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Do you play as poorly as you think you do...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by soulgeezer, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. croth

    croth NEW MEMBER!

    Oct 28, 2003
    L.I., NY
    I think there's a lot to be said about this particular response with regard to the OP's question. The answer depends on who the "people" are in his post.

    I am well good enough to "impress" friends and other onlookers and that's all well and good. But generally when I play with guitar-playing friends of my age and experience level, I am not being modest when I say, all of them except one blows me away in terms of technique, improvisational ability, and breadth and number of tunes they know by heart.

    I think I understand my position in the pecking order, that's all. So the point is, in the OP's question, who is he comparing himself to?
    Richie-string likes this.

  2. cntry666

    cntry666 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 16, 2010
    decatur, ga
    Depends how many beers I’ve had but I think lots of people think they are worse than they are. Among my peers I’d say I’m better than average. That said there are 5 year olds on YouTube that are crazy better than us all.
    Richie-string likes this.

  3. NJ Deadhead

    NJ Deadhead TDPRI Member

    Jan 25, 2017
    Greenville, SC
    I literally have no concept of how good I am, good is hard to define. I know I am not technically sound, but I feel I have a decent understanding of phrasing and an ability to adjust my attack to play with feeling/mood. I feel like the typical audience overestimates my ability on the whole and "professional" musicians would likely see me as merely passable. My biggest hurdle right now seems to be keeping my playing varied and interesting over the course of a 3 hour gig. It's really a challenge, and I have a great deal of respect for players that can improvise and have an audience hanging on their every note for more than a few songs.
    Richie-string and Sounds Good like this.

  4. Slowisfast

    Slowisfast TDPRI Member

    Jul 9, 2014
    Mt. Rainier
    I'm so terrible. Like a cold plate of spaghetti without the sauce.

    Every now and then my wife will look up from the couch and say 'that sounded nice', and it that moment, I was great. But like a dream you can't quite remember it drifts away...never to be seen or heard again.
    Richie-string and El Tele Lobo like this.

  5. Sounds Good

    Sounds Good TDPRI Member

    Oct 2, 2017
    Luton UK
    I suppose one is never completely happy with ones playing, but tone goes along way i think any player can sound better with that.

    I never tell myself i am one way or the other, i just play once i start to think or suggest things to myself thats when the problems start i find, so i just let things flow seems best for me.

  6. Richie-string

    Richie-string Tele-Meister

    This is the age old question for guitarists this is, i reckon every guitar player that's ever lived has asked this question from time to time. Certainly all the players i know personally have asked it at one time or another. But i suppose some of us know really, if we truthful with ourselves, that yes, sometimes on the odd occasion someone makes a nice comment and we do actually feel like we played something well and it sounded like something a pro would have played.

    But then we have to balance that against all those occasions when we have the guitar out for days on end but everything we play we sitting thinking "man that sounded very average" and the point is most of the time we are not adopting false modesty. It's like days sometimes weeks on end when there''s no spark and we question literally everything that we play on the guitar, and aren't we really just messing about on it, rather than actually playing the thing properly?

    These are the questions that to be honest circulate in my mind more often than the yeah that sounded really good thought that we get to think on the odd occasion. I don't know about you but i'm often thinking, when i have the odd good day every now, and it all seems worth it for once, - i just stand/sit there and think, man why can't it be like this everytime i pick it up. But i just now probably the next day that i pick it up it will have gone to sh*t again and i'll be thinking, perhaps i should stop embarrassing myself and pretending i can play guitar.

    Yeah this is a tough one, i think we all do it, but maybe some of us do it more than others.
    jenos and Slowisfast like this.

  7. alnicopu

    alnicopu Friend of Leo's

    Oct 3, 2009

  8. brenn

    brenn Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 8, 2013
    I have that same thought, often. I don't know the answer.

  9. brenn

    brenn Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 8, 2013
    Your local Guitar Center must attract a much better class of 16-year-old than mine. I've never heard the teenagers at GC crush anything. I've heard a 10-year-old shredding on the metal guitars at Music-Go-Round, but never at GC.

  10. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2013
    Yep. I know the standard CAGED chords, but can't keep a steady rhythm, nor can I sing along (loudly enough to be taken seriously...I can mumble with the best of 'em!). My lead and solo work consists of an odd scale here or there, and maybe a couple odd riffs here and there. I was planning on playing in church for Christmas this year, but after a couple of tuneup lessons, I realized that's probably not the best idea.

  11. jenos

    jenos Tele-Meister

    Mar 28, 2012
    Columbia, SC
    I tell people the absolute truth.... When it comes to people who own and play the guitar.

    I'm better than most but not as good as many.
    Reggie77 likes this.

  12. Reggie77

    Reggie77 Tele-Meister

    Jul 16, 2017
    That's where I'm at ... I can definitely play better than the average guitarist but there's plenty better than me, way better

  13. Lucky Day

    Lucky Day Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 24, 2014
    Vancouver, WA
    Lowering of expectations prior to performance is a form of "sandbagging." I probably am guilty of it, but in my case I really do play poorly quite often so the expectations are probably realistic.

  14. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

    Jan 14, 2013
    DC Burbs
    Hmm. I have watched this thread for a couple days and gave it some thought. Last night I played at an open mic with me and my acoustic guitar. Stuff I had rehearsed at home (through my PA) so I know how I wanted it to sound. About mid way through the first song, I decided that as much as I like this song, I'm not going to play it on acoustic in front of people again. It works at home, but it's got a lot of barre chords and I could hear me chunking them. But I have a strong voice (even if I don't like the timbre of it) and I can cover up "failings" on the guitar with that.

    Since Tom Petty died, I decided to do a Tom Petty song. Play the opening lick to Free Fallin and a guy that I really respect asked to join on bass. So he did and so did a guy playing drums on a "drum pad thing" that was there. It was a lot of fun and the beat everyone was on wavered a bit. But I credit myself with hearing it and getting back on track.

    I have heard people say nice things about my playing (I don't always agree) but I try and focus on the context. Is what I'm doing fitting the context of the song? Or does it stand out like a fart in the elevator?

  15. bl28

    bl28 TDPRI Member

    Jul 5, 2017
    San Diego, CA
    Yes, I'm not good. I know a good sampling of chords and can work out strumming patterns. Been working on barres and cords up the neck and scales. With little kids, finding quality time to play is tough, but I still get in about 4-5 hours a week.

  16. jenos

    jenos Tele-Meister

    Mar 28, 2012
    Columbia, SC
    That's awesome, keep at it. It's not a competition and not a race. It's a lifelong hobby and journey.
    Matt G, bl28 and Sounds Good like this.

  17. Sounds Good

    Sounds Good TDPRI Member

    Oct 2, 2017
    Luton UK
    Yes i say that it is not like sport although i enjoy golf but not all that good at it. I just enjoy myself on guitar with trying to make up new songs and licks, and also messing with my tone it is an endless hobby really.

  18. jenos

    jenos Tele-Meister

    Mar 28, 2012
    Columbia, SC
    Thought this so many times, and recently. So I went back to what got me inspired to play in the first place. Bands like Metallica, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, STP, Offspring... then I just started playing along to the songs again. I've had such a good time doing it, I started learning new songs or the rest of songs I only knew the main riff to and it has snowballed from there.

    Long story short, it made playing fun again and (for me) that is what I need it to be.
    Sounds Good likes this.

  19. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

    Dec 8, 2010
    Up North
    Sometimes I play even worse.

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