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. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,725
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2018
    Location:
    In space with Ziggy
    I've had breaks and got stagnant in my playing too over the years. I started using youtube and picking songs that I loved but were beyond my level and taking the time to learn them correctly. I find it easier to have it broken down for me and I work my way through the song until I get it down. I couldn't play hybrid or with fingers only so learnt a few songs using fingers only etc. My fast VH lead style left me decades ago so I picked a couple Van Halen songs to work at, not to perform but just for fun and to get my speed back up. I just find areas where i'm lacking and learn a song that requires a high level of skill using those techniques. Learning it all and maintaining it on my acoustic helps too because of the extra resistance. Once clean and good on the acoustic playing it on the tele is a breeze.

    Other than that I have always noodled and improvised over tunes in my head or backing tracks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
    Sounds Good likes this.
  2. Spudly

    Spudly TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    21
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2019
    Location:
    Idaho
    I became 'more proficient' by playing all the time. Started in my mid teens. I'd play in my bedroom, jam with friends and eventually got into a band. That became band rehearsal 2 nights a week along with learning material at home. Then another band came along and that went to 3 nights a week of band rehearsal with the hours I still had to put in on my own learning material. Then came the opportunity to go on the road. Playing 6 and 7 nights per week for 5 hours per night along with learning material on my own time. That went on steady for 5 years. At that point I felt proficient. I could play well with anybody in my Hard Rock/Heavy Metal/Top 40 demographic. Still plenty of people that could play rings around me technically, but I learned how to augment and play with others from all the stage time. I felt comfortable on my instrument. So...play a lot.
     
  3. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    15,053
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Location:
    Up North
    ALL my life.

    It was probably a couple of years before i was any good at guitar but, my Ace in the Hole was my Tremendous EGO!
    I just KNEW I was great and all the others were wrong.

    My tip: Don't let anybody tell you what is cool.
    Listen to and play everything you can possibly can.

    If you see somebody playing something you like, study them as closely as you can without getting a Restraining Order.
     
  4. Guitardvark

    Guitardvark Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    879
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    Location:
    houston
    I never got good at anything but buying more junk that made me feel better about not being very good at anything but buying more junk that made me feel better
     
    tery and Marc Morfei like this.
  5. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    23,686
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Location:
    Montana
    It is the journey and not the destiny. Enjoy and relish your every improvement. What is good to one person is different to someone else anyway. This is not a competition, it is about creativity and creating music.
     
  6. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    1,790
    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    I must have realized early on that I was only going to get so good with the facility and harmonic cleverness. My focus now is trying to write original songs, where I play the bass and guitar, sometimes mandolin or ukulele, with occasional drum programming and keyboards thrown in. Great thing about original songs... nobody can say "THAT'S NOT HOW THAT ONE GOES!" Seriously.

    I started off playing bluegrass and celtic stuff by rote. Took 5 years to sound even remotely fluid on the melodies. I learned a few patterns and then I just played a lot by ear. I honestly think getting a looper to jam over really helped a lot, because I can put in stock chord patterns that are easy to improvise over, or other ones which are real head scratchers.

    I'm about 40 years into it by now and think I'm "OK".
     
  7. misterdontmove

    misterdontmove Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    341
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Someone please tell us! I'm still trying to get "good". I'll tell you this though. Listen to yourself in the context of the group when you play. If you hear yourself play bad notes, try not to play them again. One of the definitions of "Play" in Webster's Dictionary is: To move or function freely within prescribed limits. Know those limits (and yours) and play like you mean it and people will get it. You might even be "good".
     
    Sounds Good likes this.
  8. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    7,230
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    Location:
    Sacramento, California
    ...
     
  9. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    595
    Joined:
    May 12, 2019
    Location:
    Carolina
    In my case, I'm no better than good, if that. But, I feel that when I can grab the note I want without thinking about it, that's where I want to be. I've always thought that being able to hear intervals, and knowing intuitively where they are on the fretboard, is the goal. I'm pretty much there now. After that, it'll just be getting a little faster and a little tighter, improving chord comping and linear harmonizing, and expanding my vocabulary. Nothing to it, right?

    Oh, I've been playing for over 50 years... seriously for the last 25. Lessons on and off for about 10.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
    Chunkocaster likes this.
  10. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,725
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2018
    Location:
    In space with Ziggy
    My idea of good is being able to instantly and effortlessly play whatever I hear in my head. I don't think i'll ever achieve that but there's no harm in persisting and getting satisfaction out of nailing stuff I like the sound of and trying to expand on that.

