An Ethereal Guitarist's Path

Friday, November 14, 2008

signs of stress

heavy breathing
lack of energy/ being fatigued
not wanting to be productive
thinking negatively
giving pissed off responses
cheating on my diet

im really stressed right now. I suck at handling stress.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

practice log

practice log

nov 11 2008 4 hours

nov 12 2008
740 - 840
35 min of physical playing
955 - 1023
20 minutes of physical playing

The rest of the time i was resting my muscles...hmm more about this later

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nothing to update for a while

I didnt really have anything to say, which is kinda bad. Now i do. I randomly got that desire i once had to practice. It feels fucking great. A lot of things have interfered with me wanting to practice, and it comes down to one thing...STRESS. The biggest forms of stress are my parents, weight lifting, and work. On top of that, when im stressed i try to do things that are easy so i can relax. I relax to get rid of stress. I did too much of that. Today i dont have work, and I think it is impacting my day a whole lot. Also by just relaxing and not focusing on something like guitar it makes me even more stressed out because i need to practice. Ive played for a good 2 hours now, and my hands are starting to get tired...boooo. Im gonna try to get up to 4. I want to keep this up. I feel like i will start improving like crazy once again.

Monday, October 20, 2008

that was a quick break

So i did my best not to think about guitar. Then i was so bored and felt so empty. I went for yet another walk just to get shit off my mind. Came home and got on my guitar. It was a cool feeling. Then after an hour or two my fingertips started hurting. Now im aching to play again

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I just need a break

Im pressuring myself too much to play and to be really really good. I work terrible under pressuer. Its one thing to push myself, its another to pressure myself. So i am taking a break from practicing guitar. Trying my best not to think about it. Its hard when i see the callouses on my left hand fading. Also need a break from death metal hmmmm

Sunday, October 12, 2008

random update

ok So i am in the middle of listening to summoning's oathbound. I just got done listening to blackfield. I feel like im high right now. Not that ive smoked weed or anything. I feel very laid back, relaxed, and zoning out. I am listening to music thats spacey sounding, but very capturing at the same time. I feel like this is what feeling high is supposed to be about. WHenever i have gotten high, it has never felt like this. Thus I believe that music is what makes me high.

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

Bass guitar, visions, etc

Ok. I borrowed my friend's bass guitar and have been playing it a lot. Its pretty different from guitar. I have a lot of fun playing with my fingers and i love its overall timbre. Its literally like a whole new world, and its fun as hell. I basically use the rules for classical guitar picking and apply them to bass, it works like a charm. I can work on what i play on guitar to get better at bass as well.
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

80% of free time?

Ok 90-100% of free time just isnt doable. I need time to rest my mind, to listen to music, and talk to friends. Once i get upt to 6 hours thatll be sufficient. Today I got up to 3, and will definitely get one more in. I just gotta find some more things to practice. Time to work on some songs or something. Ever since I learned to fret as well as pick with my rear deltoids (rear shoulder muscles, right above your latissimus dorsi) I have not had my left wrist's tendons swelling or hurting which is a very good sign. I can also play better as a result. One thing ive noticed when I play scales is that my fingers are someitmes too far over the strings and im trying to correct that. Rule of thumb is that you should be able to play regularly and then be able to slur (hammerons and pull offs) without repositioning your hand/fingers. So thats one thing Im correcting myself on. Also, As a result of my improved fretting technique, I can concentrate more on placement of fingers and hold them in a position high on the neck for longer periods of time. Why is it good to fret and pick with your rear deltoid muscles? Well they are connected to your arms number one. They are the largest muscle that will be able to control your arms. Smaller muscles such as triceps, biceps, forearms, even hand muscles, can not take a lot of tension because well...theyre small. My former guitar teacher told me not to press hard with my thumb (i think it was him?) on my left hand. Good advice but he didnt offer an alternative to it. After thinking a lot about it, you can see why its good though. Also, body building (my new sport) has helped my guitar playing. Not only does it require the same sort of mental discipline to get sufficient results, but it helps a shit load on creating a muscle-mind connection. That might not seem like much but when you start knowing how to isolate muscles such as your deltoids, it effects your performance greatly. Isolating a muscle means using one muscle for a particular movement and making sure other muscles arent used in helping the primary muscle with the exercise. Sometimes other muscles are used to stabalize though. I am in no way saying or implying that you need to body build or lift weights to develope the muscle-mind connection. You can do exercise movements without weights for one. Also a lot of it has to do with relaxing. Once you can relax well, you will become more apparent to tension and will be able to feel where that tension is much more easily.

