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  1. #1

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    Just wondering how many of you have copped technique from your heroes, borrowed ideas, thought of altering your own technique with hopes of playing like them?

    I've been working hard on fundamentals lately, technique included, and can't figure out if this may be good for me or not. I'm specifically dealing with fretting hand technique, so I'm thinking about fingering/note choice, speed, comfort etc.. as the result.

    Any thoughts appreciated!

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  3. #2

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    ome of the greats have said I can show you exactly what I play and you'll never sound like me, we are two different people. Mentally and physically we are all different and that's a good thing. I would say let others inspire you to find your version of their style or sound then let that melt into part of being you.

    I believe it was Miles and I heard Hendrix said it once too... Those guys are copying everything I played including all the mistakes. That's the thing about the great musicians they make mistakes like everyone else, but you don't realize it because you don't know what they were going for and how they adjusted to make it work.
    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.

  4. #3

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    I think you have to go through that. When I began, I wanted to BE those cats. They could do the impossible. Yeah I wanted to possess all of it and I thought if I had their notes, that would be the answer. You have to.
    But that approach is full of the limitations especially the limitations that you're not aware are limiting your idols.
    I think a huge revelation came when I discovered that it was the ability to create music rather than re-create something someone else had done that I wanted. That came from seeing a lot of live music, and seeing the creative ability, discipline and hard work was what I was seeing channeled through those players.
    After seeing that, I respected those players, but I came not to value the gravity of their production. It was process not product that was exciting to me.
    Of course when ever I can get information from those idols, they'd give me really priceless gifts, but it wasn't in copying them.

    Two examples that I've found priceless: Tal Farlow was a Guitar God when I was growing up. I was going to school in NJ while he was alive. He was living in Sea Bright and playing at the Sign Of The Times. I had the great fortune to spend time with him and pick his brain. He couldn't tell me what he'd played unless I stopped him almost immediately as he was playing. Otherwise he'd say "I don't remember what I was doing, this is what I'm doing now." I learned the most from listening to him live, and knowing the flow of ideas was broader than what could be quantified in any lesson. That was an enormous lesson that came from my wanting what he had and finding out it didn't sound like him at all.
    Second story: I met Mick Goodrick when I moved to Boston. His playing at the time, with Jack Dejohnette and Charlie's Liberation Orchestra was legendary. I wanted to study with him so I could learn to play like him; have his knowledge. Y'know, he never had time to give me a lesson but he would give me limitless time to ask questions over lunch, hang in the space that was making the music.
    One day I asked him how could anyone ever find the time to master an instrument that took all my idols a lifetime each to find their voice on? He more or less said I had to learn to love their music enough to get what I wanted from them, and not worry about whether it was wasting my time. If I really loved the music, what I learned would be my own and that's what they were all doing.
    Yeah, I'm still learning, but I don't sound like any of them. I'm happy for that, and the wisdom of my teachers.

    David

  5. #4

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    One piece of advice I've heard is, "Don't just loot one store." Lots of people have been inspired by Wes to play heads in octaves, but they don't do it all the time. It's not the only trick in their bag.

    I'm learning to use a thumb pick so I can do some Travis picking, but that will never be the whole (or even the main part) of my style.

    At this point (-I'm 59) I don't even remember where I got some of the things I use. It was some player somewhere, but I'm not sure who. (And you can get pretty much the same thing from several different players, esp chord grips, fingering approaches, mastery of certain dynamics and flourishes...)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  6. #5

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    I'm a bedroom hack, so take what I say with a grain of salt.
    I have played out in the past, but not much lately.
    In the end it all boils down to enjoyment.
    I enjoy ripping various things from those that inspire me.
    I'm not trying to be original or push new ground. I just enjoy playing what I like.
    I do believe trying to emulate various techniques from those you enjoy helps you get a feel for what they're doing from a technical standpoint
    At the same time by emulating techniques one shouldn't think it is going to be the end all be all of becoming a good guitarist.
    Still, it doesn't hurt.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    One piece of advice I've heard is, "Don't just loot one store." Lots of people have been inspired by Wes to play heads in octaves, but they don't do it all the time. It's not the only trick in their bag...
    Trying to master octaves without making them sound like a "trick" is something that I work on.

    I hear too many nuances in the way that others play that limit me from copying what they do. Like others have said, I look for inspiration in what great musicians do, but I try to process it in my own way with my own nuances. I would be banging my head against the wall otherwise.

