First, a little about me for context: I'm a 21 y.o. electric guitarist, been playing for 11 years. I have:
- Written instrumental funk for 4 years (guitar pro warrior)
- Played prog rock/metal (mainly Polyphia) for 3 years
- Played contemporary Christian rock in church for 7 years
- Recently began playing and singing at the same time, and vocal songwriting
- Currently in an emo/ pop-punk band
- Currently in an instrumental funk band
- Currently in my university jazz band (small jazz bar jazz band and traditional big band)
My aims with guitar right now are:
- Become more consistent at improvising (sometimes it feels great, like I'm perfectly in tune with the instrument, other times it feels clunky or as if I'm grasping at ideas I can't play)
- Cement some techniques and stylistic ideas that help me stand out and sound unique as a player
- Create a more organised practice schedule so I can see measurable progress
- Break some speed limits, especially with alternate picking (because why not)
- Make my timing more consistent, especially as I fatigue
- Wake up to some bad habits that I almost certainly have
What I'm working on right now (and for the last 3 weeks) is practicing a solo for my emo band:
I need to work on consistently differentiating the quintuplets from the triplets and 32nd notes in bar 5 as well as cleaning up the final run in bar 7. A problem I've run into is that I get tired very quickly after practicing this solo, so I have to keep taking breaks or my performance drops massively.
I'll try and upload a clip of me improvising so I can get advice on that soon.
A bit of time to kill before my teaching schedule resumes properly after the Christmas period and I've been looking into this a bit. As ever when teaching stuff I don't know I approach it with the view of "How would I learn to play this?". First up of course I translate it into Taplature format. Here's the 2 bar problem section zoomed in on for detailed examination (which hopefully matches up with what you've written above 😉):
I've added a full count underneath and for the 32nd notes used my favourite way to count them as "Jabberwockies" (though replacing the "Jabs and "wocks" with the count itself). I've omitted the standard notation rhythm markers so as not to overload the space with too much ink. For ease of looping I've inserted a "woodpecker" (pick mute) on the first beat. Here's a slowed mp3 taken from your video which lets you hear how your current timing fits against the beat:
Full solo slowed 50% (35bpm)
and a zoom-in on the 2 bar sequence under focus: 2 bars set up to loop I'll have a go at learning these couple of bars (which should be fun on a high-action guitar set up for blues 😋) and will report in. From your point of view, once you get the foot tap working correctly in this section the rest should be a breeze! What do you make of this approach so far?
Superb stuff; sounds great here! For our purposes a simple phone audio/video recording with no frills does the job but if you prefer the extra sound quality then what you've done works a treat. Pleased to see that a few of the stretches in your tab that had me raising an eyebrow look a little less oppressive now that I can see you're tapping them. 🤗 Coincidentally and very conveniently I recently covered the Taplature approach to playing 5 notes per beat in this article: Anatomy of a Guitar Lick 1 - How to Play Gary Moore's Parisienne Walkways Fast Run with a video section focusing on the same lined up here:
In true Taplature style we can fairly mechanically build it all on the foot tap. How does that view of things fit with how you're currently picturing the pattern? I spotted in your performance above that there is something going on with your foot until the section under discussion appears when the movement down there stops dead 😜 (that's always a great clue as to the mental strength of things). By the time you can keep a solid and consistent foot tap (4 beats per bar) from the start of the solo to the end I predict you'll have a very different and much stronger view of things with many positive knock-on effects elsewhere in your playing. How does that sound as a challenge? It should involve a fair bit of work but of course any problems getting it right will make for ideal investigations in this thread! Will look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Here's my sleepy performance this evening at 70bpm which is definitely not half of 95 but my ego got in the way apparently:
Is there a convenient way of making videos like this? Right now I'm filming on my phone whilst my audio interface records and then syncing up the two with editing software.
- The first set of quintuplets at 0:20 - 0:22 actually sounds like 5 triplet semiquavers and the lost time is then bled into the next set (this kind of mistake is what I mean by differentiating the groupings)
- I accidently mute one note (the tapped fret 15 on the A string) with my right hand shirt sleeve at 0:28
P.S. I wrote the solo. Thanks for the badge :)
Welcome Peter. Wow that's a real fistful of notes; probably the most advanced thing yet to appear on this website. Is it one you've composed or someone else's that you need to learn? A recording of you playing it through at half-speed should offer the best overview of any problems in there. "I need to work on consistently differentiating the quintuplets from the triplets and 32nd notes in bar 5 as well as cleaning up the final run in bar 7." How are they functioning right now? (recordings of those individual bars looped at increasing speeds would tell the tale the best) That sort of stuff is outside my own comfort zone so I expect to learn a bit here too! Your targets above are clearly defined and I'd say are all achievable in a lot less time than you might expect. I've issued you with your Taplature Pioneer's badge in anticipation of some fast and solid progress! Paul.