Going to work on changing my whole style

Discussion in 'General Music & Guitar Learning' started by Rancid Rumpboogie, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. Rancid Rumpboogie

    Rancid Rumpboogie Blues Mangler

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    I have been watching a lot of my guitar idol Jeff Beck. I SO admire what he can do with the tremolo bar. I have been watching how he plays very carefully. He doesn't use a pick, and the way he uses the tremolo so subtly would be nearly impossible if he did. He often grasps the trem arm between his thumb and fingers for very precise control of it. For faster things where most of us would use alternate picking, he uses his thumb and index finger, and keeps the trem arm grasped with his other three fingers and actually uses the trem right in the middle of very fast runs and to augment string bends. Like I said, I think doing much of what he does would be nearly impossible using a pick. So, at the ripe old age of 70 I'm going to go to work to "learn to walk all over again".
     
    #1 Rancid Rumpboogie, Jun 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
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  2. PapaBear

    PapaBear Guit Fiddlier

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    He rolls that volume pot quite a bit too!
     
  3. ChrisG

    ChrisG Blues Newbie

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    I think it’s great to challenge yourself with new ideas and techniques..it keeps the learning process fresh and motivates you to keep going. Jeff Beck is an amazing guitarist and definitely worthy of the study. Dive in and enjoy it!
     
  4. Dennis(Slughand)Miller

    Dennis(Slughand)Miller Good News Blues

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    Unarguably Jeff Beck is a phenomenally talented guitarist but with all that talent, compared to his contemporaries Clapton and Page, apart from small faces with Rod Stewart, how much of that talent has reached a listening audience with songs that people remember and want to listen too. Those of us that appreciate guitar talent will give a listen but most others, especially of more recent generations probably don't even know who he is. As the music business teaches us and proves every Grammy night, Marketability trumps talent every time. Most music today sucks!!!
     
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  5. Rancid Rumpboogie

    Rancid Rumpboogie Blues Mangler

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    I think marketability only trumps talent if one's only yardstick is $$$$.
     
  6. Rancid Rumpboogie

    Rancid Rumpboogie Blues Mangler

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    Thank you Chris. I am diving into the deep end! Hope I can swim! I will NEVER be able to play like Jeff Beck. But I am pretty confident that I can learn to use my trem to get many of the nuances that he does. Both of my Strats are well set up for it, tuning stability on both of them is rock solid. And the same techniques can be used with my ES339 and "Les Paul" which both have Bigsby B5's.
     
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  7. Dennis(Slughand)Miller

    Dennis(Slughand)Miller Good News Blues

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    Agreed but I'm referring to the music industry and what's important to them = $$$$. Luckily for us there are those artists, like Beck, Trower, Gilmour, numerous blues artists, etc who continue to make music, tour and entertain for the love of it.
     
  8. Silicon Valley Tom

    Silicon Valley Tom It makes me happpy to play The Blues!

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    Go for it! :)

    What I have found over time, is that specific pieces of music require different techniques. Enjoy the trip and let us know how it goes.

    I like to think of three guitarists whom I have a great deal of respect for: Merle Travis, Chet Akins, and Jerry Reed. They played similar types of music, but their techniques were very different, leading to a different sound for even the same music.

    One thing I found many years ago, was creating arrangements of songs I like to play, using different techniques allows me to go back years later and play the same song different ways. I have many arrangements going back to the early 1960's. I indicate fingering at the beginning, to allow me to know what technique to use. It is amazing how a variety of techniques will allow the same song to sound so different.

    As a musician, I always enjoyed comments from world class musicians, whom I talked to and knew. They all said one thing that stuck with me: "Create your own sound"! :cool::Beer:

    Tom
     
  9. JPsuff

    JPsuff Satisfaction is complacency

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    I don't think that I would want to try to emulate someone else's technique -- at least not in any wholesale way.

    Like anyone else, I grab licks and some very specific methods or means from other players, but I like to think that whatever technique I develop is one I can call my own.

    I have, over time, begun to develop a style and part of that style is the way I play the notes which, in many cases is different from how things are taught. I play boxes differently than how they're taught, I have developed "workarounds" for fingerings that I find difficult to execute and I play many chords differently than how "the book" says to play them.

    That's a result (and in my opinion one of the major benefits) of never having taken a lesson from anyone.
    With no plan or preconceived ideas of how things are done, I learned by sounding things out and thus developed my own way of figuring things out and ultimately my own way of playing.

    I have learned several tricks and shortcuts from other people and have gleaned quite a bit of information from videos and even from some of the discussions here on this site. But a lot of the little licks, quick phrasings and ways to play them I think of as my own. I'm not suggesting that no other guitarist has ever played them before (I know for a fact that I've heard many of them before in one form or another), but rather that I discovered/developed them on my own and in that sense they're mine.

    I like to try to copy certain things from time to time, such as many of Gilmour's "trademark" licks, for example.
    But I don't think I'd like to copy everything he or anyone else does in its entirety because that would tend to take the "me" out of the equation.

    I can certainly swipe a few things from other players and mix it in to whatever I'm playing.
    But I don't want the finished product (is there such a thing?) to sound like them.

