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Fingerstyle Challenge of the Week! (CONCLUSION)

Bhael

Location: Newcastle, UK

Joined: Feb 18 2010

Seeing as though there's a 'riff of the week' for shredders, Clanver proposed there should be one for fingerstyle as well. I think it should be hosted by a more experienced player with modding powers (e.g. Kabukibear), but I've decided to put the idea in motion. Seeing as though it's already Tuesday (and it's due in Sunday), I've decided not to choose a massively complex piece.

The first week's challenge is measures 5-12 of Kabukibear's Dancing Mad - Tier 3 arrangement for solo guitar, found here: http://www.gametabs.net/final-fantasy-vi/dancing-mad-tier-3-2.

I think it will be appropriate for Kabuki to judge this, but I'll give a basic criteria for good entries:

-Accuracy
-Consistency
-Fluidity
-Musicality

Also play it at the original tempo or higher (though extra points won't be awarded to faster entries).

This is also an opportunity to see who's in favour of the idea.

TrangOul's entry: Smooth, and great technique. Every note has a precise duration, and the performance was fluid and consistent. There was however one mistake: he failed to hit the G# of the challenging bar 11. If one wants to be really picky, Trang also pulled of the D string too hard in the first measure :P. All in all, really good.

GERALD'S ENTRY: Like Trang's, really smooth. I also detected a greater musical element to the performance, especially during the first half (you also have a really nice tone). Unlike Trang's, I felt some notes weren't fully pronounced. There was also unwanted string noise towards the end. I think you also missed the dreaded G# in the penultimate bar. That being said, your's is also a really nice performance.

http://www.gametabs.net/files/user/G%C3%89RALD%20MCALLCAPS/fingerstyle%2...

Clanver's entry: Nice! Really clean job; very precise. You also failed to hit the G# haha, and I wasn't too sure about the slide in the same bar. Apart from that, my only real complaint is that the tempo is slightly slower than the original!

Bhael's entry: Like Trang, I pulled off the D string too hard in the first bar, producing a D. Since that's the root of the chord, it isn't a huge cock up but I think it matters. I also fail to mute the open E afterwards, and in bar 4 there was legato. The big mistake with this performance is in the 2nd measure. For reasons unknown to me I augmented the 4th, a habit I get into when playing anything in a major key haha. Although I played it properly according to how I learnt it, going into Lydian mode for a bar was pretty stupid. On the plus side, the second half was pretty damn good imo: I hit the G#!

Ennea's entry: Not bad at all. Really! Some parts were really good, but other parts were a bit sloppy tbh. I think if you practised this for another week you could really nail it! As it stands, some notes weren't properly hit and the playing was slightly inconsistent. Like me, you also pulled off some notes a bit too hard. Are you using high tension strings by the way? I personally find normal tension easier for this kind of playing, but that might just be me.

musenji's entry: This is so good! In my opinion the most musical out of all the performances; you really gave it a personality. The penultimate bar was a bit sloppy, and you also stumbled which broke the flow of the music. But, you got the G#!

http://www.gametabs.net/files/user/musenji/wootdraft.mp3

AND THE WINNER IS... I was torn between musenji and TrangOul for this, as both gave really good entries. Both made only one real mistake, and to decide which entry was best I had to compare the gravity of the mistake upon the overall performance. Although Trang missed a note, this did not break the flow. With this in mind, and the fact that musenji did not submit a video as evidence (THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT, even though I don't believe anyone on this site would cheat) I declare Trang the winner!

Well done TrangOul! You now have the privilege to host this week's competition! If you could make a challenge sometime today, that would be awesome.

I only have one minor complaint though Trang: do you record using a lead? I find it difficult to notice the attack of the instrument, and string noises. I only hear the notes, not that that is necessarily a bad thing :).

yay, someone opened one!

