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  • First video!DateTue Jan 20, 2015 10:13 pm
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: First video!

    Hey Paul - nice work, and congrats on posting a vid!

    You asked about losing coordination when recording yourself. I suffer from the same problem. Just the other day I was playing, and before I knew it, I was thinking about some personal issue rather than what I was doing, and sure enough my playing fell apart in just the way it does when recording myself. The point I'm trying to make, I guess, is that once the camera is going we immediately become self-conscious and no longer focus on what we're supposed to be doing, which is playing guitar! I don't really have a solid answer for this, other than perhaps record for quite some time until you forget about the camera and relax into what it is you're doing, then edit away the first ten minutes (or whatever it might be) of your recording.

    I watched your first video a couple of times, and I'd politely suggest you don't attempt yet to double up the notes as you do in the second half of the video. It seems to me your timing and note clarity aren't quite there at the initial speed. We all want to get faster as fast as possible, but I think it will serve you well to improve these aspects before increasing the speed. The timing I'm sure will come with a little more practice: it seems like it's good for much of the time, then goes when you come to a more difficult part and have to focus too much on the mechanics. Just slow it down until it's natural.

    As for the note clarity, I read a very interesting piece a while ago now. The suggestion was to fret a note with the left hand and pick it, being sure the note was clear. Keep picking, but slowly release the pressure of the fretting finger. At some point the note will go dead. The amount of pressure you need with the left hand is just a little bit more than this amount.

    Anyway, I'm far from an expert - I guess I'd consider myself intermediate - and you should certainly listen to the likes of Pebber, Ursin and co over what I have to say. Nevertheless, I hope this is of some use and encouragement. Best of luck!

  • Holding the pick properlyDateSat Oct 11, 2014 11:30 am
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: Holding the pick properly

    Damon, I recall now that you did read the piece and comment on it - my apologies for misremembering. I agree entirely that a beginner is better served by focussing on one technique. But the original poster isn't a beginner: he's been playing for over fourteen years. I think the analysis provides him with a valuable insight, namely that the technique he's about to ditch in favor of another, is in fact highly regarded by some, and may very well not be the source of whatever frustrations and limitations he's feeling and which have led him to re-examine his approach.

  • Holding the pick properlyDateFri Oct 10, 2014 8:39 pm
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: Holding the pick properly

    GuitarPlayer - isn't it obvious that Ursin intended for the original poster to watch those videos as response to his question? Not sure what additional contribution you've made by suggesting the OP watch the videos...

    OP - are you *absolutely sure* you need to change your picking technique. As Ursin says, the critical thing is not how you hold the pick, but that the pick is clearing the string at an angle. Plenty of great players use the same angle of attack that you're trying to move away from. If you can do 16th note triplets at 100bpm well, that sounds plenty fast to me.

    I've posted this before, but never had anyone bother to reply to it, so I'll post it again. This is the best analysis I've read of different picking techniques by someone who's tried and persevered with many different kinds:

    You'll have to put a 'www dot' before that address.

  • Improv videos for critiqueDateSat Oct 04, 2014 11:26 pm
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: Improv videos for critique

    Thanks for listening, and thanks for the kind words and critique. I agree with you, of course, but what you suggest is a tall order, and one that I think is currently beyond me. It's interesting to hear so many great guitarists who do indeed seem to fall back on ornamentation that seems comfortable - and therefore a little repetitive - to them.

  • Improv videos for critiqueDateSat Oct 04, 2014 11:01 pm
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: Improv videos for critique

    Little cover of Santana's Black Magic Woman. Solo is improvised ;)

  • Improv videos for critiqueDateSat Sep 27, 2014 1:59 pm
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: Improv videos for critique

    Thanks so much - I'm really flattered. In my case, whatever good you here in there is learned: I started with very little musical ability. At any rate, you've inspired me! I've just finished a warmup session (first time in two weeks - whoops!) and might see if I can find a nice track to jam along to. Thanks again!

  • Chromatic ScaleDateSat Sep 27, 2014 1:57 pm
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: Chromatic Scale

    We don't always agree, Nick, but what you say here is very sound advice I think.

    Playing slowly gives you more space to listen to yourself properly and apply your critical faculties. Am I making the sort of sounds I want to? Is the tone good? Is it in time? Is it clean, or is there lots of string noise that needs to be damped? Am I relaxed? Am I using as little force as needed, and making as small motions as possible?