    If you get a buzz out of whatever you play it's good and worth sticking at. It's easy to get discouraged if you set the bar too high and are in a hurry to get there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  11. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,513
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Location:
    Oregon
    I've been at it for 40 years. I'll let you know when I get there...
     
    gimmeatele likes this.
  12. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    9,611
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Location:
    Left of the Left Coast
    Playing guitar since 1974.

    Define “good”...
     
  13. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    3,237
    Joined:
    May 20, 2017
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I thought I was good when I was in college. I wasn't. I played well enough to get paid but that didn't make me good. I took a long hiatus from guitar to ride the corporate roller coaster and raise a family. I came back to playing maybe 12 or 13 years ago. Luckily I hadn't forgotten much. I started playing country tunes and learned chords and inversions. I learned to play country solos. I didn't start to get good enough to please myself until I started learning finger style. That allowed me to develop a very personal playing style. I began to play solos off of chords. I learned climbed out of the blues box and what I was playing became much more interesting. I knew basic theory, but TDPRI helped me learn more. I started learning modes which let me move beyond country and start playing jazz. I managed to compose a blues/jazz number in A Dorian. The one thing that's really helped me grow is TDPRI. I've learned more here that I had any idea there was to know. Taken all together, what's finally brought me to a level where I consider myself good, at least creatively good and competent at what I play, is pushing the envelope. You get better when you learn new styles, new techniques, new ways of hearing music. I've come a long way from playing cowboy chord country songs in a pretty short time. At least to me, 12 years isn't too long.
     
  14. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,017
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    I got pretty good rather quickly, learning all the different chord forms all over the neck, and I got so good at blues and rock licks that two very good singer/songwriters who were a lot older than me (I was 16, they were 22) wanted me for their lead player. Unfortunately, they were too far into drugs and alcohol, so we never went anywhere, 'cause they cared more about getting high than playing. I didn't mind smoking a joint, but I never got into harder drugs or drink, and I wanted to play more than anything. I didn't have to be stoned to want to play. That kinda ruined my confidence, so I never really pursued music except for my own enjoyment after that. But, then after I learned harmony theory in college, I really improved more, 'cause I finally understood a lot of things that I had been doing by ear, but didn't know the theory behind it all.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
    stevemc and gimmeatele like this.
  15. rz350

    rz350 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    2,865
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Waubeka Wisconsin
    I'm 55, been playing about 36 years, still a work in progress...
     
    Old Deaf Roadie and gimmeatele like this.
  16. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,587
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    I started late in 1958 just sitting down with a couple of local players. It was later, 1961, when I got to high school and met several guys who were serious players, that I really started to get a grasp on chord structure and theory. It's been a blast ever since.
     
    6String69 likes this.
  17. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    15,655
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    First picked up the guitar in 1984. Joined a working cover band around 1994, where I was the youngest and least skilled player. After four years of playing 150+ gigs a year with those guys, I was on a completely different level as a player.
     
    stevemc, 6String69 and Steve 78 like this.
  18. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    71
    Posts:
    2,018
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Location:
    left coast
    For me I'm not dealing with time, well , a long time ago I slammed into the barrier of limited talent, skills and creativity.
    I 'll tell you that barrier is harder than steel reinforced concrete. fortunately it only bruised my ego, and that healed up pretty quickly. Acceptance of what it is , what it is, what it is, what it is, lends a lot and goes a long way in the long game, and the short game as well.
    now I can just play what feels good to me and not worry about all that other mess.
     
  19. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,529
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Location:
    Snellman MN
    Something I've figured out over the years and not just with guitar playing. If a guy tells you he's really good at something, it's a pretty safe bet he sucks at.
    Unfortunately the opposite isn't so easy.

    I've been playing since I don't know 1975 '76?
    Someday I'll get that Smoke on the Water riff figured out.
     
  20. gimmeatele

    gimmeatele Tele-Holic

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    502
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    Location:
    Alora Spain
    I was struggling with music theory, bought many books, watched vids, but the most useful was 'guitar theory for dummies', I learnt so much from this tome, never underestimate this series of books, may have a duff title but are well written
     
    Marc Morfei 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.