Clanver

Pixelfingers cant play

Location: Germany, Kiel

Joined: Jan 03 2009

yay, someone opened one! Thanks for this Bhael, now using my precious time after work for some practice ;D.

First:

TrangOul

Insomaniac

Location: Germany

Joined: Feb 24 2008

First:

Nice!! Everyone else has til

Bhael

Location: Newcastle, UK

Joined: Feb 18 2010

Nice!! Everyone else has til Sunday to meet, or surpass, Trang's awesome entry.

New rule, effective from now: You're only allowed one entry :D.

Wow motherfucker. Damn you

karathrow

Joined: Oct 26 2010

Wow motherfucker.

Damn you Trang XD

Damn, my thumbnail is broken,

kenor

The Cardsharp

Location: Czech Republic

Joined: Jun 04 2009

Damn, my thumbnail is broken, I might enter till Sunday if the sound improves enough.

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The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth - it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.

: Weekly guitar riffs are our

StrangeJam

Da Manliness

Joined: Aug 23 2009

StrangeJam> Weekly guitar riffs are our electrofag thing
StrangeJam> nah im kidding. nice entry trang
StrangeJam> lol
TrangLoL> ty :>

Hehe, nice! I love this song

auriplane

Joined: Sep 06 2008

Hehe, nice! I love this song :-)

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Auriplane!!

very surpprised this type of

wayfaerer

"Embrace your dreams."

Location: The Lifestream

Joined: Apr 03 2011

very surpprised this type of comp hasnt popped up before.

i like this; ill never be able to particapate--my FS skills arent good enough yet, but ill enjoy seeing the entries and practicing them myself

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"i seem to be find a lot that apparently dont contain the .exe actually" -Anonymous

"Has anyone really been far as decided to use even go want to look more like?" -Pherioxus

Hmm...

musenji

Joined: Feb 02 2010

Hmm...

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And then I realized that the chord progression from Chrono Cross's Another World is the same progression as the chorus from Peace of Mind by Boston, and life was never quite the same.

trang TOO GOOD

Yogurt

Joined: May 23 2011

trang TOO GOOD

trangoul I would kill someone

Lemoncobbler

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Location: SoCal

Joined: Dec 22 2010

trangoul I would kill someone for your hands and technique

Looks like starting next week

TrangOul

Insomaniac

Location: Germany

Joined: Feb 24 2008

Looks like starting next week I'll be banned from this contest. :|

If you win this week(which is

Bhael

Location: Newcastle, UK

Joined: Feb 18 2010

If you win this week(which is a probability) you'll be hosting it!

I predict the next few

natenmn

I haven't had a chance to trim my hedges recently. Thanks for visiting anyway...

Location: United States

Joined: Jul 17 2009

I predict the next few winners to be:

  1. Trang
  2. Someone else
  3. Trang
  4. Someone else
  5. Trang
  6. Someone else
  7. Trang

... in that order.

I'll enter! But since my

Ennea

humhum..

Location: Germany

Joined: Apr 09 2010

I'll enter! But since my hands don't have an will on their own (like trang's) I'll need some time to practice :|

Well, I have two questions of

musenji

Joined: Feb 02 2010

Well, I have two questions of curiosity for Trang:

1. Had you looked at that piece at all before the contest came up?
2. How much solid practice time would you say you put in before making the recording? (Count unused takes as practice, assuming there were any.)

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And then I realized that the chord progression from Chrono Cross's Another World is the same progression as the chorus from Peace of Mind by Boston, and life was never quite the same.

Re: Well, I have two questions of

TrangOul

Insomaniac

Location: Germany

Joined: Feb 24 2008

1. Just really briefly. I usually play through every new fingerstyle tab once to get the idea but I do not actually sit down and try to get everything right.
2. I'd say about half an hour plus 5 unused takes at max.

Re: Well, I have two questions of

Bhael

Location: Newcastle, UK

Joined: Feb 18 2010

That's pretty insane, though I can't say I'm surprised. I've already practised it for an hour in total and I'm only halfway :S.

