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My First Attempt At Recording Guitar


Elias Graves

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As you all know, I have been struggling to teach myself guitar. It's been difficult to say the least. Anyway, I recently bought a digital interface and recorded myself playing into Garageband. Here it is, I call it "Guitarbage."

 

lo-fi URL: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=7420110&q=lo

hi-fi URL: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=7420110&q=hi

 

Enjoy. I hope.

 

EG

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Nice clean recording and individual note picking. What ya been waiting for. I can see you understand what to do. Go ahead, it doesn't need to be perfect. Create!!

 

 

As you all know, I have been struggling to teach myself guitar. It's been difficult to say the least. Anyway, I recently bought a digital interface and recorded myself playing into Garageband. Here it is, I call it "Guitarbage."


lo-fi URL:

hi-fi URL:


Enjoy. I hope.


EG

 

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Nice clean recording and individual note picking. What ya been waiting for. I can see you understand what to do. Go ahead, it doesn't need to be perfect. Create!!

 

 

Been working on having something original to actually record. That and the means with which to do it. I got a Line 6 Tone Port. I didn't really expect much from it but it is a pretty amazing little tool. It came with software called Pod Farm that has amp and effects modeling. I was surprised at how good it sounded.

 

My picking has come a long way in the last 90 days. I can see some progress being made. It is encouraging.

 

EG

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Well unlike me you have a musical background. Picking out individual notes for me is a little advanced. I strum and pluck in no particular order just to get something done. I have very little background in recording software as well so for now you guys get what I got...but you I feel will come up with some good stuff...carry on :thu:

 

Now that I think of it the sonwriting challenge is...Emily Dickinson...since we were talking about using lines from poems in another thread I thought this might be fun...add lyrics to this(or not) and melody and you have your first test run project...half way there, since we don't have to write the basic story.

 

"Hope" is the thing with feathers

 

 

"Hope" is the thing with feathers

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Pretty good start Elias. Two recommendations: work with a metronome, there's probably one built in to your recording software. Second, concentrate on your chords, you'll build songs faster than striving with melodies- they'll come along with your chords. Learn your basic open chords: E, G, D, A, C, etc. Learn the difference between Maj, Min, 7th. That's a good start. Learn your Barre chords.

 

A great place to start for beginning guitarists is learning songs. There are tons of tab sites out there for guitarists. Learn some stuff from your fav band, you'll start to pick up chord progressions, keys, that stuff. If you dig it, blues and classic rock are some of the simplest places to begin.

 

BTW, I feel your pain. I'm a longtime guitarist, but I just picked up a new instrument, about the same time you started. I'm learning drums. I'm having a HELL of a lot of fun, but nothing very presentable so far. I hope to post something before too long...

 

GL, keep at it, that's the only way.

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Six strings.

 

There are six strings on most guitars. You can use all of them at once. :D

 

This will go a long way to making your endeavors more interesting and fulfilling to your audience. ;)

 

It used to drive me nuts (and then I simply put it out of my mind) that so many of the old, mainstream music pedagogical systems for guitar were oriented to teaching folks how to play simple melodies. Learning how to play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" a note at a time does not, to my thinking, do nearly as much for a beginning player as teaching them how to make a few chords sound like a song.

 

Guitar is a chord instrument by design and that is the way it has been fundamentally approached, by and large, in the mainstream musical culture.

 

Yet guitar teachers of the past seemed pathetically yoked to the same designed-for-failure approach we saw for generations in things like the Mel Bay books.

 

With regard to the Pod, I was just spending some time last night with the POD XT that a pal parked with me a few years ago. (I had spent a few hours with it early on and put it high up on a closet shelf in the interim. I got it down to see if I'd been premature in dismissing it for myself.)

 

Now, they don't offer the responsiveness or interactive sound of a real amp -- although it does seem to help if you're running into real speakers, as opposed to headphones -- I noticed that immediately on switching from cans to live monitoring... it's still not like a typical tube amp, but it's certainly a little more responsive/interactive as the guitar resonates with the sound coming out the speakers.

 

But the unit I was using does give a pretty decent simulation of guitar tones that a lot of folks use, at least in some static/less responsive respects. And, on the XT, the controls seem thoughtfully laid out, for the most part, and invite tinkering, which seems crucial to taking the presets to sounds more tinkered in for a given guitar.

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Pretty good start Elias. Two recommendations: work with a metronome, there's probably one built in to your recording software. Second, concentrate on your chords, you'll build songs faster than striving with melodies- they'll come along with your chords. Learn your basic open chords: E, G, D, A, C, etc. Learn the difference between Maj, Min, 7th. That's a good start. Learn your Barre chords.


A great place to start for beginning guitarists is learning songs. There are tons of tab sites out there for guitarists. Learn some stuff from your fav band, you'll start to pick up chord progressions, keys, that stuff. If you dig it, blues and classic rock are some of the simplest places to begin.