  8. #7

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    More feeling than specifics. I have copped some things from Jim Hall, but I think I got more from becoming aware of his way of feeling things while comping than from the handful of things I transcribed.

    Same fo r BB King and Carlos Santana, two other influences. Again, more feel than technique. That said, I did try to get Santana's tone, which I eventually required a humbucker and a Mesa Boogie.

    When I heard Knopfler, I wanted his sound, but I never did anything about it. Same for Wes. I love his playing, but I've never copped anything

  9. #8

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    I’ve always been surprised to notice how many different ways there are to play the guitar. This in itself is inspiring.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by p1p View Post
    Just wondering how many of you have copped technique from your heroes, borrowed ideas, thought of altering your own technique with hopes of playing like them?

    Any thoughts appreciated!
    I think that understanding how people played can be a really important piece of the puzzle. The clearest example is Charlie Christian: if you know that he primarily played from a few basic "shapes" on the neck, learning his melodic language is much easier. It's possible to play his solos in other positions on the guitar, but they don't lay nearly as well or make nearly as much sense. I speak from firsthand experience, when I learned Charlie's solos I learned a lot of them in "strange" positions because I studied with a pianist who was only concerned I could play the lines. Later I went back and learned them in the "correct" positions and it helped me a lot.

    I also think it can be a real learning exercise to emulate great player's technique, even if it's just in the practice room. I often practice playing with all downstrokes (or picking with thumb) and I definitely feel I improvise different sorts of lines doing this, and it influences what I play even when picking my "normal" way. Same thing goes for not using the left hand pinky.

    So, I think it's really useful to look at the traditions of the guitar, and what in particular has worked for the greatest players, and try that out, even if you don't have any hopes/aspirations of sounding like anyone but yourself.

  11. #10

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    As a kid, I learned a lot of rock solos, but I never tried to copy what I knew about how they played. For example, one of the first solos I learned was Sultans of Swing, but I never tried to play with my right hand fingers the way Knopfler does. I'd try to get the articulation and the flow but using my own technique. Or even changing the articulation if I found a way that sounded better to me.

    Part of that was probably laziness, but mostly, I didn't want to be a clone. That's been a double-edged sword. As a rock player, I think I had a unique voice, but the down side was that a lot of stuff other guys could do easily, I couldn't because they'd actually learned the techniques.

    In jazz, I've discovered that having a common vocabulary is a lot more important than it was in rock, so I'm doing a lot of work that I probably should have done as a teenager (like I didn't neglect my homework enough back then!)
    "I'm opposed to picketing, but I don't know to show it." --Mitch Hedberg

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by pcsanwald View Post
    So, I think it's really useful to look at the traditions of the guitar, and what in particular has worked for the greatest players, and try that out, even if you don't have any hopes/aspirations of sounding like anyone but yourself.
    This is great. On top of being very useful and educational, I thoroughly enjoy playing like my heroes at times -really brings out the child in me! If some of it creeps into my playing? Guess it can’t hurt..

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by p1p View Post
    This is great. On top of being very useful and educational, I thoroughly enjoy playing like my heroes at times -really brings out the child in me! If some of it creeps into my playing? Guess it can’t hurt..
    yeah man, it's fun, too. I had an old boxing coach who would have us spar a round in Roy Jones' style, with our hands down. it was really useful and instructive, even though none of us were good enough to actually pull off that style in a match.

    Playing without the pinky of the left hand is very similar kind of exercise to that, in the sense that it forces you to shift positions in a certain way and play certain kinds of lines that might not happen naturally with a more "classical" type approach.

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by pcsanwald View Post
    yeah man, it's fun, too. I had an old boxing coach who would have us spar a round in Roy Jones' style, with our hands down. it was really useful and instructive, even though none of us were good enough to actually pull off that style in a match.

    Playing without the pinky of the left hand is very similar kind of exercise to that, in the sense that it forces you to shift positions in a certain way and play certain kinds of lines that might not happen naturally with a more "classical" type approach.
    I already do play with three fingers, heh.. but am always open to at least trying (or borrowing) technique I see others using, that feels comfortable and sounds good to me. I’m not sure it means I’ll sound just like my hero(es).

  15. #14
    I feel like one of the most crucial and fruitful areas of trying to emulate players is when you try to emulate a technique... and fail.

