Author Topic: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge  (Read 3740 times)

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Offline Skeever

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Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« on: February 02, 2021, 07:57:39 AM »
Here's an idea I had recently, which came from me wanting to really try and get better at guitar player than I currently am...

Once a week, we'll set a challenge to learn some bit or piece of a Dream Theater or DT-related song. This can be any instrument, and my intent is that the challenge can be broad enough to accommodate multiple layers of player. For example, a challenge will always be something accommodating like "Play any riff or part of the Glass Prison", and never as focused as "Play the Arpeggios in the intro of The Glass Prison". The idea is, there is surely something you could learn or play from most DT songs, even if it is not the hardest thing.

For the first few weeks, I thought we could keep it broad, simply "Learn Any Part of Any DT Song" . Make submissions each Monday. If people decide to upload a video of themselves playing the part or song, that would make it extra fun. I look forward to seeing everyone's submissions, and please feel free to ask questions if anything about this sounds vague or doesn't make sense. :biggrin:

Week 1
Skeever - Surrounded Solo
JiM-Xtreme - As I Am bass intro and verse
Vmadera00 - The Astonishing (A Savior in the Square, I think?)
Fiery Winds - Finally Free Acoustic
nikatapi - At Wit's End riff

Week 2
JiM-Xtreme - Pale Blue Dot intro
Fiery Winds - Erotomania Solo
Skeever - Learning to Live Solo
nikatapi - Overture 1928 solo
Vmadera00 - Panic Attack riff

Week 3
JiM-Xtreme - Ytse Jam
Skeever - Learning to Live Solo
Fiery Winds - Erotomania Solo 2
nikatapi - Barstool Warrior

Week 4
JiM-Xtreme - The Dance of Eternity
Skeever - 6:00 Verse
Vmadera00 - In The Presence of Enemies
Elite - The Count of Tuscany

Week 5
JiM-Xtreme - Octavarium
Vmadera00 - Surrender To Reason
Fiery Winds - Bridges in the Sky
nattmorker - Regression

Week 6
JiM-Xtreme - Pale Blue Dot
wolfking - Constant Motion solo
wolfking - The Ministry of Lost Souls solo
Skeever - Erotomania Solo 2
Fiery Winds - Stream of Consciousness
« Last Edit: March 17, 2021, 07:53:08 AM by Skeever »

Offline JiM-Xtreme

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2021, 01:14:37 PM »
I'll give this a go!  :tup

I've been playing bass since 2004 and for the vast majority of that time, JM's playing has been a huge influence on me. However, since I'm not in a band currently I am quite out of practice these days. This could be a great thing to motivate me and really get me back into it.

I appreciate you making the first week's challenge nice and open to ease us in! Confident I will have something to upload and share before your deadline  :tup

Offline Vmadera00

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2021, 01:20:40 PM »
I'm down. This sounds fun  :tup

I already know some DT stuff, but I will try to challenge myself and learn something new.

Note: This might be a thread for the musician section.

Offline Skeever

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2021, 01:26:03 PM »
Glad to see some interest! I'll definitely upload something over the weekend - remember, don't feel pressure to learn a full song or anything particularly difficult, just go at your own speed and how much or little feels comfortable for you! I'm personally going to work on just short 8-bar lead part from a DT song.

Note: This might be a thread for the musician section.

I did think of that, but I decided against it because I would like it to be really focused on Dream Theater's music as sort of the thing that makes the weekly challenge work. This way it might also reach even very casual players who are fans of the band and want to try something new, even if they're the kind of people who don't usually visit Musicians.

Offline nattmorker

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2021, 10:21:20 AM »
This sounds fun and interesting, I will definitely give it a try!

Offline RaiseTheKnife

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2021, 09:46:04 PM »
I demand Trial by Combat! And I select DT89 as my champion to represent me!

Offline Vmadera00

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2021, 05:26:13 PM »
My challenge for this week I kept it simple and easy(not a lot of time to practice). Learned something from TA. Recorded a video but came out sloppy. Will try to record again tomorrow.

