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Everything posted by bdemon

  1. It does expose them to some great music. I have had the same exp. w/my students. My newest, a 10 yr old is all about AC/DC. You know, in my fifteen years of teaching guitar AC/DC has been about the only constant as far as rock bands that everyone knows and wants to play. I can whip out "Back in Black" on any student, any age and they'll be cool with learning it. Gotta give serious props to those guys. Angus using the same pentatonics, the same power chords for thirty years and they still pack arenas, still have that sound that you know is either AC/DC or someone trying to copy them. As I've said in other threads, GH's has almost saved this generation from the bad music pumped into the mainstream. I get the same moments as you guys...kids wanting to learn "Through the Fire and Flames", "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" (Isn't that a fiddle song from that 70s John Travolta movie? Yeah, but it's in GH too!) For a number of years, Green Day was pretty much the only guitar driven band all the kids wanted to learn. Made my job easier (I remember bringing my teacher all the hair metal riffs in the 80s) and built their confidence, but the bar in those tunes is pretty low. GH is giving them a taste of what else is really out there and they're LIKING it.
  2. This thing pretty much sounds like a strat and it's around a $150. Actually the last posted list was $129. http://www.behringer.com/IAXE624-BD/index.cfm?lang=ENG A couple of my students have this package and I can't say anything bad about it. In my teaching practice I deal with lots of beginner guitars. The only ones that are steadily junk to me are the Fender Starcasters you get at Costco and such and the stuff they sell at box stores like Target and Walmart. Occasionally they'll work alright, but I don't trust them. Oh, and those home shopping channel guitars...no, no, no. Most jam packs (guitar/amp packages) put out by the major names (Fender Squier, Gibson, Ibanez, etc.) are pretty good. Not as good as the $300 and up models in those lines, but most beginners can't tell what those differences are anyway, so why spend the extra dough until you know it will be a long term hobby? These packages sound clean, they stay in tune and most of the practice amps have cool modeling features that were unheard of ten years ago.
  3. Got a student I've been teaching a bunch of 6/8 patterns too. He digs them, but wants a familiar tune using them. An older guy, likes the Beatles, James Taylor, etc. I've got a truckload of books I'm going through, but I was wondering if anyone's brain works faster than my own. Any familiar titles I could throw his way?
  4. The next half of the exercise I have them improvise off of the C Major 3 note per string scale. The one people 'tend' to refer as Ionian......the first shape. As they improvse I'll vamp one at a time through each chords of the Major chord scale....CM7, Dm7, Em7 ect.... They immediately hear the flavors of each mode with each new vamp. All from one shape. Then they realize the shapes don't produce the tonalities. It's the way the scale family SOUNDS over each chord....the harmony. YOu can still think from chord to chord, but regardless this is modes in a nutshell. And I've taught them nothing.......it was ear that did it. All we had to do is trade improv back in forth. I've done this with my students. I also give them a jam track that's a bassline consisting of an A note played with different rhythms. I then have them play each of the seven major scale shapes starting on that same root: A Ionian, A Dorian and so on... The jam is here if you want to try it out.
  5. Looking at the 7 shapes as, say, C Ionian, D Dorian and so on is helpful for some while confusing for others, so the education of how this stuff works varies. I remember learning the A Dorian mode by my guitar teacher back in high school, got all the shapes. Then I tried to learn the B "Phrygian scale" on my own and realized the shape was the same as the "second" Dorian shape. Confusion! But then I locked into the concept outlined in your original post about seven major scale positions, each one being a mode. Later on I realized one scale contained all the modes and started letting go of the concept of modes being scales themselves. It's about what note you assign as the tonic/root as well as the chord progression backing it up. So IMO, everyone is right!
  6. FWIW, I've read past interviews with many guitar "Gods" who felt they were inferior players, hacks, etc. Then you have dudes like Satch and Malmsteen talking about ten hours a day of practice. Sure, there's some talent there, but ten hours a day...how can you NOT improve? Then there are all those legendary singer/guitarists (Dylan, Springsteen...) who seem to do alright.
