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  1. #1

    Why don't I sound like my favorite Guitarists?

    I listen to a lot of music ranging from jazz, classical, to metal, I even listen to film music. My favorite guitarists range from George Benson to John Petrucci. All of my favorites have a good melodic sense such as Joe Pass. Yet, when I jam, improvise, and compose, I sound like a corny, backwards, Filipino music. It's very embarrassing to listen to when I am recording. l I am Filipino by the way, I immigrated here in North America many years ago. It doesn't make sense with all that good music that I listen to.

    Another thing I notice is that the more I compose, the more I am recycling the same embarrassing things. Is there a way to turn things around? I mean every lead guitarist that I meet all has IT...except me.

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  3. #2
    Transcribe some solos by the guitarists you want to sound like.

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    Actually, you are indeed the only guitarist in the world who doesn't sound like his heroes. We all had a meeting, and decided not to tell you how to....I'm only kidding. Join the club ;-)

    I think your term "lead guitarist" is revealing. Does that term exist in jazz? Maybe you need to look at a more rounded notion of what a musician is, as what you feel is lacking might come from there. But, I don't intend to disrespect you at all. I'm only going on what you said, and that line jumped out at me.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Sioco View Post
    I listen to a lot of music ranging from jazz, classical, to metal, I even listen to film music. My favorite guitarists range from George Benson to John Petrucci. All of my favorites have a good melodic sense such as Joe Pass. Yet, when I jam, improvise, and compose, I sound like a corny, backwards, Filipino music.
    Maybe you just try too hard? I would embrace your roots and build on them.
    And I would dispute the idea that Filipino music is corny that is simply not true:

    Btw - I was born in Poland - emigrated to States almost 30yrs - always loved jazz -
    grew up listening to a lot of Horace Silver, Gil Evans (that is what was popular among
    Polish jazzers). I have no issue with melody - playing things like bossa. But I could not
    play blues to escape out of of wet paper bag... - even though I always loved it.

  6. #5
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    You are always going to sound like you period. That you might have influence of <fill in the blank> it's going to come out as you. Reading this my guts is maybe you listening to too much different music, maybe time to focus on a artist or a style and really immerse yourself in that music to where you subconsciously thinking and singing it all the time. To point that person of music is natuarally coming out of you.

    I've discussed this with my teacher and when trying to learn something like a new line or approach, it might not show up in your playing for six months or a year. I'm not talking about intentionally trying to force a line or sound in, but for something you've worked on to naturally come out, so it takes time.

    As for composing are you writing music on guitar, that is a problem too. When you write music on you main instrument then you tend to use familiar finger patterns and lines, you want to write on something where you just focused on the sound of the notes.

    Along those same lines if you improv keeps sounding like old music you don't want to sound like force yourself into different ways to find notes. Joe Diorio and others I've heard mention this will practice and force themselves to use on one string or two non-adjecent strings. Sometime even going to the point of taping up strings so they can't be used. Diorio said he learned it when he got into painting and that's how artist would practice being creative by limiting the colors they would use. They would paint only with two colors so have to explore other elements of painting to express yourself. Same with guitar take away the familiar and put yourself in situatlon you have to find new ways to come up with lines.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Transcribe some solos by the guitarists you want to sound like.
    I transcribe, but mostly of ear training purposes. I don't know how to utilize my transcriptions for musicality purposes.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by docbop View Post
    You are always going to sound like you period. That you might have influence of <fill in the blank> it's going to come out as you. Reading this my guts is maybe you listening to too much different music, maybe time to focus on a artist or a style and really immerse yourself in that music to where you subconsciously thinking and singing it all the time. To point that person of music is natuarally coming out of you.

    I've discussed this with my teacher and when trying to learn something like a new line or approach, it might not show up in your playing for six months or a year. I'm not talking about intentionally trying to force a line or sound in, but for something you've worked on to naturally come out, so it takes time.

    As for composing are you writing music on guitar, that is a problem too. When you write music on you main instrument then you tend to use familiar finger patterns and lines, you want to write on something where you just focused on the sound of the notes.

    Along those same lines if you improv keeps sounding like old music you don't want to sound like force yourself into different ways to find notes. Joe Diorio and others I've heard mention this will practice and force themselves to use on one string or two non-adjecent strings. Sometime even going to the point of taping up strings so they can't be used. Diorio said he learned it when he got into painting and that's how artist would practice being creative by limiting the colors they would use. They would paint only with two colors so have to explore other elements of painting to express yourself. Same with guitar take away the familiar and put yourself in situatlon you have to find new ways to come up with lines.
    It takes a while for the transcriptions to come out of me. Thanks!!!

