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Alex and His Guitar


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#41 Entre_Perpetuo

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 03:52 PM

View PostNarpski, on 07 January 2015 - 03:21 PM, said:

View PostJARG, on 07 January 2015 - 03:19 PM, said:

View PostNarpski, on 07 January 2015 - 03:18 PM, said:

View PostJARG, on 07 January 2015 - 03:12 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 02:59 PM, said:

View PostJARG, on 07 January 2015 - 02:58 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 01:54 PM, said:

I am wondering if those of you who are musicians can tell me if Alex's guitar parts are complicated or simple to write.

Depends on the era. Lots of his stuff is relatively easy to play, but it's stuff I'd never think to write. His approach to the guitar from a creative perspective is where his strength lies.

What do you mean by your last sentence?

And why do you say it is stuff you'd never think to write?  Especially you???  :)

From a purely technical perspective, Alex isn't anything to write home about. He's basically just a blues-rock guitarist as far as technique goes, but the reason he sounds so very different from, say, Stevie Ray Vaughan (who was a tremendously talented guitarist) is because he comes up with different ways of skinning cats. He's the master of making one guitar sound like more than one guitar. Playing in that style isn't hard, but coming up with that approach was genius.

I'm a decent player -- somewhat edgy and emotive -- but I lack the ability to come up with truly inspired guitar parts.
My mother used to say that about pianists. My mother could play the piano and organ like nobodies business but whenever we would go and hear other players she would talk about how great their playing was. I was like "Mom it sounds the same as when you play" and she would say "No. That person is super talented on the piano or pipe organ etc. I can just play the notes on the page".... :huh:

She was probably hearing qualities that only she, as a player, could hear.
My brother and son were (are) both brass players and they would tell me the same thing. There is "talent" and there is proficiency. There is a huge difference at least according to them. My ear is of tin....

As an intermediate saxophonist (I'm considered very good by my peers, but I'm only in high school, and I can' to lay much college level stuff) I agree completely with your musical family members. You can practice and practice till you get the notes without a doubt, you can learn every scale and mode and memorize them backwards, forwards, and otherwards, you can have an insane level of talent and learn to make sounds that boggle the minds of most anyone you show them to, but without emotion, passion, and true deep musical feeling, your work has little chance of making an impact.

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#42 JARG

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 03:54 PM

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 03:51 PM, said:

View PostJARG, on 07 January 2015 - 03:41 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 03:33 PM, said:

View PostEagleMoon, on 07 January 2015 - 03:23 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 03:12 PM, said:

Quote

Geddy said he is a very emotional person, and his playing shows that.

Is that why his playing is able to touch others on an emotional level?  Or would he be able to do that even if he wasn't putting himself into his playing?

That's hard to say for sure, since different people like different things. Guitarists like Yngwie, John Petrucci or Nuno Bettencourt throw a bunch of notes out there and impress people with their speed but I don't think that's the same kind of emotional level that Alex brings out in people.
Whoever Yngwie, Petrucci and Bettencourt are, I have no idea.  :lol:

I'm trying to remember if I ever encountered a guitarist who had the same affect on me but I do not recall any.

Does Pink Floyd's guitarist do anything for you? He's like Alex in some ways.
No.  If you want to know the truth, I dislike Pink Floyd intensely.  Always did.  Even back when they first appeared.  I always felt they were a rip-off of earlier bands.

Fair enough. They had some brilliant albums (imo, of course), and David Gilmour is one of my favorite guitarists.

#43 grasbo

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 03:55 PM

Remember he has tricky dicky bass and drummer behind him playing dicky tricky time signatures .You can practise widdly tricky guitar licks in your bedroom but it all goes dicky if it aint sticky with the other guys in the band.

#44 Lorraine

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 03:55 PM

View Postgrasbo, on 07 January 2015 - 03:44 PM, said:

To keep it simple for non muscians,you have to have a feel,emotion for your playing otherwise it aint happening.The old blues players,three chords played badly but god they moved you.Alex has emotion in bucket loads.So did Hendrix.So does the Edge.Listen to his solos on Beneath the Wheels,Limelight,Avaidable Light,etc.They lift those songs to somewhere else.An arguement that i have with other guitar players is he is not as fast as Malmsteen,Petrucci or those characters in Dragonforce.Who gives a toss,at the end of the day its the song that counts.Guys if you learnt a few chords you could play passable fireside versions of Closer to the Heart,Presto or New World Man but not Xanudu or Camera Eye just yet

You don't have to sell me on him.  :lol: I know what his music does to me.  

