Who knows their own limitations?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by LGOberean, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    My greatest asset and greatest limitation is that I'm a perfectionist. I don't think I can play through anything without error and that bothers me tremendously. Being a perfectionist also makes me work hard to get better. There is a corollary to this. I know what I need to work on. Unfortunately, being a perfectionist, it's a lot. Sometimes it's hard to decide if I need to work on a song, scales, modes, finger style technique, or my vocal range. There isn't enough time in the day to work on it all and working on it all will dilute my effort to the point where I don't make any progress at all. Engineering, in comparison, is easy. CAD programs won't allow you to proceed until you correct your errors. If I get stuck on the math, a computer will do it for me. Even writing is easier because once the manual or paper is corrected and past the reviewers you're finished and you move on. You're never finished with a piece of music. There's always a way to play it better.
     
  2. Gigante_Miguel

    Gigante_Miguel Tele-Meister

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    I’ve done a good job of working through some mental limitations that prevented me from really following my inspiration. I’ve also been able to increase my practice discipline to the point where I’m running up against the limits of my skill and talent. I’m a solid rhythm player, and a pretty good songwriter, and I’m good enough to teach my band mates my songs.

    What I run up against are the physical limitations of my hands, which are pretty beat from a combination of manual labor and computer work, and some failure to grasp some theory and technique which would make things easier.
     
  3. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Ad Free Member

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    I certainly know mine. My life has been one bad thing after another, mostly because I was trying to exceed my limitations. Guitar is just one small thing. My problems have always been related to anything physical, which guitar playing is. So far I've had serious brain surgery because of a fall, and resulting acquired brain injury, broken spine in an accident, and two broken neck vertebrae. All of this has resulted in somewhat diminished playing ability. I still forced myself to play and gig but finally the cancer I came down with just put an end to it all. Now I play when I can, when I feel well, and I don't play well enough to play for anyone else. And I know that.

    :cool:
     
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  4. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Holic

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    Generally speaking, right hand techniques are what I have to work the hardest at. I am left handed but play right handed guitar and I've had surgery on my right thumb. I was really glad to discover super-grippy picks!
     
  5. dickey

    dickey Tele-Afflicted

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    I have 2 very serious limitations; similar to Toto's Dad. I have lost all interest in playing, and gig almost solely for the money. My guitars don't come out of their cases between gigs; I no longer practice, and still, being originally a NYC session & stage musician, only 1 or 2 people in this town are at my level of ability. The plethora of substandard, unprofessional musicians in this town, combined with the complete lack of musical sophistication of the audiences in the clubs here (they all have that "Lynyrd Skynyrd Tom Petty play something we can dance to" mentality) and the crappy pay that clubowners here wanna give you, all ad up to zero inspiration on my part to try & improve myself as a player. I don't even bother changing strings anymore. What's the point? No one cares. I'm up onstage playing, and every single woman in the club has that light on their chest from staring at their stupid phones. I could be Danny Gatton or Buddy Emmons, & they wouldn't notice the difference. It's no longer about the music here; more about the drink specials. People in clubs here are interested in 3 things: Smoking cigarettes, getting drunk, & getting laid. I have developed a disdain for the people I play for which keeps me from giving a damn.
    On the plus side...my strengths are that I am not, like 99% of the players in this town, limited to rock & shredding, or "pentatonic pushing". I do chikin' pikin',blues, country,rockabilly,surf,some jazz, fingerstyle ragtime & folk, and a few other genres. I like to be versatile & play different stuff from what every other guitarist here is playing, including pedal steel, banjo, & bass; versatility is the key.
    But for me, it is no longer about the music...it's about the $$.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  6. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm a Banjo player, Jim, not a guitarist. I play the guitar for fun, certainly not for profit. If I put my mind to it, I can play whatever I want to...I top out at intermediate 'cause I have too many other interests to devote the large blocks of obsessive behavior required to advance my level. I prefer rhythm playing when amongst other players because I have stage fright that causes my fine motor control to leave the room. Take a break? Not happening. Want to hear me solo? Listen outside my music room.

    I have lots of limitations, most of them are mental. I am self-defeating, insecure and a little right-left dyslexic.

    LOL, I can play all the famous Earl Scruggs banjo instrumentals note for note along with the records but I really dislike the Bluegrass schtick (and vocals)...
     
  7. d barham

    d barham Tele-Meister

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    I'm a pretty fair mandolin player, a little better on fiddle. Lots of people better than me that got there a lot faster. I guess my strengths are that I can pick things up quickly, reach a certain level of proficiency but going beyond that is very slow and difficult, if not downright impossible. Probably a better bass player than anything else, but everyone plays bass so I usually leave that to those who want it more. After a cancer diagnosis, I decided to get into guitar, telecaster in particular. Really enjoying it. I had already put together a pretty cool collection of vintage fender guitars, basses and amps so the transition was pretty easy. Then I hit the wall again. Well I've decided to add lap steel to the mix. I know how it's going to end. I guess I'm just doomed to be mediocre on a bunch of different instruments. Limitations? Lack of serious talent, and a greater lack of discipline to develope what talent I have.
     
