My 1st guitar solo contest

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by HungryGuitarStudent, Jul 14, 2018.

  1. HungryGuitarStudent

    HungryGuitarStudent SS.org Regular

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    I decided to try my hand at a solo contest for the 1st time. The backing track was imposed by contest organizers. I have no aspirations of winning, I mostly did it because it was a great 1st experience to compose/record a solo and to get feedback for improvement.

    I decided to post it here to get more feedback. Thanks in advance for the listen :)

     
  2. HungryGuitarStudent

    HungryGuitarStudent SS.org Regular

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    I understand the title of this thread may not be super inviting lol
     
  3. Lukhas

    Lukhas SS.org Regular

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    Can we have the backing track? I like your note choice and phrasing.
     
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  4. HungryGuitarStudent

    HungryGuitarStudent SS.org Regular

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    Thanks man (see PM) ! And thanks guys for the likes.

    If some of you are on Instagram, hit me up at @hungryguitarstudent, or don't, no worries ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  5. HungryGuitarStudent

    HungryGuitarStudent SS.org Regular

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    Update: they just announced I'm in the top 5. Thanks for the support guys ! Winner announced Friday night.
     
  6. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Good luck man. That was killer
     
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  7. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    Good luck man and great solo. Shredy but not over the top, nice phrasing and note selection.
     
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  8. HungryGuitarStudent

    HungryGuitarStudent SS.org Regular

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    Thanks again for the support guys :) I finished second with nice words from the judges.
     

    Attached Files:

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  9. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    I didnt hear the winner but yours was great.

    I especially like the modest, hey guys. This is my first solo and i hope its good approach and then coming out explosive
     
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  10. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    Really nice! Your playing is very clean and I like the phrasing!

    For feedback, I think your intonation on bends and vibrato needs a little work. A lot of the time your bends didn't fully reach the intended note, and it seems your vibrato has a tendency to go a little sharp over time, like you're bending the string while doing your vibrato.

    Hope that helps! Kickass regardless and congrats!
     
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  11. HungryGuitarStudent

    HungryGuitarStudent SS.org Regular

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    Thanks @Jacksonluvr636 ! To be honest, I got caught into the whole competitive vibe when they announced the top5. Then I just reminded myself that I got into the contest to have fun on a backing track and get feedback. I'm happy to see that I'm getting closer to my goal of doing guest solo tracks on albums (long road to get there nonetheless).

    @JohnIce: thanks for the constructive criticism. My vibrato and bends are definitely two (of the many) areas I'm working on improving. Progress is slow since I don't really know how to practice these two aspects of my playing - besides spamming bends and vibratos.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  12. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    The boring, but obvious, answer is to do it slowly. I definitely wouldn't practice it at the speeds you played in the video :) Put on a slow jam backingtrack, and practice bending so slowly that you can really take the time to intonate. Vibratos are just bends on repeat, so same there. Practice bending up and down in quarter notes, then 8th notes, 16th notes, 32nd notes etc.

    I think it's no coincidence that the people who get praised for great sounding bends and vibrato, are all blues players who play quite slowly. It's just easier to maintain good control when you're not blazing by, but with a little practice you can of course. Guys like Petrucci, Govan, Yngwie etc. always have flawless intonation no matter how fast they go.
     
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  13. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Fwiw, a little friendly competitiveness is a very good thing. Makes you a better player if you have that kind of drive.
     
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  14. HungryGuitarStudent

    HungryGuitarStudent SS.org Regular

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    @JohnIce: I really enjoy a good vibrato and I'm easily annoyed by a bad one (mine included), so I'll definitely give that a try. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  15. HungryGuitarStudent

    HungryGuitarStudent SS.org Regular

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    I just got back from a week vacation. Picking up the guitar and randomly playing while focusing on my vibrato, I think I figured out the main culprit: I don't decrease my "finger (or wrist) tension" enough at the end of my vibrato to let the string fall back into its natural position. As a consequence, my vibrato sometimes ends up flat/sharp. Thanks again @JohnIce for making me realize that. It'll be a challenge to get rid of that bad habit, but hey, what's the fun in easy stuff anyways.
     
  16. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    That was quick, glad you got it sorted out :) To be fair, I've played for 20 years and when I go a few weeks without playing, I sometimes notice I get the exact same problem with my vibrato going sharp. It's definitely a skill that requires maintenance :)

    One thing I've noticed (don't know how this is affected by the endurneck on your Strandberg), is that getting a controlled vibrato requires a lot more hand strength if you fret with the thumb behind the neck as opposed to anchoring the thumb on the bass side of the neck, like most blues/rock players do. I usually go back and forth with my thumb between "classical" and "blues" grip depending on what I'm doing with the note. That way you get the extra pivot for vibratos and bends but you get the dexterity benefits of a classical grip when you need it. But this is a matter of taste, some players like Steve Vai practically never leaves the classical grip (dude has giant hands though) whereas guys like Petrucci and Govan go back and forth. Definitely worth experimenting with :)

    Edit: Here's a good example :) Notice how, for the slower parts he's anchoring his thumb as a default for vibrato and bending control, but when he speeds up he moves his thumb behind the neck, like you do. At 1:55 you can see him using a classical grip for the blazing bits, but then immediately anchors his thumb for the big bend. Very effortless switching back and forth :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
  17. HungryGuitarStudent

    HungryGuitarStudent SS.org Regular

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    I'll definitely watch more than one that Guthrie Govan video, thanks !

    I'm hesitating between going for more of a "wrist rotation vibrato", like Govan, or more of a "finger vibrato", like Per Nilsson (video below). I guess you have the possibility to go wider with your wrist (more strength/leverage), but you sacrifice the classical position to do so (ie moving the thumb).

    There should be a dedicated vibrato megathread.

     
  18. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    Ah Per, so tasty :) Yeah as we say in Sweden: "All ways are good except for the bad ones!" :) Yeah a wider vibrato definitely sounds more "blues-based" to my ears, whereas players like Per and Vai tend to sound a little more fusiony or jazzy. I lean towards a wider vibrato as that's the guitar style I fell in love with, but if I'm going for something more "modern" or atonal that kind of vibrato could sound a little out of place.
     
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