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 Anonymous
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Being a teacher I should be able to solve this problem myself but my practices are turning into a noodling fest lately. In all honesty it started the momment I began practicing soloing. Scales just bore the heck out of me and I really do understand their importance. I even try to spice them up a bit with effects (even though I know I shouldn't do that) just to make them sound good...which they still don't by the way! I always find myself going back to working on creating my own power chord riffs (which I have MANY now!). I don't even try to learn cover tunes that much any more. I just LOVE the sound of power chords lately! I turn on my Wasabi Distortion and maybe a little phaser and crank it up. I know my rhythms are sounding MUCH better for it even when I practice othr styles of rhythms (Hendrix Style, SRV style, ZZ Top Style, etc).

I wrote down a practice scedule and I start following it and I guess my ADD kicks in and the next thing I know I am playing power chords again! I even didn't play for a day just to leave it for a while.

Part of me posting this is to just vent but another part of me wants to know if this happens to any of you and what solutions have you tried. I know I should just suck it up and do what I need to do but it's easier said than done...Now I know how my students feel when I tell them to do things they don't feel like doing!

Thanks


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(@artlutherie)
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Buckle up and hit the books/strings!!!!

Chuck Norris invented Kentucky Fried Chicken's famous secret recipe, with eleven herbs and spices. But nobody ever mentions the twelfth ingredient: Fear!
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(@ldavis04)
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I wrote down a practice scedule and I start following it and I guess my ADD kicks in and the next thing I know I am playing power chords again! I even didn't play for a day just to leave it for a while.Thanks

Whats your practice schedule look like?

I may grow old, but I'll never grow up.


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(@jimmy_kwtx)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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May not be for you or most anybody. But I find myself -- when I face the proverbial "brick wall"-- packing things up and not touching the guitar for weeks, twice in my life months at a time.

I find when I come back it is with a fresh heart and soul and with a beginners aproach. It is hard to do now since I teach lessons but I also find that my students provide inspiration. What we may tell them is "wrong" I tend to go back and try to repeat that wrongness to hopefully garner fresh ideas or inspiration or look at things with the veiw of the beginners eyes-- like re-living my youth.

2 cents.


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(@scrogdog)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Sure. It happens to me all the time.

I go through different phases. Sometimes I am in the "learn it" mode and I work hard on some concept or idea. Other times I am just in the "sit back and enjoy" mode.

Depends on why you play, I guess. There is a certain joy to music and playing in general of which I am sure you are aware. :) Most of us are not pros and we play for the pure joy of it. Sometimes working on something new increases our enjoyment and satisfaction, but you must also ask yourself... if playing seems like work, how long will you keep doing it? :)

Play on the power chords, brother!


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(@off-he-goes)
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Hey Mike, I think that is a problem we all experience at some point or another. It's not really a bad thing, writing riffs and progressions is great, but you should probably learn some other songs also.

Try learning something with power chords? Maybe a real metal kind of song. Or record your riffs that you are making, then try soloing over that. That could sort of kill two birds.

Vacate is the word...Vengance has no place on me or her...Cannot find a comfort in this world.


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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Well Mike you like everyone else will revert to the path of least resistance. You revert back to powerchords because your comfortable with them and they are fun for you to play...bt unfortunately they probably are doing next to nothing towards you progressing as a guitarist.

Now I'm not saying this because I'm a know it all or a great guitarist but because I've done that, been there and alot of time I still do similar things.

it's going to be a matter of getting a little discipline in your practice and tackle the things that you don't enjoy much and running through scales is one. And it's not just running up and down the scale. That helps but only minimally.

I just started with a new teacher and as a baseline he wanted to see where I am so he has me doing scales but he has broken them down so first I do them in quarter notes, then eigths, then sixteeths, then mix up the sixteenth notes, etc. This is really much different than the way I would just sit around and go up and down the scales. Doing that will not help your rhythm much. You need to be able to divide the beat up evenly and play to it. That's a skill you'll need when you solo, especially when you start playing other people's solo's.

He also has me doing a hammer-on and pull off exercise that really stretches the hand and although I "thought" I knew how to do them I can already notice an improvement in the past couple weeks.

As a teacher and someone who did alot of weightlifting I would think you'd go for a teacher, it's like having a workout partner only better because they will not only guide you but motivate you. You don't want to show up at a lesson that you paid for without practicing.

I think for me at least a teacher if nothing else helps me focus on particular tasks whereas left on my own I would wander like you.