  7. Man, you guys are too critical. You wanna talk players with bad ears, check out this Paul Gilbert clip: [YOUTUBE]rMQX0iqC_5E&feature=related[/YOUTUBE] Or Satriani? Who told this guy he could play? [YOUTUBE]8Vml7SwxXTI[/YOUTUBE] Vai? Don't know what people see in him. [YOUTUBE]aiXR9ggRdFI&feature=related[/YOUTUBE]
  8. There was a thread here awhile back about it, a few folks were pretty happy with it. I hope to try it out myself at some point.
  9. Magazines like Guitar World are full of songs each month, usually ones with famous players and lots of cool guitar in them. Usually.
  10. Sure you can progress and improve, but as you say yourself you still pretty much suck at singing compared to a natural singer? I'm all for making the most of what you've got and practicing, but singing is more than just technique and ear... it is about having the right vocal apparatus. If you have a crappy guitar made of plywood with cheap pickups, heavy strings, a high action and fret buzz you can just buy a new one or upgrade it. Imagine you were stuck with it though, if that was the only guitar you'd ever have - sure you could practice your ass off and learn to overcome some of the issues, even make it sound OK, or find a niche that the crap sound suits ( some singers manage this with their not so good voices)... but you'll always be at a massive disadvantage and you'll always be limited in what you can do. I see that imaginary guitar in the same light as my very real vocal chords Didn't say I suck...just said I'm not American Idol. Not really interested in that anyway. And what about Hendrix? Cobain? Tom Waits? Good thing they didn't listen to folks who told them they weren't really "singers". Not to mention Hendrix didn't have any of the tuning stabilizers on his Strat that we have today. If you want to sing you sing. If you suck and want to improve then you take the steps to improve. That's it. This notion of not being as good as a "normal" singer is lame...it's letting some other asshole's opinion keeping you down. Do a Youtube search for guitarists with no arms or fingers. Oh, no--they can't play Yngwie! Then you watch them play and realize it doesn't matter.
  11. That's odd because from time I've recorded myself I always sound better singing quieter or medium volume... the one thing I have no problem with singing wise is loudness!! Holding pitch, generating a nice timbre and generally not sounding like ass is my problem. I'd love to be able to sing, but I don't think in my case it is worth the bother of practicing. I don't have the raw materials from which to form a good singing voice, I can do backing vocals at a push (if nobody else is available!) but will never be a solo singer. Which is a shame because i'd love to be able to just grab my acoustic and do a gig. On the other hand I sometimes hear people that can't sing for toffee, but you can tell the raw materials are in place, the voice despite control and pitching issues has a good sound/timbre to it, these people could get really good with practice... but people like me, who even if they manage to sing something well technically, will still never sound better than average. Sorry, mon...but I don't agree with this! I agree some folks naturally pick it up quick than others, but if you want to do it why can't you just....gulp....do it? I'm regularly frustrated with my voice, always having pitch problems despite practicing what I preach. But I listen to my early vocal demo and the ones I've done in recent years after lots of practice and IMO some of them are pretty cool, showing lots of progress.
  12. I wrote a blog on your exact issue, check it out: http://keithmoore1.wordpress.com/2008/06/28/for-the-guitarist-who-wantsneeds-to-sing/ Your lack of confidence in your voice shows in the tune, the way they're buried in the mix. Nice guitar playing though. At one point you probably weren't happy with your guitar playing either, right? So what did you do? Practice! This issue isn't that you can't sing, it's just never been your thing. Now you want it to be. Do it! Start singing scales, your favorite songs, etc. Get some vocal lessons for some extra guidance. You'll just have to work harder than some singers to get the same result. I've been singing for about fifteen years and I still cringe at my voice. But then I buckle down with a demo and make it work...and sometimes it's still crap! But other times I've nailed it. And stop listening to assholes who tell you you're not a singer. Always amazes me that people do that. They never do it to the endless wave of crappy guitarists who come & go. That big Jonas Brothers hit was pretty damn mediocre: Lame octave riff, stale vocals--though they were in pitch, at least. But, uh, the tune seemed to work out pretty well for them. (Getting the Disney push might have helped too.) As far as actual tips, I think you need to sing more so you can get a feel for what your voice is capable of.
