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Old 04-15-2012, 07:52 AM   #31 (permalink)
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2 - Practice with some form of beat, not necessarily a metronome but a beat, and make sure that before you try and play something quickly, you can play it EASILY at a lower tempo. THe number one mistake "fast" guitarists make is forcing themselves to play fast. If you can play something fast, you should be able to play the same thing at ANY tempo below that and have it feel fluid and easy. Otherwise the only way to be fast will end up being to force yourself, which is the problem with point #1.
This reminds me of an old lesson Dimebag Darrell published in Guitar World back in the day in regards to playing slower tunes with Pantera. Same principle, opposing target.

The number 1 mistake most metal guitarist make is thinking the song needs to be played super fast otherwise it sounds weak and wussy. It's actually easier for a band to play super fast because most people top out around the same speed and it's relatively easier to cover up slip ups when you're a blur. Practicing intricate parts at a slower tempo is what made them realize that those type of dynamic shifts could really increase the overall 'heaviness' of a tune.

But again, it all boils down to practice (with some sort of static beat to really build up your rhythmic timing).
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:29 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Ya youre right. When you see some really fast players it's hard to believe that they ever started slow, but everyone did. Guess I need some more patience.

It's hard to play anything that sounds good without any rhythm. The only way I really have to play with some rhythm are jam tracks, or recording some rhythm with my phone and soloing over it. It makes a huge difference when you're actually playing along with some rhythm.

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Old 04-15-2012, 03:28 PM   #33 (permalink)
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This reminds me of an old lesson Dimebag Darrell published in Guitar World back in the day in regards to playing slower tunes with Pantera. Same principle, opposing target.

The number 1 mistake most metal guitarist make is thinking the song needs to be played super fast otherwise it sounds weak and wussy. It's actually easier for a band to play super fast because most people top out around the same speed and it's relatively easier to cover up slip ups when you're a blur. Practicing intricate parts at a slower tempo is what made them realize that those type of dynamic shifts could really increase the overall 'heaviness' of a tune.

But again, it all boils down to practice (with some sort of static beat to really build up your rhythmic timing).
So he essentially gave a perfect definition of doom.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:15 AM   #34 (permalink)
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So he essentially gave a perfect definition of doom.
Yup. Then he got REALLY pissed off when none of the readers took him up on his offer to reimburse them for 6-packs after his multi-issue harmonic squeal lessons. He wrote a full page rant about it when he didn't get any beer receipts.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:59 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I've Been looking more into rhythm guitar and realizing that it really is an overlooked part of guitar playing, I'm certainly guilty of overlooking it. It's not as easy as it may seem, I've realized. Something thats really troubling me is the "rate of harmonic change", I guess is what you would call it, aka the duration of chord changes. It's easy to fall into the trap of having every chord occupy a bar (correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not too familiar with this terminology).

My first instinct when composing a progression is to strum each chord the same amount of times and to stay on each chord for the same amount time. I'm trying to break out of that, it becomes so boring and really lacks a melody. It's hard to add lyrics and a vocal melody to a chord progression when it's really monotonous. The vocal melody ends up becoming a reflection of the monotonous progression.

Can anyone relate and share some tips?
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:26 AM   #36 (permalink)
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I've Been looking more into rhythm guitar and realizing that it really is an overlooked part of guitar playing, I'm certainly guilty of overlooking it. It's not as easy as it may seem, I've realized. Something thats really troubling me is the "rate of harmonic change", I guess is what you would call it, aka the duration of chord changes. It's easy to fall into the trap of having every chord occupy a bar (correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not too familiar with this terminology).

My first instinct when composing a progression is to strum each chord the same amount of times and to stay on each chord for the same amount time. I'm trying to break out of that, it becomes so boring and really lacks a melody. It's hard to add lyrics and a vocal melody to a chord progression when it's really monotonous. The vocal melody ends up becoming a reflection of the monotonous progression.

Can anyone relate and share some tips?
I'd be careful trying to squeeze too many chord changes into one bar, it won't enrich your pieces any more than a slower harmonic rhythm would have and will just weaken the entire harmonic structure, you'd also have to work overtime to avoid unnecessary repetition. One or two a bar is just fine, Don't force yourself to break the bar lines, you gain very little by trying to write an uneven piece without necessity. If you want to add a bit of flavor I'd try incorporating a walking bassline into the progression, it should help you break it up a bit better and give you plenty of room for variety.