BTW, I feel your pain. I'm a longtime guitarist, but I just picked up a new instrument, about the same time you started. I'm learning drums. I'm having a HELL of a lot of fun, but nothing very presentable so far. I hope to post something before too long...


GL, keep at it, that's the only way.

 

I've been working on learning some songs. Day Tripper and I Walk The Line are my two current ones. Also have some Clarence White bluegrass stuff and some Leo Kottke I'm working on. Those two are quite difficult.

 

I have learned my basic chords. Barre chords still have a ways to go; they are kicking my butt.

 

This piece was just some different attempts at riffmaking that I strung together. I wasn't really concentrating too much on tempo here; just trying to get through it was chalenge enough. The post is take number 300 or so.

 

Maybe it is my trumpet background or something, but the chord work doesn't really thrill me all that much. I know it's needed in songs, but I seem to work best trying to keep myself focused on one thing at a time. My practices generally include some chord work but most of it focuses on the picking. I have much more fun doing that. :) I get a real charge out of experimenting with melodic stuff.

 

Thanks for the listen and the input.

 

EG

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I've been working on learning some songs. Day Tripper and I Walk The Line are my two current ones. Also have some Clarence White bluegrass stuff and some Leo Kottke I'm working on. Those two are quite difficult.


I have learned my basic chords. Barre chords still have a ways to go; they are kicking my butt.


This piece was just some different attempts at riffmaking that I strung together. I wasn't really concentrating too much on tempo here; just trying to get through it was chalenge enough. The post is take number 300 or so.


Maybe it is my trumpet background or something, but the chord work doesn't really thrill me all that much. I know it's needed in songs, but I seem to work best trying to keep myself focused on one thing at a time. My practices generally include some chord work but most of it focuses on the picking. I have much more fun doing that.
:)
I get a real charge out of experimenting with melodic stuff.


Thanks for the listen and the input.


EG

 

The wonderful thing about guitar is that, like piano, it allows an integrated view of melodic and harmonic thinking.

 

All the melodic sense in the world doesn't help much if you can't put it together harmonically (unless you work synsergistically, perhaps, with another musician who fills in that aspect for you, but even then, it's something you can and likely should be able to do yourself... like a middle-aged housewife being able to balance the checkbook instead of letting her husband do it... it's just something one should be able to do. ;) )

 

Honestly, I have to say that it's hard for me to imagine a well-balanced musician -- at least not a writer or improviser -- who doesn't have some form of harmonically and melodically integrated approach. Look at the great melodic improvisers of the 20th century -- not all of them wear their harmonic theory credentials as much on their sleeves as the boppers and post boppers, but there are few harmonic naifs in their ranks.

 

 

Like you, I had decidedly finite interest in chords. I sensed that I had some sort of ability to pick out melodies that played well against music (when it didn't do nasty things like modulate and change keys, anyhow) and it was fun... it fired up some little part of my brain that banging chords almost never did.

 

But what I realized over time is that that melodic sense, in order for it to reach maturity and transcend its infantile/primal impulse, must learn to work in tandem with the very different harmonic sense...

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Maybe it is my trumpet background or something, but the chord work doesn't really thrill me all that much.

 

It's part of your Catholic history. Once the Guido of Arezzo (a Benedictine monk) drew the red line, harmony developed.

 

If you ever get the chance, check this out ...

http://ffh.films.com/id/745/Notation_The_Thin_Red_Line.htm

 

notation-neumes-796226.jpg

 

:)

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It's part of your Catholic history. Once the Guido of Arezzo (a Benedictine monk) drew the red line, harmony developed.


If you ever get the chance, check this out ...

http://ffh.films.com/id/745/Notation_The_Thin_Red_Line.htm


notation-neumes-796226.jpg

:)

 

:)

 

As I said, this is my first attempt. I tend to get distracted when I try to take on too much at once. I'm taking this approach partly because it seems simpler for me to approach the one note at a time thing. It allows me to concentrate on coordinating my left and right hands, work on accuracy and handling the pick.

 

I doubt that I will ultimately limit myself to this alone, but I gotta start somewhere. It seems like something as vast as guitar you just have to jump in somewhere, start to develop a frame of reference and build on it.

 

RE: the Pod. I'm not actually using a Pod device. I bought the Line 6 Tone Port and it came with Pod Farm software for the Mac. It only works with the Tone Port when I'm going into the Mac. I tried the mic on my Blues Jr and it didn't sound good at all. I understand that in order to properly record an amp live, one needs a pretty good mic. I don't have that right now so the digital interface seemed like a pretty inexpensive way to get going. It is limiting in that it is digitally altered and you lose a lot of the cool things you can do with a live amp, but it does OK.

