13 years of playing, but it sure doesn't sound like it!

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13 years of playing, but it sure doesn't sound like it!

Post by glassjaw0814 » July 15th, 2010, 4:07 pm

I'm a newcomer to this site, and my frustration is immense lately. I started playing the guitar when I was 13, and was self taught 100%. 13 years later, about to turn 26, and I think my playing is pretty low level. There are so many techniques that you'd think someone that's been playing as long as I have could do, but I fail miserably at them.

I'm coming here for advice - I am starting a new practicing regimen to improve my sloppy alternate picking and improve my speed, but what are some things that I should be doing otherwise? Would you recommend I start taking lessons?
I calculated the odds of this succeeding versus the odds I was doing something incredibly stupid... and I went ahead anyway.

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Re: 13 years of playing, but it sure doesn't sound like it!

Post by Staffan » July 15th, 2010, 11:29 pm

Hi Glassjaw & welcome to the forum!

If you haven´t done it before then I would suggest that you try out a teacher, take a few lessons and ask this person to help you put a good practise-routine together. This way your playing can benefit the most from the time you spend with the guitar.

If you don´t want to spend money on a teacher, there´s several "practise-guides" and tips that you could find online or in guitar mags (Guitar Techniques is really good for example) and so on. That requires a little bit more effort on your part though, to put it all together. Of course; with a good teacher you would also be able to ask all kinds of questions you might have - about technique, theory, song-writing and what-not, so that might make it worth the cost after all.

And there are some good tips on practising and excercises on GN as well of course. Although much material has sadly been removed lately because of THE LAW :evil:

I guess it´s up to you to decide what works best for you - good luck!

Ps. I´m a really, really slow learner myself, so I can understand your position :wink: . When I´m looking at my development over time, I always have to look back about six months to a year in time and compare myself to what I sounded like back then. But at least I know that I will continue to grow - if I just keep playing! :note1: :note2: Ds.
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Re: 13 years of playing, but it sure doesn't sound like it!

Post by Blue Jay » July 16th, 2010, 5:38 am

Hi and welcome! :D

It may be controversial, but I recommend lessons, since you asked, while I never had them myself. I just wish. :shock:

But I follow through and see that it happens for others, my kids, my sister, sister's son, two best friends' children etc. :roll:
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Re: 13 years of playing, but it sure doesn't sound like it!

Post by Blueline » July 16th, 2010, 6:54 pm

Nothing new to offer. I agree taking lessons would be a good idea. However, you mentioned that you are starting a new practice regimen and I think that would greatly help you. I noticed a big change in my playing when I started to practice more often and kept challenging myself. It became evident that I would be able to reach higher goals if I kept a good practice routine going. The best way to keep your focus is to stick a pole in the ground and march to it. (The pole representing the level of proficiency you'd like to reach)

Here's some suggestions:
1- Set small gaols and reach them. This way you can mark your progress. Don't set the bar too high at first.
2. Record yourself playing right now. This will give you a milestone. Set your goals and then go back to that recording 2 months from now. You'll be surprised at the progress you will see.
3- Take one song that you'd like to play. Learn the ENTIRE song. The rhythm and the lead parts. Even if it takes 2 months. The work you put into learning that song will help you along with other things.
4 -Learn scales. This is a great way to help you understand how to play leads.
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Re: 13 years of playing, but it sure doesn't sound like it!

Post by Scrybe » July 18th, 2010, 12:35 pm

+1 to taking lessons.

There are some good article on here for organising a practice routine. They wont have been taken down, because there's no copyright infringement on them. Also, Chris Juergensen has a good one here - http://chrisjuergensen.com/developing_a ... outine.htm

The two keys to developing well over time are
(1) Practice regularly. By which I mean "practice" and not "play what you can already play without difficulty". Learn new things each time. And...
(2) Organising your time efficiently. Don't go from learning a basic minor pentatonic in one position to saying "I'll learn how to do tapping, a ynwgie malmsteem solo, and learn 10 jazz standards new week" It probably isn't gonna happen. For each scale you learn, learn it all over the neck before trying a new scale. Try to work in logical steps like that, so you're constantly building upon what you've already learned, and your development doesn't have big gaps in it.
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Re: 13 years of playing, but it sure doesn't sound like it!

Post by TRGuitar » July 19th, 2010, 7:48 am

Myself, I've never had a lesson, but if you have been playing 13 years and feel you are getting nowhere it seems a logical thing to do. I just play for fun and never have "organized" practice. I guess I just got better by accident. :? +1 on the learning new things though. That one I am guilty of.
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