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Am I wrong in this approach?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Mission6_OG, Mar 7, 2021.

  1. Mission6_OG

    Mission6_OG Tele-Meister

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    As I’m sure, a few of you have gotten a little familiar with me. There is a few of you that always reply on my posts, or always respond to questions I may have, which have ALWAYS been positive, and what I feel, honest responses. All of which I appreciate greatly.

    So here’s the deal, I’ve been playing since this last August. A mix of acoustic and electric. Practicing my scales, chords, efficiency, and proper technique. I’ll listen and somewhat learn licks. But as far as songs go, I’ve only really worked on one. Brown eyed girl by Van Morrison. Which I got down...meh...fairly decent at best. It definitely helped tremendously with transitioning my chords. But other than that, I just really have no actual motivation to learn songs. I may mess around for 20-30 minutes with a sing lesson on YouTube, but rarely dedicate any more time after that. Backing tracks. I also rarely put on a backing track and try to work on improvising over backing tracks.

    With all that being said, I still work on playing music. Strumming you ideas in my head, blues type licks/riffs, improvising. I do know I am getting better. I actually got a really good compliment from an older fellow at GC last week after he heard my messing around on a guitar I wanted to check out. Simply put, he has been a professional musician in the area for 50 years, and he asked me how long I had been playing, when I told him, he says I sounded really great for how long I’ve been playing and keep it up.

    So am I wrong in my approach? Ultimately, I really don’t care too much “right or wrong” as I am still having fun and enjoying myself. I just wanted to see if anyone else had started out like this. As always, thank you guys in advance!
     
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  2. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Did the guy work at GC?
     
  3. lil scotty

    lil scotty Tele-Meister

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    Whatever keeps you playing, I say. There are tons of guitars gathering dust all over the world because people gave up on somebody else’s “approach” and simply quit. No right answers. One of the beautiful things about guitar, to me, is that there is no right way to do it.

    I reached a point in my playing where people would ask me to play a song. Eventually, I realized that meant learning songs all the way through and, more importantly, singing! It was something I wanted to do. I know great guitar players/teachers who have not wanted to do that. That’s cool too.
     
  4. AAT65

    AAT65 Poster Extraordinaire

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    That’s the key! If you’re having fun keep on doing it. Improvement comes with hours on the clock and if you don’t have fun you won’t put those in.
     
  5. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep, just keep picking up the guitar, making progress, hitting walls, rinse and repeat.

    And enjoy.
     
  6. Mission6_OG

    Mission6_OG Tele-Meister

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    No. It was another guy looking at amps. I was kinda put on the spot and embarrassed honestly. I didn’t want to plug up to an amp and play for the entire store to hear me. But the guy at GC kinda put me on the spot. I blocked everything out and just played around with what I know and had a little fun. Actually had 2 people tell me I sounded nice.
     
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  7. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I can't tell what your "approach" or goal is enough to comment, actually. It's good to work on fundamentals and it can be fun, but I would hope music and complete songs are an eventual goal. I would suggest working on putting together chord progressions and songs, either your own or others you like, and work on understanding what works and why in a way that makes sense to you. That's for the chords, the melody, and solos. Find songs that are inspiring in some way, or at least have a groove or something you like. You don't need to play the songs verbatim. Stripping a song down to its basic chords and melody can be very instructive and help you figure out what matters. (Edit) Hope that's helpful. You'll find you own path, of course.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
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  8. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Holic

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    I agree that the most important thing is to have fun.

    Some ideas:

    Structured practice is more helpful than noodling. So I'd suggest you work on one new lick or scale every time you practice. A technique I got from drummer Tony Williams is to play the a new lick or phrase over and over for ten minutes. After that ten minutes, you'll have trained your fingers to play it. It's also a very meditational exercise that can really help you get inside your hands. That said, actually making it to ten minutes is tough. I usually give up around 6-7 minutes.

    Play along with recordings. I spent most of my teens holed in my room playing along with classic rock albums. It will help train your ear and you'll learn more songs. If you can't figure out how a song goes, you've got some homework for your practice sessions!

    Don't focus on perfection. The perfect is usually the enemy of the good.

    Remember to have fun!
     
  9. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Whatever works for you. But I would definitely add playing with others or playing with a track to your list of approaches. It forces you to play in time. A very different world... no second chances!
     