 

Stack, regarding the effects, I was just messing around with the different presets on the software. A kid playing with a new toy. I kind of liked the octave effect so I went with it. The preset I was using is called "country lick" :facepalm: but it was fun. When I get down to recording stuff for my songs, the effects will be toned down quite a bit. Plenty of distortion, I discovered, will hide a lot of mistakes. Maybe that's why so many guys use it. :) I personally don't care that much for the high gain stuff.

 

Anyway, it was fun and I just wanted to share my progress. It is very encouraging for me to hear something other than "sproing." Without more time to devote to practice it seems that progress ispainfully slow, but it is there.

 

EG

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Ok, your picking is solid.

 

Like the one fellow said, do it to a metronome now, or a beat of any sort. One starting out doesn't appreciate the difficulty and value of that right away, but it's crucial to make it second nature as soons as practical.

 

Chords.

 

Ok, learn these chords, and nothing else right now.

 

A

A7

Am

B

B7

Bm

C

Cadd9

D

D7

Dm

E

E7

Em

F

Fmaj7

G

G7

 

Know them on sight and learn to get to them immediately.

 

If you know these chords, and nothing else, you can play probably 90% of the songs you have ever known and loved your whole life.

 

:thu:

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Ok, your picking is solid.


Like the one fellow said, do it to a metronome now, or a beat of any sort. One starting out doesn't appreciate the difficulty and value of that right away, but it's crucial to make it second nature as soons as practical.


Chords.


Ok, learn these chords, and nothing else right now.


A

A7

Am

B

B7

Bm

C

Cadd9

D

D7

Dm

E

E7

Em

F

Fmaj7

G

G7


Know them on sight and learn to get to them immediately.


If you know these chords, and nothing else, you can play probably 90% of the songs you have ever known and loved your whole life.


:thu:

 

Thanks for the listen.

Just those chords? Just kidding. I'm working on it.

 

You know, the picking was weird. I spent several months just trying to pick stinking quarter notes in time with my left hand and right hand working together. One weekend when the family was away, I spent nearly eight hours playing on a single day working on one simple passage. I struggled mightily with it and kept stumbling all over myself. All of a sudden, there it was. It was like it just appeared. What a feeling that was.

 

On the chords, I've learned quite a few of those. I'm still with my chord transitions where I was was with the picking last fall. The family is going out of town next weekend. Maybe that's my project.

 

EG

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I don't think you need all the good a mic to get a good amp recording, but you do need to find the best spot for your mic (or mics if you go for a multi-miking) that will best capture the sound of the amp as you want it.

 

People have a lot of trouble capturing what they think is coming out of their amps at first. It's not all that much unlike what happens when folks first try to record their voices. What they capture is not usually what they were expecting. The reasons are a little different (although parallel issues like auditory vantage point -- although inside a room instead of inside your head) but the solution is similar, finding a miking technique that comes closest to delivering what you're looking for and then adjusting your technique/sound to make up the gap.

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Just those chords?

 

Start with C, A, G, E, D (that's CAGED and it's a strong tool for learning how the neck is organized). These are your basic open position chords, aka cowboy chords. ;)

 

Then go to C7, A7, G7, E7, D7. It'd be a good idea to learn B7 so that you can play tunes in the key of E.

 

Then hit the minors -- Am, Em, Dm (Cm, Gm are barres and not easy going at first).

 

Then hit the bars ... I mean, hit the barres: B, Bm, Cm, F, Fm, Gm.

 

Get a capo. :)

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Why not? A gig's a gig.
:idk:

 

After hearing stories about bar gigs from my nephew and brother, I think I'll stick to my basement studio.

 

Some of the stories over on the epic fail forum will curl your toes. Many have a certain amount of, shall we say, dramatic license I'm sure.

 

EG

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After hearing stories about bar gigs from my nephew and brother, I think I'll stick to my basement studio.


Some of the stories over on the epic fail forum will curl your toes. Many have a certain amount of, shall we say, dramatic license I'm sure.


EG

 

 

I've played gigs for over twenty years. Epic fail gigs are scar stories. Never have a chainsaw as your opening act. Just sayin'.

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Maybe it is my trumpet background or something, but the chord work doesn't really thrill me all that much. I know it's needed in songs, but I seem to work best trying to keep myself focused on one thing at a time. My practices generally include some chord work but most of it focuses on the picking. I have much more fun doing that. I get a real charge out of experimenting with melodic stuff.

 

I'm VERY MUCH a melody man myself... never thought about it, but it may be from the trombone days in band. Any chord progression, and I get all Dickey Betts, looking for the melody line. The great thing is, the 2 guitarists I love to play with are both big rhythm guys- works out great! Still, learn your chords, you gotta have 'em. Then jam with rhythm guys! :D

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