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Author Topic: When you make one of those big leaps in your playing ...  (Read 14452 times)

VikingBlues

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When you make one of those big leaps in your playing ...
« on: October 31, 2011, 03:59:01 PM »
... and you wonder listening back to the recording (or you wonder remembering what you played) 'how the hell did I do that and how do I hit that peak again'.

Do you try and get back on that same horse immediately and try for something in a similar style with those same types of qualities / techniques?

Or do you go and play / try something totally different and go back to that other style a bit later when you can be more detached about it?

Or like me at the moment, do you sit around browsing and posting on forums and avoid playing the guitar completely?

I guess that last option is probably the worst of the three!  :-\

zagatron1

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Re: When you make one of those big leaps in your playing ...
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2011, 05:26:38 PM »
HeHe! Back in my early days of playing, I believe the "same horse" theory applied to me. Now I just keep on going. If what I played sounded good to me (like a riff or passage), the only thing I would have to reference it (short of recording it of course) is memory. But it IS cool to listen to ones' self sometimes. I just like checkin' out my fellow musicians though.

reb

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Re: When you make one of those big leaps in your playing ...
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2011, 09:38:59 PM »
i agree with zag largely (i can't do it smallely, as i can't get that tiny).

if someone i hear does something that impresses me, i may try to remember their phrasing or something. if i do something that impresses myself, i would bet you a dollar to a donut, i'm not going to remember it. sometimes, i can't stand to listen to my own recordings.  i loves stories...about old cowboys, zen monks, ladies of the evening, animals, soldiers, w.c. fields, just about anything if it's interesting or funny or rich...i just love stories. here is one i recall....

there were two zen monks who came to a river. they began to roll up their robes to keep from getting them wet while crossing.  along came a lady before they waded in.

'would one of you kind monks please carry me across this river so that i may keep my fine clothing dry?'

the older monk agreed that he would, and so he did.

when they came to the other side, and the lady and her retinue had passed down the road, the younger monk began to berate the older monk.

'how could you carry that lady in your arms?!!! it is an affront to our vows! we are not to touch women! you have violated every precept of our leader and vows!'

the older monk was quiet a moment, then he said, 'when i came to this side of the river, i put the lady down and let go of her. evidently, you have not.'.

and that lady is very much akin to each note i play...i play it, and put it down.

zagatron1

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Re: When you make one of those big leaps in your playing ...
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2011, 11:45:16 PM »
Very profound Reb.

VikingBlues

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Re: When you make one of those big leaps in your playing ...
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2011, 03:14:26 AM »
Thanks guys!

I liked the zen monk analogy Reb. I think I'll try and follow that idea.  8)

It really is damn odd though to not recognise your own playing - I'll just try and let go of that feeling too.


robert

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Re: When you make one of those big leaps in your playing ...
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2011, 09:30:31 AM »
If I notice I played something really cool, I go back and try to learn it.

I know some pros do this - they improvise in the studio, then listen back and learn the ideas from their own playing which they thought were cool, and use it for composing. Neat idea. Like having your own private teacher, hehe!

VikingBlues

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Re: When you make one of those big leaps in your playing ...
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2011, 04:17:56 PM »
If I notice I played something really cool, I go back and try to learn it.

I know some pros do this - they improvise in the studio, then listen back and learn the ideas from their own playing which they thought were cool, and use it for composing. Neat idea. Like having your own private teacher, hehe!
Thanks Robert - it's not a bad idea at all.

Something I've been trying to do more recently is to record an improv, keep it if it's any good, and then listen to it quite a lot over a few weeks. Then when the lead lines are in my memory I'll try to improv on the same backing track and try to recreate a close approximation to the original. Never used to be any good at doing that but it's getting better - think my listening / note and interval recognition is improving.

This latest leap I've had I think is also to do with attitude and lack of caution in the playing style. Another blues guitarist I know has suggested for a lot of blues playing you need to be like a method actor and summon up those feelings and thoughts and channel them into expression in your playing. Hmmmm ... or something like that!  ;D

robert

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Re: When you make one of those big leaps in your playing ...
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2011, 04:48:43 PM »
I recommend you try to sing your lead ideas. It can really help. After all, we are in many ways imitating what good blues vocalists have been doing for centuries.

As for big leaps - they don't happen suddenly. Any "leap" for me is the result of a lot of practice and focus. It's a gradual improvement, and hopefully it continues for the rest of our lives, as long as we keep practicing.

diaper head

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Re: When you make one of those big leaps in your playing ...
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2011, 12:32:41 PM »
those are important to note, i think also.  especially the last part.
i, (like many other people) used to think that one day all these little pieces of knowledge i pick up would suddenly align itself in my head.  then i would have this big epiphany kind of moment, and then after the angels choir faded away and the shining golden light faded away, i would be standing there in cool clothes, and slim and 25 with brown hair and all my teeth, only this time they would be straight, and white, and all the same size.  at that time i would demonstrate that i suddenly had the same skills as all the other guitar gods.  i would forever after live among them.
then i realized it wasn't going to happen that way.  it's a long arduous climb up the side of a cliff with just your hands.

