Am I guitarist?

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GrungeSunset
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Am I guitarist?

Post by GrungeSunset » February 14th, 2014, 10:35 am

I apologize in advance if this sounds like a self absorbed rant but that's because it probably is.

Lately I've been wondering if I'll ever be a decent guitarist. I've been playing for about 9 years now and I use the term "playing" loosely. When I first started, I had just finished college and had no job. My goal was to be a lead guitarist in a band. Nothing big, we'd play bars and my bandmates would spend our pay for the gig at the bar.

Unfortunately, life has a way of getting in the way. 9 years later, I haven't practiced much and am still very much a beginner. I can't even change the CAGED chords fluidly.Partly, it's my fault. I definitely haven't been practicing nearly as much as I could have been. Other things get in the way too. Job(s), car accident and kid(s). Not that I don't have time but when I do have the time to practice, I don't feel like doing it. It's almost like I haven't met my goals and I don't care.

I'm still interested in music though. I find I enjoy singing a lot more though. It's a lot easier to practice. You can do it just about anywhere. I sing in the car, to my daughter and sometimes at work (I can weird looks when I do the latter). Instead of being a lead guitarist, I'd like to be a lead singer. Playing rhythm guitar in the band would be nice but it's not necessary.

I'm wondering if anyone else has ever had this issue. Lost their interest in the guitar and if they ever picked it up again.

I'm still interested in music though but my goals have changed.
"In what, twisted universe does mastering Eddie Van Halen's two handed arpeggio technique count as ABSOLUTELY NOTHING?!" - Dr Gregory House

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Nuno
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Re: Am I guitarist?

Post by Nuno » February 14th, 2014, 11:05 am

We all evolve and goals can be redefined. I redefine my goals from time to time (I think the problem comes when you are redefining your goals continuously, every day).

I play guitar and I enjoy playing guitar (and bass). I like to (try to) play jazz and I like to play "chord melodies", fingerpicking or just strumming open chords in my acoustic or my uke. But I also like classical music and I play some easy piano pieces. Some months ago I started to play flute and I bought a clarinet the last week (this is my latest instrument and I am enjoying a lot my first classes!). I "rotate" my main instrument, I dedicate more time to it, and I play the others when I have some spare time or just for maintaining the songs or pieces that I already know.

To me, the most important is to have fun in all my activities. Fortunately I can choose the projects which I perform in my work, and I do it in my hobbies.

I mean... if you enjoy singing and you want to explore that side, go ahead, your guitar will be there when you want to get back :D

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Darth Ordinary
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Re: Am I guitarist?

Post by Darth Ordinary » February 14th, 2014, 2:34 pm

Ive been having this problem all my life. Started playing as a teenager, got reasonably ok, stopped in 20's (marriage/kids/work/divorce/depression/marriage#2/more kids/more work/divorce#2-you get the idea). I started 'playing' again aged 40, 8 years ago and have been on a plateau all that time. I look at the thing, either acoustic or electric, sat on its stand and occasionally have a bash at it but I'm not moving forward at all. I wonder if I should just give up. Then I will hear some thing and have a stab at playing it, it works ok and I feel good but I cannot sustain it! it's so frustrating...pushing 50 now and still nowhere.
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cnev
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Re: Am I guitarist?

Post by cnev » February 15th, 2014, 8:17 am

Actually this is a good post and I think many of us feel similar. I started 10 years or so ago just to kill time since I had moved away and didn't have much to do. Really didn't do much for the first 2-3 years until I moved back to my home state and took some lessons. Started playing with some friends casually and ended up in a band playing rhythm guitar. There were so many people that could play leads way better than me so there was really no way I'd be playing lead guitar in a band if I wanted to be in one. I'm cool with that I never really aspired to be in a band but it ended up as a natural progression.

Yes I have gotten much better over the years but I am still very frustrated with my playing in that I don't have a good enough ear to learn songs that way. If I did I'd be happy with where I was at. My instructor writes the music out for me and it's beginning to depress me that I am so dependant on him for that. It's all my lesson is, just him writing out tabs of songs we are going to play. Once I have the music I can learn the song in usually less than a day so it's good for the band I usually have the song down before the rest of the band but for me it leaves me a bit empty.

I know I should work on my ear but I feel the same way about that as I do about playing solo's, it will take so long for me to have that skill down (it's not good enough to get it almost right) that by the time I do I won't be in a band anymore.

I can play a bunch of easier solo's but have stayed away from spending time on ones that are currently beyond my technical skills.

But I do wish I could sing. I'd pick up an acoustic and work on playing and singing but I can't kid myself my range is very limited and it would be a lot of work for little reward.

Maybe this is where we get separated from "real" musicians. I'm pretty much a regurgitator sure I can play a bunch of songs well but I feel like a phony and never really considered myself a musician.

I think you just have to go with the flow and do what makes you happiest.
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s1120
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Re: Am I guitarist?

