Guitarstyle debate


caponi14
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caponi14
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08/23/2014 3:42 pm
Hello folks, i would like your oppinion on this matter. it's about guitar style and especially the way you pick notes.

My biggest idol is Slash which alot of you may know, and he uses alot of hammer ons and pull-offs. He is ''legato'ish'' in his playing.
Then i watched a video with John Petrucci which is an amazing alternate speedpicker. Now this is where i want this thread to go.

Do you guys think every player is somewhat predetermined to head off in a certain direction with their playing style.?

for example i turn alot more towards the legato part of the picking and fast playing spectrum. Like Slash. But i envy the guys that can play super fast alternating picked stuff. But somehow i have never been able to imagine myself being a speedpicker... Also my brain seems to struggle with that kind of synchronized left hand/ right hand coordination. For that reason i have never really begun on the journey to becomming a better speedpicker, because it seems like i don't get anywhere when i try to practice those kinds of things... I want to be able to do fast alternate picking, but i can't really seem to get it together.

So that is why i thought that maybe your in some sense predetermined to head off in a certain direction with your playing?

I also saw a video with BB King saying that he was ''not blessed with fast hands''... maybe he also kinda sensed where his playing style were grounded.

Let me know what you guys think about this :)
# 1
bobsessed
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bobsessed
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08/28/2014 11:49 am
When I started playing in 1964, of course I really just wanted to be able to play songs convincingly. There were no wonderful websites devoted to the aspiring guitarist, and I just taught myself, with help from anyone who would give me pointers here and there. As time went on I did get faster, but only at the patterns I'd taught myself. Around 1980, I told myself that I would get to be a "shredder" if it's the last thing I try to do. A short time later, I realized that I'll probably never be able to play as fast as I really want to, but that's OK. People like to hear me play, and I enjoy making music immensely. I believe that I certainly was destined to be a slower, more "soulful" player. (Soulful is the term we use when we can't shred, right?).....Anyway, Yes, I believe we are some what predetermined to be certain kinds of players, but with practice, you will probably surprise yourself. When things fall from your fingers that you didn't know were there, it's a beautiful feeling. Just don't waste time trying to be something you're not. If you play from your heart, good things happen.
# 2
maggior
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maggior
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08/28/2014 1:49 pm
I agree with Bob, especially as a fellow "soulful player" :-).

I have to point out that it's all relative. I've seen some of your videos caponi14 and I wish I could play as fast as you. You may think you are slow, but to me you are a fast player. As guitarists, we are never totally satisified. That's good thing because it keeps us striving to improve...as long as the dissatisfaction doesn't keep you from enjoying making the music you are capable of.

There's a bit of physical predetermination, but a lot of times that can be overcome by the sheer power of will and determination. But just like everybody can't run a marathon with 5 min./mile splits, not everybody can play as fast as somebody like John Petrucci.

I also think we are largely victims of our influences. When I was first learning guitar, I listened to Yes a lot. A friend of mine commented on my playing saying he could hear Steve Howe in my playing. In later years, I became fascinated with David Gilmour's style...today I cannot deny the influence he's had on my style!

Ultimately, you should sound like you! Slash sounds like Slash, Petrucci sounds like himself... Even though you may not be able to mimic Petrucci's style perfectly, I'll bet there will be aspects of his style that creep in and contribute to your own style.
# 3


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09/04/2014 5:23 pm
You have good chops caponi . You know what you need to do to pick fast
And get both hands in synic. Yep the metronome. But its boring,with a huge payoff.
1 _e _an _ ah .4.1 ratio) triplets ( 1_ trip _ let) 3.1 ratio. Ect.
This is whats gonna make you fast ,neat clean.
Im guilty i love hamer ons ,pull offs legato. It comes more natural to me.
But since using that metronome,my hands are getting connected .
So bust out that metronome and work them scales to get your hands connected.
Best to ya.
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09/04/2014 5:25 pm
Use a metronome!
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haghj500
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09/05/2014 3:01 am
“Do you guys think every player is somewhat predetermined to head off in a certain direction with their playing style.”

