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  #16  
Old 01-31-2019, 05:56 AM
LiveMusic LiveMusic is offline
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Originally Posted by dkstott View Post
There's an old story about Lennon & McCartney hearing about guitar player in a band in another town who played a B7th chord... They hopped on a bus & rode to go see it.

The Beatles played for hour long sets while in Germany playing a wide variety of songs.

By the time they "became famous" they had an extensive knowledge of chord progressions in their head. It more than likely became almost intuitive that they knew what chord sounds they wanted in songs and where to use them.

That knowledge combined with their song writing skills became amazing.
I happened upon a video just yesterday and I forget whether it was John or Paul saying it but the comment was that in Hamburg, they played 7 days a week, 7 hours/day and were lucky to get a 15-minute break. That might have been an exaggeration but I have long heard that they played exhausting sets and days-in-a-row there.

I was also thinking this about the Beatles... most of their recordings was THEM playing in studio, not studio musicians. Which proves their major league musicianship. I also happened to be listening to their music yesterday on a CD and it struck me as to how melodic McCartney is. I love music from all the guys but he, especially, has an incredible sense of melody.

As far as this topic goes, I will add another... I suppose it would be attributed to Greg Lake and an example is Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "In The Beginning. The chord shapes are NOT cowboy chords. Fun to play. The only reason I know how to play it is an online video lol. That song is a perfect example.

Neil Young also came up with some cool stuff. As did Stephen Stills, a guitar wizard. There's one who has an amazing guitar gift.
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  #17  
Old 01-31-2019, 01:23 PM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Originally Posted by LiveMusic View Post
I happened upon a video just yesterday and I forget whether it was John or Paul saying it but the comment was that in Hamburg, they played 7 days a week, 7 hours/day and were lucky to get a 15-minute break. That might have been an exaggeration but I have long heard that they played exhausting sets and days-in-a-row there.
That's true. Near enough. They slept in squalid rooms and kept going on drugs too (amphetamines). The band were five years in the making, from when John met Paul in 1957 (Paul impressed John with a performance of 20-Flight Rock, and then brought his young pal George along). They put in an amazing amount of hard work in that time. They simply learned more songs, in more styles, than any of their contemporaries, and learned the hard way how to entertain a crowd.
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I was also thinking this about the Beatles... most of their recordings was THEM playing in studio, not studio musicians. Which proves their major league musicianship.
Also true - up to a point anyway.
They had been famously rejected by Decca - not only on the notorious judgement that "guitar groups are on the way out" , but because their demo was actually rather crude. But Martin thought they "had something" - some kind of personality and energy was there (and it must have helped that Brian Epstein was extraordinarily pushy, and also spoke the same "posh" language as Martin).

He said they had to get rid of Pete Best, whose drumming was letting them down. They stole Ringo "the best drummer in Liverpool" from Rory Storm, but Martin still didn't feel he could reliably cut it on their first single, so he hired a session drummer to be on the safe side. Ringo was relegated to tambourine, and had a chip on his shoulder for years after that. In fact, he did play on an alternative take of Love Me Do. And of course in later years Martin realised what a great drummer he was, as good a musician as the other three in his way (just as inventive).
Naturally the band liked to joke that Ringo "wasn't even the best drummer in the Beatles" (Paul was at least competent on the kit).

A nice story about them and George Martin is that during their first recording session they were listening to a playback and the band weren't really saying anything. Martin was concerned that they should be happy with the mix and thought perhaps they were intimidated by the surroundings. He eventually asked "come on boys, is there anything you don't like?" George replied "well I don't like your tie for a start". That was what convinced Martin he would enjoy working with them.

