Re-invention/Staleness Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by ghostred7, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. ghostred7

    ghostred7 Banned

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    OK folks....I've posted similar (my 1st thread in 2011 lol), but not exact (and didn't wanna necro).

    Here's the deal:

    40 y/o, playing since 12
    Can't read music
    Pretty damn decent ear-learning (sometimes only need to listen once)
    yadda, yadda....

    Now in a Doom band that has me from E-standard to D-standard tuning.

    I'm finding myself regurgitating the same phrasings/fingerings/transitions/etc on almost every lead I do and it's pissing me off LOL. My biggest concern is that I don't really know how to approach changing that and making me more dynamic. My brain and fingers have the skill.....just something needs to be kickstarted IMO

    Per the other guitarist in the band, I'm being way too hard on myself....but I know what I hear and observe. Part of this is stress coming out b/c we're back in the studio this weekend and I don't want my lead to:

    1 - be a carbon copy
    2 - sound like ass

    I guess my days of being a lead player are numbered :(

    Here's my lead from our existing track.
    [SC]https://soundcloud.com/ghostred7/kept-ghostred7-lead[/SC]

    I'm open to advice or hell, even bands to listen to in genre (Doom) that have a more melodic lead style (Solitude Aeturnus comes to mind). If your "advice" is nothing more than "you suck, just quit, no, etc" don't bother b/c I'll simply ignore the trolling
     
  2. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    Use your brain to choose what you play. It sounds like your hands and ears play what they're used to hearing which has gone from pleasant to overly familiar. Learn some melodies from others that you like, but learn what notes, intervals and rhythms are being used. Use some of those 2/3/4 note motifs to build into your vocabulary. Play with rhythm more.

    Will your lead be over a section with a chord sequence or just a static riff? If it's a chord sequence then create tension with some static notes which pull at the ear and test the harmony. If it's a static riff then superimpose a chord sequence over it and use notes of those chords to build the framework of your lead.

    Hope that helps. Feel free to ask me to elaborate, if you need.

    Adam. :)
     
  3. ghostred7

    ghostred7 Banned

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    ^ Horrendously so lol

    Thx Adam!
    I think I'm going to grind some mode/scale options today (yay work from home) to do as suggested to make my brain actually help. Other than theory blockage...I think there's a speed blockage. I'm not used to doing anything at these speeds (~58bpm in some cases), nor do I listen to stuff like that normally. It's not an excuse as I should be able to adapt to anything, but I do think it's playing into my mentality a little bit.

    I know my goal is for it to be something in between Iommi and Gilmour.

    EDIT: 1st Candlemass song on Pandora today already gave me ideas re: the 2/3/4 motif thing you mentioned lol

    It's a simple chord sequence living in Dm

    Will also be listening to a LOT of Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus today
     
  4. metaldoggie

    metaldoggie Pro smeghead

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    I feel the same way about my playing totally.....similar situation (not in a band but been playing for almost as long and noticed the same stuff).

    I second Solodini's comment - take some time to listen to the part you want to write a solo for, relax and listen to it, then start singing the melody you want to use over it.
    Learn to sing it from your head, record yourself singing it and then figure out how to play it.
     
  5. ghostred7

    ghostred7 Banned

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    I laid down the rhythm section so I can do just that. Hopefully something will spark in the noggin. It's such a slow & simplistic chord sequence I'm getting mega-frustrated at the "writer's block" it's giving me.
     
  6. metaldoggie

    metaldoggie Pro smeghead

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    Maybe instead of listening to specific bands you're inspired by, listen to something else completely?
     
  7. ghostred7

    ghostred7 Banned

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    Candlemass/Solitude for me is the "something else completely." Doom outside of Sabbath (primarily) is completely foreign territory for me with the exception of recent discoveries of The Sword/Trouble/etc. My inspirations are more of the Queensryche/Malmsteen/DiMeola/Dream Theater/Savatage camps than anything else really.

