The ultimate guitar related discussion thread.

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by Phil47uk, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    I thought I'd create this thread following some great stories, tips and debates some of us have had in SlapChops recent Vibrato thread.
    Ok I realize that these types of discussions aren't for everyone and some merely think it's a bunch of old farts reminiscing and pontificating.
    Perhaps it is on occasion, but you younger guys should remember that a few here have been there and done it long before you were even a twinkle in your old mans pants.

    I didn't intend this as a guitar lesson thread per say, as there are enough of those already, but merely as a watering hole where members can discuss guitar playing in general. Stories, tips, inspirational ideas etc.
    A thread where members may like to ask questions on all sorts of guitar related topics, from the history and development of guitar styles, gear, gigging etc.

    This is not a thread for questions like 'How do I get Slash tone'. 'How long will it take me to learn a guitar solo' etc, so if you want to ask those sort of questions please either start your own thread or do a search on the topic of your choice.

    This is merely a thread for debate on the general topics relating to guitar playing and perhaps where younger or less experienced members might like to throw a few questions, chill out and relax with some of the more seasoned players here.
    Here’s an example . Someone once asked me why you don't hear blues solos as we know them today with extreme string bending on 50's and early 60's guitar solos.
    A great question and one I do happen to know the answer to as I was there when it happened.:laugh2:
    The simple reason was that back then there was basically only one string gauge ( Big fat things with wound thirds) and therefore bending up a tone was virtually impossible. Then suddenly in the mid 60's we started to hear all these wild blues bends coming from the States,:shock:
    How the bloody hell are they doing that?
    The answer in itself was quite easy. Some bright spark had discarded the heavy E 6th and moved the rest of the strings over, so the 5th then became the 6th, the 4th then became the 5th etc, ( The B2nd then became the first unwound third ) and for an E first they stuck on a banjo string.:shock:
    I think virtually over night London stores had sold out of top banjo strings.:laugh2:
    Getting them on was another matter.. Easy . You took the ball end of the discarded E6th and twisted the loop on the banjo string around the ball end..
    Voila !.. Light gauge strings were born..

    So. Fire away with some questions, or lets simply here your story or tips.
    Let's get a thread going that hopefully newbies in the future may get some interesting reading and inspiration from.
    Guitar playing is a work in progress and has developed over generations and there is far far more to it than just knowing five minor pentatonic scale shapes..But then.. Ok why five scale shapes. Ever heard of the CAGED system in teaching.. There's one for a start.:laugh2:

    Everybody, from seasoned to newbies welcomed in..
    Don't be afraid to ask questions. That's the way we learn and please don't think that the veterans know everything..They don't.We all learn as we go and even people like myself who have made a living from playing guitar for over forty years learn something new every day from others.
    Guitar playing a way of life folks..It's a passion..So Let's share .:dude:
     
  2. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

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    Phil... I'm in.
    The first question I'd love to ask you is, "how do I get Slash tone"?

    (sound of an egg smashing in SD's face)

    Hmm... okay. Let's change the question, Phil.

    How do I "not run into tendinitis"? I am having some issues with my left hand.

    Fil ;)
     
  3. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    With regard to the first question Solo. ( As a Scouser would say..Feck off ) :laugh2:

    Good question re tendonitis though and one I'm afraid I can't answer as luckily I have never suffered from it. I do get the odd ache in my finger joints, but I think that might be more down to age than anything else.:laugh2:
    I'm sure some here do suffer from it and have had medical explanations, treatment or tips from a qualified Doctor.
    Anyone in the medical profession in the house, or someone who suffers and has recieved treatment.?
     
  4. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

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    (subscribes to thread)
     
  5. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

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    Nice idea for a thread :)

    No idea about tendinitus, SD - never had it. I do remember reading the suggestion that it was more common with folk who play skinny neck guitars than chunkier necks. Even the 60s style neck on my LP is solid compared to some of the Ibanez style thin necks I used to see!
     
  6. L60N

    L60N Senior Member

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    Have you tried Arnica Gel? Its available in most pharmacies. I used it when I was suffering in my fretting hand and over time the aches and pains subsided, eventually disapearing. You apply the soft gel directly to the affected area. You can feel the soothing effects instantly. :)

    A. Vogel Atrogel Arnica Gel used for the symptomatic relief of muscular aches and pains. Buy Now.

    A chap below mentions in the third to last paragraph below (page slow to load) the success of treating mild tendonitis with Arnica gel (along with another strange suggestion :shock::

    Tendinitis And Guitar Players: A Natural Cure | Billy Penn's 300Guitars.com
     
  7. goatbreath

    goatbreath Banned

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    I've had problems with tendinitis and I still have to try and keep it at bay..
    Several things help..One of them is Ibuprofen about 40 minutes before playing..I try to keep some type of guitar fitness going..So I do some Stamina/ technique exercise with a metronome.I actually changed my technique,,but it took a little while of non playing and just practicing technique itself..I had to get into a state of mind that was almost like meditation..It isn't easy correcting old physical habits..