That's why I am asking about him.  

So - to recap -  Alex's notes aren't genius or complicated, but Alex is.  It's not so much what he is playing, but how he plays it and how me makes the most of whatever guitar he is holding in his hands.

Is that right?  Or am I way off?

#45 Lorraine

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 03:56 PM

View Postgrasbo, on 07 January 2015 - 03:55 PM, said:

Remember he has tricky dicky bass and drummer behind him playing dicky tricky time signatures .You can practise widdly tricky guitar licks in your bedroom but it all goes dicky if it aint sticky with the other guys in the band.

What's a time signature?

#46 JARG

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:00 PM

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 03:55 PM, said:

View Postgrasbo, on 07 January 2015 - 03:44 PM, said:

To keep it simple for non muscians,you have to have a feel,emotion for your playing otherwise it aint happening.The old blues players,three chords played badly but god they moved you.Alex has emotion in bucket loads.So did Hendrix.So does the Edge.Listen to his solos on Beneath the Wheels,Limelight,Avaidable Light,etc.They lift those songs to somewhere else.An arguement that i have with other guitar players is he is not as fast as Malmsteen,Petrucci or those characters in Dragonforce.Who gives a toss,at the end of the day its the song that counts.Guys if you learnt a few chords you could play passable fireside versions of Closer to the Heart,Presto or New World Man but not Xanudu or Camera Eye just yet

You don't have to sell me on him.  :lol: I know what his music does to me.  

That's why I am asking about him.  

So - to recap -  Alex's notes aren't genius or complicated, but Alex is.  It's not so much what he is playing, but how he plays it and how me makes the most of whatever guitar he is holding in his hands.

Is that right?  Or am I way off?

How he plays what he plays is part of it, but a bigger part is that he came up with what he plays to begin with.

#47 Lorraine

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:03 PM

View PostJARG, on 07 January 2015 - 04:00 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 03:55 PM, said:

View Postgrasbo, on 07 January 2015 - 03:44 PM, said:

To keep it simple for non muscians,you have to have a feel,emotion for your playing otherwise it aint happening.The old blues players,three chords played badly but god they moved you.Alex has emotion in bucket loads.So did Hendrix.So does the Edge.Listen to his solos on Beneath the Wheels,Limelight,Avaidable Light,etc.They lift those songs to somewhere else.An arguement that i have with other guitar players is he is not as fast as Malmsteen,Petrucci or those characters in Dragonforce.Who gives a toss,at the end of the day its the song that counts.Guys if you learnt a few chords you could play passable fireside versions of Closer to the Heart,Presto or New World Man but not Xanudu or Camera Eye just yet

You don't have to sell me on him.  :lol: I know what his music does to me.  

That's why I am asking about him.  

So - to recap -  Alex's notes aren't genius or complicated, but Alex is.  It's not so much what he is playing, but how he plays it and how me makes the most of whatever guitar he is holding in his hands.

Is that right?  Or am I way off?

How he plays what he plays is part of it, but a bigger part is that he came up with what he plays to begin with.
By writing what he wrote, or do you mean something else?

I'm not trying to exasperate you, just trying to further and deepen my music appreciation.

Edited by Lorraine, 07 January 2015 - 04:07 PM.


#48 JARG

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:10 PM

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 03:56 PM, said:

View Postgrasbo, on 07 January 2015 - 03:55 PM, said:

Remember he has tricky dicky bass and drummer behind him playing dicky tricky time signatures .You can practise widdly tricky guitar licks in your bedroom but it all goes dicky if it aint sticky with the other guys in the band.

What's a time signature?

It's how musical passages are grouped/arranged. Go listen to the intro to Kid Gloves. If you count each note that Alex is playing, you're counting quarter notes. You'll notice that the notes are arranged into groups of 5 (1-2-3-4-5, repeat). That means the intro is in 5/4: 5 groups of quarter notes per measure. The verses are in 5/4 as well. When the music changes to fit the "call it blind frustration" sections, it switches to 4/4 (you count 1-2-3-4, repeat). The duration-value of the notes in both those sections is the same -- they're quarter notes, but the grouping changes from groups of 5 to groups of 4.

