HomeForumsProgress ReviewLive at open mic! and stuff about playing live.

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This topic contains 26 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  rightonthemark 5 days, 20 hours ago.

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  • #22214

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    If you fellow metal method student peeps have an interest in seeing/sharing stuff about doing open mics, in various ways, and about my recent, winning, so much winning, (ok, maybe only somewhat slightly winning), open mic solo performances, then reply to this post. Because, there’s been various progress posts about hitting that as a goal in the past, and it would be cool to share and get tips that way. Or to hear where everyone is at. Being a bedroom guitarist is totally cool too and not to imply that everyone needs to have playing out live as a goal. It sounds like many of today’s metal method students are adult starters, so that’s a different perspective, vs a teenager who might have already played a lot in a school band, or recitals when young, or a garage band with teen friends, etc.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22216

    Igglepud
    Participant

    I definitely have this as a goal. I saw a guy playing at our last art walk and remember thinking, “Why am I not doing that?”

    MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #22218

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    One of the bizarre things that derails me, and this is gonna sound silly but I’ll share it anyway, is hearing/feeling myself waaay too loudly in the stage monitors. If the monitors are too loud, and they always seem to be 3x or 5x too loud for me to be comfortable, I will mess up so bad, basically destroy my playing ability. I try to remember to ask for the monitors to be turned way down, or even turned off. So far I can hear myself fine through the audience PA without these excessive monitors. The sound guys never turn them all off though. At least they turn off one or two. Probably trying to be too smart for their own good. One of the open mic nite brew co’s has three huge floor monitors and they seem to always be _blasting_. Its not something I can easily practice (and I wouldnt want to practice it anyway), being blasted by multiple monitors and still trying to play/sing. I dont want or expect to have to wear earplugs when playing solo at an open mic, having to wear ear plugs on stage there is just silly. The last time, basically my hands froze up, couldn’t play at all, and I had to move onto the next song. I’m pretty sure some of the other musicians are somewhat deaf, it seems they really can’t hear normal conversational voice that well. Having this happen a few times is kind of a curve ball that I didn’t expect. It’s not so much that I get derailed from hearing myself thru speakers, it’s just the volume blasting back at me that is the problem.

    I’ve still only got about 40 mins worth of songs now.. so playing the art events remains out of reach.. I think I’d only be comfortable if I had like 2 hrs of material. There’s probably many ways to stretch material out but I would have to work on that too. It would be a lot of fun playing these events. So it’s still one of my goals.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22230

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    One frustrating angle of the open mic jams. Around here the musicians are nearly always baby boomers who grew up playing rock, nothing wrong with that but they have been playing the same songs since they were 14 yo and they seem to take a lot of their skills for granted. Because I was playing at open mics, I got invited to play at others, one guy recently insisted that I had to go to this wed nite open jam nite. He almost demanded that I had to go, it would be easy, “we play blues.. yes 12 bar blues.. you are definitely there, you have to do it, you need to stop playing solo and jam with some real musicians..” (I guess he got the wrong idea about my goals, in fact I’m kind of ‘over’ the idea of ‘jamming’ with the local ‘real musicians’.. I like solo much more, no disagreements, and the quality is always what I put into it myself.) I said, sure I’m up for it, the problem is I don’t know the songs you guys will play, I need to know the songs first, unless as you say it’s only 12 bar blues, since I know that, I’m good with that. He insists, I have to go, it will be 12 bar blues, I will “just feel it” (yeah right, not) and “you will just lock into the right note” (yeah right, not) and “you need to put yourself out there” (uh, I’m kind of over the idea of public humiliation for the sake of skill building). Like, do these 60 yo guys even know how music scales work? Head scratcher.. there’s a difference between being optimistic vs dumb when driving over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

    So I go, I get enthusiastically invited up to the stage, they play 1 blues song, it’s no problem I play rhythm, (the lead guitarist/singer guy asks during the song if I want to solo, I say nah, no biggie)

    Then they play an eagles song.. uhh thats not 12 bar blues.. I manage to get 1 chord right, I think, out of the 4 that are being played.. (not like anyone cares except me though, I turned my guitar way down)

    Then they play a fleetwood mac song.. uhh thats not 12 bar blues..

    and on it goes..

