Living in a gloom soaoked room has left me nothing but a lot of time pondering on the things that have passed in the few months before. There really isn’t really much to talk about, indeed, for one who does not talk much will have little to say. But, it’s been a rough month for me. Hopes for entry into a local university have already shattered before I can have them all them plans dirty over my hands. And for that, now I’ll have to empty my pockets, perhaps an indomitable amount of loan to cover the debts I’ll have to inject into these institutes that has little to do with current running government. Money, money, money, little do I love you for the misery you give, but you make me hook on you, like you were a drug, except more lethal, more brutal, more addictive than a mere 10 ounce of Ice drug. Money for education, money for a new guitar, money for a living. This list will eventually stretch until the bottoms of hell.
It seems I’m rather in a mood to write a novel, but that’s not for today. I have some other plans. It seems each time a holiday approaches to an end, I seem to develop a great interest in writing a blog. How long has been? 4 months? Could be more if you’re good at math (something I’m not, or merely denying). Days and weeks were spent to pump my demanding tummy with good edible stuff. The rest of the time I had my hands on the guitar. Truth to be told, I’m not sure if I’ve been making progress; but even I did, I believe its barely a jump of a bacteria from one spot to another. Nonetheless, the battle must go on. Other than that, I did do a little reading during the birth on my jolly good days, but it all were consumed with good old computer games that much recalled of my younger days.
Seems like a good deal of people already made their way into higher places to achieve higher ambitions. It something that I can never really feel. Ambition for professionalism. Has all these music and life thought made me feel of abandoning my previous ambitions? Somehow I feel they had a role in making me have tough figuring out the puzzle and putting the pieces together.
Ah, I fear the story must end if I were to recharge my appetite to write. Would that be another 6 months? We shall see about that..
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Well guys. After living my life for about more than 21 years, I recorded my first song, made up entirely of my emotions on a particular day. It’s not composed though, so everything you hear would feel like I’m telling you something. Please comment if you are able and let me know what you thought I was thinking. Thanks!
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I found this very interesting link. Do check it out. Check out No. 1. Lol, that’s like wow.
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Everyone’s got their idols and influence. I’ve got mine too. Just wanna share a little on my favourite guitarist, who taught me rock music is not about noise, distortion, loud volumes, whammy pedals, funky effects and SPEED. He takes his music the clean way, perfectly melodic and rhythmically creative. He plays rock.He’s Mark Knopfler of the band, Dire Straits. 80’s rock band, who rose to fame from their single Sultans of Swings.
He’s not very young now. But let’s take a look at his pictures, era-wise accordingly. And hear some story from lil’ old gramps, will ya?
Did i mention he sings too? He has a very good command of his voice, and he takes the job as a lead guitarist close to his soul. How do I prove this?
That’s Dire Straits’ first hit, the Sultans of Swings. At first I had a very taboo kinda thingy. I thought it to be a strange sounding title, but sure the songs hints out good melody. Not noisy, but just sweet.
He plays the electric guitar with his fingers. Most guitarists use picks, fingerpicks, or plectrum, whatever you call it; for a the same reason, achieving top speed and get a hold of a solid sound. Unlike Marky, he uses his fingers to create dynamics in his guitar, making it sound very very his style.
Although Knopfler is well-known for his rockish attitude, it is quite obvious one would notice a flavour of country in his style of playing. And at some points, it turns out the be rather bluesy. I can say he’s influenced by Celtic background. Check out Walk of Life, Dire Straits. I bet you heard this on Mix FM or Lite n Easy before.
That song really shows his colours of country, or some may call it folkish.
That’s a little bit on my favourite guitarist so far in my life. There are really other great guitarist like Saul Hudson (Slash), Eric Clapton, Randy Rhoads, David Gilmour etc. But in my biased opinion (imbo), I seriously feel that Mark Knopfler is the only one person who can tell a story so sad, with his guitar. It’s just a few notes, but it is so melodic that it really drives into your soul. Let’s end this with my favourite Mark Knopfler song. Please please do check out the ending solo. It’s also known as the most heart-breaking solo ever in history. (I know it’s very old fashioned, so I suggest you get the audio file for a much modern take on the song)
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It turns out no one actually read the post or bothered to at least say something on it. Well, shit happens. At least it’s proven that’s not how you attract readers to fill in forms. Maybe, I need to smack their ass a little.hehe.
