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Old 01-08-2016, 12:02 PM   #211
soniclovenoize
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hey teh b0lly, thanks for all the advice btw


do you have any recommendations for getting better at playing with a metronome? I have basically no natural rhythm and I have been aware for a long time that one of my biggest weaknesses is that I can't keep a steady speed when I play and sing. I've tried and tried to play with a metronome but moving focus onto following the sound of the click or the flash of the light actually seems to make the problem worse. Playing with an actual percussionist or a guitarist with better rhythm is not really an issue because I can easily visually follow the beat by following that person's movements. But it almost feels like my brain does not have enough RAM to run the playing guitar and singing programs and the listening/watching a metronome program at the same time.
Are you playing rigidly when you practice to a metronome? I can only speak for myself, but I try to have my entire body feel and be one with the rhythm. I find this much easier with a live drummer, to thrive off the natural rhythmic ambiance being emitted in the room/stage some way... But with a metronome or a drum machine, you have to make up for it by physically moving your body with the tempo and at the very least tapping your toe. You have to be one with the rhythm.

it takes some practice but you can do it... One of my bands, we lost our fucking amazing drummer this summer, and we moved into Drum Machine Land (and now apparently we're thinking about getting an electronic/laptop/programmer person to create synthetic beats & manipulations live--being the rockist I am, I am totally afraid of this, going out of my comfort zone, so it's going to be an adventure I'll be diving into!) and it took a while to get used too. After playing with live musicians for nearly 20 years, it was difficult to play to a drum machine, which was theoretically more accurate and predictable than a human drummer. But I just had to "channel the rhythm" a little bit harder and make more effort for my body to exude the rhythm itself (and to fucking crank the drum machine in the PA!).

 
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:54 PM   #212
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I feel like playing an accompainment instrument with out other musicians is uninspiring

Learned more in the last month of playing with other musicians than I did in the last 2 years of playing by myself
You're probably correct. Only time I've ever played with other people was when I made a shitty ad hoc talent show band.

Other than that, I've never played with other people, because I always feel like I need to be "better" before I'm worthy of playing with another person, so that I don't have to be embarrassed by how shitty I am.

But if I had just played with other people, I would probably be better today. Kinda sucks that I turned down some requests to jam in the past, and now that I do wanna jam, I don't really have anyone to do it with.

 
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Old 01-08-2016, 04:00 PM   #213
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Are you playing rigidly when you practice to a metronome? I can only speak for myself, but I try to have my entire body feel and be one with the rhythm. I find this much easier with a live drummer, to thrive off the natural rhythmic ambiance being emitted in the room/stage some way... But with a metronome or a drum machine, you have to make up for it by physically moving your body with the tempo and at the very least tapping your toe. You have to be one with the rhythm.
thanks for the tips, I am going to redouble my efforts. I've been playing for 12 years and there isn't really an excuse for how bad my rhythm is compared to the rest of my playing which is pretty ok for what I'm into.

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You're probably correct. Only time I've ever played with other people was when I made a shitty ad hoc talent show band.

Other than that, I've never played with other people, because I always feel like I need to be "better" before I'm worthy of playing with another person, so that I don't have to be embarrassed by how shitty I am.

But if I had just played with other people, I would probably be better today. Kinda sucks that I turned down some requests to jam in the past, and now that I do wanna jam, I don't really have anyone to do it with.
in my experience, playing with another guitarist is a great way to improve fast if that person is within a certain window of superior skill. Guitar people tend to be annoying show offs, and if someone is too much better than me I have found myself relegated to playing straight open chords while the other person engages in a lot of hot dogging and wankery. But if someone is just a bit better than me, that's a great way to absorb new stuff. Some of the periods of biggest improvement I have gone through have been while I was playing with other guitarists. But I think it also depends on what the other musicians are into. I have a buddy who is not quite as good as me, but we are good enough to play together and keep talking about recording stuff... but he's just totally closed to the kind of music I play and keeps hinting that he wants me to play more like him rather than trying to stake out a musical synthesis, so we don't really play off each other or improve by playing together

 
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Old 01-08-2016, 05:58 PM   #214
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I would imagine that the musical collaborator would have to be near enough to you in skill that you can learn new things from them without them just leaving you in their dust. Unless they are just very patient and generous, like a teacher.