    A bulk of it is a long time of no structure and basic shred wankery becoming a learned behavior.
     
  8. metaldoggie

    metaldoggie Pro smeghead

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    Ah I see.
    Sounds like you need some Mastodon action, check out Anciients too....their CD has some really cool melodies.
     
  9. ghostred7

    ghostred7 Banned

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    I have The Hunter in my CD player now :D

    Thx for the input all. We just got word of a gig for next thursday, so I'm going to have to step off of grind mode to rehearse set list a bit. I'm just as anal about my live performance than I am recording, if not more so b/c I can always do-over recording lol.
     
  10. 80H

    80H Banned

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    Drags a bit in the beginning man. Truth be told, you would have lost me from the beginning, which is a shame, cuz towards the end it's pretty obvious you have some beastly tendencies over there.


    First of all, break the register a little more if you wanna get a little more spicy. Second of all, brutal is a way of life. You gotta think brutal thoughts, hit your guitar with brutal pick attacks, and general embody what it is that people want when they listen to doom. If you don't want to embody that, you will always just be that fish out of water that either mutates or dies. And that's brutal.


    Learning to read music helps sooooooooooooo much oh god dude you don't even know, it's like the difference between identifying fish from above the water and from inside the water, there's shit you just can't even see at all once it gets too deep if the water is even a little muggy


    Specifically though, I think your tone is verging on generic because too many input factors are the same. Maybe just get a thicker pick from like vpicks or one of EE's thicker winspear picks. I get a lot of my tone because I have a pick nobody uses and I've spent years learning the characteristics of it's attack with different angles and amounts of force. Definitely recommend it
     
  11. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    Don't just let your ear guide it as your first port of call, though. Look at the notes of the chord sequence and write out some possible lines which you determine from reasoning, not just hearing. As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, break register, go outside the octave for a couple of notes for some spicy surprise (not the kind when you go to the bathroom the morning after a bad curry).

    Try some leaps between notes here and there to mix things up. Play with rhythmic pushes to give your melody more urgency.

    Consciously plan your phrases so they don't all start on beat one. Use rests more, syncopate. Write your ideas down so you can manipulate the rhythm consciously and force yourself to play what's written. It's very easy to fall into overly familiar traps of " 1 + 2+ 3 + rest 1 + 2+ 3 + rest 1 + 2+ 3 + rest 1 + 2+ 3 + rest"
     
  12. ghostred7

    ghostred7 Banned

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    I agree re: dragging...seriously going to try to avoid that again...even though the one we're recording this weekend is a Floyd-ish/Gilmour type lead section

    Pardon the ignorance....but break the register?


    I can read music....just not in the ballpark to sight-reading. The actual theory is where I'm lacking, but can play sheet music if you put it in front of me, just won't be in real-time at first.

    Part of the generic you're hearing is signal chain (guitar split to: podpro-->board & to dry fender tonemaster). How I'm recording tomorrow sounds tons better tonally. Pic attack, etc I agree will change that up some as much as I can in the next 12 hours.
    Re: Pics - I used to play w/ Big Stubby 2.0 and have switched to the Dunlop Max Grip .8 or something like that. I'm probably going to go back to the Stubby (or similar) for this weekend. I tried one of those h-brand. pics...way too thick....it was weird. Too weird for me to adapt to day prior to recording (probably couldn't get one that quickly anyway...don't think they sell locally).
     
  13. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    Go outside of the octave and not just steadily moving your octave up or down, but using a range more than just an octave for the odd high or low note to stand out.

    You know what you need to do, then: study some compositional theory, look at the music you like and disect it.
     
  14. ghostred7

    ghostred7 Banned

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    Thx.

    I did what I could. Lead tracks were laid down yesterday. I was definitely way outside of my comfort zone on those passages. When we get it up, i'll post it...not sure when that'll be though. It's gotta go through mixing & mastering 1st naturally.
     
