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The most important things to help you improve as a player?


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Even though I'm not really into playing covers, I do play "Ain't Talkin' Bout Love" almost every time I pick up my guitar and try to get all the parts as close as possible, while repeating the intro for a very long time.

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I do not know what i am doing. I know what chord I am playing and maybe what key I am in. 

 

I am about 98% self taught. I have purchased some very interesting books and a few videos over the past several decades. 

I hit the YouTube channel when I want to learn a specific song sometimes but I rarely do that anymore.

 

I am a meat and potatoes player I guess you could say. I stick with what the whole of the song aspect is that I am trying to play instead of trying to figure out why the song went that way with a 9th chord instead of a 7th. 

 

That is the kind of stuff that is over my head.

 

However when I want to try and get inspired when I create or write a new song I always listen to other types of music that I normally do not play. 

 

I know it is weird but it works for me.  I write ambient Pink Floyd kind of stuff somewhat. I really like  Enya. Some of her arrangements are totally kind blowing especially when you listen to her with headphones on. 

 

 

As far as practice goes, I have a little routine but I try harder and harder licks and riffs. I try to play them as smooth as I possibly can without hiccup. 

 

I try to have fun doing it and always approach it with an open mind. 

 

Then other times I just grab an acoustic and play the chords to Fire on the Mountain by Molly Hatchet. 

 

It isn't that complicated and keeps the practice routine nice and easy. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, bigtim said:

I do not know what i am doing. I know what chord I am playing and maybe what key I am in. 

 

I am about 98% self taught. I have purchased some very interesting books and a few videos over the past several decades. 

I hit the YouTube channel when I want to learn a specific song sometimes but I rarely do that anymore.

 

I am a meat and potatoes player I guess you could say. I stick with what the whole of the song aspect is that I am trying to play instead of trying to figure out why the song went that way with a 9th chord instead of a 7th. 

 

That is the kind of stuff that is over my head.

 

However when I want to try and get inspired when I create or write a new song I always listen to other types of music that I normally do not play. 

 

I know it is weird but it works for me.  I write ambient Pink Floyd kind of stuff somewhat. I really like  Enya. Some of her arrangements are totally kind blowing especially when you listen to her with headphones on. 

 

 

As far as practice goes, I have a little routine but I try harder and harder licks and riffs. I try to play them as smooth as I possibly can without hiccup. 

 

I try to have fun doing it and always approach it with an open mind. 

 

Then other times I just grab an acoustic and play the chords to Fire on the Mountain by Molly Hatchet. 

 

It isn't that complicated and keeps the practice routine nice and easy. 

 

 

If you enjoy what you doing and pleasing your ear, what else is there?

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Lots of excellent advice in this thread.

The only thing I would add is the advice of Vince Lombardi the great Green Bay Packers foot ball coach, who said "Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect."

RBSinTo

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I've always thought :  put in the time ... practice.  play with as many people as you can.  learn different styles of music to be well rounded, and unless you're a shredder, learn how to not feel the need to fill every space with a note. let the song breathe. come up for air when you solo ... AND,  learn to listen to everyone else in the band to understand your role better. to help embrace your part of the overall puzzle. 

Edited by Karloff
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I know a guy who was a "late bloomer".   After not playing an instrument all his life, he went to a music school.   I watched this guy go from zero musical knowledge to being a competent jazz musician in under 2 years.   I think that was exceptional progress but it just goes to show - as stated above, working hard gets the job done. 

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I'm confident in my playing with respect to being an open mic hero, but not confident in my singing - so at the ripe old age of over the hill, i'm starting lessons tomorrow.  Coolest thing about it is the guy i'm taking lessons from has the exact same name as me.  Seriously though, hoping a few pointers to help make sure i'm on the right track will get me started, then next step will be looking to hook up with another person or two to play.

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26 minutes ago, uncle fester said:

I'm confident in my playing with respect to being an open mic hero, but not confident in my singing - so at the ripe old age of over the hill, i'm starting lessons tomorrow.  Coolest thing about it is the guy i'm taking lessons from has the exact same name as me.  Seriously though, hoping a few pointers to help make sure i'm on the right track will get me started, then next step will be looking to hook up with another person or two to play.

His name is Fester? [blink][biggrin]

Best of luck with the lessons. I admire you for your willingness to expand your horizons, and grow as a musician! =D>

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15 minutes ago, brad1 said:

His name is Fester? [blink][biggrin]

Best of luck with the lessons. I admire you for your willingness to expand your horizons, and grow as a musician! =D>

Don’t forget Uncle. That’s gotta be a 1 in 2 Billion shot. Maybe 3 billion.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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I've found a couple of things, since retiring, having had guitar lessons through Mel Bay #2  during the Folk Boom - but not playing more than a couple of times a month in the 40   years after.  The first -   taking on a student.  It forces you to raise your own bar and always be a couple of weeks ahead of where you're going.  Motivating or inspiring someone else has a bounce back effect.    The second -  playing while watching re-runs or old movies that I am only half interested in.  Seems to free up my subconscious 'creativity'.   What there is of it.   And, I guess a third possibility - touched on by Fester:   Singing.   Provides context for the guitar playing and increases enjoyment. 

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, ghost_of_fl said:

In typical guitar forum fashion, it took 2 pages for someone to remember metronomes exist.  😆

Good point, just about any electronic keyboard has some type of metronome function that you can easily use.

Edited by mihcmac
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I'm gonna through a turd in the punchbowl.   While there is no doubt playing with others improves your own ability,  I'm reminded of when I played tennis and they use to suggest "Play with someone better than you."   The conundrum was -  obviously, if  EVERYONE, literally  played with someone better than they were - No One would be able to  find anyone willing to play with them.  Like -  "What's your handicap?" 

In high school,  in our little group,  the 2 other guitar players were One Way Street Sponges.  Lapped up every lick and trick I had - but NADA in return.   I finally bailed, realizing our practice sessions were really lessons and I wasn't getting anywhere.    Of course, that was the 60s: Folk Boomers.  We're  all more in tune now !  

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Playing with or inquiring someone that plays better than you is OK as long as that person is free of enough ego to be generous enough to help.  Otherwise he my just want to show how much better than you he is to make him feel better.

Whitefang

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On 4/4/2021 at 4:07 PM, Rabs said:

He ha sadly since seemed to have gone slightly mad during lockdown.. Wheres RCT?

 

 

How can you concentrate on the guitar while shes flashing those in front of you?  I'd be missing all sorts of notes or just be like, Put that guitar down and lets go upstairs. 

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7 hours ago, mihcmac said:

Eliminating distractions, there will always be someone around that can disrupt your focus.

Seated Zen, Hocus Pocus Focus..

Yes, you got that right, and when some sexy looking woman comes up offering to show what she has, I stop and take notice! Lol.

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