How long did it take for you to get good and what did you do

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by 6String69, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. 6String69

    6String69 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    41
    Posts:
    522
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2019
    Location:
    Florida
    I have been playing for about 14 months. I have been using Fender play and youtube. Also, I have been a bassist for 23 years. My playing has definitely improved. I play almost every day, sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes for hours. How long did it take for you to feel good at guitar and what are some tips for getting better?
     
    ping-ping-clicka and String Tree like this.
  2. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    14,111
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Location:
    SC (S)lowcountry
    I’ve been playing guitar for about 55 of my 69 years. I’ll let you know when I get to the point that I think I’m playing good.
     
  3. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    11,024
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Location:
    I-10 East onramp
    The more I practiced the better I played. I practiced in the dark and that made a big difference. Not kidding.
     
  4. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    318
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    Location:
    Chicago
    Playing since 1986, and still horrible.

    Why? Long layoffs and unstructure practice. I got ok at fingerstyle jazz, but then quit for 5 years because of job demands. Forgot/lost 80% of what I learned.

    I'm finally getting a little better by playing everyday and trying to play specific things vs. the same old licks.
     
  5. Goldenshellback

    Goldenshellback Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    133
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2020
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I had my first guitar lesson in 1965. I still waiting to become a good guitarist.
     
    stevemc, MattyK-USA, muchxs and 4 others like this.
  6. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Posts:
    1,724
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2019
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I'm 66 now

    Played from age 10 - 21, from age 13 to 21 I was what I consider an above average to good rhythm guitarist.

    Somewhere along about 25 - 27, I quit playing, until 2015, I am almost better than average playing by ear now and I'm having a blast, no one to impress but my dog, and she gets a daily dose of my playing for about 3 - 4 hours - good - I'll let you know when I get good. I do turn heads in GC, but I don't know if that is a good thing or otherwise. :eek:
     
  7. 1293

    1293 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,565
    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    40+ years and I still suck. No talent.
     
  8. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,725
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2018
    Location:
    In space with Ziggy
    I started playing in about 83-84. I don't feel like i'm a good player although I can play some things well. The things I have practiced the most. That could change and I could be playing them poorly if I stop maintaining them. If you stop practicing or playing long enough you can completely forget and lose all function in your playing within just a few years. If you have not progressed to a certain level that could be reduced to just a few months. Constant playing is the key to progress. The more hours the better.

    Play as much as you can bear it, At your 14 month mark I would be putting a lot of work into mechanical exercises. Just grinding it out playing every fret position up and down the fret board, using a metronome to increase speed and sync your alternate picking up with your fretting fingers. I would also be learning songs one after the other and playing them daily to work them up and maintain them.

    Don't be discouraged if it takes 6 months to get a song down, just stick at it and get it right before moving on to the next one. Play that first one and each consecutive song daily to maintain them as you work your way through the next one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  9. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    2,663
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Philly
    It’s the journey. I’ve been playing over 40 years and I am also still waiting. Play for the enjoyment. Like I said before, it’s all good, it really is about the journey. There are hours and hours of frustration and minutes of satisfaction, but it is all a great time. You got this, just stay patient, enjoy the process and take the failures and victories for what they are....part of the ride

    I always felt there are stages to learning guitar. First it’s a struggle with little satisfaction. Then in a little while you start seeing progress. Next you start playing for your enjoyment. I haven’t gotten much passed that. All I know, no matter how “good” I get, I can not see myself not playing, it’s part of who I....we are. Do it for you first, the rest is gravy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  10. OldDude2

    OldDude2 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    1,115
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2018
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I became really really good at rythmn guitar after "growing" into the instrument and practicing every day. It wasn't until my teenage years marked with "teenage" hormones. My development seemed to plateau in my 20s, but I kept up at it until...I got laid off which resulted in very long practice sessions 4-5 hour blocks 8-10 hour days. I could just feel the music and lead was soon under my control. I don't wish for anyone to get laid off, but throw passion into it and you might make yourself happy.

    Practice, practice, practice
     
    Jim622, 6String69 and Chunkocaster like this.
  11. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    4,963
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Daily practice makes one better...becoming good depends on the audience.
     
    Fretting out likes this.
  12. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    1,142
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    Buffalo
    There are days when I feel good about my playing and then I am always humbled by people that know things I don't . This is after 40 years of playing most days and practicing a lot. You have to enjoy the process. Best of luck!

    I do have a few pointers for what it is worth.
    1. Always play in tune, use a tuner and tune often (drives me crazy when bands are not in tune)
    2. practice slowly and precisely, speed will come, this helps you not to practice mistakes.
    3. keep all your fingers close to the strings, this will help you later on
    4. Whatever you are working on learn it up and down the fingerboard.
     