Yeah, it sucks to work with people who are so particular, they aren't willing to meet halfway. Like, I have specific ideas for some of the music I want to play, so if I were to form a band, I can imagine being a bit precious about some material, but I'd definitely be open to working on material in addition to stuff that I don't have as much control over. Being collaborative would make a musical project more diverse anyway, and prevent it from sounding like one of those bands where all their songs sound the same.

I know there is a guitar/music club at my school that I could probably check out for jam partners and whatnot, but I somehow get the feeling that it's going to be a bunch of guys playing Bruno Mars songs or some shit.

 
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Old 01-08-2016, 07:19 PM   #215
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I would imagine that the musical collaborator would have to be near enough to you in skill that you can learn new things from them without them just leaving you in their dust. Unless they are just very patient and generous, like a teacher.

Yeah, it sucks to work with people who are so particular, they aren't willing to meet halfway. Like, I have specific ideas for some of the music I want to play, so if I were to form a band, I can imagine being a bit precious about some material, but I'd definitely be open to working on material in addition to stuff that I don't have as much control over. Being collaborative would make a musical project more diverse anyway, and prevent it from sounding like one of those bands where all their songs sound the same.

I know there is a guitar/music club at my school that I could probably check out for jam partners and whatnot, but I somehow get the feeling that it's going to be a bunch of guys playing Bruno Mars songs or some shit.
When I was like 15 and 16 I spent two summers hanging with my cousin who was a lot better than me, but really enjoyed teaching me all the shit he knew how to do. I learned so many things from him. But yeah, it can be hard if there is some expectation of a formal let's jam environment but you are significantly less skilled than the other people.

I played with 28if for many years regularly as well and he was a lot better than me for a long time, but he stopped practicing and learning new stuff and eventually I surpassed him and now have far surpassed him. So I guess that's a good lesson on the virtues of regular practice and learning new things outside your comfort zone.

And yeah these days I have no idea where to find people to play with. A guy I went to high school with saw a video of me playing on FB and asked me to jam with him. Said he had a bunch of blues songs written and was looking for someone to start something with. Honestly I just felt too weird about seeing this guy I haven't seen in 8 years and then jamming with him. I have too much social and performance anxiety, which I guess is why I have never been in a serious band after high school.

 
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:14 PM   #216
teh b0lly!!1
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hey teh b0lly, thanks for all the advice btw


do you have any recommendations for getting better at playing with a metronome? I have basically no natural rhythm and I have been aware for a long time that one of my biggest weaknesses is that I can't keep a steady speed when I play and sing. I've tried and tried to play with a metronome but moving focus onto following the sound of the click or the flash of the light actually seems to make the problem worse. Playing with an actual percussionist or a guitarist with better rhythm is not really an issue because I can easily visually follow the beat by following that person's movements. But it almost feels like my brain does not have enough RAM to run the playing guitar and singing programs and the listening/watching a metronome program at the same time.
sure, no problem man.

my recommendation would definitely be:
1. to practice playing along to other music either with an acoustic, or with an unplugged electric (or, just play completely dry. no delay, no verb, no nothin' to mask inaccuracy). try to get used to listening and following the "band", and the drums, and to your own playing simultaneously.

2. record yourself playing to a metronome, or a backing track, whatever, and listen closely. i needed to develop an ear for it - your notes need to sound as if the drum, or the click, punches through them, if that makes sense.
like your note is getting "wrapped around" the kick or snare.

 
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:55 PM   #217
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For example, I had strategies as to how I slept - position of body, of blanket - in an attempt to not draw my bf's attention so he wouldn't come rape me basically.
Solid guitar playing and gear advice.

 
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Old 01-10-2016, 05:07 PM   #218
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I
Yeah, it sucks to work with people who are so particular, they aren't willing to meet halfway. Like, I have specific ideas for some of the music I want to play, so if I were to form a band, I can imagine being a bit precious about some material, but I'd definitely be open to working on material in addition to stuff that I don't have as much control over. Being collaborative would make a musical project more diverse anyway, and prevent it from sounding like one of those bands where all their songs sound the same.
t.
that is me. not metting halfway. Unwilling to compromise. Also, to try to get better at playing guitar.