Post by s1120 » February 16th, 2014, 4:21 am

Just as a thought... on the times you don't have any new stuff to learn, grab a song with just a chord sheet, and play it your way. Even a song you don't know well...well really probably better a song you don't know well... Just go at it from the chords, and make it yours. Even if it turns into basic strumming... well that's a start.
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cnev
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Re: Am I guitarist?

Post by cnev » February 16th, 2014, 1:30 pm

Paul

Not sure if that response was directed to me or not but I'll respond since I'm bored..

There's rarely a time when I am not working on a new song and that's actually what keeps me playing I'd go crazy if I played the same songs over and over again, even though in the band we do.

Most songs don't take long to learn now I could be learning one or more a day if I had the music and time but it usually averages out to one a week. Unfortunately 99% of them I never get to play with other people.

I'll just hear a song I haven't heard for awhile or something new on the radio and I'll have to learn it, play it for a few days and move on to the next. I guess the good thing is at some point if I ever am I n a situation to play them I'll be ready although like another poster mentioned earlier this week if I don't play them often I would need to spend a few minutes to re-learn it. Usually only a glance at the music but if I was at am open mic I might not be able to remember it

All in all I'm OK with where I am at. I love playing golf too but I know I'll never be a pro.

I think it's a mistake to get down on yourself there is no point just enjoy whatever you are doing and it's all good.
"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!

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TRGuitar
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Re: Am I guitarist?

Post by TRGuitar » February 20th, 2014, 8:38 pm

I got an electric guitar from the Montgomery Wards catalog when I was 16. I am now 53 years old and have never stopped playing the guitar. I'm typing this wishing I was home right now because I have recently installed some new hardware on my BC Rich Mockingbird and I want to play it. I don't think a day goes by I don't at least pick one up for a little bit. I'm no virtuoso but learning new stuff on the guitar does come relatively easy to me. Are you a guitarist? I don't know. Am I? Hell yeah! :mrgreen:
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Vic Lewis VL
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Re: Am I guitarist?

Post by Vic Lewis VL » March 4th, 2014, 7:14 pm

If you own a guitar and you've ever put your fingers on the fretboard and plucked the strings with your other hand...hell yes, you're a guitarist!

If the words "pick" and "up" occur in the same sentence....if you think "humbuckers or single coils?" rather than trucks or lines, then...hell yes, you're a guitarist!

If you dream about owning a guitar and being a rock god/goddess...hell yes, you're a guitarist! You just need to take the next step.

Doesn't matter how good or bad you are...if you play guitar, then ...hell yes, you ARE a guitarist!

Grunge Sunset, you ARE a guitarist!

Now pick the bloody thing up and PLAY it!

:D :D :D

Vic
"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)

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Vic Lewis VL
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Re: Am I guitarist?

Post by Vic Lewis VL » March 4th, 2014, 7:28 pm

Special memo to cnev....

I love your attitude to music, and your single-minded determination to get better... and we've had a lot of friendly banter over the years...but I swear to which ever deity you believe in, if you ever, ever, EVER again spell solos with an apostrophe, I will win the lottery, come to America and take a blowtorch to that white Strat! solo's means "of the solo," or possibly "solo is"...you get yet another brown star from the AAAA! (That's the Association for the Abolition of the Aberrant Apostrophe, founded by Keith Waterhouse, current honorary (self-appointed) President ME!)

If "solo's" ever appears again in one of your posts and I DON'T win the lottery that week, the other alternative I have is to edit your posts and add "Justin Bieber is GOD!" at the top of each one....try being taken seriously after that!

Your grammar Policeman,

:D :D :D

(PS I hope to the aforementioned deity you realise I'm only half-serious and you have developed an understanding of our peculiar British sense of humour!)

Vic
"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)

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cnev
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Re: Am I guitarist?

Post by cnev » March 5th, 2014, 5:15 am

Well that's Vic's opinion...ha

Yea it always looked strange but I choose laziness over being grammatically correct any day, especially when typing on the Internet.
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SGinCYQX
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Re: Am I guitarist?

Post by SGinCYQX » March 10th, 2014, 1:31 pm

I've found it hard to keep interested lately, mostly because my wrists, hands, and fingers are perpetually banged up as of the last two years or so.
Ewan McGregor: I said, "Eve, I want you to look after my wedding ring while I'm away," and she started to cry and I said, "Eve. Eve, I can't wear my ring or I won't get laid on the trip!"

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Ghost
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Re: Am I guitarist?

Post by Ghost » March 10th, 2014, 8:10 pm

Life tends to happen. Been playing on and off since I was 12 years old. Had many reasons/excuses to stop playing. Almost sold my gear off three years ago. Ended up eyeing a beautiful pearl white Fender Strat and I was playing again. Even got me a good teacher.

What was it 2005-2006 when you (GrungeSunset) was rockin Nirvana??? You blew me away at how much hard work you put into playing "Smells Like Teen Spirit". I say pick up where you left off and give it a go again. Bet you'll enjoy it all over again. :D
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Everything is 42..... again.

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