Trang makes Germany

Hakoria

Laon King

Location: gmt+1

Joined: Apr 03 2011

Trang makes Germany proud. The bass notes don't follow cleanly at 2/3rd of the video (when it goes from E to A string) though. Why didn't you consider taking more time, an extra day would have definitively been enough. It's still a great take so these are just my random 5cents; it's also a reason as to why the contests last a week and not 1 day (getting everything down as best as possible). But hey, if you've got beerfests up 'till Sunday or anything else that keeps you busy I understand you wouldn't have the time, so nvm <:

And I was wrong, making another distinct challenge seems to be a good idea. This could be mentioned in the next (if there will be one) news post from the riff challenges so users who check the frontpage know they could try out their fingers with this if they couldn't participate (lack of electric guitar for example) in the other one.

Laon is right, I suck. :(

TrangOul

Insomaniac

Location: Germany

Joined: Feb 24 2008

Laon is right, I suck. :(

haha, an hour and 5 takes at

Clanver

Pixelfingers cant play

Location: Germany, Kiel

Joined: Jan 03 2009

haha, an hour and 5 takes at max ;D . .
i will try to record tomorow =), got almost nuff practice i think.

i will set it to autorecording . .and 3 hours later maybe there is something useful . . .

It's always inspiring to see

Choogly

Joined: Jul 01 2010

It's always inspiring to see Trang at work, I hope to be as good in a year or so. Measure 11 is the only part that really gives me trouble, but damn it's hard to maintain the counterpoint for that section

This is more like a "beat

Ennea

humhum..

Location: Germany

Joined: Apr 09 2010

This is more like a "beat TrangOul at this riff" challenge right now xD

Measure 11 is a bitch, I

TrangOul

Insomaniac

Location: Germany

Joined: Feb 24 2008

Measure 11 is a bitch, I agree. It's also the sloppies part of my performance.
To master measure 11 is to master all!

Re: Laon is right, I suck. :(

Hakoria

Laon King

Location: gmt+1

Joined: Apr 03 2011

TrangOul said

Laon is right, I suck. :(

First step to progress is accepting it <: Then working your ass off even more without owning your nerves ofc.

YES MASTAH

TrangOul

Insomaniac

Location: Germany

Joined: Feb 24 2008

YES MASTAH

Trang suckssssss

StrangeJam

Da Manliness

Joined: Aug 23 2009

Trang suckssssss

I saw Trang's entry and

Lord Kamina

I will not fear; fear is the mind killer.

Location: Santiago, Chile

Joined: Feb 25 2011

I saw Trang's entry and proceeded to cry in the corner; I'm glad that kind of performance is not the rule, at least.

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Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect)

I assume the fact that Laon

musenji

Joined: Feb 02 2010

I assume the fact that Laon has no recordings, is part of the joke?

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And then I realized that the chord progression from Chrono Cross's Another World is the same progression as the chorus from Peace of Mind by Boston, and life was never quite the same.

Anyone have suggestions for

auriplane

Joined: Sep 06 2008

Anyone have suggestions for fingerings for 11?

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Auriplane!!

What's wrong with Trang's?

musenji

Joined: Feb 02 2010

What's wrong with Trang's? ;-)

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And then I realized that the chord progression from Chrono Cross's Another World is the same progression as the chorus from Peace of Mind by Boston, and life was never quite the same.

Well, I naturally play it

auriplane

Joined: Sep 06 2008

Well, I naturally play it like this:

         1           1
   2  1  2  4  2  1  4
   E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E   
|-----0-----0--------------|
|--2-----3-----2--0-----0--|
|--------------------2-----|
|-----------------------0--|
|--------------0--2--4-----|
|-----2--4--6--------------|

There's a pretty big jump in my index finger there that I get sloppy with, though. I figured I could try to make it more efficient, so I figured this fingering out:

         1           1
   1  2  3  4  2  1  4
   E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E   
|-----0-----0--------------|
|--2-----3-----2--0-----0--|
|--------------------2-----|
|-----------------------0--|
|--------------0--2--4-----|
|-----2--4--6--------------|

This one's supposed to be more physically efficient, but it feels awkward. That could just be because I lack the muscle memory, or it could just be a really awkward way to play it. I'm not good enough to figure out which.