    Lucky for me, Doug has beaten the 5 patterns into my practice with the basic course, knowing all the 5 patterns is literally 4 more than some of these guys know (altho they still play faster, and can play licks easily on that one pattern they do know, which I still have problems doing).

    That’s when, later at the end of the night, I shake hands with the guys and someone mentions, yeah, he’s been playing that eagles song since he was 14 yo. That’s like 40+ years.

    But I got back at them (this is a light hearted dig). Because in between songs, when the guys were being indecisive about what to play next, I started playing a chord progression from a very old school classic rock song I’ve been practicing but can only play at 70% speed so far, very popular song in its day but not played live by anyone anymore. They recognized the distinctive chord progression and the drummer joined in, but the guitarist and bassist and piano/sax guy had a hard time playing it at first. Then the lead guy recognized it from his teen years and started singing the song. It turned into a cool 6 minute jam as he sung thru the verses and ad libbed words he forgot. None of them were able to get the correct last chord out of the 5 in the progression. The bassist later admitted “yea! thats such a cool song, I should know that one, I should look it up, cause I didn’t get it while we were playing.” Ha! Karma. X-D

    I’m sure I mentioned this problem about not knowing the songs before. The geriatric rock guys who post on craigslist looking for players for their jams yet insist that no one needs a set list, or no one needs to agree on songs to play before meeting up.

    An ipad + cellular connection + fast fingers on the keyboard to look up songs and progressions on e-chords or whatever site might be a good crutch for many of these on-the-spot problems..

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22248

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Started rehearsing songs last month with my previous fellow guitarist again and also another local guitarist, so, there’s 3 of us, we started with a couple blues songs, so we each do improv solo’s too. I thought it would be useful (plus fun of course) because blues songs can be extended into a jam and pad out a setlist to make for a longer performance. They kind of generally say “yea it would be great for us to play an open mic” but there’s no real strong commitment. I like having a target to focus on. Using my drum machine with our rehearsals works well.. I kind of impose my chosen tempo on everyone and we start playing, I wrote out the tempos from the album tracks, so the first couple times we practice a song I start at 70% or 80% normal speed (and every time hear gripes “thats too slow! ugh! but it’s good because it helps us fix mistakes. but it’s soo slow!”), then set normal tempo for the next few times. The scheduling is a problem so, no definite date to play out, the date keeps getting pushed out, and I dont want to play prematurely either, the playing is not really as high as I would like either, so far.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22295

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I guess aiming for “blues jam open mic” with jam buddies is much more difficult than I thought. I assumed our rehearsals were aiming towards learning a set list of blues songs. Which is cool because then I can try playing some of the Classic Licks in the blues solos. Now they don’t want to add more blues songs to our set list because “they all sound the same” and “the audience will get tired of hearing the same shuffle repeating all the time, the audience is gonna notice and get bored”. So then it turns into a circular discussion where “omg I remembered this really cool song from the radio the other day, let’s play that” or “always loved The Ramones, we could easily add this Ramones song, which is a funny cover of a disco song.” Then I suggest that the point of a jam nite is to play songs which are jammable, so I suggest an old school blues song (such as, the entire new Rolling Stones album which is all blues covers), to which someone else suggests “If we want to do something like that, here’s this great Johnny Winter song” (plays mp3 with insane Johnny Winter leads that is completely impossible to cover). Then the cycle repeats the next time: “omg do you remember this old David Bowie song, I just heard it on the radio, we could easily play something like that”.

    What?

    I must be missing something.. blues jam?..


    THE ROLLING STONES – Ride Em on Down Live Desert Trip Indio Ca October 7 2016

    Anyway I suggested that it would be better to figure out how to get over the hump of “all my blues songs sound the same” by figuring out how to make them sound interesting. It is a real beginner trap. Typical 12 bar blues is easy but getting beyond the typical generic sound is not taught well.

