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> Quitting My Job And Dedicating 8 Hours A Day For Practicing Guitar
Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 27 2011, 09:39 AM
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Hey Alex!

I will write this here so that everyone may be able to share opinions and thoughts on your questions.

A guitarplayer is usually a selfmade man, a musical entrepreneur if you would like to call it like that smile.gif you earn your living based on a combination of instrument skill, talent, hard work, luck, personality, entertaining skills, composing skills, professionalism and I could make a VERY LONG list. Most of these come with experience - hard earned on stage and in the studio, but mostly ON STAGE. I have learned that no matter how much time you dedicate to studying, when you get on stage, you will be able to perform at about 30% of your full potential, so what really drives performers on top, is a combination of balanced studying routine and LIVE performances, backed by learning what being a pro really means, onstage and offstage.

You can do other things aside music, and honestly, I recommend that, as you learn from everywhere! Being one track minded is good, but make sure your track has side roads smile.gif Rhoads biggrin.gif

DO NOT frustrate yourself with not being at the level you wish you would be. There are super successful artists out there who can't play even half as good as you do. They became successful because they only focused on one thing - TRANSMITTING THEIR HEARTFELT GENUINE, HONEST MESSAGE towards the world. Once you get to that point and you manage to leave aside the techniques, the challenges and everything, you are one step closer to achieving 2 things: peace with yourself, which will offer good self esteem, focus power and an easy way to channel your ideas into finely honed practice and when that is done, you have all the chances of being noticed, in the good way.

The only limits are imposed by ourselves, or 'The only opponent is within!' as Ben taught me smile.gif

Don't impose limits, just practice, focused and create as much as possible, record and show the world your ideas. Critique will come, good, bad, it doesn't matter as long as it's coming and you are able to filter the constructive advice to your advantage - it's the way in which you can grow and develop yourself!

I hope I was helpful enough and didn't confuse you smile.gif waiting on your input so we can take this discussion further on!

cheers

Cosmin


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Marek Rojewski
post Sep 27 2011, 10:12 AM
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Please don't see this advice as any kind of mockery, but I strongly advice You to search for ways of improving Your self esteem. As SirJamsalot wrote some esteem problems are really noticeable, for me they are very clear because I have those myself sleep.gif Improving Your self esteem by "one inch" will improve almost "all aspects of everything" by that inch... I was proved time and time again that I can do better than I think of myself, the hardest thing it letting oneself try.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 27 2011, 10:38 AM
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QUOTE (Marek Rojewski @ Sep 27 2011, 09:12 AM) *
Please don't see this advice as any kind of mockery, but I strongly advice You to search for ways of improving Your self esteem. As SirJamsalot wrote some esteem problems are really noticeable, for me they are very clear because I have those myself sleep.gif Improving Your self esteem by "one inch" will improve almost "all aspects of everything" by that inch... I was proved time and time again that I can do better than I think of myself, the hardest thing it letting oneself try.


Very wise words Marek!


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rhoads
post Sep 27 2011, 01:35 PM
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First of all thanks for all your thoughts. Ok, lets take it one by one smile.gif

The self esteem issue. Don't worry I don't see it as a mockery, I know I have this problem. Actually was the one thing I didn't see coming when I started all this in April.

You know.. before I was a programmer I had a pretty well paid job, I had something that I was a professional at. And now I gave that up. Of course I can start again if it is absolutely necessary but I really let it go from the inside and only now realize how wrong I was in pursuing this job all this time. Now I can't say that I have the guitar as my thing because I am not satisfied with how I play and.. you know, when somebody asks you what you do.. well I'm 27 years old, i live with my parents and I practice guitar.. cool you must be real good, play us something.. well you see.. not really..

This I didn't see coming. But at least I know what the problem is, and I accepted it so the first step for fixing it is done smile.gif I hope so at least.
This is why I am determined to start vocal training. I figured that if I will be able to just pick up the guitar and sing some simple songs (and sound good) this will be e big step for me. I don't want to have to find somebody who knows the lyrics etc etc.
Also, to be honest I am not even that attracted to solo guitar anymore. I mean, i like to be able to improvise but, honestly, what I would REALY like to do is play rhythm and vocals. At least in this period of time I see it as the best thing.

