Author Topic: The SKYPE Sessions ...  (Read 11385 times)

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Offline Balamuthiah

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Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
« Reply #75 on: March 02, 2019, 01:21:14 pm »
Hey all,

Wow Brian... reading your experience made me realize the exact feelings I had going into my skype lesson.
You put it in beautiful sentences.

I had my session yesterday. I've got to admit that it was close to impossible to come up with a list of questions to ask Justin during the one shot opportunity. However, I did come up with a list that I had sent him earlier this month before I came to Japan. Embarrassingly enough, a busy week in Japan, led to a lack of preparation and I forgot the things I wanted to ask him.

I had setup my audio interface and everything so that Justin would be able to hear my voice as well as my guitar. The session began with Justin not being able to hear my voice however (Another embarrassing moment). But he helped me figure that out and we began talking about what I do and what I'm doing in Japan. Justin is an amazingly warm/cool guy and he helped me settle in quite well.

Then he pulled up the list I had sent him and we began with blues soloing. After that he asked me to do an improv solo. He said that I'm able to play but the most important thing that I need to work on is having a "central idea" and linking the other licks with this idea using "threads". He suggested that I need to explore the guitar more and learn new licks, for you can't get fluent in a language if you only know a few words and sentences that you repeat (How true is that considering that's my skill with Japanese). He also talked about how the flavor of the solos is reflected by the kind of music we listen to. Then he suggested that I should try to transcribe more solos and went as far as challenging me to transcribe 5 solos before the end of this year. This, I gladly accepted! :D

The next thing I wanted to ask him was tips on how to improve the recording and production process. After listening to my song (her light) quickly, he said that I was actually doing good on the production side but suggested that I work on tightening my bass playing which he said was "wobbly" at times. He said that's probably the one thing producers would want to be improved in the song. Then he spoke about what software he uses to produce his songs and also gave me a run through of the softwares available and a little bit of an insight of which would be suitable for me.

Sadly enough that's all we did talk about and the things I forgot to ask him were about how to use and target chord notes while soloing, combining rhythm and lead and lead fills. There were a lot of awkward moments of silence from me due to my lack of preparation (and partly due to the fact that I'm actually talking to Justin!). But Justin was a really cool guy and made the session an enjoyable experience.

The one good thing I did do was to properly thank him for the wonderful website and the community and how it had changed my life for the good in the last few years, particularly the last 6-7 months. I was motivated into doing competitions only for this chance of getting face to face with Justin and it did prove to be a wonderful experience. As for the questions I have unanswered... probably will have to wait until my next win ;) It's not going to be easy, but I'm motivated! Got to work on the transcribe challenge before that though! Thank you all in this forum. You all have been amazing to me and everyone! And thank you Brian for your efforts in the setup as well as the maintenance of the community.

Bala

Offline close2u

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Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
« Reply #76 on: March 02, 2019, 01:53:28 pm »
@ Brian

Serious response time (no Oompa Loompas in sight).
It is great to read your story of the session, the chat, the focus on song-writing (a direction you seem compelled to follow), on progressing to barre chords etc. On the last of those, can I make a suggestion? Get a vibe going with the 4-chord progression. You know the famous one. The I - V - vi - IV progression. Try playing it in G which uses only open chords:
G - D - E minor - C

Then try in C which uses one barre chord (you could use a mini-barre F Major chord or alternate between F barre and F Maj7 so you can keep the progression going without fatiguing your barring finger too soon):
C - G - A minor - F


Then to extend and focus more on practicing your barre chords, try it in other keys.
Key of D
D - A - B minor - G
… play all as barre chords with roots on 5th & 6th strings or just the last two as barre chords to ease finger fatigue.

Key of A
A - D - F# minor - E
.. again mix & match barre chords with open shapes.

In technical terms these are all called I - V - vi - IV progressions. (If you don't know what that is you may want to research it a little).

Other variations using the same chords are:
A minor - F - C - G
E minor - C - G - D
B minor - G - D - A
F# minor - E - A - D

In technical terms these are called vi - IV - I - V progressions.

