How do you integrate new skills?

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by Matthias Hornstein, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. Matthias Hornstein

    Matthias Hornstein SS.org Regular

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    I am curious about your thoughts about how and when to integrate your new skills into your guitar playing.

    1. How do you intregrate all the new things you are learning?

    2. When do you start to integrate all those new things into your guitar playing? Once you mastered the skills? Right from the start?

    It would be great to collect some ideas here on this VERY important topic!
     
  2. Alternative-Perspective

    Alternative-Perspective SS.org Regular

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    1. When improvising.
    2. As soon as you have a moderate grasp of new concepts.

    I don't believe you can master anything on the guitar. It's a very...capricious instrument.
     
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  3. Matthias Hornstein

    Matthias Hornstein SS.org Regular

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    1. Yes. But how? Are you just playing the new technique?

    Why don't you believe that you can master anything on the guitar?
     
  4. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    What I always do is use a metronome to get whatever it is I'm learning up to speed then just start jamming it over backing tracks from YouTube to make it sound musical. I also like to learn whatever it is in all keys and positions across the neck.
     
  5. Alternative-Perspective

    Alternative-Perspective SS.org Regular

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    Don't tell me that when you improvise you go: "OK, I will just use tapping for the entire jam". Techniques should be something that you just use. Licks that employ a certain technique are a shortcut to make that happen.

    You can't master a technique because there is always a higher level of difficulty. Say someone has mastered 3 string arpeggios played with sweep-picking. There's still 6-string arpeggios with tension notes thrown in and perhaps wide gaps between the notes. Those are considerably more difficult. Same applies to tapping: just because you can tap a triad really well on a single string it doesn't mean you can play polyphonic pieces or sequences on your guitar like it's nothing.

    "Master the guitar/fretboard/modes/scales/x technique" is just a marketing strategy, not a truthful statement.
     
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  6. Element0s

    Element0s Low Fantasy/Black Denim

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    I'll learn/write a lick that uses the technique in question, drill that lick into my head like an idiot for a few days on its own w/metronome, then I'll put it away to cool down while I work on other stuff. Then I'll try to incorporate said lick into some improv jamming and then come up with variations of the lick. At some point when I feel "ready" I'll go to one of my bands songs and re-imagine the guitar solo using the new technique in some way.

    Sometime it'll take me weeks or even months of shedding the lick and putting it away before it really starts to "bake" into my playing vocab properly. But when it does, I always notice a marked uptick in my playing skill and comfort level.

    I actually just did this with some string-skipping-tapping stuff really recently. I think I started working on these at the beginning of the year. This weekend I was finally able to drop a lick into a solo to the level where I'm pretty happy with it. :)

    First video on my Instagram if you're curious:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BYBbavPhf1q/?taken-by=gatekeepervinland
     
  7. Matthias Hornstein

    Matthias Hornstein SS.org Regular

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    I agree that there is always a higher level of difficulty. But that doesn't mean that you can't master a specific technique on an specific topic. You mentioned the 3 string arpeggios played with sweep picking. You can master that and don't be able to play that 6 string arpeggio, but you still mastered the 3 string arpeggio. So you are able to master specific things, not all of them but smaller pieces for sure.
     
  8. Alternative-Perspective

    Alternative-Perspective SS.org Regular

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    That goes right out of the window when you are given new shapes on different places on the fretboard. There is more to sweep-picking than that famous A minor arpeggio, you know.
     
  9. Matthias Hornstein

    Matthias Hornstein SS.org Regular

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    Well in that case you just haven't mastered it yet
     
  10. Alternative-Perspective

    Alternative-Perspective SS.org Regular

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    I am saying that you never master anything, because there is always something new that will challenge you. Whenever you see "master X on the guitar!" you are looking at a marketing strategy, not at a source of knowledge.
     
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  11. billinder33

    billinder33 SS.org Regular

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    My time is extremely limited, and spread between chord study, technique study, writing, and improv. So I try to understand what the target usage/goal/endgame is before I start to learn something. And as soon as reasonably possible I will begin integrating it (either with backing tracks for improv, or in my songwriting) before getting perfect... because the integration is where I either perfect it, or at a minimum, learn my practical limitations.

    For instance, I may want to learn a difficult arpeggio, but sinking 6 hours to get it up to 220BPM may not be worth it, because of my time limitations with the instrument.

    So if I practice it against a backing track and learn that anything beyond 160BPM will require a massive time investment, then I'm usually just working to have the best implementation of this riff at 160BMP possible, so I can move on to other things.
     
  12. Matthias Hornstein

    Matthias Hornstein SS.org Regular

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    Makes absolutely sense! We all have to prioritise in order to get better! Thanks for sharing your thoughts
     
  13. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoils = tr00

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    I typically learn a new technique only when it helps me play a certain riff that I either wrote myself or that I saw on youtube, so then the obvious answer is I'll practice the technique by practicing that riff. I need to have a use for it in order to practice it. If I come across a tutorial on new chord shapes or arpeggios or something, I'll just learn the fingerings and go straight to writing a new song with it.
     
  14. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Blames it on "the rain"

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    I typically employ new technique out of necessity. I typically write a musical passage without an instrument so I can just get the idea out as I think I'm hearing it. This could be an underlying melody or chord progression, simple harmonic interplay between 2 guitars; or more of a mental exercise expressed on paper on how to approach a certain counterpoint concept; or fugue for 3 stringed instruments (bass and 2 guitars). Once I have the notes and values how I want, then I learn it and in many cases it involves figuring out a new technique.
    I'm not one to really watch videos on how others do certain things, because my focus is on my song sounding how I need it to sound. As a result, I never really feel like I'm practicing. I am always just playing my music until I get it right. Keeps it fresh, and once I get one aspect of a certain technique down, I know that I can push that boundary further the next time my left brain wants to get involved with my writing process.
     
  15. Matthias Hornstein

    Matthias Hornstein SS.org Regular

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    Sounds like you really like to figure out stuff by your own! I like that!
     
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  16. Webmaestro

    Webmaestro Ibanez Fanatic Contributor

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    First, I study and practice the technique in a very sterile/clinical/pure way. So, I don't really try to use or incorporate it right away--not in a musical way. In the beginning, I'm simply striving to memorize shapes, scales, licks, whatever. Just like learning Japanese from a tape or video, prior to going out and having conversations with Japanese people in Tokyo.

    Once I feel like I've got the technique relatively down (fluid, memorized, etc) then I start trying to apply it... by improvising with it over backing tracks in various styles & keys. It's usually fairly ugly sounding in the beginning, because I start out just playing the exact licks and scales in a pretty unmusical way. But, over time, and after hours and hours of doing it, it starts to become more fluid. That's the point where I'd say I truly start to unconsciously "incorporate" it into my playing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
  17. Matthias Hornstein

    Matthias Hornstein SS.org Regular

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    That's how i am doing it at the moment, too.
    I always try to apply the new technique as fast as possible. Once i get better with that i try to integrate it with my other skills. First without a backing track and later with a backing track
     

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