    Because a lot of the time, that will cause you to come up with your own approximation that's slightly different and gives you a new sound that's more unique to yourself. Hell, Chet Atkins' musical style came from trying to emulate Merle Travis and being unable to do it exactly as he did, which lead him to his thumb and 3 fingers technique.

    One of my guitar heroes, although he's not a jazz guy, is Wilko Johnson; I love his style of guitar playing, which he developed tryint o emulate Mick Green and failing. And now, to an extent, I'm trying to imitate Wilko and failing - hopefully, I'll be able to come up with something new and original in attempting to do so. (If you're wondering, it's because Wilko's technique is very much built around using the thumb to fret notes on the fifth and sixth strings - I prefer a thicker neck, and my hands are smaller than his, so I can't manage that.)

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Sun View Post
    he developed tryint o emulate Mick Green and failing. And now, to an extent, I'm trying to imitate Wilko and failing - hopefully, I'll be able to come up with something new and original in attempting to do so.
    Interesting point. It reminds me of something Conan O'Brian said. He said that David Letterman became who he is because he tried to be Johnny Carson, and Conan became who he is because he tried to be Letterman.
    "I'm opposed to picketing, but I don't know to show it." --Mitch Hedberg

  17. #16

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    A musician who I wished I could play like when I started and who has spawned more than his fair share of imitators and influenced a number of musicians who have gone on to develop their own sound is Pat Martino. In a 1973 interview he gave his views on the subject.
    ----------------------
    "Ques: Did any guitarists’ playing influence you?"


    "Of course. Johnny Smith, Wes Montgomery and just about any guitar player I ever listened to.

    What did Smith’s playing offer you?
    Precision! Precision and cleanliness and getting over what you want to say without laboring over impediments. I am always concerned with the present moment, and when I was listening and viewing Smith’s mastery of the guitar I seriously wanted to become another Johnny Smith. I copied all I could comprehend from his albums. But, when I started studying with Dennis Sandole, Dennis made me realize that if Smith stopped making records, I’d have to stop playing. The most important thing about a player is that what he plays is recognizable as far as being cleanly executed with articulation and dynamics. Smith’s playing has all these aspects. Another great thing about his playing is that he has kept his identity; you can always recognize his playing and his sound.

    Ques: Don’t you find that studying a man’s playing is mechanical, and only covers half the picture? The other half concerns the forces that make them express as they do.


    True, especially with the younger cats. They don’t take into consideration that when they are listening to a musician they are actually listening to a stronger force, a force which the musician is in relationship to. For instance, that musician may be a theologian, philosopher, mathematician or politician, but the listeners only see their Mel Bay and Nick Manoloff books. This isn’t their fault, it’s just a matter of reality. Hopefully, with time and wisdom, they will learn that there are more realities than one in expressing yourself in music. For instance, how could you analyze John Coltrane’s music without being aware of what he was in relationship to? "

  18. #17

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    An artist is as defined by their limitations as their strengths.

    Personally I’ve never gone out of my way to learn a hero’s technique, although I do find it almost as interesting to watch guitar players as to listen to them.

    But the players I like are diverse technically, so I’d end up a bit confused anyway.

    Basically a self taught guy in terms of chops, I relearned right hand technique a few years ago to cope with acoustic guitar. This had the side effect of making everything i play sound like Django haha. So people started to hear me as a Django guy. I love Django, but I would say I’ve spent as much time studying Charlie Christian, Wes and so on. It’s funny.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    ...
    Personally I’ve never gone out of my way to learn a hero’s technique, although I do find it almost as interesting to watch guitar players as to listen to them.

    But the players I like are diverse technically, so I’d end up a bit confused anyway...
    Me too on the three points above. What is interesting to me about the visual aspect is the mystery and magic about how players do what they do. I could watch some players play and still have no clue as to what they are doing to get what they get out their guitar.

    One example that I see all the time is this fellow that demonstrates guitars daily from Norman's Rare Guitars in SoCal. It's a fun 10 minute youtube watch. 5 or 6 days a week he picks up a rare-ish guitar from their stock, explains the details and history behind the production, and then demos them. He always picks popular songs and plays them note for note/attack for attack/sustain for sustain, etc. with much of the sonic textures that are recognizable. I see him do it with disbelief many times. He is muting, bending, sliding, hammering, thumb over, thumb behind, etc. - you name it. Most of the time it looks anything but straight forward to me, but it also reinforces why I like the instrument for jazz. I am perfectly fine staying away from the full on emulations that he does because I couldn't do it anyway.