I am going with yes. Some people may change what they like to listen to and what instrument they play along the way. It’s something that comes from inside and flows out through the instrument being played. When it first starts happening and the player stops playing they think to themselves, wow that was cool, how did I do that. I think it’s that force that moves through us, that decides where we end up.

My grandpa had a sister whose mind seemed to move kind of slow; at least that is how it was explained to me. But she could hear a song and play it at a piano. I’ve seen her do it, remove her from the piano and I don’t know, some sort of spark would leave her and she was back to slow. That was almost as odd to see as her just play what she wanted note for note the first time through.

Myself, when I listen to someone in person really connecting with their instrument and just playing well, I do not know they are coming, but tears just start flowing from my eyes. Something that connects that deep has to come from some place that cannot be changed.

Or not.
# 6
maggior
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maggior
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09/05/2014 3:25 am
So then perhaps you are drawn to the style of music you have a predisposition to play. It's an interesting angle.

Keith Jarrett talks about music flowing out of him in explanation of how he would perform improvised pieces an hour or so long in concert. Some of the music on the Koln Concerts and The Sun Bear Concerts is very moving to me. Different instrument as he is a piano player, but same idea.

hmmmm.
# 7
bbzswa777
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bbzswa777
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09/05/2014 6:36 am
Petrucci actually uses a combination of alternate picking and legato. He's a master of both.

Also, Yngwie put in strategic pull-offs so he could end his alternate picking on upstrokes in order to change from one string to the next easier.
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Greg Frus
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09/13/2014 2:43 pm
I think people are drawn to a particular style, but playing fast or slow is a choice. If you want to play fast, you have to put in the time. And I think anyone can do it.
# 9
bbzswa777
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bbzswa777
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09/15/2014 1:04 am
I would agree that anyone can play fast, up to a point. Just like any sport or activity, some people can reach greater heights with even less practice. We're not all equal.
# 10
divekeys
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divekeys
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09/19/2014 4:38 pm
Do you guys think every player is somewhat predetermined to head off in a certain direction with their playing style.?

...

So that is why i thought that maybe your in some sense predetermined to head off in a certain direction with your playing?


Let me know what you guys think about this :)[/QUOTE]

I think the logical answer to this is, yes. The songs I enjoy are the ones I try to emulate. Its natural then for someone learning songs to learn the ones they connect with the most.
The second part of this I believe is practice. You learn what you practice the most. Regardless of what that is, you are naturally going to practice much more of what you want to play. You develop the most skill on the type of playing you practice the most. It begins to feel the most comfortable and becomes easier to you. NO ONE was good at playing ANYthing until they practiced it over and over and over.
That being said whether you want to increase your speed or soulfulness spend the majority of your time practicing that and keep yourself happy by mixing in what you're already good at and I believe anyone can adapt any play style.
# 11
AbeerA2
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09/19/2014 8:14 pm
Beautifully Said, ABSOLUTLY TRUE, force of GOD!
Originally Posted by: haghj500“Do you guys think every player is somewhat predetermined to head off in a certain direction with their playing style.”

I am going with yes. Some people may change what they like to listen to and what instrument they play along the way. It’s something that comes from inside and flows out through the instrument being played. When it first starts happening and the player stops playing they think to themselves, wow that was cool, how did I do that. I think it’s that force that moves through us, that decides where we end up.

My grandpa had a sister whose mind seemed to move kind of slow; at least that is how it was explained to me. But she could hear a song and play it at a piano. I’ve seen her do it, remove her from the piano and I don’t know, some sort of spark would leave her and she was back to slow. That was almost as odd to see as her just play what she wanted note for note the first time through.

Myself, when I listen to someone in person really connecting with their instrument and just playing well, I do not know they are coming, but tears just start flowing from my eyes. Something that connects that deep has to come from some place that cannot be changed.

Or not.

