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The Tipping Point - A question for advanced players

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by matrix, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Not to judge, and of course there CAN be too much of a good thing; but if my girl doesn’t like my guitar playing she soon becomes my ex...
     
  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Not much room there to hide, lounge around, or generally suck!
     
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  3. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't consider myself an advanced player. But at some point ten or 15 years ago (and earlier than that if I was playing harmonica) I became somebody other musicians wanted to be with on stage.

    I got to that point with this thing called practice. Know the song. Have something prepared, or if you're in a jam context have an idea for what you'' do on the song. Then be ready to do something else if the song goes a different direction.

    Learning multiple instruments will give you a better understanding of the larger musical vocabulary. And eventually it will start paying off in your playing of those multiple instruments.

    Learn to groove. Playing in church bands with young drummers, I sometimes had to play 1/8 or 1/4 notes so everybody knew where the beat is.Learning to do that and hold it steady really helped.

    I can play simple leads, and play a few gigs a year (although not this year) with a group that does church conferences and I'm usually the lead or "color" guy.

    But for me it's all about the groove.
     
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  4. Kingpin

    Kingpin Friend of Leo's

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    I think the 'tipping point" comes when you can objectively listen to your playing with a critical ear, determine what areas you need to focus your attention on for improvement, and, the experience to know what steps to take.

    At that point, you've assumed responsibility for your progress and the only thing holding you back is putting in the work.

    Ex. if passages are difficult to play, bad time, intonation etc. - technique and relaxation need focus.

    If you don't know "what" to play - listening and transcribing iconic solos will help.

    If you don't understand "why" something works - music theory and taking time to analyze the piece (what is the underlying chord progression... what preceded the "line or phrase"... what comes after it... what is the implied harmony... what are similar examples... what are other ways I can use this line???).

    It's all sitting there, waiting for us to dive in.
     
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  5. Terrygh1949

    Terrygh1949 Tele-Meister

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    Yes, definately. I call it levels. You will move along learning and, playing and, then you'll notice how easy something's just become easier and, you will feel it, see it, and, hear it in all aspects of your playing.
     
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  6. waynereed

    waynereed TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for sharing. Pretty cool story.
     
  7. MLJ1

    MLJ1 TDPRI Member

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    I got better when I started recording myself, writing original material. I quickly heard how bad I was, then spent a whole lot of time (many years) recording and re-recording my guitar parts until they were acceptable. Now, after playing/recording for so many years, I won't say how many to avoid embarrassment, I can honestly and without any Ego say I am a pretty decent guitarist. Recording works for me, but playing live might work for someone else, that also is openly brutal as to the response you get to your playing. Just keep learning the basics, like scale and chord relationships, you will have to anyway.. no way around that.
     
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  8. Wharfcreek

    Wharfcreek Tele-Meister

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    Id call this 'The Chipping Point'

    I've been chipping away at the brick wall I hit 20+ years ago and still haven't made a hole big enough for me to crawl through and reach the other side!
     
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  9. notyalcer

    notyalcer Tele-Meister

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    Yes. Had a very similar experience to yours the last 5-7 years. It's been a lot of fun to feel a stronger sense of control on the guitar and to be able to assimilate new ideas much faster. I feel I have plateaued, but also that I could push again for another breakthrough.
     
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  10. azureglo

    azureglo TDPRI Member

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    Current thinking on learning/skill suggests 4 stages

    Unconscious Incompetence- you don't know what you don't know
    Conscious Incompetence- You know what you don't know
    Conscious Competence- you're managing to get through it if you concentrate actively
    Unconscious Competence- The Holy Grail, your tipping point where it flows without any conscious effort and is note perfect

    There is a lot of stuff out there on how to learn actively as opposed to passively - as we are taught at schools and colleges, I've acquired some new paying skills by following some of these processes in under six months as opposed to the 10,000 hour myth that made for a good bestseller.