  • Picking across stringsDateSun Sep 21, 2014 11:58 pm
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: Picking across strings

    Nice work Mr Duck. That pentatonic exercise at 16ths at 100bpm is quite a challenge. Very impressive, and very clean sounding. If you can do that at 100, there are probably simpler licks that you can do cleanly at considerably higher speed. (I beg to differ with Nick here, but I really don't think there's any need to be worrying about Sarod - use whatever picking technique feels natural and gives you the tone you want with the ease you want.)

  • Improv videos for critiqueDateFri Sep 19, 2014 12:09 pm
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: Improv videos for critique

    Cool tone! Almost violin-like. And great vibrato - I'm jealous ;).

  • FORUM RIFFS AND TUNES THREADDateWed Sep 17, 2014 11:55 am
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: FORUM RIFFS AND TUNES THREAD

    Love it!

  • Picking across stringsDateWed Sep 17, 2014 11:54 am
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: Picking across strings

    Thanks :). I think I'm probably more-or-less paraphrasing Scottulus here.

  • Picking across stringsDateSun Sep 14, 2014 1:23 pm
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: Picking across strings

    Ha ha! Don't we all? I'm very far from satisfied with my own playing. There are people on this forum far far more accomplished than me, and I'm sure they'd say the same thing. Guess it's all about the journey, which to my mind means have fun and make music along the way, no matter how much better you'd like to be able to execute something.

  • Improv videos for critiqueDateSun Sep 14, 2014 1:19 pm
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: Improv videos for critique

    Thanks so much! But believe me, I have zero natural ability for melody. My ex-wife used to joke that I was tone deaf. The first half of the second one is Santana's melody, and after that I let myself go. Guess I have a lot of practice playing in a minor key, and now know it in a few positions up and down the neck. For me, one of the most interesting challenges for improv is phrasing. How is it some of the greats can improv such compelling solos out of such a limited set of note choices? I think, when improvising, just as one can play it too safe repeating the same notes over and over, that it's too easy to find one or two rhythmical figures that just come to mind, and need to be broke out of.

    Glad you like the tone! I'm playing through a Mess Boogie Mk V. For the second track it was in Mk I emulation mode, which is the classic Santana sound. My main guitar has a lot more treble than Santana's however, and listening back it wonder if it isn't a bit too piercing in places. When I get excited I pick too hard, and that seems to rob the notes of some of their 'roundness' :)

  • Improv videos for critiqueDateSat Sep 13, 2014 10:16 pm
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: Improv videos for critique

    Hey JohnA - just watched your vids. Nice work! I particularly liked the first one - great groove to your playing :). I'm not really a jazz guy myself - can I ask who your main influences are?

  • Improv videos for critiqueDateSat Sep 13, 2014 9:55 pm
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: Improv videos for critique

    And one more... this time improv along to one of my favorite Santana tracks.

  • Improv videos for critiqueDateSat Sep 13, 2014 8:06 pm
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: Improv videos for critique

    Little Am latin improv for your consideration:

  • Picking across stringsDateSat Sep 13, 2014 6:30 pm
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: Picking across strings

    Thanks for listening and for the kind words!

    Yeah, been practicing that Em sequence for quite some time. Still not quite where I want it to be, but getting there. At any rate, I'm glad my stuff inspired you to do your own. To be honest, for the last few months I haven't been doing anywhere near as much practice as I used to. However, what I seem to have managed is to relax (at times, at least) at little, so am able to play a little more fluidly in the past.

    Glad you liked it - looking forward to hearing something by your good self!

  • Picking across stringsDateSat Sep 13, 2014 12:57 pm
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: Picking across strings

    Hey all - been a good while since I posted here. I finally got a new computer and am able to record videos again. Thought I'd post a recording of my warmup session this morning. Love to know what you all think of it.

  • Daredevil Autopilot (featuring Ursin)DateSat Aug 02, 2014 10:04 pm

    Yeah - the solo is awesome! Nice work Ursin!

  • Hey guys! - Returning againDateMon Apr 28, 2014 11:17 am
    Forum post by Cliff. Topic: Hey guys! - Returning again

    Welcome back Joel. Really looking forward to hearing a new vid from you.

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