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 THINK.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hmm im thinking of devoting 90-100% of my free time to practicing guitar. Im not sure if this will be a good idea or not, I might get burned out too quickly, but with all that practice I will impro0ve so fucking much that it might be worth it. Right now socializing is out of the question, all my friends are away. I will still be body building and may be reading/walking at random time, you know the usual daily activities. Hmm I felt really good when I did 6 hours a day during the summers. I felt like i accomplished a lot. So extending that by a few hours would be even a great accomplishment. May be when I wake up and get ready for work, part of that time could be 20 minutes of guitaring. Like id practice some scales before i work. When i get home id eat and take a quick rest and then get back to practicing. In essence practicing guitar will be bettering me as a person. I will learn more in general thus becoming a better teacher and gianing more of an understanding. I will develope greater technique. I will be able to communiocate my ideas musically much better and create better pieces.

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


Why is music so good!?!?

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

Finally getting back into motion

Im starting to practice guitar regularly again. My fingertips hurt like hell because my callouses wore away, but its fun. I dont know why, I like to feel the strings ripping through my flesh. I also upgraded to thicker strings so its even more of a challenge, AND im in E standard instead of D. So lots more tension but man my strings sound great and the sustain is long. I love them.

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

So i decided to drop classical guitar

as well as viola. My problem with classical guitar is the whole growing my nails out. I cant stand it, ive tried for months at a time and its the most uncomfortable thing ever. Also, classical guitar is like a whole new instrument nearly. I dont play it how i play electric guitar. Since the frets are wider I use my fingers differently when playing up on the neck. I dont like the overall feel of it, and practicing that doesnt really help for practicing electric guitar. Also I stopped playing the viola. Its too hard to get comfortable with. I had the same problem ever since I started. There was something that always felt awkward, plus its waaaay too small for me.

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

Filling my head with creative ideas instead of...

practicing. I havent felt motivated to practice at all. Ive been doing a little more with theory, but more importantly exploring more music. Jazz in particular. Miles davis, John Coltrane, and Thelonious Monk are all amazing. Every other time ive tried to listen to jazz it felt like random notes and structures or lack there of. I didnt get it, i thought it was cool because i didnt hear it a lot, but i didnt understand anything of it. I was first introduced to a video of Miles Davis playing Bitches Brew. Since then, ive come to understand what i was hearing a little more. Today I took some cds out at the library. I took out one by Miles and popped it in my stereo. From this point on I have figured out what the problem was. Im finding with jazz especially the focus is not on the specific note. What i try to do is focus on the expression of the music. Thats what makes it interesting. Yea theres a melody of course, but how does the artist express that melody? That is what is important, that is what gives the music its own sound and emotion. I never was much of a fan of horns but after hearing Miles play, man I love trumpets. He plays the trumpet like a guitar. Thats how I looked at it. Jazz can many times be simple in terms of technical ability, and then it makes up for it in rhythm and ornamentation. Not only did I decide to listen to the way the music is expressed more, but also how the artist moves from one note to another (not necessarily consecutive).

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

Figured something out

I figured the main reason i lose motivation to practice is because i dont vary what i practice enough. Just as school ended i wrote out new things to practice, and i practiced them sooooo much, 6 hours + per day. THen i slowed down. Now im trying to figure out what to practice and how.

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

Lots of updating

Ok so i lost motivation for this because stuff like that happens. But now it has come back.

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

So im going to have my first student to teach

Yup, my friend Ricky. Im going to give him a lesson or two over spring break. He offered to pay me, but i wont really charge him too much since itll be my first time teaching. Then Ill be teaching him in the summer as well and asked him to tell his friends if they wanted lessons too. Ill most likely be giving my brother lessons too, so hopefully i can get paid for that, but we'll see

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

classical guitar lesson 4 and viola lesson 3

Ok i barely practiced since last time, well the stuff that i was supposed to. I think he got a bit mad cause i didnt really know any of the scales anyway for next time i pretty much need to be able to play all the scales. There are specific patterns for different ones so i pretty much just need to memorize those. then he had me play some basic chromatic slurs, which i had gotten much better at. he said for me to just practice them slowly.then i showed him how far i went with music reading, which wasnt much. I read this waltz piece pretty slowly, but it was definitely an improvement from last time. Now, though I can just about read it up to speed which is really cool. What i find very intriguing is that the more you read one piece of music the waaaaaaaaay easier it becomes.