 :metal

Offline Skeever

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2021, 06:19:14 AM »
My challenge for this week I kept it simple and easy(not a lot of time to practice). Learned something from TA. Recorded a video but came out sloppy. Will try to record again tomorrow.

 :metal

Don't get too hung up on the video part - I'm sure getting a decent video and whatnot will come more naturally as the weeks of posting progress...

About to record mine.

Offline Skeever

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2021, 07:06:22 AM »
OK, here goes.

For week one, I decided to tackled to the solo of one of my favorite songs: Surrounded. The solo sounds faster than it is (because of the delay part) and is really more like a riff on the high strings, so it was the perfect place for me to start with the idea of playing lead guitar. The last part is still pretty hard, just because even after a week of practicing it every day I don't really have the stretches down perfect. But I'm glad to at least have things done at-speed, even if the solo was a bit sloppy:

https://youtu.be/rDV3vbaE23g

For next week's challenge - feel free to post some ideas if you have them. But while we're still getting started, I'm inclined to keep this open ended at least for the first few rounds.

Offline Architeuthis

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2021, 09:43:30 AM »
Nice job!  :tup
You can do a lot in a lifetime if you don't burn out too fast, you can make the most of the distance, first you need endurance first you've got to last....... NP

Offline JiM-Xtreme

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2021, 10:52:25 AM »
Great job Skeever, very tidy!  :tup

Here's my submission... The Intro and 1st Verse of As I Am: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy4zGyEbUUU&ab_channel=JiM-Xtreme

I didn't want to get too crazy the first week as I'm a bit out of practice, but no doubt as the weeks go by my playing, mixing and video editing will steadily improve. But this round is just meant to be the warm-up, right?  ;)

Hope you guys enjoy, and I look forward to seeing what the rest of you can do!

Offline Skeever

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2021, 11:29:57 AM »
Great job Skeever, very tidy!  :tup

Here's my submission... The Intro and 1st Verse of As I Am: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy4zGyEbUUU&ab_channel=JiM-Xtreme

I didn't want to get too crazy the first week as I'm a bit out of practice, but no doubt as the weeks go by my playing, mixing and video editing will steadily improve. But this round is just meant to be the warm-up, right?  ;)

Hope you guys enjoy, and I look forward to seeing what the rest of you can do!

Awesome dude! Those harmonics sound great. And yeah, what you did is perfect for this. If people want to get fancy with the videos, that's fine, but the goal is to practice our instruments, not our video editing skills, right?  ;D

Again, awesome job  :metal

Offline JiM-Xtreme

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2021, 12:31:41 PM »

Awesome dude! Those harmonics sound great. And yeah, what you did is perfect for this. If people want to get fancy with the videos, that's fine, but the goal is to practice our instruments, not our video editing skills, right?  ;D

Again, awesome job  :metal

Thanks man! And I 100% agree, I donít take the video editing side of things that seriously anyway. I just like messing around with captions and zooms :o

Offline Architeuthis

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2021, 01:48:05 PM »
Great job on the bass Jim!  :tup
You can do a lot in a lifetime if you don't burn out too fast, you can make the most of the distance, first you need endurance first you've got to last....... NP

Offline Vmadera00

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2021, 03:58:32 PM »
Great job guys! Surrounded is pretty awesome, and that bass on AIA sounds great.

Alright, here is my video. I went for some easy and melodic from TA. Didn't get a chance to rerecord so it's the sloppy video from yesterday.

https://youtu.be/tquedaIj5IA

On to next week  :metal

Offline Skeever

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2021, 05:01:03 PM »
Great job guys! Surrounded is pretty awesome, and that bass on AIA sounds great.

Alright, here is my video. I went for some easy and melodic from TA. Didn't get a chance to rerecord so it's the sloppy video from yesterday.

https://youtu.be/tquedaIj5IA

On to next week  :metal

Excellent job! I thought I would be the only one to show up with single coils heh.

That also remind me of a nice part that would be good level for me to try too, maybe I'll take a crack at it in a future challenge.

