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Snoogans775
(@snoogans775)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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I'm gonna put my all-time favorite quote about music here, my choir teahcer tells it to us constantly

Listen Louder than you Sing

well, listen louder than you play, no difference

I don't follow my dreams, I just ask em' where they're going and catch up with them later.
-Mitch Hedburg
Did you see that!


   
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purple
(@purple)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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I didn't see this before and no one has posted on this in awhile but I just have to add to it because I found it so inspiring.

Anyway, this is what I have learned, some may be repeaters. Some, I have learned and still disobey.

* If you want to be a songwriter, write songs even if you only know a few chords.

* Take the extra time and work a little harder to learn it correctly now because if you don't in 3 months you will still be playing it wrong – I still struggle with this so I know from much experience

* Learn songs the whole way through. I am the person who knew like 1000 riffs and no whole songs so I worked and am still very much working to change that – even if the opening riff is really cool and the rest of the song is boring

* Sometimes I think I am better than I actually am and then I'll attempt a song out of my league that leads to me crashing back into earth

* Sometimes I think I am worse than I really am and then I will play something and actually amaze myself – I love those days! They make it all worth it.

* Sometimes I get frustrated because of my playing ability. Why can't it go faster? Then one day while I am playing, I realize that I have improved. All frustration goes away and I am back to just playing for fun. Small things will do this like being able to play some chord and I don't buzz the 1st string any more. I love these days too. The small improvements over long periods of time equal large improvements. So with each small improvement I know I am still on my way.

* Don't just fingerpick or plectrum pick. I stopped using a plectrum for awhile and now I have been slowly regaining my plectrum ability. It is frustrating having to work hard to get back to place where I once was but I have to say that I am a pretty good fingerpicker- the only thing I will dare say I am good at on guitar. This also goes for everything not just picking.

* * * Don't just go running off to buy or find the tab to a song (which is my first impulse that I have to control). Listen and try to figure it out yourself. You really learn how the whole song is structured instead of just seeing where to put your fingers on the guitar. The more you do it, the better you get at it and start off with something not too complicated. I also find it makes theory easier for me because it really brings everything together. It makes me use the scales I know and I have to figure out the chord progressions that go with them. This is what I find improves my playing the most. Plus, I am prouder of being able to play the songs that I figured out myself even if they are simple.

* The other day I was flipping through a magazine and on the last page it had a quote highlighted. I don't even know what the article was for; the quote might originally be from something else. I only read the one quote but it relates to all things in life not just guitar. “Learning requires a willingness to be bad at something for awhile.”

After reading what everyone else has said I feel bad that I don't really have anyone to play with. I think playing with others would really improve my playing. I am going to have to work on this. My friends are no-go's as for guitar players. They hear Purple Haze and don't know who does it and I mean male friends too. I thought everyone knew what Hendrix sounded like.

It's not easy being green.... good thing I'm purple.


   
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corbind
(@corbind)
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Hey Purple, your quote, “Learning requires a willingness to be bad at something for awhile” is quite powerful. I never thought about it like that. But it makes sense. So the ones who have a fear of failure don't try new things much. They like safety.

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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purple
(@purple)
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I agree corbind. I read it and was like "wow." I immediately related to it especially with guitar. There have been times in my life when I have shied away from some stuff for the fear of being bad at it and now, I feel more empowered to try new things and that if it isn't perfect it is ok. You will laugh to know that I went back and actually read the article that gave me this profound statement and it was about starting a new work out program - go figure.

It's not easy being green.... good thing I'm purple.


   
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cnev
 cnev
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Dennis,

I don't think I posted anything before or I forgot but this was a great post and I always pick something up from you and Wes..you guys keep me inspired to keep playing even when I feel like I'm not making progress.

As you know we started around the same time and my guess is your alittle bit a head of me in terms of playing but I enjoy reading all your posts.

Your very methodical in your approach to learning which I admire alot. I wish I could muster the same determination you have.

I wish I could add something insightful here in terms of what my journey has been but I really don't have anything much to add.

Unfortunately, and I don't know why I have always been a kinda glass is half empty kind of person instead of the glass is half full so I think I tend to get down on myself alot.

