How Long Does It Take To Learn And Play A Song - Week 8

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DylanBarrett
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How Long Does It Take To Learn And Play A Song - Week 8

Post by DylanBarrett » May 1st, 2009, 5:52 am

Hi all

Difficult post to pigeon-hole really, but I suppose Beginners Q&A is a good place to start...

Learning to play the guitar without any sort of reference to how well you are actually doing is a little frustrating to say the least, but with the help of website forums such as this you can get a good idea of how things should be going...

Beginners Videos in Hear Here is a brilliant example of a reference point, but then you really don't know how long folks have been practicing or how long they've been playing. I know most of the folks on that thread and there's quite a few started about the same time I did - 19-20 months ago.... Some have shown annoyingly good progress, others just vanish into the ether... :?

Me... well, I'm never happy with my progress, but then show me a beginner guitar player that hasn't got a gripe about an aspect of their playing.

In these videos, I just want to share with you the things that I go through when learning a new song. It's in real-time and starts now. I'm using one of David Hodge's lessons from this site because I think they're great lessons, the tabs and instructions are very useful and there's also an mp3 to check out how you're sounding against David.

Anyway, please feel free to comment or ask questions and I'll try and give you a honest answer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dKCOIpVkeA

Rock on!
D 8)
Last edited by DylanBarrett on June 26th, 2009, 6:08 am, edited 5 times in total.
I'm nowhere near Chicago. I've got six string, 8 fingers, two thumbs, it's dark 'cos I'm wearing sunglasses - Hit it!

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dhodge
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Re: How Long Does It Take To Learn And Play A Song - Video Proof

Post by dhodge » May 1st, 2009, 6:56 am

Hi Dylan

This is a great concept and it'll be interesting to see how it goes.

One thing to remember (or to watch out for) is that you're pretty tense when you're playing before the camera, or at least that's what it looks like from watching you grip the neck of the guitar. Try to relax a little more and those changes will become a little easier. Of course, that's a lot easier said than done.

You're a great inspiration, sir! Eagerly looking forward to "Part 2."

Peace

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Re: How Long Does It Take To Learn And Play A Song - Video Proof

Post by daven » May 1st, 2009, 7:06 am

Thanks Dylan. This is a good idea and I will be waiting to see your progress. It's good to SEE that others have the same types of problems when learning new songs/chords/progressions.

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Re: How Long Does It Take To Learn And Play A Song - Video Proof

Post by JoeHempel » May 1st, 2009, 9:08 am

Nice video idea! I'll be watching these for sure!
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Re: How Long Does It Take To Learn And Play A Song - Video Proof

Post by dogbite » May 1st, 2009, 5:02 pm

what a great idea.
when I watched the video I waved my hands to distract you :twisted: , but you played right through. well done.

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Re: How Long Does It Take To Learn And Play A Song - Video Proof

Post by Chris C » May 1st, 2009, 10:25 pm

Hi Dylan,

Great idea, and entertaining viewing too. :D


I think you've hit what's probably the single biggest issue in learning to play any instrument - which is not so much what to learn but HOW to learn it. As you mentioned, it's certainly the number 1 factor that causes such a big percentage of people who start the journey with high hopes only to then drop out. Most of us have very few skills in evaluating how LONG each step might take, how to stay motivated, and how to handle the practical challenges of acquiring a completely new skill whilst still enjoying the process and having some fun along the way.


I've been playing probably twice as long as you now. In that time I've downloaded dozens of lessons from various sites. Printed lessons, mp3s, videos - you name it ... for both piano and guitar. At a guess, how many of the songs in those lesson do you think that I might have learned? All? Some? 50%? Well, it's none. Absolute zero. Not even one of David's fine lessons.

Yet in most walks of life I'm a proven stayer, a completer of tasks, the guy that finishes the job. So what's the deal with learning songs from music lessons? Have I got a weird personal blind spot here? Or are the vast majority of downloaded lessons never nailed and the big percentage of Teach Yourself Books tossed aside unfinished?