In fact, that's an example of how unintimidated they were by the recording business, how self-confident they were. Their first record was going to be How Do You Do It, supplied by a professional songwriter, but they supposedly played it deliberately badly on a demo to show how dull they thought it was, and insisted their own songs were good enough to record; Martin eventually relented.
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Last edited by JonPR; 01-31-2019 at 01:48 PM.
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  #18  
Old 02-04-2019, 07:27 PM
LiveMusic LiveMusic is offline
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This is beyond my pay grade but this is kind of what I was meaning in my OP. This video just came in to my feed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZE59...em-lbcastemail
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  #19  
Old 02-04-2019, 09:43 PM
Chipotle Chipotle is offline
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Some of it is fretboard knowledge, like that video you just posted (how to play the same chords we all know and love in different ways). Other times it comes about due to experimentation. Don't discount different tunings, even different stringings (Nashville tuning, or even the crazy stuff done by Sonic Youth--not mentioned on this page is that custom string sets were used for almost every different tuning).

One thing that popped into my head was the English Beat's "Save it for Later". For years, I played that in a band, and got by passably with a Dsus2 (xx0230) for that first chord but I always knew it wasn't exact.

Turns out, Pete Townsend was trying to cover the song, and trying to get it right completely flummoxed him. So he called Dave Wakeling. Turns out, Dave was playing his guitar in DADAAD... flipped upside down and played left handed! Yikes! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTWChIJxOiY
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  #20  
Old 02-04-2019, 11:39 PM
PHJim PHJim is offline
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The Gord Lightfoot chord, 022400, mentioned above is EBEBBE or an E5 chord which rock players call a "power chord". There is no third (G#) so the chord can be either Ma or mi.
5 chords or power chords are not really chords since a chord has at least 3 different notes, but...
Bluegrass players often play a G5 chord 3X0033 or GXDGDG with no third (B).
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  #21  
Old 02-05-2019, 02:52 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Originally Posted by LiveMusic View Post
This is beyond my pay grade but this is kind of what I was meaning in my OP. This video just came in to my feed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZE59...em-lbcastemail
He's talking about chord voicing principles which rarely apply to guitar.

[WARNING: the following is almost certainly well beyond your pay grade. You don't have to care; this is only in case you're intrigued....]

The way we play chords on the guitar is governed by the tuning. There are certain "voicings" (the vertical order of the notes) that we can't play, or can't easily play. We just grab whatever notes our fingers can reach, and those shapes get embedded in our brains. So we think of (say) an "E" chord and a "C" chord as two totally different things, because they look so different. They feel different too, and (although we know they are both "major chords") they sound different too, because of the different "voicings".

Even so, with triad chords, most of the common shapes contain "close voicings" (where the notes are stacked as close as possible). E.g., with the cowboy C shape, x-3-2-0-x-x is a "close-voiced root position" (CEG), while x-x-2-0-1-x is a "close-voiced 1st inversion" (EGC)and x-x-x-0-1-0 is a "close-voiced 2nd inversion" (GCE).
Obviously, none of us are going to care too much about those theoretical niceties - we just see a "C" chord symbol and strum the thing, right?

When it comes to 7th chords, then close-voiced stacks are rarely available on guitar. Cmaj7 is easy (X-3-2-0-0-x = CEGB).
But C7? The usual shape, x-3-2-3-1-0 is perfectly usable, but contains no G.
Supposing we want the G included? We have a few options:
3-3-2-3-x-x (G-C-E-Bb),
x-x-2-3-1-3 (E-Bb-C-G),
x-3-5-3-5-3 (C-G-Bb-E-G), etc.
All of these are "drop voicings" of a kind. Again, as guitar players, we don't have to care, because basically we have no choice. Even if we did care, there's nothing (or very little) we can do about it.

But just to explain, if you think you might care....

Taking that common barre shape, x-3-5-3-5-x (ignoring the superfluous 1st string),the notes are C G Bb E. Stacked vertically (as in notation) they'd look like this:

E = 3rd
-
Bb = 7th
G = 5th
-
C = root

The gaps are where a pianist would be able to insert a C (between E and Bb), or an E between G and C). Let's do the former, meaning we can lose the lower C:
E = 3rd
C = root
Bb = 7th
G = 5th
Now we have a "close voicing" - no gaps between for any other chord tones. It's second inversion because G (5th) is on the bottom. (In fact it's just about playable on guitar if you can stretch to x-x-5-3-1-0.)
When we form the playable guitar chord shape (x3535x), what we do (unbeknownst to us ) is create a "drop 2 voicing", by taking that C and dropping it by an octave.
We then end up with a more "open voicing", creating bigger intervals between Bb-E on top and C-G on the bottom.
Again, we really have no choice in this, if we want to include all 4 notes. Almost all guitar chord shapes for 7th chords are drop voicings of a kind because they have to be. It's not a creative choice, in fact it's not a choice at all.