  15. Semi-pro

    Semi-pro SS.org Regular

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    Dude, your days of being a lead player are far from over! I can hear you've got chops. You just need to spend a while to

    1) spot the "off" sounding parts from your playing and find alternatives for them. This requires a bit of sitting down and thinking but is totally worth it.

    2) figure out which choice of note gives which feeling/impression*. A lot of times even one song, thoroughly analyzed (what's being played and on which chord), will take you a giant leap forward.

    * here's something to get you started:
    - A lot of times when playing in a bluesy/rock context (not talking about glam/shred/neoclassical stuff), which I think doom heavily derives from (literally, lol!) you can get far by sticking to the minor pentatonic notes. Also figure out which notes sound good when you do bends and which don't.
    - Memorize the location of these notes from each pentatonic box, so you'll be more confident around the fretboard.
    - Also memorize the habits you have that don't sound good (the "driving out of the road while on cruise control" :lol:) and KILL THOSE HABITS! Forget them, learn 2 (or a dozen) useful things to replace a useless one. Make it a habit to replace the bad notes with the good ones.

    If you wan't more "color", start from the simplest things: what's a very typical additional tone, that isn't included in the pentatonic minor (the blue note doesn't obviously count :) )? Well, 9 for exampe. Some smoothness and sadness in that note, i hear. Ballad stuff! Ok what else? Dorian stuff (add a natural 6) can work at times, but may be too exotic for doom. Holiday in Malibu! Dunno, give it a try at least. Some cheesiness is hidden by sliding a half step below to the 9th note, though again maybe a bit too exotic for doom. Cheese! Anyways, my point is this: check out all the possible extra tones and give them names (hence the italic above ;)). That way you'll always know more or less what to expect and it also helps you "hear" stuff in advance.

    Jam at slow tempos and play a game of "i wonder what that note will sound like" and really try to guess before you play it. Then your reaction will either "yes, got it" or "nope, but this sounds cool/shit". Every time you guess wrong then figure out the location of the note you thought it would be and most likely your reaction will be "oh yeah of course!"

    Hope this helps, tried to keep it simple :wavey:
     
  16. ghostred7

    ghostred7 Banned

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    Thx dude! All input helps \m/
     
  17. ghostred7

    ghostred7 Banned

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    Hate to necro, but as it's a follow-up to this thread, didn't think it'd be beneficial to start a new one and lose the conversation history....that being said...

    Don't flame me too hard, but this is the lead I ended up laying down (with producer-lead influence).

    [SC]https://soundcloud.com/ghostred7/bywnb-lead2[/SC]

    Part of my "New Year's Resolutions" is to either pay & attend lessons or self-learn (like always)...but in either case....2015 will be GR7's nose to the grindwheel. I've already purchased and started becoming acquainted with my imported thick plectrum (choco drop). I *LOVE* the attack on that thing.

    Thanks for reviewing....putting on kevlar drawz now.
     
  18. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

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    Here's a thought: Create goals in your melodies. Harmonic goals, register goals, motivic goals, rhythmic goals, look for a place to go and then find a way to go there. In the lead you posted in the OP, you play this at 0:51.

    Code:
    X:1
    M:7/4
    L:1/8
    K:C
    A4c2 G6cA|GcAG cAGA- A|]
    (This is ABC Notation. Copy-paste that here to render it into standard notation.)

    I'm calling this bit out because the phrase is good with the exception of one note: the last one. You've played A four times, do you really need that note a fifth time? The constant reference to A makes it static and closes off a lot of options. My ear tells me to go for F# or G# for the last note in the phrase. Check it out:

    Code:
    X:1
    M:7/4
    L:1/8
    K:C
    A4c2 G6cA|GcAG cAG^F- F6|]
    This way, the repetition is actually building tension. (I'll also point out that the G-F# is a better resolution than G-A. That's a voice leading thing.) F# is a fairly exotic note here, and cadencing onto that note makes it tasty. Cadence onto exotic tones for optimal tastiness. Once you have that F#, it opens an avenue to other harmonic territories, specifically D phrygian dominant or D double harmonic major.

