frustrated by my playing... requesting help

which song was played the best? (least worst)

deal
1
50%
jack-a-roe
0
No votes
jack straw
0
No votes
eyes
0
No votes
mission
0
No votes
help
1
50%
franklin's
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 2

frustrated by my playing... requesting help

Postby letitflow » Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:05 am

Hi all,

been getting frustrated with my guitar playing so I thought I'd try and enlist the help of people who can actually play. If anyone could help, would be much appreciated. thx.

I recorded a bunch of song clips last summer when I first hooked my guitar up to the computer. I haven't really picked up the guitar much since. Before that I had been "playing" about a year and a half but wasn't making much progress. I could only practice maybe 15-30 mins per week because I would get sick of everything sounding so repetitive. If you listen to the clips I posted you will see what I mean, the playing all sounds the same.

If anyone could offer suggestions as to what direction I should try to go in, it would be very helpful to me.

Also, if someone could explain clearly and concisely what exactly this mixolydian thing is that I see all over the forums. I tried to make sense of it but I'm still very confused what it is and how it would sound like. Is that what jerry plays in music never stopped? I'm especially confused how it differs from the major scale. Why is it important? Does jerry use it all the time? Or just some songs. If so, can someone name some of these songs?

With my playing on the songs below I either just play the major scale, or if that doesn't sound good then I play some other scale (some kind of minorish sounding scale) that sounds good for certain songs (e.g. help and jack-a-roe)

I am also confused by blues scales. What dead or jerry songs should you play blues scales with?

The song clips below are all 20 to 60 sec clips of dead songs with me playing on top. Unfortunately the levels are quite low for a few of them, so you might need to turn up the speakers a bit on eyes and franklins. My apologies.

song clips: (note: if they cut out while playing.. quicktime likes to do this, please download the zip file instead)

http://optimizedsoft.com/songs/deal.mp3
http://optimizedsoft.com/songs/jackaroe.mp3
http://optimizedsoft.com/songs/jackstraw.mp3
http://optimizedsoft.com/songs/eyes.mp3
http://optimizedsoft.com/songs/mission.mp3 (*very* sloppy)
http://optimizedsoft.com/songs/help.mp3 (sloppy)
http://optimizedsoft.com/songs/franklins.mp3

http://optimizedsoft.com/songs/songs.zip
(this is just a zip of all the mp3s above)

please don't laugh too hard... especially the timing I know is way off on some songs.
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Postby sarraqum » Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:24 am

Mixolydian scale comes from mixolydian mode. I know that doesn't mean a hell-of-a-lot and any explanation I'd post would be too long winded so here are coupla links that would explain that stuff....

http://www.guitar-dreams.com/scalesandmodes.html

http://www.jazzguitar.be/modi.html
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Postby sarraqum » Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:33 am

I listened to your clips and I don;t have anything bad to say about your playing. I am no expert but it doesn't sound bad. Just practise as much as you can, thats all I can really say.
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Postby letitflow » Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:38 am

sarraqum wrote:I listened to your clips and I don;t have anything bad to say about your playing. I am no expert but it doesn't sound bad. Just practise as much as you can, thats all I can really say.


Hi, sarraqum... thanks for the pointers about the mixo.

Some of them sound ok by themselves but they are all played the same way, there is not much difference. In fact the main difference is the effects.

But I just feel like I've hit a brick wall, don't know what I should do... playing hasn't changed much. I never studied anything before so perhaps that would help. There is a lot of info out there.. so I wonder what I should spend my time studying.

It might not be as apparent because the clips are so short, but over the course of a song it sounds like I do the same things over and over again.
letitflow
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Postby eyeprod » Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:45 am

learn triads and inversions. it helps to open up the fretboard for more possibilities and variations in tone.
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Postby HawaiianDedhed » Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:20 pm

The mixolydian mode is just a major scale with a flattened 7th. For example:

C major scale: C D E F G A B C

notice the half step between the B (7th) and C (1st). The half step between the 7th and 1st applies in all keys of the major scale (its one of the things that make a major scale a major scale)

THE ONLY FIDDERENCE BETWEEN a MAJOR SCALE AND a MIXOLYDIAN MODE IS THAT 7TH NOTE (in this case B to Bb)

C mixolydian mode: C D E F G A Bb C


Another way to think of it is to play the major scale of the 4th scale degree of the key you are in (its easier than it sounds). For example:

F major is the 4th scale degree in the key of C major (C=1st, D=2nd, E=3rd, F=4th and on and on)

F major scale: F G A Bb C D E F

Notice the F major and C Mixolydian have the same notes. So, if you are ripping it up in C major and think, "hey, I want to play C mixolydian now." Just play the F major scale (remember that C is still your root note)

Don't forget Eyeprod's sage advice though (Chords are good, even when playing lead). Hope this helps.
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Postby BayAreaBB » Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:53 pm

Try varying your tempo, slow to fast - fast to slow. You might also try starting on the high e and proceeding down to the low e. I didn't hear much of that. You can also buy a looper pedal and lay down some basic rhythm tracks behind your soloing so you're not fighting against playing along with Jerry and losing all hope. Very admirable and open of you to post these songs.
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Postby letitflow » Tue Apr 25, 2006 9:00 pm

Guys, thanks for your help. This is exactly the kind of stuff I was hoping to hear. Now I've got some direction again. Things to explore, things to learn.

also, looks like I forgot to post the link to gdtrfb:

http://optimizedsoft.com/songs/gdtrfb.mp3

HawaiiDude, great explanation of mixolydian. Helps to clear some things up. I'm sure will make things fall into place once I start practicing according to your explanation.