Plus I'm a little older than you and sometimes wonder why I'm even doing this, but I've always wanted to play and since I've come this far I really can't stop now.

My problem and the only advice I can give is don't cop out to just playing the stuff you can play, keep trying to play more difficult pieces even if you don't get them down completely, when you go back and try later you'll wonder why you ever had a problem. I know for me this has held me back, I'll learn a song and really like it (it's been Cold Hard [email protected] by Jet lately) and for wahtever reason I just love playing this song over and over again along with the CD, so much that I don't work on more of the stuff I need to.

I don't know where my journey will bring me, and I'm not really sure what I want to do when I get there but I still plan on having fun doing it.

So maybe this is my second childhood or something but I plan on rockin out till I die.

Chris

"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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corbind
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Well, to be quite honest, my methodical approach actually hinders me in many ways. Yea, my schooling and upbringing in life has countoured me to be fairly structured in most (not all, mind you) things I do. When I'm really pissed off (if happens maybe once a year) I'm the type to curl up his fist and think about punching a huge hole in the wall. Nope, that was my brother to a tee. I learned to think. Literally, just after I'd make a fist a voice starts asking “so what are you gonna do? Your fist may hit the stud in the wall. Yea, gonna hurt, eh? Or you may just get lucky and punch into the drywall. Yep, then you have to vacuum it all up, buy some drywall, put 3 coats of mud on it and sand in between, and vacuum much more. Is it worth it?” Seriously, my brain things about all that in that second.

Disclaimers: I'm not violent and think too much to fight. I'm very, very easy-going but that above example shows how I have a hard time acting on impulse. How does it hinder my guitar playing/practice? Well it helps at least organizing. I have most of the songs I work on typed up with lyrics on one sheet, lyrics and chords on another, and just chords in boxes on another (like a cheat sheet). Way too organized to be a real player.

The other guitar player in the band had hand-written lyrics and chords for half of his songs and it was crazy. I typed that stuff up and put it in protective sheets and he uses that now in practice and gigging. My current guitar teacher is greatly disorganized but a great player. He's been able to grab my guitar without the strap, put it on a knee while standing with a foot on a chair and play. With a pick or without. He'll just pick up any guitar and play in any position. Shirt on, shirt off, in a 90 degree room, anything.

I can't do that. I will put the strap on, get the right pick, make darned sure it's not 90 degrees or I'd plan to have a fan shooting at me. I like to minimize difficulties or maximize my playing. Just like tuning. I tune to make the guitar very in tune. Side note.
Remember Tuesday night I changed the strings for the other guitar player? I handed him the guitar and did not tune it as I do mine. He had it stretched and tuned up with just keyboard reference pitch within 5 minutes. I don't know if it was truly tuned, but I respect that. I told him “that amazes me.” He said he can hear the sounds well and I told him “it would have taken me at least 15 minutes to stretch and tune the new strings.” He said “Yea, that can be kinda annoying” because I'm anal about tuning my guitar before practice (actually anytime) when he'll just start playing. To each his own.

Chris, you say you play songs you know and like often. Truth be told, so do I. Why? It feels good! Oh yea, to hear some of your favorite tunes is great. Many mornings I wake up thinking about Petty's “You Wreck Me” going through my head. Often, when it's late and I don't have much time or the beer has taken over, I'll just play the stuff I know and like. Silly? Maybe, but at least I'm (well you and I are) playing so that's creating more muscle memory.

Also, I still have that 867-5309 Jenny song you mailed to me. I've worked on it a few times and I sucked at it. I'm not a very good arpeggiator where I think lead players would better be able to do those parts. But you had two sources and practiced it. You played it for/with buddies and it's a song you do. I could not pick it up but you did. And I love that song!

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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Chalmodo
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all you need is to be human to be able to rock.
just dont be sad if some of us are more human than others.

Chalmodo

all you need is to be human to be able to rock.
just dont be sad if some of us are more human than others.


   
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cnev
 cnev
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Dennis,

Thanks but it's not quite like that. I actually had Jenny 8675309 down pretty well and then stopped playing it for the last two months.