    I found Using Dunlop jazz 111 picks handy as there only really is 1 way you can hold them.With bigger picks your gripping position can be more inconsistent,,I used to feel the guitar was alien some days when I picked it up,I found it was because the pick didn't feel comfortable,,when there's only one way to do it even if it starts out feeling a bit strange,,you have a reliable way..

    Not practising the same type of physical things for too long..Repetitive Strain Injury,,That's what tendinitis is.. .I also do some practice standing up..I don't launch straight into any hyperspeed licks when I fist pick up a guitar.

    .I used to and still should go for a walk after playing..It frees your shoulders and arms up..

    Don't wear your guitar too low..So that you can't move your wrist properly and end up moving the pick by squeezing the pick between your thumb and forefinger to move it..You end up trapping tendons that way..Or rather it is the sheaths around the tendons that swell and trap the tendons themselves..So it has alot to do with realising your stamina levels..

    There's lots but right now some A hole is keeping banging his door so I can't concentrate..Sorry,,But I've been through the Tendinitis thing and I was devastated at the time ,,but I think learning to get around it made me a better player..I have heard you play and you are already great..You need to take greater care of yourself..You are asking a lot from your body..
     
  8. goatbreath

    goatbreath Banned

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    Brain so scrambled with door banging I wrote about the wrong hand,,sorry..:laugh2::laugh2:
     
  9. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

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    Thank you all bro's.
    L60N, going to purchase that now.
    The problem with me is mainly that I do not warm up properly.

    Warming up is important, I found.
    And L60N suggest gel is going to help as well too, I bet ;)
     
  10. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

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    Let's put my suspect tendinitis apart, and let's concentrate on GOOD music for a second.
    I'd like to put under your attention THIS video.

    This music, these players bring me joy.
    This is THE good music. It's made in the US.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkzLatem0VY]YouTube - Herbie Hancock - Space Captain[/ame]

    Enjoy, have a great listening. WATCH people's faces as they play.

    Emotion.
     
  11. Maus

    Maus Member

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    Hmm, I think this will be my favourite thread on MLP :)

    If I have any question, this will probably be my first stop.
    Thanks for the initiative Phil!

    Ow and Fil... awesome video!
    I loved the interaction between Herbie and Derek (and ofcourse the rest of the musicians).
    Which reminds me... slide guitar is awesome! Definately one of the many many things on my 'want-to-learn-list'.
     
  12. goatbreath

    goatbreath Banned

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    Here's a question for you Phil as right now I have an Acoustic beside me,,What do you enjoy playing the most..Acoustic or Electric???I guess the question is for everyone...Although I love my electrics I have a budget but solid topped Yamaha acoustic and the last part of playing I came to was the fingerpicking stuff and I'm still very much a novice at it,,I am really enjoying being a novice too...The sounds coming out of the guitar sound beautiful to me...I love playing it,If my arms aren't feeling too worn out that is,,there if definitely a bit more pressing down with the fretting hand required..
     
  13. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

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    Yes Maus. This video I've been looping it since yesterday (and about illegal music, I actually purchased this tune, too).

    Derek Trucks is phenomenal. THESE are the type of guys I would like more questions to be raised about in guitar forums.
    And slide guitar is intimately tied to inner emotions, as all of those transitions really remind of our soul inner voicing.
    Susan Tedeschi - Mr. Trucks' wife - is absolutely astonishing.
    She reminds me a whole lot of my all time most favourite singer, Bonnie Raitt.

    I'm pretty sure she was heavily influenced. But also her tonal qualities are there.

    I'm pretty much in awe. To me, that is the music.
     
  14. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    Glad you got some positive feedback on that tendonitis question Solo.:dude:
    Hopefully you may get a few more replies.

    Yeah that vid..:laugh2:
    That laid back feeling and smoothness only comes from a lot of experience.
    Newbies should note how nothing is rushed, yet it's all there and happening. The feel is being picked up from each player and they are trading off one another. It's a classic case of team effort. No prima donnas.

    Weird song though.. It sort of starts of with a Gospely blues feel then suddenly kicks into avant garde jazzy stuff. Different I'll certainly give it that.
    The guitarist is also playing some very interesting slide licks..
    I might pinch a few myself..:laugh2:
     
  15. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

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    Great video link - I haven't heard that one before :)

    I love the way they're all teasing each other, quoting each other, trying to make each other laugh, yet never loosing the groove. There's a beaut where Derek plays a rhythmic figure & straight away the drummer (looks like Vinnie Colliuta to me?) plays the same rhythm back at him. Tasty.
     