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    I have found there is listening and there is listening.

    I am making sure each day I take time to listen/sing without distraction a bank of songs I wish to transcribe/am transcribing.

    Also analysing what I have transcribed like a school assignment. Writing down what notes where and on what beats, looking for patterns, eg Grant Green often puts in a chromatic line in the second bar of a blues, describing the flow of the improvisation, its tension release, dynamic flow etc

    I still sound like a hack but not as much of a hack as 12 months ago and I am some of the GG vibe is rubbing off.
    “When you’re creating your own ...., man, even the sky ain’t the limit.”
    Miles Davis

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    Mission impossible I would say. You are you . As Barney is -Kenny- Tal-the Jims-Joe et all- they are all unique as you are. We can all copy-emulate but we are us. I mentioned a few but there is Martino-Metheney-Jesse - both Andrea's the list goes on all have there own style and sound. Good luck I hope you find what you are looking for Then there's Birelli and of course George........

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    Quote Originally Posted by gggomez View Post
    I have found there is listening and there is listening.

    I am making sure each day I take time to listen/sing without distraction a bank of songs I wish to transcribe/am transcribing.

    Also analysing what I have transcribed like a school assignment. Writing down what notes where and on what beats, looking for patterns, eg Grant Green often puts in a chromatic line in the second bar of a blues, describing the flow of the improvisation, its tension release, dynamic flow etc

    I still sound like a hack but not as much of a hack as 12 months ago and I am some of the GG vibe is rubbing off.

    “To listen is an effort, and just to hear is no merit. A duck hears also.”― Igor Stravinsky
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  12. #11
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    You don't have to like the way you sound. You only have to enjoy playing.

    I get the feeling a number of very great musicians disliked the way they sounded ... It's quite interesting.

    Here's Jimi. Nothing fake about his humbleness.... He said (I believe) he wanted to sound like Kenny Burrell...

  13. #12
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    on my road to sound like me..i wanted to sound like Hendrix..albert king..mike bloomfield..larry Coryell..john McLaughlin..eric Johnson..larry carlton..lee ritenour..john scofield.and lately ben monder..ok call me schizophrenic..but over the years some of their sounds have integrated into my playing and I have accepted the way I sound and like it quite a lot..

    the thing about playing "like" someone else..you really never do..keyword is like..I may be able to bend like king in ONE bar..or do some outside diminished stuff a la scofield..but I am not able to fill an entire solo with just that one flavor..I don't think about getting that sound..."now im going to do albert king for a bar" it dosent work like that for me..yes others have said "hey there was some Hendrix or some other name player I heard in your solo.." so my influences come out at points in my playing but at this point in my career I sound just like..well..me
    play well ...
    wolf

  14. #13
    Be careful what you wish for! In my younger days I wanted to sound like Jimmy Page, and practiced his licks for hours. But then I grew up and wanted to sound like Wes, and instead freaking Jimmy Page licks would always found their way into my solos. Embarassing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    I think your term "lead guitarist" is revealing. Does that term exist in jazz?.
    Seriously. I never played guitar as a kid, I only picked it up a few years ago in order to learn jazz. The music I have always loved as an adult .

    I remember someone explaining a TwinTube preamp to me, saying "Now, this is for the lead pick up and this is for the rhythm pick up"

    It was actually even labeled that on the preamp.

    My immediate reaction was, of course, "wait, what?"

    I remember someone on this board, I forget who, (Mr. B?), who pointed out the absurdity of the concept of "lead piano".

    Of course, talk to any piano player, jazz or otherwise, and they have never ever heard of the term 'chord melody'.

    When Johnny Smith was writing his method book for Mel Bay, he solicited advice from my teacher. He was told that he was going to lose sales by introducing the Grand staff, especially when most guitarists can't even read the treble clef properly.

    The only advice I can give anyone is the advice I give to myself. Music should be fun. Start with that premise, and you can't go wrong .
    Navdeep Singh.

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    Your question is amazing as I think we all feel the same way. I mean I can't speak for other players but you're always going to sound like you and I'm always going to sound like me. All we can do is study and play more and more until we sound good or great to other people listening and we make our sound unique. Don't get me wrong anyone can sound unique but still sound terrible. It's all about finding your own sound and becoming the best guitarist you can be. BTW, I think I would enjoy hearing a Filipino Joe Pass. Not that you could ever reach that caliber of a player but all we can work towards is being the best we can be. ~Cheers!