Anyway, lack of technical skill should never prevent anyone from writing music.



Also all my tunes sound the same.

 
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:41 AM   #219
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I guess there are things I wouldn't do. Like, I'd be pretty unwilling to play pop-punk or kinda jokey novelty stuff or something. And if I wrote something with a particular vision, I'd be hesitant to accept ideas that take it in a different direction.

But, like, I'd play stuff that I don't typically play or listen to if another band member wanted, or play songs they've written that are outside my immediate interests, if it were the sort of thing I can respect without necessarily being super interested in. Like, I don't listen to ska, but if a hypothetical bandmate wrote a good song with ska influence, I don't think I'd be unwilling to play it.

I also think I gotta stop letting my lack of skill prevent me from writing music. I always go like, "my songs will suck anyway, so may as well get better first," but that's dumb because songwriting is valuable practice in itself. I'm gonna try to write more. I was in the middle of writing a song yesterday. It's not a song I'm totally in love with, and it's a little derivative of another musician's stuff, but I'm going to try to finish it and record it anyway, or else it'll be another song I'll never finish.

The half-finished songs I have so far don't have the problem of sounding the same, but that doesn't mean much when I have so few of them. But so far, out of my favorite ideas that I actually intend to finish eventually, it kind of ranges from shoegaze to riffy/doomy rock to psychedelic rock. I wanna write more quiet acoustic songs, but that requires actual songwriting, like good vocal melodies and lyrics that work with progressions, instead of just rock riffs that you can just sort of mindlessly throw around.

 
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:44 AM   #220
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yeah i find myself more and more into folk/acoustic music as the years go by tbh

many people would say it's boring but i say fuck them

 
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:45 AM   #221
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i want to take this opportunity to mention how much i hate people whose reponse to quiet music is
I'M LUVIN' THIS SOOOOO RELAXING I LOVE HOW YOU CAN CHILL TO THIS MUSIC

 
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:01 AM   #222
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Just to throw out my general advice on getting better

What you do with your strumming hand is about as important as learning exotic scales and with your fretting hand you can get a ton of mileage out of bending strings

You can play a guitar solo with 2 notes really

 
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:52 PM   #223
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I guess there are things I wouldn't do. Like, I'd be pretty unwilling to play pop-punk or kinda jokey novelty stuff or something. And if I wrote something with a particular vision, I'd be hesitant to accept ideas that take it in a different direction.

But, like, I'd play stuff that I don't typically play or listen to if another band member wanted, or play songs they've written that are outside my immediate interests, if it were the sort of thing I can respect without necessarily being super interested in. Like, I don't listen to ska, but if a hypothetical bandmate wrote a good song with ska influence, I don't think I'd be unwilling to play it.
I would attempt to play pretty much anything at least for the practice, and it can never hurt to play something you wouldn't have challenged yourself to play without other people. My bud is really into kind of stripped down lo fi punky stuff I guess. Not exactly sure what to call it. he likes a lot of things that I credit as an evolution of post-punk but he doesn't really get classic rock and isn't interested in anything older than the 2000s. He loves Tokyo Police Club, the Strokes, that kind of stuff. Very up down rhythm and bang bang bang drums. I like this kind of music too but my playing style leans towards folk/americana/classic rock/neil young and to him that's just like fucking country music.

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yeah i find myself more and more into folk/acoustic music as the years go by tbh

many people would say it's boring but i say fuck them
as you should!

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Originally Posted by Elphenor View Post
Just to throw out my general advice on getting better

What you do with your strumming hand is about as important as learning exotic scales and with your fretting hand you can get a ton of mileage out of bending strings

You can play a guitar solo with 2 notes really
the guitar solo in cinnamon girl is one note

 
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:56 PM   #224
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yeah i find myself more and more into folk/acoustic music as the years go by tbh

many people would say it's boring but i say fuck them
When I wanna get in songwriting mode, sometimes I'll spin a folk or slowcore album, or maybe something like the "Tonight, Tonight" EP.

