Some Improv over a backing track...

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by brutalslam, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. brutalslam

    brutalslam SLAMZ

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    I did some improvisation over a backing track, and would like to get some general constructive criticism on it.


    http://soundcloud.com/mcgoreslam/shred-improv-jaws



    Thanks! :metal:


    PS. I thought this was the most appropriate section for this, since this is not a mix or tone test..
     
  2. BluesPlayer76

    BluesPlayer76 SS.org Regular

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    Hey man, thanks for posting that.

    You have a pretty clean technique and a nice vibrato. What's your axe/rig?

    Ok, some of this is personal preference but I would suggest:

    1) You play long sustained notes, punctuated with very fast picked triplets. I'd like to see you mix it up more - maybe some pivot points ala Vinnie Moore or Yngwie. Maybe an arpeggio. Harmonics.

    2) One of the things I really like about Steve Vie is how many ways he attacks the note. It really spices things up. I believe I heard you picking everything. Legato, sweeping, pull offs, slide up, slide down.

    3) Make sure your bends are in tune if you're going to do long sustains. Most of yours were, a few weren't.

    4) Are you paying attention to the chordal structure of your background track or just playing in your favorite mode? I usually approach my solos from a chordal point of view. I structure 4 bar phrases around that - usually ending on a chordal note.

    All in all though good job. I'm just being picky :)

    BluesPlayer76
    http://fastfingersguitarlessons.com
     
  3. ibanezlover

    ibanezlover SS.org Regular

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    Great playing dude! The only thing I'd say would be to break up your improv some. Seems like a very long solo. Think of it like a singer. The singer needs to breathe every now and then. :)
     
  4. brutalslam

    brutalslam SLAMZ

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  5. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    Tighten up your timing. There's a lot of iffy timing in the 2nd one especially. It feels like you're following the beat, waiting for it before you play your note a little behind it, rather than playing with it. Try automating a 4 bar mute of the backing track so you continue to play and when it comes back in, you'll see how on you were. Make sure to turn off the click or else muting the backing track is useless.

    Also, work at linking your ideas together by using some theme and variation/call and response then using part of that as the seed of something else. A bit of octave displacement of certain notes can serve as a way to move the solos register up bit by bit and increase tension in what you're playing. Musical tension is good, if you resolve it at certain points.

    Question: how much are you listening when improvising? It sounds a bit like you're thinking with your fingers, rather that your ears as things seem to progress based on paths which work for your fingers rather than building on ideas or moving ideas which the ear easily recognises.

    It still feels a bit full on, as well. A long note does not equal a rest. A long note remains an active participant in the harmony, if not the rhythm. The ear needs a wee break to familiarise itself again with the context over which you're improvising so a complete rest fromyou is important to help them to then appreciate you when you start playing again.

    Also, some of your licks sound quite Petrucci, which I'm sure you'll appreciate!
     
  6. brutalslam

    brutalslam SLAMZ

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    ^ Thanks man for the critique and advice :yesway: I will keep all of that in mind, and I agree I need to listen more to the backing track to follow the beat.

    Also, I am primarily a death metal player and i often go for really chaotic style leads, which I guess works well with my death metal project. But, I think that chaotic feel comes across in all the leads I play including the ones above, and to some isn't necessarily a good thing haha. I'm always striving to improve and broaden my playing though, so I will continue that.
     
  7. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    On the contrary: don't "follow" the beat as what you're doing just now is waiting for the beat and then playing after it. Develop your internal timing so that you trust it enough to play and know that the beat will come in at the same time as you.
     
  8. brutalslam

    brutalslam SLAMZ

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    Alright, I'll work on that :yesway:

    Thanks.
     
  9. JazzandMetal

    JazzandMetal SS.org Regular

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    From my layman's ears, on both improvs you did way too many long notes. Like Solodini said, listen a bit more. Play slower overall andreally try to get some vocal like phrases in there. Listen to some Ansy Timmons and Marco Sfogli, or any number of the guitarists out thereknown to be very "musical," the ones who have melodies and call and response playing.

    Just my opinion. Thanks for sharing.
     
  10. brutalslam

    brutalslam SLAMZ

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  11. JazzandMetal

    JazzandMetal SS.org Regular

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    Much better, Man! You mixed it up more! I loved how the note faded out at around 0:24. Very enjoyable.

    I would say to improve even more, go listen to Aja by Steely Dan. That is one of my all time favorite albums. Absolutely amazing songs, melodies, solos, everything. Try to apply what you hear.

    Thanks for putting up your performance for criticism. That is a gutsy move.

    Finally, where did you get the jam tracks? I would like to have a go at them.
     
  12. brutalslam

    brutalslam SLAMZ

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    Thanks man :yesway: and yeah haha, I'm pretty thick skinned and want to know what areas to work on the most, so I figured why not.

    And here is a pretty good site for the jam tracks
    Free Guitar Backing Tracks @ GuitarBackingTrack.com

    and I think the fusion one I got from
    Guitar Playback - Guitar Backing Tracks, Video Lessons, Guitar Jam Tracks
     
  13. JazzandMetal

    JazzandMetal SS.org Regular

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  14. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    Much better for the most part. In the good sections, you sound like a completely different player, in a good way! I enjoyed listening to that. The first few notes of the improv are way off, to my ears but that happens. :)

    The first long fast run feels out of place. Long fast runs generally need some work to build momentum up to and to do so that early in the solo would be a bit hasty as you'd then have nowhere more exciting to go and everything after would be a bit of an anticlimax. Short fast runs leading up to things work but that long one just felt out of place.

    Great progress, though, man! Good work!
     
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  15. brutalslam

    brutalslam SLAMZ

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    Thanks man! :yesway:

    And that makes sense what you are saying about building up to the fast runs, I will definitely keep that in mind.
     
  16. Garlic Owl

    Garlic Owl SS.org Regular

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    you have a good sense of melody for the most part, some notes didn't fit but your picking technique is pretty good. i liked your fusion improv better because you utilized space in between notes more. you should work on bends though, some sounded out by just a bit. good job though man!
     
  17. brutalslam

    brutalslam SLAMZ

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