    Edit.. kind of a moot point since I just found out the venue has cancelled all further blues jam nite “due to legal issues”. I dunno what that means but other local venues have closed music down previously due to music copyright/royalty problems.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22303

    rightonthemark
    Participant

    thought about superblonde and the one man band thing when i saw this video.

    rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #22305

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Wow that was phenomenal. How players are able to do that seems like magic. Its amazing the many comments on the video saying it is fake or staged, these commenters must live in a bubble (“that lady requesting Vai must have been his mom”, what..?), they must not see real musicians perform where random audience passer-by’s request unique songs. Just this past Friday at the local dive bar with a good cover band, some older woman asked the band to play some specific rock song with Hurricane in the title (by allman brothers? CCR? I forget now but the song title was like “Survived a Hurricane” or something.. I dont think it was Neil Young who also has a Hurricane song..) because of the recent hurricanes. The band didnt know the song and said sorry, no.. many of these cover bands really seem to be made of guys who know how to play the list of classic songs and don’t stray beyond that into “real musician territory”. It was a quirky rare request and neat to see someone request something unusual. [Edit.. it might have been John fogerty Walking in a Hurricane] The one-man-band guys are good though, they’ll look up chords on ezchords or whatever web site on their ipad, for stuff like random country song or cowboy chord song requests, they’ll listen to the song for a minute, pull up the lyrics, and do a good legit ad hoc cover.. those are just 4 chord songs over cheeseball lyrics so I can see how it is possible to do with experience. I requested a two-man-band to play Come Together back when I was first learning it, they didn’t remember it, one guy said he’d never played it, they looked it up on ipads, after saying No, they finally said aww what the hell let’s try it, and after a few minutes discussing with each other (and finding the correct lyrics, hah) they did an okay on-the-spot cover. [Edit. good lesson from the Hurricane story is, that a musician should have some theme-based songs in the back pocket, to pull out in appropriate situations, would be a good, professional looking thing to do.. more than just the obvious ones to know, like a birthday song.. it starts raining, then play Riders On The Storm or something etc.. one bar is near the railroad tracks, one time a band played Train Kept a Rollin’ and a train went by at the end of the song, that was really cool circumstance, hah]

    The local blues jam organizer got back with an answer for us (doing these jams, I thought, was the point of our new rehearsal group), regarding what songs we should learn to play to be most successful in jamming with others there :
    1. thrill is gone
    2. pride and joy
    3. got my Mojo working
    4. stormy Monday
    5. before you accuse me by Eric Clapton

    None of those are Vai level, whew.

    That guy must have previously performed a really a good cover Vai in the past..? Otherwise how could he pull that off, with all the soloing..? Hope he makes a follow-up video to explain.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22306

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Oh by the way I got a looper pedal a few weeks ago, Pigtronix Infinity. Kept checking the used sites until a deal popped up. Just in messing with it several hours one day, it is really really fun to play backing to myself. It will take time to figure out especially later using it to beat sync with the drum medal via midi.

    The guy playing Vai really has his looping down. Keys and multiple layers of drum pad etc.. (interesting that he put down the keys first, it makes sense now, that’s a great way to do it)

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22310

    Igglepud
    Participant

    Keep at it. You’ve had a lot more success than I have with other people this summer. We never finished a single song, let alone get out to an open mic. I’m probably going to have to go solo myself. Nobody to mess things up that way but me.

    MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #22312

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I agree totally. Solo is the way to go. I played 9 songs & vocals along with my drum machine. Made a set list card with the song titles and BPM and pattern settings, took this up to the stage each time. Very happy with getting over the hump (altho still hoped for getting more songs down by now). The drummer at one open mic was not thrilled I didnt ask him to join. I asked many of the musicians and audience, if the drum machine is annoying (because its so repetitive, no groove etc), they all said it sounds fine, and one very experienced musician who runs one open mic, said it sounds great too and he thinks it is a great idea to avoid problems with the drummer being out of time or playing the wrong thing (not knowing the song). There’s no way I would have been able to do these many open mics recently, if I had to work with others, not even counting the scheduling problems that keeps postponing getting together too.

    My overall goal was to do these solo in order to meet better musicians (the other regular good performers) and that is working. The amateurs who “never seem to make it out” to open mic are on a different level or different set of priorities/goals. Need to step up to the next level to bypass all that wasted time, if you have different priorities.

    Solo performances without a drum beat just seem to be missing something for me. Backing tracks seem too tricky to set up fast, too many mistakes possible with hearing and syncing to the track. I also dont like it when musicians get up there and say “umm hmm so lemme see, what should I play, uhh”.. carrying up a setlist helped enormously, as simple as that sounds. Practice a tight solo set with your bass riff pedal and the results should be great.