    I want it to sound like me. :D
     
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  10. OG_Blues

    OG_Blues Guitar Geezer

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    I totally get it Jim - I'm betting you will find it easier to pick up the techniques than you think.
    I'm not saying what Beck does is easy - not by any means, and he is really the master of it, but a person with already good playing skills can get and incorporate some of the basics of what he does without years of practice.
    I am not a music savant by any stretch of anyone's imagination - in fact, I'm much closer to being musically retarded.
    I worked for many years to develop good alternate picking skills. I have never tried to become adept at finger picking, and have never played acoustic for more than a few hours. One day I picked up a guitar and didn't have a pick around, and found out that I could adeptly finger pick anything that I normally played with a pick without even thinking about it or having ever practiced it. It is the ONLY thing in the musical realm that I can think of that seemed to come "naturally" to me. I find that I still prefer to play with a pick, but am more and more finding myself unconsciously grabbing some notes here and there with a finger, especially on faster phrases and for double stops.
    Let us know how your progress goes! Learning something new and different is always fun and keeps the motivation high.
     
  11. Bolar

    Bolar Guest

    It's definately something of a challenge. Respect (y)
     
  12. Rancid Rumpboogie

    Rancid Rumpboogie Blues Mangler

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    JP, there is absolutely ZERO chance that I am going to end up sounding like Jeff Beck! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: Basically, it's just a matter of learning to play the same licks I already know, but by using my thumb and fingers instead, and then work on using the trem more or less the way Jeff does. No worry about sounding like me. I will always sound like Dufus Rancid. It will just be Dufus Rancid with a whammy bar. :ROFLMAO:

    I think OG_blues is right. I used to play Travis style on a Martin D18 with a steel thumb pick and four steel finger picks. If I could do that, I can do this. Just a matter of lots of time / practice / determination.
     
    #12 Rancid Rumpboogie, Jun 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  13. ChrisG

    ChrisG Blues Newbie

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    But it’d sure be cool if you did!
     
  14. Rancid Rumpboogie

    Rancid Rumpboogie Blues Mangler

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    Yep, it sure would! I will trade sounding like Dufus Rancid for sounding like Jeff Beck any day of the week! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
     
  15. BoogieMan

    BoogieMan Blues Junior

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    Unfortunately there isn't one whammy bar in my huge collection of five guitars. We'll listen for your new style in the VJR. Good luck!
     
  16. CaptainMoto

    CaptainMoto Blues Voyager

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    Jeff is certainly one of a kind.
    A great example of controlling the guitar.

    Most of the time, when I play acoustic, I use my finger and thumb.
    I don't know how I evolved into that technique, but I feel much more in touch when I do.
    That is starting to creep into my electric playing to but, with less success.
    I feel I have to reach for the pick when I grab an electric guitar.
    I think that because I'm doing more lead stuff with single notes and I like the faster action I get that way.

    Good luck on moving in that direction, It's a worthwhile endeavor.
     
  17. Elio

    Elio Student Of The Blues

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    I've been a huge Jeff Beck fan ever since on a friend introduced me to his music back in the 70's. To sound like him I'm pretty sure you have to first bend your trem bar up 45 degrees and then make sure your volume pot is in good shape for all those volume swells.:)
     
  18. Rancid Rumpboogie

    Rancid Rumpboogie Blues Mangler

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    I have the trem on my favorite Strat set right where I see Jeff has his. And it is a great Killer Guitar Components tremolo system with their proprietary "flopstop" so the trem arm stays put where you place it instead of swinging around like a wet noodle, and there is ZERO play in the trem arm for great control.

    As for those volume swells, well, watching Jeff play, I think I have that figured out. It is very hard to see, but he seems to anchor his picking hand with his pinkie almost always on that volume pot, his middle and ring finger curled over the trem arm, and using his thumb and index for 99% of his playing. He will also sometimes extend his index finger to the tip of the trem arm and gently push it down, and on long sustaining notes often grasp the trem arm between his thumb and index finger and use it for a vibrato both above and below the natural pitch of the note. He will also pull UP on the trem arm to accentuate bends, and do that with whole chords to "bend" the whole chord. Lots of "stuff" to "play" with here. Translation of "play" is "acute frustration". :)
     
  19. Elio

    Elio Student Of The Blues

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    On most of his strats, he has the trem arm up bent up at about a 30-40 degree angle. I remember watching a video a few years ago that analyzed his style, and he does keep his pinky on the volume pot. One thing he does a lot is to take the volume down all the way, pluck the string with no volume, and then swell the volume up after the note is already ringing out. It is a very cool effect. I wish I could remember who did the video and where I saw it.

    EDIT: I was thinking the other day that he is one guitarist that I don't think I have ever seen play anything other than a strat, but it makes sense since his style is so dependent on a strat.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Rancid Rumpboogie

    Rancid Rumpboogie Blues Mangler

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    Well, Elio, if it proves I need to do that, it is easily done.
    You might check out his video. Pretty hard to put him in a "Strat only" box. He can wield a pick with the best of them. :)


     
    #20 Rancid Rumpboogie, Jun 26, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018