Offline Vmadera00

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2021, 05:51:50 PM »
It's the only single coil guitar I have, but you'll see more of my strat. Though for next week I have something else in mind  :angel:

It's an 89' strat, I couldn't believe I found it for the price I did and in such good condition.

Offline Fiery Winds

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2021, 07:01:30 PM »
Great job everyone, I look forward to hearing more of your playing in the coming weeks!

I had meant to record a fresh take before the deadline tonight, but I'll go ahead and toss up a slightly older clip (next week my hair will be considerably longer :lol ).

It's a little sloppy at times and only phone audio, but I didn't want to miss out on the first week.

Finally Free (Acoustic intro)

Offline fischermasamune

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2021, 08:20:06 PM »
Cool idea, I enjoyed the partial covers.

Offline Vmadera00

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2021, 06:13:27 AM »
Great job everyone, I look forward to hearing more of your playing in the coming weeks!

I had meant to record a fresh take before the deadline tonight, but I'll go ahead and toss up a slightly older clip (next week my hair will be considerably longer :lol ).

It's a little sloppy at times and only phone audio, but I didn't want to miss out on the first week.

Finally Free (Acoustic intro)

Really cool!

Offline nikatapi

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2021, 07:01:21 AM »
Awesome stuff people, keep it coming.

Here's my attempt at one of the (in my opinion) most difficult riffs to get up to speed, from At Wit's End, along with a few mistakes and awkward face expressions included  :lol

https://youtu.be/QLGVYY9xvdY

Offline Skeever

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2021, 10:29:19 AM »
@Fiery Winds and @nikatapi - great stuff! FW's Finally Free intro had me thinking I might tackle the same thing eventually. As for At Wit's End, is that in standard?

I've added everyone's clips to the first post, and will continue to do so as the weeks progress.

For now, hearing no other advice, let's just keep it open-ended. As a bonus challenge, the only thing I will say is, consider tackling a part that might just be a wee bit too fast for you, and posting a little bit about what you did to get the part up to speed (or not).

Week Two Commences... NOW!

Please submit by 2/15.

Offline nikatapi

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2021, 03:34:46 PM »
As for At Wit's End, is that in standard?

That's in D standard tuning. I've not played it as it's on the album as i can't keep up with the alternate picking, but i've noticed that live JP also plays this part a little differently.

Offline nobloodyname

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2021, 11:37:44 PM »
What a lovely idea this is! Enjoyed all those videos.

Skeever, at the time of writing, the links for the Vmadera00's and Fiery Winds' videos are both the same in the main post.
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Offline RaiseTheKnife

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2021, 05:19:37 PM »
Killer job, Nikatabi!  Are you actually left-handed, or was the camera reversing the picture?

Offline Elite

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2021, 12:02:08 AM »
Ooh, this is fun! I'll join in later, but I missed this thread.
Hey dude slow the fuck down so we can finish together at the same time.  :biggrin:
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Offline nikatapi

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2021, 12:42:06 AM »
Killer job, Nikatapi!  Are you actually left-handed, or was the camera reversing the picture?

Wow thanks so much!
Yeah that's a camera thing unfortunately, took the video with my cellphone.

Offline Volante99

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2021, 11:19:21 AM »
Oooh this sounds fun! Iíve been working on a few solo sections myself, Iíll upload when I have it pinned down. FINALLY I can show my DT playing to people who can actually appreciate  :laugh:

Offline Kotowboy

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2021, 01:17:00 PM »
I could probably drum one of the first 4 songs off Octavarium :p

They're all in 4/4 or 6/8

Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2021, 10:02:47 AM »
Great job everyone, I look forward to hearing more of your playing in the coming weeks!

I had meant to record a fresh take before the deadline tonight, but I'll go ahead and toss up a slightly older clip (next week my hair will be considerably longer :lol ).

It's a little sloppy at times and only phone audio, but I didn't want to miss out on the first week.

Finally Free (Acoustic intro)


That was fucking sweet, man  :tup

Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2021, 10:07:40 AM »
Awesome stuff people, keep it coming.