  13. This is an artistic question, not a technical one...ya? Gotta go where your heart and fingers take you. That said, I recently learned this great piece from Jon Finn's book. It asks what would happen if Stevie Ray went to Berklee and studied jazz. It starts off all Stevie blues and goes into this cool jazz thing at the end. Posing a sort of "what if" question might be the ticket.
  14. I like "gimp stick" because it makes me laugh. And laughter is a quality medicine. As long as you practice something SOMETHING gets better. Assuming you're not just practicing "Back in Black" all the time.
  15. I half ass learned "Manhattan" and it has influenced me so much. EJ is the most bestest guitarist that ever lived. Not just the bestest guitarist...I saw him a few years back in SF and he announced he was going to bust out, "Wind Cries Mary". Then he sat down at a piano and made that thing SMOKE. Then he whipped through a classical guitar piece. :eek: Dammit, I can't take that much awesome!
  16. I teach just about everything on guitar (well...) except classical. Got some kids who could use some VERY simple etudes with basic melodies, a few arpeggios that don't go too crazy. Any recommended books I could draw sheet music from. I know Carcassi is a good name, but there are so many different books I can't figure out which one would be good for the kids. Then there's the tab issue. Some of my students are reading notes, but others aren't ready for that and I still want them to have access to the music.
  17. One of my students came in with the Spiderjam a few months back. Gotta admit it was pretty cool, all the patches modeled after famous song tones ("La Grange", etc.), drum loops, etc. But if you want more flexibility in programming your loops you're better off getting a drum machine. Alesis just came out with a new one, which I haven't tried, but I used their SR-16 for years, a Hall of Famer as far as gear goes.
  18. I actually wrote a blog on this subject last week, essential things all guitarists should know before tackling advanced stuff. Ripping myself off... 1. Major/Minor open chords: Probably goes in the DUH file, as these are often the first chords you learn. But I
  19. I wrote a blog on this subject here I list some great workbooks and reasons all players should pick up at least a little reading.
  20. Practical Theory For Guitar by Don Latarski has some good theory as it relates to guitar. But like the other dude said, there's no one book that's going to do it all for you, so get reading.
  21. Another idea is to practice all the possibilities in ONE shape: Hammer ons, pull offs, bends, sequences, etc. Then play along with a quality backing track and focus on the music end of things. And so on. But do whatever inspires you...though you mention burning in memorizing scales.
  22. An Amazon search will turn up lots of book suggestions, this book in particular has always been my favorite. It has theory and picking exercises, but it's also loaded with beautiful etudes so you can build a quality list of tunes to show off.
  23. I downloaded the naked version of this tune (backing track) off iTunes yesterday and I'm trying to get a handle (Ha! ) on all the different modes Vai uses to solo over it. Anyone know or have a link to what he does over what section? I know it's a lot of E Lydian-type stuff and with E being the main bass note it's all E-something. But just when my ears lock into the mode for a section he goes off in another direction. AAAAAHHH! But these backing tracks are so cool...been jamming over "For the Love of God" and "The Reaper" for a few days. Can't stop...
  24. Exactly...gotta study the theory and make the connections yourself--and hopefully the teacher will explain it. I have hardcore metal students come in and I make them learn the major scale, as one example. They kick & scream, it's too happy, etc. Then we get into the modes, phrygian, all that metal stuff and they get it faster and understand how to use it because they took time to learn the basics.
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