Furthermore, if I'm so bad at completing song lessons how come I can play in a group every week now? Playing songs is what we do - every week - and usually a chunk are ones that I hadn't seen before, until somebody put the music on the stand.

DylanBarrett wrote:HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO LEARN AND PLAY A SONG

Here's my own answer:

The rest of my life. So I'd better get used to it. :mrgreen:


Music isn't an equation that I can solve, or a room that I can finish painting, it's an endless progression. Learning music by attempting to master song after song also feels to me like going for height at the expense of width... So every time I start on a song I get interested in something else - a variation on the chord progression, a way to use a certain tone that I produced accidentally, or whatever. I learn almost entirely through following a series of lengthy and unpredictable digressions from the main road...

Even the professionals who wrote the song won't play it 100% perfectly all the time (if ever). So I have made a conscious effort to work on enjoying the journey instead of worrying about a particular outcome, in a specific time. Loving it too. Musically, I never end up where I thought I was going, but boy it's a lot of fun along the way...


But you've inspired me here.

So I'll download the same lesson and see if I can complete it this time. And I'll take notes, not just about where I get stuck, but what strategies I can find to keep it interesting enough to keep walking the original path. I know, in advance, that I won't end up sounding like George Harrison, but it will be interesting to see how far along the line I go before I either say “that's good enough for now....” or else drift off on some completely different tangent...

Cheers,

Chris

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Re: How Long Does It Take To Learn And Play A Song - Video Proof

Post by DylanBarrett » May 2nd, 2009, 4:45 am

dhodge wrote:One thing to remember (or to watch out for) is that you're pretty tense when you're playing before the camera, or at least that's what it looks like from watching you grip the neck of the guitar. Try to relax a little more and those changes will become a little easier. Of course, that's a lot easier said than done.
Thanks David. I don't feel 'tense' but it may look that way. I think it looks like that because I'm conscious of keeping pressure on the chords to stop the strings buzzing when I apply the pinky to the low E. I can play the basic chords without much pressure but a transition while still holding the chord makes me apply more pressure (at the moment)... If I relax my pressure the string buzz - I'm sure that problem will pass in time... Thanks for taking the time to look and comment - hopefully someone looking from the outside can help with any problems I'm having....
Chris C wrote:Great idea, and entertaining viewing too. :D
Thanks Chris, and I'm glad I've inspired you to learn a song completely again... I tell you, there's some days I pick up the guitar then put it down and walk away because I've had a rough practice the day before. But luckily I bounce back and away I go again - practice makes perfect so they say, so I'm putting in plenty! Putting the guitar in a cupboard and forgetting about it is easy. Playing it and making music is the challenge and I love the challenge....

Rock on!
D 8)
I'm nowhere near Chicago. I've got six string, 8 fingers, two thumbs, it's dark 'cos I'm wearing sunglasses - Hit it!

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Re: How Long Does It Take To Learn And Play A Song - Video Proof

Post by TRGuitar » May 2nd, 2009, 5:22 pm

Yeah, like you dylan I'm a beginner ... only playing for 31 or 32 years give or take. :lol: See any of my stuff? Plenty of mistakes. I'm not nervous though cause I don't give a crap. Seriously, new players are more apt to be uptight. People with less experience are like ...... "I have to show just how good I can do this!" Relax! Yes, easier said than done, but when you get there it sets you free. I've heard your stuff. You are doing just fine. Relax, enjoy the ride, you are fine. 8) No secret, just have to put in the time to please your hardest critic ... yourself. :? yeah, I know you said you are fine ... but I read between the lines. :lol:
"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
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Re: How Long Does It Take To Learn And Play A Song - Video Proof

Post by dhodge » May 4th, 2009, 7:00 am

Two things -

First, in the interest of seeing how things go, I've made this a "sticky" so you don't have to go hunting to find it.

Second, I've gotten an email from Jamie Andreas of Guitar Principles and she'd like to write an article about how one might want to go about practicing the chord changes and finger movements for this arrangement of While My Guitar Gently Weeps. With a little luck, that should be up online in the two weeks.