#49 Lorraine

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:11 PM

One of the best bootlegs I have is called Plastic Guitar.  It is from the Roll The Bones tour and it is taken from Alex's scanner.  So, all the songs, all you hear is Alex.  It is mind boggling to listen to.  :wub:

#50 JARG

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:12 PM

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 04:03 PM, said:

View PostJARG, on 07 January 2015 - 04:00 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 03:55 PM, said:

View Postgrasbo, on 07 January 2015 - 03:44 PM, said:

To keep it simple for non muscians,you have to have a feel,emotion for your playing otherwise it aint happening.The old blues players,three chords played badly but god they moved you.Alex has emotion in bucket loads.So did Hendrix.So does the Edge.Listen to his solos on Beneath the Wheels,Limelight,Avaidable Light,etc.They lift those songs to somewhere else.An arguement that i have with other guitar players is he is not as fast as Malmsteen,Petrucci or those characters in Dragonforce.Who gives a toss,at the end of the day its the song that counts.Guys if you learnt a few chords you could play passable fireside versions of Closer to the Heart,Presto or New World Man but not Xanudu or Camera Eye just yet

You don't have to sell me on him.  :lol: I know what his music does to me.  

That's why I am asking about him.  

So - to recap -  Alex's notes aren't genius or complicated, but Alex is.  It's not so much what he is playing, but how he plays it and how me makes the most of whatever guitar he is holding in his hands.

Is that right?  Or am I way off?

How he plays what he plays is part of it, but a bigger part is that he came up with what he plays to begin with.
By writing what he wrote, or do you mean something else?

I'm not trying to exasperate you, just trying to further and deepen my music appreciation.

Yeah, like I said, his creativity is where he separates himself from the pack. His ability to come up with truly inspired guitar parts. They're not hard to play, but they must be hard to come up with, otherwise other people would have come up with them!

#51 Blue J

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:13 PM

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 03:56 PM, said:

View Postgrasbo, on 07 January 2015 - 03:55 PM, said:

Remember he has tricky dicky bass and drummer behind him playing dicky tricky time signatures .You can practise widdly tricky guitar licks in your bedroom but it all goes dicky if it aint sticky with the other guys in the band.

What's a time signature?

It refers to how many beats are in each measure. As a listener, you can only (or mainly) pick it up by listening to the melodic phrases that repeat. If you can read sheet music, you can 'hear' it without it being played.

The Trees, for example- the solo section is in 5/4 time- five beats per measure, and each beat is a quarter note.

The various and tricky time signatures are what is at the heart of the complexity of Rush music- the prog period and the epics in particular. They seemed to be unafraid of anything. It's difficult to write music in unconventional time signatures, and even trickier to play.

Edit- or I should say, even trickier to play, until you figure it out. Then it becomes much easier. :lol:

Edited by Blue J, 07 January 2015 - 04:21 PM.


#52 Lorraine

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:14 PM

View PostJARG, on 07 January 2015 - 04:10 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 03:56 PM, said:

View Postgrasbo, on 07 January 2015 - 03:55 PM, said:

Remember he has tricky dicky bass and drummer behind him playing dicky tricky time signatures .You can practise widdly tricky guitar licks in your bedroom but it all goes dicky if it aint sticky with the other guys in the band.

What's a time signature?

It's how musical passages are grouped/arranged. Go listen to the intro to Kid Gloves. If you count each note that Alex is playing, you're counting quarter notes. You'll notice that the notes are arranged into groups of 5 (1-2-3-4-5, repeat). That means the intro is in 5/4: 5 groups of quarter notes per measure. The verses are in 5/4 as well. When the music changes to fit the "call it blind frustration" sections, it switches to 4/4 (you count 1-2-3-4, repeat). The duration-value of the notes in both those sections is the same -- they're quarter notes, but the grouping changes from groups of 5 to groups of 4.

OK  I cut and pasted this post to my Music Tutorial notepad.  

I'm listening to the song now and hear what you mean.

Thanks, JARG!  :guitar:

#53 Narps

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:15 PM

View PostJARG, on 07 January 2015 - 04:10 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 03:56 PM, said:

View Postgrasbo, on 07 January 2015 - 03:55 PM, said:

Remember he has tricky dicky bass and drummer behind him playing dicky tricky time signatures .You can practise widdly tricky guitar licks in your bedroom but it all goes dicky if it aint sticky with the other guys in the band.

What's a time signature?