Last edited by Rubato; 04-28-2012 at 04:32 AM.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:15 AM   #37 (permalink)
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My first instinct when composing a progression is to strum each chord the same amount of times and to stay on each chord for the same amount time. I'm trying to break out of that, it becomes so boring and really lacks a melody. It's hard to add lyrics and a vocal melody to a chord progression when it's really monotonous. The vocal melody ends up becoming a reflection of the monotonous progression.

Can anyone relate and share some tips?
How's your strumming? I don't mean this to be flippant but I've noticed people who don't actively work on developing their strumming technique tend to struggle with composing rhythms. If you parallel playing guitar with drums your strumming hand is what creates the beat while your fretting hand determines which skin will produce what tone.

Ultimately it sounds like you need to add some funk to your flow for lack of better terms. The way you describe things isn't really wrong, it's just very square, 1 chord per bar, strummed the same amount.

A really easy way to break out of that is to combine two bars. So let's say you've got a simple chord progression like G, C, D, Am. The trick is finding a way to alternate between the chords partway through the rhythmic structure. So for this example try something like a '1-234, 1-234' type strum per bar, some classic waltz action (just like Jimi's Manic Depression) plus that rhythmic structure is easy to split down the middle.

So that same chord progression can easily become a bar of G, C, D/Am, D/Am. While it might seem a little redundant to double the last bar, this way you still have 4 bars of rhythm but as you can see it moves through an extra chord change and adds a nice punch to the rhythmic dynamic. The other reason it 'works' is because the original progression anticipates the D to start the 3rd bar, but only requires the Am to finish the pattern at the end of the 4th bar as a transition back to the original G.

Ultimately the best tip I can give to build up rhythm chops is GET FUNKY
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:23 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I don't really know how else to explain it besides strumming each chord of the progression with the same strumming pattern and the same time.

I do get what you're saying, somewhat. Now I just need to put it to action. Hendrix was a great rhythm player, I try to observe and learn from him so I can transfer it to my own playing.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:54 AM   #39 (permalink)
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I don't really know how else to explain it besides strumming each chord of the progression with the same strumming pattern and the same time.

I do get what you're saying, somewhat. Now I just need to put it to action. Hendrix was a great rhythm player, I try to observe and learn from him so I can transfer it to my own playing.
There's definitely no harm in visual learning. I most definitely picked up a few tricks from watching Hendrix performances, like how to properly get the scratchy / whooshing sound after the 1st solo in Voodoo Chile (it's a pick scrape + wiping the sweat from your strings with your shirt sleeve / elbow).

What I was really getting at though is something more like the difference between these patterns:

Straight 1 chord per pattern per bar

G C D Am
1-234-1-234|1-234-1-234|1-234-1-234|1-234-1-234

Right? So you've got 8 beats per bar, 1 chord per bar strummed the same way. What I was suggesting looks more like this:

G C D Am D Am
1-234-1-234|1-234-1-234|1-234-1-234|1-234-1-234

Where as you can see all 4 chords still get played the same amount and the underlying rhythm doesn't change but the feel of the melody is altered by virtue of faster switches in its latter half.

The other thing you can try is the exact same behaviour that gets you shushed by most moms and babysitters the world over. We've all seen it (and likely done it) when you hear some random music and just start humming or beat boxing over it. It's the same principle. When you're 'being annoying' you're projecting your own sounds and melodies over an existing rhythm that you obviously have to be recognizing (at least indirectly) while applying a new level of musicality over it.

With rhythm playing it becomes tricky. You can't ignore the underlying rhythm but if all you do is play it by the numbers it tends to sound hollow and robotic. It's like the aural equivalent to one of those old 3d seeing-eye puzzles where you stare at a fractal looking thing before it turns into an airplane or something. The trick is being able to feel and recognize the rhythm without needing to hear or play the static pattern so that you're more capable of adding proper accents and embellishments.

The big thing with Hendrix is that he blurred the line between lead and rhythm. His rhythmic playing was very melodic, and his lead playing was very rhythmic. It was VERY rare to read any of his tabs where full chords were just strummed.

Whatever you do, remember the golden rule - IT HAS TO BE FUN. Otherwise, just sell your guitar.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:50 PM   #40 (permalink)
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I dont really understand Your little diagram. They look the same to me.

It's really pretty amazing how hendrix could do so much with a normal chord progression.
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