    As for rehearsals I am definitely the one who keeps everything on track all the time.. altho it is kind of reluctantly, I dont want to be a jerk when the rehearsal turns into side chatter about someone’s sister’s cat or whatever nonsense, I don’t want to be a drill sergeant or something.. I’ve found that being in control of the drum machine tends to interrupt everyone’s side conversations to get back on track, I set up the pattern for a song to practice, start the drum beat and say “1,2,3,4!”, all of a sudden the guys get snapped back into it. This coming rehearsal I am going to get more strict about running thru the setlist fast, without five minutes of idle conversation about someone’s new granite countertops or whatever, in between each song. It’s a lot of wasted time if it’s only a 2-3 hr rehearsal per week. One of the guitarists is constantly, and I mean constantly, getting distracted by the house cat “ooh look she’s crawling into my guitar case! that’s so cute! see that, did you see that?” dude, wtf, stay focused for just twenty minutes, okay?!

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22315

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    There’s another huge benefit to going solo. I can pick songs I can actually play. I can try songs and discard them if I cant play them at a normal tmepo.
    These blues friends picked a classic blues song but insist “oh we gotta do the Johnny Winter version.. it reallly rocks”. Well great, but holy hendrix. I just spent 90 minutes transcribing 5 seconds of the guitar leads in the first verse. There is just no way. There’s a reason Johnny Winter is known as one of the best blues players of all time. Even if the tempo is only 128 BPM. It will take quite a bunch of work to find playable licks to replace the fast ones, that is basically writing a blues song myself, instead of covering an existing song where tab is available. Bah!

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22316

    rightonthemark
    Participant

    first, whch blues song?
    two, don’t worry bout gettmg the lead note for note.
    blues lends itself very well to improvisation.
    get the rhythm down. chord changes. etc.
    then just knowing the key and chord progression and your knowledge of pentatonics from the complete basic course you should be able to improv a decent lead. don’t worry so much about the notes…there’s only five n th pentatonic scale. concentrate on the feel mr winter plays and try to imitate what you hear and feel. the five notes of the pentatonic will take care of themselves.

    There’s another huge benefit to going solo. I can pick songs I can actually play. I can try songs and discard them if I cant play them at a normal tmepo.
    These blues friends picked a classic blues song but insist “oh we gotta do the Johnny Winter version.. it reallly rocks”. Well great, but holy hendrix. I just spent 90 minutes transcribing 5 seconds of the guitar leads in the first verse. There is just no way. There’s a reason Johnny Winter is known as one of the best blues players of all time. Even if the tempo is only 128 BPM. It will take quite a bunch of work to find playable licks to replace the fast ones, that is basically writing a blues song myself, instead of covering an existing song where tab is available. Bah!

    rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

    • #22317

      superblonde
      Keymaster

      I found a fantastic cover online of the Johnny Winter version (Winter’s cover was recorded in 1980). The youtube cover was a huge help in trying to figure out the general idea of the licks. But still. Friggin fast. This song, historically is Mother-In-Law Blues written by Don Robey, performed by Little Junior Parker and Bill Harvey’s Band first recorded in August 1956.


      Mother in law blues Johnny Winter

      On first listen and our rehearsals it seemed like standard blues with fast licks and we were just playing standard shuffle chord rhythm with some different chord types. I’ve now started digging into the different cover versions and realized the most important thing about this song are specific licks which sound like a rooster crowing. It was early in the mornin’ / [Rooster Lick] I heard the rooster crow for day [Harmonica does more rooster sounds].

      I tried to transcribe this rooster lick because it’s the one I believe is most important to play and it repeats for each start of each verse. It took quite a while just for this little part. I know this transcribed timing is not correct (doesnt matter since I’ll play by ear) and that 3rd measure is still a bit of a mystery (but its not important since it’s too fast for me to play anyways).

      Mother-In-Law-Blues-Johnny-Winter-superblonde1

      There are some other interesting things about this song. Which of course I have just started to dig up. Ike & Tina Turner have a cover of this song from 1964 and the title is literally Rooster.

