Silence Is Golden (Guitar Lesson)


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Mark Lincoln

Silence Is Golden

Mark discusses silence in music and how it can transform a piece. Additionally, he explains how to use silence effectively in your playing.

Taught by Mark Lincoln in Guitar Performance seriesLength: 16:40Difficulty: 1.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (01:00) Performance Please enjoy this short performance opening!
Chapter 2: (02:58) Introduction
Review
- Warm up the body.
- Single note hum.
- Three note hum.
- Hum "me-me-me-me" to "mah-mah-mah-mah" to "me-ma-me-ma-me." Wake up the breath with "sah-sah-sah" etc. long and sustained then five times staccato.
- "Sah" in five note descending scales, then five note ascending scales.
- Work these scales faster and faster, then louder and louder.
- Practice singing along with rhythms that we’ve been working on in the last few lessons. Practice humming single notes first. Then, as you feel more warmed up, sing a melody line that works well with the chords.
Silence in combination with sound along with a mix of other techniques (if you can call silence a technique) can be a very effective way to bring dynamics and drama into your playing and performing. The absence of strumming, or the use of silence in between strums, can help to build the synthesis of polar opposites into the composition that you are attempting to construct and make your song more palatable to the ear. Today, we’ll talk about two very effective techniques that will help to bring silence into your playing.
Chapter 3: (03:52) Stops Stops
“Stops” are just what they sound like: stopping or dubbing multiple strings on the guitar with the goal of muting or eliminating sound. Stops are often used to create a dynamic change from loudness to softness (or silence as it were) and can help to make a quick and often unexpected change in the feel of the song.

Let’s take a couple of chords and “explore” the concept of stops as they occur naturally in the song environment:

Let’s use the chords A, G, D, C and E. Here they are in case you need a little reminder:

A major
E_0_
B_2_
G_2_
D_2_
A_0_
E_X_

G major
E_3_
B_0_
G_0_
D_0_
A_2_
E_3_

D major
E_2_
B_3_
G_2_
D_0_
A_X_
E_X_

C major
E_0_
B_1_
G_0_
D_2_
A_3_
E_X_

E major
E_0_
B_0_
G_1_
D_2_
A_2_
E_0_

Get a feel for these chords and watch me in the video as well for how to form these chords. If you need to review my Intro to Guitar series, please do so now.
Chapter 4: (01:27) Exercise 1 Exercise 1
Play the chords given above using the strum on the first chord (A) then on the second (G) and third (D) chords. Strike the tonic at the beginning of each strum. The tonic is usually the lowest note in the chord. Play the chords in this order A, G, D, A, G, D, C, D, E then stop!!! Watch me in the video for more on how to make this technique work for you and add zing to your performance. You should wait at least a couple of seconds before playing your next set of chords or you can fill in the gap with singing!
Chapter 5: (01:03) Exercise 2 Exercise 2
Use the same format described above and use the stop technique. This time though, after your stop, sing (maybe like I am in the video, hmmmm?) and fill in the silence. Try to keep your stop nice and crisp and obvious. I am boldfacing the word "obvious," because it is of the utmost importance that you make your stops crisp and clear and that there is no mistake that you are stopping intentionally. Don't stop just because you dropped your pick or forgot the words of the song. The stop is a shift in dynamics and hence it must be made perfectly clear to your listeners that stopping is your primary intention. You can really use this technique to create a dramatic shift in the overall feel of the song, which can make the song more interesting to you and your listeners.
Chapter 6: (06:22) Stalls The Stall
A stall is a type of stop but could be differentiated by allowing a chord to ring out for an extended period of time. So even though you are stopping, in a sense, you are filling the gap with the sound of a chord resonating. In this next exercise, we'll use the chords G, D/F#, F, C, Ebmaj7/G. Here's what the chords (we haven't covered thus far in this lesson) should look like:

D/F#
E_X_
B_3_
G_2_
D_0_
A_X_
E_2_

F major
E_1_
B_1_
G_2_
D_3_
A_3_
E_1_

Ebmaj7/G
E_3_
B_3_
G_3_
D_5_
A_6_
E_3_

Watch me carefully in the video for insight on how to use the stall to create diversity and drama in your playing. You can also use stops and stalls in combination with the voice to create a rich tapestry of musical loveliness.

Exercise 2
Try using stalls with any type of chord progression. Focus on creating small amounts of silence that you can leave open or fill with singing.

Exercise 3
Use both stops and stalls with a new combination of chords. Pay close attention to the possible drama that you can create with the use of these techniques and the power of silence in between.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


djwinter999djwinter999 replied on June 28th, 2009

great singing

kent522kent522 replied on May 3rd, 2009

23 (hint, hint)

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on February 19th, 2009

Nothing is easy! M

schottschott replied on February 19th, 2009

lesson about nothing, reminds me of seinfeld

SylviaSylvia replied on February 18th, 2009

Aimee! Thanks for playing that.... now gimme the tab!!