  20. #19

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    Technique or overall approach and Style ?

    I did not study Other People's Technique - I did the opposite - I studied the Guitar itself -the strings, etc . how to alternate across strings skip strings . How to fingerpick in different 'new' rhythms etc . and gradually refined it .

    But for beginners , intermediates...

    I think the Camera mounted on the Guitar thing is a good way for people who want to copy another's technique - you will still need hundreds or thousands of hours of practice to 'get it' fully .

    And fundamentals adjusted for your own hands are always top priority even if copying .
    If you don't first develop even sounding strokes REGARDLESS of thumbpick/ fingers P and I/ fingers I and M / flat pick / etc etc...

    If you don't develop even sounding strokes - and even' time 'to metronome or track or tunes- it is very unlikely that you will be able to copy or emulate Pro Players and get paid...

    If just having fun - then copy have fun and don't worry about really getting it fully .
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 07-30-2019 at 09:00 AM.

  21. #20

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    I doubt anyone will end up being a clone of someone else....different body types and "prior knowledge" bases make that unlikely.

    I think it is interesting, and valuable, to look at different approaches to see what is really essential, what is not, and what can work.

    I enjoy looking at different golfers....and many swing VERY differently....Nicklaus very upright w/ flying elbow; Hogan---quite flat with "tight" arms and lots of body turn; Vardon---bent left arm and heavy elbow throwing action through swing; Arnold Palmer--a swing so good and together, it actually looks slightly awkward because of little "flow"; John Daly---powerful with flexibility like Gumby doll.

    Guitar wise: Kenny Burrell---lots of finger action in his picking technique; Benson--has that slide-y, unusual grip in his picking; Chuck Wayne---unbelievable chops and lots of spread fingering in single lines--amazing chord melody player, too; Wes M.---the thumb thing with the big rhythmic, slide-y thing going on and integration of rhythm and lead playing; Joe Pass--great bopper, pick player, in say 1964, but later on he seemed to develop his finger style more and use it more.

    Lots of ways to skin the cat....I admire players who continue to evolve like Joe Pass and Barney Kessel whose albums in '70's showed off new tricks in his own approach.

  22. #21

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    Yep. Listening, and having tastes in music is itself a creative expression. It all shows up in your playing.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    An artist is as defined by their limitations as their strengths.

    Personally I’ve never gone out of my way to learn a hero’s technique, although I do find it almost as interesting to watch guitar players as to listen to them.

    But the players I like are diverse technically, so I’d end up a bit confused anyway.

    Basically a self taught guy in terms of chops, I relearned right hand technique a few years ago to cope with acoustic guitar. This had the side effect of making everything i play sound like Django haha. So people started to hear me as a Django guy. I love Django, but I would say I’ve spent as much time studying Charlie Christian, Wes and so on. It’s funny.
    Came to say this but with some (tritone?) substitutes for Django and Charlie Christian

    Jens
    jenslarsen.nl --- My YouTube Channel with lessons and live videos--- YT Lesson Facebook page --- Træben album: Storm on itunes

    I endorse Ibanez guitars, John Daw Custom picks and QSC monitors

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by p1p View Post
    Just wondering how many of you have copped technique from your heroes, borrowed ideas, thought of altering your own technique with hopes of playing like them?

    I've been working hard on fundamentals lately, technique included, and can't figure out if this may be good for me or not. I'm specifically dealing with fretting hand technique, so I'm thinking about fingering/note choice, speed, comfort etc.. as the result.

    Any thoughts appreciated!
    In a few cases, overall conception. Those are Carlos Santana's searing sound and Jim Hall's introspection (or at least, that's the word that comes to mind when I think about his ballad playing). Those two are pretty far afield, but I loved both and I feel they are influences. Also, my teachers, but I can't do justice to them in a short post.

    In other cases, bits of their sound, like BB King's high stinging note, Mark Knopfler's pull-offs, octaves from Wes, double stops from somebody. Bits and pieces.

    I learned technique from my teachers, but I ended up doing things my own way. I suspect that there are individual physiologic differences that make it hard to anything exactly like an idol.

  25. #24

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    I don't think I've ever tried to copy anyone's technique. But I've copped any ideas, licks, phrases that I'm able to, have the time to, or that I think would work for me.

    I learnt a couple of full Wes solos (with lots of help from Wolf Marshall), a couple of full Charlie Parker solos (with lots of help from the Omnibook). But I think in general it's more productive to take an individual line that you really like and work it into your/my own playing. I think all jazz, rock, blues players have always done this haven't they? That's how the British Blues and Jazz Boom was made anyway. Couldn't have been done any other way.