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

so many freakin ideas

Ok so here we go. Ive been on a huge binge of no motivation. I think i finally figured out why. I think its the way i practice, though not necessarily what i practice. Ive been practicing very hard songs, and techniques. I try to improve too quickly, so i dont build a strong foundation in my technique before moving to the next exercise. My idea that i have now is to make a list of 10-20 techniques or licks to work on, and practice them for sometime starting at 60 bpm one day. Then the next day ill put the metronome up a few clicks. Ill then keep repeating that until i can get a lot of things that i want up to speed. Then ill start learning easy songs, well just not super hard ones. Songs that particularly have a lot of emotion in them, such as metallica. From playing ride the lightning in rockband, I was reminded at how awesome metallica was and how cool Hammet's solos are. Ride the lightning also has a special place in me because it was the first metal album I purchased. It was the one i religiously listened to all the time. Its so phenomenal. Im going to learn the whole album with leads and all. The great thing about the album is that its very diverse so its not like ill be practicing one very specific style.

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

no motivation to practice

why must this happen? Any solutions?

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

may be learning isnt always the best idea...

I wish I knew what it was like to play guitar 3 months back. Not knowing what im learning and am about to learn. Im not talking about the technical aspects of physically playing, but of reading music, knowing theory, and the start of interpreting songs and chords and all this stuff. Its good to see how classical and jazz music are constructed but for a while Ive had the idea of combining many genres. It would be very different and interesting if i didnt know how classical or jazz were composed from a theoretical perspective, but rather knew it ONLY from a listening/emotional perspective. Now that ive been learning and dealing with rhythm, I naturally feel the need to move away from it at times. Every song has a time signature to it pretty much. I used to write and play songs with no guidance of time at all. I would play based on how i felt at that moment. Of course if it was always like that it would be too disorganized and possibly unlikable. Songs that are on time are great and amazing it gives songs identities, but I liked my first instincts when i created songs too. That was where pure emotion poured in. Rhythm and time are great things and im glad im learning them, but at the same time i dont always want a strong foundation in music. Music needs foundation but why cant some of it have none? I like playing based on feeling rather than paying strict attention to technical aspects sometimes. I dunno its two different worlds really. I dont want to completely lose one or the other.

ummm...something new!!

Two new things for me. One is a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge change/difference in me. So ill talk about that one last.

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:

Friday, February 15, 2008

Jazz lesson 3

I can play the chords pretty fluidly now. He gave me a totally new arrangement using the same chords pretty much plus one other. This time the rhythm is pretty complicated. Well for me anyway, its more or less straight forward i suppose. Not a whole lot to update on

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Classical guitar lesson 3

This was a small lesson today. Pretty much, my teacher corrected me on my positioning of my right arm and taught me not to reach with my fingers when i play the lower strings. Other than that he showed me to keep my hand still mostly when playing pieces so that they'll flow better. Then he gave me a few pieces to work on for two weeks, since next tuesday theres no class. So ive got mostly scale practicing and music reading to do. Thats all really

Monday, February 11, 2008

viola lesson 2

I really should have written in this right after my lesson. It was a small lesson but one that contained a lot of information. My teacher gave me these wrist/bowing exercises to work on, and taught me fully/properly how to hold the viola, which she complimented me on as well as my grasp on the bow. I apologize if this post seems so disorganized.

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

Jazz lessons 2

so pretty much its last week's lessons repeated. I totally didnt have much time to practice. I memorized the chords but couldnt play em well enough in sequence. I need to work on keeping my eye on the music and switching smoothly, without interruptions. So my teacher just gave me the rest of Satin Doll (the song from which he taught me the chords) to work on. I kinda feel bad or like i "failed," but thats what music is all about. Try-fail-try-fail-try-succeed. If you dont get something at first then youve got room for improvement.