Here's my attempt at one of the (in my opinion) most difficult riffs to get up to speed, from At Wit's End, along with a few mistakes and awkward face expressions included  :lol

https://youtu.be/QLGVYY9xvdY


That riff is absurd and hard to play in time at tempo, but you definitely did it justice  :metal   The facial expressions are like bonus material  :lol   :tup

Offline JiM-Xtreme

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2021, 10:29:34 AM »
Tough one for me this week! In the spirit of the challenge, I initially tried to get this one "wee bit too fast" part that I had never quite been able to play previously up to speed, and was hoping I would maybe be able to get there in time to record today.

When I had my first session towards the beginning of the week, the fastest I could play it was 30% slower than the recorded tempo, so I wasn't feeling too optimistic. But then, this gradually increased to 25% and then 20% as the days went by and by Thursday, I could play it up to just 5% slower than the recording, although slightly sloppily. Yesterday, I had a go at playing at full speed... but unfortunately it still felt just too fast for me, and it was certainly not good enough for me to be happy presenting it to you guys.

But I had a "fallback" idea in my mind, so when I sat down to record today and it became clear my first idea wasn't going to work out, I started doing that instead... but that also didn't work out, as I just couldn't get the right tone and technique down. So I started to panic a bit...!

But eventually I was able to lay something down, this was a part I learnt relatively recently:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTvLAxu0CxM&ab_channel=JiM-Xtreme

I hope you guys enjoy it. My playing today is somewhat below my usual standards (if it weren't for the fact that we are doing this weekly challenge, I probably would have scrapped today's takes and come back to it another day) but in the spirit of the challenge it was important to me that I put something out there, so here it is!

Unless anyone has any ideas for a "theme" for next week's entry (which I am totally open to), then as far as I am concerned my first idea will roll over into next week... so we'll see if I can manage it by then  :D

I must say I am really grateful to Skeever for starting this challenge. I had been out of practice for a while before this started but this has got me right back into the habit, and the fact that I can feel myself getting slightly better each time I sit down to play something is really exciting to me.

So I hope this can continue for a while, and I look forward to seeing what you guys bring to the party this week  :metal

Offline Architeuthis

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2021, 10:46:03 AM »
Great job everyone, I look forward to hearing more of your playing in the coming weeks!

I had meant to record a fresh take before the deadline tonight, but I'll go ahead and toss up a slightly older clip (next week my hair will be considerably longer :lol ).

It's a little sloppy at times and only phone audio, but I didn't want to miss out on the first week.

Finally Free (Acoustic intro)


That was fucking sweet, man  :tup
Heck yeah, dead-on accurate!  :tup
You can do a lot in a lifetime if you don't burn out too fast, you can make the most of the distance, first you need endurance first you've got to last....... NP

Offline Vmadera00

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2021, 03:30:57 PM »
I must say I am really grateful to Skeever for starting this challenge. I had been out of practice for a while before this started but this has got me right back into the habit, and the fact that I can feel myself getting slightly better each time I sit down to play something is really exciting to me.

So I hope this can continue for a while, and I look forward to seeing what you guys bring to the party this week  :metal

Good job! And I second the statement above, really grateful for this challenge, it's making me want to practice instead of just doodling around with the guitar.

I'll work on my video tomorrow

Offline Fiery Winds

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Re: Dream Theater - Weekly Musicians Challenge
« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2021, 04:58:23 PM »

That was fucking sweet, man  :tup
Heck yeah, dead-on accurate!  :tup

Thanks!  :D

Great job on PBD, JiM-Xtreme, that's one of my favorite parts of that track and you killed it  :tup I certainly echo your sentiments that it's gotten me out of a rut of not playing as much as I used to. I've also got a couple parts that proved a bit too ambitious for one week, and this challenge has gotten me to actually set out to improve a bit more methodically.

For this week, I tried to tackle the "easy" solo from Erotomania. I isolated each of the fast runs (5-7 notes) and focused on getting them clean at 70% BPM and slowly working my way up. Not quite as polished as I would like, but way better than it was a week ago!

https://youtu.be/9r4P3NaSkNU