Separating good guitar players from great ones...

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by LavaMan, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. LavaMan

    LavaMan Gold Supporting Member

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    I have thought about this a little lately. Especially after NAMM.

    One word: DISCIPLINE

    The great ones are just more disciplined in their playing (and I believe practice too)

    They sit down and noodle and it just sounds fantastic...

    Because they have disciplined themselves not to play poorly....

    No bad notes really...

    IMO this one trait trumps all the others....

    Just my $.02

    :bounce
     
  2. slippyknees

    slippyknees Supporting Member

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    interesting point.

    what, after being at namm, do you think the bad players do in comparison - when sitting down to noodle / try out something?
     
  3. tweedster

    tweedster Supporting Member

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    Great players hit less clams, and their time is rock solid. Usually because their practice is focussed on bettering their weaknesses.
     
  4. LavaMan

    LavaMan Gold Supporting Member

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    My point exactly....
     
  5. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Great occurs when natural talent is amplified by a tremendous work ethic.

    Just one won't do it.
     
  6. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I don't think that is the whole story...and I don't think it is universal.

    I DO think that great players play a LOT, because they can't not do it, they must.

    Of course, it gets thorny also by what we mean by "great players", but...

    Of the ones many would agree are great, I am sure there are a number that are disciplined, working on scales, all kinds of practice as well as just playing, but I know for absolute sure that there are some of the greats that say "I never practice, I just play" (and always have).

    I think the biggest thing that is common between all great players is focus. That they are HERE NOW when playing. They aren't playing everything they know in the first few bars of a song or solo, and they aren't hurrying to get through the song, the intro, the outro, they are just right there, NOW. That ability I think is key.
     
  7. DarrenTD

    DarrenTD Member

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    I may be wrong, but I don't think many "GREAT PLAYER'S" had a "Plan B"...:p
     
  8. Elev8

    Elev8 Member

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    Hmm... I don't think you can distil it down to one thing really.
    As with sportsmen, I think sometimes it's possible to "over-coach" or over rehearse. Takes the spontaneity out of it.
    In some cases, talent alone is enough IMO.

    Definitions of greatness will necessarily vary too. For me someone is great if what they do speaks to me. Simple as that. Makes no difference if they've trained at The Royal Academy for 30 years, or picked the thing up for the first time 10 minutes before.
     
  9. shane88

    shane88 Member

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    great players are born, not made - u can have a the discipline in the world and still suck
     
  10. AnchorHoy

    AnchorHoy Member

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    The truly great players all know the value of space/silence/whatever you want to call it

    The merely "good" often have chops and harmonic knowledge at least as good as the Greats, sometimes even better. What they don't know how to do is STFU at the appropriate times
     
  11. Matt L

    Matt L Supporting Member

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    cue Shawn Lane clip......:omg
     
  12. iamdavea

    iamdavea Silver Supporting Member

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    I think this distills it down nicely. Natural talent/work ethic/love of the instrument. You end up, ideally, with Jason Becker. In sports, it's what happens when the guy with the most talent also has the greatest work ethic, the greatest will to win, and the purest love of the sport. You end up with Michael Jordan, or Kobe Bryant.
     
  13. fusion58

    fusion58 Member

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    To me, the difference between good players and great players is like the difference between getting a bachelor's degree and getting an advanced degree.

    In order to make it through grad school, you're expected to offer some sort of original contribution to your field, etc., as opposed to simply showing a good grasp of material with which you've been presented.

    Of course, my college years are WAY back there in the rear view mirror, so the analogy might not be quite as applicable nowadays.
     
  14. iamdavea

    iamdavea Silver Supporting Member

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    Once in a while, after I've had a particularly good night of practice, I'll think, "All the best stuff I played tonight, Shawn Lane could have done after playing the guitar for 2 months."
     
  15. gixxerrock

    gixxerrock Member

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    IMO, the really great players have so many hours (10,000+) of hard focused practice, gigging, recording, transcribing, improvising, writing, noodling or studying. As well as the burning conviction and discipline. This gives them a depth way beyond the hobby players.

    When I record myself, I can get close to my heroes, but that last few % to get into their universe represents more hours than I have available.

    I believe that this is true even for non chops oriented musicians. How many hours did someone like Bob Dylan spend in his formative years refining his craft before he became the fully realized musician we know. I'm sure Robert Johnson spent many years playing and singing juke joints all over the south before ever stepping foot in a recording studio.
     
  16. p19978

    p19978 Member

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    Define "great".
     
  17. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    Spirit of an artist.
    A keen intellect.
    Hands that are responsive and completely connected to the soul from many hours of practice.
    And, finally, an overpowering love for the instrument...with no shame and total dedication.

    S.
    j
     
  18. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    I highlighted what I think are really the MAIN ingredients to "greatness" as a musician. "Practice" is such a broad generalization that it is almost devisive in some respects. I knew guys in school that practiced incessantly but they lacked the connection between the soul and the hands. I knew people who could transcribe or read virtually anything you put in the front of them, but could not improvise worth a sh*t. And I knew incredibly gifted players who could never actually write a complete song.
    I guess I'm saying there is a lot of room for greatness out there in many different aspects of music. I hesitate to call many guitarists "great".
     
  19. peterdjp

    peterdjp Member

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    @ :48 Jimi tells the secret to greatness
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  20. teleman55

    teleman55 Member

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    ...you just feel it/play it. Then you're in the "zone"
    And then...
    bring it EVERY night.
    That's what it is.
     

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