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Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by jdolecek48, Jul 28, 2020.

  1. jdolecek48

    jdolecek48 Tele-Meister

    Nov 8, 2018
    I have been playing for 30 years but only in drop D but now for the first time i feel lost, i have never played any standard tuning...but i get so jealous when i watch a youtube video because in the first 5 seconds they play a 5 sec intro and those 5 seconds are simple but what they play sounds killer but i cant play a simple killer riff like that. I know the basics to the penatonic minor scale but have no idea about notes but i do know a little penatonic scale likeon frets 3 and 5...who knows what notes of keys hose are...i just want to write my on stuff and jam out whether its blues or hard rock...i have no patience that my problem, i can play right with technique and all that but i hav4 spent my entire life just playing good but only in power chords but that is all i know....i just wanna jam out ya know?
  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    There are reasons why the ‘standard’ tuning intervals are what they are. These intervals allow for maximum facility in playing chords and scales. Alternative tunings allow for other advantages.
    I suggest raising that low string up to standard tuning and begin playing in that tuning.
    P Thought, AxemanVR and PhredE like this.
  3. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    May 30, 2017
    Silicon Valley, CA
    I'd say if you're 30 years into it, explore things gradually. I play mostly standard tuning, have tried DADGAD, and am using open D on a borrowed lap steel. I use a looper, for example to put down a couple chords and let those go over and over, then I can practice licks or bass lines or whatever. It's not bothering anyone else or making them bored. At this stage I am mostly playing by ear and sometimes I come back to a loop I did just a few days ago and can't remember what I did or how exactly.

    You've figured out some licks on frets 3 and 5? Great! Keep it up! I see people on YouTube all the time doing stuff I'll never do. And I do stuff all the time that I don't see other people doing. Maybe it's not impressive, but it's "me".
  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    You’re the guy!
    You’re the guy who drops the low E on all the guitars I try at GC.
    I kid!
    Perhaps you might consider putting a Hipshot or other
    drop-lever tuner on your low E.
    You can easily toggle between standard and drop D.
    ale.istotle and PhredE like this.
  5. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

    Sep 25, 2017
    Suburban PDX, OR
    There is much more to life than power chords (< I started out my guitar playing life with a Black Sabbath songbook and learned all the power chords... it's been downhill ever since!)

    If you can read music, pick up some sheet music or some songbooks and make a go of those?
    Sometimes, just learning something different can spark some added curiosity and new ideas..

    I find that listening to a totally different type of music will sometimes spur my interests in a new direction as well. I noticed you settled on the Katana for an amp -- sounds like a good fit. Hope you are happy with it.
  6. ieatlions

    ieatlions Tele-Holic

    Jul 26, 2013
    Wales, UK
    Find some good YouTube videos with examples of how you’d like to play.

    Concentrate on a handful Of them and just dissect them. Just look at them and listen to them. Get them engrained in your psyche. Then start learning them.

    If you just jump straight in you’re likely to miss some of the subtleties that can help you.

    Robert Renman is a great teacher and his videos cover a lot of ground!

    May the force be with you.
    beagle likes this.
  7. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Dec 27, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    If you've been playing for 30 years I think you already know the answer about what you need to do...

  8. Country Guitarist

    Country Guitarist TDPRI Member

    Oct 25, 2018
    If patience is your issue with not learning new stuff then that’s where I’d start first.

    Next thing sounds like you need a teacher or a jam buddy to help you apply any new musical ideas how you want too. Or at least experiment. A looper pedal can sub at times for playing with others but nothing beats playing with other musicians.

    I’d recommend a teacher to help explore and learn new ideas and ways of playing. Sounds like you’re stuck in playing the same thing over and over. We all get into that rut.

    The hardest problem is getting what you hear or desire to play out and sound good in context. That’s the ear relationship you need to develop with your instrument which comes from patience of playing it out over and over until you develop a strong connection, enough to be able to quickly get your ideas out. Start by trying to cop some licks, phrases, or riffs from stuff you want to play. You’ll slowly develop that vocabulary as you do that.

    As for your tuning. If you feel Drop D is holding you back then tune that low D back up to E and start learning. Some things are easier to play in Drop D and some things are easier to play in standard. Explore standard tuning. As you play more and more in standard tuning, you’re going to learn and see when it’s an advantage to drop your low E and when it’s best to keep it in standard tuning. It’s situational and depends on what you’re doing and when the pros outweigh the cons.