    Very occasionally I come up with something original too ;-)

    I was a big fan of mid period Coltrane and any period John McLaughlin, but hmm hahaha.

  26. #25

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    I have to say the students I teach at this uni job I’m depping are very good at learning solos and songs by ear. They do their homework.

    I think there’s a real culture of learning solos among young musicians - look at YouTube.

    But I really agree with Bruce Arnold’s comments on the subject. Learn tunes before solos.

    Tbh I think there is a lot to said for learning bebop heads by ear and studying them. Then you will learn the language but you’ll also have something to play on gigs.o

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    An artist is as defined by their limitations as their strengths.

    Personally I’ve never gone out of my way to learn a hero’s technique, although I do find it almost as interesting to watch guitar players as to listen to them.

    But the players I like are diverse technically, so I’d end up a bit confused anyway.

    Basically a self taught guy in terms of chops, I relearned right hand technique a few years ago to cope with acoustic guitar. This had the side effect of making everything i play sound like Django haha. So people started to hear me as a Django guy. I love Django, but I would say I’ve spent as much time studying Charlie Christian, Wes and so on. It’s funny.
    I seem to recall you doing several Charlie Christian clips a few years back, kind of going for the whole package of sound, notes, vibe, etc. Looked like a very fun and useful project.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  28. #27

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    Ok when can i collect my $1000?

  29. #28

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    Nice work! I'll throw in a buck <g>.

    There's also a link in there to a transcription of that solo. Worth looking at (for the lazy, non-transcriber) because it has some characteristic CC sounds, like E D Bb G Eb E C (mostly descending) against C7.

    Another indication that great improvisers make some straightforward note choices sound like a personal style.
    Cmixo with a quick blue note (later part of Chuck Berry's style) and it sounds like CC.

  30. #29

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    Fact is, if I did not emulate my heroes' technique... I would not have any technique.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  31. #30

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    I don't know if I emulate anyone's technique, since there was no way of seeing technique back when I was growing up. We had no TV, and recordings were hard to come by out in the country, but my parents had a big library of old 78s, and the radio was almost always on. I certainly stole lots of licks, but I have no idea whether I played them exactly like anyone else. I just figured it all out as best I could. At this late date, I'm not going to try to change my technique, so I just fumble through, having as much fun as I can.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    I'm not nearly good enough to emulate my heroes' technique.

    I can emulate the technique having watched him play up close a number of times. It's everything else that troubles me so.



  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    I can emulate the technique having watched him play up close a number of times. It's everything else that troubles me so.






    If I say I can emulate someone technique that means on a few lines I can sound a lot like them ( not their overall Style )...the attack, or smoothness, time feel , rhythm and speed .




    "¿Can SUPERFICIALLY Copying a Master's Technique enable me to play like them WITHOUT putting in thousands of hours of Ètudes ( unit musical Practice by isolation then integration ) or at LEAST hundreds of hours to a few thousand IF I am extremely gifted ?"

    No. You have to do 'The Work ' and also adjust it to your body .

    You have to do a lot of practice even if you are Wes or Bireli LaGrene.

    Bireli is a very gifted Player ( in many Styles) but wild guess is he still practiced for a few thousand hours before he was a 14 year old whiz kid or 13 - whatever it was - I saw a video where he was 14 .

    Some people get the mechanics out of the way really quickly.

    Your Technique should gradually get the mechanics out of the way..you want to just hear in in your mind and play it...uniformity , simplicity , consistency , dependable , out of the way Mechanics , whether it's fingers, pick, both , all fingers, etc etc..you are practicing to get the mechanics out of the way.

    The idea that you can just copy and elevate your technique drastically by copying without having done the work or doing it as a re-application
    of previous work is a fallacy.

    You have to work , and apply it to your Body and Mind.

    NONE of you seem to get this.

    Technique enables you to lock to a metronome and play what you 'hear' eventually.

    You can only possibly imitate Players with LESS SKILL than you have - NEVER MORE SKILL.

    You can run 100 yard dash in 11.01 seconds

    Why not imitate the Technique of Malishnikov the Olympic Sprinter who runs it in 9.6 Seconds ?