# 12
haghj500
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haghj500
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09/20/2014 4:55 pm
Originally Posted by: maggiorSo then perhaps you are drawn to the style of music you have a predisposition to play. It's an interesting angle.

Keith Jarrett talks about music flowing out of him in explanation of how he would perform improvised pieces an hour or so long in concert. Some of the music on the Koln Concerts and The Sun Bear Concerts is very moving to me. Different instrument as he is a piano player, but same idea.

hmmmm.


maggior,

In your last Am post of you playing I made a comment that it seems like there is a 20 – 30 second clip of it that what you are playing was moving through you. The rest of it you seem to be thinking of what to play next. I bet when you listen back you can hear the part I am talking about and have already said to yourself, wow that was cool, how did I do that.

For me that only seems to happen when I stop thinking and stop telling my hands\body what to do, only then can what I am calling a force move through me. It can be lead or finger picking chords. We spend our lives protecting that part of us, not letting it show and be judged by others. So we train our self’s not to let it flow. People have to retrain them self’s to let go and trust that their body will make a beautiful sound.

I believe the first trick to getting there is to play with your eyes closed, and clear your mind, do not think of what you are about to play, just let the body play what it wants. Just start playing. Like most things at first what you play is pretty scattered and is made up of things you already know how to play. Your mind and body is learning to trust each other. After more time spent playing like that your body begins to learn how to release what is in it. You are breaking years of training not to let it do that. So it takes time to undo it.

Like you I do not think the instrument being played matters, it is the connection one feels as one listens or plays.
# 13
maggior
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maggior
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09/20/2014 9:03 pm
Originally Posted by: haghj500maggior,

In your last Am post of you playing I made a comment that it seems like there is a 20 – 30 second clip of it that what you are playing was moving through you. The rest of it you seem to be thinking of what to play next. I bet when you listen back you can hear the part I am talking about and have already said to yourself, wow that was cool, how did I do that.

For me that only seems to happen when I stop thinking and stop telling my hands\body what to do, only then can what I am calling a force move through me.


I know exactly the part you are talking about. I could replicate playing it, but it was amazing that I would come up with that on-the-spot. It was also very smooth and flowing, as though everything just came together.

There are some parts I play with my band that I have consistency issues with, especially when playing with the band. I have discovered that if I either look up from the fretboard or lift my head and close my eyes, I can play the hard parts better and consistent. It's certainly counter intuitive!!!

I need to start trying that approach with improvised solos and see what happens.
# 14
caponi14
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caponi14
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10/13/2014 9:34 am
Thank for all for sharing your thoughts on this matter. You all write good stuff that has made my mind think alot while reading it, which is properly a good thing.

On my personal journey I -for the moment, don't really know myself. I can't really seem to know what i want to be able to play, or do with my playing in the longer run. In the beginning when i started to play guitar i thought to myself ''Hey! I just want to sound like Slash in every aspect''... But recently those thoughts have moved further from me. I have recently been playing some ''John Mayer type more mellow stuff'' and i enjoy his music alot. But still from time to time, i have the urges to play all the parts that Slash is playing, and i actually get a bit annoyed when he releases a new album, cause then there is all the new parts to learn :confused: this may seem like a strange idea to some, but thats how i feel.. it's a stupid addiction really.... Why would i want to play the stuff note for note, another guitar player has already mastered before me and be a stupid clone... Maybe we should stop thinking so much, and just live to play in the present moment, no matter what that might be...

I would like to thank you all for your oppinion on the matter, i have enjoyed reading you're thoughts

