Parsons Music: Guitar X Drum Legend Competition 2017

I am extremely honoured to be receiving such an important award – Champion of the Guitar Legend, Parsons Music: Guitar X Drum Legend Competition 2017 held on 29 Apr 2017.    A sincere thank you to everyone involved!

Photo credits : Parsons Band Club

 

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https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1502580289813452&id=152814634790031

 

 

達明一派

(節錄自 文瀚:《流行音樂啓示錄》 1991年11月)

「若論近年所創作的流行曲擁有濃烈的社會意識,又能在商業上取得一定成就的,就必須數達明一派了。樂隊出道至今,除了其獨樹一幟的冷漠形象外,歌曲的內容亦經常是談論焦點。對問題少年、大亞灣核電、九七問題、移民熱潮等題材,達明一派都有一套自己的見解;而面對較敏感問題如同性戀或政治迫害,樂隊亦比較能勇於表明其個人立場。」

 

 

[Guitar student’s before & after] Alternate Picking

睇睇呢位同學點様改善佢彈16分音嘅 Alternate Picking 技巧。  留意影片中佢嘅PICKING 方向!

Alternate Picking is an essential skill for all guitar players.  It gives us a consistent feeling of rhythm and is a great way to achieve better control of time.

Here’s a quick sketch showing how we normally play continued 16th notes (4 notes to a beat) with alternate picking.   I only show the first beat here because it is the same for the other beats.  All down beats ( in 16th notes, it means beats 1, 2, 3, 4 and all ‘ands’)  are played by down strokes while all the off beats (e, a) are played by up strokes.

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In some situations, such as when you are crossing strings or playing notes in groups of 3, students may be distracted and neglect this picking pattern.  The repetitive arpeggios in the end of “Hotel California” is an example.

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Watch this video and see how my student corrected his mistakes and made some good progress in learning alternate picking.

In the [Before] part of the video, the student neglected the normal alternate picking pattern.  It is understandable because the arpeggio notes form a series of ‘groups of 3’ and, it seems more natural to play a down stroke each time you go back to the first string to hit the high note.

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I advised the student that we should insist in learning the alternative picking (down-up-down-up) patterns and keep focusing on the consistent “down up down up” rhythm that it formed in your right hand.   Do not be distracted by the grouping of notes and the need to cross strings!  It is a little tricky at first, but you will feel more natural as you progress.  Just focus and practice slowly.

That is:
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My student came back after one week and showed me his progress. Watch the [After] part of the video and see how he executed the normal alternate picking pattern.  You will notice how his overall timing improved.

As a beginner, you may think this is insignificant because it takes lots of practice and may not ‘sound’ so much different after all.   My advice is that once you form the habit, it opens the door for you to play thousands of great riff and solos with better control of time.  Alternate Picking is not the only way to pick, but it is an essential foundation of our playing.

 

 

About
Each episode of “Guitar students’ before & after” captures how my students, especially beginners, improve on certain aspects in playing over time. I mainly focus on correcting mistakes, solving problems and explaining skills that are easy to be overlooked. My aim is to let guitar learners understand and fix their own problems by watching how other students did it. Potential students can get a feel of what kind of improvement they can take home after each lesson. No fancy playing and killer licks here. Just real life students showing how they are making progress a little at a time.

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