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teh b0lly!!1 01-05-2016 01:21 AM

discoking, i think you kinda missed my point man.

you sound very uninspired (not saying that as an insult), so you just figure you "might as well become a more well rounded player" by being able to pull off exotic stuff.
i mean, if you are not inspired and don't have a clear direction of where you want your playing to take you, it won't matter even if you'll have the biggest skill set in the world. your imagination and creativity need to drive everything else, and not the other way around. that's exactly what makes all those youtube player wankers. it's like trying to paint without knowing what it is you're trying to convey, but you figure you better work hard on your photorealistic painting skills.

what matters is telling a story, expressing yourself, being your own man through music.
it may seem easier to just buff up on scales and technique, but it's a dead end. focus on becoming excited about what you do, no matter how. the rest will fall into place.

#my2cents #justsomethingtothinkabout

teh b0lly!!1 01-05-2016 01:29 AM

redbreegull, i totally get what you're saying, and i try not to let my own overanalyzing to get the best of me as well.

i've got two things to say to you though:
1. i find that if you'll play straight through a song you are writing, from beginning to end, and just be free with it in real time, you'll have a much easier time understanding how to construct it without becoming too self aware. if you like your own voice that's a big advantage for you.

2. don't come up with ideas and just toss them in the bottomless drawer. when you come up with something, do your absolute best to make it into something, then and there. i've been guilty of doing this myself too, and at least for me, i know that if i have a great idea and i just record it and let it sit there until it gets cold - that's the way it's going to stay, because nothing you try to add later will ever feel right, or be 'good enough'.

Disco King 01-05-2016 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redbreegull (Post 4241101)
I have hit a total block when it comes to songwriting. I have between 50-100 "ideas" that I have recorded, like little parts of songs, chord progressions. I struggle with the same thing you are describing; my tastes are mostly fairly simple rock and folk music, and when I listen to music that is good to me, I never sit there and think damn this is the same four chords as a thousand other songs and it's a typical pop melody and it's in 4/4 time, how boring." But when I write, these things hound me. It all feels very stale to me. Sometimes I hit something in particular and I "know" it is good, but it rarely happens with whole songs, usually just little pieces. Even when I do manage to do something I believe is compelling on guitar, it's even harder for me to match it with a good vocal melody, which is weird because I'm a better singer... but my melodies sound very very unoriginal and generic.

I'm in a similar boat. I have a bunch of unfinished ideas, and even when I come up with an idea I do like, it's hard for me to add anything to it. Like, I'll come up with a good riff as a verse or something, and then will try to create a chorus by trying random ideas in the same key, but being in the same key doesn't guarantee that it'll "fit" the song, and I don't feel like the song is going where it should be going. The extra section I add feels like it may as well be any other song but the one I'm writing. I don't know how to let the song go where it needs to.

Quote:

Originally Posted by redbreegull (Post 4241101)
Do you sing? I would never be able to learn songs through and not get amazingly bored if I couldn't sing to them. That's like the part that connects me to the guitar I feel like. Also, in a campfire type setting or whenever you play for others, I have found that people will react more positively to you if you sing even if you are bad. It feels nice getting praised for doing something as simple as singing and playing a song, and this has always been a big motivator for me.

I don't sing very well at all. I only sing while playing if nobody is home to hear me, because I'm pretty embarrassed by it. It's something I also want to practice, but I suck at guitar, so all of my practice time goes to that.

Plus, learning how to sing seems really daunting. The guitar is a human-made instrument, so learning what you are "supposed" to do is a bit simpler. But with the voice, it seems to be trickier.

Quote:

Originally Posted by teh b0lly!!1 (Post 4241105)
discoking, i think you kinda missed my point man.

you sound very uninspired (not saying that as an insult), so you just figure you "might as well become a more well rounded player" by being able to pull off exotic stuff.
i mean, if you are not inspired and don't have a clear direction of where you want your playing to take you, it won't matter even if you'll have the biggest skill set in the world. your imagination and creativity need to drive everything else, and not the other way around. that's exactly what makes all those youtube player wankers. it's like trying to paint without knowing what it is you're trying to convey, but you figure you better work hard on your photorealistic painting skills.

what matters is telling a story, expressing yourself, being your own man through music.
it may seem easier to just buff up on scales and technique, but it's a dead end. focus on becoming excited about what you do, no matter how. the rest will fall into place.

