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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-22-2001, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 520
Stuck in a rut - If only I WANTED to sound like Yngwie

I'm really stuck in a big rut in my guitar playing and I don't know how to get out of it.

I've always been a fanatic about being able to improvise for any situation, but it's getting tougher and tougher for me all the time. After learning the basic pentatonic scales, the first scale I learned completely was the natural minor. Now every damn thing I play sounds like I'm a Yngwie-wannabe! People in guitar shops come up to me and compliment me on my cleanliness and speed.. then comment on how I sound like Yngwie! Grrrr... Very very frustrating for me, this isn't the sound I was looking for.

I'm a total theory idiot, but I've mapped out the dorian and lydian scales on paper.. But I don't know any riffs inside there, so anything I play comes off as sounding like an exercise running up and down the scale. Strangely, I never had this problem with the natural or harmonic minor scale. Does anyone at least have any good dorian riff examples I can learn from? Or any tips, books, etc.? It seems strange that I own a chromeboy but when I solo it sounds absolutely nothing like Joe, let alone Vai when I play on my Jem..

Please help!
Kremlin is offline  
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-22-2001, 08:25 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
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Stuck in a rut

hey kremlin,

believe it or not, i have the exact same problem as you with newly learned scales. after playing exclusively minor scales for a long time i begin to do the yngwie thing (i can't play blues on a strat anymore, only malmsteen-style stuff... its sad, i know)

with new modes and scales, however, the trick is to discover the "voice" of that particular mode. minor and major scales have that predictable "mood" or "voice". lydian will sound like a "dreamier" major scale or a happy sounding whole-tone scale, while dorian can sound anything from somber to regal to jazzy as it is a perfect mix between major and minor.

what i first did with those modes were to make three-part-chords, triads, from those scales. lydian is a primarily major-keyed mode so i played a major triad, but this time i added a note exclusive to the lydian scale, one of the notes from that 4-whole-tone series of notes from the beginning of that scale (which is the lydian fourth, a sharp major fourth). i made a few variations of that chord and made a simple progression in that same key and mode and played around with the notes until i could find the suitable "voice" or "flavor" of the mode to suit those chords i made up with the same scale.

so my advice to you is to do just that: find the arrangement of notes in a scale that are exclusive to that particular mode and make chords from them (for example, a typical triad is a 1-3-5 triad, so add a note that is different than the typical major-minor, eg. the lydian fourth, the sharp major fourth). then you solo, very slowly and carefully (with a metronome or drum machine if you got em) using that scale, and attempt to emphasize the uniqueness of those notes that are unique to those particular scales. in that, i find that i can obtain the "flavor" of each mode.

you might find other ways to obtain the "voice" of each scale, but try my suggestion out, and hey, the only thing you'll lose is probably your patience. but its at least a good way to get to know your fretboard a bit better. there's always a surprise or two hiding in there somewhere. and hell, if you've got a seven string, it makes things a whole lot more fun when building chords and figuring out scales (which is why i got one)

okay, class over kids :yawn:
-Pryde
Pryde7 is offline  
post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2001, 12:51 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
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Stuck in a rut

It's simpler than you think. Playing fast is easy... anyone can do it with some practice.
I stopped doing it a while ago too but the problem wasn't with what scale I used. Just stuff like note choices and phrasing.
Basically you're running up and down a scale, picking and having no real time difference between it. Try playing the same scale is a different position. Try skipping notes. Try skipping strings.

Why not just start playing chords and a emaj6 and play the major scale over it and emphasize one note in the scale.

A big part of sounding interesting and not just wanking on the guitar is knowing what the scale sounds like, where you are in the scale and what you're generally feeling in the scale.
Running up and down just totally "shreds" the scale. No more musicality. Just up and down fast. That really doesn't do anything. Just destroys it. I guess that's why they call it shred.

I guess for the most part, you'll have to teach yourself how to get yourself out of this rut.

Dude, there's a lot of people who wish they could shred like you. So... it's really hard to give advice in this kinda sensitive issue.

Keep us informed as to how it goes.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2001, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
 
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Location: Seattle, WA
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Stuck in a rut

Thanks for the encouragement, guys!

