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  • Solo Transcription Tips RequestDateSun Aug 10, 2014 11:39 am

    Hi Elysian,

    I haven't been posting as regularly as I would like. The forums have really help me and I feel the need to contribute back into it. So, let me first say that this might not be the best way of doing it but its my current strategy.

    I'm currently working on transcribing some lead sheets for an ensemble that I'm playing in now. The music ranges from Jazz to Country and Pop songs from the 70s. We play mostly in retirement homes, coffee houses, and weddings. But you might get something out of this approach. I'm not a proficient shredder/improviser (I don't know if shredder is the most appropriate word...) like Pebber, uderoche, FRaKh, or Scottulus but you might be able to apply some of what follows.

    Here's what I have been doing so far:

    1. I get the recorded version and put it into a program that lets me slow it down without loosing pitch. There are a few out there that are pretty good. The one I have lets me map out the song by measures, and even type in lyrics if I need to.

    2. Once I got the basic form down (ex. AABA or whatever it could be) I get a pad of music notation and start notating the chord symbols and melody down section by section (intro, verse, chorus, coda, etc...). When I come across something really difficult I just skip it and try to finish off the song.

    Note: As I'm writing down I don't care how pretty it looks on paper I just want to get it down as quick as possible.

    3. At this point and time I may have played through the song anywhere from 10 to a 100 times. Depending on how difficult it was for me. Also, time-wise... it could of taken me anywhere from 30 mins to and hour to do this. Sometimes even longer over a couple of days. Usually, because my ears need to rest.

    Note: I work in a warehouse during the day (8 hours) and the fans there are pretty loud. Sometimes the techs it the back are taking things apart and it can get really loud. I try to avoid loud noises as much as possible during the day just so my ears have enough time to recuperate.

    4. My last step is that I take my rough notes and put them into a notation program to clean it up and make it more presentable to the others in the group. The singer usually lets me know what key she wants it in before hand.

    That's pretty much it. I hope this helps.


  • Posting VideosDateFri Jul 25, 2014 2:50 pm
    Forum post by John567. Topic: Posting Videos

    Hi Kyzik,

    I was using Band In A Box (BIAB). I think of what scale I want to practice (F dorian) and pick the chord that goes with it (Fm7 - the II chord of Eb). Its not the greatest but it gives me instant backing tracks at what ever tempo I want. I can also export them as a sound file and put it on my ipod if I want.

    I'd like to be able to make backing tracks like dlraben but I need more time and resources to do it. His stuff is pretty cool...

  • Posting VideosDateSat Jul 19, 2014 5:33 pm
    Forum post by John567. Topic: Posting Videos

    I still can't post any Youtube updates for some reason. So I moved the "h" in the link below.

    I've been on Pebber's routine since Tue Jul 31, 2012.

    Here's my yearly update:
    h ttp://

  • Posting VideosDateSat Jul 19, 2014 5:18 pm
    Forum post by John567. Topic: Posting Videos

    Good Stuff!

  • The Left & Right Hand Challenge!DateTue Feb 11, 2014 3:14 pm

    Good Stuff!

    So, we have yet another legit challenge. Time to figure out how to do the trill and sarod in divisions of 5! But, I'm still working through Pebber's Vol 2..... I need more time.... maybe if I can figure out a way to live longer...


  • The Left & Right Hand Challenge!DateMon Feb 10, 2014 4:38 pm

    Someone had to take it to the next level and that someone was FRaKh. I remember somewheres in the forum FRaKh mentioning how you can save time by doing LH trills and RH picking at the same time.

    All hail FRaKh and whatever planet he's from!

    h ttp://

    Man my timing sucks... the forum won't let post again. It's saying that my post contains too many links. I don't get it. Well, I left a space after the first "h". If you want to see my attempt at FRaKh's idea you know what to do.