Guitar Performance

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Performing live or in a studio situation is a goal of many aspiring guitarists. Vocal training and the ability to sing and play at the same time are skills that will help in this endeavor.



Lesson 1

Introduction to Singing

Mark introduces you to the wonderful world of singing.

Length: 15:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Vocal Exercises

Mark Lincoln guides you through stretches and vocal exercises to warm up the voice.

Length: 23:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Vocal Vibrato

Mark continues to discuss vocal warm-ups and exercises. Then, he moves on to explain vibrato.

Length: 23:42 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Warming the Breath

Mark covers some singing terms and teaches an exercise that is used to "warm the breath."

Length: 19:10 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Singing and Guitar

Mark Lincoln talks more about vocal exercise and warm-up. Then, he moves on to discuss singing and playing at the same time.

Length: 26:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

Singing Exercises

Mark Lincoln provides more singing exercises to practice while playing your guitar.

Length: 26:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Singing and Playing Revisited

Mark returns to singing and playing. Mark teaches proper form while singing and playing, cognitive exercises, and chord progression basics.

Length: 17:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Anatomy and Dynamics

Mark Lincoln discusses song dynamics and the anatomy of songs. He also explains more about singing and playing.

Length: 23:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Rhythm in Music

Mark Lincoln explains how rhythm is used in music.

Length: 15:16 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Technique Applied

Mark Lincoln applies singing and playing techniques to the Doors song "Riders on the Storm."

Length: 17:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

Palm Muting and Separation

In lesson 11 of his performance series, Mark discusses the palm muting technique and how to separate your singing from your playing.

Length: 23:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

Picking Vs. Strumming

Mark discusses how alternating between arpeggios and strummed chords can add contrast and flair to your music.

Length: 15:02 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Silence Is Golden

Mark discusses silence in music and how it can transform a piece. Additionally, he explains how to use silence effectively in your playing.

Length: 16:40 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 14

Warm-up and Practice

In this lesson, Mark Lincoln talks more about warming up your voice and walks you through a few exercises that will aid this process.

Length: 16:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

Preparations for Playing Live

Mark provides a lecture on items you should do and think about to become a proficient live player.

Length: 20:57 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Voice and Guitar

In this lesson, Mark delves into the concept of combining both your voice and guitar into one neat little package you can deliver to your listener.

Length: 21:47 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

A Day in the Life

Mark Brings us Lesson 17 today to explain the preparation that goes into a performance. Mark tracks back up to 36 hours in advance, and shows us some routines to prepare for a great show.

Length: 19:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

The Dynamics of a Song

In this lesson, Mark teaches all of the diverse parts to a song with regards to dynamics.

Length: 20:17 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

Proper Breathing Routines

In this episode, Mark talks about proper breathing techniques and routines. He gives us eight points to work off of when singing and playing together.

Length: 23:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 20

Play Along with Mark Lincoln

Mark Lincoln brings us a great play along opportunity. Mark provides lyrics as well as the chord progression for this play along. He also breaks down key elements such as palm muting, hammer-ons, bending,...

Length: 24:06 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 21

Palm Muting Technique

Lesson 21 is a repeat of lesson 20's content only with a whole new set of chords and techniques. The"chords de jour" will be a little simpler than lesson 20's and will also include a much more in depth...

Length: 20:05 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only

About Mark Lincoln View Full Biography Mark Lincoln was born in S. California but was raised near Portland Oregon in a town called Beaverton. When he was twelve years old, he began his journey into the realm of the creative by composing poetry and was later published in a journal called "In Dappled Sunlight." He wrote for four years until his older sister blessed him with his first guitar, an old beat-up nylon stringed classical guitar. Mark played that guitar for five years, continuing to compose his own lyrics and starting the process of matching his own words with chords that he was learning on the guitar. He learned to play chords from his friends and from music books that he both bought and borrowed. Mark cited his four biggest influences, at that point at least, as The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, The Rolling Stones.

Mark cites his most current influences as Radiohead, U2, older music by REM, and Peter Gabriel amongst others. He performs with two acoustic guitars, one being a six-string M-36 Martin with a three-pieced back for increased bass response, and a Guild Twelve-string which is his most recent acquisition. Mark is fond of saying that the twelve-string guitar is better because you get two guitars for the price of one, but he still plays his Martin equally as much and with the same passion.

Mark ended up in Fort Collins Colorado where he currently lives, works as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and continues to write, teach and perform music. He currently performs with a group called "Black Nelson" as well as with a number of other seasoned professional musicians including his cousin David, a virtuoso lead-guitar player. Mark has performed in many of the smaller venues in Denver and Boulder, as well as some of the larger ones including the Fox Theatre, The Boulder Theatre, Herman's Hideaway, and also at The Soiled Dove where he opened for Jefferson Starship as a soloist. Some of Mark's originals are also available for your listening pleasure on MySpace.

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