Interested in a skype guitar lesson with Mika Tyyskä?
I would love to help you with your playing and inspire you to go further. I’ll be custom tayloring the lesson(s) for your needs.
Here’s some potential topics:
- Expression and getting more music out of notes.
- Approaching the guitar fretboard in three ways. Find the notes and make you playing more effortless.
- Melodic and natural phrasing.
- Getting out of just running scales up and down.
- Techniques ( from left hand legato to right hand sweeping)
- How to get better timing and focused rhythm (also on lead playing)
- Tone and sound
- Feel free to ask and suggest.
TWO STEPS TO SKYPE LESSON
1) Contact Mika. To book a skype lesson, contact Mika on Facebook. You can send a private message through Mr. Fastfinger’s page.
We talk further and book a date.
Mika’s new package for Jam Track Central has been released. 20 Licks in Mixolydian mode played in Shuffle feel!
You’ll learn some great fretboard shapes and a wide range of scary techniques too. There’s quite an emphasise on slide, hybrid picking and economy picking techniques, plus plenty of string skipping, double stops and arpeggios ideas. Over all it’s a great workshop for anybody to get deep with the swinging shuffle playing alongside nailing the Mixolydian.
Mika is also slightly revealing his ideas behind the secret 2-1-2 approach with economy picking. Method he’s been developing and using in his playing from around 2006. There’s a lot of material to work for you here. Each lick is actually many ideas together, it’s licks are more like a mini solos! All the licks have easy and difficult parts, so there’s something here for everyone. There are also slowed-down versions, so you can pick out every note!
20 original licks
20 live videos (fast/slow)
Backing and jam tracks (3 different versions x 2 tempos)
Playing Mr. Fastfinger music has never been so easy. It’s like running up the hill or climbing up the mountain. Just go for this. Play it!
This arrangement of Creature of the Midnight (from The Way of the Exploding Guitar -album) is not 100% how it was played on the record, but on the other hand it will let you to get creative and figure out the way you wish to play it yourself.
For further inspiration here’s a live version of the song being performed.
Mr. Saaran wrote me and asked what I think about having too much reverb or delay.
Like in life, it’s all about the balance. How much effects, reverb or delay you want depends what you’re after. You want that in your face punchy sound or wish to go out of this world and all over the space with your guitar? Too much delay or reverb can be just the thing you need at times. But maybe not all the time!
And how do you get that guitar god like echo delay without getting too messy?
The right amount of delay or reverb is just a matter of your taste. But even more matter of the music and what’s happening there. When it comes to overall mix of music I really like to have in your face kind of mix where Guitar, Bass Drums really sit in the front. But for the contrast I’ll happily go overboard with reverb and delay when the right moment comes.
Try to see delay and reverb as musical instruments. These should blend with the music. What kind of tone and rhythm, length settings will work best? Delay pedals with tap tempo can help you make your delay settings match the music. If you have the tempo set to go along the song tempo, it’s most likely going to fit in there more musically.
Delay and reverb should elevate the music. What kind of visua… I mean aural scenery are you tryint to build?
When we were mixing In Motion album with my old friend Mauro, he started calling me a reverbphobic (as well as treble phobic) as most of the time the rhythm guitars and even lead guitars have only just a little bit of short ambience reverb to give the tone little air and space.
In general I’ve been using longer reverbs with clean guitars and delays with lead guitars. It usually work like this, atleas for me, but of course there are always exceptions.
On the other side, I might want to go crazy with delay or echo. If you listen closely to the mix of Epic (The Way of the Exploding Guitar). It’s generally quite punchy and dry, but there’s an incredible amount of delays and echoes with the lead guitar . Especially in the end. If you only heard the lead guitar + delays isolated you would hear it all. It blends nicely in the overall mix and turns everything more…epic.
When I was mixing the track I actually took Nova Delay and recorded a delay track while tweaking tone and feedback knobs with my fingers. Sort of treating delay like an instrument. When the time comes I can have tons of feedback and go back to more subtle when there’s no need for it. I then even hand adjusted the velocity volume curve for the delay. In my live G-System set up I have an expression pedal to adjust the feedback and mix of delay in my lead guitar preset. I can play busy leads with little echo behind there, but when I want that guitar god moment with long sustained note I can just rock the pedal and smoothly mix in more of that delay!
With mixing music, finding the right balance of dry and effect can be very tricky. It’s good to have some reference recording and to listen to your mixes with well rested ears too.
REVERB AND DELAY TIPS
Reverb and Delay are usually called as effects. For a reason. You might want to treat them as effects. What does this mean? If you have the same effect on all the time, it might become the standard for the ears and it will loose it’s effect. Usually effects are best when they are only used in right spots, giving the right song and or song part the wanted … effect! . For example Listen Zing Zing (The Way of the Exploding Guitar) part at 3:00. The suddenly chords with long reverb and echo gives the overall punchy song a needed change. The musical moment takes you to somewhere else for a while before turns back for hard rock attack! It’s like having ginger while eating sushi. Refreshing your ears!
Try playing with your guitar for a minute or five minutes with tons of delay and/or reverb. Then suddenly cut it out and continue playing totally dry. What a great dramatic shock effect! How can you use this effect in a song?