The voice is the most direct and unobstructed way to your heard and soul. Solo guitar is also very cool but you've got the bones, the muscles the tip of your fingers which is very thick, but with vocals you just have to open your mouth.smile.gif I am exaggerating of course you but you get the picture.
The idea is that I feel like I should be doing that and this is also a source of confusion.. hopefully some things will straight out after some time.

Regarding the ON STAGE playing. There is a bar here (kind of an open mic) where you can go on an play what you want. This is why
i started to do a repertoire. But while doing it, I really became obsessed with the vocal part. You know, I just wanted to go there myself and sing and not have to find a vocalist because.. well it's pretty hard to find but also because I am a bit of an individualist I just wanted to do it myself...

There is a band there that sings every time and then anybody can get on the stage. I guess I should just learn some of the songs they do and just go and play with them because they allow it.

Regarding what you said SirJamsalot, with training along with a band, I will try it again (because I tried it before and was almost impossible to find people).

And about everything else that you said Cosmin, there is nothing confusing.. it just that I had my mind set on learning to play well and then I will see about the message tongue.gif (If you understand what I mean). What I kept saying, what is the point of trying to write your own material if you cannot pick up the guitar and sing Proud Mary. And here, the vocal aspect comes into play and there is a vicious circle that I cannot get out.

I don't know what else to write so far.. I guess I should just relax a bit, watch a movie, Transformers or something that doesn't required any cerebral activity smile.gif

Thanks again for all your thoughts.








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dark dude
post Sep 27 2011, 05:45 PM
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Vocal training will allow you to connect with the music more, yes. As you said, you'll be able to hear when something's out of tune - which you need to be very actively aware of when playing anything. Try singing scales as you play them, or sing the notes you're playing, your musical ear will improve. This'll make a whole host of other areas easier to master.

I watched your REC submissions and you need to work on getting your bends to be in tune every single time, really try to knuckle down and actively focus on that.

The other apparent weakness was your vibrato. Listen to your favourite players and try to emulate their vibrato. Focus on the speed, how wide the vibrato is, and make sure it stays in tune. From what I can remember, the rest of your playing wasn't bad at all, nice work, man.

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Spend a bit of time making a small list of songs you'd like to be able to play. Work from the ground up, choose the easiest and really nail it. If a guitarist can play a Blink 182 song perfectly, I'd rather listen to that than some shred piece done at a low standard, just focus on making it sound amazing, no matter how simple it is.

Lastly, learn to find the trouble spots in your playing. If you constantly mess one bit up, post on the forum for some help, or analyze it yourself. Slow it down, take some guesses: is it the inside picking I'm not used to? is it this fast downpicking? are the pinch harmonics too weak?

Once you've figured out your weak-spots, you can design exercises that focus on the problem. Short exercises are a very efficient way of overcoming gaps in your technique. Anybody can do it with regular practice. Also, record yourself as often as possible, you'll hear more than you do when playing, and you'll find your weak-spots a lot quicker.

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Whenever you're in doubt, even in the slightest, just post something here stating what the problem is. It'll get sorted much faster that way. Keep us updated!

This post has been edited by dark dude: Sep 27 2011, 05:47 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Sep 27 2011, 07:25 PM
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The guys bring up some great points smile.gif Also, it's CRITICAL to distinguish between "Good" and "Pro". Sometimes, they have seem to have less than you would think in common. Prime example. Keith Richards is a MILLIONAIRE and a Legend. Some would say he is a 'Great" player, and while this might be true, he is arguably not a "good" player. I can be in "great" pain and not be in "good" pain. He is rich, and has greatness, people know his style/his tunes/his look etc. And he tunes his guitar to an OPEN CHORD! Never heard him really play anything to crazy. Not to take away from his millions or his HUGE fan base or his legend, just to point out he doesn't beat himself up because he can't play fast.

On the other hand there are wads of players who are quite adept at playing and who are still not pro or even semi pro but just good guitar players. So it's important to recognize priorities. If you want go "pro" focus on bits that pay. But don't convince yourself that if you get "good enough" that PRO will just happen by itself. It won't, it's a separate skill. Both are noble goals but are arguably separate goals.



