June 11, 2012

A brand new guitar blog - what it is all about?

Hi and welcome to the very first post of Instrumental Rock Guitar! I feel honored to be able to share with you my experience, my thoughts and my methods. First of all, let me tell a few words about me as a musician. My name is Jonas Tamas, I live in Budapest, Hungary. I play instrumental rock guitar - as you might have guessed from the blog title. I am a professional musician, and I'm proud to be signed to the label of Steve Vai. You can see my artist profile at Steve Vai's label Favored Nations/Digital Nations here: http://digital-nations.com/artists/dn-artists/jonas-tamas/

To date, I have released two instrumental guitar albums, and have appeared on numerous other albums in the genres of rock, progressive rock, and metal. I had the good fortune to appear on CDs together with Brett Garsed, Troy Stetina, Andy James, Marco Minnemann, Mattias IA Eklundh (Freak Kitchen), Marcel Coenen (Sun Caged), Mats Haugen (Circus Maximus), Thorsten Koehne (Eden’s Curse), Alberto Rigoni, Sergey Boykov, Mischa Mang, Gianluca Ferro, Phi Yaan-Zek, Joel Hoekstra (Night Ranger, Trans-Siberian Orchestra), Tore Moren (Jorn Lande), Alex Ehrsam, Chris Lasegue (Jag Panzer), Tracy G (Dio), Rob Johnson (Magnitude 9) and Ray Luzier (Korn).

You can listen to my songs on my official homepage http://jonastamas.com, as well as on my official Facebook page http://facebook.com/jonastamas. If you like guitarists like John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani, Vinnie Moore, Andy Timmons and Marco Sfogli then chances are (to be honest, I'm pretty much sure!) that you will dig my music as well.

So what is this blog about? What are you going to read here? This blog is about the many aspects of guitar playing. Let's see just a few of the topics I'm planning to cover:

- I'm going to show you many of my best licks, my favorite guitar exercises

- I want to speak extensively about constructing melodies, themes, riffs, solos, motives

- You will find guitar-oriented examples, lessons, tablatures, recommendations and videos – prepared and sorted in a way that you can use this blog as your weekly guitar practicing guide

- One of the particular goals of my blog is to speak about the mental and even spiritual aspects of improvement – not just as a guitarist, but as human beings in general: how can we motivate ourselves, how can we handle the problems, how can we give more to other people, how can we get the support of others, how can we direct our thoughts to be able to reach the success we want.

- Creativity is one of the most important capabilities to have as an artist. I regularly take excursions to other musical styles (classical, jazz, fusion) and to other art forms (writing, graphics, photography, comedy), and I'm going to show you my ideas, experiments, jokes, stories, pictures – you name it.

- Most importantly, I'm going to have a lot of questions to you, and I am really curious to hear your own thoughts, views and personal experiences about music & life. I strongly believe in the power of thinking together, enjoying the fresh and different point of view of people, sharing, supporting each other, and thus making the world to a better place with full of rock n roll!

In this first post, I'd like to share with you a few more things about my first years of playing the guitar, so that you can see where I come from as a guitarist.

I was 14 years old when I have decided to play guitar. At first, it was just about fun, I have learned the most common chords and some basic picking and strumming patterns on a cheap acoustic guitar. In fact, I didn’t practice that hard in the first couple of years. However, things got a lot more serious after I have bought my first electric guitar. At that point I was almost 17 years old, and I have started to realize that playing the guitar could be my huge passion for life.

In the next year I have been introduced to the intense playing of Yngwie Malmsteen, and I think this was the real turning point. I have started practicing really hard, often playing 8-9 or even 10 hours a day. I have acquired the tablatures of the early Yngwie albums, and practiced his songs. I didn’t do much improvisation back then, just learning songs and practicing the fast runs, arpeggios and scales.

I’m completely self-taught. I’m sure that I could have improved my skills much faster if I had taken formal lessons. At that time, YouTube didn’t exist, and there weren’t thousands of guitar players showing the licks and tricks online, so I had to figure out everything by ear and experiment a lot. But it’s been a hell of a lot of fun anyway, and I’m really proud that I have gotten so far without all the resources available now.

Now, the internet gives loads of resources, material, and information on any topic, including of course guitar playing. It can be an overwhelming feeling to see the vast amount of information pouring onto us. You can easily feel lost – "how on Earth should I know where to go, and what exact steps to take?" I hope this blog will help you to organize the valuable information and to create YOUR own path to your goals – no matter if you want to be a pro guitar player or just want to have fun and play the guitar as a hobby. This blog is for YOU.

In this first post I'll show you a really cool string-skipping arpeggio idea from Eden's Curse guitarist Thorsten Koehne. Thorsten is an amazing and unique guitarist, it's worth checking out his stuff at ThorstenKoehne.com. You can listen to the lick below and I have tabbed out the whole sequence for you.

Little Green Arps - húrkihagyásos arpeggio csúszással by JonasTamas@Hangmester

My question to you for today is about modes. Watch the video below. This song has some key changes. It has four different keys for the different sections of the song. What are these four keys and what modes they represent? Write your answer as a comment below this post. If you are the first to give a correct answer, then you'll get a digital surprise package from me.

So that wraps up my introductory first post on Instrumental Rock Guitar. Stay tuned, it will be a hell of a lot of fun creating this blog together with you. I count on you, see ya soon!

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