My Demo Playlist

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Practice Routine

Let’s talk about your practice routine. How do you practice?

Well, different people have different practice routine and it’s hard to say which one is the correct one.

For me, I started out the wrong way I guess. I have no one to teach me the basic fundamentals of playing the guitar. During the early years of my playing, I only used to learn from the chord book. But I guess learning to play the chords first is the basics of guitar playing. Almost everyone I know started out by learning to play the chords.

There are a lot of different chords that you can play on the guitar, but for a beginner maybe the basic chord shape would suffice. I remember when I was starting out; I never had the knowledge of how to play solos.

I learned to play solos from Malay rock songs and didn’t even know what scales are. During my early teens in the early 90s, I listened mostly to rock songs and tried to play the solos only by ear. I must admit that my ability to copy solos by listening is not 100% accurate, but at least it was a part of ear training which is invaluable until today. During those years there were no GuitarPro or Powertab because there were no internet for us to look for transcriptions and resources. All we had were just guitar magazines with some transcription in it.

When I was in school, I had a good friend who plays the guitar with me. He is still my good friend until today and for me he is one of the best rhythm and chord melody player locally. His knowledge on the instrument and music theory is one of the best in Brunei.

We often played together during those years and it’s was like a competition for me personally because his playing was that good. I had to work on my solos so that I would not be left behind. But until today my rhythm and chord melody playing is way far behind him and I think I need to catch up on that....haha!! It was good times during the school days and I remembered we even brought our amps and Ibanez guitar to school to jam together.

There was one local guitar player who to me was one of the best in Brunei. He was in a band called ‘Potensi’ and they had their album came out during the early 90s. This guitar player was only a kid during that time, I guess he was about 16 yrs old and was the youngest member in that band which comprises of musicians and their late 20s and early 30s. When their album came out I remember I bought a cassette. I didn’t have money to buy their CD!! When I played the album I was shocked and inspired. The guitar playing of this kid was sooooooooo good that it was really melodic, mature and inspiring. I was then motivated to practice harder and almost everyday play their songs on my “Hi-Fi”. I think I learned to play all their songs in that album and until today I think I can still remember every part of the guitar solos on that album. Maybe the new generation of today never heard of ‘Potensi’ but if you ever had the chance to get hold of that album, I recommend you guys to have a listen to the guitar playing of then a 16 yrs old kid and buckle up your seats as you might be blown away. He is one of my good guitar friend today and still one of my favourite local guitar player.

I remembered the first instructional videos I bought were a Richie Kotzen Rock Chops video. Oh man this guy was just incredible. His guitar playing was just flawless and it made me wonder when I can play like that. But then I was just only around 14 yrs old when I bought that video lesson. After that I bought some more video lessons from other guitar players and I guess during which time I was more into the shredding stuffs. I listen to a lot of Yngwie Malmsteen....alot!!

I guess Yngwie Malmsteen was one guitar player who really inspired me to be more interested in the guitar shredding. I listened and tried to play like him but I was unable to because I did not have the right basics and scale knowledge to be able to shred. I only knew how to play the simple basic shred stuffs like the 3 note arpeggio and some Yngwie pedal tones, and other than that I just tried to play solos as fast as I can.

Then I was introduced to Paul Gilbert and began to listen and watch his instructional videos. Paul Gilbert was the one guitar player who can really teach the right way of guitar shredding and I really progressed alot by watching his instructional video. I also began to understand the correct way of picking and scale playing and was much more systematic in my practice routine.

I began to use the metronome and it did help alot for accuracy especially when you are practicing alternate picking. Until today if I ever wanted to nail a particular lick I often used a metronome to get it right.

So my practice routine nowadays is just playing scales up and down the neck. I have not got much practice time due to other responsibilities. So just to keep my fingers warm I will play for maybe half an hour just noodling on my guitar to just keep in shape (I mean my fingers).

My practice routine has evolved and now I concentrate not so much on physical training of the fingers due to time restraint and alot of other responsibilities, but much more to listening to music and analysing the theory behind it which is something that you can do whilst driving and listening to music or just anywhere you go where you hear music.

