most important thing you've learned?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by RMstrat, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    And with those three letters, there you have arguably the lesson that facilitates the learning of all other lessons.

    edit: KRosser, you edited!
     
  2. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Yeah, on re-reading I felt the tone was a little too rough, but I'm happy with the part you quoted - that was the best part.

    So let me say it again: Joy.
     
  3. Prof. O'Kaine

    Prof. O'Kaine Member

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    one of the most important things that I have learned, and that I try to impart on my students is that all "good things" take time. In addition, these skills (good things) only come from constant disciplined practice. That means the every day, unhurried, careful approach always leads people to success. There is no doubt in my mind that this is possible. I've seen it happen over and over again. Work hard and work smart so that anything is obtainable... be it the guitar, finding the person of your dreams, the gig of your dreams, "it's" really much closer than you think it is!

    Also, go easy on yourself. Keeping a positive mental attitude makes the journey you are on so much more enjoyable. I have met so many people that degrade themselves. If you are saying it, and thinking it, then you will become those words... why not make them positive words?

    As far as like what is the best scale to play over a certain chord... I would say they'll are ranked very low on the totem pole of important things to keep in mind.

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers,
     
  4. JSeth

    JSeth Member

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    After 5 decades (!!!?!!) of holding and loving the guitar, the most important thing I've learned is to accept myself - yes ACCEPT MYSELF: my style, my own melodic sense, trust the sounds I hear in my head and heart and try to free them... accept that I play the way I play - not like Clapton or Hendrix or Carlton or Metheny or Ford or... or... or... anyone else...
    That said, working with a metronome produced great results, as did a basic primer in diatonic chord theory from a recent Berklee grad (nearly 30 years ago and I still have plenty to work with!) and some scale work, mostly to get the "feel" ingrained; I no longer do much work with a metronome and scales, every once in a while I will spend a little time with a chromatic scale, just to re-acquaint my ears with all the notes and check my time.
    As a songwriter, learning to accept myself and what I write has been intrinsic to my development and well-being... I wish I'd figured that out 30 years ago!
    Have fun, be kind to yourself (the way you'd be with a 5 yr old child!), love the instrument and let it flow!

    John Seth Sherman
     
  5. guitardr

    guitardr Silver Supporting Member

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    Jazz pianist Jody Christian once leaned over to me at a jobbing date some years back and tersely gave me a scolding statement: "if you don't know the s$$t, lay out". I never forgot it, and to this day I take out a Real Book & shed stuff. On another occasion I turned around and gave him a taste of his own medicine when he couldn't cop a Little Feat tune at all. Served that mean creep right.:D
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
  6. Flenz

    Flenz Member

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    I learned to listen.

    Flenz
     
  7. aram

    aram Member

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    what everyone else said AND

    never stop having fun.

    If you're doing all the stuff they said, and aren't having fun, then stop doing what they said, and start having fun again.

    :)
     
  8. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    Hay-O!

    Good one!

    This is one thing that Mulgrew Miller always stressed in my time around him. It seems so obvious, but there are multiple layers and levels to it.

    MM always points out how all the greatest musicians were the greatest listeners; one example that comes up a lot is Tony Williams. MM says that when you had a record on around TW-- or were even just talking about a record he'd heard a lot-- he could sing all the parts on the record. Not just the drummer's part and the solo or melody, but he knew what was going on in the accompaniment and could recount improvised bassline, too. In other words, he heard everything. I was astonished yesterday to put on Speak No Evil, a record I've heard a million times and know every note of every solo on, and realize that I'd never really listened to the bass or even Herbie's accompaniments in parts. Focusing on those things was like hearing parts of that record for the first time. It floored me! I thought I had been listening to this record, but really I'd just been hearing it.

    Total absorptive listening, not just in real-time when playing with others (that is a given but still at times overlooked), but total absorptive listening to all sounds around you (you can start in conversation!) This kind of thing really comes first from a love of sound and sometimes a bit of selflessness, too. It's been apparent to me that the most selfless people are also the best listeners, both in conversation and in music-making. Sometimes I notice I'll ask someone their name and am so focused on telling them mine afterwards that I don't even hear it when they tell me theirs! Whoops. ;) This is easy to do in music, too. Corny as it may sound, being a good listener is not something you try to do, it's something you are. If you spend a lot of time worried about how others are perceiving you or if you're "good enough," that's taking focus away from listening. So this is also intertwined with the other main "have fun, find joy, don't be so self-centered" advice in this thread, too.