    Most importantly get out there and get playing often and making music. Nothing engrains it more then the real deal
  9. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

    May 16, 2009
    As some others have suggested, maybe try an open tuning with a low D, maybe DADGAD or open G. Then you can maybe incorporate some slide into your playing or get your Stones or Black Crowes on.

    It won’t necessarily be a million miles away from what you already know in drop D, and you can learn techniques from songs in those tunings versus starting at square one with a ton of new finger positions in standard.

    It sounds like you just want to jam and work some things out yourself, so that may be a good place to start to spur some creativity and it can still be applied easily in a blues rock setting.
  10. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 6, 2019
    Between reality and imagination
    If you're only playing power chords all these years, transitioning will be really easy with a little practice over time. You will only be shifting your lowest notes down 2 frets. So instead of 1 finger per power chord, you will now be using 2 fingers per power chord (some people like to use 3 fingers). And once you get used to playing like that (give it some time), the world of open chords and barre chords will be available to you if you want to advance beyond power chords.

    I might go about it like this:

    * Tune your favorite guitar to standard tuning, so that you will be compelled to play in standard tuning more.
    * Memorize the string letter names, which are lowest to highest: E A D G B E. Memorize them starting from the high E too: E B G D A E. Just keep going over it periodically throughout the day when you have free time until it is effortless. You can visualize this without your guitar.
    * Learn two power chord shapes. One for the open E string as the lowest note, which would be frets 0 2 2 on the E A D strings respectively, and the movable shape beginning at the first fret, which would be frets 1 3 3. That second one is your equivalent of the one finger open D movable power chord shape that can be played all the way up and down the neck, such as 1 3 3, 3 5 5, 5 7 7, which would be power chords F G A.
    * Learn the natural scale note names and fret positions on the low E string starting at the open string and ending at the 12th fret. It's only 8 notes. It makes for a good reference for getting around on the open E string for playing power chords. The natural scale is also called C Major and the note names are C D E F G A B. Beginning at any note in the scale, the letter names cycle back around in higher octaves like, C D E F G A B C D E F G... On the low E string, you would be beginning with E of course, like this: E F G A B C D E... That is open string to 12th fret on these fret numbers: 0 1 3 5 7 8 10 12 = E F G A B C D E. Walk up from 0 to 12, thinking ahead about the note names as you play, then back down. Do it a little throughout the day each day until it is effortless.
    * Learn some songs that use power chords in standard tuning. The Ramones have tons of them. Keep in mind that some bands tune down a 1/2 step, full step, further, or somewhere inbetween.
    * Learn the natural note names on the A string, just the same as for the E string. The same power chord shapes can be played starting on the A string for the lowest note. Knowing chord positions with roots on both the E and A strings means that you won't need to move up and down the neck nearly as much.
    * That will get you transitioned to playing the same sort of power chord things you already play in drop D, and you will be ready for learning open and barre chords if you want.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
  11. Jeremy_Green

    Jeremy_Green TDPRI Member

    May 4, 2020
    Toronto, Canada
    This right here - is a problem and likely the reason you are in the spot you are in. If there is one thing that learning requires it is patience. This quote triggered me as I have heard this all before many many times.

    Something I have learned in all my years playing and teaching, is that your playing is almost always a direct reflection of your effort. If it's always just for fun - that's fine - but ya can't turn around later and lament about not being where you wanna be. Either you care about it enough to invest in practicing things you NEED to practice (as opposed to WANT to practice) or you don't. Really it is as simple as that. Ya can't half ass your way to greatness, it just doesn't work like that.

    You want to learn standard tuning - learn standard tuning. Start today. It's not hard. You need to decide if it matters to you or not. If you don't change it and hide behind the lack of patience thing or some other excuse, then I guess it doesn't REALLY matter to you enough.

    Tough love dude. You want this or not?
    Your move.
  12. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 28, 2006
    Los Angeles, Ca
    Tune your low D up to E.
    Find a Youtube video of a song/riff you like and want to learn.
    Don't even worry about what the notes are or the names of the chords.
    Mimick the vid.
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