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The Bad Thing About Being Self Taught

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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.

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

Oh, I know where it's from but what the line meant I was never sure. One could guess from the context alone but put the context of the line together with the image of a Telefunken U47 and there is no doubt about what it means. Heck, just the image and it's reasonably obvious.

It also seems that my original image link sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. I guess Telefunken is trying to prevent bandwidth thieves (like me) from linking to their images.

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


   
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Kosmos
(@kosmos)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 15
 

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.

I'm not looking to put 5 or 6 licks together. The problem is I've got things I want to say (on the guitar) but I can't form the words yet. I'm struggling with it and its getting frustrating.

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

What's more frustrating is that I know if I had a teacher, I'd be further along. But that's not an option right now. Arggghhh

For sure being self taught has disadvantages as well as advantages but everyone has to start somewhere, with or without a teacher. You obviously have some creativity but it seems you just need to study some theory, listen to some alternative forms of music, or even plenty of your favourite artists for some inspiration.

Of course it's frustrating at times as it is for many others (myself included), but as the old cliche goes "You've got to pay your dues, if you want to play the blues." Also if I recall correctly Eric Clapton was self taught as indeed were many others and I'm sure they had many frustrations along the way. Practice, Practice, Practice, and never get discouraged - this is the principal I apply, but then I've never let my frustations get the better of me as far as Guitar is concerned. :wink:

"Sometimes you wonder, I mean really wonder. I know we make our own reality and we always have a choice, but how much is pre-ordained?"

John Lennon


   
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Cat
 Cat
(@cat)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1224
 

This is a GOOD thing, matey! We usually don't get anywhere "real" until we're pushed into a corner. Be grateful that at least you recognise the fact that there IS a plateau!

Still...take a tip from me: concentrate NOT on scales but on passing chords. (Chords that "leave you hanging" waiting for it to resolve somewhere out there in the cosmos.) If you play these chords in a cycle...it sounds like crap. But if you END a chord cycle with it you HAVE to explore a new place.

Two suggestions:

G5...which is a third fretted G with that B dropped off to an open-stringed G (learned this after my first earful of RAIN by the Beatles).

and...this E/Gb/B bit...open low E, B on the fifth string (2nd fret), Gb on the 4th string (4th fret), anudder B on the third string (4th fret), open B string, open high E.

I can't tell you HOW MANY times I've been stuck for a strong middle eight only to be saved by a chord that sounds god-awful sitting there all by itself!

Hope this helps!

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


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

Cat, I like those two suggestions - the G5's interesting. Do you mean 355033 - Bottom E fretted with thumb, 5th string with ring finger, 4th with pinky, mini-barre across E and B strings? I just tried that, and it's easier than the 3x0033, muting the 5th string.

The other one's an Esus2 - can also be played higher up the neck as 779977 - Clapton used that in "Badge" by taking his middle finger off an Em (779987) chord. I particularly like Sus2 and sus4 chords, and use them a lot in my own songs!

It's good to experiment with chords - leaving strings open to ring that you'd otherwise play. I like the G6 chord played 355430 - has a nice tone. Move the whole shape down one fret, you've got a different voicing for F#7 - move the whole shape down another fret, you've got Fmaj7. I used that in a song not long ago - G6, F#7, Fmaj7, resolving to E.

There are lots of different ways to spice up your playing - letting strings ring open is just one of them, playing alternate voicings for chords is another. That's why I never get bored with guitar - there's always something new to try!

: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.)


   
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Cat
 Cat
(@cat)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1224
 

Yep, Vic...yer right about the other examples. There's heaps of 'em.

Essentially, though, the word "plateau" seemed (to me, at least) that the guy needed a way "off" of it. As old as you and I are...it's easy enough on our own id. We get it. But a freshman has a hard time of seeing what's as plain as the nose on his face! I guess we're "karma bound" to play "daddy" from time to time. Hey, Vic, we've got shirts older than 90% of the membership!

I'm playing each night with my 16 year old (bass) and my 14 year old (6 string). At the end of the session I leave them with a WEIRD chord at the tail end of a cycle we were jamming with. It's good to see where they take it from there. They USED to say things like "my fingers won't stretch there" or "that sounds like sh*t"...but they do it sooner or later. In fact, NOW they're replacing the fellas they've been used to playing with because they are getting more aware of what's possible rather than what's NOT possible!

Hope after hope...maybe Playstation 3 has seen it's last day???

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


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

I had to come back and reread this thread. Thanks to everyone for your replies. I'm taking each of your points wholeheartedly. May sound silly, but this is a BIG thing for me. I want to progress so badly but inching (centimetering) along is getting frustrating.
This is a GOOD thing, matey! We usually don't get anywhere "real" until we're pushed into a corner. Be grateful that at least you recognise the fact that there IS a plateau!

Still...take a tip from me: concentrate NOT on scales but on passing chords. (Chords that "leave you hanging" waiting for it to resolve somewhere out there in the cosmos.) If you play these chords in a cycle...it sounds like crap. But if you END a chord cycle with it you HAVE to explore a new place.

Two suggestions:

G5...which is a third fretted G with that B dropped off to an open-stringed G (learned this after my first earful of RAIN by the Beatles).

and...this E/Gb/B bit...open low E, B on the fifth string (2nd fret), Gb on the 4th string (4th fret), anudder B on the third string (4th fret), open B string, open high E.
Cat
Thanks much for the advice. I will absolutely give this a try.

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


   
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