Monday, August 3, 2009

The Perfect Guitar

Hey all, for those of you not familiar, I wanted to introduce you to the True Temperament Fretting System. I first found out or heard about this through Steve Vai. Now understand something, people approach Mr vai with all kinds of crazy ideas every year, and most he shoots down, because they are just that, CRAZY! This is something that Vai believed in so much, Ive heard he is transforming all his necks.

The concept is simple, the point of the system is for super-accurate intonation over the whole fretboard. Its a curved fret system that fine tune the intonation of every single note on the neck. The curved frets play like straight frets, so there is no need to modify your playing. Also chords ring out louder and longer. Simply put, the frets have been shaped so that every single note on every single fret on every string is in perfect tune, meaning that all those minor errors you have on a regular guitar neck are gone. I know what your thinking, "I have a Les Paul, there is nothing wrong with this guitar, I payed 5 grand for it" well, take out a tuner, fine tune, now hit the same E in 3 places, if you have a good tuner, you WILL see a minor difference, this system eliminates this totally.

Here is a link to the site, plenty of video, and explanations there, so go check it out, and give us all your feedback! Keep Rockin
True Temperament - Fretting systems

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Better Understanding

When I started playing guitar I was always told, learn the piece of music slow then build it up to speed. I had a lot of people around me with a lot of different tastes in music, so I was exposed to a variety, and you know how it is with people, "hey, play this, can you play that" etc etc. Of course, when you pick up the instrument and you hear something like Eruption, you want nothing more than to get to that level, and that can be any song that inspires you. One thing I didn't understand was, I always thought, if you learn the piece of music, get it stored in your head, then you gradually increase speed until you nail the piece. WRONG!!!!!

That's where this lesson comes in. One thing you need to understand is, with a complicated piece of music that has your fingers all over the fretboard, you will never tackle the piece if your chops are not in order, and that's something I didn't grasp for a few years. In order to have the dexterity, flexibility, and stamina to play certain pieces you have to have built your chops up to speed first, this is where "boring" practice comes into play, and Ive posted in the past ideas on how to arrange practice sessions so they are most effective and less boring. Ive also posted on how to break down complicated passages and turn them into exercises in order to build up to speed.

Its nice to be able to fly up and down the fretboard, but it wont come over night. Its something that takes hours of serious practice and determination. Just know that it will pay off if you put the time in, like anything else. Keep Rockin

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Influence From Other Instruments

Hey all, sorry I haven't updated in a few days, been a little busy, but thank you all who are regulars here. Your the reason why I do this. Ive learned so much from so many great people, its time to give it back! Now on with the lesson.

Sometimes as guitarists we find ourselves in a rut, or feeling that our music is not that original, its almost impossible not to. So one way of getting away from this is gaining ideas or even inspiration from other instruments. I cant tell you how many times I hear a guy like Kirk Hammett mention getting ideas from horns and such. So many of the greatest players came up with ideas from other instruments, a great example is Buckethead, and although the example I'm speaking of is a little different, find him playing the Halloween theme song on his guitar on youtube. He plays the rhythm part by barring the notes on the neck with his picking hand, and hammering on the melody notes with his fret hand. Its a real good example of taking the piano, which usually plays rhythm with the left hand and right hand playing lead, and applying it to guitar.

A good way of taking the lesson and putting it to use is, try to emulate the sounds of different instruments with your guitar. A great instrument that is easier to apply to this idea is the drums. As a guitarist you can emulate the bass drum with big chunky rhythm playing, or maybe the hi hat with palm muted rhythm ideas, scrapes and such. Its also a good idea as a guitarist to know the basics of drums as well, helps a lot with the rhythm aspect of playing.

I hope I gave you some basic ideas that you can expand on and take your playing to new places, Keep Rockin!!!!