Uh-oh.... sobering realization

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by dougb415, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. dougb415

    dougb415 Member

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    I mentioned this to my wife last night - for as many years as I can remember I've been 'blaming' my gear for not being able to be satisfied... the guitar wasn't right, the amp was so-so, etc. I now have great gear, and any shortcomings fall squarely on MY shoulders.

    Gulp. Boy, do I have my work cut out for me... I am still having trouble holding the pick correctly, can't strum for s**t. Lead work is okay, not fantastic, but rhythm? Argh.

    I got Tomo's DVD, but honestly I got confused just after I barely started. Boy, is this frustrating!
     
  2. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    No problem, climb the ladder.

    It's all there, in abundance.
     
  3. TroyHamilton

    TroyHamilton Member

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    What DVD is that?

    I've suffered from the same type of realizations... it's hard. Mine is my ear... it sucks. Plain and simple... it might be the one short-term cure I know for GAS. To realize that no matter what gear you're using - it won't matter until you improve as a musician.

    I feel your pain... let me know what DVD that is....
     
  4. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    I've rediscovered the value of S-L-O-W practicing. While practicing (not to be confused with jamming or noodling or free form playing) it's okay to slow the metronome down to 30 or lower and play whole notes if that's what it takes to play it right -- correctly with a good solid grasp of the fingering. It's painful to shift to playing that slow, but I'm getting great results from it (the tone of each note seems to be improving, along with my accuracy), and my focus is getting much better too.

    Best of luck!

    Dave
     
  5. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    Walk before you try to run...slow before fast.
     
  6. dougb415

    dougb415 Member

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    Oh yeah... that is what I do right now (noodling, free form) and while it sounds good, it's not to the level I want... and of course all this does is prevent me from doing the *work* that needs to be done. I've got theory down okay, can play a semi-decent lead... but it's all just in the competent realm, nothing that says "Wow, that is some tasty playing!"
     
  7. dougb415

    dougb415 Member

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    "Accelerate Your Playing" by Tomo Fujita
     
  8. Elektrik_SIxx

    Elektrik_SIxx Member

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    Amen , bro! Took me 30 years to discover the value of that! Both the practicing instead of noodling and doing it soberingly slow. Indeed this does wonders for your accuracy and tone!
     
  9. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Thanks for trying. I think you are feeling something... pressured before you started... so take your time. We all have same way to go through times.. You can work on a few points. For instance... Chromatic ll. simple one with waaaaaay slow tempo. Forget about a metronome for a while.

    Maybe be you can just enjoy your tone. Play some simple blues ... with more tone than licks... or just work on groove..Rt37.

    I mentioned 3 items. That's a lot! You can do these (anything you want)
    shine them. play them well. And enjoy your touch, tone... I wish you develpe your confidence with less items.. (more quality).

    You and guitar can make some conversation. Enjoy!

    PS, I love gears very much. but I have to concentrate my playing too.


    Tomo
     
  10. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    Cool man, good luck.

    And I just wanted to mention that I wasn't knocking noodling or free-form playing, but was saying that that kinda' playing should always be very distinct from practicing. Practice is for doing things slowly and perfectly (in most cases/where applicable, etc) and all the other stuff is for enjoying yourself and making music. There's a place for both.
     
  11. Swain

    Swain Member

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    Man, go get 6 months of lessons with the best, most talked-about instructor you can find. JUST DO IT!

    And budget the time for minimun 5 one hour practice sessions, every week. And follow through. Really do what the instructor says, and not a "variation". Don't practice anything else, either. No ideas from TGP or any other forums. No older instructional materials, concepts, etc. Just what the new instructor says. Exactly that. No more, and no less.

    After the 6 months, you will have rid yourself of all of the nagging doubts, and you'll get more than can be expressed in return. Not just info, but a new mindset, attitude, and the freedom of not making excuses.

    You will be SO much happier, in 6 months. Seriously.

    Just do it!
     
