Playing fluidity

chrose1201

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Hey all. So for the first time in years I have recorded (on my phone) a bunch of videos of me playing guitar to a variety of backing tracks. I have been playing in cover bands forever so 90% of what I have played was by the book, mostly, with just a little bit of improv. I have noticed a couple of things about my playing. First and most important being that I seem to play a variety of the same lick/scale over and over. Hell I'm not even sure what that is! But no matter what I play it's the same thing. Kind of like from the Brady Bunch movie where Mike Brady got fired from his architecture job because every building he designed looked like a version of his house :D. So I really need to widen my horizons and learn new stuff.
The second part and my real question is do you all feel that fluidity in playing is from the synchronization of your fingers and your picking, or does it come from scalar knowledge. Or why is someone like Eric Johnson or Allan Holdsworth so incredibly fluid and someone like Jimmy Page or Joe Perry more on the rough side? Any thoughts? I ask because listening to a local guy whose place I may audition for, played really nicely and fluidly and I don't think I can match that and I would like to be able to.
 

huw

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"Fluidity" is a little vague, but for what I would understand by that, I would say that the answer is simply practice. That kind of ease of execution will only come from putting in the hours with the guitar neck in your hand.

Now I get that you say you've been playing "forever", and that certainly helps, but as important as "playing" is (and it's really, really important) "practice" is more focused and more goal driven. Find what you want to get better at playing, & practice it.

To that end... You also say that you're looking for new horizons - so I'll suggest what you've probably already thought of: try a teacher. A real, live, human being to watch & listen to you play & make specific suggestions based on you.

:)
 

chrose1201

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Thanks Darwin. Totally get what you are saying and you are 1009% right. The time MUST be put in and to be honest I have not. For a good 11 years I was playing solidly and it was all cover stuff, so there was no stretching out for the most part and I guess I stagnated. Before that I had a few years of recovering from a brain injury where I had to force myself to play again. Which obviously I did. There are residual effects with my memory and maybe that's a part of it. I did reach out to a local guy who's playing I respected but there was no response and so I won't chase him. I did do some videos of my playing and I did see some of that fluidity I was referring to which led me to realize that it is to a large extent knowing the neck and what you are playing. Perhaps an idea is to post one of the videos of my playing and invite critique (hopefully constructive) and opinions on what they think I should do. It would be an interesting exercise as other would see things I don't or at least vocalize them and maybe come up with things I hadn't thought of. Or like an intervention where the person probably knows what they need to do but it helps when people tell you.
 
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Sct13

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So ...yea I have the same problem....two things ....1... nothing is stopping you ....so go learn something different ....thats the advice I give to myself....but like water I will tend to go down the EASY route and repeat the same crap over and over ....this is when you need to streatch out and grasp something difficult and stick with it....you will be glad you did.

2. Listening to other artists leaves a clue ....SRV for example ....he has several signature licks that he does over and over ....only they are a bit difficult to catch ....but they are there.....those signatures are a part of him....you have them too....just develop them into your playing style .....IWhen I listen to my self play I hear the same thing and think ...that again? Damn....I keep repeating the same crap.....but as long as it isn't overdone and its buried ....its fine...

Randy Rhoads too...in fact the solos for Mr Crowley and Mother Earth are nearly identical...

yea post a video...

And big cudos to your overcoming a medical disaster ....some never recover...you did

and fluid playing comes with repetition and muscle memory .....Fluid also happens in a band situation for me....when every thing is hitting on all cylinders .....its kinda rare for us now days ....but some our age gave up long ago...so we are just making noise to prove we still are alive and kicking ....not going down easy
 

chrose1201

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Thanks Sct13, interestingly enough I saw an ad locally for a jam band looking for a guitar player. Think Little Feat meets the Dead, meets Zappa. All very good players. I will have an audition the week after next. Now I have not played in a jam band since I was 17! Since then 100% covers with the occasional original solo thrown in here and there. So this will be an interesting experiment. I listened to their live stuff with a very well known, talented local guitar player and I liked how he played. Of course I thought to myself, I can't play like him! They don't care though they want me to play like me. So this will be interesting to see! I can see though when I play along that at the very least I need to work on learning and memorizing some new scales!!
 

gadafi

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I think we all get stuck in our favourite lick ruts from time to time...always good to try new stuff....

Speaking of JP have you seen the Live Aid vid of STH? lol... nice to know even the legends have a bad day from time to time.

Why don't you come on over to BTOTM and put something down.... everyone is welcome and we're always looking for new contributors and ideas.
 

Rotorhead

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Hey all. So for the first time in years I have recorded (on my phone) a bunch of videos of me playing guitar to a variety of backing tracks. I have been playing in cover bands forever so 90% of what I have played was by the book, mostly, with just a little bit of improv. I have noticed a couple of things about my playing. First and most important being that I seem to play a variety of the same lick/scale over and over. Hell I'm not even sure what that is! But no matter what I play it's the same thing. Kind of like from the Brady Bunch movie where Mike Brady got fired from his architecture job because every building he designed looked like a version of his house :D. So I really need to widen my horizons and learn new stuff.
The second part and my real question is do you all feel that fluidity in playing is from the synchronization of your fingers and your picking, or does it come from scalar knowledge. Or why is someone like Eric Johnson or Allan Holdsworth so incredibly fluid and someone like Jimmy Page or Joe Perry more on the rough side? Any thoughts? I ask because listening to a local guy whose place I may audition for, played really nicely and fluidly and I don't think I can match that and I would like to be able to.
I know just what you're saying. I've always been pretty choppy/ sloppy with playing solos. It just...is. Many other of my friends in bands seemed to have that touch which sends them well above my par, but I've long since resigned myself to my choppy style and I just simply refine those chops.

The easiest way I can describe it when people ask is that I'm the Keith Richards to other people's Mick Taylor- especially within the context of their dual solos on the Get Yer Ya-Yas Out live version of Sympathy for the Devil.

I'm the Malcolm to other people's Angus. I'm the Joe Cocker to another's Brad Delp, and so on. I'll never be that technically proficient, fluid player, but I've refined and worked on my sloppiness to a point where it's a nice compliment together with others who are.
 
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