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. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    In my opinion, It took me almost 45 years to get good.
    In April, I’ll celebrate my 53rd year of guitar playing.
    To learn, I did lots of practicing.
    I did have the benefit of (3) great teachers.
    I studied with several more.
    I “dropped the needle” on countless records to learn, in my youth
    I watched great players live.
    I’ve been gigging regularly since I was 16, in 1973.
    I can now do solo gigs confidently.
    I’m pretty fearless.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
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  2. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Tele-Meister

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    Sing! And learn to play really good backing harmonies and rhythm while singing. This will force a player to play in tune, on tempo and with the right dynamics. Then, record yourself singing and playing. This is an eye opener for most....tempo way off, pitch way off, etc.

     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  3. elpico

    elpico Tele-Holic

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    I've been playing for 27 years. Way I remember it I learned a ton in the first two years, more slowly over the next ten, and the last 15 I probably only got better at knowing what I like and what works for me.

    A big factor is that the deeper you get into it, the more capable you become at hearing and understanding how truly talented "good" guitar players are. Your definition of what a "good" player is continually changes as you become more skilled and knowledgable yourself, so I dunno if you ever get to the point where you think you're there. I haven't anyways. I'd say I'm definitely "proficient" at some things, you don't play for decades without getting halfway okay at the stuff you play, but I'm no artist and never will be. I'm a really lousy improviser for one. Doesn't bother me though, I find just as much joy in playing now as I did at the beginning.
     
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  4. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Music...?
    Two hours.
    Every day.

    "Good" is, however, a comparatively subjective term.
    Compared to a goat, or compared to say...Tuck Andress...

    Next we can explore relativity...
    Relative to when I first started studying music, or some other frame of reference along the journey?

    It gets really hinky when we adjust our discussion to encompass subjectively comparative relativity.

    Quantum mechanics is simpler I think.

    Short answer:
    Just keep practicing. Every day will bring improvement. Every month it will be noticeable.
     
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  5. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Holic

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    I started playing at 13. I got my first 'more or less playable ' guitar at 16. By 19 I'd spent many hours playing, both on my own and with others. I got some money saved, bought some decent guitars and amps, kept playing as much as posibble. Was never never a great player, but could get through gigs and keep folks entertained.
    Then I stopped playing, pretty much entirely. For decades. Didn't even posess a guitar for many years. When I started playing again it was horrible - really frustrating because I kept thinking 'yep, I can play that' - but I couldn't any more. It was like starting all over again.

    I don't put the time in that I should, I'm to busy doing other stuff. Some days I don't play at all, some days for half an hour, occasionally a couple of hours. My hands are stiffening up due to age and arthritis, so I'm never going to be ax good as I was. But I'm OK with that, I'm glad I can still play at all :)
     
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  6. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

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    Started playing when I was ~14. I'm 42 now. I'm still not much good, or at least as good as I'd like to be.
     
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  7. Cesspit

    Cesspit Tele-Holic

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    50 years, a million gigs, umpteen recording sessions and about ten different bands.

    Work in progress, still evaluating. I'll get back to you.
     
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  8. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Friend of Leo's

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    Yep, that'll do it.
     
  9. Dirty Dave

    Dirty Dave TDPRI Member

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    Like pretty much everyone else here, I've been playing for 20+ years, and still don't feel like I'm 'good'.
    I think I have the potential be good one day, but I'm lazy & I get stuck in bad habits.
    I thing there's a difference between being able to play well, and being able to impress people with cheap, noisy tricks disguised in gain.
    I suppose a faster way to improve would be to assess your playing right now.
    Write down a list of what isn't working so well, and focus on those things for a while, instead of playing over the same habitual things.
    I read a thing a while ago that said mindless practice basically means you're practicing your mistakes as much as anything else.
    I'm glad you've posted this question though.
    Good food for thought for us all.
     
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  10. Nashville-tele-19

    Nashville-tele-19 TDPRI Member

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    In total I’ve been playing for about 15 years. My biggest and fastest jump in progress came when I bought a looper pedal. I think it’s invaluable for learning scales, new techniques, timing and improvisation. I use the ditto everyday and it’s fantastic. I can easily get lost for hours noodling away improvising.
     
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  11. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Since 1978, or 79....I'm still learning. :rolleyes::D
     
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  12. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I played daily from 12 to around 21, took lessons for a few years and got to play for most of the day in a special music course for a year, played in a couple very average bands etc. I've stopped for years at a time too since then due to work and relationships. It also set my playing back and felt like starting over. Been at it again steady for about 11 years now and plan to never stop again. I managed to surpass my earlier years playing skill in most areas except speed. I could play a lot faster in my earlier years but it was also sloppier. I try to pick my guitar up for at least an hour a day, mostly my acoustic but I play lead and everything else I normally play on it too. I find that the acoustic is a good exercise machine to make the most of my time playing.
    Playing and learning songs now is a lot easier and more comfortable, I wouldn't want to end up back in the uncomfortable zone so I keep playing daily.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  13. Sounds Good

    Sounds Good Tele-Holic

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    I dont suppose one ever gets as good as one would like to be, but as you say practise is good i did about 15 hours each week split up over the week. I started with rhythm for around 3 months i just played the rhythm in songs i liked and was not to bad to learn, then started on lead that was much harder for me i suppose, it was about 18 months before things started to get a little easier again i just played solos i liked and licks as well.

    Also i nearly packed it in a few times because i got stuck, but i just kept at a certain lick if this happened for few minutes a day until i could do it, as well i learnt speed just by going faster and faster even if abit unclean and cleaned it up over time, but persistence paid off in the end i found. To me slow stuff is even harder in trying to bring out a load of feeling and i do more of that now for the little playing i do but i really enjoy it.

    Anyhow Good Luck! with your practise and playing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
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  14. teletail

    teletail Tele-Holic

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    If you want to get “good” the fastest way is to get a good teacher and practice consistently every day.

    I’ve had two teachers over the last couple of years. The first taught me songs so I didn’t stay too long. My current teacher is teaching me to play. I’ve probably made as much progress in the last 10 months as I did the last 10 years. Of course I was out of work for 6 of those months and practicing 4 hours a day.
     
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  15. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Afflicted

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    Still not there, yet
     
  16. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    “good” is a moving target

    as a metric, “good enough to x” is more helpful

    lately I’m trying to be good enough to hang at a local jazz jam when the heavies from Chicago show up

    I’m still not good enough for that: I’m not that knowledgeable, and I’m not that fast

    but I’m good for a campfire!
     
  17. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Half a century.

    I did the "play until my fingers bleed" thing when I started. I wish we had the resources we have now when my brain and my muscles were open to fresh input. Seems I can find tab or a YouTube lesson about anything these days.

    I found the more I played the more I dug myself into a rut. Stuff I already knew came easily, new material was as painful as it ever was. So I'd wail through what I knew as if I was Slash and I can hear Slash speed up and get ahead of the beat with stuff that's easy. He slows down a bit for material he needs to think about.

    Now, I can put it down for a week or more and I often do. Turns out I make progress not playing. Music that wasn't there before comes tumbling out leaving me wondering where that came from.
     
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  18. darkwaters

    darkwaters Tele-Afflicted

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    Almost 50 years. I've nearly reached "good" ! bkw.gif
     
  19. teletail

    teletail Tele-Holic

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    I often find that if I practice something until I hit a brick wall, then leave it for a couple of days and focus on other things, when I come back to it, it’s actually much better.

    Not saying everyone is like me, but I seem to need a little time to process things.
     
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  20. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You need about 11,000 posts here and then you'll be good.
     
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