      The other song they want to do (and we are already doing), but I haven’t started looking into ‘authentic’ licks for it, they suggested as Kansas City by Muddy Waters, ‘but previously from Fats Domino’ they said. Of course I’m a big Muddy Waters fan. But this history seemed rather fishy to me. I dug into the origins of the song and found that it is not actually correctly called Kansas City. To be correct it would be called K.C. Loving Blues. K.C. Loving, performed by Little Willie Littlefield, first recorded in November 1952. Although dozens of covers have been made by our blues heroes and they call it Kansas City too.

      Digging into the original (aka characteristic) licks kind of goes back to their original argument against doing more blues songs, ‘meh, they all sound the same’. Well of course they sound the same, if you don’t play them correctly. I found that Son Seals has a disappointing cover of Mother In Law Blues from 1973. He/his band plays it as standard blues without the rooster licks. It doesn’t sound the same, or sound unique/characteristic/cool at all. So many of the old classic blues licks or blues rhythms are directly related to the lyrics or song theme, like, Train Kept A Rollin’ (which I want to cover someday!) has the train sound and train rhythm, on a superficial level it doesn’t seem obvious or important, but below the surface, these things are what make these classic songs so interesting.

      Also I don’t know if I can say enough about that awesome Johnny Winter cover the girl put on youtube. Phenomenal job she did on the song.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

      Attachments:
      1. Mother-In-Law-Blues-Johnny-Winter-superblonde1.png

  • #22319

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Also right or wrong, I told my rehearsal mates that we should absolutely not improvise in the sense of making stuff up on the spot. That is just not appropriate for our level. I’m going to insist that if they want to play something different than the official version, like a simplified version, thats fine, but it needs to be written down and played the same way every time, for practice and rehearsal and live. They previously attended a 5 day blues workshop ($$$) and the instructors apparently told them the standard thing: learn some licks then improvise while playing. I think that is totally wrong or a misstatement of their intended point. We aren’t Frank Zappa’s able to pull out one of a thousand licks to apply at an appropriate time. Fine, noodle at home to create a cool personalized or simplified lick that fits, but once satisfied, then write the tab out and play it that way every single time. Not like we have been doing “okay my solo is coming up let me noodle on-the-spot between these different boxes”. No way, that is just not good for where we (definitely including myself) are at. I’m not even sure the general career guitarist does it that way. As Doug says in one of the weekly lessons- always learn a memorized solo, to be used as a default, and on really good nights where playing is on fire and really feeling it, then sure, throw away the memorized solo and make something up according to the energy that is going on, meanwhile, practices and rehearsals still use a memorized solo, played the same way every time.

    This means that one of our covers I’m going to have to do a lot of work because it means writing a complete new solo, it’s a punk cover that doesn’t have a solo in the original, and like any typical punk song it is only 2:30 long, which is too short to fill stage time, so, we agreed that I’d add in a solo as long as I want (and also extend more by repeating a chorus etc). In our prior rehearsals I’ve just been winging this section, on the spot (surprisingly in the recordings, my noodling sounds rather punk, haha). But anyways now I’m going to have to tab out a real personalized solo and practice it like it is a definitive version.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22323

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Last nite I stopped by the local tiny dive bar and listened to the cover band for a while (70s rock as usual, lots of Stones, etc). The bands rotate, this nite was a very pro cover band (lead vocalist, lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist, bassist, acoustic drummer). One of the most pro cover bands in the area, they play a lot of city-booked fairs etc. The lead guitarist sounded much better than usual. On their previous nights I never liked his amp sound, too biting somehow, harsh sounding, he has used a fender mustang IV (which he always turned up waaaay too loud) and also the newer solid state marshall combo with the 2×12. I had gotten on him previously about being too loud in my opinion, I had to leave two different nites because they were too loud. This nite, I really liked his sound, later he came over to say hello and he was really surprised to hear that I thought his sound was especially good. (Entire band still pretty loud though) He and the band were previously worried that he wouldn’t be loud enough with his chosen amp. He was using a tiny gold marshall that was mic’ed with SM57 (I believe), the amp with the 1×8. I’m not great at recognizing amps but I think it was MG15. They had two large carvin PA’s sitting on the bar. The rhythm guy (who also does leads, including great hendrix renditions) was also using a small amp, pretty sure also 1×8, a Fender Champion 20 I believe, also mic’ed up and also sounded great. The guitarist was joking that I could have the 2×12 marshall if I wanted, because it is so heavy he doesn’t want to lift it, it was in the back of his truck. Anyway, long story short, 1×8″ marshall combo amp sounded fine, mic’ed up, for the tiny dive bar that has like occupancy 100. Most of the other bands bring huge old school amps, too unnecessary, and to me, the guitar sounds so much better when only in the PA’s compared to a super loud amp on the stage and some mix going to the PA’s.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22324

