The learning an instrument thread.

Discussion in 'music, bands, clubs & festies' started by xenon, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    This, I remember, was specifically mentioned in the video I watched. He said he wasn't going to go into why this is, though. Can't remember the term for it...
  2. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    Have you tried doing...again, I can't remember the term the teacher useds, but it's basically "mirroring". You start on, say, middle C, with both thumbs on the same key, then work outwards (left hand goes left, right hand goes right) along the scale from there?

    I should be good at left hand work seeing as I'm left-handed...ish. But my dominant hand is my right hand, it's weird. But either way, I should probably find it easier than 'normal' right handed people to use left hand. I didn't feel like it was easier, except for when doing this mirroring technique. It was almost easy.

    Right hand moves one note right, left does same left, etc., etc.

    Once you've mastered that, I guess you can start on different octaves, or go up on both hands simulateniously or down simultaniously etc. Not sure what's best. Will let you know as my lessons progress :)
  3. girasol

    girasol Ubuntu

    I started playing the guitar in January. There was a good, abandoned, guitar in the house (my son's) and I had time on my hands. I started with "guitar for dummies" book (which I found in the attic when putting away the xmas tree, it was actually what made me get started), then I learned a few easy songs on I was practising 1-2 hours a day and after 10 days I had decent callouses on my left hand.

    However, after a couple of months the whole thing felt a bit directionless, and I couldn't figure out how to strum properly with a plectrum! I wanted to something with a bit more guidance.

    Then, for once, Facebook served its purpose, and a guitar course for £19.99 on Udemy (with Erich Andreas) showed up on my feed - so I've been doing that for the last few weeks and it's been really good. It's a long course, but learning an instrument takes time, right? Yes, it does.

    I just checked the site now and it's even cheaper now, £12! :oops:
    Complete Guitar System - Beginner to Advanced | Udemy

    I can also play the berimbau (been playing for 7 years, so I'm quite good ;) )

    I'm playing guitar every day, at least an hour a day.
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  4. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    I've discussed Google ads earlier tonight in another thread, but Facebook ads are next level shit for me. I have ad blockers on my browser so I rarely see ads. I don't watch TV or listen to radio so I don't get them there either. Despite this, I work for an ad-funded TV station so I know how ads work and how they are targetted and it's very clever.

    Despite all this, I've never felt the need to click on ads or even noticed them before.

    But Facebook is different. Not only are their ads hard to block, but they're actually relevant. I've clicked on them more than once. They seem like Things I Want to Buy. Instagram, too, but that's basically the same site.

    Whatever Facebook is doing, it's better than Google, because not only am I forced to see their ads...I'm actually interested in what they're peddling. I never thought I'd ever say that :(
  5. girasol

    girasol Ubuntu

    I actually expressed an interest on 'guitar' on Facebook with the specific intention that it would show me stuff related to the subject on my feed - it can be useful like that. I have FBPurity installed, so I don't get adverts on the side, in fact I don't get targeted adverts at all unless I ask for it.

    Udemy seems really good, I think it also has piano/keyboard lessons too. They seem to have courses on anything and everything :D
    Fez909 likes this.
  6. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    Relative minor.

    Every major key shares a key signature with a minor key: its relative minor.

    C - A min
    G - Emin
    D - Bmin
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  7. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    It's basically the blues scale. But a lot of gospel music uses the second mode of the blues scale.

    So if you play an A minor blues scale but start on the second note (C natural) you get a mode that's in C.

    The notes would be C, D, Eb, E, G, A, C.

    If you learn those steps in the keys of C, F, Bb, Eb, A and G those are the most common keys gospel music is written in.
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  8. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    There's all sorts of uses for the circle of fifths (or fourths, if you go the other direction). In short, it's a summary of Western music theory.
  9. AnnaKarpik

    AnnaKarpik Queen of all she surveys

    I hesitated about joining in because a lot of people seem to think a ukulele is merely a toy. Of course, very many of them are, but I have proper instruments that make pleasing noises (potentially:)). I had group lessons with a very good teacher for a couple of years, this was great and I learned a lot but not every one in the group was keen to try more complicated stuff and most either slept through the theory or knew it already from playing something mainstream as a child. Since I moved I have started taking individual lessons via Skype with the same teacher and working harder than I ever did before. Currently fingerpicking, chord melody and harmony are on the menu, with Hawaiian slack-key for relaxation.
    Someone up-thread said about the best musicians being self-taught? I'm not sure I believe that, but in any case I was never on course to be one of the best so I need a teacher or several. Occasional workshops are good for a nudge in the right direction as well, if regular lessons don't appeal.