  8. Plumber

    Plumber Tele-Holic

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    Always has been for me, and I do absolutely identify with your statement about guitars stopping in the case til next gig, When I gigged every weekend I never played guitar

    I did get into the world of midi and synths which still holds a massive interest for me
     
  9. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Ah, it's the old story of women following you from gig to gig, making a scene with their screaming, as well as wilder antics. I'd get kicked out of a band for attracting this element to the gigs, then join another, until the winds picked up my scent or whatever. I simply cannot keep women from making a scene at gigs. This certainly has limited my performing opportunities. Also not enough time to practice.
     
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  10. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    It's interesting to read how many replies here involve singing. As I said in my OP, I conceived of this thread as a “who of us here knows his/her own limitations as a guitar player” counter-thread. I wasn't thinking about singing in the limitations category, no doubt because singing is my best thing. I've gotten compliments from guys about my singing abilities, one guy at one of my restaurant gigs even said "You have the voice of an angel." (I was surprised a guy would say that.) But I have heard countless women say to me "You have a beautiful voice!"

    Judy, a friend I've known for almost five decades, once said that to me. Years later, about 7-8 years ago, there was woman named Mary in hospice care, her family with her. Peggy, the woman's daughter-in-law, was a good friend of Judy's. They wanted to get some people to sing hymns at Mary's bedside, but it was the middle of the day and few were able to respond to the call. Judy called me, and I came. Judy, Peggy and her daughters and of course the Mary's husband Dewey were all trying to sing, but were overcome with emotion, so eventually I was the only one singing.

    Later, after Mary's passing, my wife and I attended the funeral service. After it was over and we filed past the family members to offer our condolences, Dewey, who had never met me before that fateful day, thought he recognized me. He asked, "Are you the young man with the voice?"

    So I know how to sing, and I do it well. That's been affirmed and confirmed countless times, by many local musicians and professionals. I was told by Tom Callicott, a guitarist who played on the Louisiana Hayride and did session work as well as playing locally, that I could have had a career as a session vocalist.

    As for singing and playing, that is one of my strong points as well. Back in late '67 or early '68, I took up the guitar with the expressed purpose of accompanying my singing. So throughout my life, I've played and sang. It's not about solos; it's about the song.

    I don't feel like I'm bragging when I speak of my singing abilities. In the words of Will Sonnett, "No brag, just fact." (Bonus points for those who get that reference.) It's not like I was standing in line in heaven, waiting to be sent to earth, saying, "Before I go, give me a vocal range of low E to A above middle C,* with a vocal timbre that makes me a tenor." My voice was a gift, not an accomplishment.


    * I'll get into this when talking about my limitations, but I don't know how wide a range that is, because I can't read music. I was just told that was my range by my choir director in high school, low E to A above middle C.
     
  11. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Coming up on the 6th anniversary of his passing. Life goes on, but it's not the same. We're so fortunate to have a son, and daughter still. My wife is from a large family, and I try not to let it get me down, because there's always something going on with them.

    Thanks,

    TD
     
  12. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Okay, my limitations…

    I’ve already mentioned in my previous post one of my biggest limitations; I can’t read music. And I never took lessons. I just watched other players, including my Dad back in the ‘60s. I’d borrow his guitar and Mel Bay chord book, and with ham-fisted determination just hammer away at the chords I saw pictured there. I was intimidated by the theory in that book, and with all the patience of a 14 year old just blew right past the theory and studied the pictures and diagrams of chords.

    And like @Bergy , I’m southpaw playing righty. My Dad played and sang and was right-handed, and so guitars with right-handed orientation were readily available when I started. I just figured it was a right-handed world, and playing righty was the price of admission into the guitar-playing world. I don’t really have any regrets about that, but I do have limitations as a result. Right hand technique has always been the weak point in my guitar playing.

    Furthermore, I’ve had carpel tunnel issues in recent years. I’m also a diabetic and have had quadruple bypass surgery, so I have issues with losing feeling in my fingers after playing for a while. The loss of feeling effects the left hand as well.

    It’s highly unlikely that I will ever be a “lead guitarist.” I’m a rhythm and riffs player. I work on this at home, but I’m very conservative about playing instrumental breaks at my gigs. Again, not knowing theory, I don’t know the notes I’m playing; I think in terms of patterns, not notes. Shoot, I don't even know the names to all the chords I know.