  17. #16

    Why don't I sound like my favorite Guitarists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Sioco View Post
    I listen to a lot of music ranging from jazz, classical, to metal, I even listen to film music. My favorite guitarists range from George Benson to John Petrucci. All of my favorites have a good melodic sense such as Joe Pass. Yet, when I jam, improvise, and compose, I sound like a corny, backwards, Filipino music. It's very embarrassing to listen to when I am recording. l I am Filipino by the way, I immigrated here in North America many years ago. It doesn't make sense with all that good music that I listen to.

    Another thing I notice is that the more I compose, the more I am recycling the same embarrassing things. Is there a way to turn things around? I mean every lead guitarist that I meet all has IT...except me.
    Seems like the title of this thread doesn't match the problem you are describing in the text. You're disappointment seems to be that your playing doesn't "have good melodic sense" and that your playing recycles a bunch of licks that seem corny to you.

    If that's the case, it seems like you need to study the principles of good melody, and you need to transcribe and intensely practice melodies that are of the sort you'd like to be able to compose and/or improvise. Study melodic examples a phrase at a time, understand how they integrate with the changes, and experiment by playing them over backing tracks with different tempos and rhythm types and different keys (ireal-pro is a great tool for that). By intensely studying and experimenting with melodies you like, you'll find yourself improvising better melodies.

    While you're at it, you might also study the melodies you don't care for to understand what makes them sound corny to you, so you'll know what habits you need to break.
    Last edited by KirkP; 12-06-2015 at 06:51 PM.

  18. #17
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    Take a tip from Howard Roberts and many others- practice singing your lines away from the instrument. When you can sing good lines, you can transfer that to the guitar. Sing melodies to songs and figure out how to play them- you don't have to be complicated about this. Happy Birthday, Beatles melodies, standards, whatever.

    Try playing in the dark, removing visual cues and forcing yourself to rely on your ears and motor skills.

    And most importantly: listen, listen, listen. Listen to jazz, sing the lines you hear from other musicians that you like.

    Find someone to play with, another guitarist interested in jazz or a pianist- someone who can accompany you as you solo and vice versa. Schedule a regular get-together to play tunes. This will focus your attention and intention.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by KIRKP View Post
    Seems like the title of this thread doesn't match the problem you are describing in the text. You're disappointment seems to be that your playing doesn't "have good melodic sense" and that your playing recycles a bunch of licks that seem corny to you.
    Your post got me thinking. On pure face value I "hate" stuff I improvise.
    Mostly coming from fingers, cheesy and naive sounding.
    So what?
    In my case it helps if I put myself in a state of mind (preparation, concentration
    and conscious decision) where I LOVE MY PLAYING. Every note is little golden masterpiece.
    My mind is clear and my execution is perfect. I smoked a genius joint with Satchmo and all I have
    to do is move my fingers ;-)
    It does not matter that when I listen to rehearsal recording later and it still is load of fluff.
    But my best fluff is when I start from that point. Not from "God - I hate how I sound on this tune - beam me up!"
    It is probably not what OP wants as advice but I thought I would throw it in anyway.

  20. #19
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    From my personal experience most of the problems musicians have in the process of their creative development is usually because they try to avoid thinking and 'speaking' with the means of music....

    they think around and about it but not with it.


    TC post looks like: 'I have brushes, paints, and canvas but when I put the paints on the canvas it does not look like Botticelli... why'

    Because art is not about putting paints on the canvas.
    The colours and lins are already there - the low tools of an artist just help them to become embodied.

    Besides you can listen to lots of great music but it does not meanyou will play it once you learn to make instrument sound clearly.

    As Rob mentioned: it's about being a musician, an artist...

    Excuse a bit of irony, no idea to sound offensive...

    I just see by your post there's an obvious gap what you want to sound like and what you do sound like and obviously you seem to think there's a bridge between that does not work properly, but to me it seems there's no bridge at all.

    Especially this speaks for you

    I transcribe, but mostly of ear training purposes. I don't know how to utilize my transcriptions for musicality purposes.
    If you do not know that then I think you should not hezitate to throw off any ambition and get at the desk to step by step through the basics - either with a good teacher of with a good method book.

    PS
    I know guys who did not go through the basics at all - but they also did not ask what to do
    Last edited by Jonah; 12-07-2015 at 05:24 AM.