And another variation:

C - A minor - F - G
G - E minor - C - D
D - B minor - G - A
A - F# minor - D - E

In technical terms these are called I - vi - IV - V  progressions.

Again, vary your playing so sometimes you play open chords, sometimes 5th string or 6th string barre chords for majors and minors.

@ Bala

Re:
Soloing with the approach of targeting chord tones.
First, you need to know the notes (triads will work) of the chords in the progression. These will become your target notes, comfortable landing places when the chords are changing. So for your chosen chord progression / backing track, chart the chords as triads on the top three strings. Visualise the five moveable CAGED barre shapes and just mark the notes on the G, B & E strings. If you know your intervals, mark the root and the 3rd and 5th too. Definitely the root. Have these neck diagrams in sight when playing.
The sort of backing track that will work best with this will have only three or four chords, be fairly slow and hold each chord for at least two bars.
To begin, play just one note per bar of the progression. Start with the root note of each chord as it comes around. Just the root.
Then repeat but with either the 3rd or the 5th.
Then repeat but play any two notes per bar over the chords, root & 3rd, root & 5th, 3rd & 5th.
Then repeat and extend the idea. Make up a little run of notes that either start and / or end on the root note of each chord per bar. Because the chords last for at least two bars you could progress to runs, licks & phrases that start in one bar and end in the other. For now, still limit your choice to notes that are only from the triads – the root, 3rd or 5th.
Note – for minor chords, the 3rd is a b3rd.
Try this for a few weeks over a variety of backing tracks in different keys.

 :) :)

Offline Balamuthiah

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Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
« Reply #77 on: March 02, 2019, 02:25:50 pm »
@ close2u
Thank you for the invaluable information Close. I enjoyed both the information shared. With the chord notes, I didn't even think about the CAGED system. I've been trying to use the notes from the E, Emin, A and Amin shapes into the solos. But the CAGED system would open up more of the fretboard now! Thank you for that Close. I probably need to make a lot of note charts now! That's goal 1! :)
« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 03:31:43 pm by close2u »

Offline DavidP

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Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
« Reply #78 on: March 02, 2019, 02:31:42 pm »
Hey Bala

Thanks for sharing your experience.  Sounds educational, inspirational and fun.  Justin is special in the way that he connects with his students (nearly said disciples, but caught myself :) )

Offline Balamuthiah

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Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
« Reply #79 on: March 02, 2019, 02:53:51 pm »
Hey Bala

Thanks for sharing your experience.  Sounds educational, inspirational and fun.  Justin is special in the way that he connects with his students (nearly said disciples, but caught myself :) )

Thank you David. He sure is special. He might be more popular than the Beatles ;) if you know what I mean.

Offline DavidP

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Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
« Reply #80 on: March 02, 2019, 02:57:14 pm »
Thank you David. He sure is special. He might be more popular than the Beatles ;) if you know what I mean.

LOL ... that couldn't be  ;)

Offline close2u

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Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
« Reply #81 on: March 02, 2019, 03:53:57 pm »
@ Bala … I'm going to start a new thread and share some triad diagrams .. :)


Done ... it is here
« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 04:15:07 pm by close2u »

Offline Balamuthiah

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Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
« Reply #82 on: March 02, 2019, 04:18:26 pm »
LOL ... that couldn't be  ;)

Or maybe it could ;)

@ Bala … I'm going to start a new thread and share some triad diagrams .. :)


Done ... it is here


Thank you Close! Will check it out! :)

Offline embishop

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Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
« Reply #83 on: March 03, 2019, 03:39:01 pm »
Didn’t realize I’d missed your post here, Max, sounds like a great lesson, chatting and specifics for both technique and knowledge. 

Brian, great write up, as usual, sounds like a great lesson as well, very impressed with the amount of focus you challenged yourself with! Sorry to hear about your brother. Music is very healing, if you travel down a serious road one day maybe you’ll find a song for him. Although laughter is also very healing, so maybe it needn’t be such a serious road …

Bala, even if you forgot a couple of things you wanted to go over it certainly sounds like a great lesson. I think if I had ever won a lesson with Justin I’d be star struck and might not be able to get out any words at all!