    So back to your point, when was my tipping point? for me it was decades ago after endlessly woodshedding scales, arpeggios, tritone subs, triads, CAGED et al, I heard a part for a session I was doing in my head as I scanned the lead sheet and played a nifty little chord tone melody that Louie Shelton would have approved of and that the producer & talent loved. Since then I can pretty much play anything I hear in my head (and am interested in) after a couple of tries but still find that elusive, in the pocket quality sometimes hard to nail without a little rehearsal- e.g try playing the guitar part to Brook Benton's Rainy night in Georgia ( Cornell Dupree of course) and you'll find the final 5% of feel is still something you have to work for.

    My go to these days is not to endlessly noodle but to regularly pick a sweet piece of guitar playing and really get under the skin of that, e.g if you can work what Cropper is doing in the Dock of the Bay riff as opposed to just memorizing it by rote, it's that old cliche of give a man a fish he eats for day but show him how to fry potatoes and he'll open a global fish and chip franchise (or words to that effect). Some of the better online teachers excel at this as opposed to the put the first finger on the second fret of the third string stuff

    I guess goals are important as well, what do you want to do with your playing, compose, do jams, impress girls in bars, start a band , etc? I have a dear friend who has been diligently "studying" the cello for twenty five years, and I mean diligently, he has weekly private tuition, goes to at least three rehearsals a week for amateur ensembles and orchestras and has done for two and half decades yet can't sight read ( a non starter for a classical musician) or play a simple Bach partita without stumbling and stopping. I ask him what his goal is and he replies that he doesnt think in goals, he's just hacking away at it until "something" happens, as he's pushing seventy one can only hope that his epiphany happens before the arthritis and eyesight failure kick in unless his goal is to be someone who couldn't play the cello after twenty five years of trying really hard..

    From what you're saying you've hit the Conscious Competence phase, you'll pleasantly surprised how quickly you'll hit the Unconscious Competence sweet spot if you keep at it and have some sort of outcome in mind!
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
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  11. Frank Entele

    Frank Entele TDPRI Member

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    Whether you know it or now, this is what’s going on:


    The four stages suggest that individuals are initially unaware of how little they know, or unconscious of their incompetence. As they recognize their incompetence, they consciously acquire a skill, then consciously use it. Eventually, the skill can be utilized without it being consciously thought through: the individual is said to have then acquired unconscious competence.[5]

    Several elements, including helping someone "know what they don't know" or recognize a blind spot, can be compared to some elements of a Johari window, although Johari deals with self-awareness, while the four stages of competence deals with learning stages.

    Stages[edit]
    The four stages are:

    1. Unconscious incompetence
      The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit. They may deny the usefulness of the skill. The individual must recognize their own incompetence, and the value of the new skill, before moving on to the next stage. The length of time an individual spends in this stage depends on the strength of the stimulus to learn.[5]
    2. Conscious incompetence
      Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, they recognize the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit. The making of mistakes can be integral to the learning process at this stage.
    3. Conscious competence
      The individual understands or knows how to do something. However, demonstrating the skill or knowledge requires concentration. It may be broken down into steps, and there is heavy conscious involvement in executing the new skill.[5]
    4. Unconscious competence
      The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it has become "second nature" and can be performed easily. As a result, the skill can be performed while executing another task. The individual may be able to teach it to others, depending upon how and when it was learned.
     
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  12. Frank Entele

    Frank Entele TDPRI Member

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    Sorry for the redundancy- I was too busy cutting and pasting at the exact same time as @azureglo...which makes me consciously incompetent, I suppose.
     
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  13. eddiewagner

    eddiewagner Poster Extraordinaire

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    When you make a little money by playing the guitar
     
  14. Andy ZZ

    Andy ZZ TDPRI Member

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    For me, there were 3 major Tipping Points:
    1. Understanding the Cycle of 5ths and how it's used and applied.
    2. Practicing scales in Triplets. This was a huge speed and accuracy booster.
    3. Learning Gatton-style picking technique, utilizing the rest of my fingers (mid, ring, pinky) in conjunction with flat-picking. This was the biggest ever improvement to my entire approach to all stringed instruments.
     