So I don't really want to practice it until I figure out the right fingering, but I suck too much to figure it out :-(

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Auriplane!!

This is how I do it--the

musenji

Joined: Feb 02 2010

This is how I do it--the seventh sub-beat actually is played with the 1st finger barring the second fret, coming off the sixth sub-beat. It feels natural to me.

   2     2     2     1
      1  3  4     1  3
   E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E   
|-----0-----0--------------|
|--2-----3-----2--0-----0--|
|--------------------2-----|
|-----------------------0--|
|--------------0--2--4-----|
|-----2--4--6--------------|
----------

And then I realized that the chord progression from Chrono Cross's Another World is the same progression as the chorus from Peace of Mind by Boston, and life was never quite the same.

Huh, I didn't even consider

auriplane

Joined: Sep 06 2008

Huh, I didn't even consider doing fingers 2+3 there. I should go get my guitar :-)

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Auriplane!!

Oh by the way I'm playing it

TrangOul

Insomaniac

Location: Germany

Joined: Feb 24 2008

Oh by the way I'm playing it like this:

   E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E   
|-----0-----0--------------|
|--2-----3--------0-----0--|
|--------------6-----2-----|
|-----------------------0--|
|--------------0--2--4-----|
|-----2--4--6--------------|

Will I get disqualified now? :|

Re: Oh by the way I'm playing it

Ennea

humhum..

Location: Germany

Joined: Apr 09 2010

I want to know too!

The extra rule was included after your submission, you can still upload another - final -version

Hehe, I'm not competing,

auriplane

Joined: Sep 06 2008

Hehe, I'm not competing, since I'm not good enough, but I'm having fun learning it :-)

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Auriplane!!

Re: Oh by the way I'm playing it

Bhael

Location: Newcastle, UK

Joined: Feb 18 2010

DISQUALIFIED!!! Nah, it's fine. However, the challenge is to play it according to the tab. In future we may purposefully choose BAD arrangements just because of their unecessary difficulty :P.

I'll preface this by saying

natenmn

I haven't had a chance to trim my hedges recently. Thanks for visiting anyway...

Location: United States

Joined: Jul 17 2009

I'll preface this by saying that I probably won't be entering the majority of the contests in the foreseeable future because I currently have no way to record nor the financial ability to afford recording equipment. Given that, I don't know if my opinion holds much weight.

Anyways, I'm not sure that resorting to picking out bad tabs just because they are difficult is the best idea. Creating unnecessary difficulty hinders one's ability to rationally approach or think of an alternative way to manipulate music in my opinion. There are plenty of great tabs/pieces of music out there that are very difficult and can easily be a part of the contest. However, I feel that intentionally picking poorly written tabs just because they are difficult in their tablature form is a flawed mentality when approaching self-improvement.

Also, I think that an alternative way of playing something should be allowed (to an extent). A small change such as the one made by Trang affects the difficulty in a completely subjective way. I'm willing to bet that Kabuki finds the way he wrote his arrangement easier, and Trang finds his new way easier. So, which one is actually easier and which one is more difficult? I guess you could say the way it is written in the tab is the way it was intended to be played, but I still think that's a little finicky.

Re: I'll preface this by saying

auriplane

Joined: Sep 06 2008

natenmn said

I guess you could say the way it is written in the tab is the way it was intended to be played

I can't speak for the Kabuki Bear--maybe he'll respond here?--but I always got the impression the sheet music was the most important to him, and the tablature was more of a suggestion, like "Here's how I'd play this arrangement".

