Biggest dead ends in your efforts to play better

Tone Loco

Gold Supporting Member
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4,328
What have been the biggest time wasters you've put yourself through?

Just looking for some PSA type things from people who have been there and done that and wished they hadn't!
:D
 
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1,650
practicing scales and doing finger exercises in patterns. doing anything in patterns really. I believe its one of the worst things you can do and is a poor approach to playing the instrument. Most guitar teachers get you to do these things immediately when learning guitar and its a hard bad habit to break out of.
 

BenoA

Member
Messages
1,787
Biggest dead end: probably lack of focus or continuous effort and noodling too much (lol)! I get home tired after work and working on scales or patterns or exercises bores me after 15 minutes... Then I start noodling or doing nothing special, just playing "da guitar"!

It's funny as I can noodle and noodle or jam over a backing track or loop (thanks god for da looper) but I can concentrate long enough on repeating scales/patterns/sequences...

So I've been stuck around 120 bpm with my alternate picking and must cheat most of the fast runs I play.

And anyway, these days, work is taking like 99% of my energy, so when I get home and get the time to pick up the guitar, it's mostly to free my mind and relax, not too concentrate on something special.

I used to be very frustrated by my lack of technique, but these days, I live OK with it. lol
 

JonR

Member
Messages
15,014
#1 - TGP definitely!

#2 - playing in crap bands for too long. (Crap bands are good to play in for a short time - you learn quite a lot. Puts things into perspective. "Too much f***** perspective" - Nigel Tufnel.)

#3 - too much time spent not actually playing the guitar.
 

Goat Chaser

Member
Messages
27
For me it's definitely information overload, learning one or a hundred things.
Then rushing through it to reach the "end point" where I can play really well even though I haven't properly internalised or learnt what I'm being taught ( I learnt this one about myself today actually ).

Procrastination and lack of focus on what I'm doing and trying to always push the time on the metronome up too.

Not trying to apply what I'm learning is a big one.
 
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1,650
Ive been going back to simplicity lately. I really enjoy straight into the amp with overdrive and a touch of reverb. I feel like it rewards good delicate guitar playing more than using a lot of effects and allows less masking of mistakes. Im currently waiting for tomorrow to roll around though to see if any new Prince of Tones are in stock so I can try one out. :)
 

Tone Loco

Gold Supporting Member
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4,328
I think its useful to ask the opposite question.
Of those you admire (and possibly want to emulate), how did they "make it"?
I agree actually. But it seems like that's the more usual case - at least here I often hear about stuff that has worked for people, but for each of those there are probably at least as many things that didn't and for some reason those don't get a lot of space. Hearing from the guy who finally gave something up in frustration, might be as useful as hearing about what worked for the guy who made it. Can't hurt anyhow.
 
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16,215
Researching gear

GASing for gear

Modifying my gear, i.e. shielding the pickups & controls, and/or re-wiring

Giving advice on gear

Travelling to various places, sometimes taking a whole day, to look at gear

Yes, I am a gear hound. When given a chance to talk about gear, I usually go on until the other person gets bored.
 
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Say what you will, but patterns are the devil in making music. Its just a poor mindframe for guitar and promotes thinking of the instrument in non musical ways. I can almost always pick out a guitarist who funs these finger exercises because they play in that way. Even melodic lines come off as robotic exercises. I can hear it and feel it.
 
Messages
1,650
Say what you will, but patterns are the devil in making music. Its just a poor mindframe for guitar and promotes thinking of the instrument in non musical ways. I can almost always pick out a guitarist who funs these finger exercises because they play in that way. Even melodic lines come off as robotic exercises. I can hear it and feel it.

Im not trying to give the impression that playing patters WILL ABSOLUTELY make you sound this way. Just that 9 out of 10 times it does. A lot of musicians with good ears, ideas, and rhythm can get past this and these exercises may be beneficial for them, however it is usually poor advice
 




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