#my2cents #justsomethingtothinkabout

I dunno, it all sounds kinda abstract. Like, I have ideas about the sorts of music I want to do and stuff, is that equivalent to "expressing yourself" and "being your own man through music"? It's not like I don't know what my musical tastes are at all. I do have ideas about how the skills I want to learn would factor into what I want to do. Like, exotic scales would be cool for sort of psychedelic-stoner-doom music I'm kind of interested in making. I think it would be cool to do music with a slight jazz tilt, so learning about jazz theory seems like it'd be cool (but I haven't even approached that yet because I wouldn't know where to start and I feel like I need to get down some basics in regular classical theory first). And I'm sort of sick of typical major or minor triads (majors sound too happy a lot of the time for me, and minors sound sad in a sort of cartoony "funeral march" sort of way, and I'm kind of seeking that more bittersweet tense sound that I think some extended chords could offer me), so that's part of why I want to learn new chords. Learning my scales in depth, I think, would also help me be able to do the thing you were talking about with "anticipating" what I want to play and playing from my imagination rather than just hitting random frets that are in key. And learning to play faster would help me play the sort of solos I want to play.

I do agree about the thing about me probably being "uninspired," though. I don't feel like I have clear aspirations or anything that I'm engaged in that I feel proud of. Not just in guitar playing, but in general. I dunno, it seems to me that I'm at the age where my peers have their domains in life and some are doing pretty interesting things, whether it be in music (people I know in bands and shit) or just in general (people who are artists of other sorts, are politically active, I have one friend who's doing research in Germany with underwater lasers or some shit), and I'm just kind of aimlessly wandering around not really doing anything or working toward anything, and feeling to drained to really pursue any of those things I have an interest in. I can't really remember the last time I was just immersed in something that I really wanted to do. It's just shit I feel like I have to do interspersed with doing pointless shit like shuffling between a few websites I browse because I lack the energy to do anything actually fulfilling.

reprise85 01-05-2016 07:48 PM

When I came back from my terrible relationship/kidnapping thing, I got really inspired right away. I had also not been allowed to play guitar for like, 4 years. I found some freedom in it, expressing myself, and I would call it "being my own [person]" - so I do know what teh bolly means. It was all very inspired and whenever someone I know hears it because it comes up or something, they are generally impressed.

But that was after 4+ years of trauma and being unable to express myself at all. It was all the pain but all the wonder at being a free person again. It was finding normalcy, not having to be worried about being assaulted sexually or otherwise. It was finding drugs for the first time, doing stupid young adult things, having a job that paid shit but I liked a lot that I wouldn't be forced to quit arbitrarily just as I was getting comfortable. I think that kind of feeling of freedom and transcendence is really hard to pull off without such an extreme and extended event happening right before it. 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. Just being able to lay however I wanted was so amazing! Taking LSD was amazing - being able to have that kind of "control" over my environment, patterns and shit, and really being able to feel it without worrying what would happen in 5 hours or 5 minutes because no one was going to hurt me.

And even though it was so abnormal, I still had just ended a 4+ year relationship which does inspire extreme feelings by itself.

I've never been able to replicate it but I do have those songs to revisit sometimes.

teh b0lly!!1 01-06-2016 06:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Disco King (Post 4241155)
I dunno, it all sounds kinda abstract. Like, I have ideas about the sorts of music I want to do and stuff, is that equivalent to "expressing yourself" and "being your own man through music"? It's not like I don't know what my musical tastes are at all. I do have ideas about how the skills I want to learn would factor into what I want to do. Like, exotic scales would be cool for sort of psychedelic-stoner-doom music I'm kind of interested in making. I think it would be cool to do music with a slight jazz tilt, so learning about jazz theory seems like it'd be cool (but I haven't even approached that yet because I wouldn't know where to start and I feel like I need to get down some basics in regular classical theory first). And I'm sort of sick of typical major or minor triads (majors sound too happy a lot of the time for me, and minors sound sad in a sort of cartoony "funeral march" sort of way, and I'm kind of seeking that more bittersweet tense sound that I think some extended chords could offer me), so that's part of why I want to learn new chords. Learning my scales in depth, I think, would also help me be able to do the thing you were talking about with "anticipating" what I want to play and playing from my imagination rather than just hitting random frets that are in key. And learning to play faster would help me play the sort of solos I want to play.