    D phrygian dominant - D E♭ F# G A B♭ C
    D double harmonic major - D E♭ F# G A B♭ C#

    Double harmonic major would be nice, because you use harmonic minor from 1:17-1:28. The two scales have some notes in common:

    D double harmonic major - D E♭ F# G A B♭ C#
    D harmonic minor - D E F G A B♭ C#

    Let's examine using G# as the last note in your phrase.

    Code:
    X:1
    M:7/4
    L:1/8
    K:C
    A4c2 G6cA|GcAG cAG^G- G6|]
    Oh yeah, mama. Once again, G# is an exotic tone in this context. That one note can take you places. I like this one:

    D dorian #4 - D E F G# A B C

    That's the scale employed throughout most of this tune:

    Acordéaki - Gankino Horo


    The melody, if you wish to steal some licks:

    Code:
    X:1
    T:Gankino Horo
    O:Bulgaria
    M:11/16
    L:1/16
    %%MIDI program 71
    K:Ddor
    "Dm"D2{/^c}d2 d2d (d=c)BA|(cB)A^G (GF)A ~G2(FE)|
    D2(EF) (FD)A ^G2FA|[1"Dm"~^G2(FE) (ED)F "E"~E2(ED):|[2"Dm"~^G2(FE) (ED)F "E"~E2E2|
    |:"Dm"D2EF FEA ~^G2FE|D2dd dcB A^GFE|
    D2(EF) (FD)A ~^G2FA|[1"Dm"~^G2(FE) (ED)F "E"~E2(ED):|[2"Dm"~^G2(FE) (ED)F "E"E2E2||
    |:"E7"(B^c)~d2 (dB)d "A"~c2(cA)|"E7"(e^f)d2 (dB)d "A"~^c2(cA)|
    "E7"(B^c)~d2 (dB)d "A"~c2(cA)|"E"BA^GA ~B2e B2b2:|
    |:"E"(AB)~^G2 "Dm"FED "E"~E2EB,|"E"(AB)~^G2 "Dm"FED "E"~E2DB,|
    "E"(AB)~^G2 (AB)G (AB)~G2|"E"(AB)~^G2 "Dm"FED "E"~E2EB,:|
    K:D
    |:"A7"(ef)~g2 (ge)g "D"~f2(fd)|"A7"(ab)g2 (ge)g "D"~f2(fd)|
    "A7"(ef)~g2 (ge)g "D"~f2(fd)|"A"edcd ~e2a e2e'2:|]
    I could go on listing scales forever, but I think it is more important to get the concept down. I would suggest experimenting with this idea: start with D and A, then add in other tones as per your taste. Get a feel for what a ♭2 sounds like: play around with just D E♭ A. Get a feel for what a ♭6 sounds like: play around with just D A B♭. Get a feeling for what each note sounds like in the octave, and experiment with their flavors.

    D E♭ E F F# G G# A B♭ B C C# D

    Both of these solutions have a half-step relationship to the G you're using to cadence. They're very close, yet they have the power to pull the ear and give the music direction. It will take a while to hone your ear and make your hands do what your brain wants them to do, but keep trying and make it a point to shoot for a target in your music.

    In the lead you just posted, you do a good job of hitting one of those targets at 0:31. (The line starts at 0:30 and goes D G F.) There's a part where the band cuts out at around 0:44 and you hit a big fat D right on the downbeat. To me, it feels like a wasted opportunity. Not the worst thing in the world, but I think it would be awesome to have something really notey starting there. Not random wankery, but maybe hit a tastier note (tonic is a little bland) and start working your way up into the next octave. You actually do this right before 2:00, but by 1:30, I'm really wanting that next octave. That said, take 2 is pretty sick and an overall improvement from the first.
     
    Solodini and ghostred7 like this.
  19. ghostred7

    ghostred7 Banned

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    Thanks for taking the time for this feedback. Excellent stuff!
     

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