  • Mick BarrDateThu Feb 06, 2014 4:34 pm
    Forum post by John567. Topic: Mick Barr

    LOL! Yeah... It's def a strange condition


  • Mick BarrDateMon Feb 03, 2014 11:02 am
    Forum post by John567. Topic: Mick Barr

    $10-20 bucks.... try like $100 plus. When Chick Corea came to town a few years back it was $100 to see him play solo piano. Dude, I can't afford that. I think when ZZTop came last year the bleeders were going for $80. Back in the 80's I remember seeing Clapton with Mark Knopfler for only $20. Buddy, I wish tickets would be only $10-20 bucks.... I'd need a time machine to pay those prices.... LOL.... don't get me started about scoring some hockey tickets to see the Leafs play... its crazy...

  • Mick BarrDateMon Feb 03, 2014 3:51 am
    Forum post by John567. Topic: Mick Barr

    Are people paying to see this guy?

    That's always the bottom line. Play what the people want. If they want to see country, jazz, rock, etc... then they will go see it. You figure, most people are stuck at a job they don't like. They want to be entertained and have fun. If someone is having fun by watching this guy thats all that really matters.

    Me personally, this guy isn't my thing. I wouldn't pay to see him. But, I would pay to see Ed Bickert or Allan Holdsworth. But, some guys who play really fast don't interest me very much. Like Bireli Lagrene for example. An incredibly fast guitarist. Very clean. But, just doesn't speak to me at all.

  • Picking ImprovementDateThu Jan 23, 2014 7:39 pm
    Forum post by John567. Topic: Picking Improvement

    Good stuff!

  • Chord ThreadDateThu Jan 23, 2014 7:36 pm
    Forum post by John567. Topic: Chord Thread

    Learning Chords Rant:

    I don't know why. I just have the need to rant. Forgive me.

    The CAGED system in one way to do it and whats interesting is that no matter what system (Left Hand fingerings) that you are implementing, just make sure you make it work for you. If I'm correct, I think Django Reinhardt only had two fingers on his left hand that were healthy enough to use. His lines were pretty kickass. At least I think so.

    Also, I would like to add that when you take on this stuff, consider where you want to end up. If you have no interest in jazz music then don't go there for the most part. Just stick to one genre for now. Yeah, we would all love to be Lenny Breau-at least I would, but he was a very special person in a very special situation. And that's not to say you can't become very good at playing, but just focus on something you really want.

    So, when you consider learning chords, just remember the context. When people talk about Holdsworth, its usually about his legato playing and there's really no one who has done what he has done on the guitar with respect to his style. In fact, when you listen to a lot of fusion players, you can definitely hear the hold of Holdsworth. Its just fact.

    But, consider this: his chord playing is not as emphasized as much among guys that I've talked too. I just don't know why. He has some of the most crazy and unusual chord voicings and progressions that I have ever heard. If you ever want to hear where learning chords might take you people should take another listen to his compositions. They are quite remarkable.

    Now, here is someone that concentrated on a very focused style of picking and comping. For instants, does Holdsworth posses a RH technique like Lenny Breau? Could one be able to do both? Who knows... but What Holdsworth did for improvising (his unique style), I think Lenny Breau did for RH technique. His use of harmonics for example, etc. His command of harmony was legend. He really played the guitar like a piano.

    So for some learning resources I think you can't go wrong with listen to both of these guys. Just keep learning those chords and inversion, voicings, drop 2's, etc... it will eventually lead somewhere.

    John's rant of the day.


  • The Gear Thread: Guitars, Amps, Effects discussionDateFri Jan 17, 2014 3:57 pm

    Quote: Cliff wrote in post #22
    Hey John,

    I don't think I can advise myself, but it might be helpful to know what size venue you're going to be playing in.

    From a small cafe (30 people) to a larger venue that could hold about 100.

  • The Gear Thread: Guitars, Amps, Effects discussionDateFri Jan 17, 2014 5:47 am

    I got a question for anyone/everyone in this thread. Any help would be great.

    Here's the deal: I need to get together some gear for a live stage setup for the following formats:

    Duo (guitar w/vocal or guitar w/sax, guitar w/bass)
    Trio (guitar, bass, drums)
    Quartet/Quintet (guitar, bass, sax, drums, keys)

    I need to be able cover all three situations. The style of music is jazz.

    Any advice as to the equipment needed, etc...? Any good books on the subject?

    Let me know.