    Doug Marks
    Keymaster

    When you’re in a jamming situation it’s very helpful to know the potential chords for the progression.  I briefly explain the concept in Week 14 of the course but this topic deserves more attention. If you are able to identify the first two or three chords of the progression, you probably can tell what mode and key you’re in if you understand this stuff.  Once three chords are identified you will know the four remaining potential chords.   This will keep you from making huge, out of key mistakes.  Even if you bang off the wrong chord it won’t be a total discord.  In Week 14 I demonstrate the C Major chord progression.  If you begin on the A minor chord in this progression and play the exact same chords as C Major you’re in A natural minor.  So now you have a pretty good idea of what to look for as you move through the progression.  Just like modal lead playing, the chords in the Major progression can be 7 different modal progressions depending on which chord is the root.

    Metal Method Guitar Instructor

  • #22325

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Yes definitely. I need to make myself a small cheat sheet. Maybe just the most commonly used keys listed in another thread. Especially knowing which chords are major or minor. This is needed for transcribing too. Metal or punk songs (with incomplete or incorrect tabs) create more confusion to this because power chords don’t make it clear, it’s like there are fewer clues to go on.

    One thing not especially highlighted in the course (with an exercise) is moving the patterns to make it major. Unless I forgot a week. Which needs to be pretty automatic when someone says “your turn to solo” during a song in D or A. Oops omg where am I? Hah. Depending on where pattern 1 is on the neck for the key, it takes a few seconds or more to work out, otherwise I get confused, especially those patterns that don’t begin on the 1st finger (like pattern #2). The exercise I keep meaning to do for myself is, run through the pentatonic patterns at the 5th fret in those most common keys. I mean there’s two ways to go about it: 1- move pattern 1 (which is minor) to the right key, but then move it again to make it major (can be confusing); or, 2- use whatever pattern is proper for the key right at the 5th fret. For the song in A, I try to remember to always pick pattern 2 at the 5th fret. I know cowboy chord players who learn the major scales first, have the same problem but in reverse: can’t easily move the memorized major pattern positions to minor.

    Ive decided this morning to leave this new rehearsal group, at first I thought we could play out relatively quickly. Yesterday’s rehearsal was the 3rd repeated week of: “oh thats right we added a solo, umm okay so it goes, verse chorus then the ooh-ooh-ooh part then the solo then the chorus, but ahh how were we ending it again?” There’s these things called pencils and these other things called paper.. and song charts.. use ’em (or not).. Yet they somehow believe we will be ready to play 3 songs next week — totally not true unless the performance standards are really lowered. So, back to the one-man routine, less wasted time. Also inspiring is that I saw a local guitarist play a great one-man set with her looper pedal (Boss RC30), even if she was playing 🙁 ed sheeran covers on acoustic, she’s won several local performance awards, and she wasn’t even using any of the RC30’s built-in drum beats. There has to be a way to play one-man with heavy songs without being a musical genius, even though no one seems to do this (without backing tracks, I mean).

