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Learning and forget...
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Learning and forgetting,not enough progress....

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Eminent Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 13
Topic starter  

Hello all
I just want to make an observation here which you guys probably know already but its really hitting home to me lately!
I am playing guitar since I was 15 or so on and off and I am now in my 50s. I play for months fairly regularly and then work or something takes over and it gets put on the back burner for a few months.
My problem is that i have learnt pieces from tab (Classical Gas for example because thats the last one I learnt) but I completely forget them when I come back to it again! I don't gig or play with others so when you learn a piece I tend to drop it then and it just disappears in a few weeks!!
Now thats all normal and nothing new but lately I got a DVD called Liberate Yourself from Tab by a blues player Toby Walker (downloaded from Homespun). Its really good and just made me think that I should have spent less time learning pieces (unless you are playing gigs etc) and a lot more time learning the principles so that I could know how to just make it up as I go along and jam away to backing tracks etc. I wouldn't feel that I had lost everything when I come back and can't remember the piece I spent weeks learning!!
Anyway, at the moment I am learning Travis picking (Don't think twice its alright by Dylan and some Mississipi John Hurt etc) and don't want to fall into the same trap this time so I will try to spend more time just jamming along to what I am learning instead of giving all my practice time to specific pieces. (Tips on Travis picking welcome!)
Anyone find themselves in a similar situation???
PS I love the guitar but have never had anyone to play along with so I use jam tracks. I think to have a musical partner is a marvellous advantage to have and would really keep you on your toes!
All thoughts and tips welcome!

Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3995

You must keep fresh the tunes that you already know. Once I play correctly something, I keep playing it once or twice a week just for keeping them fresh. I got very good ideas from the book "The Musician Way", David did a review in the main site.

On Travis picking. Don't be in a hurry and try to practice every exercise!

Famed Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4459

I wouldn't worry about forgetting stuff everyone does if they don't keep playing it.

I guess it depends on what you want to do. If it's just jamming to backing tracks you basically talking improvisation so sure everything is whatever you play at the moment.

If you are playing a covers though your pretty much gonna have to do what Nuno says keep playing them often enough so they stay fresh.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!

Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 848

Every finger picking song you learn will work on the connection between your fingers, and brain... So you may forget the song..... but it will reap benefits in the long run by having better finger control.

Ive been in the same boat though. ive forgotten a lot ive learned... but the real key is how fast it comes back.. The first time it may have taken a week or two to learn at the start. I have forgotten it.... but I get back to it, and within a hour or two, I got it down.

Paul B