I've picked up a few books on modes and phrasing (my girlfriend works at a music store so I get 35% off :biggrin and I'm improving a bit already.. It's a bit tricky, just like when I went back to basics to learn classical guitar; I've learned to run before I could walk, and it's really hurt me in the long run. I just wish I hadn't been so caught up in getting the best technique early on and just enjoyed the music instead.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2001, 10:32 AM
 
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Stuck in a rut

Same thing with me. I went back to theory and dropped the speed. All I wanted to do before I could play fast was shred shred shred. It got me in quite a rut.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2001, 11:54 AM
 
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Stuck in a rut

My tip would be to learn all the seven basic scales, that are basicly the same scale starting on each of the notes in a major scale. Then you can use them together to form a big map over the entire fretboard. It is really good to not have to think about the scale so much. And then, get some grooves to improvise over. It is alot more fun than just sitting around and playing by your self. And last, get in to the blues. It is great to copy some standard licks and play around with them. And it will 100% not sound like yngwie... *I'm by the way getting a bit in to yngwie myself. Any good licks ?? hehe
Jay Satriani is offline  
post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2001, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Stuck in a rut

Thanks again! I'm working on learning dorian and lydian, but to help me remember the positions, I'm just remembering them in relation to the natural minor scale while I already know (ie E Dorian is the same as this scale in B... etc etc).

Jay, at least you asked the right guy :silly: Check out http://ultimateguitarpage.com/ there are lots of good Yngwie-esque riffs there. Also check out the book "Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar." It'll help you play very fast, but at the cost of any melodic talent you have
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2001, 03:52 PM
 
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Stuck in a rut

Speed and melody, ying and yang, day and night, black and white.
So different yet if used with expertise can blend together very nice.
Thanks for the link. I'm absorbing everything I can.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2001, 03:59 PM
 
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Stuck in a rut

Quote:
Quote from jay satriani:
all the seven basic scales ... are basic[al]ly the same scale starting on each of the notes in a major scale.
Ok, a quick correction/addendum. Hope you don't mind:

1. The seven basic "scales" you're referring to are really the modes. I know that is really nitpicky, but I didn't want anyone to get confused.

2. You're correct - they are the same notes starting on different points of the scale but it is also imperative to note that each mode has its own distinct tonal flavor.

Ionian (major): Happy (1 2 3 4 5 6 7)
Dorian: Jazzy, funky (1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7)
Phrygian: Dark, slightly exotic (1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7)
Lydian: Mystical, "overly major" (1 2 3 #4 5 6 7)
Mixolydian: Easygoing (1 2 3 4 5 6 b7)
Aeolian (minor): Sad (1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7)
Locrian: [useless]

-Justin
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2001, 06:52 PM
 
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Stuck in a rut

Locrian useless? I really think you should reconsider that.
A progression with a minor first and flatted 5th... there's somewhere you could use locrian.

You were going ok describing them but "useless" isn't helping anybody.
What you should've said was the darkest sounding scale.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2001, 08:07 PM
 
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Stuck in a rut

Yes, im very well aware of that, just that im from sweeden and was to lazy to write it all in english because the modes have different names here... etc... But thanx anyway...
Jay Satriani is offline  
post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2001, 08:14 PM
 
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Stuck in a rut

Sorry, it was a failed attempt at a joke. Unless you prefer your theory served boring.

I wasn't trying to alienate anyone. The reason I said it was useless is because I think there are better alternatives. If you're going to play something dark like that, like a bI-bV progression, I think a better solution, which results in more exotic sounds, is the harmonic minor or melodic minor scales (or one of their modes), or others like the diminished or augmented....

Again, I apologize....

-Justin
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-31-2001, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Stuck in a rut

Ooh, this is really helping me. If my memory serves me correctly (which it seldom does)... Isn't locrian a diminished scale?
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-31-2001, 12:29 AM
 
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Stuck in a rut

If you're talking about triads, yes, Locrian is diminished, with a b3 and b5 off the root. If you're talking about seventh chords/arpeggios, Locrian is technically half-diminished - with the b7. When spelled out, a half-diminished chord contains 1 (root), b3, b5, b7; all notes fit in the Locrian scale. It is only half diminished because a real dim7 chord/arpeggio contains a bb7 (same as a 6) instead of a b7.

As for the real diminished scale, it is a symmetrical arrangement of eight notes (not the usual 7) and comes in two varieties - half-whole and whole-half. It's actually quite simple; the name identifies the scale tone separations, i.e., in a half-whole diminished scale, the second note is a half-step (1 fret) away from the first, the third is a whole-step away from the second, and so on.

I would recommend any "exotic" scale in place of Locrian, however. It's a little more exciting that way.

Hope this helps.
If you're cofused let me know.
-Justin
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-31-2001, 12:55 AM
 
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Stuck in a rut

phoenix ... Harder to read and remember half-whole ... etc when you don't know EXACTLY what the other guy is talking about. It makes sense just a little confusing. I'm looking to improve in the theory area anyways.
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