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22327

    rightonthemark
    Participant

    test. been having trouble posting again.

    rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #22328

    rightonthemark
    Participant

    for the past couple days i have written out some rather long responses to you superblonde but they didn’t post. i will try to summarize some of that as well as some additional thoughts.

    rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #22329

    rightonthemark
    Participant

    i get the idea of not improvising completely on the spot. that’s more like playing blind (although i’ve done it before). i like to take a couple of key parts and exploit those with variations on a theme. i wouldn’t get so hung up on note for note leads. but rather focus on some key parts and get the feel of the song using your knowledge of scales, licks and cliches.

    as for writing a lead for a song that doesn’t have one. i would start with the vocal melody. think smells like teen spirit by nirvana or we’re not gonna take it by twisted sister. both leads are variations on the vocal melody. then there’s the ace frehley approach in rock and roll all nite. studio version has no solo but the live version does. and that’s based on a basic rock cliche lick in the 1st pentatonic shape. in the key of Am i call the first shape the one that has the root at the fifth fret on the sixth string – stating that just so we’re on the same page.

    and about moving scales…

    since i see Am first shape starting at the fifth fret i then see the other four shapes follow in order. note: shape two starting on the 8th fret on the 6th string in Am is the Cmajor pentatonic. so if you start that shape on the A at the 5th fret on the 6th string that would be Amajor and all th other shapes fall into place around it. thus F#minor is to Amajor as Aminor is to Cmajor.

    knowing major/minor relatives helps make the transition. they are just three frets away from each other. Aminor is the same as Cmajor. so when your in minor and you want to find the major relative of that just go up three frets. but if you want to change your Aminor to Amajor you just move that scale shqpe down three frets to F#minor and now the A which is three frets up from F# will be Amajor.

    i hope that makes some sort of sense. maybe later in the week when i get to my computer i can make some diagrams for a visual reference.

    rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #22338

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Yes, makes sense to me. I think others who get thru to somewhere like week 30 of the course, probably absorb this stuff, with a few caveats:

    i see Am first shape starting at the fifth fret i then see the other four shapes follow in order. note: shape two starting on the 8th fret on the 6th string in Am is the Cmajor pentatonic

    Probably the current course could spell out “this pattern 2 is the major pentatonic shape”. And also the “up three frets” rule:

    so when your in minor and you want to find the major relative of that just go up three frets.

    Probably it is good to practice this, in preparation for a jam nite. Sometimes I forget in the moment, whether it’s up-three or down-three, depending on what I’m doing. I’ve done a lot of attempted-soloing over backing tracks in Am, and a tiny bit over backing tracks in E. But what I havent practiced, and the course doesn’t include this, is to play a backing track for each of the half-dozen most popular keys, as a blues 1-4-5, randomized around, and say “Ok, solo, now!” That would be a good exercise for sure.

    I’m not sure I will remember a table of relative majors/minors especially when nervous in the moment. But I can remember some mechanical thing like, “just imagine this pattern, ok got it, now move that 3 up”, something that doesn’t involve thinking. Practicing that to keep it fresh, and knowing the note names on the 6th string, maybe that will cover these situations. Or alternatively just always knowing that pattern 2 is the major pattern. And assuming the key is known, hopefully someone has mentioned it before starting the song.

    The one great thing about a blues jam. No confusion over the song form (“oh the prechorus repeats again? or not?”) because the blues form is so easy. The other goal I had with the blues jam thing is, it seems like it would be easy to extend the songs out to a 10 minute jam. That would be a great help to lengthen a set list. I wouldn’t mind extending out my current songs to lengthen them by adding solos to them or repeating sections (especially with looper as backing), but the blues form is so much easier for this. Well, easy blues songs. I have always wanted to cover some specific Howlin Wolf songs. Except his vocals just can’t be matched, he was so talented, maybe its impossible to feel satisfied with any result.

    I successfully pulled off some on-the-spot solos during rehearsals, for a punk song cover, 160 BPM. We added a solo section to lengthen the song so I was given the solo since the others said they “don’t know what to play”, which was great because, I could also make the solo as long as I wanted (as long as it ended ‘on time’ to match the song form). For soloing, I’ve started to remember a little bit of my previous playing while going along. I can end on root notes when needed, to make it sound ok. I can repeat phrases, and playing with repetition makes it sound like maybe I know what I’m doing, hah (that idea applied straight out of Doug and MAB and Sarah’s lessons, worked very well). So, I’m not absolutely horrible at doing simple solos, it does sound amateur though.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22339

    rightonthemark
    Participant

    long response again not posting.

    i’ll try again later.

    rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #22340

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Here’s how I’ve practiced my personal setlist, of songs I completely know. This is my updated process for the ~6 days per week since 6/2017 (3 mos ago now). I record myself doing my setlist uninterrupted into Reaper on most practice days, appending to an increasingly long project, with three tracks (drum machine, guitar, vocals) as I go thru my complete setlist, as if live. The recording ends up kind of rough sometimes. Then I go back and review the recording. More rarely I will go back to previous parts of the recording on later days and record a new take over top and then play the takes back & forth to compare. According to Reaper it is about 20 hrs of recording so far. I just record a new track of drums every time since it’s faster and more ‘live’ than going back to some perfect drum track I’ve made for each song, considering I want to use a drum pedal rather than backing tracks ultimately anyways.

