Note for note or not?

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by neoclassical, Oct 7, 2020.

  1. neoclassical

    neoclassical FENRISMAW

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    Petty obsessions. If this is heaven, how bad is he
    You'd think after almost 30 years of playing I'd have the answer. Should I play other artists' solos note for note, or just get it my usual 80-90% with some in key ad libs?

    Ex. Iommi doesn't play any of his own solos 100% off the album, should I keep struggling to? -There were a few shows in 1970 right before and right after the recording and release of Paranoid where they are about 98-100% n4n.

    I've yet to be able to play anyone's solo note for note, with or without tabs, but I can stay in key or work the mode.
     
  2. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Do as you feel better, playing guitar is having fun. You won't be judged by it.

    Define your purpose, you'll then know what to do...
     
  3. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    If it’s iconic, definitely note for note. As a listener, if a cover band is doing a tune and the guitar player doesn’t play what I expect to hear, I get irritated. But that’s a small percentage of solos in general.
     
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  4. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    ...and also, you're an experienced guitar player, and that's also a small percentage of an audience.
     
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  5. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    I usually skip learning solos entirely.

    If you're learning even half of a solo then you're doing pretty well!
     
  6. BenjaminW

    BenjaminW SS.org Regular

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    I kinda teeter between playing stuff note for note and ad-libbing or just completely faking it over the real solo if the solo gets busy note wise. A solo like Eruption for example, I will ad-lib a little bit to compensate for the last legato run before the first dive-bomb, or the last lick before the trem-picking section since those aren't the easiest licks for me to play in that song.
     
  7. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    True. But it still pisses me off. :lol:
     
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  8. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Note for note covers are boring as fuck. :2c:
     
  9. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    It depends what you’re doing. Studying a player? I recommended note for note but that doesn’t mean just learning the notes. It’s important to slow a song down and listen to all the nuances like how a player slides in and out of notes, their vibrato, how much they pick vs legato, do they palm mute during leads, rakes, Re-bending, re-picking a bend, slight pinch harmonics etc

    Then are you playing the notes on the right strings and positions. There is a big difference between Yngwie bar sweeps and Gilbert string skipping. Same notes but different sound depending how it’s played. This can get tricky but you’ll get an idea of what positions players generally stick to and you can always dig for live videos to get a better idea. The more you transcribe and study a player the more you will know where on the fretboard they are playing and how they played something. You eventually get to the point where you can tab a solo by ear without a guitar or audio tools and sometimes you will know what’s coming next without hearing it. Most players have a style and breaking out of guitar boxes and patterns is a very difficult thing to do.
     
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  10. High Plains Drifter

    High Plains Drifter ... drifting...

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    I feel like if deviating from playing note-for-note is done to intentionally create a different take on the original, then that has the potential to be very cool. But if deviating in order to skimp on the original content... assuming that it's done because the original content is simply too hard to do correctly ( and if it happens often with lackluster results) then that's a completely different thing and from the standpoint of a listener, can be a real disappointment and obvious cop-out.
     
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  11. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    Only listeners who know a bit about music and hear a bad solo will see it as a cop-out though. And that's a small number in most general groups.

    If you cant play a complex solo by say queen, but your blues leads get booties shaking, giv'r imo.

    If you're just playing at home, it wont even matter.
     
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  12. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    That’s a good point. If you aren’t learning the last 10% correctly because it’s pushing you out of your comfort zone then it’s time to buckle down and woodshed. A rhythm example would be playing master of puppets with alternative picking. The notes are right but not the execution.

    Mustaine improving a thrash solo over cemetery gates is a good example of a cop-out. I see a lot of comments about people being disappointed Amon Amarth don’t replicate Roope’s solo in twilight of the thunder god. I’d draw the line at Lee trying to play the follow the signs solo live, that is a monstrous solo and one any guitarist would need to simplify when trying to play live. Like how Gilbert simplified some Racer X songs as he got older because of how technically demanding they are.
     
  13. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    In modern music, tons of covers are very highly regarded.
    None of them are note for note.
     
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  14. bartxtrs

    bartxtrs SS.org Regular

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    Note for note, for sure: Most solos are underrated: you learn the most about other players technique by learning note for note: only then you respect the effort of how difficult a solo actually is. With an official tab next to it is even better: even a trained ear can miss out on some details of an iconic solo: so with tab you even learn more.
     

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