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Do all good guitarists think they're crap?

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(@fleaaaaaa)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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So my question is this do all good guitar players think they're crap or wish they were as good as someone else?

In my experience it is a yes, I know I can make music and play but I wish I was better.

Hendrix did not even consider himself a musician according to one thing I read.

David Gilmour I am sure I heard him say something like that he wished he was more like Jeff Beck and that he always has to plan everything he plays (utter rubbish by the way).

Brian May is blown away by Satriani (yup I was surprised too, Satriani is probably in awe of May)

So other examples? How do you feel about your playing? Do all guitarists kind of beat themselves down?

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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(@s1120)
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Joined: 13 years ago
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I chalk it up to the fact that the more you learn, the more you see that there is never a end, and you can ALWAYS learn a lot more!!!!

Paul B


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(@fleaaaaaa)
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My Ex-guitar teacher is actually one of the few guitarists I've met who think's he is awesome (the best I would even say) and doesn't think he can improve further. I could post you a video of his playing if you wanted to see him, he is good but I am sure even he could find SOMETHING to get better at.

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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 Taso
(@taso)
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there are parts of my playing that i'm incredibly happy with, and parts where i know i'm weak. any guitarist who isn't like that either isn't good at any part of the instrument, or is lying to theirself one way or the other.

http://taso.dmusic.com/music/


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(@noteboat)
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My Ex-guitar teacher is actually one of the few guitarists I've met who think's he is awesome (the best I would even say) and doesn't think he can improve further.

He's right. He can't improve any further.

But if his ego gets out of the way, he could.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@fleaaaaaa)
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He is into Satriani and Vai (he can really play that stuff too), at one point he had a band and he was showing me (and other students) his new recordings which were total jams with no direction at all.

http://www.myspace.com/badessenceofreality

I never dared tell him that it was utter rubbish but one of his students did he said "it sounds like it's just you showing off" and that really upset him.

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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(@alangreen)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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He is into Satriani and Vai (he can really play that stuff too), at one point he had a band and he was showing me (and other students) his new recordings which were total jams with no direction at all.

http://www.myspace.com/badessenceofreality

I never dared tell him that it was utter rubbish but one of his students did he said "it sounds like it's just you showing off" and that really upset him.

By the time I got through the first minute of the first of those he'd already played a couple of suspect notes and if it wasn't for the two extra voices provided by the delay it would be a very ordinary piece of music.

Everybody can improve in some way, I don't care who they are.

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@fleaaaaaa)
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Obviously I want to improve, however for me the main reason I play is not improvement but enjoyment. If I improve through doing things I enjoy (and I ussually do in some way) then that's great but I won't practice something "just so" I can do it if it's not something I really love. My old teacher always tried to push me into things I didn't want to learn (Vai's Eugenes bag of tricks, Racer X - Scarified) so I never got anywhere with them. I feel you heart has to be in it.

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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(@chris-c)
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So other examples? How do you feel about your playing? Do all guitarists kind of beat themselves down?

I think that most of us do at the start. Plus, the more ambitious your goals are the wider and more obvious the gap is between what you would like to do and what you actually can do.

Fortunately, I have recently realised that I now feel like a reasonably good guitar player. However, this has very little to do with my skill levels, or range. I'm sure that a big percentage of players here could easily blow me away in any kind of skills contest. It's simply that I have found that sweet spot where I feel that I've put enough work in to get some reasonable foundation skills, and I've discovered the knack of enjoying where I am right now. But I also still look forward to exploring an endless amount of new territory.

Music obviously isn't a race, and it seems pointless to make it into some sort of boyish pissing contest. So I don't care even slightly where I might sit in some sort of ability list. My only goal is to enjoy being involved. I didn't set out be a rock star, win legions of fans, score groupies, make a million, join an orchestra, or lead a band. I just wanted to manage to play a few simple songs, to understand enough to be able to enjoy chatting about music, and to be able to share the experience with others. I probably cruised past that point quite a while back without really noticing it. So it's all gravy now. I can write silly songs, strum a range of chords, pick out a few melodies, and I've played casually with others in a small group.