  • Music Theory 101 Video Part 2?DateWed Jan 15, 2014 9:30 pm

    Quote: pebberbrown wrote in post #3
    Music Theory 101 Part 1 was a freebie offered to the public that is part of
    a much larger series of videos for paying subscriber students. To access them
    all you have to do is become a monthly paying student and then a huge world
    of videos are all available.

    Hey Pebber,

    Have you ever thought of selling a series of Music Theory Videos on DVD? I think it would be pretty cool....

  • Chord ThreadDateMon Jan 13, 2014 4:56 am
    Forum post by John567. Topic: Chord Thread

    Sorry I did not notice your reply earlier. I don't mean from a lead sheet. I mean when playing random chord progressions from your head without looking at any paper.

    From the above quote you say "when playing random chord progressions from your head without looking at any paper". So, I gather you mean in the context of learning a song. Yes? To me the word "head" means melody of a song. So I'm assuming you mean you are learning a song and you want to know how you should think about the chords with regards to the song you are learning. Am I right?

    Well, you say that you are a beginner. So, I'll tell you my take on it:

    When you are learning a song I would just concentrate on memorizing it. For a simple song (and complex ones as well) you got two or three things to attack:

    1. Learn the melody
    2. Learn the chords
    3. Solo/Improvise (only if it applies to your genre of music).

    Now I'm assuming that you are learning by ear since you are not using a lead sheet. Or you could be using TAB? Anyway, with regards to the chords I would just learn them by playing them over and over until they become apart of you. Its like anything else. I find lead sheets helpful because of the organization is already done and I don't have to worry about it.

    If you know the chords I would just write them out on a piece of paper like this (from a previous example):

    AMajor, C#minor, F#minor, EMajor

    I would write it out this way:

    A / / / C#m / / / F#m / / / E / / /

    All the slashes mean is that you are strumming each chord four beat per bar (or whatever rhythm your song has). I would start practicing them over and over slowly to build up your endurance. It should get to the point where you can just look at your hands and not the sheet any more. Then after a while of looking at your hands you should be able to just LOOK AWAY from your hands and see the image of the chords flash in your mind as you play them.

    If you don't know these chord forms I would apply Pebber's approach to practicing chords for beginners. You will have to look for it in his videos online. I can't remember where.

    Now getting back to what I think the original question was. For me, the RM system (roman numeral) isn't necessary at the beginning. But it is important when you get into understand the harmonic structure of a song. Like if you want to know what key a song is in, what scale goes with what chord, etc. If you want to start practicing the RM stuff I would suggest the following:

    -Write out all of the major scales in one octave and apply the RM for each note...
    -Get into the habit of trying to figure out what key a song is in...
    -Ask yourself Q/A's like "what note is the third degree in the Key or A Major?" the answer is .....?
    -Ask yourself Q/A's like "C# is the third degree of what major scale? the answer is .... ?

    When this gets boring try the stuff NNick was talking about in his answer. But I wouldn't go there until I had a basic vocabulary of chords. His answer is more advanced. Its the kind of stuff you think about when you voice lead or when you are dealing with a chord melody. It is fun when you get the hang of it though...

    This was my rant of the day. I hope that this helps somehow. I think I did get back on topic to the original question.....


  • Chord ThreadDateSun Jan 12, 2014 4:41 pm
    Forum post by John567. Topic: Chord Thread

    Hi diegopaudyal,

    You mean just comping from a lead sheet? In the moment I just see the chord symbol and play the chord. I'm not thinking the roman numerals. Afterwards, if I were to transpose the song I would analyze the chords and see them as Roman Numerals.

    Sometimes I'll see segments that stick out and help me remember the chord progression. Like a II V I or a IIm7b5 V7b9 Im, blues progressions....

    Guys who are really good at it can transpose on the spot. I'm not that good.