I do agree about the thing about me probably being "uninspired," though. I don't feel like I have clear aspirations or anything that I'm engaged in that I feel proud of. Not just in guitar playing, but in general. I dunno, it seems to me that I'm at the age where my peers have their domains in life and some are doing pretty interesting things, whether it be in music (people I know in bands and shit) or just in general (people who are artists of other sorts, are politically active, I have one friend who's doing research in Germany with underwater lasers or some shit), and I'm just kind of aimlessly wandering around not really doing anything or working toward anything, and feeling to drained to really pursue any of those things I have an interest in. I can't really remember the last time I was just immersed in something that I really wanted to do. It's just shit I feel like I have to do interspersed with doing pointless shit like shuffling between a few websites I browse because I lack the energy to do anything actually fulfilling.

you're right, it is pretty abstract stuff, and i'm probably doing a poor job conveying my own realizations that have come after long years of search. i don't mean to make myself out to be a master guru of songwriting and guitarplaying, i have just worked at it very long and only recently really started to feel like i'm finding my own voice.

what i mean by the "being your own man" part, is that if you try and write a song, and continuously doubt and second guess yourself, you're destroying your own inspiration. if you take a song and write it and rewrite it dozens of times and still hate it (god knows i've been guilty of this for a loooong time), you are ultimately just obscuring who you really are, by trying to be like music you like from other artists.

the idea is to teach yourself to accept what comes out of you and try to go with it, rather than force it into being everything you ever liked about music. no one song can encapsulate everything about you. just let it be what it is - a picture of you in time. just say what you want to say. hum a melody that comes to mind. fuck around with it. see how it evolves.

when you revisit it much later, i think you'll find many times, that it wasn't nearly as bad as you thought. i'm probably still not very clear but anyway.

and also, just to clarify - i absolutely don't think knowing your shit or being a great guitar player is for wankers. so if that's where your heart's at, go for it.
but keep in mind that so much of what you like about music, is probably mostly very simple chords and songwriting. soma is based on around 5-6 chords.
there's an infinite amount of songs with 3-4 chords in them that come to life and become "three dimensional", because what's around it is beautiful. that's what counts. and that's what i mean when i say you need to find your inspiration. you can write amazing songs with the simplest chords and zero guitar histrionics. ok i'll stop.

Disco King 01-06-2016 03:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by reprise85 (Post 4241167)
When I came back from my terrible relationship/kidnapping thing, I got really inspired right away. I had also not been allowed to play guitar for like, 4 years. I found some freedom in it, expressing myself, and I would call it "being my own [person]" - so I do know what teh bolly means. It was all very inspired and whenever someone I know hears it because it comes up or something, they are generally impressed.

But that was after 4+ years of trauma and being unable to express myself at all. It was all the pain but all the wonder at being a free person again. It was finding normalcy, not having to be worried about being assaulted sexually or otherwise. It was finding drugs for the first time, doing stupid young adult things, having a job that paid shit but I liked a lot that I wouldn't be forced to quit arbitrarily just as I was getting comfortable. I think that kind of feeling of freedom and transcendence is really hard to pull off without such an extreme and extended event happening right before it. 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. Just being able to lay however I wanted was so amazing! Taking LSD was amazing - being able to have that kind of "control" over my environment, patterns and shit, and really being able to feel it without worrying what would happen in 5 hours or 5 minutes because no one was going to hurt me.

And even though it was so abnormal, I still had just ended a 4+ year relationship which does inspire extreme feelings by itself.

I've never been able to replicate it but I do have those songs to revisit sometimes.

That makes sense. A lot of artists seem to be able to express their personal experiences, especially harrowing ones, through their music in a way that really connects to other people. The things you went through sound awful, and it's really amazing that you could be doing what you're doing now despite it, when many other people in similar situations probably aren't fortunate enough to recover to that extent. Kinda reminds me of how Corgan said "Tonight, Tonight" was sort of a message to himself to believe in himself because of how he persevered despite his abusive childhood.

I've tried in the past to write songs about my personal hangups, but each time, it'd just come off as so trite and cringeworthy, like high school poetry (well, I guess a lot of it literally was high school poetry...), so I'd always scrap it. I guess that has more to do with lyrics than guitar, but I also have a hard time creating lyrics and music that symbiotically work with each other and say the same thing and reinforce each other's meanings, rather than just being arbitrarily paired. If I start with lyrics, it just ends up being bad poetry. If I start with music, I just end up filling it in with nonsense words that rhyme and fit in the bars.

