You are here

Turning points in your guitar playing...?

For all things relating to guitars, basses, amps, pedals & accessories.

Moderator: Moderators

Re: Turning points in your guitar playing...?

Postby uselessoldman » Wed May 05, 2021 8:49 am

I don't think there are many if any secrets to become an accomplished musician. Its like any academic subject, do the practice learn the theory (revision), dedicate yourself and block out any distractions. Whilst its true some naturally appear to be able to play without much effort or dedication, others like myself try as much as I do, would and could never dream of being half as good as many and maybe just as good as some. I am a naturally born bad player, I just accept it. Give me a broken computer and I could probably guess whats wrong, fix it with my eyes shut ring circles round 99.9% of people, but a guitar? I have owned a guitar since I was 17, played on and off, love it absolutely in love with it, but play it competently? I just accept its not to be, does not mean I still do not enjoy making a racket now and then.

But can I honestly say I have devoted the right amount of time, dedicated myself, been disciplined? Absolutely not a complete failure. I have far to many distractions in life, girlfriends pub beer playing WOT far to much (gaming), there is just never enough hours in the day. I sit here in front of thousands of pound of equipment, various amps just about every speaker you can think of in cabs I have customised, played with experimented on. I still get a significantly amount of pleasure playing guitar and keyboards it has taught me a lot, but its only ever going to be a hobby one of my interests and one of those things I do to in my spare time to relax and enjoy myself.

I admire those who have mastered their discipline, we all have something inside us we are good at, finding it however, can be the challenge. Yes I can play along to my favourite songs maybe not perfectly but its adequate, close maybe but anyone could tell its not quite there.... and it never will be
uselessoldman
Regular
Posts: 239
Joined: Sun May 03, 2020 7:39 pm

Re: Turning points in your guitar playing...?

Postby blinddrew » Wed May 05, 2021 10:25 am

BJG145 wrote:It's good advice. Looking back at those clips I can see that I need to think about simple, confident phrases in the spaces. Ta. :thumbup:
I think this is one of the things that it's very hard to really develop without playing live with other people.
Finding the space for each player to 'breathe' is a real skill, and it's completely unrelated to technical chops. Pre-covid I used to go to a jam night regularly and there were always some times when you knew the night was going to be a good one, because the people were the ones who understood how to allow space for everyone to get involved.
Other times there'd be people there who would basically play lead guitar for the entire duration of every song. All very technically and musically clever but much less fun for everyone else.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14816
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Turning points in your guitar playing...?

Postby Dynamic Mike » Wed May 05, 2021 12:17 pm

Moroccomoose wrote:For me, playing in a band was a huge pivot point....interestingly, leaving a band was an equally significant pivot point...just in the wrong direction. For me its about having a reason to really practice properly...as opposed to just noodling which I find myself doing just now. Keep pushing the boundaries! (I should follow my own advice! :headbang: )
Stu.
That's pretty much my story until I bought a Boss JS10. I really bought it for the living room friendly form factor rather than a training device. However, whilst nothing is quite like playing with other people, this is pretty close. I like that you can switch keys and tempos, but mostly it's exposed me to playing in different genres which requires a bit of thought and stops me relying on the same old scales and patterns.
Dynamic Mike
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3834
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 1:00 am
Get off my lawn...

Re: Turning points in your guitar playing...?

Postby forumuser918214 » Wed May 05, 2021 4:38 pm

There have been a lot - but I will mention 2 books that have both taken my playing up levels -

Mark Hanson -Solo Guitar Playing (fingerstyle acoustic steel string)
Barret Tagliarino - Chord-Tone Soloing (any kind of soloing)

Got thru both all the way (took some time) and definitely worth it!

Have lots of guitar books - these are in their own class.
forumuser918214
Poster
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:23 pm

Re: Turning points in your guitar playing...?

Postby pfgpowell » Wed May 05, 2021 4:41 pm

I'm pretty much as most others posting here: I've played guitar for most of my life - since I was about 13 - but was never any good and had an older brother who was better at everything, including playing guitar.

The thing is I have never NOT played: I always liked playing so it was never an effort to pick up a guitar and practice. But my 'practice' was rubbish, ill-disciplined, short 20 second bursts of chaos, a bit of this, a bit of that leading up to pretty much a whole load of very, very little.

I also use to think that there were some folk who were 'naturally gifted' and others - me, for example - who simply were not. I now know that to be nonsense.

Or more or less nonsense; there are some folk who ARE naturally gifted - gifted at putting in the work and effort, putting in the practice, patiently and slowly honing their skill, learning up relevant theory and so on. They make it seem effortless because they worked bloody hard at their playing.

Several turning points came for me: I DID slowly get slicker etc but I knew it was superficial. Yes, I could 'do this' and 'do that' but I was aware it was all show. One small turning point came for me when I discovered major seventh chords and how they work well with minor sevenths, minor sixths and ninths and so on. Play pretty much any sequence of those chords, but give it a 'shape' and a certain rhythm and you can bullshit your way to heaven. Except, still I knew it was nothing special.

Then a few years ago (my main love is jazz and those gorgeous nuanced chords you can get) I started taking proper lessons.

I learned a bit of theory, then a bit more, and although for a least a year everything my teacher, an enthusiastic Liverpudlian who seemed to answer your every question before you had even asked it - not always very helpful, that - everything he said was 99% gobbledegook: intervals, diatonics blah, blah - what the f*ck does he mean? But I stuck with it and slowly, very slowly it stuck with me.

My old faults are still about: I have the mind of a butterfly and consciously have to force myself to concentrate, but I now can.

