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Chris C

Extending the collaborating/ cooperating idea

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I’d love to find some ways of motivating myself and others to do more actual playing and a bit less waffling.

I really like the idea of being able to cooperate with other forum members in the learning process. But forums tend to have way more chatting about playing than actually doing it (and I’m a prime offender at waffling on and playing “hot air guitar” instead of real guitar….). :oops:

So maybe we can crank up the ways that we cooperate in actually playing?

Many members already have the capability to do simple recordings of themselves. All you need is a mic and some software on your computer. Even the basic sound recorder in Windows will do, but there are many better options as well. Maybe there’s already a sticky here with information on cheap starter mics, handy software (such as the free Audacity), places to dump your clips, and so on? If not it would be a useful thing to have.

Once we have the capacity to listen to each other’s efforts, it opens up a big range of possibilities. We can all post our efforts, get some help, fish for a bit of praise, and offer help to others. No standard too low, and no question too dumb. Get it all going, the good, the bad and the ugly…. :eek:

I really like the “Thing of The Week” format because it gives us a focus. One of the big difficulties of visiting any music forum is that there’s so much to try and take in, and you really don’t know where to start. So I suspect that a huge percentage of people only half read things, and then only rarely complete a full song or lesson before jumping to something else. “XYZ of the Week” gives a clear target and time, and also makes for easy Archiving and Indexing once it’s built up a bit. It also provides the all important element of cooperation. So, rather than feeling that Elvis has already left the building, there’s a bunch of us doing it now. And some of them will be worse than me, so I might be able to help (which is actually a good way to learn) and some will be better, so I can pick up tips.

Here are some possibilities that occurred to me:

  • 1. Improvisation of the week.
    Set a target – it could be as simple as giving three chords in the same key (Say G, C and D7 for the key of G) and asking for so many bars or seconds of improvising. Good way to learn about how chords relate to keys.
    Next week it could be a solo in a certain key. Perhaps a few bars of backing percussion could be given to set the ‘feel’ a bit. Or a simple looped chord progression to solo over.
    2. Chords of the week.
    Take a pair of chords. Just two. Show how to play them, and then discuss what musical effects they can have when used together. Encourage players to post examples of how they sound at different tempos or rhythms, or “hey – I think they’re used in that song that whatsisname used to play”. Good way to learn about a heap of stuff including the chords themselves and the difference that the musical 'distance' between chords makes. Maybe touch on some of the variations and how they can change the feel?
    3. Rhythm pattern of the week.
    Same sort of idea, but based round strums patterns, beats, tempos, time signatures and so one.
    4. Sound of the week.
    All about amp settings, gear, playing technique and all the stuff that we’d like to be able to do a bit better.

    5. Build a song.
    This really needs a separate thread to explain, but it involves starting with a simple percussion track demonstrating the concepts of the beats and bars for the song. Then slowly adding layers. Maybe like this:
    Clip 1 – percussion. Clips 2 – 4 Strums (Start with single downstroke at the start of each bar in the first clip. Then 2 more clips of increasing strum complexity) Clips 5 – 6(?) Add melody line with lead guitar and then voice. Clips 7 -???? Add intro and ending, bridge, more verses, vocal harmonies, interweaving leads or whatever. One step at a time.
    The idea is that players of all levels can jump on or off the bus at any level. They can play over any clip, and try and match what they hear in the next clip. Or improve on it or harmonise with it. :smilinguitar: Then post how they went.
    It’s not necessary to prepare all the clips in advance, just to have some basic info about tempo and chords and a couple of starter tracks. I think that if this took off it would also be a good candidate for a “By Subscription” sub forum where we paid a modest fee to get some direct involvement from Kirk (and, hey, he has to eat so why not chip in a little for the privilege… ). But even a beginner like me could provide the first four or five clips in that sort of chain, and then we could take it from there...
    Once people started posting their progress clips we'd be free to add to any of those clips too, so we could end up with some cheerful chaos and several different directions going on at the same time... :yeahhh:

Anyway, just a few ideas. Any of them worth trying? Or am I way off the mark? None of them really need to be done 'officially' by site moderators (although there obvious continuity benefits if they were) and even a beginner like me could test them out if it wasn't going to tread on any toes or cause a problem.



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Thanks Kevin, interesting idea. :)

Only one person there when I took a peek (you maybe?) and no action. But I'll look another time. I'm not ready for live jams yet, which is why I like the idea of a 'delayed' or 'in your own time' version. But, who knows.....



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I understand what you're saying. A lot of folks claim to be "not ready". But it raises the question "When will I be ready?". Personally, I believe it's never to soon to jump in and play along with others. It's a great means to an end. Increases skill, technique, timing, listening and many other aspects. And it forces you to improve fast if you give it a chance.

Also could be a good way to "Build those songs" together with your collab partner. It's a good thing and I'm trying to promote as much as possible to try and spark enough interest where you could drop in almost anytime and find someone to jam with.

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That was a very well assembled sinero. I'd like to see how this would begin. Maybe, with the help of some seasoned players here, we can add to our learning curve.

Not only practice Kirk's lessons, but I want to build backing tracks in conjunction with his lesson. I guess you might say its creative engineering.


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They are all great ideas Chris... thanks for posting them... we are working on major changes to the forum/site at the moment, but after that's all implemented, we'll relook at everything that's been suggested here lately.

Thanks again,


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