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by KIRKP View Post
    Seems like the title of this thread doesn't match the problem you are describing in the text. You're disappointment seems to be that your playing doesn't "have good melodic sense" and that your playing recycles a bunch of licks that seem corny to you.

    If that's the case, it seems like you need to study the principles of good melody, and you need to transcribe and intensely practice melodies that are of the sort you'd like to be able to compose and/or improvise. Study melodic examples a phrase at a time, understand how they integrate with the changes, and experiment by playing them over backing tracks with different tempos and rhythm types and different keys (ireal-pro is a great tool for that). By intensely studying and experimenting with melodies you like, you'll find yourself improvising better melodies.

    While you're at it, you might also study the melodies you don't care for to understand what makes them sound corny to you, so you'll know what habits you need to break.
    Yeah, I need to break from my corny melodic habits. Thanks for advising me to study the principles of a good melody. I don't do it just to improve my melodic sense, but I want to be great at it and end up somewhere in the composer field. I am transcribing right now Jaws of Life by John Petrucci. It is mostly in B Minor, with a little bit of F# Minor. I have a jam track software called chord pulse. Some of the grooves are lame, but I can insert any chord progression I want in any key.

  22. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    Take a tip from Howard Roberts and many others- practice singing your lines away from the instrument. When you can sing good lines, you can transfer that to the guitar. Sing melodies to songs and figure out how to play them- you don't have to be complicated about this. Happy Birthday, Beatles melodies, standards, whatever.

    Try playing in the dark, removing visual cues and forcing yourself to rely on your ears and motor skills.

    And most importantly: listen, listen, listen. Listen to jazz, sing the lines you hear from other musicians that you like.

    Find someone to play with, another guitarist interested in jazz or a pianist- someone who can accompany you as you solo and vice versa. Schedule a regular get-together to play tunes. This will focus your attention and intention.
    Mind you, I tried singing lines and transferring it to my instrument. I play a jazz chord on my guitar and sing some melody coming from the chord. The thing is what I sing is also lame. I've heard people say melodies evolve, from singing original lines. So I am considering to play what I'm singing again.

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    Be careful what you wish for! In my younger days I wanted to sound like Jimmy Page, and practiced his licks for hours. But then I grew up and wanted to sound like Wes, and instead freaking Jimmy Page licks would always found their way into my solos. Embarassing!
    . I guess immersing yourself with your favorite music does pay off!

  24. #23
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    If you are a phrasing issue, take a lick, listen how is the articulation between each notes, and where are each notes compared to the beat : really laid-back, just before,...
    if necessary, use a software to slow the tempo.

  25. #24
    learning to improvise ....

    we all copy the people we wanna sound
    like ..... steal their stuff !
    they surely stole off their heroes so its fair !
    It's the aural tradition ....

    at first it might be difficult to get the lines you really like into your ears ....
    (your ears may need some exercise to build the ear muscles ...really !)
    my ears were weak ... ie the things i could hear were very quiet little squeaks in my head ....
    now its louder in there
    the more of this you do the bigger your ears will get , the louder the sounds become in your head ....

    now just simplify things
    get a less busy , slower line you like
    some Paul Desmond , Miles or Prez
    maybe ....

    hear the line
    sing it
    find it and play it on the guitar
    put it into a song and groove it, mess around with it , have fun
    repeat the process
    work out stuff by ear not off the page

    ps not dissing reading
    reading is good too but a different learning process....
    Last edited by pingu; 12-11-2015 at 10:38 AM.

  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Sioco View Post
    When I jam, improvise, and compose, I sound like a corny, backwards, Filipino music.
    No you don't. You sound like someone steeped in the vibrant, vital music of the Philippines, successfully working to bring that sound to a wide variety of settings in a way that your heroes only wish they could.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Sioco View Post
    Another thing I notice is that the more I compose, the more I am recycling the same embarrassing things.
    "Mediocre artists borrow. Great artists steal." -- Pablo Picasso

    In short, JS, "You can only bring what ya got." Bring it!!
    "Don't worry about that. Everybody talks about finding your voice. Do your homework and your voice will find you." - Branford Marsalis

  27. #26
    I think this is an oversimplification but that is what may explain it more.

    All of your favorite Guitarists regardless of Style of Music...or Technique or lack of Technique or Knowledge or lack of Knowledge have spent Time ...sometimes less sometimes more- learning to' Hear musical phrases and ideas and chords etc. in their mind ' and Play them so they can do 'their Style or Styles at will predictably.
    All the Practice and Knowledge feeds that - but the sooner you start doing it ...the better.