And apart from the no surprise at you all having great lessons, I’m also not at all surprised to hear from all of you that Justin is the real deal in person. I do believe the hype :)

Mari
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Boss Katana 50, Boss RC-1 loop pedal
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Offline brianlarsen

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Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
« Reply #84 on: March 03, 2019, 04:42:47 pm »
Serious response time...

Richard,
This stuff is gold dust.
Not only do I get a lesson with the great one himself, I also get bespoke pathways from his right-hand men  :)
I shall be coming back to this many times in the not too distant future. I will first need to go back and review the theory. I felt I was within touching distance 5 or 6 months ago on the theory course, but need to refresh.
It's funny- I don't really think of myself as wanting to write good songs, it would just be nice to have something to play while singing something I wrote. (I may end up just stealing others' great tunes  ;)).
I shall investigate and hopefully put all the above to good use.

Thank you again.

As for the questions I have unanswered... probably will have to wait until my next win ;) It's not going to be easy, but I'm motivated! ...
Really enjoyed reading your account Bala, especially hot on the heels of mine- It brought it all back quite vividly  :)
You are a shoe-in for another win, Bala. You've put up so much high-quality stuff in the AVOYP section since I joined!

And thank you Brian for your efforts in the setup as well as the maintenance of the community.
You're welcome!  ;) :P

Brian, great write up, as usual, sounds like a great lesson as well, very impressed with the amount of focus you challenged yourself with! Sorry to hear about your brother. Music is very healing, if you travel down a serious road one day maybe you’ll find a song for him. Although laughter is also very healing, so maybe it needn’t be such a serious road …
Thank you, Mari
Funny you should say that; Soon after the funeral, I had composed the bones of the chorus of a song I might write for him. Although this one will be too personal to share, I'm afraid  :(
It's really encouraging to see members take an interest in how everyone else is progressing  :)
Cheers




Offline Garfield

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Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
« Reply #85 on: March 05, 2019, 02:29:24 pm »
Hi Everyone

I had a lesson with Justin on Saturday. I can’t say enough nice things about this guy, he’s great to chat to and he’s straightened me out. 

So where I am on my guitar journey is lost – or I was. The beginner’s course is fantastic because what you need to learn next is very obvious. I won’t say I’ve completed the IM but I’ve got to the end of it and I’m comfortable with most of the syllabus. I don’t see it as something to be completed before moving on, as I will be working on the some of those skills for years to come maybe forever. As many have commented the more you know about guitar the more you realise there is to learn; and what order should it be tackled? It’s a bit bewildering and I wasn’t sure what direction to go in.
 
After much agonising I’ve started the Blues Lead 1 and as I couldn’t bend very well on my acoustic I’ve bought an electric. I want to learn the fret board and my plan was to do this via the 5 minor pentatonic shapes. My question to Justin was am I doing right, or should I tackle the major scale first as this is where everything comes from. We then had a long chat about why I want to play and what I want to play. I can’t recount the whole conversation here but the outcome is that I am going to proceed with the Blues Lead course and learn the minor pentatonic patterns. The reasons being that I want to play blues, blues is an easy starter and as Justin said you can always learn other scales and styles later on.
 
So onto the technical stuff. I struggle with muting on the electric. I find it really hard to mute at the top of a bend. I also asked if I should be anchoring or float with my picking hand. On the acoustic I have always floated but I had the body of the guitar to rest my arm on. Justin anchors. I’m going to anchor. He said that you can’t really get away with floating completely you do need something to keep your hand in a fixed position. I have tried it the past few nights and found it’s not too uncomfortable. On the muting Justin noted that my hand position was wrong and needed moving back toward the bridge. I have noticed that‘ve hit the middle pickup when picking a scale before so I’m too far forward. By moving my hand back and dropping a couple of fingers down I’m in a much better position to mute (it’s a smaller movement) and I do feel a bit more secure when picking. It doesn’t feel natural yet, far from it, but I think it will come with practice.