One last thing: the more you learn, the more you realise who little you know. Oh, and the best advice is: practice SLOWLY until you are always getting it right and then speeding up doesn't lead to mistakes. Then there's the best advice of all: don't 'practice' those things you find easy. That's pointless. Practice those things you find HARD. That isn't pointless
pfgpowell
New here
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:59 pm
Location: cornwall
"When men grow tired of war, they seek more subtle means of destruction" — Lucius Bacillus

Re: Turning points in your guitar playing...?

Postby BJG145 » Wed May 05, 2021 8:22 pm

pfgpowell wrote:I've played guitar for most of my life - since I was about 13 - but was never any good...my 'practice' was rubbish, ill-disciplined, short 20 second bursts of chaos, a bit of this, a bit of that leading up to pretty much a whole load of very, very little.

This is exactly it. I've been messing around on guitar all my life, from a similar age, but never got any better because I didn't practice properly. I had trumpet lessons at school which I didn't enjoy at the time (Purcell anyone?), but at least some of it sank in.

Then there's the best advice of all: don't 'practice' those things you find easy. That's pointless. Practice those things you find HARD. That isn't pointless.

Very true. Easier said than done. As Tommy Emmanuel said in a recent interview, "You know, our fingers are like dogs - they go straight to the food bowl."
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5075
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Turning points in your guitar playing...?

Postby rzzz » Wed May 05, 2021 11:31 pm

Some of my experiences :
Early years playing gigs in bands attempting to make loathsome music sound great. Honed my skills like nothing else. And playing in 3 piece bands (guitar, bass, drums) - hard, busy, but chop building. And learning songs by ear - a very big one. Oh, and at one early stage I tuned down a semitone in order to learn the neck better - key of C means playing in C# etc.

rz
rzzz
New here
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:02 pm

Re: Turning points in your guitar playing...?

Postby merlyn » Sat May 08, 2021 3:24 pm

Do you know the lick?

Image
Learning the lick could be a turning point.
merlyn
Regular
Posts: 304
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:15 am
It ain't what you don't know. It's what you know that ain't so.

Re: Turning points in your guitar playing...?

Postby ManFromGlass » Sat May 08, 2021 3:49 pm

I’ve been trying the spider exercise. On YouTube there are tons of videos. Some say don’t do it more than 2 minutes a day.
User avatar
ManFromGlass
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4546
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:00 am
Location: O Canada

Re: Turning points in your guitar playing...?

Postby merlyn » Sat May 08, 2021 4:39 pm

I had a look at the spider and I'm sure it's good for your technique but I didn't find it musical. A pattern has been established by playing four chromatic notes then going up a fourth, then that goes out the window crossing from the 3rd to 2nd strings. That sounds wrong to me. I would go up a fret when crossing from the 3rd to 2nd.

I do a few warmup exercises that are fret based but I would use a scale or something that I might actually play as the basis of exercises where possible.
merlyn
Regular
Posts: 304
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:15 am
It ain't what you don't know. It's what you know that ain't so.

Re: Turning points in your guitar playing...?

Postby ManFromGlass » Sun May 09, 2021 1:03 pm

Yes its not musical at all and I looked at a few more of the spider videos and some of them are quite different and contradict what others say. I need a way to strengthen my fingers and this is helping. I haven’t tried the cross picking versions yet.
I ignore the sound of the pattern as it crosses the B string - I tell myself it’s a jazz thing and my ear can accept it!
A teacher friend has suggested I try to solo only on one string as I feel I’m in that rut of repeating what I already know. It’s hard!
User avatar
ManFromGlass
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4546
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:00 am
Location: O Canada

Re: Turning points in your guitar playing...?

Postby Murray B » Sun May 09, 2021 2:56 pm

Thought of another thing that really helped in the past, can't remember where I heard about it but the idea is to learn to play the melody of the tune that you will be adding a solo to...then use this as the basis for the solo adding variation and expression to taste.

Gives you all the 'safe' notes and phrasing that works for the song. It will also help to avoid just repeating the same licks in different keys. As a bonus it is also good for ear training and connecting your ear, thoughts and hands.

It's also worth learning the melody in different positions / octaves / starting on different strings as this gives you more options.

It's helped me play solos that make sense within the context of a song. There is always room for a complete diversion from the melody as well and some solo's are masterpieces in their own right - but I think to sound right this kind of thing takes a lot more planning and/or some form of innate genius to which I can only aspire to.
User avatar
Murray B
Regular
Posts: 193
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:00 am
Location: Staffordshire

Re: Turning points in your guitar playing...?

Postby merlyn » Mon May 10, 2021 5:58 pm

ManFromGlass wrote:I need a way to strengthen my fingers and this is helping.

I think to strengthen your left hand exercises involving hammer-ons and pull-offs are good.

A teacher friend has suggested I try to solo only on one string as I feel I’m in that rut of repeating what I already know.

Yeah, that is a good thing to do. It's in Mick Goodrick's book The Advancing Guitarist.

Over lockdown I came up with this, which I've called a study as there is some music in it :

Image
I think it might be quite difficult ;)
merlyn
Regular
Posts: 304
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:15 am
It ain't what you don't know. It's what you know that ain't so.

Re: Turning points in your guitar playing...?

Postby Forum Admin » Mon May 10, 2021 6:14 pm

BJG145 wrote:Just curious about any key ideas or discoveries people found that made a significant difference or improvement in their guitar playing?

Putting a new set of strings on!
User avatar
Forum Admin
Moderator
Posts: 3570
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: A studio deep in the fenlands of Cambridgeshire, UK
SEARCH 12,613 SOS Reviews/Techniques articles: www.soundonsound.com/search

Previous