    MattyK-USA and Jim622 like this.
  13. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    844
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2019
    Location:
    England
    I never got good.... however my biggest 'advancement' towards 'better' was when I started my first band with friends, I think playing with others really pushes you, especially when you are trying to write original songs and the other guitarist is better than you. I learned a load of stuff from him quickly that books or lessons might not have told me, he also had great ideas and would say 'what about this chord here, instead of that one' ... or "that would be much simpler to play in this position here, like this" I think I learned 70% of what I know in those few years we were gigging. I find it hard to adapt to new things now, I'm kind of stuck in my way of playing. Which is solid enough, but nothing that would impress other guitarists. :D
     
  14. Quacky

    Quacky Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    134
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2012
    Location:
    Stuart Florida USA
    Well I have been playing since High School and the term good is very selective I'm a decent blues / rock electric guitarist but that's what I like to play on the acoustic I like folk songs some country and I'm just now getting some bass string plucking while I finger pick the high strings ala Chet Atkins and Tommy Emmanuel under my fingers it's still fun after 45 years and isn't that whats really important As for getting good I'm afraid the old joke about How do I get to Carnegie Hall? Practice Practice Practice still rings true I will give you this advice that you will read here and elsewhere. What you practice and how you warm up before practice are very important at this late stage in my life I find it helps to take a break every 20 mins or so and do some hand stretching exercising using methods designed to help people with Carpal Tunnel which are very good for guitar players. Good Luck and "Don't worry about a thing cause every little thing gonna be alright"
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  15. ce24

    ce24 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,985
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Idahoastan
    I went to work every day that i could. Went to workshops and took classes. I was a VERY good teacher the last 15 years of my teaching career. Only teacher in school history to get 2 full pages in the yearbook the year i retired. Gave commencement speech at graduations. Thats what i did....oh and played in rock n roll bands all that time. Kids loved that. When we got to the wood stock era in history class i would leave the room saying i had a guest speaker coming in and come back with dred locks wig dark glasses and a guitar and full on accent. Play songs and talk about music of the era.
     
    stevemc and clayville like this.
  16. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    3,518
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    What you’re saying has some truth for me I started playing when I was 12 and progressed pretty well up until 16 or so and now am pretty much stuck in my ways from then, although I occasionally figure something else out or improve my technique, although I don’t actively practice and just noodle and jam with myself

    So for the o.p it depends on dedication and drive , and good is only a relative term I’d say I’m good compared to someone who barely plays but I’m no Clapton
     
    Chunkocaster likes this.
  17. Stefanovich

    Stefanovich Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    934
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Kingston, Ontario
    If you have been a bassist for 23 years you likely have most of the skills it takes to be good. "Good" is a subjective term but I will take it to mean you could go to a blues jam at a local club and not embarrass yourself.

    What got me to that point was the following:
    Practicing with a metronome
    Play slowly to get the muscle memory and then develop speed
    Play with others
    Practice with intention and structure. Noodling is fun but it doesn't advance your playing nearly as fast as structured practice.
     
    stevemc, 6String69 and Steve 78 like this.
  18. Bluego1

    Bluego1 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    1,126
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2018
    Location:
    Spokane, Washington
    I think you have to want it. I’ve wanted to play electric guitar since I can remember. I’m two years in now, almost to the day. I’m so into it I find myself emoting while I play. I’ve cried more than once, and oftentimes my wife tells me I make all kinds of animal noises, and I’m not even aware of it. Am I weird? Yeah, probably. Anyhow, at least 3 hours a day for two years. Justin Guitar beginning song course, then just playing to tabs and refining stuff, learning the fretboard. I’ve probably got twenty five songs I know how to sing by heart from the seventies under my belt without need for reference. I’m actually pretty pleased with my progress but I’m really only playing for myself. Others might think I suck, and probably be right;).
     
    stevemc likes this.
  19. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    2,459
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    Location:
    Melbourne, Austraila
    If I remember way back, I started playing when I was 15. I played most days, usually for an hour or more. It took me 6 months to play anything even vaguely passable. 2 years to be pretty comfortable, and I got a little better after that. Depending on how you define 'good' I may have never been good. I was always a bit loose and could never shred, but it worked for what I wanted to do (mostly). What Stefanovich says above is bang on the money imo. And I'll add, practice, practice, practice.
     
    Chunkocaster likes this.
  20. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,517
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I don't think "getting good" is a certain defined point, or rather, it means different things to different people. You have to define your goals better before you can say how reachable they are. I'm getting better all the time now, much more than before. I'm getting much better at practicing now, and it's making a huge difference. I think the three keys are 1) daily practice, even 15 minutes 2) work on fundamentals of scales, chords, AND technique and 3) focused work on learning the songs of others.

    Anyhow I can't always get all those done, and I have a long ways to go, but I'm sure that is the recipe for success.
     
    DekeDog likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.