It's how musical passages are grouped/arranged. Go listen to the intro to Kid Gloves. If you count each note that Alex is playing, you're counting quarter notes. You'll notice that the notes are arranged into groups of 5 (1-2-3-4-5, repeat). That means the intro is in 5/4: 5 groups of quarter notes per measure. The verses are in 5/4 as well. When the music changes to fit the "call it blind frustration" sections, it switches to 4/4 (you count 1-2-3-4, repeat). The duration-value of the notes in both those sections is the same -- they're quarter notes, but the grouping changes from groups of 5 to groups of 4.
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#54 JARG

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:17 PM

Or listen to Whispers in the Dark from our 2nd CD, Lorraine. That's in 7/4 until the choruses, when it switches to 4/4. There's even a spot near the end where the time sig goes from one measure each of 4/4 to 5/4 to 6/4 to 7/4.

#55 Blue J

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:17 PM

View PostJARG, on 07 January 2015 - 04:10 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 03:56 PM, said:

View Postgrasbo, on 07 January 2015 - 03:55 PM, said:

Remember he has tricky dicky bass and drummer behind him playing dicky tricky time signatures .You can practise widdly tricky guitar licks in your bedroom but it all goes dicky if it aint sticky with the other guys in the band.

What's a time signature?

It's how musical passages are grouped/arranged. Go listen to the intro to Kid Gloves. If you count each note that Alex is playing, you're counting quarter notes. You'll notice that the notes are arranged into groups of 5 (1-2-3-4-5, repeat). That means the intro is in 5/4: 5 groups of quarter notes per measure. The verses are in 5/4 as well. When the music changes to fit the "call it blind frustration" sections, it switches to 4/4 (you count 1-2-3-4, repeat). The duration-value of the notes in both those sections is the same -- they're quarter notes, but the grouping changes from groups of 5 to groups of 4.

Haha- another song in 5/4. I didn't think of Kid Gloves, but that's true.

Cygnus X-1 (Book I) is another one that stands out to me, but I don't know what its time signature is, actually. I've only played it on drums, and not guitar.

#56 Lorraine

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:19 PM

View PostJARG, on 07 January 2015 - 04:17 PM, said:

Or listen to Whispers in the Dark from our 2nd CD, Lorraine. That's in 7/4 until the choruses, when it switches to 4/4. There's even a spot near the end where the time sig goes from one measure each of 4/4 to 5/4 to 6/4 to 7/4.
That is one great song.   With pleasure will I listen to it.  Again.

#57 JARG

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:20 PM

View PostBlue J, on 07 January 2015 - 04:17 PM, said:

View PostJARG, on 07 January 2015 - 04:10 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 03:56 PM, said:

View Postgrasbo, on 07 January 2015 - 03:55 PM, said:

Remember he has tricky dicky bass and drummer behind him playing dicky tricky time signatures .You can practise widdly tricky guitar licks in your bedroom but it all goes dicky if it aint sticky with the other guys in the band.

What's a time signature?

It's how musical passages are grouped/arranged. Go listen to the intro to Kid Gloves. If you count each note that Alex is playing, you're counting quarter notes. You'll notice that the notes are arranged into groups of 5 (1-2-3-4-5, repeat). That means the intro is in 5/4: 5 groups of quarter notes per measure. The verses are in 5/4 as well. When the music changes to fit the "call it blind frustration" sections, it switches to 4/4 (you count 1-2-3-4, repeat). The duration-value of the notes in both those sections is the same -- they're quarter notes, but the grouping changes from groups of 5 to groups of 4.

Haha- another song in 5/4. I didn't think of Kid Gloves, but that's true.

It's easier to hear in than in The Trees, imo, due to the percussive (and more simple) nature of the guitar part. The Trees guitar pattern is much more fluid and complicated, so it's harder to pick up on when the pattern repeats.

#58 Lorraine

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:23 PM

I forget now whether Geddy said it was Permanent Waves or Moving Pictures that was their first 4/4 album?

#59 JARG

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:23 PM

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 04:19 PM, said:

View PostJARG, on 07 January 2015 - 04:17 PM, said:

Or listen to Whispers in the Dark from our 2nd CD, Lorraine. That's in 7/4 until the choruses, when it switches to 4/4. There's even a spot near the end where the time sig goes from one measure each of 4/4 to 5/4 to 6/4 to 7/4.
That is one great song.   With pleasure will I listen to it.  Again.

That crazy bombastic intro is in 7/8, but it goes by so fast that you can ignore it for counting purposes!

#60 JARG

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:24 PM

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 04:23 PM, said:

I forget now whether Geddy said it was Permanent Waves or Moving Pictures that was their first 4/4 album?

Both have songs having time sigs that aren't in 4/4.




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