This weekend im spending a shit ton of time practicing. Not just guitar but viola too

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Guitar lesson 2

Holy crap today has been a long day already. Im soooo tired even as I write this. Anyway. I had my second classical guitar lesson today. My teacher copied some scales and little simple pieces for me to practice. Ill finlly be really working on my music reading skills, which seems like its gonna be fun. He saw me work through a few measures in like less than a minute, so he said he thinks ill be able to catch on quickly. He also told me ive developed a good sense of the instrument. I feel like i have as well. My right hand technique was a bit off. What im supposed to do is pluck with my top knuckle as opposed to the bottom knuckle. Its like walking with your leg instead of your knee. Also, with my left hand, hes been helping me keep my pinky especially curved. Ive been having trouble with that. It tends to straighten up a bit. He noticed when i try to curve it, I would bend my wrist, but after he corrected me, i realized something. My fretting hand/wrist is supposed to be completely straight. Then if i need to keep my hand so curved and move up to higher strings, I move my thumb/whole wrist up the back of the neck of the guitar. So pretty much i need to work on keeping my hand aligned at all times. One other thing he corrected me on, was that my thumb is supposed to be between my index and middle finger at all times, whenever I move it. It feels a bit better. I always thought it should be behing the middle finger. Plus a lot of the times it would lag behind or get ahead of my fingers. So aside from that, I need to re-work my right hand technique as well, which shouldnt be too hard. Im gonna be practicing a lot this week on reading music, and memorizing key signatures. My music theory class teaches me to memorize the note names of the staff for a specified clef, but not the ledger lines above or below it, and for guitar i need to work on memorizing them below it. So thats a bit extra work on my part, but its all good. The open E string (6th string) is the space right beneath the third ledger line going down from the staff.

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


First lesson today. I learned how to hold the instrument, and the bow, as well as some bowing technique. Im so happy i started picking this up, I feel like im going to progress very fast with this instrument. Plus i feel very connected to it somehow, almost that it comes natural to me.

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

Quick update

Ive barely played my electric guitar. Today i played for a while. Its much easier to fret after playing on my classical, since the neck and frets are both bigger. My picking hand is still lacking, and thats exactly whats holding me back. Ive gotta seriously work on that.

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

Jazz! and viola!

Ok, so i had my first jazz lesson today. My teacher just showed me a few jazz chords. I told him i didnt know the basic chords like CM, GM etc, but he just started me with with the more advanced oness. By next week i need to be able to memorize and switch between the few chords he showed me well. It will be an easy task by far. I am going to ask him to move at a much faster pace, because this isnt too hard really, plus since i only have a half hour i want to get as much done as i can.

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

Guitar lesson 1

ok, i had my first lesson today. It was pretty interesting i suppose. My teacher said my left hand was pretty good which is expected, but my right hand of course was lacking. The position for classical guitar feels a bit awkward for me, but im sure ill get used to that. My teacher gave me a list of about 5 or 6 exercises to work on, which are basically the basics. I should be able to excel at these by the next time i take lessons. The key is to be patient and start off very slow. Im not too crazy about classical guitar yet, but that'll probably change. When I have the time im going to type out each exercise im working on in detail. Other than that my first lesson went fine.

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

My college schedule

So far this is how my schedule is looking

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

12-2PM workout/nap

3-5PM Capital Punishment (my show)

7+ free hours

Saturday- 2 hours- workout/eat

Rest of the day free

Sunday- 1PM food, snack,

2PM/3PM workout

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

a week without guitar 1/26-27

this is supposed to be saturday/sundays post.

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

Stuff- yay

So lets see, I got my classical guitar, its a cheap alvarez model. Im not too crazy about it yet, its cool, but the more i play it the more i find myself going back to playing death metal on my electric. Death metal is way more fun than classical will ever be in my opinion. Im learning two really hard songs right now. And time beings, by decrepit birth, and caverns of reason, by odious mortem. Both songs are pretty challenging. But since ive been using my metronome, tive been progressing very well with them, moreso than i thought I would. its like ill practice slowly for a while, try to increase speeds and have trouble. Then a week or so later, faster not practicing the song or barely practicing it, im able to go faster than ever. Its a great feeling to know how much i accomplished in the short time. Naturally, so it seems, ive been learning to play fast and relaxed. Like its sort of just coming to me. I guess from learning how to play relaxed with a metronome on a slow pace makes me aware of just being relaxed in general. Right now this is a good point in my guitar playing. I know last year i wouldnt have even been close to the songs im playing and its all because of this fucking metronome, i love it. Anyway thats all for now. Ill have a video up sometime within a month or so

Sunday, January 6, 2008

tons of frustration, some inspiration, not enough practicing

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

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