    Inspired by those thoughts, I have begun in the last 2 years or so to allow myself to slow down and listen on deeper levels even to single pitches and have strangely begun to hear the subtle different flavors/colors of those pitches-- and I'd lived my first 25 or so years thinking I'd been "born without" perfect pitch. I bet lots of people have some pitch recognition ability that could be cultivated, and just never slowed down long enough to hear it. In our culture we have a reductionist "all that we can see is all there is to know" approach to many things, and this approach doesn't apply to music very well. It's hard to 'teach' listening, so it is consequently under-stressed in instruction. It's much easier to dwell on "play this scale against this chord" type of thing than abstract, nourishing concepts such as listening, much like it's easier for an industrial farmer to just apply NPK fertilizer on a field rather than taking measures to create healthy, balanced soil for the crops.
     
  9. kimock

    kimock Member

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    It's not true teaching if it doesn't feel like it's forcing something on you, so my two big lessons were:

    1. The importance of proper socks.

    2. Wear your strap as long as possible.

    peace
     
  10. jgnov99

    jgnov99 Member

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    A lot of very good advice here. I've been playing for 45 years and teaching for much of that. My students all have the same question; "What's the secret?" The only secret is really no secret.
    "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" Practice, practice, practice.
    Many of the students will roll their eyes or make a face.
    Sorry but the truth is the truth. As a long time player, teacher, and ardent guitar fan, I can see no other answer that truly answers the question. Nothing can replace TIME SPENT!
    Read about famous guitarists. They'll give you as many different answers as you've seen here in this thread, but what they all have in common is time spent.
    Fall in love with your guitar. Drag it everywhere. Play while you eat. Play while you watch TV. Play before you go to sleep. Play when you get up in the morning.
    Most truly great players had this one thing in common. They were obsessive in their pursuit.
     
  11. jgnov99

    jgnov99 Member

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    Oh yeah, don't be too hard on yourself. Almost no one learns as fast and easy as they would like. Be patient.
     
  12. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Powered by Coffee Gold Supporting Member

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    When and how to use altered chords and scales. That's been pretty helpful for my playing.
     
  13. dave s

    dave s Member

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    The most important thing I learned early on was learning ALL the first position chords along with their major/minor/dimished/augmented, major and minor 7ths, 9ths, 13ths, maj7s etc.

    My dad would sit with me and go over and over them ad nauseum. Didn't realize it at the time, but it was excellent ear training. When I started to learn songs on my own it was like, 'oh, I've heard that chord before...wait a minute ... I KNOW that chord!

    Later, he showed me just about every position that a single chord could be played on the fretboard. This too, has proven invaluable for learning songs.

    Still helps me today tearing apart guitar parts/solos and even vocal harmonies for my band.

    dave
     
  14. Aj_rocker

    Aj_rocker Member

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    One thing that i learn everyday is

    Practice = fighting with stuff you cant do repeatly until you can do it

    secondly just start being a musician where you are now, even if you know 3 chords and two blues licks. learn how to use them in the music you play.


    AJ
     
  15. Scott Auld

    Scott Auld Staff Member

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    There is no Easy Button

    THere is only pushing the Hard Button, over and over







    Very Jes
     
  16. RMstrat

    RMstrat Member

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    wow.... thanks for all the help!!!!!!!!!!! I usually surf this site for like 2 hours but tonight I think Im gonna go practice ............awesome.

    and LISTEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  17. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    Can I voice my opinion that practicing is neither "hard" nor "fighting?"

    You guys don't make playing music sound like very much fun. :)
     
  18. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    Jeez Brad, I was just a sittin and a picking and having some fun, not lots
    but some fun. Did I miss the memo?

    :D
     
  19. lhallam

    lhallam Member

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    In terms of practice: don't fluff off mistakes. If you make a mistake, stop and fix it. Make every note as clear as possible.

    In terms of playing out: Stop playing when you get off beat and find it.

    Lucky for me, I've always enjoyed practicing and playing. Sometimes I enjoy practicing more.
     
  20. Donn Rowe

    Donn Rowe Member

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    After basic mechanics..Listening is one of the most important things you can do! In a band situation to me its paramont..Good luck
     

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