Skip to content
The Bad Thing About...
 
Notifications
Clear all

The Bad Thing About Being Self Taught

36 Posts
20 Users
0 Likes
5,332 Views
Jersey Jack
(@jersey-jack)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 189
 

Id like to come back to the notion of vocabulary. The problem with learning scales is that one is left with a context or structure for lead playing, but lacking the specific terms of expression--just like having syntax and verb conjugation patterns down in a foreign language without the practical ability to go down to the corner and order a beer. :oops:

The vocabulary of guitar expression is licks. That's how one communicates. I too am a dedicated rhythm player, but nothing advances a guitar player like learning licks. They don't have to shredding licks, or even deep bluesy licks, but they have to be there for a guitarist to properly communicate. Learning some licks around chords in open positions broke me out of my last slump.

When I get stuck, I think about someone I admire. I then try to learn a few of that person's signature licks by heart. This usually breaks me out of whatever slump I'm in. I'm about to go after Clarence White, and I hope to come home with a lick or two! 8) Don't be reluctant to copy--it's how one learns to be!

Think also about partial chords. As an acoustic strummer, it was a revelation to me to find that I didn't always have to play five or six strings.


   
ReplyQuote
stellabloo
(@stellabloo)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 189
 

At the end of the day I feel this, I'll play guitar and will always own at least one till the day I die. Anything else beyond that is gravy. If i find a band and play great. If we get gigs, great. If I get asked to record great. If I only play around the house and sitting in my porch with a few friends great too. I'm happy with just 'being'.
:)

Thanks Dagwood! IMHO it is good to set goals but sometimes we get too goal-oriented and forget that the whole reason we picked up the guitar was to learn something new and have FUN with it. I never for one moment thought to myself, 'I want to play like so-and-so' - I never considered myself to be talented enough to sound like a famous musician :roll: . That didn't prohibit me from trying to learn a few songs on the guitar either :roll:

That said, I am a big believer in the creation of specific goals that can be met. Sounds like you mostly want to write music and in particular create a melody for a certain rhythm ? I would suggest stepping AWAY from the guitar and playing with the rhythm in your mind in whatever spare moments you have. It may take a couple of weeks. Welcome to songwriter's fugue :lol: roflmao pun intended but if the melody is catchy enough, it will stay with you and you can actually tab it 'by ear' next time you play. BTW the new cell phones have voice memo, so you don't have to rush home when inspiration strikes 8)

What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it's really all about?

~ why yes, I am available on youtube ~
http://www.youtube.com/stellabloo


   
ReplyQuote
Chris C
(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

The worst thing about being self taught is the teacher. I already know everything he does.

At least his rates are reasonable.

:mrgreen:

Well I'm mostly self taught and I would add to that by saying "I USED to know everything that my teacher did, but I seem to have forgotten half of it...." :roll:

Chris


   
ReplyQuote
Chris C
(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

However, I feel like I'm stuck. I've hit a plateau and I'm having a hard time moving. I recently wrote a basic song on the piano. I'm trying to put a melody over it and I'm having a real difficult time. I know the reason is because I've not yet learned how to be imaginative in creating phrases. This is limited by my lack of vocabulary.

On the subject of reaching "plateaus" (plateaux??)..

Every plateau that I've reached seems to be more about a drift in motivation than hitting any sort of real dead end with skills. It's been more about tailoring my work to the skills I already have, whilst working my way to the next level. I also have the ambition to write my own music, and I lack a considerable amount of the full kit. But you don't need a massive shed full of tools to put up a shelf, just a couple of basic items. I don't expect I'll ever get to doing full arrangements for an orchestra but, hell, you don't need that sort of skill just to make your own song. You can make up a tune with a few notes, your own voice, or just put your lips together and whistle. I reckon that you can add simple harmony or create easy melodies without a ton of knowledge too. It's wanting to leapfrog to the front of the queue and do fancier stuff real quick that causes me problems.

The teacher I like is experience - analytical experience. I've never had a lesson in building or designing, but I demolished a couple of houses and paid attention while I did so. I eventually gained enough knowledge to design and build an entire house, single handed, including making all the doors and windows by hand. Sure, that's a big job, but each little step was simple enough. I treat music the same way. Listen to it, look at it, pull it apart, see how it works and why it works. And then do it myself, my way.

You sound like a perfect candidate to come and join the Sunday Composer Workshop forum. Lots to be learned by working through the simple weekly exercises. It's only just started, and there's a mix of composition newbs like me, through to experienced and helpful guys like NoteBoat and Kingpatzer, with occasional appearances by David Hodge. What more could you want?