    Whether it's James Taylor or Cat Stevens or George Benson, Larry Carlton , Jon Kreisberg, or Santana they 'hear things ' in their style and execute them.

    I have seen Pro Singers who barely play the Guitar
    work up some simple chords on Acoustic for example- and learn very quickly - and NAIL those parts like a Guitar Pro Onstage because they were USED to singing PRECISE Vocal Parts and Harmonies and could just
    'Do it' [ on Guitar ] because of a very strong, clear Concept in their mind..
    I remember thinking' -wow- that's a simple part- but he is playing it as well as I or anyone..and he's NOT even a Guitarist..really- but whatever he plays he plays well even though simple.'

    So the BIG difference is being able to play what you hear in your mind...get the mental image clear and get that one song or part down- then something else...don't worry about the ' Guitar Hero' guy yet...just play what you are hearing....
    Develop simple, stable , consistent technique, do not smoke Marijuana and cloud your mind...and the more you play from your mind the quicker you will sound like what you create in your mind.
    Gradually you will hear things in your Playing you like...and those Influences will show up....

    The Mind- Body- Guitar Connection is the big difference....

    Some people ..like Paul McCartney for example are so heavy on the 'Mind' part that they come up with brilliant Guitar Parts with barely practicing...but he still had to impose his will on the Guitar...and of course McCartney is a Musical Genius...luckily you don't need that much 'Mind' but all the Practice and Lessons and Theory and Listening and ' IMAGINING ' in your mind -feeds the
    Mind- Body- Guitar connection.

    Practicing Technique is to get the Body out of the way mostly....Theory and Learning Chords, Scales, Rhythms, and much of what we discuss here feeds the Mind new stuff...
    Sometimes the Guitar- just looking for new chords improvising...can feed the Mind for ' imagining' the next chord or passage- etc.

    Mind - Body- Guitar ..get some stable technique for getting body out of the way and start feeding the Cycle...it's also a 'feedback loop' sometimes.

    I HATE the idea of singing stuff -EXCEPT as a creative exercise -
    NOT as an integral part of the process.

    Why? Because you will have to become a Mariah Carey before you become a good Guitarist...or a GREAT scat singer before you become a pretty good guitarist...or because SINGING wide intervals in Rhythm is not a skill you need to master Guitar even to 50% master the Guitar.

    So Singing OK as a creative little exercise but don't insert it as part of the actual Process because it is NOT.

    And now for the Entertainment Portion to reinforce my last point.
    Here is Mariah Carey at one point singing ABOVE the highest frets of your Guitar.
    A one in a Million Singer..but we should all be able to play this stuff on Guitar if we are pretty good...




    Unless you are a Vampire and have a few hundred years or more...you probably do NOT want to waste valuable time trying to become a Singer in order to play better Guitar- unless you already sing and even then...
    Vocal Tone Production and Articulation is more difficult and will at best only tangentially improve your ability to play.

    However- singing a little to recognize Intervals is different ...especially if an Interval is a Pop Song already in your Mind
    like " Maria " from West Side Story for a diminished fifth etc.
    But that's singing a bit for ear training...
    IF it comes naturally to someone to sing in time and Tempo Michael Brecker licks ...fine but if you were teaching someone Guitar it's pretty easy to jump an Octave on Guitar but it's pretty hard to do an octave leap singing- and I have cued Singers many times during amateur and Pro Recording...sung their part to them in a falsetto...and it sometimes took 5 or more 'takes' till they got it...

    So I don't like the idea of misleading anyone that they need to become able to sing Guitar Parts in order to get better on Guitar...especially wide intervals and fast stuff...that's hard to sing.

    Now -should you learn to tap dance all the Rhythms and Polyrhythms before you play ?
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 07-21-2016 at 10:06 AM.

  28. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Sioco View Post
    Mind you, I tried singing lines and transferring it to my instrument. I play a jazz chord on my guitar and sing some melody coming from the chord. The thing is what I sing is also lame. I've heard people say melodies evolve, from singing original lines. So I am considering to play what I'm singing again.
    I'm thinking that you have a "diatonic ear". Your default is to hear melodies that fall very much inside the key. So you need to train your ear to hear "outside" sounds. I'm the same way. The way I get around it is to force myself to use a sound until it begins to sound natural to me. For example, when I first started using the #11 it sounded terrible to me. (Mind you, it sounded great when I heard other people doing it). So for a while, I played a #11 on ever major and dominant chord. I also used devices that include that note, such as playing a minor pentatonic a half step down from a major chord, or using a major arpeggio a whole step up. At first, it sounded very forced, but eventually it got to the point where I knew what it was going to sound like, and the situations where it might sound good or bad.