    HOWEVER- I must correct my post - IF you use a Player as a Model for a Technique- you can go one or two steps in their direction - then in 10 or 100 or 1000 hours go a few more steps ...then in 10 or 1000 or 1000 hours AGAIN go a few more steps.

    Gifted people may jump quicker but it is still a Gradual Scale.

    Technically highly skilled People can jump MUCH quicker but normally use their default style to imitate the 'HERO GUY'.

    So if you are already world class - you will have a much better chance.

    BUT - even other World Class NBA Players could not Copy Michael Jordan -

    So a beginner has to do a lot of fundamentals - like the HERO did anyway...just using common sense..
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 02-24-2018 at 04:08 PM.

  34. #33

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    Yes I know.

    I was just looking for an excuse to post a link to another incredible McLaughlin performance.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    Yes I know.

    Lol.
    I was just looking for an excuse to post a link to another incredible McLaughlin performance.
    Some of his performances with Shakti are really crazy in the Pocket...let me try to find one .



    He really thrives on/ in these type of rhythms "

    I can feel the pocket much more than years ago .

    The Violinist is something else too.

    It's a really cool Rhythm Section .

    All we have to do is watch his right hand closely and listen to the percussion and - bam ..*.we have it.


    Ha- I just watched this again - McLaughlin's fret hand is so relaxed it looks like the sound is dubbed in - it looks like he could not really be playing...the Groove is crazy tight in most places..
    Unless you are a world class Player already emulating this won't help much, however JM has a Youtube Vid on ' fluency ' where you really see his grip and strokes and it's nice and slow- he actually swings...that can be emulated far more easily IMO.

    Damn- what an amazing expressive Monster player he was here..and he's having fun !...and doing weirdly beautiful comping here too...crazy good.

    *not really- just being silly.
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 02-24-2018 at 04:36 PM.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robertkoa View Post
    The top Guitarists all sound quite different from each other....the climb toward the top involves taking your own thing really really far in one or ( or maybe 3 directions) rather than copying ...even when they play the same lines ( which do get tossed around ) they sound different from each other.
    I think a good way to appreciate this is to think of singers. The greats are distinctive in some way. Singular. Sinatra, Ella, Bing, Billie, Miss Peggy Lee, Tony Bennett, Anita O'Day, Blossom Dearie, Nina Simone, Norah Jones. You don't mistake one for the other.

    But it is important to remember that they are not the only people who sing well. Many people sing just fine but their voice is not distinctive. They don't need singing lessons. They're just not distinctive. Maybe they haven't found their niche and someday will. Maybe they have no niche---maybe they're just good voices of a conventional type and thus don't stand out.

    There are lots of guitarists who are good players but nothing about their playing stands out. Their technique is fine, maybe exceptional, but nothing about their playing really stands out. So they are unlikely to gain a large following. Of course, not everyone wants to. Some just want to play well for their own enjoyment and that of close friends and family. Nothing wrong with that.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  37. #36

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    Mark R - sure ...I agree with that

    AND this far down the line it's a bit more difficult to innovate and still sound good in any music field.

    AND - IF a Guitarist takes this from Guy X and this from Guy Y and this from Guy Z- SOMETIMES he creates a Style or sometimes ..he kind of homogenizes ..or falls short if he doesn't have the SKILLS ' SRV had the skilz to amalgamate a bunch of different Bluesmen. And he did. But he had the skilz.













    AND - lastly - Guitarists often want to Play like their
    'Heros' - even that word subtly implies that it's out of reach ...doesn't it ?



    Obviously- we can't all be Stars ...and chops don't mean better writing or melodies.
    Audiences instantly recognize technical expertise though - better to have extreme chops and fluidity if you can or are willing to work till you do .



    Anyway... here's an example of of the equivalent of a Virtuoso Vocalist who has both chops and Style.





    Something Jazzers would prefer stylistically I imagine.



    If any of you play the Guitar as well as this woman sings ...

    You are doing extraordinarily well.

    Or - IF you can Play Jazz or Fusion as well as Yngwie Malmsteen plays NeoClassical Shred Rock ( or whatever it's called - he is great at that - ) ...you are doing extraordinary well also IMO.
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 07-26-2019 at 11:20 AM.

  38. #37
    Maybe I wasn't too clear on the original post; I noticed the thread kind of moved away from technique, to style.

    I suppose I was looking for some advice regarding copying your heroes' technique as a means to get faster, cleaner, improve technically. I'm at this point right now where I'm thinking if I could only have so-and-so's technique things might be that much easier going forward. Anyone sympathize?