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Just to throw out my general advice on getting better

What you do with your strumming hand is about as important as learning exotic scales and with your fretting hand you can get a ton of mileage out of bending strings

You can play a guitar solo with 2 notes really
I was once looking at this online exercise that tried to get you to learn to create good solos by going as basic as seeing what you can do with a two-note solo or even a one note solo where you play with rhythm. I'll link it later if I can find it.

I haven't practiced my right hand chops nearly as much as theory and left hand stuff. Haven't done a lot of sweep picking. Artificial harmonics (I think those are the strumming-hand ones) are easy to just do, but integrating them smoothly into actual music is hard (hard to move the position of the pick in your fingers fluidly). I can't really fingerpick, either.

 
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:09 PM   #225
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I think sometimes you can get so used to the way you yourself sound when you play that you become cynical or jaded about it, but it doesn't necessarily sound boring or rehashed to others. Unfortunately I am very affected by the input of others, but I find that if you can find people who like to listen to you play, even casually, it can help you get out of your own head and appreciate your own playing again.

My style is generally just open chords (although I like songs with lots of chords) and I do a lot of hammer ons, pull offs, and little variations within chord progressions to create melodies within the rhythm if you know what I mean. It's very country folk I guess and pretty simple, and can easily start to sound to me like something no one would want to hear. So for me, playing only in my room by myself with no one around to give me feedback is like my biggest enemy

Fingerpicking can get really complicated, but you only need to know the basics to make it sound good (like many aspects of the guitar I guess). I only use my thumb and first two fingers which is like totally bad form or whatever, but it's good enough to play any SP song with fingerpicking for example.

 
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:08 PM   #226
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i love fingerpicking.

i'm one of those guys with really long fingernails on my right hand and zero fingernails on my left hand. it sounds too good to give up on though. much better than nail-less fingers or any pick. nick drake mothafuckaaa.

redbreegull, while not incorporating your third finger is perhaps not preferable, you can still make plenty of it. i just found some acoustic bluesy folk singer i love who plays like that and his fingerpicking is decent that way.

 
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:37 PM   #227
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i want to take this opportunity to mention how much i hate people whose reponse to quiet music is
I'M LUVIN' THIS SOOOOO RELAXING I LOVE HOW YOU CAN CHILL TO THIS MUSIC
somehow I missed this before but I endorse this post 1000%.

 
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Old 01-12-2016, 12:37 PM   #228
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but also that folky guy who learns to play guitar just well enough to impress people around campfires is super obnoxious and you said something about doing that itt

 
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:04 PM   #229
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but also that folky guy who learns to play guitar just well enough to impress people around campfires is super obnoxious and you said something about doing that itt
well I've been playing for 12 years so I know a bit more than G D and C if that's what you mean... I'm no virtuoso, but I can play the guitar. But yeah, my "artistic identity" is voice and guitar together. I don't really do one without the other. I'm not too interested in playing something I can't sing along with, because I want what I do to be interesting and compelling by itself, and just hearing a guitar playing doesn't do that for most people, or for me generally. anyone who is self-satisfied enough to just totally play in isolation and appreciate playing guitar just for themselves, that's awesome and I envy that, but to me sharing is the most rewarding part. and I don't want to toot my own horn, but vocal-wise it's not very often that I cross other singer/guitar people who I truly think are better singers.

so in a way yeah I am the guy with the guitar at the campfire, but not quite in the pejorative way you mean, at least that's not how I see myself. I think that people generally enjoy when I play. Honestly though, I think the omg that guy just took out a guitar what a fucking douche I hate him thing is mostly the "guitarist's gaze," which is another reason I have trouble with other musicians. So many guitarists have this nasty competitive streak... probably anyone who has a guitar and has played long enough knows "that look" that another musician gives you when you take your shit out of the case. I don't truck with that shit cause I have zero interest in competing with anyone else's skills and I am not impressed by technical accuracy.