    I never had much a problem with the b9 or #9 since I came up as a rock and blues player, and those sounds are pretty standard.

    The #5/b13 was a bit challenging at first, but now I can hear that well enough, too.

    That's where I'm at now, and the challenge is creating lines that incorporate some of those notes, while still sounding natural. I find it helps for me to think chordally (e.g., for an altered dominant, I'm usually thinking of triads on the 3 and #11, so for an E7 chord, I'll be thinking Bb and C triads.)

    But the thing is, this took a long time. Like several years.

    And, as the others have said, sounding like yourself is not a bad thing.
    "I'm opposed to picketing, but I don't know to show it." --Mitch Hedberg

  29. #28

    Why don't I sound like my favorite Guitarists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Joe View Post
    The way I get around it is to force myself to use a sound until it begins to sound natural to me.
    That's good advice. I do that sort of thing too, intentionally and repeatedly using a device or chord type in a practice session, even if I don't care for them at first. It gets my ear accustomed to the sound, develops muscle memory so I can instinctively find that sound when I do want it, develops my ear so I can hear when other musicians employ that device, and I'll often discover some places where that device does work for me.
    Last edited by KirkP; 07-20-2016 at 03:27 PM.

  30. #29
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    when i first started working out the solos that i was listening to all the time and that were blowing my brains out - solos by bud powell and oscar peterson mainly - i simply could not believe how developed they were - how clear they were - how many perfect little ideas they seamlessly wove together - how refined and sophisticated they were

    left to my own devices i would come up with less that was of musical interest in an afternoon of 'jamming' (to say a 12 bar) than they came up with in the first half a bar (then in the second and the third and the fourth etc.etc.)

    i'm not exaggerating here - if anything i'm not managing to capture the facts. i was just astonished at the first four bars oscar played on night train after he'd finished playing the head. it took me ages to learn to sing it - and then ages to learn to play it. but the more i played it the more i loved it - and the more blown away i was by the sheer musical intelligence of the ideas involved

    (i spent four years between the age of 12 and 16 playing serious baroque and classical music on the flute - so i was used to carefully crafted melodic phrases)

    so i certainly did not feel like i sounded like 'me' or anybody else - i just thought i sounded totally crap

    but it was only through oscar and bud that i discovered what it might be to sound like 'you' - to have a musical voice of any kind at all. certainly at the beginning the problem was not that i sounded like me - it was that i sounded like nothing at all, and that i could tell that oscar - and many many wonderful others - sounded like a whole hell of a lot of something fantastic

    ----

    the best thing to do is to listen endlessly to the improvising artists you adore and learn to sing what they are doing. for me if i'm on my own when i listen to them i always listen BY trying to sing along (this is very common - non-musicians sing along to their favorite songs when they're working etc.). this is not work - its the best thing you can do - the most fun thing. if you do it enough - it will totally change what you hear. it will begin to help you to hear a bit like the people you are listening to hear.

  31. #30
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    Hello.
    'Why don't I sound like my favourite Guitarists?'
    I'm sorry, but why would you want to?



    Music is the key that can open strange rooms in the house of memory.
    Llewelyn Wyn Griffith
    Last edited by Rhoderick; 07-21-2016 at 02:12 PM.

  32. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
    Seems like the title of this thread doesn't match the problem you are describing in the text. You're disappointment seems to be that your playing doesn't "have good melodic sense" and that your playing recycles a bunch of licks that seem corny to you.

    If that's the case, it seems like you need to study the principles of good melody, and you need to transcribe and intensely practice melodies that are of the sort you'd like to be able to compose and/or improvise. Study melodic examples a phrase at a time, understand how they integrate with the changes, and experiment by playing them over backing tracks with different tempos and rhythm types and different keys (ireal-pro is a great tool for that). By intensely studying and experimenting with melodies you like, you'll find yourself improvising better melodies.

    While you're at it, you might also study the melodies you don't care for to understand what makes them sound corny to you, so you'll know what habits you need to break.
    Interesting point about ' corny' - sometimes the subtleties of Jazz and the sophstication are lost on people who like myself grew up on R&B and Rock.. especially some of the
    lighter more melodic major ii-V- I stuff...with 'swing' Rhythms...