In general slower tempo music has more space and room for you to fill in with effects. Fast tracks will easily go messy with effects as they are already filled with actually played notes.
When mixing recordings, ambience reverbs are very good for giving the mix more air. But you might not need them live as the room you play probably has a natural ambience or reverb to begin with. Also if you play in a venue that already has a lot of messy echo and space, you might want to skip the reverbs as they will only add extra mess to your tone.
Plate reverb simulations can sound very musical in many places. In old times before digital reverbs, the Plate was the only way to get reverbs. Many classic albums and recordings has plate reverbs. They can sound great and musical!
Listen closely to to some well mixed albums, how reverb / delay has been used with the guitar and other instuments. Try headphones!
Check and listen how your favourite guitarists are using these effects live. Some guitarists to check out: Eric Johnson, Thomas Blug.
This lesson was originally written for Tyler Correl’s website. But now has been moved here. Enjoy improvising!
MELODIC APPROACH TO SOLO IMPROVISATION
When i’m in a creative situation like improvising a solo, I try to go by intuition and not think too logical. Keep ears open, hear the music and let it out!
I’ve found that when improvising or composing melodies, once I’ve gotten the chord changes in my head, melodies usually start to pop out naturally. Important is not to rush right in with the guitar, but to listen to the chordprogression first. Perhaps, when preparing I might play the chords along a loop. Sooner or later I start hearing notes and little pieces of melodic lines inside my head.
THERE IS RHYTHM
I believe in music the first thing is that comes is the rhythm. A stimulating rhythm can really get you to the groove. When the rhythm is driving you, you start hearing how the notes should fall into places.
THERE IS HARMONY (Theory warning!!!)
Then there’s is the harmony. I like to hear and see chords more like scales and modes. If there’s two chords changing, I see it as two keys, scales or modes changing.
I’m a humble guy when it comes to theory but I can tell you that this chord progression comeis with two chords A major (a, #c, e notes) and E minor (e, g, b notes). One bar each. The way these two chords are related, makes it natural to start hearing A mixolydian (a, b, #c, d, e, #f, g) and E ( e, #f, g, a, b, #c, d) dorian modes tonalities changing. Both of these modes belong to D Major scale. Good!
With a little alteration you consider entering the tonal world of Melodic Minor aswell. All you need to do is sharpen the d note. A mixolydian #4 (a, b, #c, #d, e, #f, g)and E melodic minor ( e, #f, g, a, b, #c, #d) would sound slighlty more exotic. But we shall save this exotica to some other time.
Enough with analysis and theories.Shut up, listen, and play yer guitar!
STEP 1: LISTEN
Put the guitar away. Listen to the backing track. A major and E minor chord changing. Listen to it focused and try to come up with melodies. Try to hear the melodies inside your head or if that is hard just sing along the loop.
STEP 3 : WRITE A MINI SOLO
Next it’s good to start exploring and playing around with the motive. I started jamming on the guitar. I tried creating variations of the motive. Playing it different ways and all around the guitar neck. Also ended up writing a mini solo that nicely variates the motive.
STEP 4 : THE IMPROVISATION
By creating this mini solo I now got some soloing ideas. I could treat the ideas freely in longer improvisation. I feel that this mini solo was like a preparation for this longer solo.
I started the improvisation with the motive but soon got away from the written one. Found other spontaneous themes as well. Most of the time I went after what I heard inside my head. But there were few moments where the fingers and guitar took the control.
There was a funny situation, when I suddenly found a trace to a melody that I had written about a half a year ago for one orchestral composition. I revisited the theme (0.30 – 0:40 on the audio track) for a while and then moved on to other things.
If you’re not a master improviser I suggest starting very easy and slow. Playing very little notes and simple stuff is good. Keep the stuff simple. Practice often and you’ll find things will expand and speed up naturally. Speed is definitely not the first thing here. Keep it simple and melodic!
Ears are musicians most important tools. Listen to music that will expand your harmonic world. Get the music inside your head. Very important is to practice the way of getting the music out of your head through your instrument. Great way to begin this is to sing a simple melody (or even just random interval of two notes), then find out how play it on your instrument.
Remember there are no rules, no rights and wrongs in music. No, actually there is one rule: be you and do you own thing!
Here’s a Mr. Fastfinger rhythm guitar lesson / survival tip on Ovelin’s channel. Presented by Mika Tyyskä. It showcases a picking pattern for the riff. The same picking pattern goes well with the main riff from the song Epic (“The way of the exploding Guitar”) as well. For all guitarists and all genres. The way of the striking power chords 1. Down – Down – Up 2. Practice with a metronome
Here’s a Mr. Fastfinger rhythm guitar lesson / survival tip on Ovelin’s channel. Presented by Mika Tyyskä. Practice Heart‘s main rhythm riff is in focus. It showcases a techniques to help your rhythm guitar sound better. For all guitarists and all genres. The way of the striking power chords 1. Palm mute 2. Release the notes / frets 3. Keep the time
Here’s a Mr. Fastfinger rhythm guitar lesson on Ovelin’s channel. Presented by Mika Tyyskä, Awaki-Waki‘s main rhythm riff is in focus. It showcases a technique to help your rhythm guitar playing keep time better: Rolling right hand. Works for all guitarists and all genres. The way of the rolling right hand: respect the rhythm – keep the time – make it tight!