 
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:18 PM   #230
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just hollarin' that i agree with elph that obnoxious guitar dudes at campfires are obnoxious. it's usually the ones who think they're hot shit though, even though they suck balls.
also, redbreegull i think you just coined "guitarist's gaze"!
it's probably what i hate most about the guitar - that so many of its users are snobbish, competitive know it all's, who ironically are usually not even good musicians (even if they can "shred" or play run of the mill blues licks or whatever).

 
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:18 PM   #231
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i'm getting a "post ur musics" vibe in this thread can you guys feel it

 
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Old 01-13-2016, 03:48 PM   #232
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just hollarin' that i agree with elph that obnoxious guitar dudes at campfires are obnoxious. it's usually the ones who think they're hot shit though, even though they suck balls.
also, redbreegull i think you just coined "guitarist's gaze"!
it's probably what i hate most about the guitar - that so many of its users are snobbish, competitive know it all's, who ironically are usually not even good musicians (even if they can "shred" or play run of the mill blues licks or whatever).
yeah the guitarist's gaze is real. I've met guitarists who claim to not know what I am talking about, but I suspect it's because they are the ones most guilty of looking on other players with scorn out of some misguided sense of competition. I think it's much nicer to play to people who just like music than to other musicians. There's way too much snobbery in terms of technique and the kind of music one plays, and guitar people tend to be such obnoxious "one-uppers"... guitar people are like an old boy's club as well. I have an ex who plays and she is pretty good, and we played together a lot as a duo when we were dating. When other musicians talked to us, they almost always addressed me directly and basically ignored her presence, and when it happens over and over and over it becomes pretty obvious that it is because she is a woman. By virtue of my sexual organs, most of these assholes saw me as the musician and her as a prop, the girl who is in the band as scenery, even though she was just as good as me. All this kind of bullshit just really puts me off of wanting to deal with other musicians. I would like to be in a band again but I guess I want to have my cake and eat it too.

 
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:46 PM   #233
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Nah it's like when I started and was bad I wanted to show off this new thing I learned

But now I play in a group and don't need to break the thing out on my friends, I don't even mention being a musician

 
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:56 PM   #234
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Plus almost none of the music I like anymore features guitar that would sound good by itself

Abstract noises and funk chords

Unless you're goddamn Dylan Idk that I can dig acoustic

Hold on guys let me play this Pere Ubu song acoustically gonna impress the ladies lol

 
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:31 PM   #235
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Unless you're goddamn Dylan Idk that I can dig acoustic
nah man there are few things on Earth more perfect than a good musician with an acoustic guitar and some songs to sing. The acoustic guitar is beautiful because in its simplicity, it needs nothing else to sound perfect. It doesn't need an amp and a speaker and a never-ending chain of expensive effects. I love me some good electric guitar, but especially if you mostly play without other musicians, I feel that all that stuff becomes more limiting.

My attitude towards covers is usually that it's not compelling to me unless I can add something or do something different than how the song was originally recorded, so I play plenty of songs that were full band or heavier as recorded by the artists... the challenge is in making it sound good with only one instrument. part of what I am most interested in is getting the guitar to emulate more parts of the band than just a guitar playing open chords. Changes to strumming that evoke the drums in a song, or inflections and harmonic changes within chords that create an internal melody like an orchestral part or a second guitar... that's my shit.

 
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:11 PM   #236
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Elliot Smith was pretty cool too

 
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:17 PM   #237
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yeah I love him, and he's a great example of just how much you can do with just a voice and a guitar. ironically, I prefer his lusher full band stuff though

 
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:31 PM   #238
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Hold on guys let me play this Pere Ubu song acoustically gonna impress the ladies lol
A real guitar player could transcribe any song from any genre and format it to an acoustic guiar. Like those guys that turn rap songs into folk songs. All songs have notes.

 
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:36 PM   #239
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duh?

It wouldn't even be hard to play it acoustic, where there are actually notes, it would just be pointless

Yeah let me just play this on acoustic:


 
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:39 PM   #240
crabshack
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Why would it be pointless? Any song can be stripped down to its chord or root notes with vocal applied. What's stopping you?

 
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