Also a good tip he dropped in was to roll up my jumper. I was wearing a long sleeved top and he commented that it’s unusual to play in long sleeves and that by rolling up a sleeve I’d get better contact with the guitar.

I’ve been struggling with vibrato. I naturally seem to do the classical style vibrato, it’s lots of hand and arm flapping but as Justin said “that’s just not going to work on electric”.  He ran over what I should be doing, and when explained 1:1 I felt I started to get it a bit. Basically I just need to pivot my hand, I was flapping my arm and elbow around, I also need to be locking my fingers. Again this does not feel natural but it will come with practice. 

I asked Justin about a lick that I start each jam with and cannot stop playing. It’s become an unconscious tick. To take Justin’s analogy of licks being words, this word is “um” and I can’t stop saying it. He asked to hear the lick which I obviously fluffed and then almost forgot. He said you just have to try not to play it. Try and record yourself so you can see when you play it and if you’re not capable of not playing it then take the strings off. He was serious. He gave me a shuffle in A and told me to play over it but don’t touch the G string, again I didn’t really rise to occasion and without my default lick it was a pretty lousy 12 bars – but I can say I’ve jammed with Justin!

Lastly I asked for some help with rhythm. I have a looper pedal and set loops up for myself quite a bit, but I often find that I’m playing the same or very similar rhythms. He said I could start the blues rhythm course as well if it have enough practice time. I don’t but I’m going to. He said there were backing tracks on the course and that at first I should try and play along but then try and loop them.

That’s about it. He also encouraged me to play with others I’d mentioned that I was trying to set up a jam with a few guitar playing dad’s I’d met at a kids party recently. That’s happening next month.

Hope you found this interesting I certainly did.

G

Offline DavidP

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Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
« Reply #86 on: March 05, 2019, 03:16:02 pm »
Thanks for sharing, Gareth, interesting and always inspiring to read others experiences. 

Big ups to you for working through IM ... I'm pretty much stuck trying to count, strum and tap my foot for first intro to 1/16 strumming :) 

Wishing you loads of fun working at the blues and (needless to say) look forward to you sharing some jams over a backing track. 

So cool you could jam with Justin ... latency for me was so huge so that was never going to happen.

Offline Balamuthiah

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Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
« Reply #87 on: March 06, 2019, 10:05:04 am »
You're welcome!  ;) :P

Oh I messed up there at last! I was supposed to thank Close. But being a cricket fan and the great West Indian era fan, and since I've watched "Fire in Babylon", Everytime I see Close's name I'm tempted to call him Brian (Brian Close - an 80's English batsman). It finally came out that way. Maybe I should start calling him Richard :D

Bala, even if you forgot a couple of things you wanted to go over it certainly sounds like a great lesson. I think if I had ever won a lesson with Justin I’d be star struck and might not be able to get out any words at all!

And apart from the no surprise at you all having great lessons, I’m also not at all surprised to hear from all of you that Justin is the real deal in person. I do believe the hype :)

Mari

Thank you Mari. It certainly was a great lesson and Justin is totally worth the hype! It made me realize how great it would be to have been taught by him in person! Not that the website is any less, but to be able to interact with him while learning sounds like such a huge motivation and fun!

Hi Everyone

I had a lesson with Justin on Saturday. I can’t say enough nice things about this guy, he’s great to chat to and he’s straightened me out. 

So where I am on my guitar journey is lost – or I was. The beginner’s course is fantastic because what you need to learn next is very obvious. I won’t say I’ve completed the IM but I’ve got to the end of it and I’m comfortable with most of the syllabus. I don’t see it as something to be completed before moving on, as I will be working on the some of those skills for years to come maybe forever. As many have commented the more you know about guitar the more you realise there is to learn; and what order should it be tackled? It’s a bit bewildering and I wasn’t sure what direction to go in.
 
