Re-Learning To Play Guitar – A Personal Journey

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by unixfish, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. Grey_Melbourne

    Grey_Melbourne TDPRI Member

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    Give or take a couple of points I could have written the same thing about me (only not as eloquently).
    I have also been planning to find an online course and basically start over. You have inspired me to get on with it.
    Thanks for posting.
     
  2. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I have had passing thoughts that "everyone here" is an established player, and I am the only - or one of the few - that never really learned. I can play a lot of stuff in small chunks, even some "tricky stuff" - but only licks. I never could just "play a lead over this".

    A bit more foundation and I will get there. It just make take a while.
     
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  3. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Meister

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    Playing a lead is so much more than playing scales. You need to know what notes are available to you, and it helps to know scales. But you can't let that get in your way. An intuitive understanding of the fretboard allows you to play what is in your head and use phrasing and dynamics and other techniques to shape and flavor your leads. Learning licks is useful, but mainly to build your vocabulary. I think one reason we stagnate is from relying too much on repeating the same phrases and playing songs the same way all the time.

    My two cents.
     
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  4. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's

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    I try to mention that I’m a “return to guitar” person every chance I get. I wouldn’t want people to think I was one of the accomplished players here.

    But I will contribute on how to learn threads because that’s where my immediate experience lies. I can say what has worked for me, to help me advance. It might help someone else.

    My motto is “I suck a little less each week”:) Learning is fun.

    Largely thanks to this forum, I’ve learned enough that people who don’t know anything about guitar think I’m pretty good. I have no illusions, however.
     
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  5. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    To me, the most important difference has been thinking about music as performance rather than as technique. A lot of the time all I want to know is "how did they do that?" It's like learning the magic trick" "oh that's how they do it?" then it's not interesting after that.

    I think really good musicians are much more focused on the performance, on telling the story. I feel like if I'm working on a song--I'm working on a chord-melody arrangement of Shenandoah right now for example--once I've figured out a good transition or a good chord substitution I'm kind of done, whereas a better musician than me is always focused on performing the thing, telling the story.

    IMHO you might think less about scales and more about performance; not just getting through a whole song but telling the story of the song.
     
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  6. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Where do you go from here ?


    1 day a week (or after 6 days of playing as I don’t know if you play everyday) - don’t use a pick.



    This isn’t designed to wean you off of using picks , just make you think on the fly, improvise, hear different things.

    If I don’t have a pick or don’t feel like picking one up, I either hold my fingers like I have one like Andy (I think he still does Reverb gear reviews - used to do Pro Guitar Shop) or I use my thumb like Albert Collins.

    The object is also to play songs that you already know but just don’t use a pick.


    Not caring whether I had a pick or not is one of the most important changes in my playing in the last five years or so.

    It also changed how I hold a pick when I do use one, how much of the point was exposed, and whether I even used the pointed end at all.
     
  7. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    stop thinkin about it and just do it. you can think yourself into circles and accomplish nothing...

    where do you go from here???? thats really up to you isn't it?
    TRY THINGS!!!!! - the things you don' t like, stop doing them.

    the things you like, keep doing them and find more.

    in the end we're all dead and it doesn't matter, so find the things you enjoy and do them, and they will resolve themselves into whatever it is you feel you need to do.

    give yourself permission to live and then take it...
     
  8. Woollymonster

    Woollymonster Tele-Meister

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    I would highly recommend True Fire. Established learning paths.

    You don't practice on your own, you practice with the artist/instructor and with a band. If you have a decent DAW, even better. I use a Universal Audio Apollo Twin from my computer into two Yamaha HS8's. This allows me to play through my amps at a decent level with out washing out the DAW. But of course, you could use a headphone setup of some kind.

    Something for all levels. Lots of fun!
     
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  9. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    If I wanted to tell a story to long lost relatives in Germany, I might need to learn the language first so I could express ideas. KnowwhatImean?

    Just learning the language so I can converse what's in my head.
     
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  10. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    I know exactly what you mean, but lots of great musicians never learn more than the cowboy chords, and they have whole musical careers around their ability to perform simple songs in moving ways. I was just reading the latest SRV biography, and Carlos Alomar, Bowie's guitarist, says Stevie was great but he didn't know any more than basic blues chords--you couldn't tell him to play an m7b5, says Alomar. But he spent a decade or more fronting bands and making it work: performing a shuffle.

    I would argue that half an hour of playing live is more valuable than a week of solo practice. I can solo comfortably over about any jazz changes, but it's from a couple decades of playing bass in jazz bands, actually navigating the changes in a live situation where I don't have the luxury of practicing my mistakes over and over. Home study surely helps, and there are a lot of paths through music, so I don't wish to sound dogmatic.