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Shuma13
post Sep 27 2011, 09:32 PM
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"Regarding what you said SirJamsalot, with training along with a band, I will try it again (because I tried it before and was almost impossible to find people). "

I found locally (California) a great program that does this. www.bandworks.com

I have been doing this for about a year now, and have improved greatly. Still a long way from where I want to be, but 1 hour playing with others has been better than 4 hours practicing alone for me.

If you can't find one, try to start one.
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SirJamsalot
post Sep 28 2011, 12:43 AM
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QUOTE (Shuma13 @ Sep 27 2011, 01:32 PM) *
"Regarding what you said SirJamsalot, with training along with a band, I will try it again (because I tried it before and was almost impossible to find people). "

I found locally (California) a great program that does this. www.bandworks.com

I have been doing this for about a year now, and have improved greatly. Still a long way from where I want to be, but 1 hour playing with others has been better than 4 hours practicing alone for me.

If you can't find one, try to start one.


It's awesome isn't it? Not only does playing with others improve you as an overall player, it also inspires you to practice because you have others depending on you to know the materials! Having people depend on you doing your part is great motivation in every way.


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Mudbone
post Sep 28 2011, 01:03 AM
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This turned out to be a great post, as there is a lot to learn from everybody's valuable input. I would like to add my two cents as well biggrin.gif The way I see the arts, be it playing music, painting, etc, is that there is no final destination. The journey itself is the reward. I have stopped looking at guitar playing as a ladder I must climb, with the hopes of reaching the top. Instead, I see my playing talent as a sphere that grows day by day, week by week, and year by year. A sphere grows three-dimensionally, it is not a linear process. Different aspects of my playing are different components of that sphere, and I'll tackle each one as it arrives. For now, I can only focus on what I'm doing at the moment.

Also, try practicing things very slow. If it sounds like music, then you're playing it too fast. This really helps you isolate and tune in to what your hands are doing. There is no shame in playing slow. If you can't play it good very slow, then chances are you won't play it that good fast.

Finally, be realistic with your goals. It takes years and thousands of hours of practice to be a great player. Set yourself realistic goals. If you're 27 now, expect to be very good around the time you're 32, and excellent by the time you're 37. Keep in mind that because you're no longer a teenager, you won't be able to learn as fast as someone of that age or younger. This isn't to say that you can't do it, you can. It will just take you a little longer and you must be very methodical and diligent with your practice, which is easier to be when you're older, so thats one advantage you have over those young whippersnappers tongue.gif

You are what you think you are, so think positive biggrin.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 28 2011, 07:17 AM
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QUOTE (Mudbone @ Sep 28 2011, 12:03 AM) *
This turned out to be a great post, as there is a lot to learn from everybody's valuable input. I would like to add my two cents as well biggrin.gif The way I see the arts, be it playing music, painting, etc, is that there is no final destination. The journey itself is the reward. I have stopped looking at guitar playing as a ladder I must climb, with the hopes of reaching the top. Instead, I see my playing talent as a sphere that grows day by day, week by week, and year by year. A sphere grows three-dimensionally, it is not a linear process. Different aspects of my playing are different components of that sphere, and I'll tackle each one as it arrives. For now, I can only focus on what I'm doing at the moment.

Also, try practicing things very slow. If it sounds like music, then you're playing it too fast. This really helps you isolate and tune in to what your hands are doing. There is no shame in playing slow. If you can't play it good very slow, then chances are you won't play it that good fast.

Finally, be realistic with your goals. It takes years and thousands of hours of practice to be a great player. Set yourself realistic goals. If you're 27 now, expect to be very good around the time you're 32, and excellent by the time you're 37. Keep in mind that because you're no longer a teenager, you won't be able to learn as fast as someone of that age or younger. This isn't to say that you can't do it, you can. It will just take you a little longer and you must be very methodical and diligent with your practice, which is easier to be when you're older, so thats one advantage you have over those young whippersnappers tongue.gif

You are what you think you are, so think positive biggrin.gif


Great advice Mudbone! wink.gif The thing with the snowball/ sphere, is completely true and as long as you don't see yourself in a competition, things will come naturally!


