For this second assessment, still haven’t got the recording side down yet, although I do now have a way of posting audio (see below). But progress is still being made, honest!
This week has been mostly drawn from material not on Justin’s website; so I'm not making a direct donation this week, but rather will be making an indirect contribution by buying his album from iTunes. Hope it makes the charts Justin!
Highlight this week was setting the metronome to 310 for alternate picking example #1 and more or less making it through 5 minutes. Still can't get above 100 on the metronome for example #2 though. One of the problems is that for the second one I still haven't got it memorised , and have to read it out of the book and that extra step seems to kill the fluidity. So I'll be keeping that exercise into next week.
I haven’t really done the root finding exercise this week. I know where they are, but hitting them quickly as a scale isn’t interesting enough to me as an exercise. So I’m also retiring this one until I find a more interesting way to cover this.
So, for this coming week, I’m going to try something a little different. I have a trip coming up to the US next week, so I may get the opportunity to hang out in a few guitar shops and ogle the merchandise (research for the ghettocaster project – honest), and it would be nice then to have a few more tunes under my fingers in case I get to try anything out.
So I’ve been doing a bit of research to come up with a couple of tracks that I like, which sound cool, but are still relatively within my scope to learn this week. And the first choice is ‘Dee’ by Randy Rhoads, which is a sweet little faux-classical tune, and I’ve always liked this piece.
The second choice is “Fall to pieces” by Velvet Revolver, which has a nice little picking intro and some heavier chordal sections and a slowish, but OK solo; and you can’t get much cooler than Slash as a modern day geetar-hero now can you. I never really liked the Gun’s n Roses stuff, so I havent really paid much attention to what he’s been up to, but I came across the transcription for this piece is in an old magazine I have whistl looking for the tab for Dee, so I thought I’d check it out (Oh the joy’s of a Zune subscription), and I quite like it; sounds quite ‘old school’ to me.
There are tab transcriptions of Dee out on the internet if you look, but they don’t really have the timing – for which you need classical ‘dot’ notation.
Teaching myself to read ‘proper’ music was another of those things I’ve been putting off forever, and this year I’m finally doing something about it as part of my learning to play drive. I got Notion 3 for my birthday and am still coming to grips with it but it seem’s like it does a pretty good job at playing and editing sheet music, as well as tablature. It certainly has its quirks in terms of usability, but I’m coming to really like it.
I also dug out a transcription of Dee from an old guitar mag I’ve been saving for this very occassion (see there is a point in me hording all that stuff up in the attic). I’ve used Notion to make a PDF of the transcription available. If anyone wants it as a Notion file or as a Music XML file, then let me know. I’ve also recorded it as an MP3 file straight out of Notion (well I also used a demo version of Guitar Rig too, I think its pretty cool although I rather over did the reverb…), see what you think.
So for the coming week the warm-up will remain the same, except for substituting the alternate picking exercise #2 for the pentatonic scale and trying to get the tempo up. Then the rest of the session I’ll be concentrating on an actual piece. Starting with Dee, and if I make good progress on that I'll try the same thing with some of the sections of the Slash piece.
So thats the assessment for this week, sorry the post's have been a bit thin on the ground; but getting back in the groove at work hasn't left a lot of free time, for noodling around. Hopefully will have the recording thing sussed for next week.
Hope your own practice is coming along,