  16. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    Really all depends on what mood I am in goatbreath. A bit like my taste in music I suppose. One day it could be really heavy blues/rock stuff. The next some raunchy country picking, then the next Handel's Largo, or even say obscure native American music. Or perhaps all even in the space of an hour.
    My tastes are very much reflected by my moods and as far as music goes I'm like a kid in a sweetshop.. " Oooh I'll have one of those, Wow! I'll take three of those".
    I think I'm probably a very childish emotional moody person, or so my wife has told me over the years, who's mood swings go up and down like an earthquake detector graph. :laugh2:

    Sometimes I want to play Strat, another time Les Paul.. Maybe a Gibson electro acoustic, or even a classical or flamenco guitar if the mood takes me.
    The answer really is that I don't have a favourite, in the same way I don't have a favourite kind of music. I look at guitars as tools.. Maybe a spanner is needed on this, or perhaps a screwdriver on that.
    If I do a duo gig with my daughter,then it will be electro acoustics. Maybe steel strung, maybe nylon strung. Whatever fits the feel of a particular piece.
    Mutter Slater always laughs when I turn up with a case, or cases for his gigs. "And what have we with us tonight Sir?" He jokes sarcastically.:laugh2:
    One day I'll turn up with a Strat, another with a different Strat. Sometimes a Les Paul and other times all three. I think on one ocassion I even turned up with six guitar cases.[​IMG].
    Really all depends on what other players are there on the night too. Their playing styles etc.
     
  17. goatbreath

    goatbreath Banned

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    Maybe part of my thrill is instead of studying my ass off and really pushing myself like I did in the earlier days of my playing..I'm treating this fingerpicking stuff like a Sunday stroll and really enjoying learning at a leisurely pace and really enjoying what's coming out the guitar..Some of the way I learned electric and the strummy acoustic styles etc..was by pushing myself really hard,,I had to get the part,,I gave myself no choice...I had some very basic fingerpicking skills..But all those little patterns are great that you find when you go past that part...You can do so much with them..
    I love all that Bert Jansch stuff etc...I know it will take me a long time before I am able to do some of it properly,,years in some cases and I'm OK about that,,I'm not gritting my teeth and saying to myself,,I must do this..I'm taking a relaxed leisurely stroll around the guitar..
     
  18. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    Welcome in Maus.
    Let's hope we can all have some great debates, conversations and glean some tips along the way about a subject we are all passionate about..:dude:
     
  19. SlapChop

    SlapChop Senior Member

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    Cool thread, Phil.

    Regarding preference between acoustic and electric: I often prefer playing electric, but when the time is right, I really enjoy an outdoor acoustic jam with friends when it's more than just me singing and playing for everyone. I like it when a bunch of us get involved. My friend Scotty plays the acoustic bass, Darcy plays the harp, and I pass out shakers and sometimes my Cajon drum or Djembe.

    There's a certain magic that happens around a fire when you have a bunch of people taking part.

    This was a couple weeks ago at a friends house around a little backyard fire.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories! V.I.P. Member

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    Dallas: I had some real severe problems with tendonitis and CTS back in my early 20s, and had to completely revamp my technique. I'll register on your new website, have a look, and let ya know if I see anything scary going on while I enjoy your killer playing. :thumb:

    It usually comes down to what's going on with the wrist on the fretting hand, or the shoulder on the picking hand. A book titled "Hand Dynamics" by Daim Batangtaris was also instrumental in saving my ability to play; it's essentially hand yoga, and I still do a couple of the postures almost daily as a matter of routine.

    Phil very nicely described the advent of the unwound G string and its effect on playing styles in the 60s and onward. Freakin' banjo strings! :laugh2:

    Something that I've been thinking about alot lately, which I find hard to articulate, is the relative importance of the guitar's design as it relates to intonation and temperment; I've seen a few efforts in recent years to "correct" the guitar's design for more accurate intonation along the length of the fingerboard, and this notion really clashes with one of the things about the guitar that I love so much, which is the instrument's inherent disonnance. Taken too far, of course it sounds quite bad, but the varying harmonies between the notes of the same chord played in various positions on the neck adds an element of depth and diversity to the sounds we can get from this unique instrument.

    In my view, it's a virtue to be exploited, not a flaw, and something I think most of us are probably aware of on an unconscious level, but which can be used to greater effect when willfully applied to our playing. :)
     

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