More examples:
D7:
2 = F# =3rd
1 = C = 7th
2 = A = 5th
0 = D = root
x
x
= "2nd inversion drop 2" (creating an open voiced root position) - same as with the C7 above. I.e., the close voicing would start with A-C-D-F# (x-12-10-7-7-x if you want to try it), but to give us the playable xx0212 shape we have to take the D and drop it by an octave.

G7:
1 = F = 7th
0 = B = 3rd
0 = G = root
0 = D = 5th
x
x
= "root position drop 2" (creating an open-voiced 2nd inversion). The close-voiced root position would be GBDF (xx5431), but making it more playable means taking the D and lowering it by an octave.

And so on...

Jazz guitarists often like to talk in these terms, because they actually know (and probably care) what "drop voicings" are - even though they have no more control over them than we do (unless maybe they are Allan Holdsworth with his alien hands...).

But where it can be useful to think about voicing is where we can open up the voicings even more. This is because there is a distinctive sound to an open-voiced chord: each of the notes in the chord seems to sing out more sweetly, not being crowded close to the others.
Compare these two C major triads:
-x-
-5- E
-5- C
-5- G
-x-
-x-

-x-
-5- E
-x-
-5- G
-3- C
-x-

Different quality, right? Instead of 3rds between each chord tone, there is now a 5th (C-G) and a 6th (G-E).

We can open up a C7 in a similar way:
-6- Bb
-5- E
-x-
-5- G
-3- C
-x-
Now every chord tone is a 5th or 6th away from the next.
It might not be a better sound than any other C7 choice, but it's an alternative.
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Last edited by JonPR; 02-05-2019 at 03:00 AM.
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  #22  
Old 02-05-2019, 08:29 AM
BFD BFD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveMusic View Post
...I've been playing for decades and I can play just about any chord I need to play....majors, minors, sevenths, diminished, augmented, barres, whatever, in general...So, my question is... how do guitar players get to this point?...Are guitar players who do this a step above in innate talent, just some natural skillset that is inherently above the rest of us? I don't say this in jest, it's a real question...
I'm inclined to disagree with the guys who believe performers who you see doing cool sounding & inventive stuff (at least on guitar, the instrument I know best) don't have more talent than others. In my personal experience these folks often don't have the same kinds of mental barriers and inhibitions that your average player has. Sure they're absorbing ideas all the time from other musicians, as well as being naturally inventive and experimental. But the breadth and volume of that knowledge and the ease with which they can assimilate is often times well beyond what many of us can do with the same amount of time and effort. A lot of us have to figure out the best way personally to learn what we need to know; it's a lot more of a natural process for talented musicians.

I also believe that talent can be the product of both nature and nurture - I think the number of talented country & bluegrass younger folks who've grown up in musical families is a pretty strong testament to that. Likewise in other pursuits, other arts, athletics, business...

My approach is to both try to learn some of the stuff good musicians know AND try to emulate their process for learning it. Some techniques work for me, some not so much...

So in that McCartney video for instance, if you've been playing guitar for decades and you find ANYTHING that he's doing to be mysterious, I'd say more time spent learning stuff by ear would be a good investment.
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  #23  
Old 02-05-2019, 09:09 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Originally Posted by BFD View Post
In my personal experience these folks often don't have the same kinds of mental barriers and inhibitions that your average player has.
I agree.
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Originally Posted by BFD View Post
Sure they're absorbing ideas all the time from other musicians, as well as being naturally inventive and experimental. But the breadth and volume of that knowledge and the ease with which they can assimilate is often times well beyond what many of us can do with the same amount of time and effort.
Except you don't know how much time and effort they've put in. When we see someone so far ahead of where we are (especially if they're younger, which they often are ), it's hard to imagine they could have put more time into it than we have.
But - in my experience - they always have. Typically by starting a lot younger, and/or by spending more hours per day on it.