I think that I always just end up feeling that my personal woes or whatever just aren't profound enough to not be cringeworthy to write about, and I just feel like I'm being melodramatic and whining when I try to use that stuff in music. I mean, when I hear about the things you went through, I'm like "I had it pretty easy. How can I whine about my life after that?" One of the most trying experiences I've recently had didn't really inspire me to create art from it. It just drained me to the point that I didn't even pick up my guitar for a long time. Even reflecting on it now doesn't give me any retrospective thoughts on it that I could do something with. I just go "ugh that was so shitty."

I think for a while, I tried giving up the angst thing and trying to write sort of heady psychedelic lyrics. But that's not me, either. I'm not some cool far-out space shaman guy. I'm a textbook square. I mean, I barely even go to parties or drink or anything, most of my time is spent going to school and playing Lego Marvel Super Heroes these days.

Quote:

Originally Posted by teh b0lly!!1 (Post 4241242)
you're right, it is pretty abstract stuff, and i'm probably doing a poor job conveying my own realizations that have come after long years of search. i don't mean to make myself out to be a master guru of songwriting and guitarplaying, i have just worked at it very long and only recently really started to feel like i'm finding my own voice.

I don't think you're conveying yourself badly. I just tend to need more clarification when it comes to things that are more intuitive than operational. I've totally dug your posts so far, though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by teh b0lly!!1 (Post 4241242)
what i mean by the "being your own man" part, is that if you try and write a song, and continuously doubt and second guess yourself, you're destroying your own inspiration. if you take a song and write it and rewrite it dozens of times and still hate it (god knows i've been guilty of this for a loooong time), you are ultimately just obscuring who you really are, by trying to be like music you like from other artists.

I kind of agree and disagree. On the one hand, I think a good part of what somebody's identity is is their tastes and what they like and dislike. So, if you dislike something you've written, that in itself says something about who you are and how much the thing represents you. It may be that you feel you aren't really expressing yourself.

But I do agree about me probably just trying to ape music from other artists. I don't feel I've found my "voice" yet. It's more like, "hey, I like The Cure, I'm gonna write a song that sounds like The Cure. I also like Slowdive, so I'm gonna write a song that sounds like Slowdive." I haven't gotten to the point where I can just write something that sounds like me. At the same time, though, I wonder if that just comes with the territory of being a beginner. Like, if you listen to the early music of various artists, it seems to be more derivative than their later stuff, when they would grow into their own sounds. Corgan in The Marked sounds like he's trying to do the new wave/gothy/post-punk thing. He even dressed goth in those days. Maybe I just have to write some derivative shit before I write some unique shit.

Quote:

Originally Posted by teh b0lly!!1 (Post 4241242)
the idea is to teach yourself to accept what comes out of you and try to go with it, rather than force it into being everything you ever liked about music. no one song can encapsulate everything about you. just let it be what it is - a picture of you in time. just say what you want to say. hum a melody that comes to mind. fuck around with it. see how it evolves.

when you revisit it much later, i think you'll find many times, that it wasn't nearly as bad as you thought. i'm probably still not very clear but anyway.

Yeah, I think one hurdle I need to get over is that I just need to let myself write for the sake of writing, and let myself write things that I'm not in love with so that I can get the practice. I feel like I'm crippled by not wanting to create shit, as if I'm supposed to come out with music on par with the music I admire straight out of the gate, when the music I admire weren't the first-ever songs by their respective artists. I'm pretty much immobilized, which means I can never improve and progress.

Much easier said than done, though. Trying to just power through something I don't have my heart in is like trying to push my head through a lightyear of saltwater taffy.

Quote:

Originally Posted by teh b0lly!!1 (Post 4241242)
and also, just to clarify - i absolutely don't think knowing your shit or being a great guitar player is for wankers. so if that's where your heart's at, go for it.
but keep in mind that so much of what you like about music, is probably mostly very simple chords and songwriting. soma is based on around 5-6 chords.
there's an infinite amount of songs with 3-4 chords in them that come to life and become "three dimensional", because what's around it is beautiful. that's what counts. and that's what i mean when i say you need to find your inspiration. you can write amazing songs with the simplest chords and zero guitar histrionics. ok i'll stop.