  10. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Please do what you feel is best for you. Scales, chords, and a certain amount of music theory are ALL important, but to me, the ultimate goal is to play songs.....the practice and experience are only the "means" to getting there. At some point, someone (whether friend or family) is going to want you to play for them. Won't they be a little disappointed if you sit down and play just a scale?
    Now, if you've only been playing since August, I wouldn't worry as yet. But, in a way, I'm surprised you haven't gotten impatient, and plowed into learning songs. (other than Brown Eyed Girl). But, keep at it, and you'll get there. And if all you really want to do is "piddle" on guitar, that's your choice. I bet once you get a little more experience and confidence, you'll be learning songs all the time......IMHO, that's where the fun is. ;)
     
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  11. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Put yourself in a situation that might elicit a positive comment on your playing. Positive feedback can be a powerful tool in your learning kit.

    I read a bio of a musician who jammed with Hendrix. At one point, Hendrix responded "yeah" to something that musician had played. I suppose it was the way he said it.
     
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  12. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Yup, as long as you are having fun, the hours of practice will pay off regardless of what you are playing. What helped me along that path was selecting a song that I really wanted to learn and then learn just one measure at a time as a portion of my daily practice. There seems to always be a very challenging spot in each song that will push you to the next level. Remember that it is not a race, it is a creative experience. Enjoy the adventure.
     
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  13. cometazzi

    cometazzi Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    This is true, but beware of ruts.
     
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  14. Inonit

    Inonit NEW MEMBER!

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    Been playing for over 50 yrs and practice will never ever be wasted. Just enjoy what you are doing and the rest will come natural enough. If you want to try a web site where you can get all the songs you ever wanted try " Chordie" It's free and like I said It's got any song or artist you can imagine. Just to get an idea of the basic chords, some tabs , and all the lyrics. Keep strumming.
     
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  15. cometazzi

    cometazzi Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Oh, and the other thing to remember to do (without a guitar) is to keep listening to music too. Go back and listen to stuff that wasn't really your cup of tea 5 or 10 years ago. It may take on a whole new sound, feel and meaning. This can inspire you to noodle in ways you've never noodled before.
     
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  16. tweeet

    tweeet Tele-Afflicted

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    As above...but....there's only so much noodling and practicing alone you can do. You can become the best player ever in your bedroom...but the point in that being ? Build your confidence and then meet up with like minded friends or musicians...that's how bands are created....you need a goal and excitement and the thrill of playing in front of someone. A friend of mine I've known for over 30 years has only ever played in his bedroom/garage/front room...he has around six different guitars and every time I see see him he says he's learned a different song....fab...for him...but I really don't see the point in that !
     
  17. Mission6_OG

    Mission6_OG Tele-Meister

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    Thanks a ton guys! A lot of what you guys are suggesting as far as scales and learning theory, is really what interests me as far as when I’m not playing any of my guitars. Lucky for me, I landed a girl that loves music as much as I do! So we ALWAYS have music on in the house, truck, boat, or pretty much anywhere we are. So I’m always finding inspiration.
    One thing that I do notice us sometimes I just get lost in what I’m doing. Or noodling around, but that noodling is creating my own harmonys, melodys, licks, etc.. it’s a lot of fun to me. Sometimes I do hear a song that I really like and try to play something close to it. A lot of times I end up with something that sounds totally different but it sounds good to me. I mean hey, my girlfriend hasn’t thrown anything at me yet to tell me to put my guitar away. ‍♂️
     
  18. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    I’m definitely in the “anything that gets you playing” camp, but as a side note, I have to say that it would never occur to me to ask someone how long they’ve been playing. It automatically suggests that you’re setting criteria for judgement. I don’t care if someone is a hack after 40 years (me) or plays brilliantly after a week. Are they playing? Good. Are they enjoying it? Better.
     
  19. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    It really depends on what your goal is with the guitar. I started learning as a replacement for marathon training after some physical injuries finally made running that far impossible. I needed something that could replace the relaxation and feeling of accomplishment that I lost and guitar was an excellent fit. I might spend a couple of hours just noodling around many nights, but it always relaxed me and provided enjoyment so goal accomplished.

    I think it really is like any craft, if you want to become really good at it, you have to put in the time and be rigorous in your training, but if you just want to make it a hobby, just enjoy it. You will still improve by nature of the hours you spend playing, so either way there is progress.
     
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