That is, the point about attitude is crucial. The "mental barriers and inhibitions that your average player has" are things that we learn, not things we're born with.
Too many people start out learning music as a system of rules, as things you can do and things you can't do. Obviously we can get inhibited about the latter, because as beginners we do those things by accident all the time!
But if you start as a kid and treat music as a game - something that's fun to explore, where "mistakes" are simply an irrelevant concept (there are cool sounds and crazy sounds, but no "bad" sounds) - then you learn fast and easy.

The science of the genetic aspects of "talent" is not yet fixed, but it's too easy a knee-jerk assumption that a virtuoso is someone who has some inborn advantage. The more you learn about most virtuosos, the more you discover just how much time and effort they've put into it. Maybe they were born with some advantage - maybe that advantage is simply the kind of personality that is able to focus so obsessively on one pursuit (nothing specifically "musical")? - or maybe the advantage is just a lucky childhood, with the accidentally correct set of circumstances?
In one sense it doesn't matter. By the time we all reach adulthood (or even late teens), the difference are pretty much fixed. If the groundwork is not innate, it's in childhood. We can start as adults and get pretty good (and continue to improve throughout our lifetime) - but we'll likely never be world-class.
But then who cares? Music is the birthright of all humans (all human societies are and have been musical, we all like and understand music when we hear it) - we can all learn to sing or play an instrument, to at least a satisfactory level; provided we can unlearn those stupid mental barriers!

IOW, the culture of virtuosity is a somewhat artificial one. It proves that some people can get extremely good given certain circumstances (genetic or not). So what? It doesn't mean those of us who lack those circumstances shouldn't bother! Music is fun, right? It's recreation. We can all get to a level where we can enjoy doing it, even find it spiritually or emotionally rewarding. That's plenty.
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  #24  
Old 02-05-2019, 06:52 PM
Pitar Pitar is offline
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thanks. Do you guys think that is how most artists who do this came to this ability, that they are gifted?

In addition to learning this skill set, I am curious about famous artists who I see do this, even way back when, and that is why I wrote "how do guitar players get to this point? Did somebody show them this? Did they just naturally think to themselves, "I wonder how I could play this and it won't sound like the normal cowboy chord shapes, what would sound cool?" Are guitar players who do this a step above in innate talent, just some natural skillset that is inherently above the rest of us? I don't say this in jest, it's a real question."
I won't debate the notion of gifted but I will support the notion of accomplished. The difference between the two is the first is ascribed by those who admire what is observed. The second is what actually occurs when someone makes a study of playing guitar and arrives at an admirable skill set. At this point the ear is intimately familiar with the fretboard and can direct the music to be made by hands equally skilled with placement and picking. It sounds gifted, and surely is a gift, but it's very much an earned thing.

On to the use of different chords -

There are the usual ways to play chords in standard tuning and then there are other ways of playing them.

Normal string numbering with high E as #1...

Sample 1: The barred C chord is 355533. Drop out/down some notes to end up with (0)3053X
Sample 2: The Barred D chord in 1st position is 232452. Drop out/down a few notes and play it (0)3042X
Sample 3: Using (0)3042X, drop out/move to play (0)3240X

Walk the above changed chords down (1 to 3) to an Em playing only strings A thru b in arpeggio fashion. The open high E string is optional coloring.

This is what I call a study and it has some nice applications. Taking chords and using them as partials creates some nice sounds.
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  #25  
Old 02-05-2019, 07:18 PM
ceciltguitar ceciltguitar is offline
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Still available, if you are interested:

https://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Tricks.../dp/093310801X

Expensive!

https://www.amazon.com/More-Guitar-T.../dp/0739026046

Outrageously expensive!!
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