Time for personal shout-outs. I’m pissed off at some things in my life. There’s one huge mistake that I do ALL the time. Everytime there’s a chance right in front of me, I do not notice it and when the thing’s gone, I’m all ravish about having it back. You see, I had this opportunity so open in front of me. It was hinting its existence in front of my eyes for almost 2 months. And now, only just knowing to appreciate its value, at the same time to know that it’s no longer in front of my eyes. Oh well, there goes another turning point. I seriously got to learn how to appreciate things in front of my eyes these days. ps: When I mentioned “thing”, I didn’t mean static stuff. It’s alive, and it’s nourishing
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Have you ever wondered why one never enjoy another person point of view on a certain artistic object? I recently encountered an online debate stating that simple listeners will never understand the music grandmasters like Bach, Mozart etc. and rather aim for easy sing along songs like Green Day, Pink, etc.
To increase this intensity, recently I had a clash of thoughts with a friend of mine, saying art is simple, much opposed to my own ideology. Probably both have diverse meanings to a certain degree of savours. I hope those who are reading this post to participate in a mini survey of mine to clarify a little bit of everything:
1. What’s your primary art proficiency? This could be ranging from classic art, photography, digital art, architecture, music, literature, etc.
2. Anything specific or specialization about your art? Maybe you only deal with nature on drawings, or probably people on photography.
3. When did this skill begin to cultivate within you? Probably you just started craving digital artistry last month, or you could have dug music at the age of 9.
4. Is art for simple or complex people? Do you just see(or listen) the surface of a particular art product, or you dive into it and try to harvest every single meaning and emotion from it?
5. What is your motive when you produce your own art? This is quite a wide range of prospect. Surprise me.
6. Have you produced any art object on your own? Everyone is an artist right? Just some people has different day to open their shell.
6. Do you want your art to be enjoyed by people? Pretty straight forward
7. Are you a simple or complex people? Another straight forward question. Cheers.
8. What do you have in mind right now? Sounds contributeful to the survey.
You should answer like the following sample of my personal opinion:
2. Blues Fusion
3. February 2008
4. I think art is for complex people. Simple people simply view and comment at first glance. Complex people try to understand on what motive it is being made and how the blend of colours and rhyhtm contribute to its beauty.
5. I usually use my life as a motive. Sometimes, a girl that I am fond of. But most of the time, the moment I’m feeling right now.
6. Not yet. But I’m inspired to release something big and cherished. Time to show the world that an unknown Malaysian banana Chinese has a grand scheme that others would not have thought so.
7. Complex. Very complex and perplex. Not much to my desire but I seem to have cultivated this within for quite some time already.
8. I wish to have spent more time to study for my PLC (Programmable Logic Control) test tomorrow.
You might have thought that this survey has an open ending, which leads to nothing at the end, but be in peace to know that I will produce a mini report and conclusion when I have an acceptable number of participants.
Thanks for reading, and thank you twice for participating! Don’t dissapoint me. Cheers for the champion.
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Learning the guitar(modern way) is not as easy as reading music sheets and playing it perfectly. Playing blues and jazz is different from other styles. If you’re a lead player, you’re expected to do comping(rhythm) for the vocals as well. Aside from the already mentioned “feel” for the blues (and jazz), a good schedule for practice could be very helpful in accelerating your accuracy, creativity and fluency. I’ve dug a lot of knowledge from books and the internet. So I’d state down my practice schedule for reason so that I can refer it here in case I forget it in future. It should prove helpful to others who’s keen on this field on education as well =)
The below is assuming i have AMPLE time. No exams. No appointments. No assignments. These fulfill the requirement for the following schedule for me.
1. Rhythm Practice(45 minutes)
- I used to think doing all the lead work is cool, but I went jamming one day with some professionals, I got stuck and I knew I had to work on my rhythms. Blues and jazz rhythm is not about strumming chords wildly like an acoustic or country boy does. It seriously involves CREATIVITY. If you’re not, then learn from songs and techniques from formidable rhythm players.