Yeah, I think I need to find balance. I don't have scales other than the minor pentatonic completely ingrained in muscle memory yet (I have to think about them if I want to play them), so I default to mindless bluesy noodling, and in a lot of cases, it just doesn't express me or the kinds of things I have in my head. So, that seems to be a case where increasing my technical knowledge of scales would increase my ability to express myself.

But in other cases, I could probably create something good out of basic cowboy chords, and I just need to learn to be a better songwriter to make something of it.

redbreegull 01-06-2016 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by teh b0lly!!1 (Post 4241242)
what i mean by the "being your own man" part, is that if you try and write a song, and continuously doubt and second guess yourself, you're destroying your own inspiration. if you take a song and write it and rewrite it dozens of times and still hate it (god knows i've been guilty of this for a loooong time), you are ultimately just obscuring who you really are, by trying to be like music you like from other artists.

This is interesting advice. I have heard it said before that while songwriting, usually the first thing that occurs to you is closest to perfection and the more you think about and tweak it, the farther it will move from that inspired place.

But as a writer (like as in pen on paper/hands on keys), all my education and practice says write and then rewrite and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite, and each time you edit you will come closer to something actually meaningful that others might want to read... and in this way, the only question is at what point do you need to let something be done vs. forever keep making it slightly better, because your ideas will never reach a maximum amount of "honing."

redbreegull 01-06-2016 04:09 PM

but certainly I like the idea of something coming out the best first because it saves a lot of time. I'm not sure what I think. A paragon of my songwriting: five years ago I came up with this simple little arpeggio thing in A as an intro/outro to a song. I felt it had something naturally good about and kicked it around for half a decade, trying to write the rest of it from time to time. Last summer, the chorus part just came to me when I was in the shower. Like just popped into my head. I picked up the guitar and in an hour had written three choruses. I've been working on it a few times a week since, and have been unable to come up with anything for the verses that feels compelling. I know the chorus parts are good now, but I'm seemingly stuck until something else falls into my lap at a random time.

redbreegull 01-07-2016 06:17 PM

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.

Elphenor 01-08-2016 10:36 AM

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

soniclovenoize 01-08-2016 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redbreegull (Post 4241445)
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!).

Disco King 01-08-2016 04:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elphenor (Post 4241521)
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.

redbreegull 01-08-2016 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by soniclovenoize (Post 4241546)
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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Disco King (Post 4241574)
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

Disco King 01-08-2016 07:58 PM

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.

redbreegull 01-08-2016 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Disco King (Post 4241594)
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.

teh b0lly!!1 01-09-2016 12:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redbreegull (Post 4241445)
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.

crabshack 01-09-2016 01:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by reprise85 (Post 4241167)
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.

The exploding boy 01-10-2016 07:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Disco King (Post 4241594)
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.

Disco King 01-11-2016 04:41 AM

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.

teh b0lly!!1 01-11-2016 08:44 AM

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

teh b0lly!!1 01-11-2016 08:45 AM

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

Elphenor 01-11-2016 01:01 PM

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

redbreegull 01-11-2016 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Disco King (Post 4241858)
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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by teh b0lly!!1 (Post 4241874)
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!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elphenor (Post 4241900)
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

Disco King 01-11-2016 04:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by teh b0lly!!1 (Post 4241874)
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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elphenor (Post 4241900)
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.

redbreegull 01-11-2016 05:09 PM

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.

teh b0lly!!1 01-11-2016 07:08 PM

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.

redbreegull 01-11-2016 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by teh b0lly!!1 (Post 4241875)
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%.

Elphenor 01-12-2016 02:37 PM

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

redbreegull 01-12-2016 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elphenor (Post 4242083)
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.

teh b0lly!!1 01-12-2016 10:18 PM

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).

teh b0lly!!1 01-12-2016 10:18 PM

i'm getting a "post ur musics" vibe in this thread can you guys feel it

redbreegull 01-13-2016 05:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by teh b0lly!!1 (Post 4242162)
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.

Elphenor 01-13-2016 06:46 PM

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

Elphenor 01-13-2016 06:56 PM

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

redbreegull 01-13-2016 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elphenor (Post 4242340)
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.

Elphenor 01-13-2016 10:11 PM

Elliot Smith was pretty cool too

redbreegull 01-13-2016 10:17 PM

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

crabshack 01-13-2016 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elphenor (Post 4242340)

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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