    <goes away to learn pentatonic scales>
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  10. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    I'd like to challenge the (commonly heard) perception that self taught musicians don't know music theory. If they're any good, they most certainly do. They just worked it out themselves.

    Music theory is simply a way of passing on What Works. That's it. No more, no less. It looks mind bendingly dry when written out, but shown to someone on their instrument it isn't.

    So, for example, while Robert Johnson probably didn't know how to read music, he knew very well how to make a 9th harmony, because we've heard him do it. He knew how to make a diminished chord, and how to move his triad inversions up and down his string sets. Did he know the technical names? Probably not, but they're only a way of passing on the information. Information he either a) worked out from first principles, b) was shown by another musician, or c) was bestowed with by Satan in return for his soul.
  11. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    This is the stuff! I thoroughly approve.
  12. Limejuice

    Limejuice Well-Known Member

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  13. existentialist

    existentialist The sausages need an explanation

    I think that, if some degree of self-teaching isn't happening, it's impossible to be a good musician. But I've heard too many people giving it the whole "nah, man, I don't want to cramp my style with all that theory and technique nonsense", usually just before making a fairly appalling hash of something, to believe that the royal road to musicianship is purely self-teaching. And even those "untutored" people who led us into our passions for jazz, blues, gospel, whatever were learning from others.

    There's a guy who plays in the musicians' club thing I go along to. He's quite good in some ways, but he doesn't believe in tuning his guitar (!), and he's obviously done a lot of self-teaching by himself, and hasn't a clue how to keep time or play in ensemble. The result isn't particularly enjoyable, but he seems to have a good time :confused:
  14. existentialist

    existentialist The sausages need an explanation

    I'd go as far as to say that the way I was taught music theory - which was done very dry - actually got in the way. I've had various revelations in my second musical life as some of that "this is the first inversion, this is the second inversion" guff suddenly came to life. And, as you say, all that's really about is giving names to things. Well, that and recognising that some kind of structure is inherent/necessary in music, or it becomes cacophany.
    danny la rouge likes this.
  15. girasol

    girasol Ubuntu

    Oh yeah, I have used some of the resources on his website. Another one I use (I was looking for easier stepping stone chord versions for beginners, also has a few free lessons, but the spams you a bit for you to pay for more lessons) was this one:
    I still can't play an full F chord in a song though - takes me to long to make it sound right, or a B, Bm and a bunch of others :D so I still have to use the easier versions.
    Limejuice likes this.
  16. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    Just mute the high E string with the pad of your index finger, eventually you'll get round to using it to put pressure on the first fret. But the important notes are all there already anyway (F on your D string, A on the G string, and C on your B string). You could try adding middle C on the third fret of your A string with your pinkie if you want a fuller sound, but that technically gives you F/C.
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  17. existentialist

    existentialist The sausages need an explanation

    I used to cheat and use my thumb on the barre chord. :eek:

    I wasn't even approaching "not very good" on guitar. All those frets, just cramping my style, man...
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  18. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    You don't even need your thumb. You can substitute any barre chord with only the middle four strings fretted. It depends on what notes are needed in your arrangement, but especially if there's a bass player already carrying the root note, you can make a good accompanying racket with the four middle strings no problem. Pete Townsend did it all the time. (He knew his inversions though).
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  19. existentialist

    existentialist The sausages need an explanation

    Who needs more than 4 strings anyway? :D

    ETA: actually, I could quite go for 5, then I'd be able to play m8d guitar solos without having to go 3/4 way up the neck...
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  20. alan_

    alan_ Well-Known Member

    The cycle of fifths has been mentioned a number of times on this thread and is a useful device to know, be aware of and understand. I think it is also useful to know where this cycle comes from and why it exists as it helps to understand the concept a little more.
    Firstly the cycle can move (or rather you can move round) both clockwise and anti clockwise. Moving clockwise, each step rises a fifth and anti clockwise each step descends a fourth. This is because of the way the keyboard is ordered.
    Starting with the eight notes of C major, these can be divided into two four note groups (called tetrachords)
    so we have
    CDEF (lower tetrachord)
    GABC (upper tetrachord)
    therefore the upper tetrachord of C corresponds to the lower tetrachord of the next sharp key which is G major (one sharp) and the upper of G is the lower of D (two sharps) and so on back to the beginning.
    Moving anti clockwise, the lower of C is the upper of F (one flat) and so on right round.
    Looking at a piano keyboard now you can see that the cycle is just a progression up and down the keyboard of overlapping half octaves (which in order to keep the same pattern of steps and half steps we have to introduce a black note extra at each iteration)
    The beginning and end are joined for convenience and we have an ordered progression up and down the key board.
    There are many ways to use this cycle the simplest of which is
    look at the circle (google has hundreds)
    where do you want to be
    move two positions clockwise, it is D
    moving from D via the G to C we get a ||- V -| cadence ie
    D minor, G7, C major
    This holds for this pattern all the way round
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  21. girasol

    girasol Ubuntu

    This is what I can cope with right now, i.e. if I'm playing a song and need to change at relative speed (Fmaj7 instead of F)