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  15. Dave Douglas

    Dave Douglas TDPRI Member

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    Good morning everyone, great questions regarding tipping points in our progression of learning to perform as we want to on anything! Here we are talking about when it all dawns on us that we have broken through some kind of a barrier and everything becomes easier for us in the desire of what we are trying to accomplish in music.

    Of course, as we all know, we are all as different as the fingerprints on our hands, and that should be the first clue to why one person can pick up his guitar and make it sound immediately like magic, and the other person struggles just to learn the first chords. This has nothing to do with how intelligent or not we are in learning. It many times has to do with the environment we are in and the conditions surrounding the project or instrument that we desire to become proficient on.

    My environment was a mother and a father, one playing the piano, and my dad playing the violin, together. Day after day I would listen to this not perfect music, but beautiful to my ears because it was what we had. Mom had a higher college education in music as a teacher and Dad played from the seat of his britches, not carrying a very constant tempo. Mom had the knack to skip a beat here and there and get them back on tempo, so it all worked out in the end.

    So what I'm trying to profess here, and I am the furthest thing in the world from being a teacher, is that we all can do really anything we want in life and music. It is many times the circumstances going on around us that either inhibit or slows us in our desires to learn. When I was 14 years old, living in a very poor family on our beautiful Bunker Creek Washington farm, loaded with love and caring for each other, my folks one day said, we need to get David a guitar, he loves music. That was my beginning in a long life of happiness and frustrations. I'm still at that same point in life today, but mildly content in what I have been able to accomplish!!

    Keep it up matrix. It is not always the thing you have accomplished at the end, but more great is the path, and the learning in circumstances you face on the journey to get there!

    The pictures below are, my first Touch Guitar/DuoLectar,1957, headless, reverse tuning necks, and a cutaway view of my "Tension Free neck". The white guitar is one I am building, as we speak, for the centerfold of a new book on guitars, soon to be released.
    The last photo is of my Dave Bunker Show, 10 years at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas,
     

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  16. mslevy

    mslevy TDPRI Member

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    I could have wrote this post.... I am playing guitar since I was 13 and I'm now 61. I feel exactly the same.
     
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  17. mslevy

    mslevy TDPRI Member

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    I feel exactly the same! I could have written that post. Playing since I'm 13 and now I'm 61. I first learned triads and theory over the past 6 years and still work through it. Great post.
     
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  18. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    One day when I was nine ... like 60+ years ago I wanted be able to play Bossa Nova which was mostly just samba in those days. .... damn you mean each note in a chord can be treated as an independent voice in a chord progression? Like wow man rock and roll really does suck (even though I still play the crap 60 years later). So for me learning all the stuff around Bossa Nova put me over the top. Like you really gotta know theory and harmony to take it to the next level ... I mean who would of thunk it .... damn there was life after Elvis and the Everly Brothers. and Eb7b9b13 really is a chord ...... like wow man. Sorry about that but that is what actually happened.
     
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  19. decibel

    decibel Tele-Meister

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    Yes, definitely, not a linear process. It's a two forward, one back process.
    What I found leads to rapid growth is (a) transcribing songs by ear and eventually writing songs (b) using a looper to experiment with leads/harmony and texture. (c) trying to arrange songs so they combine both the bass and lead line ala bill frissel; this will lead to rapid growth (d) A good level of theory (e.g. knowing the fretboard, chord inversions, dyads, and intervals are specifically useful for guitarists). There are many other paths to take, but these things open new worlds fast and fun. If you know all of these things, you're probably in a better position to succeed than 99% of guitarists. Doesn't guarantee success because after that things like taste, tasteful playing, checking ego, songwriting ability, knowing you still have a lot to learn, etc all come into play. But in terms of pure playing ability you'll be good to go. I'd say daily practice is also important, even if it's something as simple as sitting on the couch while watching a movie and getting your hand to learn a new chord shape.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
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  20. castermike

    castermike TDPRI Member

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