Magazines/books/transcriptions: How much do you have...and you'll never actually learn any of it?

Jazzandmore

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13,712
Reorganizing new music room. Shaking my head and laughing at myself for my youthful confidence and lack of understanding. And middle age seriousness and lack of understanding. Books, magazines, transcriptions, stuff I told myself "man as I get better I'm gonna learn this and this, really dig into this stuff!"

Ha ha, it's never going to happen. Just like anybody really good/very good at their profession, time, passion and talent all play a huge part. Music is no different. Finally facing the fact that I never did have the time to really spend playing guitar a lot. My passion is not all consuming, and seriously, I have little talent :(. (Did take lessons for nearly 10 years in jazz...I'm not incompetent, but I have no doubt many good high school jazz band kids would crush my skills :).

On the flip side, now that I've given up any illusions of actually being really good, I can just enjoy chasing and learning things slower and continue to be a gear freak and having fun making noises, and yes GASSING!

Anybody else got a lot of material, but realize you are never going to scratch the surface of it?
 

JCM 800

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6,614
I have at least 4 huge plastic storage bins of guitar magazines and books in the attic. I don't think I'll be going up there to get anything to work on soon.
 

townsend

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1,603
Yes. Tons of it. I have been down sizing for several years now, still keeping some, and still not learning even that more limited amount of stuff! As George Carlin used to say, Americans are obsessed with STUFF, and we got too much STUFF, etc.
 

Dave2512

Member
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5,795
I had a couple decades of guitar mags that I sold on CL a few years ago. Now that net tabs/music is plentiful I can't give away the huge stash of books I have. Mid summer I put about 200 books, a good chunk with cd backing tracks, on CL for $150 and didn't get one bite. I don't look at that stuff anymore. If I can't recall it from memory or hack through it I grab a tab OL.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
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25,044
A year or so ago, I went through all the magazines that had transcriptions and cut out the ones I was actually interested in and threw away the rest of the magazines. That freed up a lot of space. Only a small portion of even that is applicable at any given time to my band (which does instrumental covers), but if I've already paid for the music along with a couple of hours of reading enjoyment, why not hold on to it?
 

aiq

Silver Supporting Member
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12,551
My first couple of months of teaching school I tried to do everything. A seasoned teacher, thank you Lucy Jackson, took me aside and set me straight. The materials are resources and one picks and chooses.

I do this with music education resources as well. Pick and choose. Come back to it later. Or not.

This method stopped me from being frustrated and feeling like a failure for not "finishing" and enabled me to actually use the materials more.

Edit: I would also say don't hesitate to pick someting up if it looks intriguing. I bought a used GP for a Pat Martino thing and was surprised by a John Scofield transcription of Miles' first two choruses of So What from KOB. I played variations of that in my DC trio for five years.
 

ZeyerGTR

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4,243
I got fed up keeping tons of old magazines, so what I did was just cut out lessons that looked interesting and I keep them in a file folder. I have actually gone through and done a couple of them. Every few months when I need a break from my regular practice routine I'll leaf through them and pick one out. I doubt I'll ever get through them all, but that's not really the point. I have quite a few books I haven't used much, though. Bigger time commitment. I've tried to get through "Sight Read Any Rhythm Instantly" twice now, and I think I made it to chapter 3 both times then quit and never went back... I'm not doing a lot of reading these days so it's hard to keep up with it and prioritize vs. other practice.
 

GMGM

Member
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1,490
I've got more than 25 years worth of guitar magazines, and just moved into a new house. I keep telling myself that I need to sort them all, or scan them to PDF, or download a giant 'torrent' full of someone else's scans (after I abandon my morals and sell my soul to become an internet thief).

The thought of selling, trading, giving away just makes my skin itch. It it is inevitably way more time and frustration than it's worth. I don't want strangers coming up to my garage to sort through them, but I don't want to meet them in a Best Buy parking lot either. Unfortunately, all of my friends are too smart to take them from me, lol.

So what do you guys do with them, when you're done with 'em?
 

stevieboy

Clouds yell at me
Gold Supporting Member
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39,218
I've overbought on the tutorials, mostly downloads or web access, but I do often enough use one or another of them that I don't feel too bad. Long as I'm doing something and moving forward.

I saw some tutorial the other day, maybe on youtube, I don't remember who it was exactly, someone famous I think. But he said something that I have thought in the past--if you get one or two things out of any tutorial that really makes its way into your playing on an ongoing basis, you've gotten a lot out of it.

