masterpiece, with an interesting beats, and lyrics especially. The main thing ive always hated about rap music (the rap that ive been exposed to) is that they never have anything positive to say and its so much absorbed in controversy. The same can be said for death metal too, but the thing with death metal is its very hard to understand the lyrics. Exactly what the singer is saying isnt necessarily what the big importance or emphasis is. From my understanding, the main element in rap music is the lyrics, because from what ive heard there isnt much of anything else. In death metal, youve got complex rhythms, instrumentals, and other elements on at the same time. I dont see that with rap so much. Basically, I want to listen to more rap because i do enjoy the feeling i get from it. I will be very selective of the rap I listen to of course.
Heres the rap group Im talking about, may be youll get a better understanding if you listen to a song or two: http://www.myspace.com/cyph4
Friday, February 15, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
So here are some wrist exercises im doing
1. the first one is to hold the viola bow properly and rotate my wrist making a windshield wiper movement.
2. This one is to hold the viola bow vertically with both hands, and then I move me arm in a small, then medium, then large circle. My arms is supposed to make the movement but the shoulders are the primary muscles being used. That is ultimately the muscle movementI use for bowing.
3. For this one, I place my left hand at my left shoulder, in a circular shape. Then I bow back and forth through it
4. The next exercises is to hold the bow to my belly button and extend it as if i were stabbing someone.
5. Last one was to grip the viola bow and scrunch my fingers in toward my hand so that my knuckles are flat, and then put it back into position.
-Im having a lot of trouble with this one. I dont think i truly understand how to move my hand in that sort of way. The important thing is to not lose my grip which is ultimately what im having trouble on.
Now, when holding the viola, instead of having my chin on the chin rest, it is supposed to be mostly over the tail piece. My jawbone is what is supposed to "clamp" on to the edge of the chin rest. The viola rests against my left shoulder to angled slightly, making it pretty straight/flat. It will be a lot easier to move my hand up and down the neck like that. As I said in my first viola lesson post, I need to remain completely balanced and relaxed. My left arm right now serves as balancing the viola right now. I havent actually been taught about holding the neck yet, but its better this way.
When I physically bow the strings, my shoulder is what's donig the work and my forearm is what is guiding the direction. The direction of the bowing is to be parallel to the bridge. Its hard to keep the bowing so straight at first, since the viola itself is slightly angled, but with time ill get used to that.
The strings on the viola starting from the left side are titled CGDA. When playing on the A string, my elbow is mostly down, close to my body, but not super close. When i move up to the D string I pretty much move my elbow up, as with going to the G and C strings. Then the important thing is to stay completely aligned and not bow in crooked. I think thats what produces that screeching sound, which I didnt have much of.
I also just found out that the music building's rehearsal studios are open nearly all the time. I can pretty much stay there till a janitor kicks me out. I dont think its 24/7 though. I will be putting myself there for a lot of time on mondays, though not as much on tuesdays, unless its late at night. Anyway, That will be very good for me and I cant wait to start taking advantage of that. Soon I hope to get much better at viola and eventually start meeting other people just to be friends or to start collaborating musically with. Im getting more and more ideas for music in general and specifically what I want to create. Im so glad im in college and switched to music. This is the best decision ive made in my life. I just wish i knew more, and could do more on my instruments. I have so many ideas, and lots of musical knowledge coming at me from many different directions. I cant express my ideas ideally how id like to because of my skill, but I think im going to start writing simple music for now, and write within my limitations, as opposed to waiting till im really good and going all out. Simple music is just as beautiful as technical music.
Friday, February 8, 2008
This weekend im spending a shit ton of time practicing. Not just guitar but viola too
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I have jazz lessons this friday. ive memorized most of the chords, still need to do a few more though. It seems like everything is coming together, with learning key sigs, the notes of the staff, and on the guitar, and starting out with basic music reading. I think after a few short easy pieces, I will know the notes of the staff and key signatures well enough to move quickly onto more advanced pieces of music. Im not trying tp aim so high, it just seems reasonable.
Monday, February 4, 2008
The first thing my teacher taught me was how to hold the viola. She told me to stand straight, keep my weight completely balanced between my feet be relaxed, so that my body is aligned correctly/naturally. Then to bring the viola up to me neck and may be, if i have to, put my neck down slightly. So pretty much this will relieve all tension i have. It took me a bit to get my left hands position down, but i told her it was feeling tense and she corrected it for me.
Then I learned how to hold the bow by itself, which was a little weird. I remember vividly how to do it and get comfortable with it. Then once i started playing with the bow there were a few things to keep in mind. The first thing was that basically you let the bow ret on the strings. I guess you dont really have to put pressure on it, but pretty much guide it. When i was doing that my hand was shaking a bit, but thats probably because im not used to it. Then I learned that when im moving to different strings, to move my elbow slightly first.
On another note, Ive got my next classical guitar lesson. I hope im ready for that. I just wish i started earlier than now to take lessons, and well music in general. Ah well, just gotta make the best of it Ill update my blog again tomorrow.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
My technique for classical guitar is getting much better than when i first started. The jazz chords i was supposed to memorize and switch between are pretty easy for me now. Everythings coming together rather quickly, yet i still havent practiced enough
Friday, February 1, 2008
Taking lessons has pretty much been motivating me to get better at reading music. Ive always known how to, just barely did it at all. So now everythings starting to tie together at once, and im very happy about it. So pretty much, its almost like im playing three instruments. Classical guitar and electric guitar are very different from each other. Similar of course, but i consider them two different things. Now im going to have a shit ton of classical music to play, jazz music, and death metal. Thats what ill be focusing on.