BayArea, I see what you mean about high to low e. I think I was doing that in eyes and kind of like the sound of it. So I'll be sure to practice that some more.

Also, varying tempo sounds like something I should definitely practice. Could be the key to making alot of my playing sound more varied (and emotional) you know, I think in many cases I just play too many notes. But sometimes like in mission I was just testing cause I never played that song before so was trying to get a feel for it.

As for posting the songs, I just figured they would describe things much better for me than just writing... and looks like it worked. (i.e. a picture is worth 1000 words kind of thing)

This forum rocks!
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Postby Jimkkc » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:19 am

In addition to all the other suggestions, my two cents worth is to listen - if you haven't done so already - to Warren Haynes' "Live at Bonnaroo" - after I heard his playing, my playing leaped forward after remaining stagnent for too long. In particular listen to the dynamics of Warren's version of "Lucky" and his original "In My Life" - other than that, learn the fretboard. I have played with many people who refuse to go beyond the fifth fret - this makes no sense to me because, after all, they paid for the whole neck! Finally, and this is an odd suggestion, but here it goes. Buy/Rent the View From the Vault Series and listen/watch what Weir is doing - you might be surprised to see just how much Bobby is really doing (i.e. too often he is mixed too low). Anyway, good luck and keep playing.
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Postby weedar » Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:41 am

I know this isn't helpful at all, but I had to say it:
I really enjoyed listening to your clips, I thought you did
a good job in all of them (more or less). What kind of
equipment are you playing on?
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Postby letitflow » Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:40 pm

Jim: good suggestion about Warren Haynes, never would have thought of that. Don't have too many problems with the fretboard other than I need to learn open strings, but I guess that will come eventually.

My pet peeve though is that I think people who teach guitar (writing books, posting tutorial articles on internet, or whatnot) seem to make things overly complicated. But perhaps there is a reason for this I will discover only once I am much better. But personally I have taken the approach that instead of learning scale fingerings, I simply look up the intervals in a scale. Then you can apply them in a box pattern (which you can quickly figure out from the intervals) or up or down a single string. Just seems easier and more flexible this way. (and less like work. I don't have patience to sit there mapping fingerings from charts to fretboard)

weedar: glad you liked them, there are parts that I think... that sounds pretty cool, I just need to isolate those bits, stop playing the extra stuff, work on execution and add more variation as per suggestions in this forum.

equipment is as follows:

- guitar: some kind of ibanez... I don't know what the model is anymore. has 2 humbuckers but I think I probably only used the one closer to the neck for those clips. my first guitar but I think I made a good choice, a main consideration was that the guitar is all once piece. the neck is not bolted on. I was told sustain is better that way (but the guitar cost me a bit more)

- plugged into winxp computer into an oem audigy 2ZS card. at first I read you need to do something to the signal (I forget the term) before you plug a guitar into a computer, so I had the guitar go first into an effects box and the output of that go into the sound card. I think that is how I played it (but with those effects off, so just the clean signal). But since then I just plug it straight from guitar into the audigy. Seems to work fine that way for me. The effects are from guitar rig software.
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Postby letitflow » Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:37 pm

Jim: missed this... I have to admit I always liked bobby on '74 chinacat and was disappointed that he stopped that stuff in later chinacats.

Jimkkc wrote: Buy/Rent the View From the Vault Series and listen/watch what Weir is doing - you might be surprised to see just how much Bobby is really doing (i.e. too often he is mixed too low). Anyway, good luck and keep playing.
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Postby Jimkkc » Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:27 pm

I agree on Bobby's work on China/Cat - hell, his work on most of the 1974 era. My experience with music teachers is pretty much the same. On the other hand, I once had a writing professor throw up his hands and exclaim "you are not a teachable student!" I guess it is true - you can always tell a deadhead, but you can't tell him(or her) much! I think the best way to improve is to play with people and preferably play with people who play at a higher level. I am fortunate enough to do this 2-3 times a week and it has proved to be a great way to improve(not to mention the great friendship that has come out of the music) - Take care
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mixolydian

Postby letitflow » Fri Apr 28, 2006 12:32 am

ok, now I feel really embarrased asking all those questions about mixolydian. I just realized I had been playing this before all the time. Just didn't know it was called mixolydian. I was playing this in some places where the major scale didn't quite sound right.

HawaiianDedhed, thanks. "just a flatenned 7th" really explained it well.

Before I would get confused by other people's descriptions saying that it has the same notes as the major scale but starting on a different note. So I never bothered to "learn" the mixolydian because it sounded so complicated.
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Postby shakedown_04092 » Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:12 am

HawaiianDedhed wrote:Another way to think of it is to play the major scale of the 4th scale degree of the key you are in (its easier than it sounds). For example:

F major is the 4th scale degree in the key of C major (C=1st, D=2nd, E=3rd, F=4th and on and on)

F major scale: F G A Bb C D E F

Notice the F major and C Mixolydian have the same notes. So, if you are ripping it up in C major and think, "hey, I want to play C mixolydian now." Just play the F major scale (remember that C is still your root note)


Isn't the mixolydian the "5th" degree of the major scale, and not the 4th? I thought Lydian was the 4th...or I could be just putting my foot in my mouth...
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