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Musical Theory Abound!!!
 #59158  by bodiddley
 Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:53 am
How to prevent playing a song the same way everytime?

First off, I suck at guitar and don't so much play it as hack away at it. However, there are a few tunes I love hacking away at (in privacy of course). My problem is I generally tend to play a song the same way everytime (usually the way I learned it the first time). How do you guys prevent this from happening?

Another issue I have is keeping on a steady strum pattern and wanting to play the syllables/inntonations with my strumming instead of the singing/lyrics doing that job instead. Maybe the problem is I don't sing because it's too hard to sing and play at the same time and I suck at singing, Anyway, just wonder if anyone has suggestions on playing a strum pattern consistently.
 #59159  by jackr
 Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:32 am
bodiddley wrote:How to prevent playing a song the same way everytime?
Listen to different versions and try to get together with someone else or different people who play.
 #59167  by old man down
 Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:56 am
Just keep playing it the same way you always do, every day. Eventually, because you'll get better playing in general, the song will slowly begin to morph into something else. As your playing gets better you'll relax your approach and then there will be no telling where it will morph to. But, all songs morph eventually.

Maybe just a slight nuance of motif will be noticed at first, but years later, a song will be much more elaborate as the nuances become standard procedure. And then suddenly the standard procedure will become different in myriad ways.

For this reason, try to pick songs to learn that you'll want to keep working at forever. The pay off, years later, will be that someone will hear you play it and be amazed at how you have captured the essence of the song without a single riff being exactly recognizable, and yet the song as a whole will be instantly recognizable, from the first measure on out.
 #59169  by Tennessee Jedi
 Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:12 am
bodiddley wrote:How to prevent playing a song the same way everytime?

First off, I suck at guitar and don't so much play it as hack away at it. However, there are a few tunes I love hacking away at (in privacy of course). My problem is I generally tend to play a song the same way everytime (usually the way I learned it the first time). How do you guys prevent this from happening?

Another issue I have is keeping on a steady strum pattern and wanting to play the syllables/inntonations with my strumming instead of the singing/lyrics doing that job instead. Maybe the problem is I don't sing because it's too hard to sing and play at the same time and I suck at singing, Anyway, just wonder if anyone has suggestions on playing a strum pattern consistently.
Well dont play it the same !
:D
If you are doing a tune with all open chords for instance try to learn the chords somewhere else on the the neck.
Take Franklins Tower. You could play it all open chords or take it barre chord style @ the 5th fret or up to the 10th fret " C" shape barre.
This will help you learn the neck.
For Strumming/rhythm get a metronome. This will help you become steady.
Find someone who is on your level ( or better )and jam.
If you are motivated take lessons where a teacher will be able to figure out your good points and bad ones.
That is a good point you make about wanting to learn something different from when you 1st learned. Learning " mistakes" sucks ....
:D
 #59174  by Tennessee Jedi
 Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:41 am
Tennessee Jedi wrote: That is a good point you make about wanting to learn something different from when you 1st learned. Learning " mistakes" sucks ....
:D
An example for me would be I Know You Rider.
At the ending I always did this -
F/C/F/C-C#-D.
I would "walk" up chromatically from C to D.
That was how it was taught to me. I never really questioned it.
But on closer examination you will find it goes
F/C/F/C -E - D.
So forget what some stoned Hippie showed you in the 80's and find your own truth !
Peace
 #59179  by wisedyes
 Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:45 am
Well, I pretty much second what strumminsix has to say. The single best method of improving your playing is to not only play as much as possible, but also to play mindfully. What I mean by this is there is a big, huge difference between actually practicing and just playing. If you just aimlessly noodle, your development will take much longer than if you approach practice with a plan and determination an persistence.

Now, for some different things to try as to not playing songs the same way every time. My suggestion is to work on these with simple songs first ( like Franklin's Tower, or Bertha ) and work yourself up to more advanced tunes.

1. Change keys. If Franklin's is A/G/D, play it C/Bb/F, and so on. Gets you out of your immediate comfort zones, and opens your ears up to new sounds.
2. Try songs in a different "style". Do Franklin's as a reggae tune. Play Bertha as a speed metal thrash-fest.
3. This one will pay GINORMOUS dividends for you down the road, especially if you aspire towards Jerryness. Play songs as arpeggios instead of just strumming the chords. If you do not know your arpeggios, learn them NOW. Charts and tabs for them can be found all over the web on various guitar instruction sites. Learn them in at least two different positions. Play the songs in time ( get a metronome and start slowly, build up to speed as your development allows ), but use the arpeggios. You should instantly notice how melodic you sound all of a sudden. Look for the common tones in the arpeggios ( notes that are in each chord ) - use them as connectors. Once you are comfortable with the arpeggios, start incorporating tricks to make them sound even more melodic like half step slides into chord tones, chromatic approaches from one chord tone to the next, voice leading, etc.