VikingBlues

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Re: When you make one of those big leaps in your playing ...
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2011, 04:59:18 PM »
it's a long arduous climb up the side of a cliff with just your hands.
And the cliff is infinitely high!!!  ;D

That's good though - I want a hobby that will keep me trying to improve myself for as long as I can keep playing.

I recommend you try to sing your lead ideas. It can really help. After all, we are in many ways imitating what good blues vocalists have been doing for centuries.

As for big leaps - they don't happen suddenly. Any "leap" for me is the result of a lot of practice and focus. It's a gradual improvement, and hopefully it continues for the rest of our lives, as long as we keep practicing.
Good advice - I try and sing inside my head certainly - really singing gets the neighbourhood dogs howling. I do sometimes do the real thing though - advice from Michael 'Hawkeye' Herman I picked up on a year or two ago - interested that I've found with yourself another teacher who recomends this. You're right about the practice and focus - I was hoping that all my work on bends and vibrato would eventually pay dividends.

Keeping practicing sounds good to me - and I love what playing does to my mental health too - it's my medication. As Hawkeye has often said there should never be a poimt in time with guitar when you think you now know everything.

Memory Lane Jr

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Re: When you make one of those big leaps in your playing ...
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2011, 01:43:00 AM »
those are important to note, i think also.  especially the last part.
i, (like many other people) used to think that one day all these little pieces of knowledge i pick up would suddenly align itself in my head.  then i would have this big epiphany kind of moment, and then after the angels choir faded away and the shining golden light faded away, i would be standing there in cool clothes, and slim and 25 with brown hair and all my teeth, only this time they would be straight, and white, and all the same size.  at that time i would demonstrate that i suddenly had the same skills as all the other guitar gods.  i would forever after live among them.
then i realized it wasn't going to happen that way.  it's a long arduous climb up the side of a cliff with just your hands.
This gave me a good belly laugh diaper head, would be nice though!!!!!!!!!!

pictoratus

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Re: When you make one of those big leaps in your playing ...
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2011, 06:46:06 PM »
... and you wonder listening back to the recording (or you wonder remembering what you played) 'how the hell did I do that and how do I hit that peak again'.

Do you try and get back on that same horse immediately and try for something in a similar style with those same types of qualities / techniques?

Or do you go and play / try something totally different and go back to that other style a bit later when you can be more detached about it?

Or like me at the moment, do you sit around browsing and posting on forums and avoid playing the guitar completely?

I guess that last option is probably the worst of the three!  :-\

I usually try to reproduce what I did right away and play it several times so I can remember it later, or at least a close approximation. If I can do that successfully, I can usually recall it at a later date.

It helps enormously if I can record what I did although sometimes stopping to get everything set for recording kinda breaks the mood and it's difficult to get that 'groove' back.

I try to get in the habit of setting up to record and then just play for a while. Then when I come across that magic moment, it's not as much of a disruption to reach over and click record.

VikingBlues

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Re: When you make one of those big leaps in your playing ...
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2011, 07:38:28 AM »
I'll often work at an improv on a particular backing track over a few days and when I feel it's starting to flow I'll se up the recording gear at the beginning of the evening and have a few takes or run throughs, but recording each time. Pretty much all my recordings are a single take though - I don't have the patience (or skill) for all the editing jobs that some guys seem keen on.

although sometimes stopping to get everything set for recording kinda breaks the mood and it's difficult to get that 'groove' back.
Now THAT is very familiar. If I have ANY technical problems with setting up my recording - particularly if the Vista Laptop that I record on plays silly sods - then my creative flow is usually blown totally out of the water and I know I might as well pack it all away for the night.

My Laptop and have a love-hate relationship : it loves to give me aggravation and I hate it for doing that to me.  >:(

Wasn't a great new era for my stress levels when the old XP desktop I used for recordings gave up the ghost and I was suckered into embracing the magical world of Vista. Went overnight from three interfaces that worked to only one - and that was just the start of the "issues".  ::)

diaper head

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Re: When you make one of those big leaps in your playing ...
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2011, 01:16:31 PM »
you're not locked into staying with vista. you can downgrade it to xp.  here is just one way to do it:  http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/6059
google is your friend.  don't let microshaft force you into using inferior products.  if you can't afford to upgrade to windows 7, this is your best and least expensive option.

reb

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Re: When you make one of those big leaps in your playing ...
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2011, 03:44:56 PM »
thanks for that link ,dh! i like to keep that kind of info.

VB, i built this cpu i'm using from 'parts'. i think, by the time i bought the xp boot disc, i had maybe $350 in it. it is not the fastest computer, but it has proven to be extremely reliable. there are places around to buy xp boot discs (mine was $98, i think). the only other thing i have used i think is better is ubuntu linux. it used to come (v.9.10) with audacity in it. the last version i looked at did not have it for some reason. tiger direct, newegg and some others have any part you could think of if you still have your old desktop box.

i don't think it is as difficult to build a cpu box as it is to build a guitar, frankly (and certainly not to build an amp). i have a laptop (old one) that has not seen daylight in several months for the same reasons you have. a friend tells me he can open his and work on it....i think there should be 'no user serviceable parts inside' on the dang things.