  • Best way to practice away from guitar? DateMon Dec 30, 2013 3:35 pm

    Quote: robbyzimmet wrote in post #13
    Hey...sorry to bother but I have a question for you since I have seen you are left handed guitar player. Now I have a bit of story to say, hope you wont mind...if so, sorry in advance. I play guitar since 1993 (I was 13 years old back then). Anyway thought I write with my left hand, I do everything else as a right handed people do, so when I started playing, I started to play as right handed. Nowadays I am facing following: my left hand can alternate pick with no exercise at all faster than my right hand after all these years? However-it is not black/white world in my case...cause I never used to sit down and make hard picking exercises...i used to "get away" with hammer-on/pull offs and no picking...sort of Mark Knopfler techniques...and currently I am trying to change that...right now I am at 100bpms (after hours of warming up) but I cannot see progress beyond. Did you ever try to pick with other hand? Does anyone have any advice? I mean, I take care of all those know...the thickness of pick, angle, economy of movement, but it seems I just cant brake that barrier so far. I do spider exercises for 3 months now, but progress is way to slow...from 85-95 and than I need to use tension to hold the speed but I know it is not correct approach... Do you have any advice? What happens when you try to pick with your right hand?

    I don't know about the left/right hand thing but here's my 2 cents:

    How long do you do your exercises before moving the metronome? 5 mins? 20 mins? 1 hour? Do you do it everyday? Say, for example, Monday string one (1 hour sarod), Tuesday string 2 (1 hours sarod), Wednesday string 3 (1 hour sarod), etc...?

    I'm no expert at it and I think uderoche, FRaKh, deltadiscos, and dlraben have a better understanding and could answer you more to the point.

    Have you read through the Picking Improvement thread?

  • Troy StetinaDateFri Dec 27, 2013 4:22 pm
    Forum post by John567. Topic: Troy Stetina

    Its always good to practice technique, Damon. But, don't forget to have fun.

    I agree with Scott and Ursin. Find songs you like. They don't have to be jazz. I noticed that both Scott and Ursin mentioned Crazy Train. I think that would be a good tune to learn (I think I mentioned that tune in an email to you as well). I think I still remember the lead riff. Its a great song with plenty of drama to it.

    If you were just to draw up a lead sheet just to outline the changes you would see how it works, musically.

    Cool intro with drums (kinda minory F#)
    verse has the driving A chord type riff (kinda happy-major)
    chorus minory (F#minory with some cool harmonic squeals)
    bridge is minory heavy rhythms
    solo minory changes
    back to the top
    vamp out

    This is a bullshit 2 second breakdown. I'm sure you can do a better one.

    I like the outtro. You could probably take it and loop it to solo over for fun. I know I use to do this with Jeff Beck's tune "Led Boots". Thats a great tune to jam to.

    I also like classic rock tunes like "Sunshine of your Love". Great riff. Pick a Hendrix tune like "Hey Joe"...etc. Its all good stuff.

    So, what I get from your post is that you want to compose and that's what interests you in learning more about chords and progressions. I think thats a good thing. To add to that is learning tunes. When you memorize them, kinda like what Ursin was saying, playing them over and over till you forget it, it somehow stays with you and you get a different understanding of whats going on.

    Let me know what tunes you are learning right now. I'd like to know. Maybe I'll try to learn some myself... :D

  • Memorizing songs - How does a pro do it?DateThu Dec 26, 2013 4:25 pm

    Quote: NicholasJacquet wrote in post #13
    physical is porbabably the most obvious one to me, mental is probably the hardest one for me to work example would be to see how small you can make a subdivision of time before you can now longer sense that it is there.

    So we could say you have a mental/physical restraint. You are just like the rest of us, eh? Well, what I get from the following quote from before you have a main goal:

    "My goal is to chip away at/ get to the point where I have removed any anatomical playing constraints so that it would appear as though I didnt have any"

    Let's call this Goal A. I'll refer to this goal as Goal A from now on or GA for short.

    When you say stuff like the following:

    "one example would be to see how small you can make a subdivision of time before you can now longer sense that it is there"

    The first thing I get from this is that you appear to be able to think very abstractly in a mathematical way. Its like you are using the metaphor of math to explore the music (limit of x as it approaches zero...). Something like that.

    Do you think it takes you away from your goal or drives you toward it?

  • Memorizing songs - How does a pro do it?DateThu Dec 26, 2013 4:12 pm

    Okay. So, what would you say those constraints are? Mental, physical, financial, time, etc... I'm guessing you mean physical. Am I right about that?

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