Getting arpeggios and how to use them down takes time, but it, imho, is the single biggest difference between players who sound like everyone else and guys that sound like they know what they're doing. Well worth the investment in your time.

Hope you find all this helpful.
 #59202  by mttourpro
 Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:12 pm
Tennessee Jedi wrote:
Tennessee Jedi wrote: That is a good point you make about wanting to learn something different from when you 1st learned. Learning " mistakes" sucks ....
:D
An example for me would be I Know You Rider.
At the ending I always did this -
F/C/F/C-C#-D.
I would "walk" up chromatically from C to D.
That was how it was taught to me. I never really questioned it.
But on closer examination you will find it goes
F/C/F/C -E - D.
So forget what some stoned Hippie showed you in the 80's and find your own truth !
Peace
I hate to burst your bubble there Jedi, but it's actually a G and not an E minor

And, I really liked what wisedyes wrote.......good ideas from everyone.
 #59224  by heavynylon
 Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:46 am
bodiddley wrote:How to prevent playing a song the same way everytime?
...
Another issue I have is keeping on a steady strum pattern and wanting to play the syllables/inntonations with my strumming instead of the singing/lyrics doing that job instead. Maybe the problem is I don't sing because it's too hard to sing and play at the same time and I suck at singing, Anyway, just wonder if anyone has suggestions on playing a strum pattern consistently.
Well, being somewhat rythmically challenged myself, I can say with certainty that the best tool you will find is the metronome. Set it at a speed you can confidently handle. If you find yourself getting off tempo when you change chords, then slow it down a bit more. Also, tap your foot along with the metronome. You need to feel the beat. And the metronome will let you know whether the beat you feel is correct.

About the rut thing, sometimes when I feel like I've over-practiced a song to the point that it's feeling too mechanical, I put it away from a while and move on to something else. Then I come back to it some months later and discover all kinds of new things about it - better ways of fingering difficult sections, better phrasing, etc.
 #59226  by Tennessee Jedi
 Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:05 am
mttourpro wrote:
Tennessee Jedi wrote:
Tennessee Jedi wrote: That is a good point you make about wanting to learn something different from when you 1st learned. Learning " mistakes" sucks ....
:D
An example for me would be I Know You Rider.
At the ending I always did this -
F/C/F/C-C#-D.
I would "walk" up chromatically from C to D.
That was how it was taught to me. I never really questioned it.
But on closer examination you will find it goes
F/C/F/C -E - D.
So forget what some stoned Hippie showed you in the 80's and find your own truth !
Peace
I hate to burst your bubble there Jedi, but it's actually a G and not an E minor

And, I really liked what wisedyes wrote.......good ideas from everyone.
Exactly !
See - you CAN teach an old rabbit tricks ...
Will check that out TourPro !
:smile:
 #59232  by Pete B.
 Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:07 am
bodiddley wrote:How to prevent playing a song the same way everytime?
If you learn the CAGED system you will have 5 chord positions to choose from for every chord you play.

http://www.cyberfret.com/scales/major-caged/index.php

Concerning the strumming... I've heard alot of players over the years get stuck in what I call the "Down On The Corner" rut.
I'm talking about the song "Down on The Corner" by CCR... And then every song follows that right hand strum pattern (not that it's a bad song, but).
'Not sure of the cure (besides making a full court press to move from being an intermediate to an advanced player by way of professional lessons using books, videos, live instructors, etc... "learning by ear" and/or being "self taught" are usually the long way around), but picking songs of varying rhythmic structure might help.
For example, Not Fade Away should not sound anything like Johnny B. Goode, rhythmicly.

What songs are you currently playing?
 #59319  by bodiddley
 Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:02 am
Mostly GD Stuff and yes, I know the CAGED system. Songs I've been working on the most with help from the DVD instructor for GD are "Sugar Mags", "UJB" , "Eyes", "Ripple", "Sugaree".

I want to know more about what "WisedEyes" said about playing arpeggios. I always thought that was just forming a chord and doing a specific picking pattern on strings within the chord. If there is more to arpeggios than that then please explain.
 #59320  by Pete B.
 Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:38 am
bodiddley wrote:Mostly GD Stuff and yes, I know the CAGED system. Songs I've been working on the most with help from the DVD instructor for GD are "Sugar Mags", "UJB" , "Eyes", "Ripple", "Sugaree".

I want to know more about what "WisedEyes" said about playing arpeggios. I always thought that was just forming a chord and doing a specific picking pattern on strings within the chord. If there is more to arpeggios than that then please explain.
Sugaree to the rescue on the Arpeggio program.
The whole song can be played with ascending/descending arpeggios.
You can also use different chord inversions on each pass.
Of the songs you listed I would say Sugaree and Eyes are the most chord-inversion friendly.

Englistown Eyes comes to mind as a good one for getting around on the chord shapes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu4LFLqq ... annel_page