How's that for help?

Okay, back to practicing!

Peace

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Re: How Long Does It Take To Learn And Play A Song - Video Proof

Post by DylanBarrett » May 8th, 2009, 5:57 am

dhodge wrote:Second, I've gotten an email from Jamie Andreas of Guitar Principles and she'd like to write an article about how one might want to go about practicing the chord changes and finger movements for this arrangement of While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
Can't come quick enough.... :roll:

Here's the next installment. Didn't think it was fair to make you all wait until I'd actually 'mastered' the first part...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fd7k67zKxpM

Rock on!
D 8)
I'm nowhere near Chicago. I've got six string, 8 fingers, two thumbs, it's dark 'cos I'm wearing sunglasses - Hit it!

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Re: How Long Does It Take To Learn And Play A Song - Video Proof

Post by KR2 » May 8th, 2009, 6:33 am

Image
It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.

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Re: How Long Does It Take To Learn And Play A Song - Video Proof

Post by DylanBarrett » May 8th, 2009, 10:37 am

kenrogers2 wrote:Image
Thanks Ken - I'm sure it's supposed to be complimentary... :roll:

Rock on!
D 8)
I'm nowhere near Chicago. I've got six string, 8 fingers, two thumbs, it's dark 'cos I'm wearing sunglasses - Hit it!

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Re: How Long Does It Take To Learn And Play A Song - Video Proof

Post by Chris C » May 9th, 2009, 6:31 pm

HI,


Great to see the next video, and to get a taste of the reality of how long it takes. It seems a bit like panning for gold sometimes - having to shift a lot of dirt before you get a reward. It sounds to me as if there are definitely some little flashes of gold starting to appear in your pan now, which should provide encouragement to keep shoveling..... :)


I've been up to my usual tricks - which seems to be learning through 'work avoidance'... :roll: I'm not really familiar with the song so I looked up some clips on youtube - one of which gave a pretty good view of George using his thumb. But of course, I also saw plenty of other distractions, including a short video tutorial with a guy playing an acoustic version that used a capo on the 5th fret and a Dm chord, and he seemed to be using other fingers to do the walking bass. However, I couldn't always quite pick exactly what all the fingers on both hands were doing at any given time. So I spent a while experimenting with that... I also made up some little improvised tunes to muck around with as I worked on the changes.

Then I got distracted by a link to another Beatles song - Nowhere Man - and downloaded David's lesson for that, plus digging out a songbook with a different version (Using C Cm, Bm etc). I've actually made good progress with both versions of that song - and have almost got them to the play and sing along stage - doubtless because I'm not 'supposed' to be working on them..... :roll: :wink:

With a bit of luck I'll get back to trying to get my guitar to Weep (rather than just groan and squawk...) this week.
dhodge wrote:
Second, I've gotten an email from Jamie Andreas of Guitar Principles and she'd like to write an article about how one might want to go about practicing the chord changes and finger movements for this arrangement of While My Guitar Gently Weeps. With a little luck, that should be up online in the two weeks.
Good news. :) Looking forward very much to reading Jamie's article.

Cheers,

Chris

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Re: How Long Does It Take To Learn And Play A Song - Video Proof

Post by bkangel » May 9th, 2009, 7:04 pm

Thanks for posting this, DB.

It's nice to have a "reality check" about playing, and what goes into it, especially when we're first learning.

Hopefully, as we (the common "we" of worldwide learners) learn more and develop more references to previous songs, learning a new one will come more quickly (although my memory is completely shot, so I don't hold my breath about being able to play a set of songs without music :roll: ).

Is that pizza supposed to mean "tasty"?
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Re: How Long Does It Take To Learn And Play A Song - Video Proof

Post by KR2 » May 10th, 2009, 6:17 am

That pizza means . . .

I'm enjoying the Adventures of Dylan Barrett . . .

and His (soon to be) Gently Weeping Guitar.

KR2
It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.

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