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SirJamsalot
post Sep 28 2011, 09:09 PM
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QUOTE (Mudbone @ Sep 27 2011, 05:03 PM) *
You are what you think you are, so think positive biggrin.gif


I AM RICH.
I AM RICH.
I AM RICH.
I AM FILTHY RICH

I AM HOT
I AM HOT
I AM HOT
I AM IRRESISTIBLY HOT
biggrin.gif



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Frederik
post Sep 28 2011, 11:06 PM
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QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ Sep 28 2011, 10:09 PM) *
I AM RICH.
I AM RICH.
I AM RICH.
I AM FILTHY RICH

I AM HOT
I AM HOT
I AM HOT
I AM IRRESISTIBLY HOT
biggrin.gif


Ditto
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rhoads
post Sep 29 2011, 07:10 AM
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QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ Sep 28 2011, 08:09 PM) *
I AM RICH.
I AM RICH.
I AM RICH.
I AM FILTHY RICH

I AM HOT
I AM HOT
I AM HOT
I AM IRRESISTIBLY HOT
biggrin.gif


I AM BATMAN smile.gif))
Never loose your sense of humor smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 29 2011, 07:27 AM
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I can turn anything into gold just by thinking about it biggrin.gif wouldn't that be interesting...at least? laugh.gif


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tonymiro
post Sep 29 2011, 10:10 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Sep 27 2011, 07:25 PM) *
... Also, it's CRITICAL to distinguish between "Good" and "Pro". ...


Absolutely 100% this.

Whilst there are a few musicians, recording engineers, producers etc who have made it in the industry who do not behave professionally they are very much the exception.

The vast majority of professionals in the industry behave professionally and expect anyone else that they work with/for, or who work for them, to do the same.Being a pro isn't just about having the experience to do the work well it's also about how you behave. There are far more people who end up failing in this industry because they did not behave professionally than because they were not good.


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Todd Simpson
post Sep 29 2011, 11:05 AM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Sep 29 2011, 05:10 AM) *
Absolutely 100% this.

Whilst there are a few musicians, recording engineers, producers etc who have made it in the industry who do not behave professionally they are very much the exception.

The vast majority of professionals in the industry behave professionally and expect anyone else that they work with/for, or who work for them, to do the same.Being a pro isn't just about having the experience to do the work well it's also about how you behave. There are far more people who end up failing in this industry because they did not behave professionally than because they were not good.


Well said smile.gif

QUOTE (Mudbone @ Sep 27 2011, 08:03 PM) *
Finally, be realistic with your goals. It takes years and thousands of hours of practice to be a great player. Set yourself realistic goals. If you're 27 now, expect to be very good around the time you're 32, and excellent by the time you're 37. Keep in mind that because you're no longer a teenager, you won't be able to learn as fast as someone of that age or younger. This isn't to say that you can't do it, you can. It will just take you a little longer and you must be very methodical and diligent with your practice, which is easier to be when you're older, so thats one advantage you have over those young whippersnappers tongue.gif

You are what you think you are, so think positive biggrin.gif


Some very sage advice here. Time is something we just can't avoid. So it's important to consider.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 29 2011, 11:46 AM
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Time is what we make of it smile.gif

If we choose to rush into things and become obsessed with arriving somewhere, most probably, we won't EVER enjoy the journey - and I think that that's the most important thing. Savor every little bump in the road smile.gif you may never know how it'll shift your direction - as long as you are steering. And for a little inspiration:



These guys have put it into lyrics in a very good way wink.gif


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rhoads
post Sep 29 2011, 11:51 AM
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smile.gif I was playing this song with some guys, a few month ago. We tried to make a band but it didn't work you.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 29 2011, 12:42 PM
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QUOTE (rhoads @ Sep 29 2011, 10:51 AM) *
smile.gif I was playing this song with some guys, a few month ago. We tried to make a band but it didn't work you.


It's a beautiful song! Don't worry, you'll find people to play it with! A good challenge would be to learn how to play the guitar parts and sing the vocal lines as well!


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rhoads
post Apr 13 2012, 11:53 AM
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Hi everybody !

I've been away from this website for some time now. There have been a lot going on and I should have kept this thread up to date. Sorry for not doing so and I will try to make up with this long post smile.gif.