Best of all, I get a great deal of pleasure from doing it. I do feel like I'm "good", on my own terms, and it's because I'm good at enjoying where I'm at right now instead of always fretting about where I might be in a couple of years. I guess it also helps that I don't define myself through the guitar. Guitar playing isn't "who I am" it's one of a number of things that I do. If guitar is the main tool that somebody uses to earn money, gain respect from others, and keep the self confidence up, then that's a big load. The pressure they may put on themselves is probably somewhat higher than mine! But it doesn't need to be. I don't set the bar too high or raise it too fast. Enjoying jumping over the lower levels with ease sometimes pays off more just than endlessly going for difficult jumps. And I keep my own hand on it too - and won't be pressured into somebody else's agenda.

Works for me. :)

Cheers,

Chris


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(@fleaaaaaa)
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That was a wonderful post :)

It got me thinking, one of my main ambitions was to be able to get up a on stage and someone say "okay were playing this song in this key" then they just start, give me no information and yet I am able to pick it all up and by the end of the song I am playing along confidently as if I knew the song!

That has happened for me now, I have gone to many jam nights and done this many times and the thursday just gone I played "Chain of fools" and "Valerie" neither of which I have EVER played. I didn't work out every single chord but I knew things I could do (such as octaves) that would work (and no one else was doing) and would get me involved in the song.

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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(@notes_norton)
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The more you know about music, the more you realize all the things you don't know yet. I saw an interview with Jeff Beck who was actually humble about his guitar playing, and personally I think he is the most technically proficient rock guitarist living.

“Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music” - Sergei Rachmaninov << What he said!!!

Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


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(@blue-jay)
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I wasn't going to add to this topic, but will now, since I have reiterated my inadequacies under the regrets section. I never wanted to see that repeated in my own children, put them into music (the youngest @ 18 months) and insisted that they stay away from muscle cars, tuners or race cars, except I made a mistake by taking my first daughter to car shows as my shine girl and mascot since kindergarten, and after buying her 16 years of Hot Wheels (toys) she went heavily into sports cars or mini muscle cars, and is a car freak or gearhead to this day.

Then there's my son, who this is about, and all of my kids had access to about 200 guitars growing up, but to make sure that my last daughter didn't go in for fast cars, I bought her dolls and teddy bears and stuff, and a new White Les Paul Custom, when she entered Kindergarten, after graduating from years of "Kindermusik". Told the story before - she traded it for Fenders - 2 Teles and a custom made Strat from me. They matched her violins better, and the "stand-on-the-floor" Jazz Bass.

Long story short, my son had reason to never fault his guitar playing, and thought he was a darned good player and I reinforced that, yet wanted him to go with it as a career, starting as a session musician at 15 - 16 or go work for a guitar development company or factory, and get school through tutoring. He built guitars too, and was in the process of landing a job with a new guitar company who came to our door, we didn't call them, until they learned he was underage.

Oh the point, he thought that he was such a good guitarist, that it didn't challenge him at all, and it was just a drag, and no fun! BTW, fleaaaaa, he found Hendrix to be very historical, interesting, a catalyst or musical pioneer, and good-sounding but simple and repetitive, as an adolescent, and I thought it was too good to be true, since I could never emulate it. Then he went on to do Vai, but was turned off when others chided him for being "that boy with the greeeeeen guitar" (Ibanez LNG 777, made while he was born, and signed by Vai - they all were, all 777 of them) and they said it so meanly and taunted him, chasing him as if to take it away, or trying to take his Angus Young SG.

He did learn theory and how to sling a full size bass (up to 5 string) from 11 - 13, and then transferred to six string electric 13 - 16. All, the while, he had access to any and every brand or style of instrument. He had issues with his teacher, who was the best available to us, and only took gifted students, when the teacher couldn't find anything to teach him any more. The teacher was a local or area prodigy himself. The teacher also expressed disgust when my son chose a Strat as his main axe and later a Rickenbacker, when other guitars were technically more sophisticated. My son wanted to wring music out of the simplest or most basic. We also like Telecasters for that reason, and I idolize Jeff Beck w/Esquire, then Roy Buchanan.