- Practice on: Chords (learn new chord voicing and ‘flavours’), Arpeggios, a little Scale knowledge can help much, some Strumming Patterns, and most important Rhythm Variation.
- How to learn: Learn a new chord a week. A new arpeggio pattern or voicing a week, learn only important scales(Major & Minor Scale, Pentatonics, Mixolydian, Dorian is enough if you’re just starting), dun bother learning all those weird scales, Rhythm Variation comes in naturally as you practice constantly.
- For blues, learning rhythm can be very tough at first. There’s so many music styles to cover like Mississippi Delta Blues, Urban/Chicago Blues, Texas Blues, British/Rock Blues, slow blues, minor blues and the list stretches…. Learn at least one of each, and that will be good enough for you.
- Spend as much time only as you feel like you’re ready. If you think you need more time than this, I advise that you stop at 1 hour and proceed with lead work.
2. Lead Practice/Improvisation(1 hour)
- Every guitarist sure wants to solo at some point. So this is where the real fun of the musician begins. Keep in mind that, RHYTHM comes first then the LEAD.
- Learn: Scale (see Rhythm section), Memorized Licks, Phrasing(more below), Rhythm Variation, Arpeggios.
- Memorize a lick a day, then recall the lick the day after. Your licks can be licks from any sources. But good licks come from legends. My legend is Mark Knopfler. Learn all the mentioned scales, your phrasing is heavily based on scales. All of this should be learned within 15-20 minutes. Your skills must be then applied to a jamming session with a METRONOME or backing track. In weeks, you’ll notice a big hike in your soloing. You’ll notice your scales tend to have more melody. All this will perfect if you phrase well.
- Lead work is probably the hardest of all. If you’re playing blues, jazz or rock, you don’t want to play other player’s solo. You want to play YOUR own solo. This is where you develop your own style. I’m working hard everyday on that, so should you =)
So what’s phrasing all about? Phrasing means playing a scale with melody. What makes good phrasing?
- Rhyhtm. A full note, half, quarter, eigth, sixteenth, and TRIPLETS. They create variety in your music taste.
- Technique. This includes bending, vibrato, slide, slurs etc. I won’t be teaching you here. But you should try this website to have a taste of techniques. This is where I dug my early guitar education.
- Dynamics. How hard you accentuate your notes creates a different voicing to that note. You’ll probably want to this on tonic notes or chord tones. You know the pianissimo and its family, and staccato, legato kind of this you learned in music class? The volume of your music will create a wave of difference. Staccato and legato will form the story line. Search wiki for more info =)
- Spacing and Rests. Let your licks and phrases take a break over time. This gives time for the licks to blend into listeners’ mind. No matter how slow you play. But phrasing this way makes your music very in line with melody. NEVER EVER LEGATO(play with rapid succession) WITHOUT RESTS AND SPACINGS.
- FEEL. This solves everything. Your first feel for blues will be strong and weak later on. The feel take place eventually as you practice with backing tracks and bands often. You will need to revive that feel during your critical gigs. The feel became the reason I play this genre and gave birth to passion and passion is a good driver for everything. Do realize that jazz feel is very different. You won’t be making faces and feeling the music like blues. You just feel the harmony and the tendency to create that jazz sound. This is where blues, jazz, funk, rock,etc gets the edge of advantage as compared to other music styles.
Please please please have fun with music. Remember it’s about fun, not a show-off action series. Those who boast just proves they are really desperate to be the best musician. Take things easy. Don’t be hard on yourself if it’s too hard. And when you’re good in music one day, be humble and your music will be largely appreciated. Just like most good songwriters today; their songs are accepted because of their humility. Since music is so connected to us, it is based largely on a great sense of humanity. Another thing to bear in mind is what makes a good musician is the one who composes new tunes, not musicians who play covers of others. Use some brain juice to help you on that.
I really don’t want to write an essay for MUET again. So I leave it to avid readers to decipher the sentences and take it to your advantage if you think you really need it. Somehow I think you’ll need it if you love the music as much as I do. Till then, enjoy! Please comment for support of this long written text. Cheers have a nice day! =)
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