Last time I wrote something on this forum I just got in a band. It was a cover band for starting and we planed to write our own stuff. We had a quite a few gigs and also plenty of rehearsals where I really got to feel the difference between playing alone at home and playing live. Now, don't get me wrong, I played live a few times before by but this is the first time I got do play with real professionals (this guys are the best here) and to play in front of audiences that really knew what music is about and which could give you real feedback. We played blues, funk and some rock'n roll.

This difference struck me like a train and I decided to stop any technique practice that I was doing, including RECs and just focus on the songs that we had to play, improvising, listening to a lot of music and many rehearsals. The last one wasn't in my control, unfortunately.

I was very very lucky that these guys took me with them because this was the only chance for me to have live band experiences here in Sibiu.

I can say that I've learned a lot but I've come to a point that I feel I cannot pass no matter how hard I practice. The bass player gave me a kind of comforting explanation. He said that I play perfect, but that is the actual problem. The singer told me that it is just about relaxing and feeling the music. Not to be an excuse, but I have to mention that the atmosphere inside the band was never to relaxed because there wasn't any real chemistry between us. We had quite different opinions about many things and I never felt to conformable (don't want to go in details about this). Maybe it was also because they were a lot better (much experience and everything) and I had a complex of inferiority.

Anyway, the actual problem is that the band kind of broke up. What I mean is that we meet if there are any payed gigs and play the songs that we know but there are no constant rehearsals and this is not up to me. (no details about this either, but I cannot change this).

So, again, I am in the position of not having anybody to play with. And the sad thing is that there really isn't anybody else here who is available. It's a small town and I know them all smile.gif

It's been almost a month now that I haven't done anything productive, just thinking and reflecting. I has pretty depressed because at one point (after the last gig, where I got a LOT of bad critic), I told them (just to hear their honest opinion) that maybe it would be better for me to quit. Not completely, but to keep music just as a hobby and forget about becoming a pro because it isn't going to happen for me. And the sad thing is that they let me understand that it is true. I felt that they wanted to tell me this before but didn't know how because of my enthusiasm. After that I decided to take a break form practicing and playing and just relax, read, watch movies and think.

Given the current situation, (not having anybody to play with and learn from) I think that is best to take their advice for as period of time.
I should start working again to gather some money again and see what happens in the future. The money that I still have would last me for a couple of month and I could invest the whole day into practicing (as I did so far), but I just feel that at this point I would be wasting the time to practice alone that much. I need a band and there isn't one.

As a parenthesis, I earned a considerable amount of money from the gigs that we had. These guys earn their living from this and have lots of connections so there were payed gigs. I remember that I celebrated the New Year's Eve on the car between to towns here because we had a gig in one of them before 12 o'clock and another one after 1 o'clock in another. Closing the parenthesis.

So, I am stuck now and the only option that I see is the start working again and save up money, but also I am planning to leave this place.
It's a small town and I feel very constrained here. I need something fresh. I left this town once and it was very good, but I returned so I could afford this year of practicing. I can say that things went according the initial plan. Get to the level where I can play in a professional band. And it happened. But since I don't see another available pro band here in the near future and I don't have enough experience and everything to start my own one.. I think is time to go away.

Beside that fact that "I play perfect, but that is the problem" the bass player also told me that it's a matter of finding my inner peace so I can sing from the heart. Actually he pointed to the stomach and he is very right smile.gif. Now, from the many many times that I got this advice,(including from you guys) I have to say that this was the first time that I REALLY felt it. This year (and the time before) of intense practicing, and focusing on nothing but music and being good enough, kind of got to me. It's time to start living again. I've come to a point that I don't really care anymore about technique and all that rigorous stuff. Just want to express something. Anything. Also, I've changed a bit, in the sense that I don't really care how I earn my living. I mean, I think that I won't regret if I have to start programming again and focus on MY OWN music in the free time, instead of living from playing in a cover band and stuff like that. I am not sure about this, I am just thinking. Ideally would be the second option, but if the guys were about quitting... Also no chance of doing this here in Sibiu in the near future. I don't know... As a guy said in one of my favorite movies: "Life is complex and has many aspects". I think Cosmin will get this if he reads smile.gif.

Ok, it took me some time to write all this, but also cleared my mind a lot. There are other things that I would say but I think this post is long enough. We'll continue in others if you find it interesting.

It feels good to be back here smile.gif


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RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 27th November 2014 - 05:24 AM