Tim Miller 'Lift' guitar cover. Plenty of new techniques required!

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wizbit81wizbit81 Frets: 122
Hi chaps, I decided recently to do a cover of Tim Miller's beautiful piece, 'Lift.'
I'm putting this in the technique section as I had to modify mine and develop new techniques in order to actually play it properly. 
I had to modify my left hand position entirely, to put the thumb right in the middle of the back of the neck, otherwise some of the across the neck runs wouldn't come out right. I had to develop a hybrid picking technique in order to play many of the arpeggios Tim uses, and to play the head of the piece. I also had to change my hand angle to let my fingers drop more vertically onto the strings in order to sound many of the open strings used in the chord melody. It's been a great learning experience and if anyone has any technical questions on it please feel free to ask. 
Also, if you didn't know him, please check out Tim Miller's stuff, absolutely MONSTER player. 


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  • westwest Frets: 277
    Blimey "alan " lives through Tim...  shades of zarabeth , love the chordal part, great job takes patience to transcribe that fab technique /adjustment accomplishment chris ..... ;)
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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 64
    Miller's music isn't quite my cup of tea, but, that's some impressive stuff. Great playing, technique, phrasing.
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  • BradBrad Frets: 204
    Yep as above and some great ears too, there are some dense chord voicings there!
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  • carloscarlos Frets: 1248
    Well done. Assume you were working off the official transcription from Tim's website? You got the tone and articulation right. There's a lot of his 212 stuff there. Do you use his way of fingering those arpeggios or do you do your own way?
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  • wizbit81wizbit81 Frets: 122
    Thanks guys.
    West - yes there's a strong A.H. influence in his chordal and lead style, although his lead playing is very different to how Holdsworth would play things. 

    Matt - Thanks for the kind words :) Sorry you don't like his stuff. I originally wasn't that bothered when I first heard him but my opinion has changed over time. 

    Brad - I didn't transcribe this one. I usually do but this time as per Carlos I used one Tim had done.

    Carlos - Yes I used Tim's transcription, I personally would have played some things a different way but I deliberately kept to Tim's hybrid picking patterns for the 212 and other times when crossing strings etc. I deliberately used this piece as a way to develop my 212 technique in a setting I would find interesting. That's how I tend to learn techniques, find a piece of music I like that has a tech I want to learn, then lean that piece. I find practicing exercises in isolation very boring and unmusical. My 212 hybrid tech is now fairly decent up to this sort of pace which is what I was after, although I'm just as comfortable picking and hammering, and I used to be able to all pick these type of things when I was really working on my alternate picking stuff. The 212 thing shares it's right hand conformity with Frank Gambale's picking patterns, it just stays the same no matter what and the left hand picks what notes you want. 

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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 64
    @wizbit81 I like lots of similar stuff, just not specifically his stuff (although I've only listened to a bit, so hardly an expert). That doesn't take away from your achievement in mastering it.
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  • carloscarlos Frets: 1248
    @wizbit81 ;
    Now you've made me want to go back and learn Electric again.
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  • wizbit81wizbit81 Frets: 122
    @carlos do it! Electric is on my list as is Rollercoaster. Both are really cool tunes!

    Matt - See if you like Trio volume 3, that's his most recent and it's the one that got me into his stuff. Also, I WISH it was mastered. It's more like barely struggled through. :D
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  • BarneyBarney Frets: 343
    Some feat to learn and play that . Well done it' sounds great... 
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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5415
    Amazing playing and your tone is very close to Tim's, what were you using?  
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  • wizbit81wizbit81 Frets: 122
    Cheers Barney!
    Thanks Bingefella, I always try for a similar tone when I do covers of stuff. In this case it was through my Axe FX II, and I just used a couple of publically available Holdsworth patches. Those got me ballpark, and I used the bridge pickup with tone rolled off just a tad, and volume on about 3-4. At that level I needed to add a small amount of compression to even out the notes, especially on the chord melody actually where my finger plucks were coming out really aggressively on the recording.
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  • ModellistaModellista Frets: 732
    Very impressive technique, if not my thing music-wise.

    Um.... what's 212?
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  • wizbit81wizbit81 Frets: 122
    Yeah it's not for everyone, I just love exotic and interesting chord colours. Same with lead lines, anything that makes me go 'wtf was THAT?' I really have to know, or at least get used to listening to it. Thanks for the kind words.

    As for 212, it's a specific pattern of approaching arpeggios and melodies. I don't mean arpeggios as in R, 3, 5, 7 as that's super boring, but something like R, 2, #4, 7. The 212 part means simply 2 notes on the first string, then 1 on the next, then 2, then 1, continuing until you run out of strings or feel like stopping. They are usually played from the 6th or 5th string. I'll give an example....

    In the case of the one I gave/came up with on the spot... R, 2, #4, 7 9. If we were in C that would be C, D, F#, B, D.
    In 212 fingering it would be C then D on the 5th string, F# on the 4th string, then B and D on the 3rd string. That would be a 212 arpeggio for C Lydian.  

    If I wanted to extend that I could add the #11 or the 3rd onto the 2nd string, then pick two notes on the 1st string, say a G and a B to give the 5th and the 7th. Then we've built a 21212 arpeggio for C Lydian off the 5th string. 

    Here's the thing about this that's important, although the left hand note choices can be literally almost anything that sounds good over a chord as long as they fit the 21212 mold, the right hand remains the same for this everytime. It means you can focus on left hand choices and the right hand once you have it trained just does the same thing happily. 

    The picking is unusual but worth it to learn, and instead of practicing it with a metronome a million times I chose to learn this Tim Miller piece which has a lot of it in. 

    Picking is:

    2                                                                   1                                                                   2

    Pick then hammeron                Pick same direction (mini sweep)               Right ring finger pluck then hammeron

    That make sense ok? If not I can rustle up a quick video. 
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