    However an 'antidote' for this IMO is some Jazz Players who insert a lot of Blues and R&B into their Playing ( many 'Jazz Guys' can but don't care to and also depends on the Tune ) ...
    But my point is that to Rockers and even Metal Guys to avoid the 'corny' parts of Jazz [ which is a bad word but you get it]
    Listen to Guys like Benson who I think many Guitarists from other more aggressive styles could relate to immediately and also Guys like Michael Brecker who had tremendous ability but just did screaming wailing Blues Tones even over sophisticated changes and also stuff that Guitar Shredders ( so much more eloquent and expressive but still...) could relate to...

    So listen to the 'bad asses' of Jazz or the Guys who sound 'corny' on one Tune and
    'Bad Ass ' on another.

    Listen to stuff you can ' feel ' more especially at first.

    Also -I have known a few Guitarists who could really imitate other Players and even improvise in their different Styles which is amazing ...but that is very rare.

    Three Players ..very influenced by Clapton-

    Eddie Van Halen

    Eric Johnson

    Larry Carlton who studied with Joe Pass but was influenced by Clapton's sound etc.
    and is an amazing Hybrid of Jazz and Rock and Blues.

    But none sound a lot like Clapton did..but everyone seems to go through imitation phases and end up somewhere else.

    Which is good...and now you can learn the why and how that 'Guy' plays that way..and take it somewhere else.

    Remember also- you could ask...

    ' Why don't my favorite Guitarists sound like EACH OTHER ?'

    And the more you Play what is exactly in your Mind the stronger your Voice on the Guitar will come through-

    Don't dilute what's in your Mind- and eventually some of your Influences will start to come out and POSSIBLY morphed in a cool way.

    Play what is in your Mind...

    I have sort of Morphed a Straight Jazz Player...with some subtle note bending..and some of the crazy ' beast mode' stuff that Sax Players do...but I don't sound like any of them...it's a Morph..

    I wish it had not taken so long.......I am ' peaking extraordinarily late...
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 09-12-2017 at 05:44 PM.

  33. #32
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    if all the work i do is successful maybe i'll sound like me one day

    the idea that sounding authentic and distinctive is a default state that you can mess up if you're overly impressed with the playing of other people is seriously confused in my view

  34. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Groyniad View Post
    if all the work i do is successful maybe i'll sound like me one day
    That's my objective too -- I'd just like to keep becoming a better me Why don't I sound like my favorite Guitarists?

  35. #34
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    That's my objective too -- I'd just like to keep becoming a better me
    I even have a philosiphical backup for this.... this is how you become unique and original, because essentially every person is unique and original - so basically all you have to do is to say yourself in what you do and people will feel the originality of what you do...

    But the problem is it is all much more complex - you cannot just tell yourself: I'll be myself..'
    on the contrary conciously trying 'be yourself' may lead to copying someone else 'being self'


    There's another point: it's what's on the head... I actually cannot remember taht I ever conciously tried to sound like someone... I of couse had my heroes starting with The Beatles when I was 10... and tried to copy all the time... I did not seem to care to compare if it sounded like John or not...
    It's like I subconciously felt that actually it just could not sound like John because I was not John..
    so what's the use of trying?))))

    Actually... I was so passionately interested in all that .. that I just did not think about it... I guess it's the key: if you have passion it sets you more or less on the track... you are too much in it to think about it... and only the result will show how it really worked out...

  36. #35
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    Coming from a rock angle, there were players I tried to emulate and failed in doing so -- Randy Rhoads, Jimi, Ritchie Blackmore, amongst others --but in my failing, my style developed. Perhaps a result of neuromusculature, perhaps an odd ear, but over the years, even as I've learnt that I can't sound like them, I can sound like myself.

    In a sense, our limitations define our style, don't they?
    Last edited by Thumpalumpacus; 07-24-2016 at 01:46 PM.

  37. #36
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    Ahhhh Randy Rhoads. Revelation Mother Earth what a symphony. Good bye to romance fantastically melodic. Diary if a madman sheer brilliance. Tonight makes me cry.

    Sent from my D6503 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by MarkRhodes; 07-24-2016 at 04:00 PM. Reason: For the "h" of it. ;o)
    “When you’re creating your own ...., man, even the sky ain’t the limit.”
    Miles Davis

  38. #37
    There are times I worry about "becoming myself" and then there are other times when I think that everything goes into the hopper, and something called "me" comes out - and that happens whether I want it to or not, so I might as well make friends with it.
    "I'm opposed to picketing, but I don't know to show it." --Mitch Hedberg

  39. #38
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    Make hay with sunshine, brotha.