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by p1p View Post
    Maybe I wasn't too clear on the original post; I noticed the thread kind of moved away from technique, to style.

    I suppose I was looking for some advice regarding copying your heroes' technique as a means to get faster, cleaner, improve technically. I'm at this point right now where I'm thinking if I could only have so-and-so's technique things might be that much easier going forward. Anyone sympathize?
    I admire (among many others) the right hand technique of John McLaughlin and Wes. But trying to emulate both of them at the same time would definitely break my wrist.

    Stylistically... not possible to play Wes using John's technique, or vice versa. So I'd say style and technique are the flip side of the same coin.

    Could you be a bit more specific about which hero?
    Last edited by sunnysideup; 02-23-2018 at 07:58 AM.

  40. #39

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    I realize that it is possible to play guitar in tights and a cape, but I can't do it. I have attempted a few times in my underwear as a test, but that wasn't for me.

  41. #40

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    Also - to the OP have at it and use a strong mental image of what you want to hear and go for it.

    Not saying you can't do it .
    Just that you may have to work practice etc.

    We don't know if I can even play since I have not posted Music yet ..( lol ) so listen to this guy- what he says about people spending time practicing ( you may transcend some of that ..some can ).






    What I CAN tell you keep it SIMPLE .
    And consistent .

    Generally in order to EMULATE your Hero's Technique you will need to practice like they did AND adapt it for your hands and mind.




    Everybody has to put time in ....


    And you have to use a LOT of common sense when trying to ' imitate/ emulate ' someone's technique who is NOT there in the room to show you how.

    And if you had that much diagnostic ability re: picking you would already be at 70 to 80% of anyone and wouldn't be asking about cloning.

    So you the OP need expert help from someone who can diagnose and Play himself at a high level.

    So finding a local who can play his tail off ...and guide you through .

    A green belt wants to kick like Van Damme or Bruce Lee probably needs a Black Belt to keep him on the right track incremental jumps can happen ...
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 07-22-2019 at 01:35 AM.

  42. #41

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    It's hard to clone someone's technique especially if you pick someone who is already great .



    Why don't you Guys ever want to clone someone who is only very basic , pretty good .....?

    'Emulating Bruce Springsteen's Technique ?'

    That's the problem - I finally figured it out !

    The secret is to clone someone's technique- who is only at a similar technique level to where you are now !

    Mystery solved...choose your heroes more carefully.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    I can emulate the technique having watched him play up close a number of times. It's everything else that troubles me so.


    There's a helpful clue sitting on the table...
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    I really don't agree - BUT - we all stand on the shoulders of our predecessors. That's the nature of evolution and progress.
    Well I’m not going to proclaim anyone the best, because that’s just asking for trouble.

    I don’t think Django’s right hand technique has been bettered though by anyone since for precision, clarity and tone. Listen to him at half speed and weep bitter tears.

    And bear in mind most modern players tickle their guitars and lean on the amps.

    Johnny Mac is great though. He gives it some stick.

    I actually think if Django had lived he’d have joined the jazz rock movement and tried to outdo Mahavishnu lol

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robertkoa View Post

    The secret is to clone someone's technique- who is only at a similar technique level to where you are now !
    I get that you are joking, but, I will say that I have found emulating people who I can grasp to be WAY more useful than trying to go too far above my level. when I was 16 I loved Clifford Brown and transcribed a bunch of his solos, but I only learned the notes and the rest was too far above my head. Whereas someone like Chet Baker, I learned melodic material that improved my playing almost immediately. It took me years before I really felt like I could learn something from transcribing folks like Bird.

    I'm sure there are a lot of people a lot more talented that can grok Bird and others immediately, but, for the rest of us, I think there's a lot of truth and value to not getting too far outside your comfort zone in terms of emulating players as well as transcribing.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by p1p View Post
    Just wondering how many of you have copped technique from your heroes, borrowed ideas, thought of altering your own technique with hopes of playing like them?
    Dave Martone, after achieving a level of success, dedicated something like three years to NOT playing anyone else's music and trying to figure out who he was musically, but I think most of us can't help it. I mean, it's in everything. Musicians listen to music and you can't help but be inspired by stuff and grab onto it for your own purposes. And when you see someone doing something that excites you or makes more sense, are you really supposed to try to ignore it because they got there first? No way. Jim Heath played with hybrid picking and I was stoked on him so I spent hours trying to learn hybrid picking. Matt Skiba loves octave chords so I'm going to experiment with using them, too.