My son could play any pro's music - just listen to it once, and play it back; AND HE GOT THE NAME "THE PLAYBACK MACHINE". It's a sad end to a promising and I think stellar moment in guitar playing, because he quit, he found it too easy. It's like he asked "Where's the catch?" or what's so good about it? He didn't get it or feel the magic and creativity, or the fact that the music and recreation of it were all works of art - it was like breathing, sleeping, eating... all routine.

If there's any redemption, he wanted to be challenged and do something where he didn't know how and couldn't do, and could learn through trial and error and be "on the rise" or go through the learning curve, frustrations, failures, and discovery... all the things that pique our curiosity, so he took up keyboards (88 notes) self taught, where he knew absolutely nothing except theory and scales or chords, and he builds synthesizers now; will graduate from Post Secondary Electrical Techniques and Elelctronics now, with a smattering of Musicology, to appreciate the history and science of music, inbetween.

I know other guitar players, more than a handful, who do not think they are bad, but think they are pretty good, I'd agree.

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


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(@fleaaaaaa)
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Thanks for that Bluejay, really fascinating stuff and so sad that he gave it up, I could never give up playing guitar (though during some of my depressed periods I talked about selling ALL my gear, thankfully no-one listens to me at those times and they know I don't mean it). I just love playing too much to give it up, your son sounds incredible! I wish I could have got as good as that but I am happy where I am for now.

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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(@blue-jay)
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Thanks for that Bluejay, really fascinating stuff and so sad that he gave it up, I could never give up playing guitar (though during some of my depressed periods I talked about selling ALL my gear, thankfully no-one listens to me at those times and they know I don't mean it). I just love playing too much to give it up, your son sounds incredible! I wish I could have got as good as that but I am happy where I am for now.

No problem, I'm a private person, but once I get talking or posting, I let it just about all hang out.

I'd be happy to be as good a player as yourself, and have seen many of your youtubes, and listened to you talk or muse and relate. Sorry to call it muse, I mean it respectfully, as you defend, rationalize (accurately and perfectly) or talk about Jimi for nearly 10 minutes, and off the top of your head? You're good! That's splendid, keep it up, you're very smart or intelligent and talented. I remember hearing your Hendrix tone first; you've definitely found it, can reproduce it, so don't give up or sell any of your lovely gear especially that classic 70's Strat. I used to have a 1971 like that, and then a 1986 MIJ version, shouldn't have sold either one, but I have others. I'm sure you will get your coveted Eric Johnson Strat sooner than later, I refreshed myself on all of the specs yesterday, it truly is a masterpiece, while looking innocent or simple, like Buddy Holly's. The radius is a major difference. I hope you like that, I have grown used to the 9.5's, though I have a custom Tele with 12".

We built an upside down Strat to better understand how Jimi played with such an 'obstacle' as you know, but the pickups like a normal Strat, except they were made for the project, but their poles and placement might have added to his unique tone. So, I really don't know if Jimi used the bridge pickup, which was angled backwards for him, and really changes sound? And sorry for the repeat, I think you have already seen it and noticed or commented on the strings upside down = normal, thus the whole guitar is upside down or backwards, but we play it like Jimi, only opposite, which turns out to be the same?

All the best, your "presence" here is truly like the brightness on our amp switches. 8)

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


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(@fleaaaaaa)
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Yup I talked about Hendrix off the top of my head but he is probably the only one I could do that with....... the Hendrix tone is......simple you get a good guitar (my 70s guitar isn't even a proper one just a mexican replica) and a nice amp (has to be valve, preferably KT66 valves because it's creamier though I can make nice Hendrix tones with my old EL34s just prefer my new amp) and play the licks! Voila! I really think nothing of it.

I could have talked about Hendrix for a full hour really, I could probably do a doctorate in it and lecture if there was such a thing as "Hendrix studies" (or Hendrixology) I love talking about him and reading about him and I wish I hadn't lost my biography of him, might have to rebuy it and read more again around him.

Your guitar is really cool! Does your son play right or left handed? How about you?

Edit; just relooked at the pic I am guessing your both rightys like me..... even though I write left handed (go figure!)

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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