regards from a confused and lost guitar player
Casper
# 15
fretsmith
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10/13/2014 5:44 pm
Philosophical Rant: We all have "favorite" players, "idols", and "influences". They all share the same mechanics: a full-step bend for Gilmour is exactly the same as a full-step bend for Slash. A (insert any technique here) for Angus is exactly the same as that same technique for John Mayer. All these techniques are the mechanics tools these great guitarists use to make what they hear in their head ... come out of a speaker. I relate my favorite players to my favorite authors. Two different authors might have the same context for a story in their head but their respective books will be different because their approach/styles are different and they use their own unique perspectives to relate what is in their head ... to the reader (listener).
Casper I don't relate to the "ugh" you feel when your fav guitarist presents a new body of work. I know when I read a book from my favorite author my anticipation for the next offering begins the moment I read the last sentence.
I'm sure most of us have been to a (for example) Pink Floyd tribute band that was really good... the guitar player does absolutely spot-on playing with a perfectly replicated tone. Is that satisfying? Yeah, that's a fun hear. Does it compare with going to a Gilmour show and hearing the actual "author" deliver those exact same notes? Hell no, not even close. The real magic comes from being *in the presence of the author*. That's why, for me, although buckethead arguably played Slash's stuff (live) truer to the recordings than Slash himself... I would still much, much rather see/hear Slash play "Slash's stuff". Same reason people stand in line for hours at a book signing. A best seller will have multiple printings and countless copies. But to (very briefly) meet the author and have just one of those copies signed to YOU... is awesome. I will be quiet now. :) Peace
# 16
caponi14
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caponi14
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10/13/2014 8:20 pm
Now that i have gotten older and hopefully wiser, i just feel sad looking back that i have spend and still spends so much time trying to sound like someone else... Thats one of the reasons i get a bit disturbed everytime a new album with Slash comes out. I want to learn all the new licks and tricks he does... But I know the chances of me being in his position one day are very slim and properly will never happen...
# 17
maggior
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maggior
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10/13/2014 10:55 pm
Fretsmith makes a good point. People will be impressed when you can mimic something, but it's fleeting...both for the audience and the player.

As far as Buckethead goes - I would by far rather hear him play his own stuff than imitate Slash. I do like Slash by the way...no offence to him.

I've experienced this myself...though surely I don't consider myself in the league of these guitar gods. Back in January, I posted a recording of a spot on totally nailed solo in Let it Be, recorded to a backing track that was the original Beatles version without the solo. The same night, I posted a recording of me improvising blues over a backing track, which included some warts...it had its moments, but there we some not-so-stellar moments too.

Nobody really commented on my Let it Be solo, but I got TONS of positive feedback on my blues jam. I was puzzled more than you could know. A musician friend of mine explained that people would rather hear you play like you than like somebody else. I still don't completely understand it, but I just go with it.
# 18
bbzswa777
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10/14/2014 12:18 am
That makes sense Maggior.

I think of it like this: covering someone else's songs note for note can show how far you've come skill-wise, because most guitarists know what it takes to play certain songs (Like Slash, Buckethead, any of the greats). But playing your own stuff shows off your own creativity. Some people are more impressed by technique, some are more impressed by original pieces or licks, especially if it brings out those goose bumps you get when listening to a dramatic part.

I'm impressed by both. I like to see good technique combined with original pieces. But I love covering songs and listening to covers as well.

~Rusty
# 19
JeffS65
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10/14/2014 1:13 am
Originally Posted by: caponi14Now that i have gotten older and hopefully wiser, i just feel sad looking back that i have spend and still spends so much time trying to sound like someone else... Thats one of the reasons i get a bit disturbed everytime a new album with Slash comes out. I want to learn all the new licks and tricks he does... But I know the chances of me being in his position one day are very slim and properly will never happen...


Hey Caponi, we've had a few threads where what you are aging now, I may have mentioned in the past: Learn everything even those that influenced those whom you have idolized.

Your Slash-time was not stupid. It was more of an artist study and you've come to understand one of the most respected guitar players in rock. That's not a bad thing.

You may have missed an opportunity to learn other things along the way but still, I've watched what vids you've published and you are pretty darned good so you should be happy.

Now open up to the world of guitar playing. I no longer limit myself to a genre but listen just for awesome playing and try to lean a bit about that style. I mean, look at Guitar Tricks song lessons. It is a treasure trove of stuff to learn.

Still, don't be hard on yourself about the Slash deal, it got you to be pretty skilled. So no worries in the end.
# 20

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