A question for the experienced.......

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Mooncusser, May 20, 2006.


  1. Mooncusser

    Mooncusser Member

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    Hey all,

    I have a question, but it is hard to explain.
    Learning how to play the guitar is a very dynamic hurdle, not unlike boxing or learning ballet for lack of a better comparison.
    Both skills need tons of practice and honing, but (as a former boxer) all of a sudden there comes a time where you realize that you have become pretty proficient in what you do, and you can always learn more everyday until you pass away, but the fundementals and hurdle has been crossed.
    my question is..
    When did that occur for you, and when did you realize it?
    I ask this as a very dedicated learning guitarist.
    Thank you for your time and thoughts,
    Mass
     
  2. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Armchair Rocket Scientist Graffiti Existentialist Gold Supporting Member

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    For me, it was when I knew I had developed my own voice & style. That took y-e-a-r-s, though.
     
  3. jamminoutloud1

    jamminoutloud1 Supporting Member

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    Couldn't of said it better myself.
     
  4. StevenA

    StevenA Member

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    Excellent question,

    One that I hoped Guitar Player magazine would ask in it's crummy interviews
    especially Al Dmeola..."well when I was 12 I started my first garage band, then I got a call from Chick." What?!

    Anyway, after 2 years of classical guitar studies I was able to play Roundabout, The Clap, Blackbird pretty easily. It was then that I knew I had developed at least something.

    Steven
     
  5. lhallam

    lhallam Member

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    There is the knowledge of a technique, then the application and then the proficiency. For example the speed and clarity in which one employs a technique.

    There are so many fundamentals and techniques that I still haven't mastered.

    Two hand tapping, sweeping, rasgueado, classical gtr tremolo, two note bends, Chet Atkins. AHHHH - I'd better go practice. :eek:

    I suppose I crossed a threshold when I was playing full time and getting call backs.
     
  6. spencerbk

    spencerbk Member

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    Early on I thought I'd passed that threshold when I learned Hot for Teacher - then I tried to play it in front of other people at an audition, and realized I hadn't mastered anything at all! I still can't play that song 15 years later.

    I think my moment came when things started to go haywire at a rehearsal and my heart and fingers took over and I improvised something better than the licks I was planning to play. I've been there a few times since - if I could capture that feeling in a bottle I'd be the happiest player around.
     
  7. Mooncusser

    Mooncusser Member

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    great thread y'all, keep it comming...believe it or not, I am learning alot from what you have to say, Mass
     
  8. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Supporting Member

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    I've got a long way to go... I don't know what rasgueado means! :crazyguy
     
  9. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    I look at it this way.

    Initially I started playing guitar.

    Then I became a guitar player.
    Then I started to feel comfortable calling myself a musician.
    Now I just look at it as art. Once you grasp that concept you will see all the similarities in all art forms, the concepts are the same, just a different medium.

    I can't help you with a timeline but I have been at this for 25 years now.

    I wish you were local cause I LOVE boxing.
     
  10. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    It seems to happen to me every couple years now, at which point I either 'raise the bar' or turn my attention to a whole other vocabulary of playing.
     
  11. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Been 'playing' guitar for 47 yrs. Hold my own and feel OK with where I am? Recently. It comes and it goes, but it was only about 7 yrs ago that I got into it seriously (after career and kids) and only since playing in the band I've wanted to play in forever (now ~6 months), and rehearsing in the band 2X/wk do I feel that a lot is coming together. Been a long time comin'..............

    And so very far to go........

    And so little time left....... :eek:

    jon
     
  12. hemlock

    hemlock Guest

    What everyone else said. Only thing I would add is that it was a real breakthrough for me when I began to understand when not to play.
     
  13. dpote

    dpote Member

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    Jon, you put in words exactly what I'm going through. I have always had a tough time playing. Something always seemed to get in the way. But now I'm in the band I've always wanted to be in, and I'm learning so much. What did it for me is this band plays styles I would have never tried on my own, like John Mayer's No Such Thing. I cried when I finally got that down, and had that moment where I said "I can play this guitar thinggy."
    I only recently found The Gear Page, and in the two weeks I've been reading, I feel my playing has improved. Sounds silly, I know, but you guys and gals inspire. Thank you.

    Be safe,
    Dave
     
  14. majorledhead

    majorledhead Member

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    I think you have to have a goal on what level you would like to be on. For me I wanted to be able to improvise with feel and tone like the heros of old. Got to a point were I was able to jam for hours and hours without missing a note but realized I was only playing for myself. Since I've been more song orientated, trying to sing and play and being abit more listener friendly. Most of the technical wizardey is over most peoples heads anyway. One of the best compliments I ever got was from a guy that worked the nashville thing for 10 years, when he said, " you just made every guitar player I ever played with seem like an asshole". I don't think it was my playing, but more my attitude. ( some screamin srv licks might of helped ) summery : if you don't have a goal, how will you know when you get there.
     
  15. gennation

    gennation Member

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    I think recording helped me put a lot in perspective.

    But, then after recording for so long, alone basically, I'm ready to get with some proficient musicians and work some things out and see what happens there.

    And, this year I've set most of my recording aside to work on technique, styles (jazz, indo, fusion, etc...), working with a metronome, reading music again, writing things down, working on some modal changes, and everything else that I've neglected for way to long.

    I've really been doing this religiously too, for almost 6 months. I've realized I'm not a natural at a lot of stuff, but if a song calls for something and I hear a part...that's when I believe I play my best, not just blowing through stuff.

    As long as your dedicated you'll have at least some level of a goal,,,don't lose sight of it.
     
  16. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    For me, sort of a combination of the views expressed by Old Tele man and serious poo. If you can go out to jams, take your lumps, get in some licks and (most importantly), go back for more, than in a very real sense, you're at another level. For me also, there was this realization over time that I have a sound and a feel that's me, no matter what I'm playing or how well. You don't search as hard for a musical identity once you realize you have one.

    Nearly 40 years later, I'm even more of a neophyte and learner than ever before. That stance is by choice. I learn more when I concentrate on what I don't know. But I did reach this point several years back, when I realized there's a time to turn the mind off, forget about succeeding or losing, and just sing it out. With your voice, with your hands, with whatever you've got. Use it all. Didn't have the confidence to do that as a beginner.
     
  17. michael patrick

    michael patrick Supporting Member

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    I had never played country before, but somehow I wound up auditioning for and getting a gig with a country cover band. I did the audition on a Wednesday, and played the first gig two days later on Friday night. I didn't have much time to learn material, which is just as well since they only had recordings of about a third of the set list to give me to listen to...

    We played month-long engagements at places like Moose lodges and Eagles clubs. Play four sets every Friday and Saturday night, plus the occasional Sunday afternoon matinee. I learned the majority of the material by standing next to the bass player while he called out the chords. He'd say "A," and it was up to me to figure out on the fly whether it was supposed to be a major, minor, seventh, or whatever.

    So we get to around our third month, and we play a place that happened to have a lot of the songs in our set list on the jukebox. During breaks I would go stand by it and listen for how the songs were supposed to be played. I was surprised at how close I had gotten with most of the tunes, including anticipating some of the fills and bass runs, etc. That's when I knew I had gotten to a point of being more than just a guitar player, I was a musician...
     
  18. mavrick10_2000

    mavrick10_2000 Member

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    I think it means to "Rake" which is a strum technique used with Flamenco style.
     

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