Guitar magazines? I guess I've saved them, they're around somewhere, but I don't think there's much chance that I'll ever go through them. And I don't even care. They had a greater importance before the net came along, and I think that's when I got in the habit of not tossing them.
 

ksandvik

Member
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6,328
Indeed, pick and choose. And learn one thing inside out, if it does not work, put it aside or discard it.
 

fuzz_factor

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,425
I have way too many guitar magazines already (probably 9-10 magazine boxes worth) and I just subscribed to a couple more, including Premier Guitar & Guitar Aficionado (which I find the whole concept of elitist and idiotic but it was only $5 added to a Guitar World subscription - clearly I have a problem...). There are a couple of stores here in Portland that sell old magazines, so over the years, I've bought a bunch of olds 80s/90s GFTPM/Guitar Player/Guitar Worlds. I also have about 10 years of Bass Player. The Bass Players have tons of good transcriptions for out of the ordinary songs.

I don't have a great ear; never did and repeated ear training has helped, but not that much. I'm a basement player, so the tabs and lessons give me something to play. I got wise and gave up hope of ever doing music for a living years ago (thankfully). To me, pulling out old mags and playing old songs and lessons is entertaining. Maybe not a "pro musician" thing, but better than watching TV or collecting stamps. Reading the old articles and looking at the ads is fine too. I like a wide variety of music, so anything from "serious" Guitar Player articles about jazz musicians to 80s shredders are enjoyable.

I told myself before subscribing to the new mags that I have to give away or recycle them I read 'em! No way I can store that many magazines.

One thing to do: If you go to a guitar show; drop 'em on the free table. Someone did that at the recent Portland guitar show for about 10 years worth of Vintage Guitar. I got a few and so did a lot of other people. Made me happy.
 

Jazzandmore

Platinum Supporting Member
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13,712
I got Guitar Techniques for a few years. An incredible learning tool. But I finally cancelled my subscription because I simply couldn't keep up. Right now I have most of them tabbed with great stuff I intended to work on...
 
M

Member 43134

This is a bit off topic but if you like blues, jazz, etc. the music editions of the Oxford American are a great resource. Magazine + CD, and always something of interest.
 

Trevordog

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4,618
I've printed out thousands of pages of transcriptions, and every time I make an attempt at cleaning my room, I find another loose-leaf full of transcriptions that I forgot I even had.
After spending three hours practicing technique and improv, the last thing I feel like doing is reading music.
However, if I need to play something for a gig, I'll dig up that music and learn it. I just memorized a Bill Evans transcription someone did, because I play in a jazz group that does only BE tunes.
It's the same with gear; I only buy a piece of gear if I need it for a gig.
 

Matt L

Member
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11,661
I just got rid of my 5 tubs of magazines, and was happy to find someone who wanted them. I still have a bookshelf full of instructional books that I've bought over the past ten years that I've barely scratched the surface of. A lot of jazz stuff that is way advanced for me, but I like knowing it is there for whenever I wanna dig in.
 

MickeyJi

Member
Messages
2,262
I have around two bookshelf-yards worth of instruction books and over 50 ( I didn't want to believe it first, but I counted them...) Truefire courses stored on my harddisc. I haven't worked through a single one completely...
 

flatnine

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
352
Been getting the guitar mags- like all of them- since 1986. Can't bring myself to get rid of them. I will occasionally dig something out and work on it and I lend stuff to students all the time. I have tons of books, every Real Book known to man, Metheny Real Book- these I dig into often and need the tunes for one gig or another. Love my technique books also with Brazilian Guitar Book, Latin Bass Book, Theriots New Orleans Funk Guitar, Vincents Line Games and Galpers Forward Motion still getting plenty of love.

The thing for me is that as a self taught player early on I learned everything by ear- don't think I'd have the skill I do had I not. When I discovered magazines with tab and books with notation it was like finding money! I couldn't get enough. I still buy music book and magazines to this day even though I don't often have time for them. When I do though I have a great time just opening up whatever book and getting inspired.
 

DRS

Member
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13,659
I have about 40 magazines and books with CDs and 6 Truefire courses on my computer. Most of it I have learned some of the material but, aside from 2 classical guitar methods I had as a child, I don't think I've mastered any single book or course.
 

Average Joe

Member
Messages
12,496
I have 3 meter long shelves filled w books, binders with photocopies and prints, etc. Various songs, real books, album transcriptions, instruction material and so on.I use it all the time. Sure, some of the stuff have been sitting unused for
years, but on the whole it's proven itself a very useful library to have.
 
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