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Auriplane!!

Re: I'll preface this by saying

Bhael

Location: Newcastle, UK

Joined: Feb 18 2010

You make a good point nate, but we have to draw the line somewhere. There are many different approaches to each tab through such alterations, and while useful, I don't think focussing just on what's easier for you personally should be encouraged in a contest designed to take you out of your comfort zone (except trang; the world's his comfort zone). I agree with the principle that slight alterations shoulnd't be discouraged generally, but a contest such as this we need everyone to be competing at as fair a level as possible. If someone finds one thing easier it isn't right that they should do that instead while everyone lags behind. Perhaps if everyone voted on alterations at the beginning of the competition that would make things fairer, and if people are in favour of that we'll do it. Put it is possible to make an arrangement that sounds very good, but can only be played with skills acquired playing shitty ones (e.g. altering the chord halfway through, baring two frets with the pinky etc). Stuff that you wouldn't do in better tabs, but might appear in a good one if the arranger and his fans were able to play it.

Any recording I piece

karathrow

Joined: Oct 26 2010

Any recording I piece together for this would be too embarrassingly bad to post, but I intend to at least practice these every time we do one XD.

Also thank you plane and Musenji for the fingering insight, it's neat to see how other people approach these types of things.

It's apparent to me that maybe I should use my pinky more when I play. Currently I only use it if I absolutely have to.

The fingering Musenji posted last is the one that is closest to how I play/what feels natural to me.

Re: I'll preface this by saying

natenmn

I haven't had a chance to trim my hedges recently. Thanks for visiting anyway...

Location: United States

Joined: Jul 17 2009

auriplane said

I can't speak for the Kabuki Bear--maybe he'll respond here?--but I always got the impression the sheet music was the most important to him, and the tablature was more of a suggestion, like "Here's how I'd play this arrangement".

I agree with this and it's that way for me when I make arrangements. It's also sorta the crux of what I was trying to get across with my second point about slight alterations to how something is played.

I also agree with you, Bhael, that it is a little hard to regulate alterations in a contest like this. This is why I made sure I said "to an extent", but figuring out that extent could be difficult. For example, there are a lot of tabs with tapping in it, but that doesn't mean that they really need the tapping. However, if the point of a particular contest is to work on tapping, then altering a tab so there is no tapping kinda defeats the point. Also, alternate tunings could be applied that work for the proposed part of the challenge, but not for the whole arrangement. Situations like these would be hard to condone. I think I'll probably concede this whole point about playing alternate ways because it would be too difficult to find a happy medium.

I still think that purposefully finding a bad tab that happens to have a difficult part is not the best plan, though. Again, there are plenty of great tabs out there that can provide just as good material. Especially when taking into account the brevity of what is expected to be played. For example, a few measures of an Antoine Dufour tab for the sake of this contest (which I personally believe is at least halfway educational) would fall under free use.

Re: I'll preface this by saying

Bhael

Location: Newcastle, UK

Joined: Feb 18 2010

As far as bad tabs go, I was just putting the option out there. As you say, with the amount of good material to work with it's unlikely that there'll be any need to choose bad tabs anyway.

And yeah, we definately need some percussive fingerstyle in these competitions. There's loads of great stuff on candyrat to choose from, and I'm sure just a few measures won't stir up any problems. Adam Rafferty's also a great choice. And Jon Gomm is a must one day!

HERE IS MY ENTRY. SOUND ONLY.

GÉRALD MCALLCAPS

TERRIBLE PLAYER

Location: FRENCH CANADIA

Joined: Apr 27 2011

HERE IS MY ENTRY. SOUND ONLY.

There is a Catch 22 in this

musenji

Joined: Feb 02 2010

There is a Catch 22 in this competition.

1. If an extremely difficult passage is chosen, then only a few people will be able to enter, and others may feel either left out or pressured to try to push for recording something of a level they're not yet at. It's actually possible to injure oneself this way!