    In my own case I've been teaching myself the simple-system six hole flute, teaching myself Irish dance music, because the options are limited, there's not really any "gear" to fuss about, and the entire focus is on making the melody musical: making it have lift and swing and appeal, and that's got nothing to do with knowing the locrian mode and everything to do with making people want to tap their feet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
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  11. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    OK - to start, I'm not arguing here, just a different point of view.

    Some people learn by seeing. Some learn by hearing. Some learn by doing. Some learn by establishing a foundation, and building.

    SRV was an auditory learner. He would hear song, and translate what he heard to the fretboard. There are many people that have that ability - I'm not one of them (yet?). He did not need to know the names and theory of music, because he could just play it, integrate it, and make it work. He understood it by ear - but not by name / sight / chart.

    I can watch someone play, and understand what they are doing, but I would not be able to translate that to my hands (yet?).

    I am an analyst. I need a solid foundation of the underlying structure, theory, and building blocks; a foundation I can build on. That's just how I learn, how I think, and how I need to approach things. I will over-analyze details - to death - so I have something to build on. This works for my IT jobs - I have the background and building blocks, so now I can just go about putting stuff together. I am still collecting that building set for guitar; I had it in Orchestra, I just never translated that across.

    You do make some really good points about "a half an hour of playing live is more valuable than a week of solo practice". I agree with this - but that means I would need to leave the house and interact with people. Yuck. :D

    6 hole flute - like a fife, right? My mother has one - I play it a bit when I go out to see her. It's a lot like a recorder, which I also played for years when I was young.

    All this knowledge, and I just never applied it across to guitar. It was just too easy to bang a few riffs and be lazy.
     
  12. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

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    That has to one of the best-written posts I've read. The guy that said it's a language got it right. After lots n lots of playing time you reach a point where you know where and what you can play instinctively. Much the same as speaking where you say what you think without running thru a list of appropriate words first.
    Play lots, play with others and enjoy the journey.
     
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  13. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    we are all born blind and naked, we become what we become by trying the limits of the world into which we were thrust.

    I read about recording techniques for 20 years, but only when I put my hand on various recorders and began learning with my ears, eyes and fingers could I actually understand.

    Practice is the best thing a musician can do, but not rote mechanical repetition of the same scales,songs, patterns. we must play what we feel and listen to what we play, and fix what we don't like and add to, embelish, invert and generally noodle about with what we do like until we mold into something that satisfy us.

    if your not happy with your music, its unlikely anyone else will be...

    I learned recording by doing it, and I learned guitar by doing it over and over. in many ways the most important thing isn't WHAT you do, its that you DO it - regularly as much as you can without losing your passion or desire, for without passion and desire to drive you, you might as well be watching tv or baking a pie.
     
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  14. BeatlesAreMyJam

    BeatlesAreMyJam Tele-Afflicted

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    This may inspire u. Pat Martino had been playing (with ferocious technique) since the late sixties until an aneurism resulted in TOTAL memory loss. Including the ability to play guitar. Had to relearn from zero.

     
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  15. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, but I think most guitarists and musicians want to play better than Johnny Cash. Cash was a lyricist more than he was a musician.

    It is the same old argument. How sophisticated do you want your playing to be? Can I be the kind of player I want to be without learning how music works? The more sophisticated you want it to be, the more time and effort you need to put into it to improve. If you're happy playing cowboy chords and singing simple songs, more power to you.
     
  16. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's

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    I know the major, minor, pentatonic, blues and mixo scales cold all positions. I know the relative major/minor scales and how to use them. I know a bunch of other theory, but what I don't know ARE ALL THE NOTES ON THE FRETBOARD, DANGIT! How hard can it be just to hunker down and memorize them all? I need to get that down cold, so I can apply theory quickly while playing...
     
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  17. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    i'd settle for being johnny cash in a pinch...
     
  18. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    theys's 12 and they mix them up, and put them all over the place.
    learn all the "E"'s first and then the "D"s after that its mostly stuff nobody uses...
    Keef dropped his e string cause he weren't using it, so get rid of all the strings you don't play and thats les you have to lurn.
     
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  19. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    https://www.musictheory.net/exercises/fretboard

    I also have Fretboard Learn on my phone.

    I run through these from time to time when I have a few free minutes - it helps a lot.
     
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  20. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's

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    That’s a great idea. I think I would take a big leap forward by knowing all the notes instantly.
     
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