    The project looks like this right now:

    20170917-setlist-1-reaper

    I have a bunch of tracks in this project because, I have spare recording tracks in case I go back to record new takes over previous recordings. Those takes are separate tracks, then when I review I can easily pan the two guitars or two vocals right and left and compare them easily (without messing around with multiple-takes-in-lane reaper stuff).

    The other rehearsal group I practiced with about a year ago, for just a month or so, had a different approach to practicing for open mic as a first step towards being a band. I’d go over to their garage. We would play songs free-form (no drums) or sometimes along to the youtube video that one of the guys pulled up on a laptop. At first the lead guitarist showed me how to play the songs. After one run-thru of the songs, the other guys would partake in some illegal substances. Then we’d run thru the songs several more times although their playing was severely handicapped and their timing was all over the place. After every other song, the young bass player would need to do something like, go grab a red bull, or go outside to smoke a cig. So, that’s how they approached practicing. Which is totally fine but not my thing. I dont think they were making very good progress even though the guitarist had taken a year off of college to ‘try and get a band thing going while having the chance’, so, I thought the lack of progress was unfortunate. I showed the lead guitarist how to find backing tracks online so we could use those instead of playing along to the youtube video, he thought that was great, and also I suggested he find out how to work his BOSS multieffects pedal to use the drum beats since the timing was always drifting (drugs or not), so hopefully he continued with that idea.

    My current rehearsal group (where I’ve kind of ended up running the rehearsal), we basically run through one of our songs that I decide to start, using my drum machine, then we make some points after the song, I write notes on the points we’ve made, the others don’t write anything and hence forget later, and try the song again or move on to the next song. After about 3 times thru each song, the guys are bugging to play something new, so, about half the time I’ve taught them a song and we play that a few times starting at slow tempos to somewhat normal tempos (still no note taking on their part). Then the next day I’ll email out a very simple song chart with lyrics which, I’m guessing, they don’t really pay super close attention to, because the next week I show the same thing again. So that is the work process for that group.

    My next rehearsal group, if there is one, I’m probably going to start straight out by asking, who’s the band leader, and what’s your work process, and is everyone open to using a much better work process, and asking if they would really be open to apply process improvement. I’m sure this questioning would pretty much scare every musician away though, will see…

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    Attachments:
    1. 20170917-setlist-1-reaper.jpg

  • #22342

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I briefly explain the concept in Week 14 of the course but this topic deserves more attention. Once three chords are identified you will know the four remaining potential chords.   This will keep you from making huge, out of key mistakes.  

    There were a couple songs where I would get nervous about the chorus and mess them up, because it meant playing from memory (“okay remember to play C# even though I have no idea why”). Knowing the ‘valid’ chords progressions has finally eliminated this problem because now I always remember what to play (it’s C# because it has to be C#). I still might not play it right but at least I remember what I’m supposed to be playing.

    So definitely I found these lessons very useful especially week 26-30. The confusing part was mostly the “well yeah but what happens in this other key”.

    long response again not posting.

    i’ll try again later.

    It’s cool to have the discussion. Bummer about the anti-spam stuff right now.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22347

    rightonthemark
    Participant

    gtr-pentatonic

    attached a pdf to see if it will post.

     

    rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

    Attachments:
    1. gtr-pentatonic.pdf
  • #22349

    rightonthemark
    Participant

    i noticed i said “of course” quite a bit.

    note: everything is in A minor pentatonic – so when playing over the D & E power chords i am still using the notes/roots of the A minor pentatonic scale shapes.

    backing track is power chords…

    A | A | D | D | A | A | E | D |

    A | A | D | D | A | E-D | A | E-D-A

    hope this is helpful.

    have fun.

    rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

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