    It won't let me copy the image or use the image address :/ here's direct link to it

    I started practising strumming/chord progressions with a metronome - it was atrocious at first, but I'm getting better! Not ready for full barre chords yet, unless it's 2/3 strings.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
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  22. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    Often the high E ringing out with be fine. But sometimes it'll sound too jazzy, so just lightly rest the flesh of your index finger on the string to stop it ringing.
  23. dialectician

    dialectician The Main Enemy is at home.

    That sounds good introduce him to derek bailey will be a great influence on him.
  24. danski

    danski Comfortable chair.

    May have been posted before but all you need is four chords ;)
  25. xenon

    xenon A move in any direction

    I've been playing a 7 string for the last few years, got a 5 string bass to accompany it. I've seen demo's of 8 and even 9 string electric guitars but reckon that's going a bit too far...

    As far as bar chords go. You could cheat and use a cappo. Best to learn or rather, get the muscle memory to be able to do it. That said, the first acoustic I played was very difficult to do bar chords on. It had a lovely bright tone but a very high action that apparently couldn't be adjusted. That might be something to check.
  26. xenon

    xenon A move in any direction

    OH yeah, meant to reply earlier. I do that mirroring thing. I'm fine doing it that way but ponderous when doing 2 octaves in the same direction with both hands. That said when I'm just noodling around I'm finding I'm a lot quicker and more confident at getting to where I want to be. Which is to be expected by now I guess. Not played much this weekend though, sun, beer...
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  27. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    I'm reading/watching about modes (yeah, I know - getting ahead of myself a bit :facepalm: ) and struggling with something.

    If Dorian is all the white keys from D to D, and Phrygian is all the white keys from E to E - then what's the difference?

    I thought a song is in a key if you use the notes from that scale: so if you're writing a song in D Minor then you use D, E, F, G, A, Bb, C?

    So if I wrote a song using only D, E, F, G, A, B, C, how would you know that I'd written it in Dorian and not Phrygian, given they have the same notes in the scale?
  28. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    Take a step back. Let's stick to the white notes for now.

    Think of A natural minor and C major. They are the same notes: all the white notes. The former runs A to A', the latter C to C'. Most people agree these sound different. And you can tell a tune written in A minor isn't in C major when you hear it because it sounds minor.

    These are also modes. A natural minor is the Aeolian mode. As you play it with your right hand, play Am7 with your left. (You're a pianist, right?)

    So that's pinkie on A, then C, E, and G. Play the scale up and down a few times over that chord in the bass.

    Now move your left hand to C Major 7. That's C, E, G, B. Now play your C major scale - Ionian mode - with your right hand. Hear the difference? But you're still playing white notes only. But what you've done is shift the tonic.

    Let's try moving between modes.

    Start with D Dorian. In the bass play a Dm7 chord. D, F, A, C. Play D to D' in the treble. Listen to the way the minor third and major 6th gives it its flavour.

    Move to G mixolydian. Play G7 in the bass. G,B,D,F. Play G to G' in the treble. Listen to how it sounds major but has a flat seventh.

    Move to the C Ionian. Play your C Major 7 in the bass.

    Cycle between these 3 chords and 3 modes. Dorian -> Mixolydian -> Ionian. Keep going round. Listen to the tonic shifting. But also notice that the modes are filling in the gaps in the Seventh chords.

    It's useful to think of modes as extended arpeggios. Try it on your right hand: shifting between seventh arpeggio and mode.

    That'll do for now or your head will explode. :D

    Edited for clarity.
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
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  29. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    :D - erm I've had 4 lessons, I think...hardly a pianist, but I know what you mean!
    What is this?

    I understand most of the other stuff you're saying, I think, but it's late now and I'll have to try these patterns you mentioned tomorrow to see if I can hear what you mean.
    Too late :)
  30. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    :D Your tutor is probably going to hate us for this then.

    Come on, that's not the attitude: own it!

    Muso speak for the first scale degree. In other words, the note that gives the scale its pitch identity. It is the reference note to which all the other notes in the scale have their relationship. So, is the third step in the scale a minor step or a major step, and so on. This is what gives the scale or mode it's tonal centre: the particular relationship of each step to the tonic.

    Cool. It is only by doing that this stuff makes sense. It's weird. Writing it out always makes it sound far more complex than it is. It's only when you do it that you go: o-o-oh!

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