There is so much more to learn on the guitar and it’s a never ending process no matter how good you are. I guess I better go get my guitar now and try to figure out that Gilbert lick for my next practice routine.

See Ya

Guitar Rules!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Shred Era

What is shred?

I guess it could be termed as playing the guitar with a lot of notes at a high speed. Technical proficiency is needed to shred and if you have not got the right technique you may not be able to shred.

The term shred came about during the 80s guitar era where playing a lot of notes is considered the epitomy of guitar playing. It was an interesting era for guitar playing as guitar players began to push the limits and bounderies of technical proficiencies.

Eddie Van Halen set the standards of guitar playing when his all time great ‘Eruption’ solo came out in 1978. Everyone during that time tried to emulate him and the ‘Tapping’ technique became a worldwide phenomenon.

But then another young guitarist named Yngwie Malmsteen changed the whole guitar scene of the 80s when he pioneered the neo-classical movement. It was Yngwie who made famous the neo-classical style of guitar playing and he pushed the technical bounderies up a notch after Eddie Van Halen. It was during this era that produced some of the world’s great guitar players until today.

It was also during the 80s that Mike Varney of the Shrapnel Records recruited alot of aspiring young guitar players who later became legends in their own right. Players like Paul Gilbert (Racer-x), Richie Kotzen, Marty Friedman and Jason Becker (Cacophony), Gerg Howe, Tony MacAlpine, Vinnie Moore and others are just a few of those Shrapnel Army of guitar shredders during the 80s.

The guitar players of the 80s deserves alot of respect because without them there would not be guitarists like John Petrucci, Kiko Loureiro, Rusty Cooley, Guthrie Govan, Buckethead, Michael Romeo and many others who were heavily influenced by the greats of the 80s.

In my opinion, for those of you who wants to be technically proficient in guitar playing you should at least listen to some of the players mentioned above because most of them are the pioneers of guitar shredding. Although technical playing is not a must to become a great guitar player but it is an advantage to have a good technical skill than those without the technical abilities. This is because your musical ideas will not be limited by your lack of technical abilities.

I will link some videos of these great guitar players and you can learn alot from them. See you in my next post.

Guitar Rules!!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Beginner Lesson Part 1


For the first lesson, we should first look at the anatomy of the guitar.

Before we start to learn playing the basics, we should at least know our instrument and then learn how to play it. I surf through the internet and found plenty of pictures of guitar anatomy and i took some of it and attached it here. Hope they dont mind.

This is an electric guitar anatomy.

See you in the next lesson.

Guitar Rules!!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Lesson Plan


here's what i think i should do....

i will be posting some lessons ranging from the Beginners level up to Advanced level. I will also include those materials i find on the net and maybe just slighty change them.

if you guys have any suggestions please do let me know as i am now thinking of starting off by giving the basics of guitar playing anything related to beginners level guitar knowledge.

Maybe i will start off by the guitar anatomy. Ok now i will search through the net and look for some pictures of guitar anatomy and will post it for the first lesson....


Guitar Rules!!

Brunei Guitar

Hi guys,

I decided to create this blog to share knowledge about guitars in general. Maybe i will post up some lessons, video links or anything regarding the guitar.

There are a lot of guitar players coming up in Brunei nowadays and i know almost all the top players locally. The new generation of young guitar players in Brunei seems to grow each day and the guitar community looks really promising.

The guitar scene was totally different more than a decade ago. When i was a teenager during the 90s, it was very difficult to interact with other guitar players because then we have no internet yet. We only know of local guitar players by word of mouth or by seeing them play during gigs and shows. Unlike today, the internet really helps and guitar players locally can interact with each other by having their own websites to promote themselves or their bands or just chatting with each other by MSN, YM etc.

Not only locally but we can also interact with other guitar players globally or jam with them without even knowing who they are. I have jammed on the net with guitar players around the world through the use of Yahoo Messenger and joining guitar rooms to learn more about guitars in general.

With the creation of this blog i hope to make new friends be it guitar players, musicians or anyone whos interested in music. Hopefully we can share experience and knowledge about the guitar and maybe improve the standard of our local music scene.

See you guys in my next post.

Guitar Rules!!


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