After much agonising I’ve started the Blues Lead 1 and as I couldn’t bend very well on my acoustic I’ve bought an electric. I want to learn the fret board and my plan was to do this via the 5 minor pentatonic shapes. My question to Justin was am I doing right, or should I tackle the major scale first as this is where everything comes from. We then had a long chat about why I want to play and what I want to play. I can’t recount the whole conversation here but the outcome is that I am going to proceed with the Blues Lead course and learn the minor pentatonic patterns. The reasons being that I want to play blues, blues is an easy starter and as Justin said you can always learn other scales and styles later on.
 
So onto the technical stuff. I struggle with muting on the electric. I find it really hard to mute at the top of a bend. I also asked if I should be anchoring or float with my picking hand. On the acoustic I have always floated but I had the body of the guitar to rest my arm on. Justin anchors. I’m going to anchor. He said that you can’t really get away with floating completely you do need something to keep your hand in a fixed position. I have tried it the past few nights and found it’s not too uncomfortable. On the muting Justin noted that my hand position was wrong and needed moving back toward the bridge. I have noticed that‘ve hit the middle pickup when picking a scale before so I’m too far forward. By moving my hand back and dropping a couple of fingers down I’m in a much better position to mute (it’s a smaller movement) and I do feel a bit more secure when picking. It doesn’t feel natural yet, far from it, but I think it will come with practice.

Also a good tip he dropped in was to roll up my jumper. I was wearing a long sleeved top and he commented that it’s unusual to play in long sleeves and that by rolling up a sleeve I’d get better contact with the guitar.

I’ve been struggling with vibrato. I naturally seem to do the classical style vibrato, it’s lots of hand and arm flapping but as Justin said “that’s just not going to work on electric”.  He ran over what I should be doing, and when explained 1:1 I felt I started to get it a bit. Basically I just need to pivot my hand, I was flapping my arm and elbow around, I also need to be locking my fingers. Again this does not feel natural but it will come with practice. 

I asked Justin about a lick that I start each jam with and cannot stop playing. It’s become an unconscious tick. To take Justin’s analogy of licks being words, this word is “um” and I can’t stop saying it. He asked to hear the lick which I obviously fluffed and then almost forgot. He said you just have to try not to play it. Try and record yourself so you can see when you play it and if you’re not capable of not playing it then take the strings off. He was serious. He gave me a shuffle in A and told me to play over it but don’t touch the G string, again I didn’t really rise to occasion and without my default lick it was a pretty lousy 12 bars – but I can say I’ve jammed with Justin!

Lastly I asked for some help with rhythm. I have a looper pedal and set loops up for myself quite a bit, but I often find that I’m playing the same or very similar rhythms. He said I could start the blues rhythm course as well if it have enough practice time. I don’t but I’m going to. He said there were backing tracks on the course and that at first I should try and play along but then try and loop them.

That’s about it. He also encouraged me to play with others I’d mentioned that I was trying to set up a jam with a few guitar playing dad’s I’d met at a kids party recently. That’s happening next month.

Hope you found this interesting I certainly did.

G


Sounds like you've had a wonderful lesson Gareth. All the best with your targets and thanks for the share :)

Offline close2u

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Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
« Reply #88 on: March 06, 2019, 10:53:34 am »
Oh I messed up there at last! I was supposed to thank Close. But being a cricket fan and the great West Indian era fan, and since I've watched "Fire in Babylon", Everytime I see Close's name I'm tempted to call him Brian (Brian Close - an 80's English batsman). It finally came out that way. Maybe I should start calling him Richard :D


Ha ha.
That puts me in mind of a famous radio commentary slip-of-the-tongue that rendered the presenters of Test Match Special unable to speak for several minutes:

England vs West Indies @ The Oval 1976
"The bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey"

Offline DavidP

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Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
« Reply #89 on: March 06, 2019, 09:14:46 pm »

Ha ha.
That puts me in mind of a famous radio commentary slip-of-the-tongue that rendered the presenters of Test Match Special unable to speak for several minutes:

England vs West Indies @ The Oval 1976
"The bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey"

LOL  glad the language filters didn't get triggered by that one  ;)

 

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