  40. #39
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    Thump said:

    "I can sound like myself"

    Amen to that.

    Developing your own sound and style is to me more elusive than getting another player, but in attempting to "get" the other player my own sound and style started to emerge.
    Still working on that after all these years. :-)
    Regards,

    Gary

  41. #40
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    I had to come to terms with sounding like "me" too. I went through a phase years ago where I was playing a different guitar every few weeks trying to sound like my current hero of the month. Finally, my bass player said "You need to stop trying to play like everyone else and play like you."

    It was a simple comment but it struck me pretty hard. He was right and I listened to him. I have gotten comments on my playing twice this week from other players in the store while trying out gear (Yes, I still buy a lot of guitars....just for different reasons). Heck, one guy compared me to Charlie Byrd and I don't even listen to him. Now granted, my playing was probably a change from the loud rock guys they usually get it there, so it was something different.

    Point being, when I stopped trying to sound like someone else, I moved on to playing what sounds good to me and apparently some others like it, too. I suspect that would be true for the OP as well.
    “It was in tune when I bought it”......Herb Ellis.

  42. #41
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    You will never sound like someone else even you to copy everything they do the most you'll be a copy. Learn from others and let that seep into your playing. I rather have someone saying "they can hear the <fill in the blank> influence, than say "he just sound like copy of <fill in the blank>.

    A few people are credited with saying it, I heard it from Herbie Hancock. Copy everyone you can, then forget it all and play. That's the process study others, let it go, to simmer inside you, and see hear it eventually comes out your way.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  43. You don't because you keep on asking why. Make a move dude! No one can perfectly copy someone's image but at least you can be 99% similar to it. Begin in yourself. Then know why you sound that bad. Gradually, you will see things you need to improve. Work on it and you will soon be like your favorite guitarists. The key? Always practice with a heart.





  44. #43
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    This is an interesting update of an old, zombie thread. I have some observations that I'd like to share.

    First, Filipino music is great! As a kid in Hawaii (1964-67), I was exposed to lots of music coming out of the Philippines and to Filipino musicians. Somewhat later on, I discovered Bobby Enriquez, 'The Wildman of Mindanao.' (Billed as being from Mindanao, Enriquez was actually from Negros, just to the north in the Philippines.) Enriquez was one of the very best, most capable pianists I _ever_ heard...even if he did have to languish in Don Ho's band for several years. (Actually, this was probably the premier gig in Hawaii, at the time.) I urge everyone to listen to as much Bobby Enriquez as they can.

    Second, I really sympathize with the notion of feeling that one sounds corny in relation to one's musical heroes. My improvisations nearly always strike me as corny. However, I suggest that if the OP _recognizes_ that his playing sounds corny he is way ahead of the game. It's when a player doesn't know that his stuff is corny that there is no hope. You can always analyze music and "get it." That is, you can figure out why the non-corny stuff is that way. Then, you can assimilate it into your own ideas.

    Everybody starts out copying their heroes. Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, and Wes Montgomery all started out copying the great Charlie Christian. Wes Montgomery's first gigs involved him playing CC solos note for note. Interestingly, although all three guys were Christian disciples, each sounds like his own man. That's because Christian got filtered through each man's sensibility, vision, and ability. The OP will find that if he picks, say, Tal Farlow (another guy originally influenced by Christian), figures out Farlow solos note-for-note, they will still ultimately come out sounding like the OP.

    That's music. That's jazz.

  45. #44
    Search for Richie Cole Bobby Enriquez on YouTube, there's some good videos of them together. Also Bruce Forman is in the band, great stuff.

  46. #45

  47. #46
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    If you put in the time, you can sound just like the records. Ask a generation of cover band guitarists.

  48. #47
    Why doesn't anyone sound like their heroes? Not enough guitars of course! Not enough effects of course! Not enough accumulated knowledge about their hero's lives and life trivia of course!
    The secret of the guitar world, the more toys, and the less you play, the happier you are. Don't worry. Be happy.
    David

  49. #48
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    That 20 year old guy sure sounded like his hero, so IT IS possible with talent and work:
    ...every note has an origin and a destination...
    - Tal Farlow

  50. #49
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    As a thought experiment - what about:

    Listen, practice, play.

    But never listen to yourself recorded.

    Would that work as an approach to playing?

  51. who is your favorite guitarists??

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