2. On the other hand, if easy passages are chosen, then lots of people can enter and it becomes increasingly subjective as to who should win.

Solution to 1, imo: to people who can't play the passage at speed, practice it at slower speed and make an error-free recording, at whatever speed is the fastest you can comfortably play. You're still contributing and challenging yourself!

Solution to 2, imo: that's okay! A poster is perfectly free to choose among error-free performances and say, for example, "I liked the sound of this better on a steel string."

Personally, I would qualify this passage as extremely difficult to be played at tempo. I actually wasn't expecting to see any entries beyond Trang's. Currently I can play the passage at 120 bpm. I don't think I will be able to make 160 by the deadline, but I will do as I suggested for the first situation, and I will post what I can do! Y'all should, too!

----------

And then I realized that the chord progression from Chrono Cross's Another World is the same progression as the chorus from Peace of Mind by Boston, and life was never quite the same.

Re: There is a Catch 22 in this

karathrow

Joined: Oct 26 2010

musenji said

There is a Catch 22 in this competition.

1. If an extremely difficult passage is chosen, then only a few people will be able to enter, and others may feel either left out or pressured to try to push for recording something of a level they're not yet at. It's actually possible to injure oneself this way!

2. On the other hand, if easy passages are chosen, then lots of people can enter and it becomes increasingly subjective as to who should win.

Solution to 1, imo: to people who can't play the passage at speed, practice it at slower speed and make an error-free recording, at whatever speed is the fastest you can comfortably play. You're still contributing and challenging yourself!

Solution to 2, imo: that's okay! A poster is perfectly free to choose among error-free performances and say, for example, "I liked the sound of this better on a steel string."

Personally, I would qualify this passage as extremely difficult to be played at tempo. I actually wasn't expecting to see any entries beyond Trang's. Currently I can play the passage at 120 bpm. I don't think I will be able to make 160 by the deadline, but I will do as I suggested for the first situation, and I will post what I can do! Y'all should, too!

I think nobody wants to follow trang's recording. It's somewhat tough and I think I could get it with time, but certainly not in an hour.

Even if I did get it, it wouldn't be anywhere near the quality of trang's and people still are nitpicking his soooooo yeah....

Well, many of us have no

auriplane

Joined: Sep 06 2008

Well, many of us have no business competing with Trang. I don't think that should be the sole nature of the competition though. Right now, it's "you're the best, or nothing".

IMO people should be encouraged to participate, even if the tempo is too low, because if that's what they can play it at cleanly after a week of practice, then that's what they can do. Obviously, rushing to play it at a higher tempo too early is a bad idea, because it encourages sloppy playing and tension. But "too early" varies greatly from player to player. Trang can get it in half an hour. But if it's too hard for me, I *won't* push myself to play at tempo within a week just because of a betcha-can't-play.

I have no interest in the competition aspect of the betcha-can't-plays on electric, either.

I think it's cool having the competition aspect. I just think it'd be more of a genuine "let's all get better at guitar" if you changed it to what I said, and I think that'd be cooler than what it is now.

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Auriplane!!

That is a great post, Auri,

natenmn

I haven't had a chance to trim my hedges recently. Thanks for visiting anyway...

Location: United States

Joined: Jul 17 2009

That is a great post, Auri, and I completely agree with all of it.

It may be a good idea to reevaluate the "play at tempo or higher" rule.

Re: Well, many of us have no

Bhael

Location: Newcastle, UK

Joined: Feb 18 2010

I have to admit you have a point. To be honest I didn't expect that phrase to be so hard, but now that I've been practising I realise now that I went straight into the deep end. We'll easen it out in future for sure. I stand by the 'original tempo' thing though, as that's a part of the challenge. We'll just make it so the original tempo is playable for most people :). I'm not even sure if I'll have this ready in time hehe.