Cheers,

Chris


   
ReplyQuote
TRGuitar
(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3709
 

I'm self taught. It's good though cause I understand me. :roll:

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
ReplyQuote
Blueline
(@blueline)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1704
Topic starter  

...I've never had a lesson in building or designing, but I demolished a couple of houses and paid attention while I did so. I eventually gained enough knowledge to design and build an entire house, single handed, including making all the doors and windows by hand....

I like the house building analogy. Sticking with that, I've already built some sheds, maybe a few custom homes (musically) I'm now ready to build a cathedral. I just need to acquire the right tools and decide on the colors!!! Doesn't have to be the Sistine Chapel, but I'd like to get close!!

You are correct about the Sunday Composer Workshop. It is a perfect fit. For me, its just a matter of having the time to devote to it.

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


   
ReplyQuote
cyranodb
(@cyranodb)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 178
 

Sometimes I try doing something different. Try learning a new technique, song or a different style to get myself out of that rutt. I think I might take some lessons...maybe at the NYC Guitar School...and I'd like to learn some rockabily :)

"I use heavy strings, tune low, play hard and floor it. Floor it, that's a technical term." - SRV


   
ReplyQuote
Vic Lewis VL
(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

I was self-taught for a while, but I didn't get on with my teacher.....

(I should point out here, for those who believe in such things, I'm a Gemini.....)

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
ReplyQuote
musica23
(@musica23)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 277
 

Blueline posed this musical question...
For laughs, I'll ask the silly question- Anyone else go/going through this? :lol:

Yes! Right now. Only it's not funny. :? I'm online here cuz I don't feel like hearing the same ol' thing coming out of my guitar. This has been going on for at least a month now.

I did decide to resume my lessons 2x per month. (I'm sorry that's not an option for you, but I've just read some excellent alternate advice on this thread.) The reason I quit in the first place??? I was intimidated by my teacher's playing. :oops: He's extremely good (IMHO) and I was embarrassed to be heard by him. How's that for crazy? I should be thrilled that he's great. Maybe I'll pick some of it up, right? And he's such a nice guy. He urges me to HAVE FUN with playing! This isn't a matter of life or death, it's not a competition, etc. It's supposed to be fun! (I'm a Leo, if ya believe in that kinda stuff... :wink: )

Also, I'm stuck in the blues (not a bad place to be, but it certainly gets monotonous). And, like you, I listen to an extensive array of different genres of music. But I just realized as I read this thread that I haven't been actively listening to music in months. This also reminded me of another short story...I once had the good fortune to meet Derek Trucks at LaGuardia airport. He signed my airline ticket and let my hubby take a picture (cell phones do come in handy!) of us. I asked him for advice on how to get better on guitar. His answer was short and sincere: "just listen." There must be some kinda truth to that!

I'm hoping to find someone to jam with, too. Being a woman ain't easy. Especially being one my age. :shock: I've never had a regular (or an irregular) jamming partner, but I hope to connect with someone when I resume my lessons next week.

Anyway, good luck to you, Blueline. And never give up! You are not alone.

:D :D :D

Love and Peace or Else,
CC


   
ReplyQuote
Rahul
(@rahul)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2736
 

The worst thing about being self taught is the teacher. I already know everything he does.

If you think about it, in some strange twisted way....THAT"S the exactl problem I'm having. You see? There's a reason you are a guitar god!!! 8)

Do you know which model of guitar 'Guitar God' plays ? :mrgreen:


   
ReplyQuote
Blueline
(@blueline)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1704
Topic starter  

"IT LOOKS JUST LIKE A TELEFUNKINU47"

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


   
ReplyQuote
Hyperborea
(@hyperborea)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 827
 

"IT LOOKS JUST LIKE A TELEFUNKINU47"

You know, I used to wonder what that line meant. I could guess but I wasn't sure.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


   
ReplyQuote
Nick Torres
(@nicktorres)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

Guitar God? Hardly. I am a perpetual beginner.


   
ReplyQuote
Blueline
(@blueline)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1704
Topic starter  

"IT LOOKS JUST LIKE A TELEFUNKINU47"

You know, I used to wonder what that line meant. I could guess but I wasn't sure.

Yea, that's an old line from Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage. I couldn't resist.

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


   
ReplyQuote
Blueline
(@blueline)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1704
Topic starter  

You know, I used to wonder what that line meant. I could guess but I wasn't sure.

Yea, that's an old line from Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage. I couldn't resist.

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


   
ReplyQuote
Page 2 / 3