"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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 Anonymous
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I wrote down a practice scedule and I start following it and I guess my ADD kicks in and the next thing I know I am playing power chords again! I even didn't play for a day just to leave it for a while.Thanks

Whats your practice schedule look like?

WOW! That's a LOT of replies in a short time! I think I touched a nerve!!

As for my practice schedule this is what I decided I needed to work on. These are my "weaknesses" if you will:

*Warm-Up: Usually strum a few open chords then barre chords...chord changes,etc...then one or two scale patterrns that I have down very well.
*Scales: working on patterns and trying to develop extended patterns so I can play them up and down the neck
Techniques: Usually hammer-ons & pull-offs on all strings at various places on the neck. I was going to add bends to this as well
*Arpeggios: For the life of me I want to understand these and play them. I always read that they really help soloing
*Soloing: I get stuck here usually but I try to take the scales & arpeggios and create solos (basically improving but sticking with solos...no chords
*Rhythms: My favorite but I try to play them with my drum machine using various drum patterns
*Songs:
*Noodling: My "reward" if you will for completing the above

Thanks

Honestly I don't like to set a time limit for each


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 Anonymous
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As a teacher and someone who did alot of weightlifting I would think you'd go for a teacher, it's like having a workout partner only better because they will not only guide you but motivate you. You don't want to show up at a lesson that you paid for without practicing.

I think for me at least a teacher if nothing else helps me focus on particular tasks whereas left on my own I would wander like you.

I want to get one but I want to find a good one (DUH!) and the one's near me are just kids at Guitar Center...Plus I am working this summer at the Buffalo Bills Training Camp doing security and my schedule changes constantly. This makes scheduling a teacher difficult.

There is an old saying: Doctors make the worst patients and teachers make the worst students. This is because we know what we SHOULD do but feel we don't NEED to (or in my case don't WANT to! )

Thanks!


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(@jimmy_kwtx)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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I have tried this and after the 3rd time just stopped.

I found that , for me, all the teachers ended up wanting me to move toward a group lesson type enviroment. Hell I would call that a "jam session" and why should I pay someone for that?

It works for some but not for me.


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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Jimmy,

Finding the right teacher is a chore in itself. The first two teachers I had were young kids at a local music store I had two lessons with one and I think only one with the other..needless to say i didn't learn much form them but in their defense they were both very good players and might have been decent but both got married and stopped teaching.

Then I moved south and after awhile I found a guy that moved down from Boston, really good player but really wanted to jam with his students. Unfortunately I wasn't there yet and didn't feel it was the right fit for me. So after 6-9 months on my own I called around different colleges and they suggested another teacher who I stayed with for about 9 months. He was a good teacher but now in retrospect he wasn't challenging me enough, but for the most part I think he was good and I'd go back if I had to.

Well I moved back up again and I have been on a teacher's waiting list for 6 months and finally had my first lesson a couple weeks ago. So far he has me doing things none of the others had me doing while also having me learn songs along the way. The good thing with this teacher I hope is that a buddy of mine has been taking bass lessons with him for 4 years now and I want to start jamming with him so I think the teacher will be invaluable in getting uis going in the right direction.

I guess my point is don't write off a teacher as an unnecessary evil. They are definitely beneficial you just have to search for the right one.

"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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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Noodling can yield great results if you noodle new things. So don't noodle with powerchords but hang around with the scales a bit. No pressure or anything, just play around with the scales trying to find combinations you like. Use some backing tracks and just noodle. Do that every day and one day the noodling will be officially 'lead playing'.


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(@jimmy_kwtx)
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Cnev,

Thanks for the advice.


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(@simonhome-co-uk)
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Well are you just practicing going up n down scales or basic paterns etc? Cos that is boring. You learn the scales much better and have more fun and become better through improvising a solo around them. Not just playing exercises.


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 Anonymous
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Noodling can yield great results if you noodle new things. So don't noodle with powerchords but hang around with the scales a bit. No pressure or anything, just play around with the scales trying to find combinations you like. Use some backing tracks and just noodle. Do that every day and one day the noodling will be officially 'lead playing'.

I have done that but since my knowledge of scales is limited I keep playing the same thing all the time. What I really want to learn is being abnle to put fills into my rhythms. But I have problems transitioning from chords to fills then back (I posted this problem some time ago).
Well are you just practicing going up n down scales or basic paterns etc? Cos that is boring. You learn the scales much better and have more fun and become better through improvising a solo around them. Not just playing exercises.

True but I have to LEARN the scale first which means playing the scale up and down until it is familiar.


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