jumping from song to song
Thanks for the responces everyone. Some very good suggestions out there. Wes, I like the magic trick story, but as for playing songs for girlfriends, well, I have been married to the same women for 38 years in May, and she might not see that as a good thing.LOL.
I have been asked to bring my acoustic round so people can hear me. I find it difficult to just play a song and sing. I can do it by myself, but I usually like to diddle around a little first. What wes said I would like to do because that is what people expect, I found out the hard way they will lose interest if you don't entertain them
There was once a band who had a line in one of their songs
"Can You play guitar or must I turn on the radio?"
I've heard this a thousands time (well maybe not that exagerated). sentences like:"Can he paly guitar?" after someone bought his/her first axe, is very common where I live.
I used to ask them if they can typewrite. If yes than I'd say something like "Did it come overnight?" or "Why haven't you written 10 great novels than?"
Fact is, if you're playing a few half-assed songs some may even say that you are musically untallented.
I think I always end up doing the "wrong" things first when taking my guitar. :D
So, yes it is a GREAT motivaton for me to play perfectly practiced songs to non-musicians.
NO MORE THEORY!!
KNOW MORE THEORY!!!!
Maybe perfect is the wrong word. If I waited until I played songs perfectly, I would still be waiting.
But you should be able to play songs in a relatively professional manner.
I think the best example is Country music. Country is pretty popular again. Next time you see a Country band on TV take a close look. You will almost always see one guy just simply strumming an acoustic guitar. And he or she will be strumming regular open chords that every new guitarist learns from the start.
But this person is a PRO. And if you heard them you would be impressed too. Because they will strum that whole song with good timing, rhythm, and dynamics. Those are the most important things.
A guy like Willie Nelson can hire the best guitarists in the world to travel around the world with him. And you can bet he has one guy or gal that simply strums songs. But they know the song from beginning to end, have good timing, and a sense of dynamics.
So you don't have to be Steve Vai to be a pro.
If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis
Congrats to 38 years man.... and I have the same prob with songs!!!
Maybe perfect is an exageration.
what I mean is not to struggle or to think too much about the song.
If you are confident with what you are doing I think you will sound "perfect" enough... 8)
So you don't have to be Steve Vai to be a pro
NO MORE THEORY!!
KNOW MORE THEORY!!!!
I think this is a common problem for beginners; and one that I have experienced a number of times. The real problem lies in the choice of appropriate songs. (i.e "Stairway..." is not an appropriate beginners song) Sometimes, I will choose to play a song which is well-beyond my ability at the time (George Harrison--Here Comes The Sun); or a song which contains much dubbing of guitar parts (Led Zeppelin, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You), or one that depends on other instruments to carry off (or add needed texture). (Like the cello(?), in the chorus of JT's Fire and Rain) Or one that is simply too long for a beginner's endurance. (Stairway, again) Or a simple song which is incredibly difficult to sing (REM Everybody Hurts) and play at the same time. The beginning guitarist is not adept at creating solo arrangements for single guitar. (too busy learning how to play) All these abilities come with experience; and experience is gained by making these choices.
Now that I've outlined all my excuses :lol:
I realize that its very important to learn songs all the way through; and be able to play and sing. At some point, I imagine, it will all come together. With experience. I also imagine that as a beginning guitarist gets out there and plays with other players that he or she will overcome the inherent "limitations" of being a solo player.
I believe, also, as margaret pointed out, that a certain incubation period between starting to learn a song and finishing it is sometimes necessary, taking into account the complexity of some songs; and the players growing ability. If it takes Neil Young a number of years to complete writing a song he started way back in his early days, I don't feel so bad if it takes me an extended period to learn to play a song well. I know the satisfaction of learning a song and playing it all the way through: it's something that'll always be with me.
That said, I don't knock myself for leaving some loose ends. I'm in it for the long haul (God willing 8) ); and as long as I'm learning new stuff, and growing incrementally, I'm happy.
"Colour made the grass less green..." 3000 miles, Tracy Chapman
I've just recently started playing the guitar again and I do the same thing all the time too. I was asking a friend of mine who's been playing for less than a year why he only knows certain riffs - usually the most recognizable part of the song - and why he rarely learns whole songs. I personally WANT to learn more than just the intro to a song, but he said that he's just playing for himself and that that's all he wants to learn. So I guess learning to play the guitar, especially if you're teaching yourself, is a really different for each person since we all have our own personal motivations and expectations of what we want to "get" by playing. ...if that makes sense. :)
Now that I think about it - I can only think of 3 to 4 songs I can REALLY play all the way through.
I have about 25 I do bits and peices of......
Ghost Rider, you have a point. I'm always trying to play "Here Comes the Sun", "Stairway..." but I realize I'm in over my head. I figure it will come in time.... I hope.