Also, I will be documenting all my lessons from the start, so in the future i can get a better idea of how to teach people guitar and things like that, and hopefully eventually get some students and make some money off of it. My main goal is to progress fast, so i can learn more. Then once i get the basic stuff down and all that stuff, I will be doing a bunch of creating. These are the best things to ever happen in my life till this day. Totally excited, totally ambitious!
depending on how viola is going, i may make a blog for that, we'll see
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I will be starting jazz lessons on friday which will be
As far as the music classes I am taking, they are as follows:
Music literature- This class is not how it seems. Basically I thought this was gonna be about reading who knows what about music, or an english class in disguise. When I arrived to the class we started sharing live performances we've been to and what we've been listening to. Basically this class seems like its about learning how to describe music and identifying the elements within music and how they relate to music now.
Elementary Musicianship- Basica theory class. Fast paced class which is what i need right now, since i have a basic understanding of theory, I just dont know it stone cold.
Finally I get to dive into the music world a bit more. Right now I like electric guitar way better than classical guitar, in sound and style and playability etc. Lets see how my outlook changes on that in the future.
On another note, im thinking about taking viola lessons since I do have a viola and figure why the hell not. Gonna speak to the teacher soon about that since I know nothing about viola
Monday, January 28, 2008
Monday- 11:00-12:20PM Music Literature
FOOD till 1:30
10 free hours (slightly less due to eating)
Shower 12AM, sleep 1AM
Tuesday- 11:00-12:20PM Elementary Musicianship
12:30-1:15PM Classical guitar lessons
FOOD till 1:50
2:00-3:20PM Intro to Art
3:30-4:50PM Political science
FOOD to go
5:00-9:00PM Security aide (4 work hours)
3 free hours
Sleep at 12/1
Wednesday- 11:00-12:20PM Music Literature
12:30-1 FOOD, snack
2-3ish Running, FOOD, snack
3PM-5PM Capital Punishment
4 and a half free hours, FOOD, snack
10PM-1AM FM show
Sleep at 1:30/2
Thursday- 11:00-12:20PM Elementary Musicianship
12:30-2:00PM food/get ready for class
2:00-3:20PM Intro to Art
3:30-4:50PM Political science
7 free hours (slightly less due to eating)
Sleep at 12:30/1AM
Friday- 10AM Jazz guitar lessons
FOOD at 11
3-5PM Capital Punishment (my show)
7+ free hours
Saturday- 2 hours- workout/eat
Rest of the day free
Sunday- 1PM food, snack,
4-5PM food, snack
5:00PM-11:00PM Security aide (6 work hours)
1 free hour
Shower at 12:30AM
Sleep at 1AM
ive got about 45 free hours and 10 work hours (which i can used to play guitar, read, do hw, or anything else really)
so about 55 free hours. Ideally i would use 42 of those hours to play guitar, leaving 13 hours completely to myself or to chill with other people. Im not sure how i want to distribute the free time yet
Yup, so i havent played guitar for a week. I played for an hour today (saturday). There wasnt that much of a decline in my skill level thankfully. It was just harder to play really fast stuff, but within a few days-to a week I can probably get back to the level that I was at. The first days of college have been just really disorganized. Im trying to keep everything to a scheduel, everything besides my practicing times. Ill fit those in whenever Im in the mood to practice. I feel that that shouldnt be forced.
So today (sunday)
I played for about 2 hours. The hours were a bit forced. Ive been feeling a bit lethargic recently, not sure why. My guess is not enough vitamins or something, who knows. Not a whole lot to report on here, practiced some songs mainly at slow speeds, bout all.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Sunday, January 6, 2008
I really wanna learn scales on guitar but theres so freakin much to know. Im used to thinking in patterns so that is probably my problem. To play well in a certain key basically means i would have to know that scale up and down the whole guitar easily. The problem there is each time you move up a fret and play the same scale (ie major or minor) the finger pattern is slightly different, hence it gets real confusing. My only guess on a solution is to pick a key and master that down before really venturing a lot into others. I dont think im going to concentrate on scales so much right now. The problem with music is that there is too much to practice
Beethoven...What to say? Beethoven is an AMAZING composer and pianist. Ive been listening to some of his piano sonatas, and holy crap im amazed. His music is definitely making an impact on me and helping me with new ideas for some death metal songs. since listening to a lot of Beethoven, I have been motivated again to practice more. Looks like i just needed something new and interesting to bring to the table. At times classical music can seem pretty heavy. Its pretty intersting, I never would have thought that, but in Beethoven's Ppiano sonatas he takes classical to another level. He plays very fast and loud at some parts and just the way its performed makes it sound pretty damn heavy.
I took initiative and started learning some beethoven on guitar, of course its his moonlight sonata. I just needed something easy to start with. Plus that piece, the first movement in particular is very emotional and ive always loved it since the first time I heard it. I plan to learn the second movement afterwards too, and eventually the third. Focusing on the first movement though, its a lot trickier to play than it seems. Its very slow but my fingers need incredible strength to keep up. For instance there are some interesting chords, where to get the right effect I need to prolong a note as I pick the others. Plus it is pretty hard to play without muting a note or two because my fingers get so crowded on the fretboard. But when all is said and done, the piece begins to fall into place and sound amazing.
Im almost always looking to learn really fast songs but I think learning MS was a good thing to do. Its helping me develop better finger strength. Just because a song is slow doesnt mean its going to be easy. I want to get really good at playing really fast, and im not too sure how to do that. Im guessing i need to just practice tons of legato and finger patterns slow and gradually build upi speed with everything else. Soloing is pretty damn hard though.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
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.
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