    I think it's just natural unless you're Dave Martone.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Well I’m not going to proclaim anyone the best, because that’s just asking for trouble.

    I don’t think Django’s right hand technique has been bettered though by anyone since for precision, clarity and tone. Listen to him at half speed and weep bitter tears.

    And bear in mind most modern players tickle their guitars and lean on the amps.

    Johnny Mac is great though. He gives it some stick.

    I actually think if Django had lived he’d have joined the jazz rock movement and tried to outdo Mahavishnu lol
    Django had a large recorded history as I understand it. Do you have a favorite CD that you would recommend?

    Also, I realize that the thread is about technique but I was also referring to improvisational capability.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    Django had a large recorded history as I understand it. Do you have a favorite CD that you would recommend?

    Also, I realize that the thread is about technique but I was also referring to improvisational capability.
    Well you can grab a box set of his classic 30s recordings for not too much. The hot club. Those recordings are definitive.

    His electric stuff is fun too. Sometimes he almost sounds like a proto McLaughlin. He had more chops than the US jazz players of that era, apart from maybe Les Paul who was frighteningly good at imitating Django in his early career, so that with the edgy valve breakup sound... it’s quite a trip for the 40s!

    I also rate Django as one of the most imaginative improvisers I have ever heard. He never played the same thing twice unlike a lot of players of his era. A true free spirit, reinventing his playing with every moment.

    Harmonically? Forget it. You have to dig a little because the music is so old timey and nostalgic to modern ears. But when you really listen to what Django was playing - name an innovation that jazz musicians were meant to have done in the 50s and 60s and Django did it first by ear. Modes, outside playing, sideslips, altered harmony, non functional chord progressions, pentatonic modes, harmonic major harmony, all of that and more turns up in his music. The guy was obsessed with Debussy and Ravel and it seeps into his harmonic sensibility.

    A genius, basically.

    The only reason I wouldn’t put him at the top of my pantheon is because he didn’t swing like the US players. He had a different feel....

    George Benson is that guitarist - kind of like what happens when you put Django and Grant Green together... funnily enough he isn’t my favourite though.
    Last edited by christianm77; 07-12-2019 at 06:08 AM.

  49. #48

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    Sheer shred, precision and melody


    Django invents Speed Metal lol


    Well with a bit of Eastern European folk music and Ravel thrown in.

    You think Wes invented octaves? Wes gave Django the credit TBF. Listen 2:36.

    Also some cool outside licks in this one - Ellington orchestra backing so Django tilts more towards the US swing style in his feel. What a tone!!! (See the Benson connection)


    Odd time before there was odd time

  50. #49

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    Great stuff Christian I'll check it out. Thanks.

  51. #50

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    OK No joking this time.

    There are two main reasons it is very difficult to clone your hero's technique

    1] You really can't see exactly what their pick grip is[ I mean EXACTLY including underneath ] AND the exact motion of the pick across the strings and how they skip strings etc. and their wrist motion etc.

    2] Even if you could , you might not be able to apply it because you don't have a lot of expertise ( some is knowledge but some is gradually refined repetition ( which is what Ètudes are -those aimed at improving stability and technique).

    Karate has kids that want to punch or kick like Van Damme or Bruce Lee etc etc..

    And probably ask why can't I just copy the 6th Degree Black Belts ?

    And Instructors -they smile and say the 6th degree black belt started as a white belt then green etc. some move up quicker .

    Unfortunately - Guitar Technique is not quite as well organized ..
    BUT -IF you know whether you want to support your pick hand near the top of the Guitar like this:



    or like the people who rest their finger near the pickguard .

    You have your basic light 'Anchor' to the Guitar...

    Then you take your grip ( can be refined later )

    Then do some basic tremolo exercises getting even up and downstrokes and beginners and intermediates could learn some things on Grady's Site but I recommend a good local teacher with steady chops who knows how to alt pick and will walk you thru .

    It is much simpler than I see it presented....no need to stretch alt picking into a 2 year college course...

    And just go from there ...I don't recommend the one lick at a time thing .


    If you are self motivated you might only need a lesson every 2 weeks or month so - warn the teacher you want mechanics etc.

    And you are practicing and learning mechanics to get mechanics out of the way...

    spend some time just playing whatever you hear each day also - pretend you are already great and just Play ...
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 07-28-2019 at 10:40 PM.