  12. Cubicle

    Cubicle Member

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    Swain, that's an interesting observation and some great advice. I spent my first three years of playing (finishing up year 4 in March) taking lessons from a local pro...Great at getting you to play songs to get into a band, but really, really lacked in the technique, theory, department. So, I started with a great instructor a year ago...A real ball breaker, vibrato, bends, timing, playing in rythm rather than simply playing in time...It's like starting over and my soloing shows, I'm never, ever satisfied with most of what I play and it really strikes at any confidence I might have from week-to-week. Then, throw in playing in a band and having to do most of the lead work, it gets overwhelming and many time just feel like selling off equipment and quitting and going back to Triathlon racing. I'm thinking I'm just not ready for a band and should concentrate on my lessons exclusively...I know, I know, playing with others is the best way to get better...Not if you just keep playing badly/ameteurly .....
     
  13. countandduke

    countandduke Member

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    My 12 year old son and I have recently gotten some drums so I can begin to learn how to play them and jam together. A drummer friend of mine who I have known and jammed with for many years came over and they some kick ass versions of Zeppelin tunes and Voodoo Chile. Yeah, he's 12 and 1/2, been playing a year and 1/2. Crazy good and will only get better...

    My son looks at me later and says (about my drummer friends CRAZY good drumming skills) "I hope you're that good in a couple years!!!"

    Yeah....talk about sobering!!!

    Chris
     
  14. bluesmain

    bluesmain Member

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    Great thread! Tomo has much wisdom!
     
  15. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    I agree. People can have choices. First... just have a fun! That's good.

    Then if you want more... it's possible with right direction, little effort...
    Practicing also means many ways... you have great point!

    Noodlings: Noodling position playing... or Noodling specific tone, phrases...
    noodling around specific form, chord changes...

    Enjoy first, then think, do something toward your goal. And more fun later.


    Tomo
     
  16. Mark Wein

    Mark Wein Member

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    I think the thing to remember is that learning to play any instrument (and guitar especially) is a long term commitment with results that come slowly after much repetition...

    I teach a lot of adults and they all have one thing in common. They feel that they should be able to take a few lessons an be able to play well because they are high functioning adults who are learning and implementing new skills every day at their jobs...

    The reality is that guitar is an instrument that requires many new motor skills that only become useful after many thousands of repetitions, and then there is the theoretical end of things....you really have to be prepared to enjoy the journey of learning to play and take it for granted that progress comes slow. It is especially hard for students who already have been playing for any length of time to go back and relearn or correct their skills. Then they have to combat ingrained habits before they can learn the new or "proper" technique...

    I have been playing for 23 years, work as a musician and still feel like I battle many of the same problems that you are at the beginning of your journey....it really is a rewarding pursuit in the long run...you just have to hang in there and be patient!
     
  17. dougb415

    dougb415 Member

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    Thanks for the comments Tomo. Yes, I have to learn how to concentrate on playing. Right now I am working on holding the pic correctly - I think I hold it in the same way that Pat Metheny does but it doesn't work quite as good for me! So after almost 40 years of playing I am having to re-learn a lot. I'd say it's about time.
     
  18. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

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    I've suspected that the fixation on equipment around here might be caused by this. What a great thing to admit. Your playing will no doubt get better. Welcome to the journey.

    I actually have this sort of reverse pride that I can play through crap and still sound musical. A good amp can really add a lot of pleasure to playing but it's not necessary to feel satisfied.
     
  19. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Supporting Member

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    My biggest frustration is probably how long it takes me to memorize stuff. Scales, patterns, chords, progressions. Never had a great memory and it ain't gettin any better. ...

    I'm learning a lesson in how to become immersed in the step of the learning process I engaged with at any given moment, and not just think about the end result. ... Like surfing -- when I catch a wave, the goal isn't to finish it -- it's to ride it....
     
  20. dougb415

    dougb415 Member

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    Right... I have to "unteach" myself some things that I have been doing for years (decades?) and after doing 8 hrs of work at the office it's hard to come home and get in the frame of mind to do more work. But if I want to progress I have to be willing to do the work.
     

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