Now I can barely remember how to play it although I know it'll come back fairly quickly. In terms of that opening arpeggio/riff, it took me a good 3-4 weeks to get it right and the only why I could play it in tempo was using all downstrokes. Before I stopped plying it I was working on playing that part with alternate picking but never really got it down completely.

Although I really want to be able to learn to play lead well I'm not there yet nor am I an accomplished rhythm player. I actually think I should have done the same worked solely on rhythym for the first year or two and then branch out to lead, but I'm kinda doing both at the same time and sometimes it feels like I'm spread to thin, especially when I end up playing my fav songs for hours and not working on new stuff.

But it's fun, and I am kind of a gadget guy and there are so many toys to buy, that alone will keep me interested.

"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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corbind
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As it seems my post can get kinda long, I'll keep this one short. Well, I admire you in that you're learning both. I learned zero lead until about two months ago. I took maybe 8 lessons and I going to put the lead stuff on the shelf for now. I'm progressing like a snail at it and I never use the stuff in playing with the band or anywhere else. So it seems to me, at this point in my life, I'll concentrate on the rhythm stuff and leave the leads for others.

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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blutic1
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Chicks dig it!


   
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Tucker
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- Play the hand you're dealt. I know some people that spend more time complaining about the faults with their equipment that they never practice. In fact, if they spent a fraction of their moaning time practicing on their dodgy (if it is dodgy, some people are just bad workmen who blame their tools) gear it wouldn't be an issue.

- If you play a guitar in a shop and you fall in love with it, don't go home and order it on the internet for a bit less money as that will not be the guitar you fell in love with. Each guitar will sound different and have a different vibe. Even a guitar made from wood cut from the same tree as the next one will sound different (this philosophy is courtesy of Mick Thompson of Slipknot).

- If convention stops you doing something you like, be unconventional. I love flatwound strings on my ES-335 copy (which are "conventionally" jazz strings and a "conventional" jazz guitar) but I play hard rock/metal on them. That's the tone and feel I prefer on my semi-acoustic, and seeing as I'm the one who has to play it, that makes sense to me.

- The guitar is one of the easiest instruments to get good at, and one of the hardest instruments to be great at.

- You get what you pay for.


   
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Chalmodo
(@chalmodo)
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oh man the chicks dig it!

all you need is to be human to be able to rock.
just dont be sad if some of us are more human than others.


   
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thectrain
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Well i've been playing for almost a year without a teacher and i've progressed reasonably well. I'm sure I could have been much better by now if I had gotten a teacher but i've had fun learning. I've learned to run up and down the scales and play the chords but most of all i think i've finally learned some things that will keep me getting better.

Anyway my lame attempt at being wise.....

* If you ever start to think that your really good at something your probably wrong so watch a video of Hendrix and keep practicing.

* No matter how fast or amazing your solo is most people would rather hear you play a two chord song and sing to it....so learn those Dylan songs.

* It never hurts to go back and play something slowly even if you can play it fast. After a couple of times through slowly playing fast just gets a little easier.

* While learning Knocking on Heavens door to sing at the next family get together make sure to try to play something you have no hope of playing. Because one day something happens and you can play it and thats when you know you've gotten better.

* As many people have said....Find someone to play with now especially if they are better then you. When you go play with someone and realize that you are really bad there is no better way to motivate yourself to get better.

Anyway thats my attempt to be helpful i'm sure its all been said- most likely in this topic- but i was too busy playing to read the whole thing.


   
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Tucker
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Here's something valuable I learned while guitar browsing/loitering. Try EVERYTHING and remember what you like about them. You will start to see a pattern emerge that will bring you one step closer to finding your niche. This applies to every guitar you can cram in before the store kicks you out. Hell, I was even checking out the right-handed guitars, and I'm certain I'm going to pick up a right-handed Jaguar soon as I LOVE the way they sound. This is also a tip for lefties - being left-handed is only as limiting as you want it to be.


   
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DemoEtc
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One of the things I've learned is that it's possible to get great sounds out of crummy equipment and to get really horrible sounds out of great equipment.


   
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