    Most of the songs I’ve learned were by ear, usually while noodling around on guitar. I’ll stumble across a progression and think “Oh, that’s [insert song title here].” So I work out an arrangement in a key that I prefer to sing it in. Later, when I go back and listen to the record, or see/hear someone else play it, I’d realize my arrangement wasn’t true to the original. You know that column in Guitar Player magazine, “You’re Playing It Wrong”? Jesse Gress probably got the inspiration for the column after hearing me play.

    I’m no good at playing slide, to the point that I don’t attempt it in public. I can’t do hybrid picking. Which I think is kind of weird, since I can play fingerstyle well, but my fingerstyle playing is probably not done according to Hoyle, as the old expression goes. Again, I can’t read music and I haven’t had lessons, so what I do I work out on my own by brute strength and awkwardness.

    There have been a lot of mentions of songwriting in this thread. Again, I wasn’t thinking of that when I conceived of this thread, but that one belongs in my limitations column as well. I have written a few songs, but not many with lyrics. And I’m limited in writing instrumental compositions because, yet again, I don’t know theory.
     
  13. Lord_Ingipz

    Lord_Ingipz Tele-Meister

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    "Mankind has got to know his limitations."- Dave Mustaine
     
  14. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I started fingerpicking when Mark Knopfler became widely known- late 70s. Hated heavy metal, thrash and shredding and even didn't say I played guitar by the 90s.
    Strenghs- fingerpicking, reading music and building.
    Weaknesses- playing with a pick.Don't get tab.
    I am re-learning how to use one and need a medium- somewhere in the middle range.
     
  15. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Holic

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    My only limitations are those I impose on myself. I get past that and the world is my oyster.
     
  16. teletail

    teletail TDPRI Member

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    I've yet to meet a truly great player that claims they are great. When you're really good, you don't need to tell anyone.
     
  17. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    Limitations: I cannot sight read music. If I sat and worked at it, I could pick out the notes symbols and figure out what it mean on the guitar. I can't play that fast because I can't think that fast. (or maybe I can but can't get my muscle memory just right). I've developed a lot better sense of soloing, but I still struggle to come up with something new for each song. I work out of pattern 1 and 3 a lot and have my go to positions. My jam band mate can play 10x the notes I can but often my work sounds "better" (to me.) ;) My solos follow the melody a bit more, which can be seen as a plus.

    I have limited patience. I like to sing and play, so if I can hammer through it a couple of times on acoustic, I'm generally happy. Then I fail to go back and improve upon it: bass runs, interesting fills and such (esp as a solo player). Since I have limited patience, working a section over an over I have to push myself to do it. I've always been more a rhythm/chord player so I really have to work on new "chords" and such. I play in church too, so I only lately have learned a bunch of interesting new grips that I should have known for add9, and sus2's for open chords.

    I am focused when I want to be. I have limited patience with other people who aren't as focused. Like my bass player. You don't need the chart again. It's the same 12 bars for whole song. Or my drummer. The breaks are in the second pass of the intro and the 3rd verse. We have a communications problem.

    I'm also self conscious about my playing so I have auditioned for some stuff, but called it over before they could call me. I'm better (more comfortable) with low class garage bands and stuff I form. I need to push myself a little harder there.

    Strengths: ( maybe): I can sing. I don't like the sound of my voice, but f*** it, at this age, the audience can also not like it. At full volume. I flex my vocal chords by yelling at my kids. So I'm loud. And I feel like I have good phrasing. I practice it. With the PA in my basement. It's a great stress reliever. So for what I can do, I have a good time with it.

    I've also greatly improved my memory. I used to think I couldn't remember whole songs. I took away the music and really worked and I can do it. Not sure why it was an issue before.
     
  18. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Laziness and procrastination keep me from finding out.
     
  19. 6stringcowboy

    6stringcowboy Tele-Afflicted

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    I most certainly am aware and comfortable with my limitations. I play with a band who's members are mostly the same. None of us have any illusions of becoming rock stars and we have more fun than is legal. I am slowly getting better and dont beat myself up (too much anyway) when i flub a line, whether guitar or vocal. Its a hobby for us, and we take it with the exact amount of seriousness a hobby deserves. Of course i want to get better but i know what it takes to be great and i dont have enough time to be great. Though i wont argue for my limitations, i humbly accept where they lay and will continue to negotiate with them to move a bit when they can.
     
  20. drumtime

    drumtime Tele-Meister

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    I made a flippant, humorous post earlier, which is one of my limitations -- not taking things seriously. I don't have much discipline these days, and I don't like to practice alone. I also don't like to learn songs, really. I also have a few carpal tunnel - type injuries from a couple of decades as a percussionist and hand drummer. Switched back to guitar because it's a little easier on the hands & wrists.

    When I was a kid, I learned to play guitar the conventional way, and could sight read just about anything, but never learned any other way to learn a song. I remember asking an older guy if he had the sheet music to Wooly Bully. Another limitation. Can't read anymore - totally lost it. Another limitation.
     
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